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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » What I Like About You - The Complete First Season
What I Like About You - The Complete First Season
Warner Bros. // Unrated // May 1, 2007
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted April 22, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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The First Season

What I Like About You is a sitcom that aired from 2002 to 2006. The series had four seasons and a total of eighty-six episodes. It is about two sisters who live together and the various endeavors and adventures they embark upon with their closest friends and significant others. The show has a light-hearted, wholesome feeling, which works nicely as a family-oriented comedy.

The two primary characters are Holly Tyler (Amanda Bynes), a quirky sixteen year old girl, and Valerie "Val" Tyler (Jennie Garth), Holly's neurotic older sister who works in public relations. The two sisters are brought together in the series pilot episode when their father is promoted. His new job is in Japan. What that means for Holly, is relocation. Not wanting to move, she goes to New York City and lives with her sister. They have a loving and fun chemistry, which comes from conflicts, such as Val trying to be the big sister, friend, and mother to Holly, and all-around neurotic and goofy behavior.

Joining Holly and Val are Gary Thorpe (Wesley Jonathan) and Jeff Campbell (Simon Rex). Gary is Holly's best friend. He is a somewhat geeky guy with outrageous beliefs and makes for a solid partner in crime across Holly. Jeff is Val's steady boyfriend. He makes a decent addition to the cast and has a fairly good chemistry with Val, but he could easily be replaced (and he was, as his character only appears in season one.) Mid-season, Henry Gibson (Michael McMillian) joins the gang as Holly's love interest.

Together, the season one cast makes for a decent team. Notably, Bynes, Garth, and Jonathan are show's wealth of comedy. Surprisingly, Garth is pretty funny. Unlike her overly melodramatic role in Beverly Hills, 90210, she plays the neurotic older sister. The surprise is how well Garth carries her character in the comical venue. Bynes is also pretty fun; her delivery of dialogue is superb and on occasion she incorporates physical comedy to good effect. Jonathan is hilarious guy and provides a solid character. His interaction with Bynes and Garth is usually a delight. As for Rex, he plays an almost clueless guy and has a few decent moments. But for the most part, he comes off as a generic character. The final cast member McMillian plays a dumb-as-a-brick character, but fits in with the cast better than Rex.

The show's format has the group getting mixed up in a situation or two that always seem to get out of hand. The content ranges from friendships to dating/relationships to home improvement to the workplace. These situations are common to other sitcoms and occasionally portrayed in simplistic manner, but the characters do a fine job blowing them out of proportion by acting goofy. For instance, the episode "Thanksgiving" is a solid example of what the show and its cast are capable of. In it, Holly and Val work on a lie to get out of the annual family Thanksgiving feast with aunt Wanda. The girls get caught in their lie when Wanda brings Thanksgiving to them. The side story has Jeff and Gary looking for the perfect turkey, which involves a $400 turkey and a hungry subway mob. The frantic manner that Garth and Bynes carry themselves makes the storyline fun and the hunt for the perfect turkey is just so ridiculous that it is hard not to smile.

As for fun season one episodes, there are several good ones. "Roommates" is an enjoyable episode with Val and Holly still getting used to living with each other. Val gets fed up with Holly's lifestyle and gives her a list of rules that accent her OCD-like neuroticisms. "The Cheerleading Incident" is a hilarious episode with an awkward situation. Jeff accuses Val of not being spontaneous enough. In an effort to be wilder, she puts on a sex fantasy for Jeff that involves her high school cheerleading outfit. The only problem is that Jeff's mom Linda was present for the display. Val's awkwardness gives the episode an edge and gives Linda the wrong idea.

Another fun series of episodes comes in the final portions of the season, such as "Breakup", "Loose Lips", and "The Fix Up". In "The Breakup", it comes to light that Jeff and Val's relationship is not going in the right direction when Jeff declares he does not want to get married. Val isn't happy with it, and they split up. This breakup is Jeff's exit from the show. The other episodes key episodes about the breakup include "Loose Lips", Val and Jeff try to get back out in the dating world, and "The Fix Up", Holly sets Val up with someone, which is a disaster.

