While practically every studio is digging into their vaults trying to find extra revenue from older television series, there have been few worth releasing, at least due to the quality of the content. “SPIN CITY” is one of the rare exceptions. While we’re still disappointed that DREAMWORKS has not chosen to release entire seasons of the show, the writing, acting, and general chemistry between the cast of “SPIN CITY”, is so refreshing, we’ll take whatever we can get!
DREAMWORKS has released two separate volumes. Each volume consists of what are allegedly Michael J. Fox’s personal favorites. Unfortunately, this means no appearances from Denise Richards, whom only appeared in later(post Fox) years. However, we do get to see Heidi Klum, appearing in a couple of ingenious episodes in Volume 2.
“VOLUME 1” includes the pilot along with ten other episodes. We’re in for great viewing here, with guest appearances from Woody Harrelson, Meradith Baxter Birney, and more! While “WEST WING” may be the best political drama, “SPIN CITY” is most likely the best political comedy. Of course, the stories are well-crafted, but the supporting cast, including Richard Kind, is outstanding!
When one sees so much mindless, stale material on television today, simply throwing in the dvd and watching an episode like “MIRACLE NEAR 34th STREET” and laughing out loud, may temporarily instill some faith in the medium.
”VOLUME 2” offers more great writing, as well as the beautiful Alyssa Milano appearing in the hilarious episode, “THE SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY”. The writing for this episode in which Milano plays the mayor’s daughter, is as good as the show ever gets, and Ms. Milano’s performance leaves the viewer just wishing she’d return for many more.
Then, of course, are guest appearances from Heidi Klum as herself, and, she’s not only pleasing to watch, but quite good in her role, as well!
Perhaps the best performance of the season, came from Lou Diamond Phillips, appearing as a friend of Mike’s, whom has decided to become open about his homosexuality, with funny and moving results.
Fans of the series will also be pleased that Fox’s last two appearances on the show are offered here as well.
DREAMWORKS has preserved the correct 1.33:1 aspect ratio of the series. Colors are solid, and at times, even more vibrant than in the original airings. Contrast is also impressive, with deep blacks and grays, allowing for excellent depth in darker scenes. Unfortunately, there are a few instances of pixilation, but they’re minor, and don’t diminish from the overall quality of the image. Fleshtones appear natural.
DREAMWORKS has presented a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix. Neither volume offers much of an aggressive mix, but these shows are clearly dialogue-driven. The clarity of the spoken word is flawless, and no jokes are missed. There are occasional surround effects, enhancing a gag here and there, but mostly surrounds are used to boost the occasional musical cue.
Fox appears before each episode for a brief introduction as to why he selected the given episode. Overall, the quality in content and presentation leave the viewer hoping for more episodes to be released, only this time in “complete season boxed sets”!