Miramax presents the first season of The Osbournes in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Things look much like they did on TV, as the series was shot like most other reality shows you’ve seen where a camera follows someone’s every move. This type of camerawork and/or genre doesn’t really lend itself to stunning images and therefore, given the fact that this is a reality show, The Osbournes: Season One looks as good as expected.
The quality of the image is fine and is quite stable all things considered. Sharpness and detail are little more than average and given the presence of grain and shimmer on occasion, the image tends to go a bit soft from time to time. Colors are a bit strong from time to time and seem to be a little brightly contrasted – including Kelly’s pink hair - but it’s not enough to distract you by any means. Smearing and bleeding were never an issue and black levels were appropriately deep and dense, showing only the occasional bit of softness.
As I stated earlier, grain was noted on several occasions and I also saw a few instances of shimmer and compression artifacting through the ten episodes as well. Nothing overly serious, but easily spotted nonetheless. Other, more serious flaws, weren’t noted at any time and when taken as a whole, The Osbournes looked pretty good.
Well, it’s gonna be kind of hard to think of anything exciting to write about the audio here. What we get is The Osbournes: Season One in a Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround mix that sounds just OK for the material at hand. Any of you that have seen the show know that the mics are only there to pick up what any of the family members might say and nothing more and therefore, this type of “reality” television doesn’t really lend itself to anything impressive on the audio front.
There were no effects or impressive moments to speak of and all I can really tell you is that the dialogue comes through crisp, clear, and completely vulgar at all times. Dynamics and fidelity are average and separation in the front surrounds is rather non-existent. However, while it’s nothing to write home about, it gets the job done and fans of the series won’t have much to complain about.
Miramax has also included are English Closed Captions, as well as French subtitles.
Miramax has provided a nice plethora of extras for us to check out in this two-disc set for The Osbournes: Season One. While none are intellectually stimulating by any stretch, there are admittedly a few moments contained within that’ll make you chuckle and everything is completely breezy to work through.
As part of the extras, after we choose an episode to view, we are presented with a few choices that will supplement our viewing. We can simply watch the episode as is - unedited; watch the episode with an Ozzy Translator turned on - nothing more than some helpful subtitles that pop up on the screen every time Ozzy speaks; a Commentary (for the first nine episodes only) which I’ll go in to more detail later; and finally, with Language Censoring. While I have the uncensored version of the series, it’s just not as fun in this case to hear the actual curse words as it is to hear the bleeps – it’s simply funnier to me to hear the high-pitched beep instead for whatever reason – it’s part of what I liked about the show to begin with. It reminds me a lot of South Park. While it was funny to actually hear the kids curse in the movie, I don’t think I’d want to hear it week in and week out – the beeps are as much a part of the show as are Cartman, Stan, and Kyle.
Back on the subject of Commentaries, we get a feature length commentary from Sharon and Jack Osbourne on the first nine episodes of the series and they all happen to be on Disc One. The commentaries are occasionally interesting, but after watching 5 ½ - 6 hours of the Osbournes, you really could care less what Sharon and Jack have to say – you’ve kinda had enough already. There are some nice anecdotal moments that pop up here and there, but for the most part, it gets harder and harder to swallow. The commentaries are rather sporadic – with large gaps of silence from time to time – and unfortunately, there’s just not a while lot new to glean from what Sharon and Jack have to say about the show.
The only listed supplement other than DVD-ROM material on the first disc is a DVD Bingo game. In order to play the game, you can print out bingo cards provided on the DVD, or go to a website that’s listed in the instructions of the extra and print them out over the web. Then, as you watch an episode, an icon will appear on the bottom portion of your screen as something “big” is happening – i.e. someone swearing, fighting, breaking something, or whatever – and then you cross of the corresponding icon on your card. After getting four icons marked off in a row, you call “Osbourne Bingo!” and start over again. Doesn’t sound real fun to me, but if you’re interested, the option exists for you to give it a whirl.
Bonus Footage contains unaired footage from the show and it is broken down by episode. For whatever reason, there’s no extra footage for the first episode, but all subsequent episodes contain extra stuff. You can select the footage by episode and here are your choices: Episode 2: Bark at the Moon (3 sub-selections; “Precariously Perched Puss” – 25 seconds, “Was It Someone We Hate?” – 13 seconds, “Vietnamese Peasants Hat” – 26 seconds); Episode 3: Like Father Like Daughter (4 sub-selections; “Rock Versus Vaudeville” – 11 seconds, “Ozzy’s Wasted PSA” – 17 seconds, “Loveline” – 21 minutes 5 seconds, “X-Ray Album Cover” – 52 seconds); Episode 4: Won’t You Be My Neighbor (3 sub-selections; “Anthrax For The Neighbors” – 11 seconds, “Neighbor Battle Rages On With Special House Guest Dill” – 17 seconds, “Kelly’s F*ck Buckle” – 20 seconds); Episode 5: Tour of Duty (5 sub-selections; “Mom and Dad Need Loivn’ Too” – 44 seconds, “Bats Vs. Chicken” – 31 seconds, “Nitro Burning Midget Car” – 47 seconds, “Uncensored Ozzy Butt” – 5 seconds, “Killing Real Midgets” – 1 minute 5 seconds); Episode 6: Break A Leg (6 sub-selections; “Ozzy’s Dreamscape” – 42 seconds, “Jack’s Wild Life” – 15 seconds, “Crazy Dave on the Beatles” – 20 seconds, “Jack’s Birthday” – 56 seconds, “Gay Family Night” – 2 minutes 45 seconds, “Montage Before Show” – 19 seconds); Episode 7: Get Stuffed (4 sub-selections; “Ozzy on Thanksgiving” – 17 seconds, “Jack’s Side of the Story” – 1 minute 16 seconds, “Ozzy’s New Birthday Dog” – 17 seconds, “Demon Kids Through Trees” – 21 seconds); Episode 8: No Vagrancy (4 sub-selections; “Dill at FedEx” – 1 minute 25 seconds, “Not Cactus Juice” – 40 seconds, “Female Hitler of Puppies” – 31 seconds, “Jack Talks Custody” – 52 seconds); Episode 9: Very Ozzy Christmas (4 sub-selections; “Seeking Square Pool” – 29 seconds, “What’s The Time?” – 1 minute 7 seconds, “Fireman Osbourne” – 1 minute 7 seconds, “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” – 15 seconds); and finally, Episode 10: Dinner With Ozzy (7 sub-selections; “Bullet in Kelly’s Leg” – 49 seconds, “Marilyn Manson Speaks” – 35 seconds, “Ozzy on Sharon” – 32 seconds, “Ozzyisms” – 27 seconds, “What?” – 16 seconds, “Never Happens Again Twice” – 56 seconds, “More Ozzyisms” – 20 seconds). Whew! As an added bonus, Miramax has also added a “Random” feature that will play the clips outside of their episodic order.
