The Good

This show has a spark and spunkiness that makes it seem more mature than it is.

The Bad

Very sparse extra features.

Zoey 101: The Complete 1st Season is a 13 episode collection that chronicles Zoey and her friend's lives at Pacific Coast Academy. Basically, Zoey (Jamie Lynn Spears) is a really cool girl but she's also down to earth as well. This show is a light look at young people growing up but there is a bit of an acerbic wit about it. With episodes like "Defending Dustin" in which Zoey meddles too much in her brother's life or "Spring Fling," in which Zoey, Dana and Nicole do everything they can to change how that event is handled at PCA (with highly interesting results), or "Backpack," in which Zoey is robbed of a backpack idea by a mean upperclassmen, this show manages to keep things light while still dealing with some real issues.

While this show is essentially a quick moving, candy coated offering from our friends at Nickelodeon, Zoey 101: The Complete 1st Season can't help but be cool.

Features

Before They Were Cast Mates

Essentially this is an assortment of auditions from Zoey, Chase and the other cast members before they had their roles. Presented in full screen, what I found to be the most interesting is how little these characters changed from the audition to the show itself. I would actually venture to guess that that is probably why they were cast. The more the actors bring to the audition, the less work will have to be done on the set in getting a performance out of them.

Bonus Episode: Quarantine

Bloopers

In this segment we are treated to the actors messing up their lines, laughing and not being able to stop, spitting out toothpaste, and even getting directions off screen. I don't know, in all my times of reviewing DVDs that I have ever been blown away by a blooper reel. These things seem like they are on here to show us that these actors are people too. They make mistakes and we shouldn't ever take them too seriously. Is that reading into things a little too much?

Video

Full Screen. As I talked about above, this is a slickly put together Nickelodeon show. The images are sharp, the editing is quick, and like most sitcoms the situations that make them up are most often solved in 30 minutes. The DVD compression seems like it has bumped up the quality somewhat, but having seen this show on TV, I didn't notice some amazing difference between the analog and digital presentation.

Audio

Dolby Digital. Close Captioned. The sound was fine but again, like the picture, nothing really grabbed my attention that much. The audio seemed to underscore this show in almost a Parker Lewis Can't Lose type of way. It is pretty clear that Zoey is a smart chick who leads something of charmed life. Even when she seems on the verge of disaster, nothing is ever as bad as it seems.

Package

Zoey and Chase are featured on this front cover in a polaroid shot alongside a group of pictures showcasing the other cast mates. This is all laid out on a pink and white cover that is supposed to look like a school notebook. The back continues this motif with a description of this show (written on a piece of paper taken from the notebook I assume), an episode description, a Special Features listing and some very minor technical specs. Nickelodeon has kept things economically packaged to make fans of this show able to easily access all the content.

Final Word

I don't know what it is but I really liked this show. I don't know if it's because I am seeing the school experience that I always wanted to have, or maybe I am just pining for my youth as usual? There was simply something fresh and charming about Zoey 101: The Complete 1st Season. I had actually watched a few episodes of this show for some reason so I was already familiar when I was given this DVD to review.

Overall, I was impressed with how good all of the young actors were on this show. How do they get to be like this? Essentially, Zoey 101 is an adult take on the world from a child's perspective. Nobody has ever really gone to school where it's one dramatic situation after another like it's presented here. Our lives are much too mundane and that is why a show like this ends up being as enjoyable as Zoey 101: The Complete 1st Season is here.

Zoey 101 was released .