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The Ellen Show - The Complete Series
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2006
I didn't see this series when it was originally aired ... and I am so thankful for the DVD release! The premise is that Ellen is an ex-dotcom exec whose corporation has gone belly-up. She decides to move back to her hometown, the dot-on-the-map "Clark," where she is in for a real culture shock, as she adjusts to life as a guidance counselor at her old high school, as well as living with her mom and younger sister -- who cannot begin to comprehend some of the big-city ways Ellen has picked up in L.A.

The great thing about Ellen is that in every series or show in which she appears, there's a familiar feeling that always brings joy. You don't get the feeling that she's trying to be hip, or play up a role more than necessary. There's always that, for lack of a better term, "Ellen element" that is predictable in the most surprising ways.

The show's heart comes from the hilarious ignorance of the small-town characters (marvelously portrayed by the likes of Kerri Kenney, Jim Gaffigan, and others) and Ellen's attempts to interact effectively with them. Though the first two episodes are a bit slow, the plotlines get funnier and better-paced after that. There are some hysterical moments. For instance, in the episode "Vanity Hair," Pam (Kenney) cuts Ellen's hair, as does a dog groomer -- unbeknownst to Ellen. The dialogue in the process, as well as the results, will leave you out of control!

Also worth definite mention are Cloris Leachman in her role as Ellen's mom, and Emily Rutherford as Ellen's younger sister. They play their roles in a way that is not generically stereotyped, rather, zesty and unique.

I recommend this DVD set to any Ellen fans, as well as any who appreciate down-to-earth situation comedy!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2006
I like this show a bit more than Ellen's earlier hit show (where she famously came out); Cloris Leachman is very funny, sort of an abrupt version of Carol Brady, if you will. Her sister is also very, very good, Jim Gaffigan is not bad, and Martin Mull is essentially reprising the character he played on Roseanne.

Ellen is very subtle at times, but I think that's funnier than what you find in most "joke" oriented sitcoms. Lots of good observational humor, and Ellen DeGeneres is very likeable throughout. This is one that the audience never caught up with.

The Editorial Review dismisses the show because it didn't do well in the ratings, as if there's never been a wonderful show that didn't do well in the ratings! CBS buried this show on Friday nights, and preempted it more than once, so it never had a chance. The "standup comedian with his/her own show" window was closing--hardly Ellen DeGeneres' fault. This is a smart show, and Carol Leifer who worked on "Seinfeld" and had her own show (Alright Already) is co-creator, so you know it's going to have quality writing. That's the key.

I'm a comedy connoisseur, and believe me this is a smart comedy--along the lines of Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, The Bob Newhart Show, Barney Miller, Cheers, early Seinfeld, etc. Check it out.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 1, 2006
I remember watching this show when it was originally aired (oh-so-briefly) and thinking that although I was glad to see Ellen back on TV, it wasn't nearly as good or hilarious as her first sitcom. After purchasing and re-watching the series on DVD, I can see that it definitely holds its own. Ellen is the comical Ellen that we all know and love...and the storylines and jokes definitely suit her. For anyone who loves "Ellen" and/or "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," I highly recommend catching "The Ellen Show" as well. You won't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Here's another show (along with "Bette" and "What About Joan") which I'm still surprised didn't have a longer shelf-life. THE ELLEN SHOW was Ellen DeGeneres' followup to her "Ellen" sitcom (which folded in 1998 after it's fifth season when DeGeneres controversially came out both on the show and in real life). DeGeneres wisely avoided the trap which brought the axe down on her previous show, and established her character in THE ELLEN SHOW as gay right from the start, thereby getting the issue out of the way to focus on the stories at hand--of which very few focus on the character's sexuality.

In THE ELLEN SHOW, DeGeneres plays Ellen Richmond, a dot.com company owner who files for Chapter 11, and is forced to move back to her hometown of Clark. There, she finds her mother Dot (Cloris Leachman), crazier than ever, has kept her room exactly as she left it--anticipating the very day that Ellen would return home in precisely these circumstances! Ellen's man-crazy younger sister Catherine (Emily Rutherford) works at the pharmacy/coffee shop, and her former highschool boyfriend Rusty Carnouk (Jim Gaffigan) has a job at the...erm, highschool.

With nothing else to fall back on, Ellen applies for the position of guidance counsellor at her old highschool. A true fish-out-of-water, Ellen tries sharing and applying her "big city" life experiences with her new colleagues, only for everything to always end in disaster!

Due to poor ratings, THE ELLEN SHOW was canned after only one season. Watching the series again on DVD I'm struck by how strong and terribly sharp the writing was. It's a fantastic series! Cloris Leachman is hilarious as Ellen's mother--and Ms Leachman has been extremely discerning in recent years about the TV shows she commits herself to on a permanent basis--so it must have been good enough for her to sign the dotted line. Emily Rutherford (whom many would recognise as one of Jack's main acting students in "Will & Grace") is wonderfully goofy as Catherine. Martin Mull co-stars as highschool principal Mr. Munn--a role not too dissimilar from the one he filled in "Sabrina the Teenage Witch".

