TITLE: SUBURGATORY - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (WBSHOP.COM)
Release Date: September 18, 2012 (Warner Home Video)
Packaging: Keep case with Outer Box
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 473 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx.
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround & Portuguese
Subtitles and Captioning: English, French, Spanish, & Portuguese
Special Features: “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell: Life In Suburgatory,” Deleted Scenes, Suburban Slip-Ups!
Manicured lawns. Cookie-cutter homes. Big lips. Little nose jobs. Synchronized sprinkler systems that erupt at the exact same time. A massive mall, the mecca for mass-consumerism and soggy food-court cuisine. Welcome to the suburbs, heaven for many. But for one teenage transplant from New York City, the suburbs represent her unique version of hell. Forget purgatory -- this is Suburgatory. Suburgatory is a family comedy that asks us not to judge our neighbors until we've gardened in their clogs. It is also about one man's struggle to answer the question that has plagued parents for all time: Is the safe choice really the right choice? Explore one of TV’s quirkiest suburban neighborhoods when Warner Home Video releases Suburgatory - The Complete First Season on DVD!
Suburgatory stars Jeremy Sisto as George Altman, Jane Levy as Tessa Altman, Ana Gasteyer as Sheila Shay, Rex Lee as Mr. Wolfe, Carly Chaikin as Dalias Royce, Allie Grant as Lisa Shay, with Alan Tudyk as Noah Werner, and Cheryl Hines as Dallas Royce! Recurring are Chris Parnell as Fred Shay, Parker Young as Ryan Shay, Maestro Harrell as Malik, Jay Mohr as Steven Royce, Arden Myrin as Jocelyn, and Gillian Vigman as Jill Werner. Guest starring are Alicia Silverstone as Eden, Thomas McDonnell, Dan Byrd, Mo Collins, Robin Givens, James Lipton, Jonathan Slavin, James Ingram, Wilmer Valderrama and the voice of Whoopi Goldberg.
This is a wonderful addition to the ABC Wednesday family comedy line-up. It’s different kind of suburban comedy and Jane Levy is a star. She works well with everyone on the show, especially Jeremy Sisto, Cheryl Hines and Carly Chaikin. It’s a great cast! Some of the memorable episodes from this freshman season include the “Pilot,” where single dad George decides to move himself and his 15-year old daughter Tessa out of New York City and into the suburbs, where he hopes they will become closer, after finding a box of condoms in her drawer, however Tessa is too horrified by all the big-haired, fake-boobed mothers, over-manicured lawns and shallow classmates to bond with her father. In “Halloween,” Tessa believes she has found the perfect costume for Halloween when she channels her inner "suburban girl," but her fellow students get more of a fright when her costume reminds them of Misty their recently "departed" classmate, while Lisa and Malik attempt to exorcise Tessa to remove the former friend's spirit, while George tries to help Dallas find the fun in Halloween, but receives a shock of his own when Dallas' husband Steven (Jay Mohr) returns home from his business trip. In “Sweet Sixteen,” Dallas gets Dalia to plan Tessa's sixteenth birthday party, even getting her favorite band to perform. Tessa is excited until Dalia shoves her own vision over Tessa's intended plans, meanwhile George throws out his back and Sheila becomes his obsessive caretaker, even though George is terrified of her.
In “Driving Miss Dalia,” Tessa gets her driver's license and Dalia hires her to drive her around to stalk her crush, Scott Strauss, who ends up falling for Tessa, while George decides to join the local country club, but Noah refuses to sponsor him. In “Out in the Burbs,” Tessa is asked to guide Josh Sherman (Dan Byrd), the new guy in school, but after seeing him stare at the school jocks, she then believes that he is gay, unaware that he is really an undercover narcotics officer investigating the use of steroids, meanwhile George begins to re-evaluate his relationship with Dallas, after thinking that she is making sexual advances towards him. In “Entering Eden,” George begins dating Eden (Alicia Silverstone), a woman he met at the town's farmer's market, while George later finds out that Eden is going to be the surrogate mother of Noah and Jill's child. On the season finale, “The Motherload,” the residents of Chatswin have an all-out celebration for the town's moms, leaving a void for Tessa, while Dalia wants to go to Israel for Mothers' Day without Dallas.
