'What About Brian - The Complete Series'
(Barry Watson, Matthew Davis, et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / (2006) 2007 / BVHE)
Overview: They are people you know, juggling life and love just as you do. From the producers of Lost and Alias comes the witty and seductive drama The Chicago Tribune calls "breezy, bittersweet and infectious." Step into the middle of a circle of friends who experience the world from the inside out. Trying to find your way in the cut-throat city of Los Angeles can break the strongest soul.
DVD Verdict: This series initially started two different ways: J.J. Abrams (creator of "Lost" and "Alias") trying to go back to his roots of simple relationship drama (year ago he created the WB hit "Felicity"); as well as Jeff Judah and Jason Katism (of "Life as We Know It" and "Freaks and Geeks" fame) trying to produce a show with their signature quirks, yet one with a premise appealing enough were they wouldn't get cancelled after 13 episodes. And so "What about Brian" was born.
The show was simple enough: Brian (Barry Watson from "7th Heaven") is a serial-dater that has never been able to keep a girlfriend around longer than several weeks. Upon the engagement of his best-friend he finds himself as a 7th-wheel among his closest friends (including his college roommate/business partner and his much-older sister). The series follows as Brian tries to search out love, as well as the various romantic entanglements/problems that his various friends find themselves in such as: affairs, new business ventures, single-parenthood, engagement, etc.. Essentially the show was about a group of early thirty-something's trying to not only make their mark on the world, but trying to share their success with "that someone special" and all the hilarity and heartache that comes with the territory.
Unfortunately for the creators and ABC, while the premise was interesting, the actors/characters likable, their was always something missing from the series. That special SPARK that a series needs in order to find itself on the lineup for the better part of a decade was missing. After airing 6 our of the produced 8 for its first season the network pulled the show, re-staffed a majority of the producers/writers, fired an actors/hired three additional actors... basically all in an effort to make the show what it could be. And while yes, the second season is an immensely pleasing 19-episode arc ultimately the series was doomed from the beginning. And like similar shows of the past (such as "once and again" which had many of the same producers) the show was never able to find a following and it was canceled due to low-ratings.
That is not to say the show is bad in any way. In fact it's highly enjoyable, its just easy to tell why people would prefer to watch it in one or two sittings, vs. weekly over the course of a year. Presented here on 5 DVDs are all 25 aired episodes (the 2 unaired episodes leftover from season 1 are not included) along with deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes interviews. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
24 episodes from seasons 1 and 2 on five discs
Exclusive unaired episode: What Happens in Vegas, with introduction by show creator Dana Stevens
Calling All Friends: The Story of What About Brian
What About 3: The Season that Never Was
Episode commentary by writer-director Dana Stevens