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The Complete First Season
Rating: TV 14 (Dialogue, Language)
Running Time: 424 minutes
Starring: Jay Mohr, Paula Marshall, Jaime King, Ryan Malgarini, Kathryn Newton, Al Madrigal with Ed Begley Jr.
Retail Price: $39.99
Features: The Chemistry Of Comedy, Planet Begley, Tuesday On The Set With Jay, Gary Unhinged: Bloopers
Specs: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, French Subtitles, Chapter Stops (5 per episode), Three-Disc Set
Released: February 9th, 2010
"Gary Unmarried" is presented in 1.781: anamorphic widescreen. Save for a little softness, these episode transfers are pretty good. Black levels are decent, fleshtones are pretty spot-on and detail is not too shabby. Color saturation is pretty good as well: I did not detect any smearing, and while nothing exactly pops out, the colors are filled in nicely. These are pleasing if unspectacular transfers, and certainly pleasing for a sitcom.
"Gary Unmarried" also features English Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. There's not too much to say about these, as they are pretty front-loaded. This is your standard multicam sitcom, so the basic elements are there: all the dialogue sounds clear and sturdy, while the laugh track comes through naturally. A few short music cues give a tiny bounce, while sound effects here and there give a little jolt of energy, but not much. More than suitable, for sure.
Subtitles in English, French and Spanish are also included.
There are a few extras that should please fans of the show and also give glimpse into the production of the series. First up is the 15 minute The Chemistry Of Comedy, which features interviews with creator Ed Yeager, legendary director James Burrows, Jay Mohr, Paula Marshall, Matthew Llliard, Ed Begley and much of the cast. Yeager discusses his inspiration for the series and some of the characters, and the cast discuss the show, its dynamics and goof off a bit. Best of all though are the insights that come from Burrows, where he breaks down his work (saying it's 95% theatrical, and that he's really filming a play) and the elements of what makes a sitcom click. Certainly worth a watch for those who like to get behind-the-scenes insights.
Planet Begley focuses on famed character actor Ed Begley, where he talks about being way ahead of the curve when it comes to going green. Clearly, his enthusiasm for the environment has affected the set of the show, as the cast talks about what he's done to make it a more earth-friendly place (and tease him in the process). But that's only one part of this extra. The second part is a tour of his impressive eco home, shot MTV "Cribs" style. Fun to watch.
Tuesday On The Set With Jay lasts a little over 5 minutes, where the actor gives a tour of sets, shows us costumes and even introduces us to an adorable Yorkie. And last but not least is Gary Unhinged: Bloopers, which amounts to 2 minutes of screw-ups.
"Gary Umarried" hits a sweet spot: the familiarity of a family sitcom of yesteryear, albeit with divorce as a backdrop. All 20 first season episodes are here, and they look and sound good. The extras are a bit on the short side, but give fun behind-the-scene looks. Fans of the series should definitely look into the set.