A hilarious show that is and isn't everything you think it is.
I really wish that Brad Garrett had done some commentary tracks on this release.
'Til Death: The Complete First Season gives us Eddie (Brad Garrett) and Joy Stark (Joely Fisher). They have been married for some time and they know it, yet the spark is still there to a certain degree. Moving in next to them are Jeff (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and his wife Steph Woodcock (Kat Foster). As newlyweds one might think that Eddie and Joy would be showing Jeff and Steph the ropes to married life, however it becomes abundantly clear that all of these people have a thing or two to learn themselves. Featuring the first 22 episodes of this hilarious show we are treated to some of the best television humor to hit TV screens in a long time.
Some of the best episodes in this three disc set are "Pilot" which has Eddie and Joy pushing Steph and Jeff into their first fight. In "The Toaster," Joy has decided to unplug their toaster for environmental reasons that Eddie finds very hard to comprehend. "The Bachelor Party" finds Eddie creating his own world of problems for him and Jeff. It turns out Jeff never had a bachelor party so Eddie and some friends decide to have one for him. Lastly, "That's Ridiculous" shows Eddie just how much really needs Joy when she goes away and he's home alone.
'Til Death The Wedding
Okay, maybe I missed something here, perhaps I am not as up on the show as I thought I was, but Brad Garrett appears to be performing a wedding ceremony. This is actually given to a lot of awkward moments because when people get married this is supposed to be their day. That is clearly not the case here as he serves as master of ceremonies, making jokes, some of the time even making bad jokes. My best guess is that this whole segment was somehow a promotion for this show.
Behind the Scenes of 'Til Death
Brad Garrett on the set of 'Til Death
This entire segment features Garrett doing his own version of comic riffing. He makes fun of one of the cameraman (calling him Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter), he makes fun of somebody checking their pager, he jokes about the size of his body, and he even calls a black gentlemen out for wrinkling his nose at him. (I even wondered if Garrett's continued use of the term "Brother Man" to this Black guy might be deemed offensive?) Whatever the case there is a lot of raw energy here and it really is pretty darn funny.
1.78:1 - Widescreen. Mastered in High Definition. The 22 episodes on these DVDs looked pretty pristine. I know that these episodes originally aired some months ago, but Sony still must be given credit for not allowing this show to simply sit in the vault and deteriorate. The lighting and camera angles are pretty pedestrian, but this show seemed to really have its colors enhanced here. Everything played with a zest that not every show (even current ones) have when they come to DVD.
Dolby Digital. English 5.1 - Dolby Digital. Close Captioned. The audio on this release was good but as I am known for saying (well, I don't know how known I am for saying it but I say it a lot), it's not like it really went out of it's way to bring us into the heads of the characters on screen. Everything was leveled pretty nicely although, for some reason, I noticed that it seems like things sounded a little worse on this show's pilot vs. the actually episodes that were created for the season proper.
Joely Fisher seems to be sitting on Brad Garrett's back on the front cover of this slipcase. The back cover features a shot of the Stark's and the Woodcock's having KFC for dinner, as well as a few more images from the actual episodes of this show. There is a very tiny description of what 'Til Death: The Complete First Season is about, a Special Features listing and technical specs. The three discs are housed in two, slim cases both of which feature more funny pictures of our cast. The back covers list out all the episodes, they provide descriptions and they all contain cast lists for each one as well.
Bar none, this is one of the best shows on television.
I always liked Brad Garrett on Everybody Loves Raymond even though I didn't watch that show that regularly. I found him to be funny and original and when I heard he was getting his own show I figured that this had to be good. He also has a way with comedy where it seems like he could read the phone book and it would be funny. Joely Fisher is also really good on this show and the two of them play a very believable couple. There is a universality to being married and I think 'Til Death taps into that very well.
I have always noticed that when you get around people who have been married for a long period of time, like two men who have both been married to someone for over 20 years, there is a shared understanding between them. It's as if they have been through the war together and they know all about each other even if they have never met. 'Til Death: The Complete First Season manages to pack that, humor, serious issues and just about everything else into this three disc set. It works well on network TV and on DVD the specialness of this show really has time to sink in.
'Til Death was released .