40 Hours of Television

The class is over, but the discussion continues. Does the media shape reality, or does reality shape the media? Art can imitate life...and life can imitate art. "40 Hours of TV" will explore the media and its impact on us all.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

We're Back!

As I've been doing a lot of writing at Blogcritics, I thought the time was right to bring 40 Hours back to life. I'll be posting my movie/music/TV reviews here, as well as my thoughts of the media in general. To get us started, here's my latest review, for the Season One DVD set of the sitcom Grounded for Life. Enjoy!

From the production company that brought America The Cosby Show and Roseanne (Carsey-Werner productions), Grounded for Life debuted on the Fox network in 2001. Starring Donal Logue (Blade, The Tao of Steve) as Sean Finnerty and Megyn Price (Mystery, Alaska) as Claudia Finnerty, Grounded for Life was a very funny show with a unique sensibility. The Finnerty clan included daughter Lilly (Lynsey Bartilson), sons Jimmy (Griffin Frazen) and Henry (Jake Burbage), Sean's brother, Eddie (the hilarious Kevin Corrigan) and Sean's father, Walt (Richard Riehle).

Grounded for Life aired on Fox for two seasons before being cancelled. It was picked up by the WB where it aired for three more seasons.

If you've never seen the show, you're in for a treat. It's genuinely funny and each episode had a unique plot structure, mostly told in flashback form, usually with Sean and Eddie explaining some predicament they've gotten themselves into. The writing is sharp and the cast's timing is excellent.

Grounded for Life: Season One includes all 20 episodes from the show's first season, including the pilot, "Lilly B. Goode." It's a four-DVD set with some excellent extras, starting with the audio commentary from the cast and producers on ten episodes. Disc four contains the other extras, including interviews with cast members Donal Logue, Megyn Price, Lynsey Bartilson, and the show's creators, Mike Schiff and Bill Martin. There is also a blooper reel.

Grounded for Life was shot on film, and the DVD transfer looks pretty good. Like most sitcoms the show is presented in full frame. Colors are sharp, but the transfer suffers from some grain issues. Audio is in Dolby Digital 2.0 and sounds okay, basically what you'd hear coming out of your own home's stereo system.

Grounded for Life never found the audience it deserved. It's a funny family show with likeable characters, great writing, and a quirky sense of humor. It's certainly better than some of the current sitcoms airing on The WB (Twins, I'm looking at you), or other networks, for that matter. With the Season One DVD set, you'll have the chance to experience a great show, perhaps for the first time. Highly recommended. If you have cable, Grounded for Life is in syndication on the ABC Family Network. Check it out, you'll be glad you did, if you enjoy a light-hearted family comedy.


Anonymous Miss Lady Ma'am said...

My husband and I loved that show! I try to catch it on ABC Family everyday before the Gilmore Girls (another favorite). We like the fact that it's more about "hip" parents growing up with their kids, which is what we're doing lol! Great post!

3:07 PM  
Blogger Scott C. Smith said...

Thanks! And thanks for stopping by.

2:31 AM  
Blogger Raven Shields said...

I love this show and wish it was still airing!

5:43 AM  

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