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"Doogie Howser, MD: Season 2"
Reviewed by: Brad Jones
Genre: TV Series / Family Comedy Drama
Video: 1.33:1 Full Screen
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Languages English
Subtitles None
Length 600 Minutes
Rating Not Rated
Release Date September 6th, 2005
Studio Anchor Bay Entertainment
Commentary: None
Documentaries: None
Featurettes: None
Filmography/Biography: None
Interviews: New interviews with stars Neil Patrick Harris and Max Casella
Trailers/TV Spots: None
Alternate/Deleted Scenes: None
Music Video: None
Other: A photo gallery, plus a series quiz.
Cast and Crew: Neil Patrick Harris, Max Casella, Belinda Montgomery, James Sikking, Lathryn Layng
Written By: Various, including Phil Kellard, Tom Moore, and Nat Bernstein
Produced By: Steven Bochco, Mark Horowitz, Linda Morris, Rick Wallace
Directed By: Various, including Stephen Cragg, Eric Laneuville, and Ed Sharin
Music: Mike Post
The Review:

When you hear that television creator and producer powerhouses Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley teamed up to create a series, one plot that would turn up in one's head would probably be something like gritty alcoholic police officers act as attorneys and bed beautiful women. They wouldn't break out into song though, because that would prove to be a disaster. Well, instead Bochco and Kelley came up with a...family comedic drama? Interesting turn of events. And oddly enough "Doogie Howser MD," the show they created, would go on to sit in with the best of the projects that either Bochco or Kelley would later take on. This was a pretty damn good show.*******

And it was so lucky to have Bochco and Kelley behind it, because lets face it. The show is gimmicky as all hell. It's corney and it's slightly predictable, but it's also honest and true, and given the preposterousness of the situation, it's fairly realistic if you live in the world of "Doogie Howser MD." Plus, it's made itself a nice fan reputation and has had a lasting memory for all of those who watched it. Right now I find it a little odd that it's the end of a long and tiresome day, and I'm sitting here writing my thoughts out on the computer, which just happen to be about "Doogie Howser MD." It all comes full circle! Now if only the law would let me operate on people.********

The NPH starred as the title character, a young genius who at 14 years old became a practicing doctor. In the wrong hands this show could have become a disaster and run out of ideas midway through the first season. I picture an "ER" type story line where a helicopter falls off the roof and crash lands on Doogie's girlfriend. Feh. But what was really quite brilliant about the show was that it focused every bit as much on Doogie growing up as a teenager, and all of the realistic struggles that anyone his age would go through, be they an average student, someone who barely passes, or a genius. We all go through those difficulties. As Doogie got more and more professional in his career, he would also be frantic about having a girlfriend, or going ot parties, or being popular, or just plain wanting to have fun. There were always those moments with his best friend Vinnie where he could be exactly who he was: a teenager.*******

Season 2 in the series really got into the most awkward moments in a teenager's life. Here is this young teenage doctor, of all things, and he's still gotta worry about hormones. Brilliant. I also like how Doogie is going through the whole pubescent phase at a more mature level, while on the other hand we've got Vinnie acting like a rejected side character from "Last American Virgin." The show also addresses sex more realistically that any other show of its type would probably dream of, such as when Doogie advocates the use of condoms in a sex ed TV ad. In the season's premiere, "Doogenstein," the subject of Doogie's lost youth was tackled, as it was many times throughout the series, and justly so. I tend to recount my lost youth, where as all I did was play video games, so I can't image being a 14 year old freakin doctor! There's also a subplot dealing with Doogie's girlfriend's battle with depression after losing her mother. This plot lasted through the first few episodes of the season. After dealing with some semi serious episodes, some much needed light teenage comedy fare was added to the episode "Revenge of the Teenage Dead" in which Vinnie gathers up a bunch of people to make a zombie horror film. Which actually isn't the worst horror film I've ever seen.*******

Image and Sound: The image is cleaned up quite nicely, despite a few small moments of pixellation. The sound is presented in Stereo and serves just fine for this series, which doesn't exectly need super advanced sound to be enjoyed.
The Extras:

There's a photo gallery featuring some behind the scenes shots, still images, and some promotional work as well, but the best feature here is the all new interview featuring both the NPH and a much older than expected Max "Vinnie" Casella. Also featured is a trivia section where you can test your knowledge on the series. I always thought it would be funny if whenever someone failed a DVD quiz, then the DVD melts. I don't think anyone will accept my idea, but I dig it.

Commentary: No commentary tracks included
Final Words: This show took the old "looking up before an operation and seeing that your doctor is a child" nightmare and turned it upside down on its head. Especially seeing how it was an adult doctor who accidentally sewed my leg to my shoulder. But I really got into this series when it was on and it definitely holds up today. Watching now you can easily see how silly the concept of the show really is, but because of that, and because of the creative forces behind it, the honesty of the characters and the writing really stuck out even more.

 

 
 
 
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