Episode runtimes are around 21 minutes, most likely unedited as runtimes these days are around that for comedies Here are all the runtimes:
1. Pilot: 21:36
2. The Barbecue: 21:30
3. The Chatterer: 21:31
4. Don’t Call Me Shirley: 21:35
5. Halloween: 21:30
6. Charity Case: 21:35)
7. Sweet Sixteen: 21:33
8. Thanksgiving: 21:34
9. The Nutcracker: 21:36
10. Driving Miss Dalia: 21:34
11. Out in the Burbs: 20:59
12. The Casino Trip: 21:35
13. Sex and the Suburbs: 21:18
14. The Body: 21:35)
15. Fire with Fire: 21:10
16. Poetic Injustice: 21:34
17. Independence Day: 21:35
18. Down Time: 21:35
19. Entering Eden: 21:26
20. Hear No Evil: 21:35
21. The Great Compromise: 21:34
22. The Motherload: 21:35
The packaging of the set is a keep case inside an outer box. The cover art has Tessa holding on to a picket fence (like she’s in jail), with her father George watching in a nice blue sky background. The series logo is on the top along with a mention that this is The Complete First Season. The color theme is sky blue. The back artwork features a nice cast photo, along with info on the series and set. There is a red box that lists the special features as well! Both the case and outer box have the same artwork. When we open the case, we see no artwork on the panels at all, which is a bit disappointing. We do however have an episode booklet located on the left panel. The front of the booklet has the same artwork as the cover art of the outer box and case. Inside the booklet we have a page on each disc with episode number, title, writer, director, original airdate, if the episode has an unaired scene, and a synopsis. We also have very cool episodic images and picket fences. There is also a cast page giving us a headshot, character name and actor name. The last page of the booklet has a nice full body shot of George and Tessa outside their house! The discs are not overlapping each other and there is a plastic holder holding discs one and two, one on each side. The last disc is on the right panel itself. The disc art is in blue with the show logo and disc number. No other artwork is on the discs. Disc one will be where you can find episodes 1-8, while Disc two holds episodes 9-16 and Disc three has episodes 17-22.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu has the blue sky background and a shot of Tessa holding on to the picket fence, like the cover art. The short opening theme is playing in the background. Main menu options are: Play, Episodes, Languages, Deleted Scenes, and Features. The Play option will of course play the episodes without interruption. The Episodes menu has the episode number and title, and a scissor icon if there are any deleted scenes on the episode. There is also a Deleted Scenes menu, on discs one & two, if you want to view the scenes that way all at once without selecting the episode. Disc three has a Features option, where we can choose special features in addition to deleted scenes. The Languages menu screen gives us the option for Audio in English or Portuguese, and Subtitles in English, French, Spanish, or Portuguese. Each episode has 5 chapter stops per episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video is very good and it a perfect widescreen. If you have a DVD player that upconverts to HD, then it looks even better. This is a series that just aired its first season in 2011-12, so of course it looks great. All current series look perfect in video these days on DVD. The audio is crystal clear in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. There are no problems with it. There's an alternate audio track in Português. Subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired, Français, Española, and Portuguese are available on the episodes.
Each disc has deleted scenes. And we have A LOT of them! In fact, 16 of the 22 episodes have deleted scenes. That’s about 31 minutes worth of deleted scenes and a total of 32 deleted scenes! Each deleted scene can be viewed on the Episodes option by clicking on the scissor icon of the corresponding episode or you can view them all at once in the Deleted Scenes option. Here are the deleted scenes per episode and disc:
1. Pilot (5 scenes, 8:05)
3. The Chatterer (3 scenes, 1:32)
4. Don’t Call Me Shirley (1 scene, 0:35)
6. Charity Case (1 scenes, 1:40)
7. Sweet Sixteen (2 scenes, 0:55)
8. Thanksgiving (1 scene, 0:23)
9. The Nutcracker (5 scenes, 5:25)
10. Driving Miss Dalia (2 scenes, 1:20)
12. The Casino Trip (3 scenes, 1:49)
13. Sex and the Suburbs (1 scene, 1:41)
14. The Body (1 scene, 0:30)
16. Poetic Injustice (3 scenes, 2:59)
19. Entering Eden (1 scene, 0:43)
20. Hear No Evil (1 scene, 0:47)
21. The Great Compromise (1 scene, 1:03)
22. The Motherload (1 scene, 1:08)
The rest of the special features are on disc three. We have the featurette “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell: Life In Suburgatory” (27:49). This is an excellent and detailed featurette with the cast and producers discussing the series and how George and Tessa spice up the suburbs! Interviewed are Jeremy Sisto, Jane Levy, Patricia Breen (co-executive producer/writer), Emily Kapnek (creator/executive producer), Andrew Guest (executive story editor), Carly Chaikin, Rex Lee, Ana Gasteyer, Cheryl Hines, Alan Tudyk, Allie Grant, and Parker Young. And finally, we have “Suburban Slip-Ups!” (7:20). It’s really funny stuff! See all the bloopers & outtakes!
This is an excellent show and it fits very well in the ABC Wednesday line-up. I think it was probably the best new comedy of last season (that and Don’t Trust the B--- In Apartment 23). We have a great cast and Jane Levy became a breakout star! It will be very cool and fun to see what the series has up in store for season two. As for this DVD, it’s well produced by Warner Home Video. We have good packaging, menus, audio/video and special features. I loved how we had over half-hour worth of deleted scenes! And the featurette was very detailed. I wish we had some audio commentaries, though and perhaps a few shorter featurettes. Other than that, the set is nearly perfect.
Make sure you buy this DVD and catch-up in time for the second season premiere on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at a new time of 9:30pm, now following TV’s #1 comedy -- Modern Family! This show could explode into a bigger hit this season, so if you haven’t started watching it yet -- now is your chance! “Oh my gosh,” as Dallas would say! Even if you don’t live in the suburbs, take a trip to Suburgatory because it is going to be a funny ride!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall Score: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 09/15/12
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