TITLE: TITUS - SEASONS 1 & 2
DVD Release Date: July 12, 2005 (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 33
Running Time: Approx. 760 Minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Closed Captioning
Special Features: 3 Audio Commentaries with Creator/Star Christopher Titus
and with Creators Brian Hargrove and Jack Kenny, Hard Laughs - All New Interview
with Christopher Titus, Titus Promo, Rehearsal Footage
According to a recent study, 63% of American families are now considered dysfunctional.
According to Christopher Titus, that makes him a proud member of the majority.
Welcome to the extremly dysfunctional - and semi-autobiographical - world
of Chris Titus' screwed-up relationships with his loving girlfriend (Cynthia Watros), his
not-too-bright kid brother (Zack Ward), his flamboyantly-anal best friend (David
Shatraw), his manic-depressive schizophrenic mother, and most of all, his five-times-divorced,
wussy-hating, abusive father (Stacy Keach). It's a darkly hilarious ride through a life filled
with suicide, alcoholism, dementia, violence, crime, comas, restraining orders and more.
This is not your average 'happy family' sitcom. This is Titus.
Titus ran on FOX from March 2000 to August 2002. A total of 54 episodes
were produced over 3 seasons. It debuted with a 20 share - the highest rated comedy on FOX
since The Simpsons. The show immediately struck a chord with viewers: in its first
five weeks, it beat all network competition in the coveted 18-to-49 demographic range.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
There were a number of memorable episodes
that offered some edgy humor. Relationships are unpredictable when Titus and Erin
breakup, have one night stands, adn then decide to tie the knot in "The Breakup."
The trip to Napa to celebrate Ken's birthday is more than he bargained for
when Titus tries to show off the custom car he was going to give his father
as a present in "Red Asphalt." Concerned that his father is no longer drinking, Titus stages
an intervention to encourage him to take a drink so that all of their lives can go back
to normal in "Intervention." Erin is determined to have the perfect Thanksgiving so that
when she announces her engagement to Titus, everything is, well, perfect in
"The Perfect Thanksgiving." Titus celebrates Christmas by attending the funeral of his demented
ex-girlfriend, Noelle, who just killed herself by ramming her car into a Baskin-Robbins in "The
Last Noelle." A feel good Christmas episode. Tommy convinces Erin and Titus to go to a self-help
seminar where both experience "adventures in personal growth." in "Life Forward."
There was a revolving door of actresses that played Christopher's mom Juanita.
Christine Estabrook played Juanita in "Mom's Not Nuts." Frances Fisher first appeared
as Juanita in "Locking Up Mom." Other notable guest stars included Nicole Sullivan
as Carol in "Tommy's Girlfriend." Richard Benjamin played Bill in "The Reconciliation." David
Hyde Pierece appeared as self-help guru Jerry October in "Life Forward." Jay Leno played
himself in "The Pit." Ed Begley, Jr. guest starred as Bill in "The Wedding."
This six disc set contains all nine episodes from Season 1 (2000) and all twenty
four episodes from Season 2 (2000-2001). The DVD cover art features a photo
of Christopher Titus with the Titus logo at the top. There are 3 slimcases that
hold 2 discs each that slide out of the main slipcase. The back of the slipcase
has a photo of Titus and Stacy Keach and lists the special features and dvd specs and a short
summary of the set. The spine of the box has a photo of Titus and the show logo.
Red and black are the predominant colors of the set. Each slimcase has a different
cast photo on the front with another scene from the show on the back along with the
episode titles listed by disc. There are additional photos of the cast inside
the slimcases. An 8 page booklet called "Notes on Titus Family" is included. It
features various photos of the cast with profiles on the characters. There
are also short summaries for all of the episodes on the set listed. All of the
discs have the show logo and feature a different cast member. Disc 1 pictures Titus
and has episodes 1-5. Disc 2 has a photo of the lovely Cynthia Watros and contains
episodes 6-9. Disc 3 shows Zack Ward (Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story) and has
episodes 10-16. Disc 4 pictures David Shatraw and holds episodes 17-23. Disc 5
has a photo of the brilliant Stacy Keach and contains episodes 24-30. Disc 6
pictures Titus and Cynthia Watros (with her short season 2 hair) and concludes
the 2nd season with episodes 31-33 and the special features.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The first disc begins with an one minute introduction by Christopher Titus in the black and white
neutral space talking to the camera about dvds and aliens. The main menu starts with
a dangling light bulb moving across the screen. The theme music is played
in the background. There are options for 'Episodes,' 'Commmentary,' and a 'Play
All' button. When you select 'Episodes,' it takes you to a sub menu which gives a summary
and photo from the episode. Unfortunately, there are no scene selection menus or
chapter stops within the episodes. The 3rd disc contains the Special Features.
Video and Audio Quality:
Season 1 was shot on film and there is some grain on the episodes, but overall
they look very good. Season 2 and 3 were shot in high definiton and those episodes look
even better. The picture is very sharp and bright. I think the show had great
lighting throughout it's run, so the colors really look vivid. Titus has the distinction
of being the first four camera sitcom shot in high definition. The audio
is a standard English stereo track. I noticed no major problems with the audio.
The sets they used seemed to be pretty small and the audience laughter was real - they
used no sweetener. Closed captioning is available.
All episodes appeared to be unedited, running around 22 1/2 minutes in length. The
episodes seem to be in their original production order which closely followed
the broadcast order. Dad's Dead was the pilot episode, but originally aired
on FOX as the 2nd episode.
For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is the Kenny & Hargrove logo followed by one
for DeRango Entertainment and finally the 20th Century Fox logo.
There are a good number of special features on this set. It always helps when
the stars and creators of a show get involved. There are 3 audio commentaries
by creator/star Christopher Titus and with creators Brian Hargrove
and Jack Kenny. They do commentary for Dad's Dead (the pilot episode),
The Breakup, and The Last Noelle. The commentaries are very lively and informative with
some profanity tossed in here and there. They give lots of background information
on the production of the episodes as well as the cast members.
Hard Laughs - This is an all-new interview with Christopher Titus. He talks about
how the stuff on the show actually happened in his life. He also talks about his
start in stand-up comedy and how his making fun of his family turned into a show.
Other topics covered included the ratings of the show, the main cast members,
and the actresses that played his mom Juanita. This was a fun feature to watch
with a lot of clips from the show included. (29:20)
Titus Promo - This is a short promo for the show starting in March on FOX. (:22)
Rehearsal Footage - Some videotaped behind the scenes footage. It was neat
to see the sets. The volume is a little low, but it was still a nice feature
to add to the set. (8:49)
Also on DVD - Promos for 2 other Anchor Bay DVD Releases. Doogie Howser, M.D. (1:00)
and Profit (1:37)
Titus ran for only 3 seasons and has never been shown in syndication. I had never
seen it before, but after watching only a few episodes I am hooked! The cast
had good chemistry and Cynthia Watros is very cute. The humor
is very edgy. They also had some touching scenes with some dramatic moments.
I think if the writers had just come up
with some of the ideas, it would have seemed fake. The show was very honest and real.
It would be hard to believe that the show got cancelled because it was too hot for
FOX as it was still beating 2 other comedies that got picked up.
Hopefully the 3rd and final season will be released at some point in the future
to complete the series.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.0/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 07/10/05
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