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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > My Two Dads – The Complete First Season (1987 – 88/Shout! Factory DVD)

My Two Dads – The Complete First Season (1987 – 88/Shout! Factory DVD)


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



Paul Riser’s star was on the climb around the time he made James Cameron’s Aliens (1986) and Greg Evigan was even more popular and well-known at the time though his role as a truck driver in the hit series BJ & The Bear and it’s spin-off, The Misadventures Of Sheriff Lobo.  Since their peak hits missed each other, with Riser having a bigger hit with Mad About You, TV scholars may wonder how the two stars ever had a TV show together at all.  What would they have in common?  The resulting show, My Two Dads, is not even possible anymore.


The pilot begins with the reading of a Will attended by three-piece suited riser, thinking he will be getting money of some kind from an old girlfriend.  Suddenly, a laid back guy (Evigan) walks through the door for the same reading.  Turns out he was also an old boyfriend and around the same time.  Turns out the late girlfriend had a daughter (Staci Keanan, later of Step By Step) and did not know who the father was.  Without DNA tests as we now have them, the two are forced to agree to raise her after initial personality conflicts.


We’ll never see this show remade unless it is a period piece, which is good because it is not a great sitcom, yet far from the worst of its time.  The cast has some chemistry and it is amusing to watch the early shows as the producers have more trouble than usual settling on how to explain the set-up.  Part of the problem might be homophobia (yes, you could remake it if it had a gay male couple, but that would be a totally different show and situation) resurgent in the 1980s (especially on TV) and its media.


That is why former football player Dick Butkus (doing some strange things in his role) may have been added to the cast later in the season.  Fortunately, the show is not hatemongering or obsessed with such stupidity, so it becomes just another lite 1980s sitcom.  Helping matters is Florence Stanley, a fine character actress already well-known as Abe Vigoda’s wife on Barney Miller and its spin-off, Fish.  She plays a judge who is the reader of the Will and one who keeps tabs on matters to protect the orphaned daughter in case something goes wrong.  Also present is a very young Giovanni (written only as Vanni) Ribisi as a first boyfriend in the middle of the 22 half-hour episodes here on 3 DVDs that are unintentionally interesting, no mater how bad.


The 1.33 X 1 image is soft and looks like second-generation copies off of the NTSC analog video masters, including aliasing errors, especially when video effects are used in the credits.  Those credits were changed around a few times, which you can see on DVD 1.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is better, but still somewhat compressed.  Extras include a new interview with Evigan and Keanan looking back on the show.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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