STUDIO: Paramount
MSRP: $36.98
RATED: Not Rated

The Pitch

He’s a pissed off doctor that just wants people to see things his way. Get me The Danson!

The Humans

Ted Danson, Alex Desert, Terry Farrell, Hattie Winston, Shawnee Smith, Alice Krige and Dick Van Dyke

This might seem like a dull place, but when the lights go out…it gets all Yuzna up in this bitch.

The Nutshell

Becker has its first season arrive on DVD. Dr. John Becker (Ted Danson) operates a small medical practice in the Bronx. He shares a softer side with his nurse Margaret (Hattie Winston) and his receptionist Linda (Shawnee Smith). If that wasn’t enough to fill twenty-two minutes, he stops by a local diner and meets with his pals Reggie (Terry Farrell) and Jake (Alex Desert). Laughs are had, as guest stars stop by. This shit lasted for six years. But, that was on CBS. Only old people watch CBS.

I had a joke about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome prepared, but I didn’t want to piss of the legions of Michael Berryman fans again.

The Lowdown

Becker isn’t anything new. The sitcom archetype of the loveable curmudgeon was growing old when we were introduced to George Jefferson. Dr. John Becker doesn’t care for change and it allows the show to venture into only two recurring locations. Those being his favorite diner and his place of business. Most of the comedy comes from Becker’s troubled interactions at these locales.

He cares for his patients, but he’s not above insulting them for keeping their diseases in check. But, before he can offend…the show puts him into a semi-romantic relationship with diner owner Reggie. This doesn’t really develop, as he has to contend with the daily hassles of life. I kept waiting to see the forced former Cheers star cameo, but it never came. I found out later from a fan of the series, that the former castmates did pop up in Season Four.

He hates things! Look at him, people! LOOK AT HIM!

I admire that fan’s endurance, as I had a hard time staying awake through this first year. Becker isn’t horrible, it’s just so damn bland. Nothing really happens and there’s no progression for the Dr. Becker character. Everybody exists to keep stale jokes and clichés rolling like tumbleweeds through your television. It makes me mad. Do you want to know why it makes me mad?

There used to be a Golden Age of Television. Hell, there were probably Silver and Bronze ages too. But, this recent batch of pablum over the last decade has just gone so far as to cement how boring the populace has become. Do you really find shit like Becker and The King of Queens funny? Really? There’s got to be something out there that can wean you off this stuff and make you demand more? But, I guess there’s a market for any turd packaged in the right manner.

This is what Lifeforce looks like on a network budget.

The Package

Becker – The First Season comes to DVD in a standard TV on DVD release. Paramount has seen fit to cram the entire season into a tiny keep case with no special features. I’m not that heartbroken about the lack of supplemental for this show. It’s just that they could’ve given some sort of bonus reason for viewers to pick this release up. It just feels lazy on the studio’s part.  

The A/V Quality is pretty impressive for a late 1990s television show. By that, I mean the digital transfer shows off healthy amounts of dirt and disarray. The Dolby 2.0 track is flat as hell and barely provides the boost needed for the dialogue to be heard. There’s no back channel action and everything is forced into the front. But, at least it isn’t edited.

Straight out of Saw 2 comes America’s Sweetheart Shawnee Smith

In the end, Becker – The First Season is pretty average for TV on DVD. You get several hours of content in exchange for any real material about the production. But, it’s disposable like that for a purpose. This DVD is a time-waster and there’s not a whole lot to it. So, take it for what you will.

The Anal Intruder took time to assemble, but the Danson had time. Oh, the Danson had time.

5.2 out of 10