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Shout Factory presents
The Job: The Complete Series (2001)

"Shouldn't you be home clipping coupons or something?"
- Mike McNeil (Denis Leary)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: May 04, 2005

Stars: Denis Leary
Other Stars: Karyn Parsons, Wendy Makkena, Bill Nunn, Lenny Clarke, Adam Ferrara, Diane Farr, Keith David
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence)
Run Time: 09h:30m:00s
Release Date: May 03, 2005
UPC: 826663252194
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A ABB+ A-

DVD Review

I've been hooked on Denis Leary's talents since first hearing—on a cassette tape, mind you—his 1992 concert, No Cure for Cancer. This hilariously lewd, rude, and very crude show featured Leary discussing drugs, smoking, red meat, and anything else he can cram into an hour's time. The show also spawned the (semi)hit song I'm an A@@ Hole!, which you'll be singing for days after hearing it for the first time.

Following the success of No Cure for Cancer, Leary branched out into film, starring in the underrated cult classic The Ref. While not a box office hit by any means, the critical praise for the film and Leary's performance gave him some much needed Hollywood street cred. Unfortunately, none of his film roles after that amounted to much, including the Sandra Bullock vehicle Two If By Sea, as well as Operation Dumbo Drop, and The Matchmaker.

The 21st century has brought upon sort of a career renaissance for Denis Leary, though, with excellent performances in the little-seen Final and The Secret Lives of Dentists among his finer film roles. Most recently, Leary has enjoyed the success of the FX TV show Rescue Me, which became a ratings hit by cable TV standards, and is about to begin its second season on that up-and-coming network. His first foray into television, though, was as the star of the 2001 ABC show, The Job.

Unfortunately for Leary, The Job never got the ratings it deserved, and was cancelled after a mere 19 episodes. Perhaps he needed the creative freedom that he now enjoys on FX (along with the freedom to use coarse language), but it's a true shame that The Job didn't get more of a chance to perform.

It was great to see that many of the characters in the new series were greatly influenced by those in The Job. Leary has even recruited some actors from that series to work on Rescue Me, including Diane Farr and Lenny Clarke, who are great on both shows.

The Job is a brilliantly written cop show that incorporates Leary's hilarious brand of dry wit into each and every episode. Leary is truly in top form as Detective Mike McNeil, a mean, self-centered, overly jealous guy who has issues galore in his screwed-up life. Mike's partner, Pip (Bill Nunn), is his polar opposite, a by-the-book law man who does everything he can to cover up for whatever trouble Mike has gotten them into.

The natural and very funny interaction between Leary and Nunn is the highlight of the show, but one of the beauties is that every cast member seems to be having a great job in The Job, which translates to the finished show itself.

The Job: The Complete Series features the following 19 episodes:

Pilot: Mike and Pip get a confession out of a suspect by using his grandmother.

Elizabeth: Elizabeth Hurley herself shows up to file a harassment complaint, but soon finds herself attracted to Mike.

Bathroom: When Frank loses a criminal inside the precinct, Mike comes across him and is taken hostage.

Foot: When the detectives find a severed foot, they decide to use it for some practical jokes.

Massage: The detectives scope out a massage parlor to make sure there aren't any illegal activities happening there.

Anger: Mike gets into it with a cabbie, and, unfortunately for him, the whole thing is caught on tape.

Sacrilege: Mike and Pip have to take the DA's 12-year-old daughter along with them for one of her school assignments, which leads to big trouble.

Soup: Mike, Pip, and Jan find out that their search for a missing ballerina might have something to do with Frank's favorite new soup.

Telescope: Tommy and the other detectives have fun with a telescope that they take from a crime scene.

Gina: Mike manages to take over for Ruben as actress Gina Gershon's bodyguard.

Boss: Mike thinks his mistress, Toni, is having an affair with her boss, and Frank and Tommy go to the track to bet the department's money.

Quitter: Mike wants to prove that he doesn't have a drinking problem, so he promises his wife, Karen, that he'll stop.

Parents: Toni finds a way to get Mike to meet her parents.

Barbecue: Pip and Adina host a smoke- and drink-free barbecue to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

Betrayal: Toni threatens to spill the beans to Karen about her affair with Mike.

Neighbor: Mike convinces Ruben and Al to spy on Karen.

Gay: When Mike thinks that Frank is gay, all of the detectives try and get each other to admit to their homosexuality.

Vacation: Mike is told to take a vacation when it is discovered that he was impersonating a firefighter.

Dad: Frank finally meets the son he never knew.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyesyes
Anamorphicnoyes


Image Transfer Review: As they were on TV, the first season of the show is shown in full frame, while the second season episodes show up here in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Naturally, the quality of the transfers is much better for the latter season's shows, featuring very nice, sharp, detailed images, and a bright, vivid color scheme. While these aspects, along with shadow and black levels are handled well on every episode in the set, they are markedly better for the later shows.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The audio mixes vary for these two as, again, the first six episodes sound far inferior to the later shows. This is mainly due to the presence of a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the second season entries, compared to the 2.0 mixes for the first season. Still, the surrounds are used quite a bit in every mix, and there's no problem with dialogue clarity at all.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 95 cues and remote access
4 TV Spots/Teasers
1 Documentaries
1 Featurette(s)
5 Feature/Episode commentaries by Co-creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan.
Packaging: Digipak
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Gag Reel: five minutes of hilarious on-set goofs.
  2. A Message From Denis Leary: 30-second message from Leary about the Leary Firefighters Foundation.
Extras Review: Some nice extras fill up this set, including a collection of audio commentaries with co-creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan. The episodes that these are available on are The Pilot, Bathroom, Gina, Gay, and Barbecue. I guess I expected a little more candid comedy during these, especially from Leary, but these two do talk quite a bit about each episode's plot and what it was like filming them.

The rest of the extras are on Disc 4, beginning with an Interview with Denis Leary and Peter Tolan, a 27-minute discussion about The Job, including its conception and cancellation. A few more interview segments are available as well, including 10 minutes of On-the-Set Cast Interviews and an On Location Interview with Peter Tolan, which isn't even two minutes long.

Rounding out the extras are a collection of Series Premiere Promo Spots, a very funny, five-minute Gag Reel, and A Message from Denis Leary, during which he promotes his Leary Firefighters Foundation, which provides the necessary equipment, training, and support to firefighters and their families.

Extras Grade: A-

 

Final Comments

The Job was an excellent series that never had a real chance to succeed. Well, now the episodes that were filmed get that chance for success, thanks to Shout Factory's great DVD set.

 


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