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The Adventures of Pete & Pete - Season Two



DVD Release Date: November 1, 2005 (Paramount Home Entertainment/Nick DVD)
MSRP: $26.99
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 14 (13 Episodes + 1 Special)
Running Time: 306 Minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: 102 minutes.
Audio: English; Closed Captioned
Special Features:
-Commentary on 3 Episodes
-5 Pete & Pete Shorts
-1 Pete & Pete Special


The second season of The Adventures of Pete & Pete is now on DVD!

The Adventures of Pete & Pete was a Nickelodeon sitcom running in the mid 90s. The series actually started as a series of one-minute shorts on Nick in 1990,­ by 1993 the shorts had gained such popularity that they made a series of five 30-minute specials ­ and by the end of the year, Nick had commissioned eight regular 30-minute episodes of the series. For this release, the 13 second episodes, the fifth special “Space, Geeks, and Johnny Unitas,” and another FIVE shorts are included. The starring Big Pete (Michael Morrona), and his brother Little Pete (Danny Tambarelli), plus the Brothers Pete’s parents Don & Joyce (Hardy Rawls, Judy Rickles), Big Pete’s friend Ellen (Allison Fanielli) and Artie, The Strongest Man in the World (Toby Huss). This season also marked the debut of Nona Mecklenberg (played by Michelle Trachtenberg) in the first episode that season, Grounded for Life.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

All the episodes from this series are great, in their own unique way, and are all highly enjoyable. There’s not a dud in the bunch. All are still just as good as they were to me ten years ago. Some of the most memorable episodes occur in this season. Grounded for Life is the Fourth of July show that introduces the character of Nona to the show, in addition to simply being a downright enjoyable show. The Call, the third episode, is also one of the more memorable episodes ­ a town pay phone has been ringing for 27 years, but no one will answer it, believing it’s cursed. Little Pete finally gets tired of the ringing…and answers the call. In show four, Little Pete’s pet lizard Pete dies…and almost immediately Little Pete gets stuck on a two-hour car ride with Dad. The fifth show is the legendary “daylight savings time” episode, Time Tunnel ­ Big Pete asks Ellen out on a “real” date, while Little Pete attempts time travel…with the aid of some riboflavin. The next show, Inspector 34, is another memorable episode, in which Little Pete finally gets to meet his “guardian angel,” Kreb of the Loom underwear Inspector 34. X=Why, the eighth show, is yet ANOTHER classic from this season. Ellen asks of her math teacher, Miss Fingerwood, why do we need to learn algebra word problems. This simple question, “Why?,” causes Miss Fingerwood to ultimately wind up questioning her whole life. Then there’s the two-part episode, Farewell My Little Viking. In this episode, the International Adult Conspiracy ­ led by John McFlemp ­ convinces everyone that Artie, the suburban superhero, is a menace to the neighborhood. The community elects Dad to run Artie out of town. He does, leaving Wellsville to lead a fairly normal life. Meanwhile, Little Pete is confronted by the villainous Paper Cut ­ and without Artie, Little Pete is seemingly defenseless (This episode marked Toby Huss’ exit from the show ­ at least as far as production order goes. He actually appears in a couple more episodes in season two in the order in which Nick aired them). Finally there’s the thirteenth episode, Sick Day, in which Little Pete uses an elaborate ruse to fake food poisoning. Left home alone, Pete gets bored and decides to break the cardinal rule of faking sick ­ going outside!

And now for something not even remotely different, THE NOT AS BIG LIST OF GUEST STARS:

Bebe Neuwirth (“Cheers,” “Law & Order: Trial by Jury”): The Call (3), Sick Day (13)
Iggy Pop: Halloweenie (7), Farewell My Little Viking Part 1 (10), Farewell My Little Viking Part 2 (11)
LL Cool J: Sick Day (13)
Chris Elliot (“Saturday Night Live,” “Late Night w/ David Letterman”) Sick Day (13)
Ellen Cleghorne (“Saturday Night Live”) Yellow Fever (12)
Steve Buscemi (“The Sopranos”): X=Why? (8)
Janeane Garafolo (“Saturday Night Live”) X=Why (8)


