Album: Lizzie McGuire: Vol 1 [DVD]
Street Date: November 23, 2004
Rating: 2.5stars
Reviewed by: William

Lizzie McGuire is one of those shows that many see as a guilty pleasure. It is clearly targeted at tween to early teen crowd. Is it tolerable, or even enjoyable for an older crowd? I would say yes to both. While the situations presented in the show are a bit unrealistic, they provide an enjoyable caricature of the more amusing aspects of early adolescence. Lizzie is always upset over something trivial while Matt is always finding new and amusing ways to cause trouble. Especially funny is Cartoon Lizzie, Lizzie’s alter ego. She provides humorous commentary from time to time in the manner of the Greek chorus.

The box set I am reviewing consists of 4 DVDs containing the first twenty-two episodes of the series. Each DVD has five to six episodes. Presumably, Lizzie McGuire Box Set: Volume One will be followed up later by Volume Two. Arguably, this box set contains the best episodes.

As far as content goes, I think most people will enjoy this DVD set. It is funny, offbeat, and original. It’s something that my nine-year-old cousin and I could agree on.

The audio and video on this DVD were about average, with the video being a tad grainy at times. However, the quality is far superior to the original broadcasts. The biggest problem with the DVDs is that each episode is a single chapter. This means that we can’t skip around from scene to scene in each episode. This got especially annoying when I was going through and watching each episode. You see, each episode is presented exactly as aired, minus the commercials. What if I don’t want to sit through the opening sequence for the fifteenth time? I have to hit the fast forward button. I should just have to tap the chapter forward button.

The makers of this DVD have also disregarded the wishes of viewers. The first thing we see when we put in Disc One is an ad. This ad plays unless we hit the menu button. I don’t know about you, but when I put a DVD in my player, I want to watch the DVD, not an advertisement. Yet, the authors seem to assume implicitly that I want to watch this ad. This isn’t the way things should work. If the authors must include advertisements, they should be in the extras section. Fortunately, this problem only occurs on the first DVD.

The commentaries can be summed up in one word: useless. Four episodes have audio commentaries, given by Lalaine Vergara-Paras (Miranda Sanchez), Clayton Snyder (Ethan Craft), Ashlie Brillault (Kate Sanders), and Jake Thomas (Matt McGuire). We really gain no new knowledge about the show from their assorted giggles. The only thing I really pulled from the commentaries is that the actors and actresses really are still only kids.

The most unusual omission from the extras on this DVD is Hilary Duff (Lizzie McGuire). One would assume that the extras would include the title character. Instead, we are given two regulars and three recurring cast members. Where is Gordo? Where are Lizzie’s parents? They appear in neither the commentaries nor the “behind the scenes” videos. To be fair, however, Brillault assumes the unofficial role of leading character on set and does a respectable job.

A/V Quality:
DVD features:
(Would have been 2 stars. Advertisements at the beginning of DVDs are a big pet peeve of mine.)

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