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The Chris Elliott comedy that ran from 1990-1992 is wild, hare-brained, and somehow as lovable as ever on this Complete Series TV-on-DVD set....
Shout! Factory / 840 Minutes / 1990-1992 / Street Date: September 18, 2012
TV-on-DVD is a dying breed - in these days of streaming immediacy and the rare advent for high-def crystallization, multi-disc standard-def sets like Get a Life: The Complete Series are a mixed bag. Luckily, though, this seriously beloved Chris Elliott series is a perfect match for the soon-to-be-antiquated format.
Get a Life is lovably, weirdly lo-fi in its sensibilities. As a man-child trying to infuse his increasingly dull thirtysomething life with meaning (however small), Chris Elliott's well-meaning but ultimately clueless paperboy is a deeply flawed yet nerdily understandable lightning rod at the center of the show. Many of the show's sitcom trappings are difficult to swallow - to really get to the intellectual and comic heft of Get a Life, watch some of its episodes without a laugh track (you have the option on a handful of them) - but Get a Life remains, twenty years later, a cranky, weird, somehow beautiful lark of a short-lived series.
And Shout! Factory has done a great job bringing encyclopedic amounts of background material to each episode - mostly thanks to the rampant participation of producer David Mirkin - so in terms of nostalgic collectors who want a chance to soak up as much early-90s Elliott as possible, this compilation absolutely allows for that. It's tough to conceptualize spending $60 for a standard-def box set these days - high-def as a resource has made us a bit finicky in that regard - but for lack of a better phrase, I laughed my ass off more than I expected in rewatching these episodes. Somehow, even in DVD quality, that's enough.