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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Scott Baio Is 45 ... and Single
Scott Baio Is 45 ... and Single
Starz / Anchor Bay // Unrated // October 14, 2008
List Price: $19.97 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Preston Jones | posted October 1, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Show

Scott Baio, best known for his roles in "Happy Days," "Joanie Loves Chachi" and "Charles in Charge," slipped out of the spotlight after "Charles" ended in 1990 (although he briefly made a splash again as Bob Loblaw in the late, lamented "Arrested Development"). That doesn't mean that Baio wasn't keeping busy the whole time -- in addition to producing, occasionally acting and directing, the actor's reputation as a Tinseltown lothario borders on legendary. His little black book is littered with bold-faced names: Heather Locklear, Melissa Gilbert, Pamela Anderson, Nicole Eggert, Denise Richards and Nicolette Sheridan, just to name a few.

That past informs Baio's present, which is where the winning reality series Scott Baio is 45 ... And Single picks up. Baio is dating Renee Sloan and is considering marriage. But before he can commit to Renee, he takes it upon himself to enlist the services of life coach Dr. Alison Arnold (Doc Ali to Baio). Doc Ali forces Baio to re-visit his past, picking apart his many, many failed relationships to find out what went right and what went wrong.

On top of that, Doc Ali decrees that Baio can't see Renee for eight weeks while he works through his exes, which greatly frustrates the occasionally exasperated actor. He enlists support from his long-time friends Jason Hervey (who created and co-produced this series with Eric Bischoff), Steve Cuccio and Johnny Venocur (better known as Johnny V.), who look on with great amusement. It's those friendships, coupled with Baio's own dry, sardonic take on the entire enterprise and the surprisingly blunt string of apologies he's forced to make, that makes the show so much fun to watch.

In fact, one could make the argument that the series is too short -- it debuted in July 2007, with just eight episodes -- but on the other hand, a lot of ground is covered and stretching it out probably would've ruined its charms. There are moments clearly rigged for the cameras, but Baio seems incapable of false sentiment (less so in the follow-up series Scott Baio Is 46 & Pregnant). He makes a very appealing reality TV star who is wrestling with an admittedly juvenile problem, but nonetheless realizes some very universal truths.

The episodes on this two-disc set aren't identical to what originally aired on VH1. For starters, the opening titles, which essentially caught viewers up on Baio's activities heretofore, are gone, as is some of the wonderfully nostalgic array of '80s pop and rock songs (it's a fair assumption they were cleared for broadcast, but not all of 'em made the leap to DVD).

In addition, the first two episodes, which aired as separate parts on the same night, is combined into one long episode here (hence most episode guides listing eight total and only seven appearing on this set).

The DVD

The Video:

Presented as originally broadcast in a perfectly adequate 1.33:1 transfer, this DVD set looks about as solid as the VH1 broadcast, which is to say, since the show is shot on what appears to be digital video, there are several instances of softness, high contrast and a bit of blur. Otherwise, the image is acceptably crisp and watchable, with no truly glaring flaws.

The Audio:

As with the visuals, the aural end of things is just as it was on VH1 -- a perfunctory Dolby 2.0 stereo track that conveys the dialogue and soundtrack with no drop-out or distortion. There are no optional subtitles.

The Extras:

The lone supplement, the 23 minute, 12 second featurette "Scott Baio; Behind the Scenes" (presented in fullscreen), is housed on the second disc of this set and features interviews with Hervey, Johnny V. and Doc Ali, along with deleted sequences from the series.

Final Thoughts:

Scott Baio's salacious past informs his tormented present, which is where the winning reality series Scott Baio is 45 ... And Single picks up. Baio is dating Renee Sloan and is considering marriage. But before he can commit to Renee, he takes it upon himself to enlist the services of life coach Dr. Alison Arnold (Doc Ali to Baio). Doc Ali forces Baio to re-visit his past, picking apart his many, many failed relationships to find out what went right and what went wrong. Recommended.

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