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It's pretty rare when a television series based on a hit film turns out to equal said film's success, with a lot of the time the result turning out to be an abysmal ratings failure. There are some exceptions to that of course with the best example being M*A*S*H*, which was a top ten program throughout the majority or its 11-year run, and you could lump more recent shows such as Stargate SG-1 and Friday Night Lights into that mix as well.

 Alice: The Complete First Season
Alice is another popular program that a lot of people seem to forget was actually based on an award winning film, the Martin Scorsese directed Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, and the CBS sitcom very loosely follows the plot of that film. Alice is the story of Alice Hyatt (Linda Lavin), a recently widowed single mom who finds herself working as a waitress at an Arizona diner while caring for her pre-teen son, Tommy (Philip McKeon). The inimitable Vic Tayback plays Mel, the gruff owner of the diner, while Beth Howland and Polly Holliday play her co-workers, neurotic Vera and no-nonsense Flo. This 3-Disc, 24- Episode Collection collects the entire first season of the Bicentennial-era break-out hit, including the rarely seen pilot episode featuring Alfred Lutter from Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Guest stars include Batman's Adam West, Victor Buono, and Dark Shadow's Lara Parker.

 Alice: The Complete First Season
Episodes included in the first season are:

Disc 1:
1. "Pilot" (24:12)
2. "Alice Gets a Pass" (25:33)
3. "A Piece of the Rock" (25:28)
4. "Pay the Fifty Dollars" (25:31)
5. "A Call to Arms" (25:00)
6. "The Last Review" (25:30)
7. "Sex Education" (25:25)
8. "Big Daddy Dawson's Coming" (25:30)

Disc 2:
9. "Good Night, Sweet Vera" (24:55)
10. "The Dilemma" (25:33)
11. "Who Killed Bugs Bunny?" (25:25)
12. "Mother-In-Law (Part 1)" (25:30)
13. "Mother-in-Law (Part 2)" (25:09)
14. "Vera's Mortician" (25:26)
15. "Mel's in Love" (25:34)
16. "The Accident" (25:32)

Disc 3:
17. "The Hex" (25:29)
18. "The Failure" (25:29)
19. "The Pain of No Return" (25:27)
20. "The Odd Couple" (25:29)
21. "A Night to Remember" (25:03)
22. "Mel's Cup" (25:14)
23. "The Bundle" (25:05)
24. "Mel's Happy Burger" (25:32)

 Alice: The Complete First Season
Video, Audio and Extras
Warner Home Video presents Alice on DVD in its originally televised 1.33:1 aspect ratio, and the resulting transfers won't help anyone mistake it for a more recent television program. Originally shot on video, Alice's video is actually right in lime with a lot of other television programs that have found their way to DVD over the years, so while it's not great to look at and its quality varies throughout it's still very watchable and the best the program is ever likely to look on home video. The Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono is serviceable and gets the point across so to speak--you aren't going to be wowed by the presentation but it's true to its origins and always clear and understandable with only minor defects to be found here and there. There aren't really any extras to be found in the set, unless you count the rarely seen pilot episode as an extra. The DVD's menu allows for each episode to be selected separately or you can select the "Play All" option and rip through every episode without touching the remote again.

 Alice: The Complete First Season
Overall
It had been a number of years since I'd seen Alice since it seems as if it never runs in syndication anymore and it's one of the most popular shows to hold out this long without substantial DVD release. I was really too young to watch it during its original run and time slot, but I always enjoyed catching it in reruns in late afternoons and was happy to learn that it was finally coming to DVD. I'm glad to say that even though the show is very atypical of sitcoms from the '70s and '80s with their limited sets and canned laughter that the show holds up pretty well due to some excellent acting from the ensemble cast and some good, funny writing. Warner Home Video's three-disc set featuring the complete first season is largely typical of DVD releases for shows from this era with average video and audio that reveal the show's age and no extras. Overall fans of the series might be disappointed with the lack of special features but should be pleased with the presentation.

Alice: The Complete First Season - Kiss My Grits


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