Next up are some Conversations With The Osbournes and included are four sub-selections with the first being “Life on the Road” (9:33). Here Ozzy, Sharon, and other family members discuss what it’s like being a rock-and-roller, constantly touring, and being on the road so often. While a little too much of the conversation revolves around taking craps on the tour bus, there’s a lot of interesting and insightful material here and we learn a lot about Ozzy and Sharon’s husband/wife/artist/manager relationship. Very interesting stuff.
Next up is “Family Values” (10:05) and again, Ozzy and family discuss their take on “family values” and go into some detail on how absolute openness and brutal honesty have worked well for their particular family dynamic. Different aspects of familial relationships are discussed in as much detail as you can fit in to a 10-minute feature and ultimately, this was a nice addition to Miramax’s set.
Following is “First Season Stories” (17:57) and here, the family provides some very interesting and engaging discussions on subjects related to their reality show. They cover such topics as how the show was pitched to the studios, what it was like and how difficult it was living with all of the cameras in the house, what it feels like having your life taped and shown on television, the success of the show and how it has changed their lives, and so on. This was a great supplement and a lot of fun to check out.
Last up is ”The Untold Story of Michael the Security Guard” (0:59). As told by Michael himself, we hear what happened to him when he was arrested and accused of breaking in to someone else’s home in the area. As expected, it was a misunderstanding and Michael seems to have taken it all in stride.
There’s also a –PLAY ALL- feature included here that will run the different selections as one continuous feature.
This section also contains an Easter Egg (3:57) that introduces us to the newest member of the Osbourne clan, Rob - the “adopted” family member who moved in with the family when his mother died of cancer. Rob discusses what it’s like living with the Osbournes and how he was originally introduced to the family, while Kelly and Sharon give us a little background on the relationship as well. To access this egg, you’ll notice a drawing of a small child at the bottom right-hand corner of the menu and some writing above it that says “Hi Newborn”. Highlight the image of the baby, click –ENTER-, and away you go.
”Too Oz For TV” Blooper Reel (5:32) is simply a long running blooper reel of moments from the first season that didn’t quite make it to air. Much like stuff you’ve seen on the Real World, there are a few shots of cameramen falling and bumping in to things, more footage Jack acting like an a$$hole, as well as more generic bloopers and vulgarity from the family.
Next up are some Season Highlights (17:30) that are broken down into five different selections – “Ozzy’s Fatherly Advice”, “Sharon’s Motherly Advice”, “Kelly’s Top Moments”, “Jack’s Top Moments”, and “Lola’s Top Moments”. These may be selected individually, or you may watch them all in succession by using Miramax’s handy –PLAY ALL- selection. Oddly enough, when you make your selection for the family member you’re interested in, there are more sub-selections under that family member and no -PLAY ALL- selection is offered. Obviously, this is nothing more than a rehash of scenes from the series itself and all of the “moments” are rather short in and of themselves. It’s hard to consider this an extra since the footage is included elsewhere, but it’s nice to have these “best-of” moments easily accessible in one spot.
Following are Ozzy’s Ten Commandments (1:29); a somewhat amusing segment where Ozzy offers up some advice on what we should strive for in life. What he fails to realize is that 99.99% of us aren’t even close to his level of income – although I’d certainly like to be.
There’s a Photo Gallery full of still images, as well as some Set Top Games that include “Name That Dookie” (a game where you match a piece of dog crap with the dog that produced it – thankfully no human family members contributed any) and “Edit A Scene” (an extra where you are allowed to piece together your own scene based on provided footage). Each of these games come with ample instruction on the DVD and ultimately, didn’t hold my interest for very long.
Last up, there is some DVD-ROM content that includes some web links and a guide to the show, as well as a very nice Insert Booklet that contains some good information on the show, as well as chapter listings.
Not too shabby considering series like this usually don’t get this type of treatment. Miramax has added some substantive extras to this 2-disc set and fans of the Osbourne family should get more than their fill of the family by the time they’ve worked through this set. Nice job.
If you’re a fan of the show, has Miramax got a DVD set for you! This is a perfect way for those of you who enjoyed the show to relive it again and again – with a few added extras along the way. However, for those of you who just aren’t sure what you think about this set and were only slightly amused by the show, I’d say a weekend rental would be a good first step. It’s a good set, but your love of the Osbourne family is gonna have a lot to do with how well it’s received.