Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: What About Brian - The Complete Series (Sept. 25); Summer Week 17 Sitcom Ratings

Welcome to a special Sunday edition of mini-DVD reviews! If you are looking for our weekly sitcom ratings, you'll still find that today, but it will be below this. Today we take a look at Buena Vista Home Entertainment's What About Brian: The Complete Series. What About Brian is a drama from the producers of Lost & Alias (J.J. Abrams among them), that sees relationships from a circle of friends, with Brian the only one not having a steady relationship. This show is addictive and quite possibly has the hottest cast ever, counting the guest stars and recurring characters. See my mini-DVD review of What About Brian: The Complete Series:

What About Brian: The Complete Series (Buena Vista, $59.99) brings the first and second seasons (unfortunately it is the complete series) of a witty and seductive ABC drama starring Barry Watson! We step into a middle of a circle of friends who experience the world from the inside out. Brian and his friends lean on each other as their relationships become more intense and they discover that the truth that stings can sometimes be your salvation. Both the first and second seasons saw a lot of cast members come and go, but here are all the stars: Barry Watson as Brian Davis, Matthew Davis as Adam Hillman, Sarah Lancaster as Marjorie Seaver, Rick Gomez as Dave Greco, Amanda Detmer as Deena Greco, Rosanna Arquette as Nicole Varzi, Raoul Bova as Angelo Varzi, Jason George as Jimmy, Amanda Foreman as Ivy, Jessica Szorh as Laura, and Tiffany Thiessen as Natasha Drew. Recurring are Krista Allen as Bridget Keller, Rachelle Lefevre as Heather, William Devane as Michael Davis, and Stacy Keibler as Stephanie. And with guest stars such as Amy Jo Johnson as Car Girl.
Packaging on this DVD is great and different for a Buena Vista set. We have an outer box (like usual) but it holds three slim cases inside (usually BV sets have a digipak). Anyway, the box cover has a cast photo, that was added on because some of these cast members never appeared at the same time. They are either sitting on a sofa or standing by it. We have Nicole & Angelo, Natasha, Jimmy & Ivy, Brian, Adam & Marjorie, and Dave & Deena. It is a great looking cover art. The back of the box has synopsis of the series and set, along with a list of bonus features and some nice small photos. As I mentioned, inside the box are three slim cases. We also have two inserts for other BV DVDs and how to save and get money back. We don't get an actual episode booklet, like other BV DVDs, but don't worry...we get episode details on the back of the slim cases! Slim case one holds disc one, which is season one (episodes 1-5) and has a photo of Brian, Marjorie and Adam on the front cover. Slim case two holds discs two (episodes 6-10) and three (episodes 11-15) and has a photo of Deena, Dave & Nicole. The last slim case holds discs four (episodes 16-20) and five (episodes 21-24) and has a photo of Ivy, Jimmy, and Natasha. As I mentioned, the back of each slim case details the episodes on that case, with episode #, title, and a description of the episode. We get three screenshots also on each slim case. Disc art is is same style as the packaging...disc one has a photo of Brian, Marjorie & Adam. Disc two has Deena & Dave. Disc three has Nicole and again Brian. Disc four has Ivy & Jimmy. And disc five has Adam again and Natasha. I wish they added characters like Laura, Stephanie and Bridget to the disc art, too.
This series is excellent. You don't know what you missed. Now is your chance to find out. It is so addictive and steamy. The episodes generally run around 43 minutes. The lowest is 39:43, but it just ran short originally. There are about 7-8 chapter stops for each episode, but the pilot has 6. The video is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The show never looked better or sounded better. I had forgotten the first season never had an opening theme. We do hear the closing theme, "Under the Sun" or something. First time I've heard that, since ABC doesn't show the ending theme. Season two had an opening theme, the catchy "Calling All Friends" theme. The closing theme for this season is an instrumental version of that.
The menu screen starts by showing us nice clips with some background music in the background. Disc one has an auto trailer for the Hottest TV Shows before the menu starts. Play All, Episode Selection, Set up are the options on each disc. Audio Commentary and Sneak Peeks are on disc one only. Bonus Features option is on disc three. Each sub-menu has more background music from the show. The Episodes section has the episode number and title...very simple. Set Up gives us the option to have Subtitles...English, French or Spanish. We can also Register our DVD. Sneak Peeks has a look at other BV DVDs like Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy.
Moving on to the bonus features. Disc one has Audio Commentary on the "Pilot" from Creator/Writer Dana Stevens. She also gives commentary on the last disc, for the series finale "What About Calling All Friends." We also have an unaired episode as a bonus. The episode is titled "What Happens in Vegas." It was supposed to be the finale for season one, so episode 6, but it was scrapped. It lefts off from where Adam sees Brian and Marjorie yelling. Creator Dana Stevens gives us a 30 second intro to this episode then the 40:04 episode follows. Very cool to finally see this, as I knew they had shot this but scrapped it. Then we have a 13:04 featurette titled "Calling All Friends: The Story of What About Brian." This is very informative and we hear from the cast and crew. This is a must watch for fans. Finally, we have "What About 3: The Season That Never Was." It runs 3:31 and Barry Watson and Matthew Davis give a comical insight if there was a season three, also creator Dana Stevens gives us details on what might have happened.
I really hope you buy this DVD. This show was very underrated and shouldn't go unnoticed. If you are a fan, you must buy this. If you never saw it, give it a try. You'll be hooked. So, calling all friends and people I met on the way down, and people I don’t even know, I really wish you buy this DVD! It even has Stacy Keibler on the final 6 episodes, how much more hotter can we get?
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Official Website
What About Brian TV.com Page


