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THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW is a fairly likable family comedy that made its debut on the TBS cable network and features the stand up comedian, who made his name as a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. The series premise finds Engvall in the role of family therapist Bill Pearson, who lives with his wife Susan (Nancy Travis), daughter (Jennifer Lawrence) and two sons Trent (Graham Patrick Martin) and Bryan (Skyler Gisondo) in suburban Denver, Colorado. Of course, much of the show’s comedy springs from the fact that our family therapist has difficulty relating to his own family. Nancy Travis is fun as the supportive wife, although the kids are pretty much stock characters- the daughter is the typical teenage sitcom hottie, the eldest son is a videogame addicted slacker and the youngest son is the precocious, old beyond his years type. Tim Meadows fills the obligatory Barney Rubble best friend role as Paul Dufrayne. Steve Hytner the secondary friend role of Bob Spoonerman.

THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($20) comes to DVD in a two-disc set that features the following eight episodes that were aired during its freshman year: Good People, Aloha, Raffles, How Bill Met Susan, Have You Seen My Muffins, Man?, Feel Free To Say No, Jealous Guy, The Birthday and Go Ahead, See If I Karaoke.

Warner Home Video has made all twenty-two episodes that comprise THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on DVD in the full screen aspect ratios of their original SD television broadcasts. I guess the producers of this set haven’t heard of a little thing known as high definition masters, otherwise we would be seeing these episodes in widescreen. The episodes look better on DVD than they did on a typical SD cable broadcast. Image quality is generally good, with everything appearing reasonably crisp and pretty nicely defined. Colors are appealing and have a more than respectable level of saturation. Blacks and whites are accurate, while contrast is limited by flat sitcom lighting. Everything appears pristine and free from artifacting.

All of the episodes that constitute THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. The soundtracks workmanlike, getting the job done. However, by the nature of the sitcom beast, the sound design is little more than dialogue driven and center channel heavy. There are occasional channel separations, but they remain fairly mild. Fidelity is good for a television production; the music sounds fine and sound effects are fairly convincing. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, but English subtitles are provided.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as some extra programs. The programs include An Overview Of The Bill Engvall Show (five minutes), A Conversation With Bill (three minutes), Set Tour (five minutes), A Conversation With Time And Steve (three minutes), Skyler Gisondo Rap (less than a minute) and Ask Bill (questions at different lengths of time).

THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW is inoffensive family comedy that features a number of likable players. The DVD collection looks and sounds better than cable.



The Bill Engvall Show: The Complete First Season



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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