TITLE: WEIRD SCIENCE - THE COMPLETE SEASONS 1 & 2
DVD Release Date: January 1, 2008 (A&E Home Video)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 9 hours and 58 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English Language.
Special features: Audio Commentaries on “She’s Alive,” “The Bazooka Boys,” and “The Most Dangerous Wish;” Trivia Quiz; Cast Biographies
One of the coolest sitcoms will be coming to DVD for the first time ever! Weird Science, the popular TV sitcom of the '90s based on the classic '80s John Hughes film of the same name, is indeed now on DVD with the complete first and second seasons from A&E Home Video! Wyatt Donnelly and Gary Wallace are two regular high school nerds struggling with unpopularity, a serious dating drought, and the endless torment of Wyatt's older brother Chett. Therefore, they use computer skills to create their dream girl Lisa, whose supermodel good looks and super-genius brain are overshadowed only by her extraordinary power to grant the boys whatever they desire, but Lisa often takes the boys' wishes a bit too literally, and things don't always turn out as planned. It is a '90s take on I Dream of Jeannie, except Lisa is not dressed as a genie but as a super-model!
The series stars Michael Manasseri as Wyatt Donnelly, the smart, cautious and shy person who girls like to be around. John Asher as Gary Wallace, a poor student, slacker, but yet a geek who is always after woman but they are never after him. Vanessa Angel as Lisa, the hot and smart girl the boys created that will grant their wishes. And Lee Tergesen as Chett Donnelly, Wyatt’s brother who is a military school graduate.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The first two seasons consisted of 13 episodes each, so we have 26 episodes on this set! In the very first episode, “She’s Alive,” Gary and Wyatt in the quest to create the perfect woman use their computer during a raging lightning storm and create "Lisa," a computer genie who can grant their every wish. In “Feminine Mistake,” Gary demands that Lisa immediately teach them everything about girls, so she turns them into girls. In “Keeps on Tickin’,” Wyatt is afraid to take risks and Gary is afraid that he will never have sex...so Lisa zaps up watches that show how much longer Wyatt has to live and how much time is left until Gary has sex. In “Killer Teenagers,” the boys throw a big wild party, but their parents find out and Lisa turns them into horny teenagers. In “Sex Ed,” Lisa becomes the instructor of her re-imaged sex education class and Gary gets a lab project to "do it" in front of the whole class with his sexy lab partner...will he have sex? In “A Tale of Two Lisas,” with demands from both Gary and Wyatt for her time, Lisa splits herself in two and each half acts like the guy she's with and driving the boys crazy. In “Copper Top Girl,” Gary is not able to find a girl that likes video games and MST3K, so he has Lisa whip up a robot girl to go out with him for one date. Wyatt and the girl fall in love, but who is going to tell Wyatt?
Guest stars include Brian George as Mr. Palate, Ruth Livier as Kim, Seth Green as Lubec (“Lisa’s Virus”), Melendy Britt as Marcia Donnelly, Brittney Powell as Paula Sparks, Lisa Canning as Lincoln (“Unplugged”), and Dwight Schultz as Hank (“Circuit Courtship”).
As far as the packaging goes, the box cover is blue/purple and has Gary on the left side and Wyatt on the right side with Lisa in the middle and in the background we have a computer monitor and keyboard. Above all that is the Weird Science logo greeted by lightning strikes. The back of the box has a brief synopsis of the show itself and the DVD set. We also have four screen shots from the show and a DVD features section on the bottom. The inside of the box has four slim cases, one for each disc. There is also a mini booklet advertising “A&E TV on DVD,” such as, Mr. Bean, Dr. Quinn, and Highway to Heaven. All four slim cases have the same cover as the box cover. Each slim case is labeled as a “volume.” For instance, the first slim case is labeled “Volume 1.” The back of each slim case features episodes of what will be on the disc, with episode titles and synopsis of the episode. The discs are all in blue with a black & white artwork of a character it seems. Disc 1 has Lisa, disc 2 has Gary, disc 3 has Wyatt and disc 4 has Chett.
Disc one features episodes 1-7 from season one, disc two has episodes 8-13 from season one, disc three starts season two and has episodes 14-20 and disc four continues season two and has episodes 21-26.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu screen starts with the clip saying, “she’s alive!” Then we get some more clips playing in the background while the catchy theme song is playing! It doesn’t loop, though, so when it stops we get the same images as the box art. Play All and Episode Selection are options on each disc. Commentary Tracks option is on disc one and three, while Bonus Feature option is on disc four. The menu is pretty simple and easy to navigate. When we select Episode Selection, we get to a screen with the episodes listed in text so we can choose one.
Video and Audio Quality:
As far as the video goes...I have no problems with it. The video is very clean and crisp. I can’t believe the show is now almost 14 years old...time flies! As far as the audio goes, it is good, but on the packaging it says it is in stereo, but it doesn’t seem like it is. Jamie J. Weinman (see his blog: http://zvbxrpl.blogspot.com) also got a review copy and noticed the same thing. However, he also noticed the commentary track episodes are in stereo, as he hears full-fledged stereo mix of the music and sound effects. Good catch! So did A&E goof? It seems so. The episodes are all unedited and all literally run between 22:35 and 22:40, so no need for me to type up runtimes. The show originally aired on cable on USA Network, so this is right, I believe.
Also, we have 5 chapter stops for each episode.
We actually have some special features! We have four audio commentary tracks...two each on discs one and three. Disc one has a commentary track on “She’s Alive,” from Vanessa Angel (Lisa) and John Asher (Gary) and another commentary track on “She’s Alive” by Michael Manasseri only. Both tracks are very fun to listen to and they are all informative and give us behind the scenes info. Did you know “She’s Alive” was actually the third episode produced but the first one aired obviously? Vanessa Angel remembers everyone it seems, while it seems Asher was flirting a bit with her. I wish they had all three together in one track as that would have been even more fun, but it is still good. It is nice they had the three main stars contribute on this set. On disc three, we have two more audio commentary tracks. Angel & Asher return once again to do an audio commentary, this time they collaborate on the episode “The Bazooka Boys.” The last one is on the episode “The Most Dangerous Wish,” and we get commentary by Michael Manasseri.
Moving on to disc four, we get the final two bonus features. We get a Trivia Quiz in multiple-choice form. When we select an answer, we get a video clip from the show saying if we are right or wrong. You’ll see what I mean when you play. I suggest you watch a few episodes first, in case you have not seen the show in a long time, like me. The final bonus feature is just text, but worth reading, I guess. We get Biographies on Angel, Asher, and Manasseri. You will find out John Asher is related to big time producer William Asher of Bewitched fame.
This set is pretty good and besides the audio situation, it is flawless! It is unfortunate we don’t have stereo copies of these episodes, but many people wouldn’t care anyway. It just would have been nice to have it the way it was originally. I can’t believe we got extras. The audio commentaries are very fun and I am glad we got some. It is a shame Universal themselves didn’t release this series on DVD, but they probably wouldn’t have given us extras anyway and if the sales were not that great, we would never see another release. However, since A&E is releasing this, I have no doubt we will see all five seasons on DVD! I am glad because now I can relive and remember some of these episodes. The show is still very good and holds up well. I loved some of the episodes like “Sex Ed.” Can you believe a Sex Ed class had a lab portion in which students actually partner-up and have sex in class? Only in Weird Science! Watch the episode though and you’ll find out if the class actually has sex or not. If you’re a fan of the movie, then you should get this set. So click below and order this DVD because you’ll be singing the theme song and saying “She’s Alive!” Weird Science!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal
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