ALF is a mid 80's show based on the exploits of a lovable space alien who crashlands into the Tanner family garage and proceeds to become the favorite son of all who meet his aqaintance. While I must admit that in the mid-80s I wasn't a devout "Alf-watcher", I watched quite a bit and I remember being enamored with the lovable "lint brush" as he was a cross between GARFIELD the cat and a sassy ET.
This season one, four-disc set is like a time capsule of my youth and anybody elses youth who was old enough in the 80's the remember the ALF act, it plays in my head as I am writing this. While this is not as comprehensive as say a NEW LINE INFINIFILM release, it's ALF people!, it doesn't need to be. What I love is that there are 25 episodes. We get to see ALF experience earth firsthand. We see him become engaged with the family, deal with neighbors and basically we come to realize that this show is like no other. ALF completely flipped the script on the kind of show that could be made, on the kind of boundaries that could be straddled because while from all accounts this looks like a "kids show", one watch of an episode and one can see that it also catered to the more mature tastes of adult viewers. In fact, in many ways ALF predates SHREK in being able to cherrypick from both audiences.
This dvd boxset isn't going to cure the ills of the world but for those that remember and even those who don't, at it's very core, it's just a good time.
INTERACTIVE MENUS HOSTED BY ALF
Okay, so there isn't too much here. I am sure you can tell by the fact that I am listing the interactive menus as a special feature. I actually want to click around a little bit more and see if there are any ALF easter eggs. While watching these menus which lead to all the other menus of the DVD, I was happily reminded of the THE CAPTAIN from Rob Zombie's HOUSE OF A 1000 CORPSES. In fact, I decided to let the menu play as I slept which wasn't that pleasant because waking up to ALF doing the same thing over and over again isn't that fun.
THE ORIGINAL UN-AIRED PILOT EPISODE
I always love this kind of stuff. You get to see what the show originally might have been and the beauty is you have 25 examples of what the show was. Add to this that this is the first season, and you really get to see the evolution of the "man from Melmac". It's also interesting seeing how the actors are used, how some are different and how basically in TV it seems that the tweakings, and innerworking of the writers are not over until the show actually airs.
Gag/Outtakes Reel and Alf Trivia Facts
Didn't have too much time to watch this but from what I did see the gags and outtakes are pretty darn fun. In fact, I am reminded a bit of that insulting, comedy dog that is so popular today. I say this because ALF is a puppet and the mistakes that happen only serve to highlight this fact. Very funny. Also, seeing how the other cast members react to ALF both on and off camera is also something to be screened.
Presented in 4:3 Full Screen I was a bit taken aback at first. Then I remembered, this IS ALF...it's not LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. I don't think the show was ever shot to be widescreen. The newly remastered discs look much better then the shows that currently run on TV LAND and other such stations, and it's quite heartening to see that this show was given the same TLC even though it wasn't a big budget extravaganza.
2.0 dolby digital surround on this set makes ALF an ideal candidate for ANYBODY's home theater system(especially BB's). It sounded fine on my VHS/ TV(with DVD player added) combo, but then again I don't think I got the full effect as there is only one speaker on my "system".
Okay folks, this is a very cool DVD. It isn't too packed with extras but then again how packed can an ALF dvd-set be? It has what it needs to have and considering that the total length of all the disks combined is 616 minutes, I have to say that the makers of the DVD more then outdid themselves.
Looking again at the packaging, a smile was brought to my face. Who wouldn't like ALF? He was smart, witty, sarcastic...all the things that we love in the people around us. I wonder how this concept for the show first started? How they came up with an alien that looked like that? Thinking about it again, ALF looks like he could've fit in with the LAND OF THE LOST team, albiet with a heck of a lot more personality.
I look forward to reveling in all of this DVDs glory. In sitting back and watching and then rewatching all of the episodes. This is really what makes the DVD format so great. It is able to preserve the movies, shows and performances that we love so much. It gives us a place to put our feelings and our past. A way to say goodbye without ever really letting go.
As I watched the shows I was taken to my salad days. I reverted back to being the child that I was and in many ways still am. If for no other reason, I am proud to have this DVD be a part of my collection.