Tomorrow is the official start of the new season! So next Sunday we will be back with sitcom numbers for the first full week and the return of the network four day ratings and our analysis! Here are the summer week 17 (Sept. 17-23) sitcom numbers:

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of Sept. 10-16)
  • None.
Monday Sitcoms
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 5.95 million for a repeat, up from previous week, gearing up for the season premiere tomorrow!
  • Old Christine (CBS) - 6.04 million for a repeat, up from last week. See you in mid-season!
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 10.84 million for a repeat, up from the previous week...we should get 13-15 million tomorrow for the season premiere, but the competition might not let it.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 8.05 million for a repeat, up quite a bit from last week...wonder if the season premiere can muster 10-11 million tomorrow?
  • Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, The Game (The CW) - Repeats of these sitcoms did all under 2 million with Girlfriends the highest at 1.75 million. Season premieres are Oct. 1.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None
Wednesday Sitcoms
  • According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 3.9 and 3.81 million for 2 repeats, down a bit from previous week, as it was up against originals on Fox. See you in January, Jim.
  • Back to You (Fox) - The first new sitcom of the season did a 6.0/10 HH, 9.48 million, 3.1/10 18-49. While that is good stuff, it was a disappointment because of all the hype the show got. 12 million would have been better. 'Til Death's premiere last season did 8.82 million, so it wasn't all that up from that.
  • 'Til Death (Fox) - With an actual lead-in, the show did OK, with 7.76 million for the season premiere. 4.9/8 HH and 2.7/8 18-49 rating.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - A one-hour encore did a prelim 5.2 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating.
  • The Office (NBC) - A one-hour encore did a prelim 5.0 million, but built on 18-49 to a 2.4.
Friday Sitcoms
  • None.
Saturday Sitcoms
  • None
Tune in tonight on Fox for The Simpsons, King of the Hill & Family Guy.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, September 22

The Goldbergs - "The Goldbergs' Excellent Adventure" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The season nine premiere revolves around the iconic ‘80s family paying tribute to Pops. Together they venture down memory lane by visiting Pops’ favorite stomping grounds. Adam Goldberg, forever with camera in hand, captures the outing – theming it to “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Hijinks and hilarity ensue, and we are reminded that there is no bond greater than family.

The Wonder Years - "Pilot" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As the youngest in the Williams family, Dean is struggling to figure out where he fits in. Between his brother’s athleticism, sister’s popularity, mother’s intelligence and dad’s overall coolness, everyone else seems to have their lane figured out. He decides to pursue his calling as “The Great Uniter” and attempts to organize the first integrated baseball game between his team and his friend Brad’s team.

The Conners - "Trucking Live in Front of a Fully Vaccinated Studio Audience" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Lights, Camera, Action: “The Conners” is going live for both the East and West Coast broadcasts of the season four premiere episode. This iconic TV family continues to deal with the current pandemic while navigating breakups and newfound sobriety, all while planning an upcoming wedding.

Home Economics - "49ers Foam Finger, $7" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Connor invites the Hayworth clan to a San Francisco 49ers game as he tries to close his latest business deal. Desperately trying to prove that he knows the game, Tom gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to showcase his football skills in front of the entire crowd of 49ers Faithful at Levi’s® Stadium. Meanwhile, Denise tries to get Sarah to come to terms with Shamiah’s new interest in cheerleading.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 20)

Wednesday, September 22

  • Steve Martin (Only Murders in the Building) and Martin Short (Only Murders in the Building/Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Watch Steve and Martin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/Scrubs/A.U.S.A.) - Scott appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kim Fields (The Upshaws/Living Single/The Facts of Life/Baby, I'm Back) - Kim is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alyson Hanningan (How I Met Your Mother/Free Spirit) - Alyson will be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jaleel White (Family Matters/Grown Ups) - Jaleel talks about his hit podcast Ever After on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • John Stamos (Fuller House/Grandfathered/Jake in Progrews/Full House/You, Again?) - John talks about his podcast The Grand Scheme on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew appears on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Martin Lawrence (Martin/Partners) - Martin gets excited for the NFL season by partnering with DraftKings on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Jon Bernthal (The Class) - Jon talks about The Many Saints of Newark on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • The Cast of The Wonder Years (2021) - Elisha "EJ" Williams, Laura Kariuki, Dulé Hill and Saycon Sengbloh are guests on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings. Dulé appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan (check your local listings) and chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. Dulé and EJ will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June-September)

Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/07 - No Activity - Season 2
07/13 - The Unicorn - Season 2
07/20 - Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season
07/27 - Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - The Neighborhood - Season Three
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Deluxe Edition (100 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Standard Edition (50 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/24 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season 2
09/07 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
09/21 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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