George Lopez: The Complete First & Second Seasons (DVD) (Multi-Title)
Take one "everyman" standup comic, add a ridiculously good-looking wife, and throw them into everyday scenarios that are taken to the extreme and you get George Lopez
, a pleasant and funny series with a winning formula not unlike that of According to Jim
and Everybody Loves Raymond
. Starring George Lopez as, well, George Lopez, and Constance Marie as his put-upon wife Angie, the ABC series debuted with a four-episode mini-season in spring 2002. Good ratings and favorable reviews got it picked up for the 2002-2003 season. Both the first and second seasons--totaling 28 episodes--are included on this four-disc set. The show begins with George being promoted from his blue-collar factory job to management. Much of the early episodes concentrate on his happiness at being able to provide for his family, but still not sure where he falls in the us-against-them polarities at work. One of the show's executive producers is actress Sandra Bullock, who has a recurring role as a klutzy colleague with depth perception problems.
There are a few bittersweet episodes as George learns that his father--whom he had been told was dead--is actually alive and could be one of his former assembly line co-workers, Lalo (guest star Cheech Marin)--even though Lalo is gay. That the show's writers and cast are able to make this implausible scenario somehow ring true--and funny--is a testament to their talent. The language tracks are in English and Spanish, with Spanish subtitles also included as an option. Fans of the show will notice one major difference between the televised episodes and the DVD version: Instead of War's infectiously catchy "Low Rider" starting each show, the theme has been replaced (due to rights issues) by generic music mixed in with some Lopez quips. All things considered, George Lopez is a refreshing variation on the loving, but blemished, all American family. --Jae-Ha Kim