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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Reba - Complete First Season

Reba – The Complete First Season


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: B-



Reba McEntire may be the most important female vocalist of her generation in Country Music, but she is never pretentious or mean about it.  Besides her great vocal talents and personality, she has been very picky about deviating from the music she does so well.  Even her triumphant stage run of Annie Get Your Gun was a Musical and kept her enough in her element to excel and conquer.  In an age where the TV networks will cut a deal to get any big name in a situation comedy, her 2001 series Reba may have seemed like a bad move.


After watching the pilot show, I wondered what I was in for, but the show actually got better very quickly.  With a bit more honesty and edge than expected and certainly than we get on most such shows, Reba fares better than expected and why it did not do better than just moderate hit status shows how glutted with bad sitcoms TV has been stuck with.  Maybe it is the 25 years of Hee Haw or endlessly unnecessary seasons of Mama’s Family that have created an unfair stereotype of any show with mostly Southern characters on it, but this show is intelligent enough, playing on generational differences in dealing with how sex has become more open and how that affects raising children.  There is also her character’s divorce, her oldest daughter’s pregnancy to the high school quarterback who happens to be a nice guy and how the other two daughters deal with the insanity.  The first 22 shows, time slotted for half-hour commercial play, are on three double-sided DVDs as follows with commentaries by various cast and crew marked by an * + deleted scenes from episodes marked with an @:


1)     Pilot  *(guest star: Nell Carter)

2)     The Honeymoon’s Over or Now What?

3)     Someone’s At The Gyno With Reba @

4)     You Make Me Sick

5)     The Steaks Are High

6)     The Man & The Moon (guest star: Greg Evigan)

7)     Tea & Antipathy @

8)     Don’t Know Much About History

9)     Every Picture Tells A Story

10)  When Good Credit Goes Bad  *

11)  Meet The Parents

12)  A Mid-Semester Night’s Dream

13)  Brock’s Swan Song

14)  The Story Of A Divorce

15)  You May Kick The Bride  *@

16)  Vanny Dearest

17)  He’s Having A Baby

18)  She Works Hard For Their Money

19)  Labor Of Love (aka BJ Has Her Baby)

20)  The King & I

21)  Up A Treehouse Without A Paddle

22)  It Ain’t Over Till the Redhead Sings



The show is at least as funny as some of those titles.  Add that Reba herself likely had input and more women than usual were working behind the scenes and it is a fun, charming show where the characters actually retain their dignity.  If the thematics were not so new, you would swear this show was from the 1970s.  Another reason this show works is it is so well cast and there is some great chemistry here.  Listening to the commentaries, it sounds like it was a very fun show and atmosphere, despite the weekly grind.  By default, this is one of the best U.S. sitcoms in years and this is certainly one of the best shows The WB has offered to date.


Though the framing seems 16 X 9 friendly and the deleted scenes are framed that way, the main episodes are 1.33 X 1 throughout, looking good for a recent taped production.  The show is broadcast in digital High Definition and it looks like it may be shot that way from this first season, so these copies might me missing the HD sides, shown likely in a tunnel vision it is formatted for in lower-definition presentations like DVD.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has some Pro Logic surrounds, but they are limited to occasional music and a Reba performance at the end of the last episode.  Otherwise, the audio is clean and clear.  Besides the commentaries and deleted scenes, Side One of DVD 3 has McEntire and Melissa Peterman talking for 16:31 about their character’s conflicts on the show and a promo for McEntire’s Room To Breathe album, while the flip side offers a fun-if short bloopers/outtakes reel, Peterman touring the sets and dressing rooms of the show in On The Scene With Barbra Jean at just over 26 minutes and a very interesting 27:37 making of featurette on the show called Creating Reba.  They all confirm how good the show is behind the scenes and how much of it is getting into the episodes.  If you want a good laugh, Reba – The Complete First Season is a good place to start.  As of this posting, the show is halfway through its fourth season, so it is a hit and this DVD set could bring it much more of the audience it deserves.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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