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 / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Monday, February 26

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Other Butlers" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Calvin and Tina are looking to remodel their home when they uncover discriminatory processes with their bank’s appraiser. Meanwhile, Marty asks Trey for fatherly advice on co-parenting with Courtney.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "The Devil's Hot Tub" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Abishola and Kemi’s friendship is pushed to the edge when Kemi wants to disregard Nigerian tradition and have a Las Vegas wedding. Also, Bob and the Wheelers have to avert a strike at MaxDot before it sinks the family business.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 26)

Monday, February 26

  • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - Watch David on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Zendaya (K.C. Undercover/Shake It Up) and Austin Butler (Ruby & the Rockits/Zoey 101/Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide) - Zendaya and Austin are guests on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. Zendaya will also be on ABC's Good Morning America some time between 7-9am.
  • Julio Torres (The Great North/Los Espookys) - Julio appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Brendan Hunt (Ted Lasso), Marc Maron (GLOW/Maron) and Zainab Johnson (Upload) - Brendan, Marc and Zainab are guests on After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Poehler (Duncanville/Parks and Recreation) - Amy appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever/Final Space) - Fred sits in with the The 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Joe Manganiello (How I Met Your Mother) - NBC's Today catches up with Joe in the 9am hour. He talks about Deal or No Deal Island in the 10am hour.
  • Cynthia Nixon (And Just Like That.../Sex and the City) - Cynthia talks about The Seven Year Disappear on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Sterling K. Brown (Solar Opposites/Starved) - Sterling is joining Drew and telling her all about receiving his first Oscar nomination, his most surreal moment on the red carpet and raising his two sons on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jenny Slate (The Great North/Big Mouth/Married/Bob's Burgers) - Jenny is joining Drew and telling her all about being a mom to a three-year-old and her new comedy special Seasoned Professional on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Alexander (Listen Up!/Bob Patterson/Seinfeld/Everything's Relative/ E/R) - Jason and writer/producer Peter Tilden discuss their podcast Really? No, Really? on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa Rauch (Night Court/The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November-February)

The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

11/07 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/14 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One

That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

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