TITLE: PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010 (Shout! Factory)
Color / 1991-1992
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 565 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English
Special Features: Commentary by Cast and Crew (4 episodes)
Everybody seems to lose in high school, but Parker Lewis isn’t everybody. Parker Lewis is special, in that Parker Lewis can’t lose. And now, the second season of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose is available on DVD in a four disc DVD set!
The series stars Corin Nemec as Parker Lewis. He doesn’t exactly boast or brag about himself, but he is the kind of guy that has it all without even trying just by virtue. Mikey (Billy Jayne) and Jerry (Troy Slaten) help him make it through the good times and bad times, and there is always his sister Shelly (Maia Brewton) to guarantee him some of those bad times. Principal Grace Musso (Melanie Chartoff) is also there to make his life miserable at every juncture, along with her assistant Frank Lemmer (Taj Johnson). But it isn’t all bad, because in the end, Parker Lewis can’t lose.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The whole school gets involved in a parent/student toaster building contest in “Father Knows Less.” Ken Osmond and Martin Mull guest star. Shelley wants to fit in and be out of Parker’s shadow in “A Walk on the Dark Side,” but this isn’t exactly a positive. Parker starts to look at his future and wonders if he may lose when it comes in “Future Shock.” Shannon Tweed guest stars as Ms. Mason, who the students at Santo Domingo think is Parker’s “Mrs. Robinson” in “The Undergraduate.” Sonny Bono guest stars in “Stormy Mikey,” where Mikey may just become the next big music star.
Could Principal Musso be hooking up with her nemesis? Possibly, in “Aging Gracefully.” Parker’s secret audio diary may be on the verge of being exposed in “The Parker Chronicles.” Shelly develops an unhealthy fascination with a rock star in “Rock ‘n’ Roles.” In “Love Handles,” Parker finds romance online with a girl who turns out to be very, well, plus-sized. Kubiak has a girlfriend who wants him to stop bullying the other kids, but can his love for a girl stop him from doing what he really loves? Find out in “Raging Kube.”
Dr. Pankow goes head-to-head with Mondo Video in “Obscene and Not Heard.” Santo Domingo is about to lose a much beloved teacher to a higher paying job in “Goodbye, Mr. Rips.” The Lewis family is about to be ripped apart (at least temporarily) in “Civil Wars.” Harry Anderson guest stars in “Glory Daze,” where it turns out that he wasn’t quite the legend that he was believed to be.
Nick sets Jerry up with a freshman in “When Jerry Met Shelly,” but will Parker be happy that his kid sister is hooked up with him? The cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 cross over in “Geek Tragedy.” A romantic evening with Annie turns out to be a house party when Parker’s parents are out of town in “Home Alone with Annie.” Everybody is trapped in the Atlas Diner in the season finale, “Diner ’75.”
The packaging is the standard double slim case style, as was the case with the first season. The cover art has a picture of the entire cast on a blue and yellow background and there are a few episode snapshots on the back of the case. Inside, the two slim cases have Parker and Kube on the case containing the first two discs and Parker by himself on the case holding the other two discs. There are brief episode descriptions on the back of each case, but no episode booklet on this set as there was with season one. The disc artwork contains the series logo on different color backgrounds (a different color for each disc). Disc 1 contains episodes 1-7, Disc 2 contains episodes 8-13, Disc 3 contains episodes 14-19, and Disc 4 contains episodes 20-25.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu this time takes us inside of Parker’s locker, as opposed to the refrigerator from the first season. As the locker opens, we see different scenes from different episodes with the theme music playing, much like the opening credits of the series. The options on the main menu are Play All and Episodes, both of which are self-explanatory. The Episodes section merely gives a text list of the episodes, and the episode plays immediately upon selecting it. The Episodes menu has a commentary option for the episodes containing those. Chapters are placed at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality is fine, although it could be better. This series is clearly left somewhat “as-is” from when it originally aired and hasn’t really been remastered, but considering that it hasn’t aired in years, who would expect it to be? The video is soft and the audio can be a little dull at times, but generally speaking, there aren’t any issues to be seriously concerned about. It is just a standard definition 90s show without any embellishment on DVD. The episodes are presented in Dolby Digital stereo. Sadly, none of the episodes are closed-captioned.
The episodes appear to be unedited, running around 23 minutes. Exact runtimes are as follows:
Father Knows Less (22:57)
A Walk on the Dark Side (22:56)
Full Mental Jacket (22:56)
Future Shock (22:58)
The Undergraduate (22:56)
Stormy Mike (22:57)
Fat Boy and Little Man (22:56)
Aging Gracefully (22:58)
The Parker Chronicles (22:58)
Rock ‘n’ Roles (22:57)
Love Handles (22:54)
Boy Meets Girl (22:57)
Raging Kube (22:57)
Tower of Power (22:56)
Obscene and Not Heard (22:57)
Goodbye, Mr. Rips (22:58)
Civil Wars (22:57)
Glory Daze (22:57)
Boy Meets Girl II (22:57)
Dance of Romance (22:57)
When Jerry Met Shelly (22:57)
Geek Tragedy (22:57)
Money Talks (22:56)
Home Alone with Annie (22:57)
Diner ‘75 (22:57)
Once again, we have commentaries on this set, although as was my complaint with season one, they seem too technical for the average fan. Still, they are fun to listen to. Commentaries are as follows:
“Father Knows Less” – Rob Bowman and Lon Diamond
“Aging Gracefully” – Lon Diamond, Robert Lloyd Lewis, and Clyde Phillips
“Civil Wars” – Maia Brewton, Taj Johnson, Corin Nemec, and Mary Ellen Trainor
“Diner ‘75” – Robert Lloyd Lewis, Billy Jayne, and Troy Slaten
There are no other special features, although original promos and bloopers would be nice to see.
I think that this is a decent set, although I wish they had not skimped so much on the special features this time. Other than that, it is adequate, as it is a fun show to watch and is a lot different from other sitcoms of the past (although much as sitcoms of the present day). This show certainly appeals mostly to those who were teens in the early 90s, although some younger people may enjoy the series as well. Of course, that was the target audience for the series in the first place. The DVD set presents all of the episodes in their original unedited forms, and doesn’t seem to have any major flaws, so this set definitely doesn’t lose.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 1.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 01/16/10
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