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STUDIO: Shout Factory
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 900 minutes
Ferris Bueller clone gets television show.
Corin Nemec, Billy Jayne, Troy W. Slaten, Melanie Chartoff and Abraham Benrubi
The early 90s on FOX was youth culture central. The kids from West Beverly High held court, as all other shows were designed to buff the primetime darlings and offer new venues for the various kid actors that were too ugly for feature films. Parker Lewis Can’t Lose was born as a 1990 filler program that could combine the style of Ferris Bueller with the budget of primetime schlock. This is the show that introduced America to Corin Nemec and Abraham Benrubi. Plus, it gave us another venue for Timothy Stack to somehow keep working.
Somebody gonna get raped.
Parker Lewis is Ferris Bueller’s dim-witted Florida cousin. He’s a High School junior that’s not quite the legendary figure that a Bueller might be in Chicago. Lewis is something more pedestrian. A likeable schlub who gets past his decent Rogues’ gallery with the assistance of his two pals. Jerry is the pet nerd who possesses a trench coat that holds almost everything in existence. Only Jerry knows where he keeps the AK that will one day instill his anger upon the masses at Santo Domingo High. Mikey is the big dumb kid that plays off of Parker’s hair-brained schemes.
He’ll do anything to bang Molly Ringwald. Hell, he’ll even help Satan.
Then, there’s Kubiac. Kubiac is the giant force of nature that can stomp, kill and maim anything smaller than him. A couple of episodes are dedicated to the trio’s attempts to domesticate the giant. Much like the noble Buffalo of the American Plains, Kube would wander in and out of Parker’s life as a reminder of the natural forces that remain out of his control. Sure, he has a cell phone the size of a brick and he packs an Atari Lynx in his locker. But, can he tame such majestic beauty that is Kubiac?
Thor’s biggest fan.
The supporting cast was pretty decent and offered a wide spectrum of emotion. There was Parker’s sister Shelly who was mean and manipulative. There was Principal Musso and Student Assistant Lemmer who were both mean and manipulative. Then, there were the Lewis parents who were goofy and so far behind their children’s curve. You might remember Shelly Lewis (Maia Brewton) from similar period fare. You might also live in the present and have forgotten the blip that was her career.
I’d hit it like my name was Bob Reynolds.
The guest stars were a decent mix of young talent and FOX cross-promotion. Josh Lucas, A.J. Langer, Milla Jovovich, that one chick from ALF and even Donny Osmond put in some time in the world of Parker Lewis. Hell, they even managed to work in a cameo for David Faustino during the first month of airing. That takes me back. Remember when Married with Children was a monster hit? That show had realistic teens on it. Dumb and horny pre-adults desperately trying to find something warm to screw. Simplicity is beautiful.
If you’ve got eyes, then you’re probably reading this. Also, you might notice that the video quality is barely a step above VHS. That’s to be expected for a sitcom from the early 1990s. What sucks is that the video transfer is just going to get worse and worse, as the bit-rates go up on future mediums. Can the show be saved with a remaster? Who would spend the time and money remastering it? These are questions for someone else.
I don’t care about the Blossom hat, I’d still crush it.
The DVD is plagued with the aforementioned A/V Quality problems. Plus, the special features are a little lackluster and don’t really do much to support the main feature. If you’re buying this release out of nostalgia, then you will be disappointed. What will help is if you’ve actually maintained a love for sitcoms from this period. If that’s the case, I applaud your dedication to such a tired form of comedy.
DVD release is surprisingly decent when compared to some of Shout Factory’s other TV on DVD offerings. The featurette is a nice look back at the show and the people that are still willing to talk about it on camera. What makes the set are the episode-specific commentaries that spotlight the showrunners’ vision for this show about a teenager getting what he wants. The actors that played the Lewis family also get an episode commentary, but that’s mainly a chance for the gang to pat themselves on the back. If you ever cared about a show that you haven’t seen in 15 years, then you’ll want to buy this release.