Studio: BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT / DISNEY
Year: Movie: 2008
Film Length: 517 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.78:1),
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: French, Spanish
The Show – 2 1/2 out of 5
I recently submitted a review for “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and one of the things I had mentioned in the review was that I am clearly not the core demographic for that show. After having watched “Greek: Chapter Two” (which appears to be the second half of the first season that airs on ABC Family along with “Secret Life”), it’s safe to say that I am also not the demographic for this show either. But that's not to say I'm not capable of reviewing it without being impartial. But clearly, this is a show for teenage girls, pure and simple. “Greek” isn’t really about the college experience… It’s more of a soap opera about Ken’s and Barbies (and the obigatory geek here or there) dating one another, while in college.
Chapter Two begins at the beginning of the second semester as Rusty Cartwright (Jacob Zachar, looking like a young Tate Donovan) continues his freshman year at Cyprus-Rhodes University as a pledge of Kappa Tau, the “Animal House” (and I use that term loosely here… the brothers of Delta House would destroy these pansies) on campus which is led by Cappie (Scott Michael Foster) who is the ex-boyfriend of Rusty’s older sister, Casey (Spenser Grammer, daughter of actor Kelsey Grammer), who has just been appointed interim president of Zeta Beta Zeta, that is now on probation. Rusty, having just broken up with his first girlfriend, is having a hard time adjusting to single life and balancing his loyalties between his friends and his fraternity brothers. Casey is also having “on again, off again” relationship with Evan Chambers (Jake McDorman), president of Omega Chi, the rich, elite fraternity on campus and has a rivalry with Kappa Tau. Have I lost you yet? Throw in Rusty’s nerdy anti-fraternity roommate, Dale (played by Sex Drive star Clark Duke, the best and funniest actor in this series, as far as I'm concerned) and a politically correct subplot (in an attempt to be timely) about an Omega Chi pledge who comes out of the closet… and, well… you get the picture.
Suffice it to say that while ABC Family's “Secret Life of the American Teenager” attempts to create a realistic depiction of a teenage girl dealing with coming of age and an unexpected pregnancy, “Greek” just comes off exceptionally unrealistic (when compared to the much better writing of "Secret Life") and panders to it’s core audience, which is likely thirteen and fourteen year old girls. Call me crazy, but having graduated college last decade and having pledged and been a member of a fraternity, this is arguably one of the most unrealistic depictions of college life ever committed to celluloid and hardly resembles any realistic college experience in any way (In a scene when the president of Kappa Tau tries to speak to pledge Rusty about his broken heart, I laughed out loud.). I’d argue that the original “Beverly Hills: 90210” had a more realistic depiction of the college experience than this show does.
The Video – 5 out of 5
Using my Sony PS3 Blu-Ray player, kicking up the standard DVD up to 1080P, the image was beautiful. At times, it almost looked like an HD image with zero signs of edge enhancement or noise of any kind. Accurate flesh tones, bright colors, deep blacks and sharp as a tack. All television shows on DVD should look this good.
The Audio / Sound – 3 out of 5
The audio in this series is pretty much identical to the DVD release of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”. It wasn’t that the sound was bad in any way, it’s just that given the limitations of the surroundings (fraternity and sorority houses, college campus, dorm rooms, etc…) there just isn’t much here to show off. Again, most of the action in the 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack came through the center channel, with little us of LFEs. The dialogue was free and clear of distortion and the soundstage perked up during party scenes, scenes with bands, a carnival or when the action was punctuated with hit music by some of today’s top artists including “The Plain White T’s” (who make an appearance in the episode "A New Normal"). While it was more than adequate, it’s certainly not a reference disc, nor was it meant to be.
The Extra's – 3 out of 5
Commentaries on “New Normal” with Executive producer Patrick Sean Smith and actors Amber Stevens, Senta Moses and Paul James.
There is also a collection of trailers at the beginning of disc one for Swing Vote (2:35.1 anamorphic), “Lost: The Complete Fourth Season” (1:33.1 full-frame), “Scrubs: The Complete Seventh Season” (1:33.1 full frame).
Commentaries on episodes, “Freshman Daze” with Executive Producer Lloyd Segan and actors Spencer Grammer, Scott Foster, Tiffany DuPont & Jake McDorman and “47 Hours & 11 Minutes” with Co-Executive producers Shawn Piller & Patrick Sean Smith and actors Jacob Zachar & Dilshad Vadsaria
“BLOOPERS” (1:78.1 anamorphic widescreen, 3:00) Hilarity from the cast screwing up during and between takes.
"FLASHBACK EPISODE: BEFORE IT BEGINS” (1:78.1 anamorphic widescreen, 10:28) The cast, producers and director discuss the “Freshman Daze” episode that shows the origins of the characters.
“NATURAL DISASTER by THE PLAIN WHITE T’s” (1:85.1 non-anamorphic widescreen, 4:00) Music video
“SNEAK PEEKS” Trailers on disc three (three of which are repeated from disc one) that can be played individually or in a “Play All” feature for Swing Vote (2:35.1 anamorphic), “Lost: The Complete Fourth Season” (1:33.1 full-frame), “Scrubs: The Complete Seventh Season” (1:33.1 full frame), “Kyle XY: All New Season Coming in January” (1:33.1 full frame), “The Secret Life of the American Teenager: All New Season in 2009”, (1:33.1 full frame).
The disc also comes with a free download from the Plain White T’s song “Meet Me in California”.
If you are a girl between the ages of 12 – 16, then this series is for you and you should buy it! For everyone else, although technically, these are amazing transfers for a standard DVD, if you are really looking for a fun DVD to watch about the college experience, I recommend you pass on this one and pick up Animal House or PCU. They aren’t realistic either, but much more fun to watch.
Overall Score – 2 ½ out of 5
Release Date: December 30, 2008
My DVD Collection: DVD Profiler, by Invelos Software, Inc.