Get A Life! (Vols. 1 & 2)

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Get A Life! (Vols. 1 & 2)

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Get A Life! (Vols. 1 & 2)

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In the early days of Fox TV—before it became a venue for little more than animation, serial melodramas, and shows about people who can stuff pencils in their mouths while engaging in high-speed car chases—the network introduced failed sitcom after failed sitcom. Most of them, at least one of which involved Howie Mandel as a wacky funeral director, met well-deserved early deaths. Chris Elliott's low-rated Get A Life!, however, hung in for a season and a half between 1990 and '92. Though only about seven people nationwide watched it, it developed a cult following, made all the more intense by its virtual unavailability before this home-video release of four episodes. With any luck, more will follow. A brilliant, strange show, Get A Life! stretched the boundaries of a traditional sitcom without actually breaking them, at times verging on outright parody but remaining more bizarre by never quite crossing that line. In it, Elliott—best known then for his Late Night With David Letterman appearances, and best known now as a snack-chip spokesperson and supporting player in There's Something About Mary—plays a 30-year-old paperboy who, in the first season at least, still lives with his perpetually bathrobe-clad parents (Elinor Donahue and real-life dad Bob Elliott). Rather than relying on traditional sitcom plots, each episode found Elliott involved in a different adventure, such as building a working submarine in his home, taking care of a haunted house, or fighting a newspaper-delivering super-robot. Those episodes have not been included on either of these tapes (nor has the show's greatest episode, in which Elliott joins the cast of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-esque play Zoo Animals On Wheels), but those selected give a pretty good idea of what the show was all about, following the delusion-prone Elliott as he joins a modeling agency and befriends an aggressive space alien who shoots forth fluid from every orifice. TV viewers may not have been ready for Get A Life!, and many probably wouldn't be ready for it now, but, as one of the most unusual and frequently hilarious TV shows ever, it deserves whatever second life it can find.

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