Gastineau Girls - The Complete First Season
Arts Alliance America // Unrated // $24.99 // January 31, 2006
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted February 4, 2006
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Graphical Version
The Movie:

An oddly fascinating train wreck of a reality show from E!, "Gastineau Girls" follows Lisa and Brittny Gastineau, the wife and daughter of ex-NFL star Mark Gastineau. The parents are divorced, and Lisa and Brittny live together in a pricey New York apartment. They have equally pricey tastes and have gotten used to their lifestyle. However, the set-up for this show is not to follow the girls around as they buy up shoes and purses - the way the two spend money, it'll end up drying up sooner than later.

So, the show quickly sets up two conflicts: firstly, Brittny's arrival back in New York City to live with her mother after college quickly goes sour, as the two quickly start fighting over Prada bags and needing their own space. Secondly, the money issue: the pair decide that they either need to find someone to take care of them or to find a job. As for finding a job, neither one of them have any sort of work history (Lisa's never used a computer) - or work ethic - whatsoever. However, while they attempt to find a money source, they try to find the nearest ritzy clothing store.

These two are completely lazy, self-centered and shallow. Lisa, who has appeared to have had a fortune in plastic surgery (and while nothing can compare to "Absolutely Fabulous", Lisa occasionally reminded me of Patsy), continually obsesses about her age and takes being a rich diva to the point of parody. She's an absolutely perfect example of how not to parent: she is not a parent, but a "best friend" - in this case, a shopping buddy. You see a change start to take place in the relationship throughout the season, but it's a difficult push after the relationship has obviously been one way for so long.

There's also the show's "host" - doorman Lou, who comments on the action every few minutes. It's a credit to his delivery that cutting away every few minutes actually doesn't take away from the series. Lou's lines also are occasionally extremely funny, and don't sound too clunky or forced. The other co-stars are the two dogs, who are utterly neurotic. While normal people would have figured a way to work things out between the two dogs, Lisa calls in a dog therapist who shoves a robotic dancing dog in the face of one of the uninterested pooches.

As unsympathetic as these characters go, in the whole "Simple Life" genre of shows, this ranks pretty highly. The two play off one another well and stumble their way into drama - including, as we see in one episode, getting stuck in a ski lift on their way to a New Year's party in Aspen while midnight drifts by. In Palm Beach, they decide they can't stay at their hotel, as it doesn't have a mini bar. This is a ridiculous, over-the-top series, but - and maybe I was just in the mood for it - it worked as junk food TV.

The set includes all ten episodes from the first season on 2 DVDs.

The DVD

VIDEO: Hart Sharp Video presents the show in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio, with some segments in approximately 1.66:1 non-anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is generally first-rate, with good sharpness and detail that remains fairly consistent, even in some dimly-lit scenes.

The picture does have some minor noise in some of the darker scenes and the occasional touch of shimmer and pixelation. However, aside from those infrequent concerns, the picture appeared crisp and clear. Colors remained bright and nicely saturated throughout, with no smearing or other concerns. Overall, the presentation looked perfectly fine for a cable show.

SOUND: The show's 2.0 audio remained perfectly fine, with crisp and clear dialogue.

EXTRAS: About 24 minutes of extended scenes, 17 minutes of deleted scenes/outtakes, a highlight reel and promos for the show.

Final Thoughts: "Gastineau Girls" is absolute junk food television, but its ridiculous moments are so over-the-top they're funny, and doorman Lou makes a terrific host. Fans of shows like "Simple Life" should definitely check out this show. The DVD offers fine audio/video quality and a few minor supplements. Recommended for fans of the show or genre.



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