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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Norm – The Complete Series (1999 – 2001/Shout! Factory DVD Set)

Norm – The Complete Series (1999 – 2001/Shout! Factory DVD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: C+



Norm MacDonald was so funny on Saturday Night Live like his contemporaries used to be when the show was funny so many years ago (up to Tina Fey’s time), but like so many who left, they landed up doing bad films or safe TV situation comedies.  In his case, Norm (also known as The Norm Show) was another one of those safe comedies that did not work, even though he is comically gifted and his co-stars (like Faith Ford of Murphy Brown and Laurie Metcalf of Roseanne) were a plus, that could only make the show work so well in the face of limited teleplays.


The result was a three-season run (54 half-hours on 8 DVDs) now available in The Complete Series from Shout! Factory.  MacDonald plays a former Hockey player thrown out of the game for life because he did not pay taxes and this became a scandal when he also had a major gambling problem, so now he is stuck as a social worker, which he may not be totally qualified to be.  You can predict much of what follows, including his encounters with eccentric clients (almost stereotypical) and other people he is always at odds with.  I like MacDonald, but this is not very memorable overall, despite everyone’s efforts, but the show deserves to be out on DVD and this is a nice set.


The 1.33 X 1 image may be shot on film, but it is finished on analog NTSC videotape and that results in softness, some aliasing and color limits that are not as bad as TV broadcasts, but could be better.  At least some money was spent on the look of the show.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is just fine for a joke-based show with no sonic aspirations and the combination is just fine and pretty much what we expected.  Extras include a booklet with episode info and commentary tracks on select shows by MacDonald and Writer/Producer Bruce Helford,



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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