Just Shoot Me: The Complete Series - DVD Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Just Shoot Me: The Complete Series

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    Movie: :4.5stars:
    Video: :3.5stars:
    Audio: :4stars:
    Extras: :2stars:
    Final Score: :4stars:




    [​IMG] Movie
    I’m going to say something controversial here. I don’t think that Friends is the greatest sitcom in the last 30 years. I know that flies in the face of sitcom fans everywhere, but I always found the show a little over rated. While other people were watching Joey, Ross, Rachel and the rest of the Friends cast be there for each other, I was watching Just Shoot Me. A show that ran perpendicular to Friends for most of its career, and was (in my opinion) a much funnier show. The two series really don’t have a lot in common, but I was hooked for the first episode NBC showed and I’ve watched and rewatched the series in syndication for 20 years (this year is the 20th anniversary of the shows inception).

    NBC had pure gold on their hands in 1997, and the show lasted a solid 7 years, but NBC botched the last season. Episodes got aired out of order, it was thrown into a poor time slot, and then the higher ups canceled the series before the final few episodes were able to be aired. After the show stopped airing in 2003, Sony released seasons 1 and 2 together in a DVD set (season one was only a 6 episode test run, so they combined it with the full length season 2 for DVD) and then suddenly all activity stopped. 5 years later Sony showed some life by releases the third season, but once again things crawled to a stop. Much like The Nanny, Sony just gave up on the series due to music rights issues (Malcolm in the Middle has been in that sort of limbo hell for years for the same reason) and the last 8 years have become me coming to grips with the fact that I’d probably never see the last few seasons of the show on DVD or Blu-ray ever again.

    Well, with the release of The Nanny a year or so back from Shout Factory, I actually had a little nerd hope that maybe, just MAYBE Just Shoot Me could be next, and when Shout announced the season I may have squealed like a 12 year old girl who was just asked out to the Sadie Hawkins dance. The series itself doesn’t have anything new in terms of special features outside of the few that were released by Sony (looks like a direct port), but I won’t complain as the series itself is what really matters. All 7 seasons are spread across 19 discs, and 5 multi disc DVD cases and housed in an attractive chipboard slip box. The audio and video looks solid and I really can’t complain as I sat down for HOURS of fun with one of the best sitcoms of the last 25-30 years.
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    The show revolves around a fashion magazine named Blush (basically a cosmopolitan knock off), run by media mogul Jack Gallo (George Segal). He’s got his trusty assistant Dennis Finch (David Spade, being David Spade), his pill popping lush of a fashion editor Nina Van Horn (Wendie Malick), and model photographer Elliot DiMauro. When his feminist, Standford educated, idealistic journalist daughter Maya needs help with a job, he does the only thing that he knows how to do. Bail her out by giving her a job. What happens next is 7 seasons of hilarity as the fish out of water Maya (Laura San Giacomo) has to deal with being a serious journalist in a magazine where everyone is interested on the best bra to pick up a guy, lipstick for one night stands, and vapid models galore.

    While Maya was the main focus for much of the first season, the show really comes into its own during the 2nd and 3rd year, as Nina, Elliot and even Jack get massive character arcs. David Spade (he was on top of his career at this point in time) is mainstay of the slapstick comedian world, but everyone involved in the show just meshes PERFECTLY together. Elliot and Maya’s office romance is obviously coming from the beginning, but it actually passes the litmus test of being one of the FEW TV show romances that doesn’t get worse AFTER the couple gets together. Laura and Enrico have excellent chemistry together, and their romance is both hilarious and sweet at the same time. Wendie Malick actually won several golden globes and various other awards for her portrayal as Nina, and George Segal is a treat every time he’s on scene as the nutty millionaire boss.

    Much of the show’s strength comes from the camaraderie of the main cast, but there’s a TON of great guest stars that liven up each and every fashion based episode. Lucy Lawless, Brooke Shields, Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra, Rebecca Romijn as Dennis’s wife in the 3rd season, and even a few cameos by Jenny McCarthy, Jay Leno and Tyra Banks (I was always disappointed that Donald Trump never made an appearance even though Jack was always having some sort of competition off screen with the famed billionaire). What made the show so incredibly powerful was that it was DEVOID of much of the intensity of so many other shows. No huge arcs dealing with depression, drugs, or horrible life problems. The show was funny, poignant and just fluffy enough to be a crowd pleaser in every way.




    Rating:

    Not Rated by the MPAA




    Video: :3.5stars:
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    I had a hard time rating this one in reality. I wanted to give it a 3.5/5 at first, then a 4/5 as the show progressed, but in reality I have to rate it a 3.75/5, but that’s not a rating we have so I had to choose one. So be warned ,while I give it a 3.5/5 due to some issues, there are many times (especially in later seasons) where the show really earns a 4/5 rating and I’m honestly torn over which score to give it. The source material for the show seems to have been the broadcast tapes or recordings of the series, and there doesn’t appear to have been any massive restoration work done to it, and there’s quite a few episodes in the first season that show some fluctuation compression levels, as well as digital noise. There’s some wavering and softness too, but colors are warm and inviting, and the detail levels are quite competent. As the series progresses outside of the first 3 seasons released by Sony (they look identical to those old releases that I still have) things get better. Lines clear up, detail is crisper, and colors appear a little more natural. It’s good looking show for an older sitcom, but it seems to have some source related issues that keep it from being amazing.







    Audio: :4stars:
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    The show has your standard 2.0 Stereo Dolby Digital mix, while it’s nothing remarkable, it does a good job of capturing the TV show presentation that I remember. Vocals are clean and clear, with a simple laugh track, and the mild ambiance of Blush magazine headquarters comes through fine. In all honesty, there’s not a whole lot of work to do, as 99.99% of the show is talking between the characters, and in that respect it does everything quite well. There’s no signs of distortion or imbalance, and it’s as clean as a whistle. I have zero complaints.






    Extras: :2stars:
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    • Back Issues Commentary with Creator and Writing Producers
    • Lemon Wacky Hello - Commentary with Creator and Writing Producers
    • King Lear Jet- Commentary with Creator and Writing Producers
    • My Dinner With Woody- Commentary with Creator and Writing Producers
    • Always In Fashion: A Conversation with Steven Levitan and the Cast of Just Shoot Me!
    • The Blush Covers Gallery









    Final Score: :4stars:


    Just Shoot Me is easily one of my top three sitcoms of all time, and for good reason. It was hilariously funny, had a stellar cast, and really just tried to be FUN. NBC butchered the final season in it’s air date, and supposedly the show was held up on home video due to music rights for the opening and ending credits, as well as a few other tweaks. I can’t tell for sure if any credits are missing, or if any music has been altered on the discs, but they appear in stock form and the show even as the missing few episodes from the final season that weren’t aired, making this a no brainer buy if you even REMOTELY liked the show.



    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Laura San Giacomo, Enrico Colantoni, David Spade, George Segal
    Created by: Steven Levitan
    Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 MPEG 2
    Audio: English: Dolby Digital 2.0
    Studio: Shout Factory
    Rated: NR
    Runtime: 3270 Minutes
    DVD Release Date: September 5th, 2017







    Recommendation: Must Own
     
    #1 Michael Scott, Sep 11, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
    tripplej likes this.
  2. tripplej

    tripplej Senior AV Addict

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    Thanks for the review. I remember this series and I do agree, it was very funny. I will have to look for this one. :)
     

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