This show features effortless comedy and is highly engaging.
I would have loved more commentary tracks with Richard Lewis and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Anything But Love, Vol. 1 is one of those shows that deals with the age old question between men and women:
Can we be friends without the need to get physical?
Sure, When Harry Met Sally talked about this but we get to see Hannah Miller (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Marty Gold (Richard Lewis) put that into practice. Everything is rosy when these two writers first succumb to their feelings, but then there is the actual day to day maintenance of having the relationship. Once that happens, things can be ruined quite quickly if the two parties aren't compatible. This is where the comedy of Anything But Love, Vol. 1 resides, because Hannah and Marty are compatible, they also happen to be a train wreck. A fun train wreck, but a train wreck nonetheless.
Packed with 28 episodes, Anything But Love, Vol. 1 actually covers the first two seasons of this show. We see Hannah and Marty as they focus on their relationship, their careers, the little things, and those moments that don't seem important but are the very fabric that hold them together.
There are commentary tracks for two episodes on this 28 episode set. They are done for "Pilot - Fear of Flying" with Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis, and "Hotel of the Damned" by director Howard Berlinger. I chose to listen to the one with Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis, simply because I wanted to see how different they were on screen vs. in the commentary room. There actually seems like there was a degree of acting on that show. In the commentary, Richard serves as the counterpuncher to Jamie Lee's blows. They discuss the show's original opening, the size of Lewis's hair, and the clothes they both wore on that show. They heap a great deal of praise on the other actors ("one of the greats" is Lewis's common refrain), and overall I think these two are quite entertaining together.
Stories From the Set
I thought this would be longer. It's a quick look at what life was like on the set and we see a lot footage (courtesy of E!) from when this show was being shot. Richard Lewis talks about being in awe of his co-star, and she discusses what it was like working with someone who cracked her up all the time. I had expected a bunch of stories and anecdotes, but interestingly this seemed like a rehash of the All About Anything But Love segment.
All About Anything But Love
An interesting look at how this show got made from the people who were integral parts of it. We get to see Richard Lewis, Jamie Lee Curtis and people like producer Wendy Kout discuss Anything But Love from the ground up. They talk about how originally the show was supposed to be a love triangle, what made it popular with the viewers, and how John Ritter was one of the producers and characters on the show. I especially enjoyed seeing early pilot footage, and hearing about how this show began as one thing and then ultimately became something else. If you don't have a lot of time, this featurette will give you all you need as far Special Features are concerned.
Full Frame - 1.33:1. Shot in 1989 this show seems like it has held up quite well over time. I know that the late 80s aren't eon's away, but we are almost two decades removed from when this show aired. While I didn't think the quality of these shows was absolutely pristine, I didn't notice moments where the picture got cloudy or overly pixilated. The problem that I think some TV on DVD might have is the fact people are getting trained to expect hi-definition images. What might have passed for perfect a few years ago, will now be scrutinized simply because it can be. Sadly, shows like Anything But Love weren't shot with HD specs in mind.
Dolby Digital. English - Stereo. Spanish - Mono. Close Captioned. Subtitled in English and Spanish. I love sitcom audio for the simple fact that everything in this world is perfect. I'm not saying that as a slight, but these shows by their very nature need to keep things simple as they only have a certain amount of time to get their stories across. Everything on these three DVDs seemed to be in it's correct audio order, and I liked that I didn't have to turn up the sound that loud in order to hear what was being said.
Richard Lewis, with his trademark hand on his forehead, and Jamie Lee Curtis are both featured on this simple white and maroon cover. The back features some shots from the show (two of which seem like they are from the same episode), a succinct description, a Special Features listing, and technical specs. Two slim cases store all three discs (they both have the same front cover as the slipcase they are stored in), and on the backs are episode listings, airdates, and where to find the Special Features.
I was all prepared to go off on Anything But Love, Vol. 1 because it was a volume release and not a complete first season. Well, I did a little DVD detective work on IMDB and it turns out that this set actually covers the first and second seasons. I don't know how 6 episodes can comprise a complete season (unless of course this is the British version of The Office), but when you consider everything that this three disc set is giving you it is really a bargain.
Overall, I was really impressed with seeing Richard Lewis in a romantic role. Seeing Jamie Lee Curtis in this way wasn't surprising to me simply because I've seen her in other roles. Richard Lewis is known for merging his on stage persona with who he is as a person. I really liked seeing him in an understated way as Marty. He is one of those gifted actors who has a knack for saying very funny things without ever meaning to.
All in all, Anything But Love, Vol. 1 is quite a collection on DVD, and it's great to see the main actors so involved.
Anything But Love was released .