The two discs are each held in a slim case that goes into a holding box. The front-cover has a close-up headshot of Pete & Pete in front of a school bus. The back cover has Little Pete and Artie in front of a blue sky, along with the episode listing and special features list. Each of the slim case covers features various stills from the season. Disc one features the Brothers Pete standing back to back, Big Pete in a space suit, Ellen and Pete laying on what I THINK is the driving range, Dad, Petunia, Little Pete looking over Big Pete’s shoulder, and Big Pete. The front cover of the disc two holder features an alternate version of the front cover shot, Ellen, Artie folding his tongue, Big Pete in his band uniform, Ms. Brackett, a standard shot of Big Pete and Little Pete, and a shot of Artie and Little Pete in a fighting pose. Back cover of each is a listing of what’s on that disc. The first seven episodes are on the first disc, and the other six episodes, the special, and the five shorts are on the second disc. Included inside the outer box is an insert advertising The Adventures of Pete & Pete Season 1 and Clarissa Explains it All Season 1. Disc 1 features a shot of Big Pete in front of the fall leaves background used throughout all design aspects of the S2 set. The 2nd disc is the same ­ except with Little Pete.

Menu Design and Navigation:

Menus are rather simplistic. Main menu on both discs is a rehash of the main outer box cover shot, Episode Selection features some of the same shots used on that disc’s front cover, while Special Features has a shot of Little Pete sitting on the edge of a stoop, with Big Pete sitting on the ground below him.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video still looks quite grainy and somewhat overly edge-corrected, as it did in the first season set.. All the episodes have at least some noticeable grain, and the specials and shorts are even worse. Audio is nice and clear for the most part, although there’s some hiss in places, overall it’s not bad. There’s no music replacement to be found ­ partially because Pete & Pete relied heavily on independent artists, who are FAR more likely to green light the use of music in re-releases than major label artists, for far less. Applause should be directed at Paramount regardless for making sure it’s all here. I’m pleased to announce that, for the second season set…there ARE chapter stops, occurring at fade-to-blacks. Episode runtimes are consistently in the 24:20 range--for a 1994/95 series, definitely within the norm.

Special Features:

Pete & Pete Shorts - Five more Pete & Pete shorts that aired at various points prior to the start of the show’s regular run. Artie, The Strongest Man…In the World!, The Punishment, The Launch, Route 34, and X-Ray Man are included this time. Each short runs exactly one minute, and with a second of empty space at the end of each short, the total runtime clocks in at 5:05.

Space, Geeks, and Johnny Unitas - The fifth of the five Pete & Pete specials ­ from 1993 ­ is in included on the set. In the episode, Ellen and Pete are working on reports for science class. When Ellen has trouble finding an alien for her project, the school geek might be able to provide the answers to her questions…how Johnny Unitas fits into all this, well, you’ll just have to watch the episode to see. Runs 24:21

Commentary on Three Episodes ­ Both Parts of Farewell, My Little Viking, and the episode Yellow Fever - On both parts of Farewell…, commentary is provided by both creators of the show, Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, as well as Toby Huss (Artie), Michael Marrona (Big Pete), and Danny Tamborelli. They ask Toby right off the bat why he had to leave…no one can seem to “remember,” but there’s a comment by Toby that says “I think I left on my own accord.” Also, Toby reveals the origin of Artie. This is much more interesting commentary between both parts of the episode. Both episodes combined run 48:40. There’s also commentary in Yellow Fever by Will & Chris, plus episode writer Joe Stillman and episode director Damon Santostefano. Not as good as the first two parts, but still interesting. Runs 24:21

Final Comments:

I still love this show. Love it. The second season’s set seemed a bit more lacking in features than the first set’s at first, yet ultimately it’s really not. The video still has problems, but is a LITTLE better from the second season’s set.

Having now come this far, there’s really only one place left to go -­ the third and final season of the show. There are still eight shorts left to be used in DVD sets, plus those final episodes, so it should be a nice set. I hope Paramount will ease up on the edge correction for the next set, and watch out for those little bits of artifacting and grain. More commentaries might be nice.

If you bought the first set, buy this one. If you didn’t buy the first set, buy both. Trust me ­ this is one of the better produced shows ever made ­ kids or adults.

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

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3/5
Overall: 4/5

--Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 10/26/2005.

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