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The Job - The Complete Series



DVD Release Date: May 24, 2005 (Shout! Factory)
MSRP: $49.98
Number of discs: 4
Number of episodes: 19
Running Time: Approx. 8 hours
Languages and subtitles: English-dolby digital stereo, closed captioning
Special Features: Inteview with Creators Denis Leary & Peter Tolan; 5 Commentaries with Denis Leary & Peter Tolan; Gag Reel; Series PRemiere Promo Spots; Behind-the-Scenes Footage; On-the-Set Cast Interviews; On Location Interview with Peter Tolan; A Message From Denis Leary

My thoughts:

Mike McNeil (Denis Leary) is a self-medicating, hard-drinking decorated New York City detective whose toughest assignment is himself. His unconventional approach to fighting crime makes him a great cop, but it takes a toll on his personal life, which is complicated by his wife, his girlfriend and a squad room full of unique characters. This critically acclaimed single-camera series was shot entirely on location in New York City, giving the look of the show a grit to match its humor.

The Job aired on ABC from 2001-2002. It premiered on March 14, 2001 and aired until April 2001 for 6 episodes. It would return from August 2001-September 2001 and Januuary 2002-April 2002. A total of 19 episodes aired. Memorable episodes included "Elizabeth" in which actress and model Elizbeth Hurley is being harrassed and all the guys in the precinct want to be assigned to her case. Ruben moonlights as a security guard for actress Gina Gershon, and McNeil scams his way onto the job in "Gina." In "Barbecue" Pip and his wife celebrate their 25th anniversary with a no-smoking, no-drinking barbecue attended by church friends, the squad, McNeil and his wife -- and McNeil's girlfriend. McNeil's suspicion that Frank is gay soon has the whole precinct trying to get Frank "out of the closet" in the episode "Gay." Notable guest stars included Elizbeth Hurley, Rory Culkin, Donald Trump, Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy), Gina Gershon, Janet Hubert-Whitten, and Eli Wallach.

This 4 disc set comes in a Digipak package with slip case. The slip case and Digipak cover feature The Job logo and a cast photo. The back of the slip case has 3 small photos of the cast with a summary of the show and the episode titles broken down by disc listed. The Digipak holds the 4 discs. There is a nice color cast photo on the back of the Digipak. When you fold out the package, there are listings of the episodes with the episode title, writing and directing credits, and short summary. The discs are held inside a plastic holder with a plain white background. The discs feature a blue-hued photo of the various cast members. When you lift up the disc from the holder, there is a photo that is in color instead of the blue. Disc 1 pictures Denis Leary and Karyn Parsons and has episodes 1-6. Disc 2 has a photo of Keith David, Diane Farr, and Wendy McKenna with episodes 7-11. Disc 3 features Julian Acosta, John Ortiz and Bill Nunn with episodes 12-16. Disc 4 has a photo of Lenny Clarke and Adam Ferrara and contains episodes 16-19.

All the menus are well layed out and easy to navigate. They feature what sounds like an extended version of the great opening theme by Christopher Tyng. The Job logo and a cast photo are on the left side of the menu with a white background. There are various video clips shown in a box on the right side. Disc 1 features a 'Play All' and 'The Episodes' option. Discs 2-4 also have an 'Audio Setup' menu. I'm surprised the first disc didn't have the same audio option, perhaps that was just an oversight. Disc 4 has the 'Special Features' option. The episodes sub-menu features a corkboard style background with Polaroid type still images from each episode.

The Job was shot with a single camera on location in New York City. The episodes have a disctinct grainy, gritty picture. The outdoor scenes, in particular, have a great look that you would expect from a cop series. The audio options are 2.0 Stereo or 5.1 Dolby Surround. I saw audio options only on discs 2-4. There were no major audio problems that I noticed. The audio is at a good level. I'm sure a lot of the outdoor scenes lines had to be looped which would be typical of on location shooting. Unlike traditional sitcoms, The Job didn't feature a laugh track. All episodes appear to be unedited, running from 20 1/2 to 21 1/2 minutes in length. The episodes are presented in their production order (the order in which they were made) instead of the original airdate order as broadcast by ABC. There are chapter stops within the episodes, but no scene selections menu.

There are a good amount of special features included on the set that are interesting to listen to and watch. Creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan provide audio commentaries for 5 episodes: "Pilot," "Bathroom," "Gina," "Gay," and "Barbecue." They talk about many different subjects including the production of the episodes, the locations they shot in New York City, and the guest stars. Peter Tolan's volume is a bit lower than Denis Leary's whose voice is a bit more amplified to due the microphone he was using most likely. They laugh at a lot during some scenes and lines, and seemed to have a geunine good time watching the episodes again.

Other special features found on the 4th disc include:

Interview with Denis Leary and Peter Tolan (27:16) - This is an all-new sit down interview. They likely did it in the sound room where they recorded the audio commentaries. Peter Tolan asks the questions and then they both discuss the topic. They talk about various subjects including: how the idea of the show came about; the development of the characters; the problems they had with ABC's scheduling and little network support and dealing with Standards and Practices; fans reactions to the show; and how the cast was chosen.

Gag Reel (5:41) - various bloopers and gags from the show. These were not the best video quality, but they were fun to watch. Probably not for kids as there is some salty language.

Series Premiere Promo Spots (1:56) - 4 commercial spots that have the ABC logo in the corner

Behind the Scenes Footage (4:58) - Home video type footage on the sets. It was interesting to see the different locations where they filmed and how they set up the cameras and other equipment.

On-the-Set Cast Interviews (10:40) - Interviews with the cast from 2000 or 2001 on location. Denis Leary, Bill Nunn, Lenny Clarke, Diane Farr, Adam Ferrara, Keith David, John Ortiz and Julian Acosta are interviewed. They talk about the show in general and the characters. Many were based on real life cops. The interviews were interesting, but I would have liked to see even more. They seemed kind of short.

On Location with Peter Tolan (1:46) - He talks about he didn't consider the show as a sitcom. It had no laugh track and was realistic and shot documentary style.

A Message From Denis Leary - Denis Leary is now starring on F/X's series "Rescue Me." This is a promo commercial for The Leary Firefighters Foundation. The Leary Firefighters Foundation was founded in 2000 by Denis Leary in response to a fire that broke out in an abandoned warehouse in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts, his hometown, in December of 1999.

The Job was not your typical workplace sitcom that had a laugh track. It's hard to say why this show didn't develop an audience. The critics loved it, but it seemed like ABC moved it around a lot on their schedule and maybe didn't give it a lot of promotion. I have to wonder if it would have had more success as a hour long drama. I think the comedy could have been more spread out and it would have had the same feel.

Overall, this is a very well-produced set that has loads of special features that any fan of the series will love. This is another in a long line of series that critics loved that had short runs on air, but have had great treatments on DVD (see Sledge Hammer!). Justice has been served with this DVD set! If you are a Denis Leary fan, be sure to check out his series on F/X "Rescue Me" which is also available on DVD.

Review (out of 5 stars):

Video quality: 4.3/5
Audio quality: 4.3/5
Special Features: 4.5/5
Menu Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4.4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 05/04/05

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