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The Wayans Bros. - The Complete First Season



DVD Release Date: February 8, 2005 (Warner Home Video)
MSRP: $29.95
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 13
Running Time: 292 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: 46 minutes [on bonus disc, read "My Thoughts" for details]
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, French, and Spanish subtitles; CC.
Special Features: Warner Bros "Celebrating 50 Years of the Best Shows on Television" Commemorative DVD, Volume 6.

My Thoughts:

They're brothers! They're happy and their singin' and they're colored! Give them a high-five! Well, maybe that is not the most famous and recognizable theme song in television history, but they're The Wayans Bros.! And now, for the first time ever, Warner Home Video has made the Complete First Season of The Wayans Bros. available on a two-disc DVD set! The sitcom, which was a staple in the original programming lineup for The WB network, features Shawn and Marlon Wayans playing two brothers that live together in an apartment in Harlem. There really isn't much of a plot--the show is basically all about comedy and the disasters that Shawn and Marlon (yes, they play characters with the same first name as they actually have) get themselves into.

In the first season, Gary Coleman puts his life on the line by helping Shawn and Marlon sell pomade in an infomercial in "Goop-Hair-It-Is." Uninsured Marlon pretends to be Shawn after Marlon accidentally sits on a staple gun in order to use his insurance benefits in "ER." Sherman Hemsley plays a landlord that appoints the unqualified brothers as superintendents of their apartment complex in "It's Shawn! It's Marlon! It's Superboys!" Additionally, Helen Martin and Garrett Morris make guest appearances in the first season.

The set comes with two discs, with the first seven episodes on Disc 1 and the other six episodes on Disc 2. The discs are arranged in a very simple snap case that has a middle tray for Disc 1. Disc 1 has a picture of Shawn on it and Disc 2 has a picture of Marlon on it. On the left-hand side of the case, there is a pamphlet that has information about the episodes contained in the set, with a brief synopsis as well as the original airdate, directors, and writers for each episode. Additionally, for a limited time, Warner Bros. is including a special bonus DVD in this set with episodes of other shows. This disc is contained in a separate cardboard sleeve.

The menus on the set are very clean and simple. The main menu that comes up when you place the disc in the player has the options of Play, Episodes, and Languages. There is some music that plays in the background, but honestly, I have no clue what the song is from. I can say for sure that it is NOT the theme song, at least not the theme song from the first season (this is the first time that I have seen the show, so I can't profess to be an expert on the show). The Play option is the option that TV-on-DVD fans are used to seeing as "Play All." Simply put, it plays every episode on that disc, if you have time to watch an entire disc in one sitting (through reviews and my own collection, I have watched dozens of TV-on-DVD collections and I have NEVER used this option...). The second option is Episodes, which takes you to a listing of the episodes on that disc. Once you select an episode from that menu, it immediately begins to play that episode... there is no scene selection menu. Finally, the last option on the main menu is Languages. From here, you can turn on subtitles, which are available in English, French, and Spanish.

This show is only 10 years old, so there aren't any real audio or video quality issues on this set. The video is fairly clear, but seems a bit fuzzy from time to time. Honestly though, you probably won't even notice that unless you are extremely nitpicky. The audio quality is also very good. Just like almost any other DVD set, the audio is presented in the traditional Dolby Digital 2.0 format. Unfortunately, like many other DVD sets (though certainly not ALL), the audio is a bit low from time to time, while the audio on the main menu is very loud. A very useful feature (one that I often use) is missing from this DVD set as well--chapters. There are no chapters within the episodes on this set! Each episode runs approximately 22 minutes and 30 seconds, which is about standard for 1995.

There aren't really any special features included on this set, BUT for a limited time, Warner Bros. is including a bonus disc entitled "Celebrating 50 Years of the Best Shows on Television." This disc is definitely worth watching! Volume 6 is included with this DVD set, and it contains one episode of Hangin' With Mr. Cooper ("Hangin' With Michelle") as well as an episode of a very rare 1980s sitcom, The Redd Foxx Show ("Good Samaritan"). Both of these episodes are unedited, which is very good news (at least for Mr. Cooper, which could lead to a season set maybe?). The menu for this disc is terrible, however. The options on the menu are "Play Show 1" and "Play Show 2." Show 1 is intended to refer to Hangin' With Mr. Cooper and Show 2 is intended to refer to The Redd Foxx Show. It would have been nice if some real special features were included in this set, such as commentaries or just simple interviews. However, the bonus disc, though the shows have almost nothing to do with The Wayans Bros., is still a nice feature.

This is my first time ever seeing the show, and I was honestly expecting a mediocre show that I would just review and never care to watch the show ever again. I was wrong, however. It isn't the greatest show that I have ever seen, but still, it is better written and funnier than 90% of the programs on television today. The DVD set, itself is put together very nicely, even if it does lack special features. If you really enjoy the Wayans (which I admit that I do to some extent), then you would enjoy this show--so be happy, start singin', and pick up this set if you want it!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 02/11/2005.

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