Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Fat Actress - The Complete First Season

Reviewed by: Joshua Griffin
Movie Rating:
2 out of 10
Extras Rating:
2 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Starring:
Kirstie Alley as Kirstie Alley
Bryan Callen as Eddie Falcon
Rachael Harris as Kevyn Shecket
Kelly Preston as Quinn Taylor Scott
Mark Curry as Max Cooper
Michael James McDonald as Sam Rascal
Vladislav Kozlov as Ballroom Dancer
Mayim Bialik as Herself

Story:
Kirstie Alley plays herself on Fat Actress. An actress with a big personality who is struggling with weight, love and work under the spotlight of Hollywood while trying to remain sane, look great and have a good time. Combining humor and pathos with the seamlessness of a black and white cookie, Fat Actress explores the challenges and triumphs of overcoming whatever makes someone uncomfortable about themselves. Two-time Emmy® Award-winning actress Kirstie Alley stars in Showtime's new comedy series that follows the daily struggles of an actress to find love and work in an unforgiving Hollywood. Alley and Brenda Hampton (7th Heaven," "Mad About You") are the creators and executive producers of this unscripted comedy.

Overview:
This is a REAL departure for me. I'm a Star Wars geek that appreciates a good summer blockbuster ready-made for commercial success. So while I've always enjoyed Kirstie Alley, I didn't have high expectations for this cable series. Honestly, I wasn't impressed with the actual show one bit. But, there's no doubt fans of the show will certainly appreciate this 2-disc DVD set releasing this week from Showtime, but for me I'm giving it a big pass. I'm running away from it, I wish I could take back the hours of my life I gave to this show. No thank you.

The Skinny:
Kirstie is FAT. She is truly a big girl, and this DVD celebrates her fall from grace on the scale. The only problem is that this is a one joke show - jokes about her being fat, and then at best goes downhill from there. I do appreciate some of the more original lines and the classic bits like "I'm sorry I thought you were pregnant" and "letting herself go" but they do really get old after a while. There were so many I'm having a hard time even thinking of some original ones for this DVD review. That's a huge task, I promise you. Honestly, how many jokes on the same subject can any one series have? I guess that's the point of it all … but "let's think outside the fat box" fits, as one character says in the pilot episode.

I can appreciate any honest humor based on reality, whenever someone makes fun of themselves - that alone deserves some credit. But Kirstie is annoying from the start, a travesty because of my fond memories of her when she was skinnier. When she was thinner, she was funnier. The journey of weight loss does have some moments, like the great satirical look inside Hollywood and its fascination with size, but it isn't nearly enough to save the show. The cameos and guest appearances are throughout; many surprising visitors each show. I'm not sure if this is a show of solidarity with Kirstie in her time of need, but the amount of cameos will absolutely impress. In fact, it is one of the few parts that is watchable. Kid Rock, Kevin Nealon, Carmen Electra, Kelly Preston, McG, and John Travolta - it seems like every time you turn around there's another celebrity. Seeming some of them in a more informal setting is a breath of fresh air in the series that falls on its fat.

Don't forget because it originally aired on Showtime; the DVDs are wrought with profanity, homosexual innuendo, sex jokes and crude rumor. Not for the faint of heart of those with much integrity.

Specs and Extras:
Disc One contains the first 4 episodes and Disc Two pulls together the last 3 with modest bonus features. Unfortunately the Behind the Scenes features are light and the biographies and previews aren't strong enough to really make the extras memorable. The showcase of the DVD is the episodes themselves, which are presented in Widescreen and encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1. On the positive side, the commentary tracks do give some limited insight into the series, though once again a feeble attempt to up the ante.

Bottom Line:
If you somehow liked the series, this DVD will satisfy your, uh ... cravings. If you're not, don't bother and I strongly suggest passing on it for a stronger TV series on DVD like a season of 24, Alias or CSI. A series that simply wasn't worth the weight.

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