TITLE: WILL & GRACE - BEST OF LOVE & MARRIAGE
Release Date: May 5, 2009 (Lionsgate)
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 16
Running Time: 410 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: 23 minutes
English, Closed Captioned
Special Features: Audio Commentary on The Pilot by Debra Messing & Eric McCormack
Winning 16 Emmy awards and nominated for 27 Golden Globes, Will & Grace captivated TV audiences for eight hilarious seasons with laugh out loud antics. This set, Best of Love & Marriage, takes comedy to heart, featuring 16 episodes of the wildest breakups and most touching make-ups of the series. Relive such memorable moments as Rosario marrying Jack for a green card, Karen accusing Stan of cheating, and Grace finally tying the knot!
Episodes Included / Notable Guest Stars:
Two discs, sixteen episodes:
Pilot (OAD: 09/21/98): A sitcom about a gay lawyer and a straight interior designer who are best friends. First up: Will asks his friend Jack to move in and share expenses, until Grace has a fight with her beau and needs a place to stay.
The Unsinkable Mommy Adler (OAD: 02/09/99): Grace prepares for the arrival of her mother (Debbie Reynolds), a former showgirl who just loves upstaging her daughter.
Yours, Mine, or Ours (OAD: 03/02/99): When a good looking but sexually ambiguous new tenant moves in, both Will AND Grace vie fiercely for the manís attentions.
Object of My Rejection (OAD: 05/13/99): Will is stunned when Grace begins dating her ex-fiancť, but he decides not to interfere after being accused of being meddlesome.
Hey La, Hey La, My Ex-Boyfriendís Back (OAD: 03/14/00): When Grace designs Willís ex-boyfriendís new townhouse, Will is forced to confront his unresolved feelings for him.
Ben? Her? (OAD: 5/23/00): (Parts 1 AND 2): Unknown to Will, Grace has a romantic dalliance with his boss Ben (Gregory Hines), but when Will finds out, she makes him promise not to interfere. Rosario informs Jack she wants a divorce so she can marry Karenís gardener; Ben and Jack compete at tape after Jack boasts about his fancy dancing, and the season ends with living arrangements taking an interesting twist for the four Manhattan friends.
Love Plus One (OAD: 11/9/00): A Cyrano de Bergerac-style plot has Jack borrowing Willís words to impress a crush (Patrick Dempsey), while an ex (Jeremy Liven) asks an amazed Grace to join him in a threesome with his new lover.
Cheaters, Part 1 (OAD: 2/22/01): Grace learns that Willís father (Sydney Pollack) is having an affair with a colleague. Meanwhile, Karen thinks Stanís a cheater too -- and plots to catch him in the act.
Bed, Bath, and Beyond (OAD: 11/08/01): While Grace wallows in bed as she grieves over losing her boyfriend Nathan, an enterprising Will tries all his old tricks to spring her from her mattress and back into the real world.
Cheatingí Trouble Blues: (OAD: 03/28/02): Will presents his newly reconciled parents (Sydney Pollack & Blythe Danner) with a romantic cruise on their anniversary -- but his idealistic plans are scuttled when he learns that each is hiding a secret.
Wedding Bells: (04/18/02): Will expects two friends to arrive in New York to plan a wedding, but when the bride-to-be falls ill, he asks a willing Grace to work with the clueless groom to work out the details -- but she gets a little too involved with the dreamy details and fancies herself a bride instead.
...And the Horse He Rode in on (09/26/02): A dazed Grace is rescued by a handsome Jewish doctor (Harry Conic, Jr.) who pulls her up on his horse and delivers her just in time for her insemination with an impatient Will. But their new relationship puts a strain on Will & Graceís relationship when they agree not to date until their baby is born.
Marry Me a Little/Marry Me a Little More (OAD: 11/21/02) (Parts 1 and 2): After Grace impulsively accepts a marriage proposal from Leo, there seems to be a million roadblocks between her and an actual wedding, not the least of which is her best friend Willís unease about the whole idea. Debbie Reynolds and Katie Couric guest star.
