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Grounded for Life - Season 2



DVD Release Date: May 16, 2006 (Anchor Bay Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 17
Total Runtime: 374 Minutes
Special Features Runtime: 55:22
Audio Tracks: English
Closed Captioned
Special Features:
* Bloopers
* From Ashes to Ashton - Interview with Ashton Kutcher
* Kevin Corrigan “He Ain’t Eddie, He’s My Brother”
* Season Two Highlights
* Sibling Revelry: Interviews with Jake Burbage and Griffin Frazen (Henry and Jimmy)
* Audio Commentaries


Working class Staten Island couple Sean and Claudia Finnerty (Donal Logue and Megyn Price) are still trying to raise their difficult kids,, including uncontrollable teenager Lily (Lynsey Bartilson) and rowdy boys Jimmy (Griffin Frazen) and Henry (Jake Burbage). But with the unwelcome help of Sean’s irresponsible brother Eddie (Kevin Corrigan), his strict father (Richard Riehle) and Lily’s next-door boyfriend Brad (Bret Harrison), family life takes some very twisted turns. Get ready for an unforgettable year of dirty downloads, reckless spending, bad habits, and annoying in-laws, plus memorable encounters with the birds and the bees, violence at SantaLand, and much more!

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Let’s just get this out of the way now so I don’t have to explain it later: The episodes are in broadcast order, yet they’re not. 5 episodes from season one aired in season two, including the episode that is the per se season premiere. THOSE episodes were on the season one set. This set, for whatever reason, is only the season two episodes that were PRODUCED FOR season two. That’s why there are only 17 episodes.

I don’t feel I’m enough of a fan of this show (see season 1 review) to recommend episodes to you, so I won’t. As such, on with the guest stars.

OK, this is easily turning into a sad section. I’ve got nothing. Let’s see, um…oh wait, yes I do. In the episode Don’t Fear the Reefer, Jim McMahon guest stars… supposedly, he played football or something. Wouldn’t *really* know much about that. (Folks, for those of you who haven’t quite figured it out yet: Jim McMahon was a fairly good player. He was QB on the 1985 Chicago Bears for crying out loud! Anyway, Stephen Root (NewsRadio, King of the Hill) is in the episode I Fought the In-Laws and in the episode Mustang Lily. And hey, Ashton Kutcher (That 70s Show) is in the episode Dust in the Wind! Finally, now the guest star train is rolling. Joseph Simmons, better know as Rev. Run of Run-DMC, is in Oops...I did it Again. See, that turned out a bit better than expected. The box lists a few other people I’ve never heard of. Oh wait, Natasha Lyonne, from the first two American Pie films, is in the episode Relax!


Packaging is a three-disc slim case setup as used before. Discs 1 and 2 share a slim case, while 3 has its own. Front cover has the entire cast looking into the fridge (which also happens to be straight at the camera), eyeing the camera/a piece of cake). The picture actually wraps around to the bottom of the box, where you can see some fruit in the crisper. Miscellaneous pictures on the back. Cover of slim case 1 has Sean and Claudia, while cover of slim case 2 has Claudia and Brad. Inside art has the various characters with a quote from them in a comic-style thought balloon. Case 1 has the three adults; case 2 has the 3 kids. All 3 disc s are yellow with orange squares and a black bottom. The GFL logo appears at the top, with specific cast members to the left. Sean and Claudia are on D1, Lily and Eddie are on D2. Henry and Jimmy are on D3. Episodes 1-6 are on D1, 7-12 are on D2, and 13-17 plus the features are on the third.

Menu Design and Navigation:

This is amazingly easy to write about: The main menu is a static shot of the cast, sitting on a couch, out on some grass. Video clips fly by to their immediate right, but nowhere else. Episodes is the same grass area with the cast/cough removed, and the text in its place. Extras use the SAME menu. Episode details menus use the same menu TOO, but with a still photo in the bottom right corner, and episode description in place of the usual options.

Video and Audio Quality:

Episodes are 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio, Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0. Chapter Stops! Chapter stops occur at fade-to-blacks. Video looks grainy and dull. Depressing, this show is from 4/5 years ago, and looks like it’s from 14/15 years ago -- this video has NOT held up. Audio’s good. Music is completely intact. No audio problems.

Don’t Let Me Download: 22:08
Bang on the Drum: 22:08
Smoke on the Daughter: 22:08
I Saw Daddy Hitting Santa Claus: 22:09
We Are Family: 22:08
Mr. Roboto: 22:08
Don’t Fear the Reefer: 22:08
Take it to the Limit: 22:08
Eddie Said Knock You Out: 22:08
Safety Dance: 22:09
Relax!: 22:06
The Kids are Alright: 22:09
Swearin’ to God: 22:09
Eddie and this Guy with Diamonds: 22:08
I Fought the In-Laws: 22:08
Dust in the Wind: 22:08
Oops!...I did it Again: 22:08

Special Features:

Smoke on the Daughter: Bill Martin, Mike Schiff, Lynsey Bartilson, Megyn Price, and Richard Riehle. 22:08. And that’s it.

Ashton Kutcher Interview: 4:16. I don’t get it...he didn’t interview for *THAT 70S SHOW’S CURRENT RELEASE*, but he did for Grounded for Life. Wow. Just…Wow. You know, this was probably pre-produced awhile back.

Kevin Corrigan Interview: 9:42. Interview covers his reflections on the character and the show. Really, REALLY fond of his time on the show (and yet, didn’t participate in commentary tracks). Wonder if this was produced during the show’s run.

Bloopers: 2:38. Aaaaaand the camera collapses. That’s how it starts.

Season Two Highlights: 11:43. The funniest clips from the show’s run. Now THIS I can appreciate. All the laughs of the season, without the rest. Favorite part of the release.

Interview with Jake Burbage and Griffin Frazen: 4:55. DEFINITELY pre-produced, as the kids are the same age they were at the time. (Plus, it was before Jake Burbage’s character pulled a Chuck.

Total Features Runtime: 55:22

Final Comments:

And I’ve got to admit I continue to be unimpressed with this show. This show just is NOT my cup of tea. The “Season Two Highlights” feature was good, and definitely condensed the show into something better…I don’t know, maybe I’m just not a fan of the flashback type of storytelling. Something about this show, and I’ve yet to pinpoint what, turns me off. The video is problematic at best. The grain in places was definitely visible, while in others it was more subtle, but still noticeable. The colors just look dull in’s strange. Less commentary means a shorter review time, but it also means we know less of what went on, and get to hear less of the cast and crew, which is a big detraction. For season three, focusing on the technical side, improve the video. It just doesn’t look very good. That and more commentary tracks. Also, perhaps some of those 30-second episode promos like can be found on That 70s Show and 3rd Rock from the Sun releases (both Carsey-Werner shows, and 3rd Rock being distributed by the same people even). Recommended for fans of the show but not recommended for non-fans.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 3/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 05/12/06

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