Overall, What I Like About You is an enjoyable family-oriented sitcom. The situations the characters get into are never really big or too dramatic, but usually have the gang getting mixed up in a pretty goofy situation. How well the leading performers carry their roles give the show its edge. The first season of What I Like About You is enjoyable and will provide many laughs. While it is not the strongest sitcom out there, it has more than enough appeal to keep viewers entertained.

Episode Guide

1. Pilot: Holly has six days to prove that she's the perfect roommate for Val. But it takes just one day to prove she isn't.
2. Spa Day: Ah, a day at the spa! Peace, tranquility, a chance to renew and refresh - unless you've brought Holly along.
3. Roommates: You gotta have chart. Val hopes a G.R.C. - a God Roommate Chart - will curb Holly's exuberance.
4. The Teddy Bear: It's finally come to this. Holly and Val fight over a male - a beloved childhood teddy bear named Lorenzo.
5. Cool Older Sister: "I'm soooo not a mom." Val tries to play it cool when Holly takes offfor an overnight party.
6. The Parrot Trap: Watch the birdie. Holly's latest crush, an animal rights activist, leaves a "liberated" parrot in her care.
7. Tankini: Holly tries to get Gary and her long-time buddy Samantha to be friends. And, wow, does it work!
8. Copy That: Oops. Jeff's "how-tos" on handling guys teach Holly how to make a fool of herself.
9. Thanksgiving: The holiday is a real turkey when the sisters' little white lie turns into a big fat family hassle.
10. The Party: The university of life. Holly loses her heart to a college man with a reputation as a campus Casanova.
11. The Other Woman: A great idea...not! Val suggests that Holly, Gary and Jeff attend a concert with Jeff's super-hottie ex.
12. Girls' Night Out: Listen, mister, I love my sister. Val and Holly's night on the town is a blast...until they meet a handsome hunk.
13. The Cheerleading Incident: When Jeff's impressed mother mistakes Val for a free spirit, Val tries to live up (and live it up) to her expectations.
14. The Game: How ot succeed in business. Holly has some great ideas - she thinks - to help her sister snag a promotion.
15. Valentine's Day: For Gary's Valentine's date, he'll need flowers, diner reservations...and Holly along for moral support.
16. Holly's First Job: I'll have the risotto with a side order of chaos. Jeff hires Holly as a waitress at his restaurant.
17. The Breakup: When the Val-and-Jeff romance crashes and burns, Val seems OK. Totally OK. Too OK.
18. Dude, Where's Val's Car?: It's ditch day, but Holly and Henry don't have transportation to the beach...unless they "borrow" Val's car.
19. Loose Lips: It's a jungle out there. Both Val and Jeff charge back into the social scene, with awkward results.
20. The Fix Up: Sound advice for Val: When you start dating again, don't rely on Holly as a matchmaker.
21. Tyler v. World: When Holly gets evicted, the sisters go apartment hunting. But it's easier to find a unicorn than a decent place to rent.
22. The Talk: The birds, the bees and the Tylers. Val finds Holly in her bedroom with Henry and decides it's time for a little talk.

The DVD

Video:
The video is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture quality for this transfer is pretty good. There are some evident compression artifacts, but nothing really bad.

Audio:
The audio track supplied with this release comes in English 2.0 stereo sound. It sounds good with dialogue easy to hear and no noticeable audio distortions. There is also support for closed captioning and French subtitles.

Extras:
What I Like About You: The Complete First Season comes with a single extra. "Gag Reel" (12:08) is your run-of-the-mill bloopers footage with the cast goofing around, messing up lines, and acting silly.

Final Thoughts:
What I Like About You is a sitcom about two sisters, a decade apart in age, who live together. The show's first season details their daily lives with best friends in a variety of situations that entail romantic relationships, work, friends, and more. The characters perform well in their roles (especially Jenny Garth) and help produce some hilarious light-hearted comedy that is perfect for all audiences. It comes Recommended.

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