May Divorce Be With You: (05/01/03): Karen needs a lawyer to represent her in her divorce hearing with Stan and is disappointed to find out that Will is obligated to remain on Stanís side. She hires JT (Macaulay Culkin), who seems completely clueless and later reveals himself as a shark. Meanwhile, Jack fills in for Karen at Grace Adler Designs, recruiting a new client -- his new boyfriend.
The Fabulous Baker Boy: (2/24/05): Karen asks Will to fire her pastry chef, but he canít because heís attracted to him and his pastries. Since Karen is too, they ponder a 3-way until they discover that Rosario is ALSO an object of the pastry chefís affections. Grace tries to help launch new boyfriend Nickís TV career, but heís offended when neither she nor Jack read his script.
The Definition of Marriage: (02/09/06) The big day has finally arrived. Grace and James (guest star Taye Diggs) are getting ready for their green card wedding. To Graceís dismay, Karen takes it upon herself to ignore her wish for a low-key wedding and decides to arrange a huge affair instead, including hiring Hall & Oates to perform ďManeaterĒ at the ceremony.
The packaging is your typical black plastic case -- the kind normally associated with most standard-issue movie DVD releases. Iím sure it has a proper name, I just donít know what that happens to be. Artwork, for the JPEG-impaired, consists of the four principal cast members seated on two connecting wedding rings (a wedding ring and wedding band), with Will & Grace occupying the ring, and Karen and Jack sitting on the band. Disc art is a split up version of this, with the ring on disc 1 and band on disc 2, with accompanying cast members for each.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu is very nice. Theme plays in background. The same rings/bands as before make up the primary focus of the menu art. Clips from the set play in the center of the now three interlocking rings. The menu is a grayish blue, with small champagne bubbles flying by in the background. Episode selection consists of a ring towards the left side, with the episode titles in a hard to read white font (in the typical W&G logo font face) against the same color background. Play All functionality is available.
Video and Audio Quality:
You know when dealing with a modern show that the video quality is going to be nicer. There is some *slight* noise on a couple of the oldest episodes, while the colors, if anything, are slightly red-shifted. Still, theyíre better than the vast, vast majority of episode presentations. Audio is a two channel Dolby Surround track. Chapter stops are placed at the end of each act, in the same places youíd often find ad breaks on a television broadcast.
Here are the runtimes:
The Pilot: 23:08
The Unsinkable Mommy Adler: 21:36
Yours, Mine, or Ours: 21:40
Object of My Rejection: 21:41
Hey La, Hey La, My Ex-Boyfriendís Back: 22:00
Ben? Her?: 44:99
Love Plus One: 21:40
Cheaters, Part 1: 31:35
Bed, Bath & Beyond: 21:33
Cheatiní Trouble Blues: 21:38
Wedding Balls: 21:18
...And the Horse He Rode In On: 21:03
Mary Me a Little, Marry Me a Little More: 44:48
May Divorce Be With You: 21:26
The Fabulous Baker Boy: 21:18
The Definition of Marriage: 21:19
You should know now that these episodes appear to be identical to their DVD counterparts, which means that on regular half hour episodes, we appear to be presented with syndication episodes. The pilot, hour-long, and super-sized episodes all appear correct, but the shorter half-hour programs donít even clock in at 22 minutes, well under standard for a turn-of-the-century sitcom.
We get a very interesting commentary on the pilot by show stars Debra Messing & Eric McCormack. This pilot (23:08) is NOT a warmed over re-hash of something included on the first season DVD set -- marking an interesting departure for best of DVD sets -- semi-original content. Admittedly, the commentary track doesnít cover hardly any new ground, but itís still interesting to have.
If you already own the individual season sets or the complete series set, you have no business buying this DVD -- you already own all the episodes, and the one novelty isnít even remotely sufficient enough to justify the purchase. This product is solely designed for those who donít own the DVD set and just want a nice cheap purchase with a decent assortment of episodes. For THAT purpose this is a good buy. For hardcore fans of the series, you donít need this.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0.5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 05/08/09
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