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DVD Review: LIFE AS WE KNOW IT

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PHOTOGRAPHY

LIFE AS WE KNOW IT- The Complete Series

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 558 minutes (13 episodes on 3 discs), audio commentaries, deleted scenes, outtakes, producer's photo gallery

STUDIO: BVHE/ Touchstone

RELEASE DATE: 8-23-2005

DISC 1- PILOT/ PILOT JUNIOR/ THE BEST LAID PLANS/ PARTLY CLOUDY, CHANCE OF SEX

DISC 2- SECRETS & LIES/ NATURAL DISASTERS/ WITH A KISS, I DIE/ FAMILY HARD-SHIPS/ A LITTLE PROBLEM

DISC 3- BREAKING AWAYA/ YOU MUST BE TRIPPIN'/ FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS DRIVE JUNK (Unaired)/ PAP WHEELIE (Unaired)

LIFE AS WE KNOW IT is an early causality. Like so many dramas on big networks and like short-lived classics like MY SO CALLED LIFE, it landed on the wrong night and failed to find that big audience. ABC aired it on Thursday nights and many people missed it because they were watching other shows liek SURVIVOR or just waiting for CSI while watching something else. ABC aired 11 episopdes and the two unaired episodes are presented in this DVD Collection of the complete series.

It is interesting to note the number of the main cast members who have been in sci-fi/fantasy or action shows/movies: D.B. Sweeney (C-16, STRANGE LUCK), Martin Cummins (DARK ANGEL, POLTERGEIST THE LEGACY), Missy Peregrym (BLACK SASH, guest star on ANDROMEDA), and Margiuette Moreau (FIRESTARTER: REKINDLED, QUEEN OF THE DAMNED). Those four actors are the best out of this assemble cast (I also like the actors playing Ben and Sue).  Kelly Osbourne isn't half bad in her role.

The only problem with this show is it plays at extremes.    Character flaws in everyone to create drama.  They do pull it off well to make this a very watchable drama.   My favorite moment has to be the first kiss between Ben and Sue at the end of the school play in WITH A KISS, I DIE.

VIDEO: 1.33:1 Full Frame

BVHE has felt content to release the show to DVD in Full frame instead of the popular 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format of many shows being made today being released to DVD. Maybe it was the intention of the producers to have the show in Full Frame for the DVD since only a few households would have seen it aired in Widescreen on HDTV sets across the USA.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround.

Subtitles: English

The audio isn't bad.  Dialogue is very clear and you can hear the rock songs they picked for each episode.

SPECIAL FEATURES:   Audio commentaries for seven of the 13 episodes are with Gabe Sachs, various crew members (such as various directors) and various cast members.   The commentary tracks aren't anything special.  Totally forgettable.   The Producer's Photo Gallery, on disc four, (by Gabe Sachs) shows behind the scene pics that Gabe took.  It is sadly intercut with video clips from the show.  I wish you had the option to go through each pic instead of a slide show featurette.   Disc One has five delted scenes from various episodes and outtakes/bloopers from the entire series (so skip both until you watched all the episodes if you haven't seen the show before).

FINAL ANALYSIS: LIFE AS WE KNOW IT is a better series than BEVERLY HILLS 90210 or DAWSON'S CREEK or even FREEKS AND GEEEKS. If you didn't catch it on TV and like any of the above shows I have listed, give this series a try.

This DVD Review is (c)8-24-2005 David Blackwell.  send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia