DVD Review: Kate & Allie, seasons 1 and 2
This review is for the Canadian DVD release, which has season 1 (6 episodes) and season 2 (22 episodes). The American version only includes the first season (though the American release does have two things missing from the Canadian version: an interview with Susan Saint James and writer Bill Persky, and a gag reel).
Kate & Allie is one of my favorite shows. Yeah, I know, what's a 41 year-old guy doing loving some show about two divorced women raising their families together? The show was not only well-written and cast (Susan Saint James, Jane Curtin, Allison Smith, Ari Meyers, and Fred Koehler), but it had a lot of smart things to say about family, relationships, and living in New York City (the show was one of the few sitcoms actually filmed in New York, at the Ed Sullivan Theater).
Allie Lowell has just divorced her husband, Charles, so she moves from Connecticut to New York City with her young son Chip and daugther Jennie and moves in with her best friend Kate McArdle and her daughter Emma. The series depicts Allie trying to get used to not only being a single mom again but also how two different families can learn to live with each other.
Some cool guest stars in this set. In the first episode, Allie goes on a date with Kelsey Grammer, and I think this was just before he joined Cheers. Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me) plays Charles' new girlfriend, Claire. Other guest stars include John Heard and Jonathan Brandis.
Picture/Sound Quality: Both are great.
Packaging: Pretty simple. Two separate cases: one for season one and some of season two, and the other with the rest of season two. No other booklets or flyers or paperwork inside at all.
Extras: The American version has the interviews and gag reel I mentioned and a bonus second season episode. The Canadian version has an episode of...Gimme A Break?! Um, OK.
I've been reading some of the reviews at Amazon, and some of the reviewers mention that the last scene of each episode, which had Kate and Allie talking with each other about the episode, usually over coffee, were missing from the DVDs because they were the syndicated versions of the episodes. But I don't find that on the Canadian version. Those scenes are intact (in fact, some of the endings I've never even seen before, so that was a cool find), so maybe it's the American version that does this?
I say spend the money and get the Canadian version because it has the first two seasons of the show. Though I'd love to hear how the extras are on the American version. Has anyone out there seen the interviews and the gag reel? Maybe it might be worth buying both versions.