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Togetherness
The Complete 1st Season

Anything But Love - Volume 1 Review




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Rating
Video:   7/10
Audio:   7/10
Extras:   3/10

Cool show
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
2/08/2007

    Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis star as Hannah Miller and Marty Gold, best friends and co-workers who suppress their smoldering desires, not wanting to spoil their friendship. Once they do take the plunge, though, they quickly discover that falling in love is the easy part! Together, they face some of life's biggest challenges - love, work, love at work, and working at love - with humor, sophistication, and feeling in this unforgettable TV classic.
Obviously I know who Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis are, but I had no idea this show existed until Fox announced it was coming to DVD. I like both the actors, so I was interested in checking this out, even though I had no idea what it was about.

This set includes the first season (6 episodes) and second season (22 episodes). The show was retooled for the second season which saw some characters exit the show, and new ones brought in.

Disc 1, Side A (2:21:06)
Fear of Flying (23:33)
Deadline (23:58)
The Jack Story (23:46)
Love and Death (23:22)
Dorothy Dearest (22:37)
This is Not a Date (23:50)

Disc 1, Side B (1:34:45)
Ch-Ch-Changes (23:36)
Those Lips, Those Thais (23:43)
It's My Party and I'll Schvitz if I Want to (23:43)
Scared Straight (23:43)

Disc 2, Side A (2:45:29)
Mr. Mom (23:41)
Just the Facts, Ma'am (23:41)
Bang You're Dead (23:16)
Truth or Consequences (23:29)
It's Better to Have Loved and Flossed (23:57)
Hearts and Bones (23:53)
Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (23:32)

Disc 2, Side B (1:34:28)
Breast of Friends (23:19)
Hotel of the Damned (23:17)
All About Allison (23:56)
Proof it all Night (23:56)

Disc 3, Side A (1:35:15)
Three Men on a Match (23:49)
Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow (23:32)
The Ice Women Cometh (23:57)
Hooray for Hollywood (23:57)

Disc 3. Side B (1:11:25)
Robin Q. Public (23:58)
Days of Whine and Haroses (23:30)
Thirty... Something (23:57)

Video

Anything But Love is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. It looks okay, though some episodes appear a bit dark, causing objects to blend into the background, and some loss of detail in coats and dark sweaters, and other episodes are saturated, while leads to extremely bright objects, and a bit of bleeding. I noticed some specks of dust and debris, but also a few video dropouts. Fox has included a "play all" feature on the discs, but they lack a chapter placed after the opening of the episode.

I noticed scratches on every side of every disc in the set (these are double-sided discs), but I didn't have any problems playing them back.

Audio

The Dolby Stereo track on this release was slightly quiet; I had to turn my receiver up from the normal setting. I didn't notice any other problems with the audio, just the slightly-low level; the dialog is clear, the music sounds fine, and there aren't any major issues to report. There's also a Spanish audio track on every episode but one, and the episodes feature optional English and Spanish subtitles.

Extras - How we rate extras

Commentary Tracks There are commentary tracks on two episodes in this set:
Fear of Flying - Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis
Hotel of the Damned - Robert Berlinger (director)
The actors get caught up in the "look what I'm wearing" trap, followed by silence as they watch the show, but they had some interesting things to say.

All About Anything But Love (26:23)
An excellent history of the series, featuring interviews with Jamie Lee Curtis, Richard Lewis, writers, producers, and directors. There's also footage from the original pilot, which wasn't picked up. Now there's one problem with this featurette - it covers episodes not included in this set.

Stories From the Set (5:24)
The cast and crew share stories from the set, featuring behind-the-scenes footage from E!

Summary

I like the chemistry that Curtis and Lewis have with each other on the show. Jamie Lee Curtis looks a lot older than her character is supposed to be; Hannah is 29, and Curtis was 30/31 at the time, but looked in her mid-30s (sorry JLC!). I enjoyed the reworked show a lot more than the first season, though Hannah's friend was a bit annoying.

There are a number of notable guest stars in these episodes, including Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me), Tia Carrere (Relic Hunter), Richard Kind (Spin City), Andy Dick (NewsRadio), Courtney Thorne-Smith (According to Jim), Gail O'Grady (NYPD Blue) and Gregory Itzin (24).

I look forward to volume 2 being released, even though the show didn't receive a proper finale.


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