“Can you trust someone who doesn’t binge on M&M’s?”
It’s the story of seven friends in the midst of varying degrees of life crises. thirtysomething: season one, volume two contains the last eleven episodes of the first season…
* “I’m in Love, I’m in Love, I’m in Love, I’m in Love, I’m in Love with a Wonderful Gynecologist”
* “Business as Usual”
* “Accounts Receivable”
* “Whose Forest Is This?”
* “Nancy’s First Date”
* “Born to Be Mild”
thirtysomething serves to remind us how far television has come. Watching people go through therapy, betray secrets at the drop of a hat, and the ancient relic of being ashamed of a tattoo…none of that would be particularly compelling television today, but it was a few decades ago.
This is a character study you’re going to respond to based on your current life position. If you feel nostalgia as someone who watched this when it first ran, or if you’re currently going through one of the crises the characters are (crumbling marriage, new baby, competition at work), you’ll see yourself in this series and respond positively. Otherwise, you’re going to see this as merely a dated show.
The presentation screams 1980s. Standard definition full frame video, unbalanced contrast with such dark black levels the characters fall into shadows with alarming frequency, grain like a VHS tape, and the same flat palette that populates most of the era’s films. The Dolby 2.0 stereo lacks depth, but it’s okay due in large part to the lack of a musical score behind the dialogue.
Important note: thirtysomething is also available in full season sets with bonus features. There are no special features here, which was a time saver for yours truly but a vote against a purchase.
If you’re interested in thirtysomething, get the whole season. The tech specs aren’t any better than the previous Shout! Factory release. This is nothing more than an attempt to get more money without offering an upgrade in…anything, really. Everything here has been downsized.