Saturday, 25 June 2016

Popcorn & Coffee: Two Guys and a Girl: The Complete Series

Not Rated; approx. 2,500 minutes; $79.97; Amazon; Shout! Factory
Many short-lived television series have found new life thanks to DVD releases. Arriving on DVD from Shout! Factory for the first time in the United States on June 28th is Two Guys and a Girl: The Complete Series, featuring all 81 episodes on 11-discs. There are no special features or bonus extras.

Created by Danny Jacobson, Kenny Schwartz and Rick Wiener, the series was original titled "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" when it premiered on ABC as a mid-season replacement in 1998, consisting of 13 episodes.

The first season centered on three twenty-somethings best friends - the smart aleck Michael Leslie "Berg" Bergen (played by Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool), the neurotic Peter "Pete" Dunville (Richard Ruccolo, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and the beautiful Sharon Carter (Traylor Howard, Monk), who are all trying to fit into the real world after finishing college. Well, at least Sharon is; Berg has just been accepted to medical school and Pete has a few more months of graduate school left. In the meantime, the guys are working at Beacon Street Pizza, which is owned by Bill (played by Julius Carry). Rounding out the rest of the cast was David Ogden Stiers as Mr. Bauer and Jennifer Westfeldt as Pete's girlfriend, Melissa.

There were many changes for the second season, and only the characters Pete, Sharon and Berg returned, the others were dropped from the series and never mentioned again. Two recurring characters were added to the series, Sharon's boyfriend (and later husband) Johnny (played by Nathan Fillion, Castle) and Berg's love interest Ashley (played by Suzanne Cryer, Silicon Valley). Later in the season, Pete's cat-crazy neighbor and stalker, Irene (played by Jillian Bach, Courting Alex), appeared in her first two episodes.

For seasons three and four, the series dropped "The Pizza Place" from the name and was now called "Two Guys and a Girl." Nathan Fillion and Suzanne Cryer officially joined the cast as regulars instead of guest-starring. Jillian Bach returned as Irene for latter half of season three and joined the cast full-time for the final season.

Final Thoughts: I recall seeing a few advertisements for the series when it originally aired on ABC, but I never watched a single episode until it aired in syndication on the WE: Women's Entertainment during the early 2000s. If I remember correctly, I was just flipping through channels and came across an episode. I recognized Traylor Howard and Ryan Reynolds, so I watched one episode and I quickly became a fan of the series.

Like many fans, I have been patiently waiting for the series to be released on DVD, which our wishes will be finally answered this Tuesday when 11-disc complete series will be available to purchase. I received my copy a little over a week ago, and somehow I managed to binge watch the entire series during that time.

I know the syndicated version was edited with missing scenes and the music was replaced with the generic kind. Since I never saw the original broadcast versions, I can't give anyone a correct answer to whether or not the the episodes have been edited. I do know that Shout! Factory always tries to include the full-length episodes in all their television series releases. Each episodes on the set runs between 20 to 22 minutes. The series finale's (The Internet Show) alternative endings are shown at end of the episode.

Overall, I've enjoyed watching Two Guys and a Girl: The Complete Series. It's an underrated sitcom that deserves a second chance to find an audience, but this time on DVD.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

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