A sitcom starring Ryan Reynolds makes its DVD debut this week
Posted July 5
Updated July 6
Cashing in on the success of the theatrical blockbuster “Deadpool,” Ryan Reynolds’ 1998 sitcom “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” — later renamed “Two Guys and a Girl” — is now on DVD for the first time.
“Two Guys and a Girl: The Complete Series” (Shout!, 1998-2001, 11 discs, 81 episodes, alternate endings). This pleasant, amusing home/workplace sitcom stars Reynolds and two other up-and-comers who achieved a greater level of TV stardom after this series wrapped: Traylor Howard, who was Tony Shalhoub’s sidekick for six seasons of “Monk,” and Nathan Fillion, who went on to star in the cult favorite “Firefly” and the long-running hit show “Castle.”
The first two seasons here are titled “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place,” with lackadaisical Reynolds and studious Richard Ruccolo as college roommates with part-time jobs at a pizza parlor, and their upstairs neighbor Howard as a high-strung career woman. And David Ogden Stiers is in 13 episodes as a delusional pizza-place regular, spinning stories of his life that replicate popular-movie plots. Fillion shows up in Season 2 as a dim, self-centered romantic interest for Howard.
In Season 3, Reynolds begins a medical residency and Ruccolo goes through several jobs before becoming a firefighter. In Season 4, Fillion also becomes a fireman, and he and Howard marry. And for the Season 4 finale, in which three female characters think they’re pregnant, four endings were filmed and fans voted online to select one. All four endings are part of the final episode. Guests include Tiffani Thiessen (as a love interest in eight episodes), Cheryl Ladd (as Reynolds’ mother in two episodes), Jon Cryer and Nia Vardalos.
“Vera: Set 6” (Acorn/itv, 2016, four discs, four episodes). This engaging British police procedural stars double Oscar-nominee Brenda Blethyn as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, a quirky character whose disheveled demeanor and tenacious work ethic have led to comparisons with “Columbo.” She is the driving force in four feature-length mysteries: a grandmother killed on the moors, the body of a boy at a teenage hangout, a related stabbing and hit-and-run, and a fisherman pulled from the ocean.
“The Bible Stories: Jacob” (Shout!, 1994).
“The Bible Stories: Joseph” (Shout!, 1995). Matthew Modine stars in “Jacob,” who obtains his brother’s inheritance and works seven years to marry, only to be tricked by his bride’s father on his wedding night. In the story of “Joseph,” who was sold into Egypt by his brothers, Martin Landau is Jacob and Ben Kingsley plays Potipher. These two biblical TV movies were part of the four-film set issued last March, and now they are out as single-disc releases.
“NOVA: Can Alzheimer’s Be Stopped?” (PBS, 2016, featurettes). This hourlong “NOVA” episode explores the mysteries of Alzheimer’s and whether it can be stopped, while several bonus featurettes further investigate the subject: “Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s,” “The Second Victim: Alzheimer’s and the Family”; “Participating in a Clinical Test,” “Identifying Alzheimer’s Before it Strikes” and “Untangling Tau.”
“Lego Friends: Always Together” (Lego/Warner, 2014, three episodes). Three episodes of the animated series “Lego Friends,” which follow Andrea, Stephanie, Olivia, Emma and Mia as they have adventures together: “Andrea’s Big Moment,” “Kate’s Island” and “The Grand Hotel.”
“Odd Squad: The O Games” (PBS, 2014-15, five episodes). To cash in on the upcoming Olympics, the title episode of this live-action kids show has the young agents in a competition. But not in track and field, of course — in math. This is, after all, a PBS educational show. The other episodes here are “Bad Luck Bears,” “Whatever Happened to Agent Oz,” “Not so Splash” and “Skip Day.”
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." He also writes at www.hicksflicks.com and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.