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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > The New Adventures Of The Old Christine – The Complete First Season (Warner DVD)

The New Adventures Of The Old Christine – The Complete First Season (Warner DVD)


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



When you are an established movie star, it is easy to have more hits, but when you are an established TV star, you can get stuck in one role and never escape that situation.  Many TV stars have tried for new success in both mediums and fallen on their faces, as the cast of the overrated Friends continue to prove again and again and again.  It does not help when they continue to play the same role under new names, which is why they ought to consult Julia Louis-Dreyfus.


Originally a cast member of Saturday Night Live, where she was grossly underused, she finally found paydirt as the crux of the success of Seinfeld as Elaine.  It was a role that put her in the same position historically as Lucille Ball, Marlo Thomas, Mary Tyler Moore, Jean Stapleton, Carol Burnett, Isabel Sanford and Tracy Ullman as the comedienne of the moment.  Like those great talents, she had even more to offer and with her new hit TV comedy The New Adventures Of The Old Christine may have broken the typecast barrier and proven to be the greatest TV funny lady in a generation.


As the recently divorced title character, single mother trying to get the best for her son Ritchie (Trevor Gagnon) and now lives along with her brother (Hamlisch Linklater) who lives in the house in the back.  Her ex (Clark Gregg) is dating a new young lady (Emily Rutherford) who happens to share her first name (thus, the shows somewhat ironic title) and that is just the beginning of what she has to juggle.  The 13 shows here are some of the funniest we have seen come from American TV in a very long time, with some of the most progressive humor from a live action sitcom in years.  Bolder in ways than her previous hit show, it joins 30 Rock as a pair of huge surprise sitcoms that are among the best the networks have recently featured.


There is chemistry in the cast, solid teleplay writing and a mix of energy and timing that makes each show really move the way sitcoms used to at their best.  But it is ultimately Louis-Dreyfus reinventing herself enough to do something new, yet be enough of herself to remain appealing.  No wonder it is an instant critical and commercial success.  This is also the best debut season of a U.S. sitcom in so long, the “golden age” label recent overrated U.S. shows were being given may seem like a joke if this is any evidence of a new surge of great programming we might finally be getting.


We don’t want to get our hopes up, but after seeing these shows, you would too.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image has more softness than expected and I would have liked, as well as motion blur, but its other consistencies help that out and make the flaws more tolerable.  However, I expect this to be one of Warner’s TV on Blu-ray releases soon enough and for a new show, would be the best since Smallville.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not very active, sticking the dialogue more in the center channel than one would like, but is a clean new recording and you can hear all the jokes just fine.  Extras include deleted/unaired scenes on both discs, a gag reel and interview featurette called The Real Christine.


The second season arrived without any strikes getting in the way and you can read about it at this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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