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Ellen - The Complete Season One



DVD Release Date: September 28, 2004 (A&E Home Video)
Color/299 min.
MSRP: $39.95
Number of discs: 2
Number of episodes: 13 (6 on Disc 1; 7 on Disc 2)
Languages and Subtitles: English Stereo / No Subtitles (unsure of closed captioning)
Special Features: Commentary with Holly Fulger and Arye Gross on the Pilot Episode.

Ellen DVD Menu Ellen DVD Menu


This first season originally aired as THESE FRIENDS OF MINE and stars Ellen DeGeneres as mildly neurotic Los Angeles bookseller Ellen Morgan, whose nervous motor-mouthing often gets her in trouble, especially with her best friends Adam (Arye Gross), Anita (Maggie Wheeler), and Holly (Holly Fulger).

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

All of the episodes, in their own way, are memorable, but no standout hits. Although there are two episodes that were not actually aired during the first season run on ABC. They were held over until the THIRD season of the series and they are "The Mugging" in which Ellen gets mixed up in Adam's lies after he witnesses his girlfriend being mugged and "The Tape" in which Anita and her beau make a sexy vide, then have to hide it in Ellen's apartment. They are included with season one because they feature the Season 1 cast.


The packaging itself is very nice and quite good. The cover features a large cutout picture of Ellen with a smaller cutout picture of Ellen, Holly, Maggie and Arye in a publicity shot from Season One. There is the logo of course. The logo is in purple with teal shadowing and white outline and the background is an orange color with screenshots meshed in. It's nice. It is a slip sleeve pack with two pull out cases that hold the two discs. There are 13 episodes placed on two discs. The discs have no pictures but it uses the same background as the main cover with a list of the episodes on that disc. The disc casing for each individual disc has the same cover as the main packaging and on the back there are episode descriptions and titles with a small screenshot next to it.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are nice. They are also basically the same design as the main package cover but only Ellen's shot is visible. The season one theme song plays in the background but after it finishes, it doesn't loop. The menus are easy to navigate. There is the favorite Play All feature as well as being able to select Individual Episodes. There is also a Bonus Feature section that has commentary (just on the pilot episode and on disc one) as well as Biographies for each of the cast members. Disc 2 has no special features.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio were great quality. Audio was crisp and clear the video was good as well. No problems that I saw.

Special Features:

There is just one real bonus feature and that is commentary by Holly Fulger and Arye Gross on the "Pilot" episode. Disc 1 also has Cast Bios. No other special features are available.

Final Comments:

Finally, this set is great to own. Although Season 1 isn't very memorable, it has a ton of good, funny episodes but I can't wait until Seasons 2 and up start being released. I was pleased by A&E's release. The packaging was nice, the disc faces were nice, the menus were good and overall it was a great set, except for the lack of bonus features, although the commentary was a welcome addition. Overall, there should be more commentary if A&E can't/won't do any other special features. I'd definitely enjoy hearing Ellen herself on the commentary tracks.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 (Shawn Eaton) on 09/16/04

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