RULES OF ENGAGEMENT:
A midseason replacement of the 2007-2008 television season, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT is a sitcom that showed a lot of promise right out of the box. That promise it showed came in the form of the shows two most bankable comic assets- Patrick Warburton and David Spade. In season two, Warburton and Spade rise to the top again providing the show with its best and most hilarious moments- especially Warburton’s patented deadpan delivery. Of course, I don’t want to slight Megyn Price who plays beautifully off of Warburton, as well as everyone else.
The basic premise of RULES OF ENGAGEMENT focuses on three different stages of relationships, we have the old married couple represented by Jeff (Patrick Warburton) and Audrey (Megyn Price), young love in the form of the newly engaged Adam (Oliver Hudson) and Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich), and finally, the single lifestyle comes to us in womanizing horndog Russell (David Spade). RULES OF ENGAGEMENT generates much of its comedy from the clashing worlds and clashing attitudes of the afore mentioned different stages of relationships.
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($30) comes to DVD in a two disc set that features the following fifteen episodes that were aired in the show’s sophomore year: Flirting With Disaster, Audrey's Sister, Mr. Fix It, Guy Code, Bag Ladies, Old School Jeff, Engagement Party, Fix-Up & Downs, A Visit From Fay, Time Share, Jen At Work, Optimal Male, Russell's Father's Son, Buyer's Remorse and Pimp My Bride. Season two features some amusing guest appearances from Heather Locklear, who attracts the attentions of Spade’s womanizing Russell.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 widescreen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Again, the episodes come across better on DVD than they did in a typical SD broadcast. However, the DVD still isn’t as good as an HD broadcast. The image is sharp and well defined for standard definition. Colors are rendered at a good level of saturation. Blacks are accurate, whites are clean and the contrast quite good thanks to better than average sitcom lighting. Visual imperfections are not a concern.
All of the episodes that constitute RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. The soundtracks get the job done without any flourishes. However, since RULES OF ENGAGEMENT is a sitcom, one has to expect that the sound design will be dialogue driven and center channel heavy. Channel separations show up here and there, but they remain fairly mild. Fidelity is good for a television production; the music sounds fine and sound effects are fairly convincing. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. No other language tracks or subtitles have been included on the DVD.
Animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well Minisodes and Bloopers.
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT is an amusing sitcom that benefits from the presence of Warburton and Spade. Sony’s DVD collection outclasses SD broadcasts and will tickle fans.
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