PARKER LEWIS CANíT
PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE was just one of those little 1990s sitcoms that were cool and funny, but aired on the Fox network- a place, which always seemed to be canceling TV shows I enjoyed. Looking at PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE now, the series remains a surprisingly intelligent comedy, even if its target demographic was a teen audience. For my money, the showís intelligent writing placed it way ahead of the curve, especially when compared to most other brain dead sitcoms airing at the time. Unfortunately, PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE only lasted for three seasons on the Fox Network. While the series has disappeared from the airwaves for more years than I care to remember, the good folks from Shout! Factory have rescued the series from the sitcom graveyard and issued the first and second seasons of this blast from the past on DVD.
For those of you who donít remember PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE, the series was the epitome of 1990ís high school coolness. Corin Nemec stars as the title character Parker Lewis, who attends Santo Domingo High School along with his best buds: rock-n-roll rebel Mikey Randall (Billy Jayne) and the subservient Jerry Steiner (Troy Slaten). No matter what obstacle is thrown in front of him by his nemesis high school principal Grace Musso (Melanie Chartoff), her toady Frank Lemmer (Taj Johnson) or even his own bad seed sister Shelly Ann Lewis (Maia Brewton), Parker always seems to come out on topÖ hence, the showís title. The cast of PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE also features Timothy Stack, Mary Ellen Trainor, Jennifer Guthrie and Abraham Benrubi.
PARKER LEWIS CANíT LOSE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($50) comes to DVD in a four-disc that features all twenty-five episodes that were aired during year two. The twenty-five featured episodes are as follows: Father Knows Less, A Walk On The Dark Side, Full Mental Jacket, Future Shock, The Undergraduate, Stormy Mikey, Fat Boy And Little Man, Aging Gracefully, The Parker Chronicles, Rock 'N' Roles, Loves Handles, Boy Meets Girl, Raging Kube, Tower Of Power, Obscene And Not Heard, Goodbye Mr. Rips, Civil Wars, Glory Daze, Boy Meets Girl Ii, Dance Of Romance, When Jerry Met Shelly, Geek Tragedy, Money Talks, Home Alone With Annie and Diner '75.
Shout! Factory (in association with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) has made all the episodes that comprise PARKER LEWIS CANíT LOSE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. Like season one, the presentations here look pretty good for a twenty-year-old sitcom. Of course, as the episodes appear to have been taken from broadcast masters, the visuals donít crackle like a brand new series. I have to admit, the picture can look a little soft and fuzzy, but the episodes remain totally watchable throughout. Colors appear nicely saturated and remain fairly stable. Again, blacks and whites appear just fine, as is the flat sitcom lighting contrast. Some blemishes show up on the episodes, but they are never excessive. Digital compression artifacts keep a low profile.
All the episodes featured on PARKER LEWIS CANíT LOSE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON come with Dolby Digital 2.0 channel stereo surround soundtracks. As with the previous set, this is fairly standard sitcom sound. Hence, everything is very much front-loaded; however, some sounds do manage to bleed into the rear channels. There are also some separations across the front, which seems to benefit the music. With a bit of amplification, fidelity is more than respectable. Dialogue is clean and understandable. No other language tracks have been included on the DVDs, nor have subtitles been provided.
Full motion video, 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 as the extras. Running Audio Commentaries are provided for the following four episodes: Father Knows Less, A Walk On The Dark Side, Aging Gracefully, Civil Wars and Diner '75.
As Iíve said before, PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE is a fun show that has been rescued form the obscurity of the sitcom graveyard by the folks at Shout! Factory. The presentations are nothing spectacular, but fans should still be pleased. RecommendedÖ and I am looking forward to season three on DVD.
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