TITLE: TWO AND A HALF MEN - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
DVD Release Date: January 8, 2008 (Warner Home Video)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 511 minutes
Total Running Time of Special Features: approx. 36 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, French, Korean, Spanish, and Chinese; Closed Captioned
* A Day in the Life of Two and a Half Men
* The Serious Business of Writing Comedy
* Gag Reel
Season 2 of Two and a Half Men -- the highest rated comedy on TV currently -- is now on DVD. Watch Charlie Sheen...be Charlie Sheen. Well, OK, they did change the last name, but you don’t have to think about it too hard to tell that the Charlie character isn’t much a stretch, acting-wise, for Mr. Sheen.
Ultimately, though, Charlie just tries to remember the name of the girl currently taking a shower upstairs. Charlie’s uptight divorced brother is a constant source of pain, while Alan’s son -- 11-year-old Jake -- just wants to know what is for lunch and where the TV remote is. As of season 2, they’ve now been living together for a year, and are starting to get used to having each other around, but there are still lots of conflicts.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
I love this show -- it is one of the funniest on TV in my opinion. There are a couple of episodes this season that stand out, however. In “Last Chance to See Those Tattoos,” Charlie is turned down (!) at a bar -- and later learns that a website has been created specifically devoted to exposing him for who he really is. He wants to find out who made the site, and goes around making amends to all the women he is stood up...but things get difficult for Charlie. In the next-to-last episode of the season entitled “Squab, Squab, Squab, Squab, Squab” Evelyn demands that Jake spend the night with her after learning he spent the entirety of his spring break with Judith’s parents. At first, Alan and Charlie are firmly against it -- but soon change their mind.
In terms of guest stars: The first episode this season, “Back Off Mary Poppins” features both Sean Penn and Elvis Costello as themselves. Ryan Stiles, of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and “The Drew Carey Show” fame, is in the season’s second episode “Enjoy Those Garlic Balls.” Jeri Ryan, who was Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager plays Sherri in “Bad News from the Clinic” as well as “A Low, Guttural Tongue-Flapping Noise.” In the episode “Yes, Monsignor” Denise Richards -- Charlie Sheen’s then wife – guest stars...along with the pair’s then-infant real life daughter Sam. Lucy Lawless -- once Xena -- plays Pamela in the episode “It Was Mame, Mom.”
The packaging is the standard issue packaging for most Warner titles -- three-panel digipak inside a thin outer box. The front cover features the three cast members sitting on stationary motorbikes. The packaging for season 2 is a somewhat dark blue. The outside panels of the Digipak feature two large images -- one of the entire principal cast reading the same issue of Mad Magazine, another with Charlie standing in front of the door while Alan and Jake look from the opened crack. Artwork behind the discs, on the inside portion, is simple -- just solid blue with three thin light blue lines running across the near top and near-bottom. Each of the discs features different art -- all three main cast members appear on disc 1, and then each appears along on an additional disc -- Charlie on disc 2, Alan on disc 3, and Jake on disc 4.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are always the biggest flaws in Warner-produced releases. However good the rest of the sets are, the menus are never anything more than a still image with a theme playing in the background. In this case the main menu is just a widescreen version of the main box art. Play All, Episodes, Languages, and if applicable Languages appear at the bottom of the menu as selectable options. All four discs use identical menus.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video looks absolutely OUTSTANDING. The video is presented in widescreen. The colors are perfect, the video is sharp, the audio is crystal clear...there’s not a single flaw I can find in the video. Normally when I view DVDs on a computer the video appears worse than in a standalone DVD player. However in this case the video looks exceptional, even on a 24-inch iMac. This set also has the greatest number of subtitles I’ve ever seen -- English, Spanish, French, Korean, and Chinese are ALL presented. Chapter Stops at the end of each scene. Play All is available. The episodes are in their original form it seems, so no editing.
Back off Mary Poppins: 21:19
Enjoy Those Garlic Balls: 21:34
A Bag Full of Jawea: 20:13
Go Get Mommy’s Bra: 21:30
Bad News from the Clinic?: 21:30
The Price of Healthy Gums is Eternal Vigilance: 21:33
A Kosher Slaughterhouse Out in Fontana: 21:29
Frankenstein and the Horny Villagers: 21:29
Yes, Monsignor: 22:00
The Salmon Under My Sweater: 21:18
Last Chance to See Those Tattoos: 21:19
A Lungful of Alan: 21:31
Zejdz Zmoich Wlosow a.k.a. Get Off My Hair: 20:49
Those Big Pink Things with Coconut: 21:33
Smell the Umbrella Stand: 21:25
Can You Eat Human Flesh with Wooden Teeth?: 21:26
Woo-Hoo, a Hernia Exam!: 21:24
It Was Mame, Mom: 21:34
A Low, Guttural Tongue-Flapping Noise: 21:29
I Always Wanted a Shaved Monkey: 21:34
A Sympathetic Crotch to Cry On: 20:54
That Old Hose Bag is My Mother; 21:27
Squab, Squab, Squab, Squab, Squab: 20:51
Does This Smell Funny to You?: 20:40
A Day in the Life of Two and a Half Men (15:53): Did you know that at the studio where Men is taped they keep a board of shows that previously taped from the studio. The previous tenant of Two and a Half Men’s studio? Presidio Med. Any of you remember THAT show? The featurette features video from behind the scenes in the taping of an episode, with interviews from crew. One interesting thing is that the music played in the background of some shots early on sounds vaguely like the theme from The Office.
The Serious Business of Writing Comedy (11:25): Interview with the show’s writers on the process of writing the show.
Gag Reel (9:04): Miscellaneous bloopers and gags from the tapings.
Total Running Time of Special Features: approx. 36 minutes
I absolutely love this show, and it is great getting the opportunity to review it. It has a great cast, including Charlie Sheen playing the role he was truly born to play -- himself! The video and audio quality is outstanding -- other studios could really take a hint here.
The lack of commentaries is a bit disappointing, but the set is good without them. Perhaps they could be included next time? Or perhaps deleted scenes? Regardless, what’s here is simply one of the best comedies on TV today. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Final Score: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 01/13/08
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