DVD Review: Chris Elliott’s ‘Get a Life: The Complete Series’ is Finally Here

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CHICAGO – Charlie Kaufman (“Adaptation,” “Being John Malkovich”) once wrote for a TV sitcom so odd that its network and most of the U.S. had no idea what to make of it. Without question, “Get a Life” was ahead of its time. So much of the twisted comedy of 2012 owes a debt to this true oddity from two decades ago, a unique gem that is finally getting a complete series release years after fans started clamoring for it.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Was it worth the wait? First and foremost, the show is much funnier than I remembered. As the audio commentary points out (and there’s one on every episode), the series premiere of “Get a Life” was a relatively straightforward comedy about a man-child. It wasn’t nearly as dark and twisted as it would later become. Quickly, “Get a Life” turned more into a show about a demented loner and his outlook on the world than a standard boy-who-won’t-grow-up comedy. It’s such a weird show that Chris died multiple times over the 35 episodes that ran and Elliott’s left-field sense of humor makes for television that still feels refreshing two decades later. I really think most of us, myself included, just didn’t get it in 1991.

Some of that aspect of “Get a Life” (how it works better now than it did then) is discussed in the many special features included in this beautiful set. I will say that the standard-def transfers are pretty horrendous. It sometimes looks like you’re watching it on VHS. However, the many special features, including the aforementioned every-episode commentaries, are just awesome. This is one of the best TV-on-DVD releases of the year.

Get a Life: The Complete Series was released on DVD on September 18, 2012
Get a Life: The Complete Series was released on DVD on September 18, 2012
Photo credit: Shout Factory

Here are the surreal, twisted, gratuitously violent, hilarious misadventures of Chris Peterson - a 30-year-old paperboy with an ever-decreasing grasp on reality. Starring Chris Elliott (Eagleheart), Executive Produced by David Mirkin (The Simpsons) and created by Chris Elliott, Adam Resnick and David Mirkin, Get A Life has earned a rabid and disturbing cult following. Co-starring Bob Elliott, Robin Riker, Elinor Donahue, Sam Robards and Brian Doyle-Murray.

StarClick here to buy “Get a Life”

Special Features:
o A Conversation With Executive Producer/Co-Creator David Mirkin and Writer/Producers Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale
o Get A Life 2012 Featurette With James L. Brooks, Judd Apatow and Peter Chernin
o Special Commentary With Psychologist Dr. Wendy Walsh Analyzing Chris Peterson’s Mental Issues
o Alternate Audio Version Without Laugh Track On Select Episodes
Commentaries On Every Episode
o Paley Fest 2000! Featuring David Mirkin, Elinor Donahue, Brain Doyle-Murray, Robin Riker, Charlie Kaufman, Bob Odenkirk, Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale

“Get a Life: The Complete Series” stars Chris Elliott and was released on September 18, 2012 by Shout Factory.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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