A complete series collection of Just Shoot Me! arrives on DVD for the first time much to the joy of fans. This series, which ran for seven seasons, from 1997-2003 is a sitcom from executive producers Brad Grey (The Departed, The Sopranos), Steven Levitan (Modern Family, Wings), and Bernie Brillstein (Ghostbusters, Alf), and it was created by Steven Levitan (Modern Family). The comedy tackles the workplace through the exploration of the behind-the-scenes of a fashion magazine. It's your typical fashion magazine covering the latest fashion trends, beauty tips, models, and dating advice, and the show is a comedic spin on the fashion world and the way magazines are created.
The series revolves around the eccentric employees who work for Blush fashion magazine. One such employee is Maya Gallo (Laura San Giacomo), the daughter of the magazine executive Jack Gallo (George Segal). Maya, upon losing her editorial job, goes to work for Blush as head of articles. Though the two have been apart for many years (and haven't been all that close to each other) they begin working together (and reconnecting to each other over the course of the series).
Maya's attempts to make the magazine more "serious" with more in-depth articles and topics is met with initial dismay from the others working for Blush. She starts to oversee all the writing for Blush. Her goal? To help shake up the fashion industry.
Yet Maya finds it isn't all that easy amongst her eccentric co-workers, including Nina Van Horn (Wendie Malick), a ex-model turned fashion director at the magazine (overseeing the focus the magazine has on the latest trends, designers, and fashions), Elliot DiMauro (Enrico Colantoni), the magazine's main fashion photographer (who tends to date the models), and Dennis Finch (David Spade), the secretary for magazine boss Jack Gallo... though Finch acts more like a personal assistant who helps with Jack's personal matters (like selecting his golf clubs and ordering toy pens) more often than business matters.
As the series revolves around a fashion magazine, many episodes feature storylines revolving around the fashion industry. One particularly hilarious and classic episode features comedian Dana Carvey as a world-renowned fashion designer Oskar Milos. Maya accidentally insults his work and causes an issue with Milos withdrawing advertising for Blush magazine. As Maya try's solving the problem, the comedic eccentricities of Milos become increasingly humorous.
One of my favorite episodes of the series includes guest Mark Hammill (a.k.a. Luke Skywalker) playing himself, as he goes about annoying Finch during his workday with stupid questions to get back at him (and other Star Wars fans) for asking him non-stop Star Wars questions when meeting him. It's a classic episode and one which seems even funnier now that Star Wars and Luke Skywalker's saga is back. Another noteworthy guest for the series was found in David Cross, who plays Elliot DiMauro's obnoxious and troublemaking brother.
The series had a wide range of guests (from famous comedians to celebrity models) with some highlights being appearances from Tyra Banks, Gina Gershon, Carmen Electra, Steve Carell, Bob Odenkirk, George Lucas, Melissa Joan Hart, Ashton Kutcher, Judy Greer, Lucy Lawless, Brooke Shields, David Hasselhoff, Megan Mullally, Fred Willard, and Kelsey Grammer (who narrates a special Christmas episode).
This is a high quality sitcom with a lot of excellent aspects to the production behind-the-scenes. As a fashion-centric TV series, it was important to have good fashion highlighted throughout. Series costumes designed by Katie Sparks (Arrested Development) and Christy Ito (Who's the Boss?) are excellent for the main characters. The make-up by Bruce Grayson (NewsRadio) and hair styling by Maria Valdivia (NewsRadio) and Kim Urgel (Hot in Cleveland) contribute to the fashion-world sensibility as well. The cinematography by Stephen G. Shank (Hell to Pay, 21 and a Wake Up) is better than many sitcom series of the same time period and the series always has a consistent, high quality look to the cinematography.
Just Shoot Me! is a workplace comedy with funny dialogue throughout, entertaining characters, and hilarious situations. Created by Steven Levitan (Modern Family), Just Shoot Me! is a series that is often very funny, charming, and highly entertaining. Levitan wrote for the series alongside fellow head-writers Sivert Glarum, Michael Jamin, and Pam Brady. The writing team assembled for the sitcom did a good job of poking fun at the fashion world while also being strong at having entertaining characters explored. It is in a somewhat similar comedic style to Modern Family but with the primary emphasis being more on co-workers at the Blush fashion magazine.
Pamela Fryman (How I Met Your Mother, Frasier) directed 92 episodes of the series run. As head director, Fryman did much to bring forth great charisma from the ensemble cast. This is certainly one of the greatest strengths of the series: the characters. The cast did a great job with Just Shoot Me! and made such good contributions that it helped the series be more enjoyable as a result.
For fans of television sitcoms, Just Shoot Me! was one of the more memorable and enjoyable series from its time-period. The cast made it memorable and engaging while the writing and directing helped to keep things entertaining. The series was a strong sitcom effort which is worth revisiting because of the funny situations and the offbeat cast. Whether or not one is particularly interested in the fashion world, Just Shoot Me! is worth checking out for comedy fans.
Just Shoot Me! The Complete Series arrives on DVD from Shout! Factory. The series is presented in the1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. This preserves the original television broadcast presentation. Early episodes of the series look close to the original DVD releases so fans will be fine trading up to the new set: which has a nice look for a TV series of the era. The release has decent colors, clarity, and detail for a show of its age. While it won't look as sleek as modern television productions do today it's still a good quality release which won't leave fans of the sitcom feeling disappointed.
The DVD release includes standard English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio. This is a decent sound presentation which preserves the original sound design of the series. While it's not too flashy or exciting (without surround sound) it sounds pretty decent for a sitcom series. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The sound effects and music are well utilized. It's a average sounding sitcom sound mix but it never has disappointing fidelity nor does it sound overly harsh or tiny.
Includes extras from Sony's original season sets on DVD as follows.
Seasons 1 and 2 Extras:
Always in Fashion: A Conversation with Creator Steven Levitan and The Cast of Just Shoot Me! (27 min.) features interviews with creator Levitan and cast members Laura San Giacomo, Enrico Colantoni, Wendie Malick, David Spade, and George Segal. The cast of the series reminiscences on some of their favorite episodes and aspects of the series. They also discuss their characters and roles on the show. Featuring clips from select episodes.
Audio Commentary tracks on the following episodes (with Creator Steven Levitan and writing producers): Back Issues, Lemon Wacky Hello, King Lear Jet, and My Dinner with Woody.
Photo Gallery features Blush issue covers featured during the series.
This is the first time the entire television series Just Shoot Me! has been available on DVD (and it still isn't on streaming services). For fans of the series, it's a great way to revisit the show and experience the comedic hijinks of these characters. Sony previously released the first 3 seasons on DVD but the rest of the series wasn't available on DVD until now.
For fans of the series, getting it all in one complete package is a great thing. Some fans have been waiting on a release like this for years. Shout! Factory has answered fans support with the complete series at last. A great gift for fans of the sitcom.