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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » My Big Fat Greek Life: Complete Series
My Big Fat Greek Life: Complete Series
Columbia/Tri-Star // Unrated // November 18, 2003
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted November 22, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

"...Yeah, it would make a good movie."

After the ridiculous success of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", CBS picked up the idea (and its star, no less) to star in a sitcom. No surprise, given that one could honestly mistake the film for a weekly series. Although interest continued in the film enough to make the first few episodes of this show a success, a ratings slide thereafter and rumors of in-fighting made the life of this show only 7 episodes.

The show picks up where the film left off, with Nia (instead of the film's Toula) Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) coming home after her honeymoon with Thomas Miller (Steven Eckholdt, who was brilliant in the short-lived sitcom, "It's Like...You Know" - here he shares little chemistry with Vardalos) to begin their life together and, of course, her Greek family (most of the actors from the film return - thankfully, including advice-giving aunt Andrea Martin, who's pure genius) still has something to say about her choices.

I was not among the film's hardcore following, but the show is an odd change from the film. While I was not moved by the film's attempts at sentimentality, the series takes that mixture of comedy and drama and turns it into a series of one-liners. Admittedly, some of them are quite funny (and delivered well), but a series really can't survive on trying to stuff as many one-liners into a half-hour. Adding to the problem is a terrible, repetitive laugh track that pushes itself into every scene.

Overall, as network TV comedies go lately, this wasn't terrible - the cast was energetic and delivered the material well, the writing wasn't bad - but we learn little more about the characters and the series had the potential to be another well of one-liners that would eventually run dry.

The show's 7 episodes are included here.


The DVD

VIDEO: All 7 episodes are presented in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio, on a dual-layer DVD. The image quality is generally quite good, as there are a minimum of concerns. Sharpness and detail are perfectly fine, as the image remained crisp and clear throughout, with no instances of softness.

Flaws included a little bit of compression artifacting in a few scenes and the occasional bit of shimmering. Colors looked bright and well-saturated, with no smearing. Otherwise, these episodes looked nice and met what I would consider broadcast quality.

SOUND: The DVD includes the show's original 2.0 soundtrack. The show's soundtrack does deliver clean dialogue, but unfortunately, it also presents the laugh track - which, when played back in Pro Logic II, is moved into the surrounds - which either makes it more irritating, or easier to ignore. Your mileage may vary.

EXTRAS: Promos for other Columbia/Tristar TV fare.

Final Thoughts: "My Big Fat Greek Life" was a fairly pleasant surprise. Given the relative lack of even decent network fare these days, the combination of some good dialogue and the return of most of the film's cast made these 7 episodes work pretty well. I'm not sure how long this one-liner heavy series could have held up, though. Columbia/Tristar's DVD offers little in the way of supplements, but audio/video quality is fine. Recommended for fans or those interested.

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