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Created By:
Lee Eisenberg, Stephen Merchant, Gene Stupnitsky

Stephen Merchant, Nate Torrence, Christine Woods, Kevin Weisman
Writing Credits:

A gawky Englishman comes to Los Angeles to find the woman of his dreams.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1/16X9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Brazilian Portuguese
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 310 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 5/26/15

• Deleted Scenes
• “Invitation to the Set” Featurette


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Hello Ladies: The Complete Series and Movie (2013-2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 18, 2015)

Most people known Stephen Merchant for his roles as Ricky Gervais’s pal on series like Extras. With 2013’s Hello Ladies, Merchant gets the chance to shine on his own.

This three-DVD set includes all eight episodes of Ladies from 2013. It also provides a 2014 movie with the same characters/themes.

Pilot: “Bumbling English transplant Stuart Pritchard (Merchant) hits the LA nightclub scene in search of romance.” With its hapless lead, Ladies doesn’t earn any points for originality. Still, it manages a reasonable amount of laughs. I’m not sure how much faith I have in the series’ ability to remain interesting given its potential to become predictable, but so far, it offers reasonable amusement.

The Limo: “Stuart tries to win over Jessica’s (Christine Woods) friends by commandeering a limo Wade (Nate Torrence) hired to impress his estranged wife Marion (Crista Flanagan).” Does “Limo” expand its situations from the “Pilot”? A little, partially because it makes Stuart look like even more of a superficial schmuck. In a more substantial vein, it allows growth to Stuart’s roommate Jessica. I’m guessing the show eventually connects those two, but we’ll see.

The Date: “Stuart asks out a yoga studio employee; Glenn (Sean Wing) gets Jessica an audition; Wade institutes an emergency alert system.” Going into Ladies, I figured it’d be a commentary on modern dating, but the first two shows focused so much on models and actresses that it didn’t connect to the real world. “Date” manages to deliver more of what I anticipated, and that allows it to become the best episode to date.

The Dinner: “As Stuart hits the gay club circuit with Jessica, Wade and Kives (Kevin Weisman) have fun in Stuart’s apartment.” So much for reality-based material, as “Dinner” goes back to the world of Stuart’s obsession with models – and one he sees on a billboard in particular. This gives the show a potential theme/goal, but I still like it more as a take on “normal dating”. Still, more than a few funny bits emerge, so it’s entertaining.

Pool Party: “Stuart plans an epic pool party; Jessica befriends a 19-year-old homeless girl (Rosa Salazar).” Like the prior episodes, “Party” musters good humor, but it stretches story elements thinner than I’d like. This especially becomes true for Jessica’s narrative, as it makes no sense that she’d take in a strange homeless girl. Jessica already seems like an imitation Elaine Benes, and “Party” doesn’t change that impression.

Long Beach: “Stuart has a night on the town in Long Beach; Wade tries to win back Marion; Jessica evaluates her life.” This show offers another contrived premise, as it stretches reality to plop Stuart among some rough and tumble guys. This makes little sense and lacks much amusement. A few gags do score, but overall, this becomes a weak show.

The Wedding: “Stuart is disappointed with the seating plan at a wedding; Jessica frets about the result of a major audition.” As I started to review Ladies, I worried it’d grow tiresome and redundant. “Wedding” demonstrates this to be true, as it reinforces the series’ problems: predictable gags and contrived situations. Despite a couple of laughs, “Wedding” mostly flails.

The Drive: “Stuart brags about his date with Kimberly (Heather Hahn); Jessica relishes that the tables have turned with Amelia (Jenny Slate).” Matters limp to a close with “Drive”. The Wade/Marion plot always felt superfluous, and that doesn’t change here. Other developments seem less than enthralling as well. Even with the usual smattering of funny bits, this winds up as a lackluster episode with too many predictable moments.

The Movie: “When Stuart’s former girlfriend Trudy (Henrietta Meire) comes to visit LA, Stuart pretends to have a relationship with Jessica to make his ex feel jealous.” Apparently Movie exists to wrap up the series, and in that regard, it’s satisfactory. No one should expect surprises, though, as the finale follows a path one could anticipate. It acts as a passable way to end the characters’ arcs and that’s about it.

The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

Hello Ladies appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. This was a decent presentation but nothing great.

Sharpness tended to be inconsistent. Though the show delivered reasonable delineation, more than a few soft spots materialized. Some light jaggies and shimmering occurred, but edge haloes weren’t an issue. No signs of source flaws materialized.

As for the film’s palette, it went with natural tones that veered toward the teal/orange side in a mild manner. These didn’t dazzle but they seemed appropriate. Blacks appeared deep and firm, while shadows seemed clear and well-developed. For SD-DVD, this became an acceptable image.

Hello Ladies provided low-key material with its Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Dialogue dominated, with music also a moderate presence. Effects stayed environmental and remained resolutely in the background. Scenes in clubs opened up matters reasonably well, but those scenes stayed the exception to the rule. The soundscape lacked a lot of ambition..

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was concise and natural, with no edginess or other distractions. Music showed nice life and vivacity, while effects were clean and reasonably accurate. Nothing here stood out but the material suited the show reasonably well.

Deleted Scenes accompany five episodes as well as the movie. We get 19 clips for a total of 28 minutes, 11 seconds. Many of these prove to be amusing, and a few advance narrative elements as well. Not all of them score, but they end up as a good collection of snippets.

We also find a featurette called Invitation to the Set. It goes for six minutes, 52 seconds and provides notes from co-creator/actor Stephen Merchant, co-creators/executive producers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg and actors Christine Woods, Nate Torrence, and Kevin Weisman. “Invitation” offers a quick overview of story/character areas. We get a few minor thoughts but the show exists to promote the series so it lacks much depth.

As a comedy, Hello Ladies packs occasional laughs, but it lacks consistency. Too many narrative elements meander and the show feels like less than the sum of its parts. The DVD gives us decent picture and audio as well as a handful of bonus materials. I like aspects of Ladies but I think it disappoints in the end.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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