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The Complete 1st Season

Arli$$ - Best of Arliss: Volume 1 Review




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Rating
Video:   8/10
Audio:   8/10
Extras:   2/10

Super Agent!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
6/21/2003

He's not just an agent, he's a super-agent in the world of sports. He is Arliss Michaels! He'll do anything for his clients, even if it gets him in trouble. Joining him at the agency is Kirby (Jim Turner), the dimwit; Rita (Sandra Oh), the receptionist and Stanley (Michael Boatman), the CFO.

When this set showed up I had never seen Arli$$ before...I don't even know anyone who has seen it. I wanted to check it out because it's an HBO show, but it's also the first time HBO has done a "best of" release. The show spanned 7 years, so a "best of" release should be good. While I was impressed with the list of guest stars on the show, it wasn't as funny as I had hoped.

Video

As with most TV shows, Arli$$ is presented in 4x3 (1.33:1) ratio, the standard for television series. I don't have any major complaints with the video at all. Shot on film, there are a few scenes which contain grain, but they aren't in abundance. The clips at the start of the episodes are slightly poorer quality, probably because they are stock footage obtained from elsewhere. I was a bit surprised there weren't any chapters for the episodes, and the discs could use a "Play All" feature for reviewers, and fans that sit through an entire disc in a sitting.

Audio

To borrow Chris Stewart's term from his Frasier review; this is P.O.D.D.A 2.0 (Plain Old Dolby Digital Again). No problems with the dialog or sound effects on the set, and sometimes there is even a panning effect which makes use of the front speakers. Nothing to brag about, but it does the set justice. There's also a Spanish track, and English, Spanish and French subtitles.

Extras - How we rate extras

Biographies
Want to know more about the cast? Good news, you'll find that info here! Robert Wuhl (4 screens), Jim Turner (3), Sandra Oh (5) and Michael Boatman (5).

Commentary on "Moments to Remember"
Robert Wuhl, Jim Turner, Sandra Oh and Michael Boatman provide commentary for this episode. With 4 of them in the room, you wouldn't expect many breaks in the track, but unfortunately there are. They spend a bit too much time watching the show, and not enough time talking about it. I was surprised there was only 1 commentary track on the set.

Summary

While the show didn't find the success of Sex & The City, I found The Best of Arli$$ to be an entertaining comedy. It didn't make me laugh out loud, but I did manage a grin here and there. I would have to say my favorite episode on the set would be "Moments to Remember," simply because it deals with subject matter that wouldn't see the light of day on another network. It's a prime example of how HBO shows can push the limits.


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