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

Thursday, January 26

Young Sheldon - "Blonde Ambition and the Concept of Zero" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon makes a terrifying mathematical discovery while tutoring Billy. Also, Mary is jealous of Missy’s relationship with Mandy and MeeMaw.

Ghosts - "Jay's Friends" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sam becomes alarmed when the ghosts suggest Jay’s new friends may be part of a cult run by a charismatic leader named Micah (Drew Tarver). Also, Pete changes his attitude after Sasappis criticizes his unceasing cheeriness.

Welcome to Flatch - "What Are You, Chicken?" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The saga of the Flatch porch pirate continues; when Kelly and Shrub realize who the culprit is, they must figure out how to do right by Flatch; Joe misses Cheryl, so Barb decides it's time for a makeover.

Call Me Kat - "Call Me Ichabod Evel Knievel" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Kat hires a new baker at the Kat Cafe and shows him around town; Max and Carter wingman for Sheila.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 23)

Thursday, January 26

  • George Clooney (Roseanne/The Facts of Life/ E/R (1984-1985) - Jimmy Kimmel Live! celebrates its 20th Anniversary with George at 10pm and repeated at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • David Duchovny (Californication) - David appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Hilary Duff (How I Met Your Father/Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - Hilary is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 10pm on Bravo. She also talks about the new season of Hulu's How I Met Your Father on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Wanda Sykes (The Upshaws/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda guest hosts Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm.
  • Lil Rel Howery (Rel/The Carmichael Show) - Lil Rel will be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • ReneĆ© Rapp (The Sex Lives of College Girls) - ReneĆ© appears on The Jennifer Hudson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family/Ed) - Julie is back and talks about a new gig inspired by her tween boys on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Benjamin Bratt (Poker Face) - Benjamin talks about Peacock's Poker Face on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October-January)

Abbott Elementary - The Complete First Season Frasier - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Ghosts - Season One The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Christmas Collection Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

10/04 - Mr. Mayor - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (DVD)
10/04 - The Munsters - Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Cast
10/18 - Abbott Elementary - The Complete First Season
11/08 - Frasier - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/08 - Young Rock - Season Two (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/15 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Seven / The Complete Season Eight
11/22 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/29 - Ghosts - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
12/06 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Christmas Collection
12/13 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season
12/13 - Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/03 - Andy Richter Controls the Universe - The Complete Series (2023 Release)
01/27 - Master of None - Season Three / The Complete Series
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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