COMPLETE EPISODE LISTING:

"Pilot"- Ellen Richmond, a successful dot.com owner, returns in triumph to her hometown of Clark for the very first Ellen Day celebrations, until a phonecall turns her whole life around...

"Walden Pond" - Wondering how to spend the rest of her life - or the life she must lead in Clark - Ellen decides to mull over her options by sitting next to a calm river...

"Chain Reaction" - Ellen goes on the campaign trail when P.J. Knockers, a Hooters-esque chain restaurant, announces it will open a franchise in Clark...but is forced to change her tactics when Catherine lands a job there.

"Vanity Hair" - Ellen's set to appear in a "Where Are They Now?" article on failed dot.com execs in Vanity Fair, but first she must do something about her hairstyle...

"The Move" - Jealous of Ellen's new relationship with their mother (involving Tivo, "Judge Judy" and a fancy back-support chair), Catherine moves in with her latest boyfriend...without telling Dot.

"Muskrat Love" - Raccoons are devouring the Richmond lawn, but Ellen's truly disturbed when she discovers who the real culprit is...

"Joe" - Dot's new "gentleman caller" (Tom Poston) seems like a great guy, until Ellen spies him at the AA meetings she frequents because of their fantastic coffee...

"Cathy's Taffy" - Ellen needs a new ticket to success if she ever wants to leave Clark, and Catherine's super popular taffy recipe just might do the trick...

"Missing the Bus" - When Ellen accidentally sets long-time schoolbus driver Mrs Gibson (Betty White) into unwanted retirement, she must take up the steering wheel herself... Keep an eye out for Dakota Fanning, who plays a junior-school Ellen in the flashback sequence.

"Alive and Kicking" - Ellen tries to negotiate a way she can purchase her favourite brand-name groceries without upsetting Dot's frugal ways.

"Ellen's First Christmas" - Ellen invites Aunt Mary (special guest star Mary Tyler Moore), a successful Chicago journalist, home for Christmas; completely unaware of the feud which has kept her estranged from Dot.

"A Bird in the Hand" - Dot gives Ellen a hideous "family heirloom" brooch which she duly misplaces...

"Just the Duck" - When Catherine and Rusty secretly start dating, Ellen--wanting to dine solo at a fancy restaurant without shame or pity--becomes the third wheel in their relationship.

"Shallow Gal" - Wanting some belated acceptance into the "cool crowd", Ellen befriends former highschool cheerleading queen Rita (Maureen McCormick), alienating herself from her work colleagues in the process...

"Gathering Moss" - When Catherine becomes a mindless follower of motivational speaker Percy Moss (John Ritter), it's up to Ellen for some counter-brainwashing...

"A Matter of Principal" - When Mr. Munn appoints Ellen as his temporary replacement, all hell breaks loose at the highschool...

"Where the Sun Doesn't Shine" - Dot looks almost certain to win a prestigious local award...until Ellen is also nominated...

"One for the Roadshow" - When Ellen finds a sealed first edition Monopoly in the attic, it could provide the money she needs to buy her own place...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2007
What a great DVD this is to have in your collection! "The Ellen Show" is fun, smart, sincere, sweet and often downright hysterical. Back in 2006 I bought this, but somehow didn't open it until recently and boy, am I glad I did...it helped me get through a bad cold...it was the perfect medicine!!

Sometimes all you need to see is that "I know something you don't" twinkle in Ellen's eyes and you just start to laugh. The woman has talent, there's no doubt about that and it can be seen in almost every episode found on two discs.

Some of the best ones include the pilot where Ellen returns to her hometown after her dot com business goes bust and finds a quirky bunch of people, both in her family and her co-workers. These folks have no concept there's a whole world to be found outside the small town of Clark. It's this mindset, of course, that helps fuel the humor of the show.

Other terrific titles on the first disc include: "Walden Pond" (Ellen becomes Clark's high school guidance counselor and bonds with a troubled student)..."Vanity Fair" (contains a cute mix-up involving beauty salons and animal hairstylists...gives new meaning to "best in show")..."Missing the Bus" (I'm a bit biased here since I love Betty White, but still it's a super episode AND with a young Dakota Fanning who steals your heart as a young Ellen in flashback).

A strong supporting cast carries "The Ellen Show" far above the bad treatment it received from its own network (how a tv program like this got cancelled when "Yes, Dear" went on to have four seasons is beyond me!)

The lovable, if terribly misguided set of co-workers are played to comedic charm by the ever-reliable Martin Mull ("Mr Munn"), the surprisingly gifted Kerri Kenney (as "Pam" the awkward, but ultimately kind home ec teacher), the adorable Jim Gaffigan (who is more than suited for the role of teacher-of-all-trades "Rusty") and the much-loved Cloris Leachman (who is just wonderful and endearingly daff as Ellen's mom.)

The second disc is not to be missed either. "Ellen's First Christmas" offers us the delightful Mary Tyler Moore (just as much an influence on Ellen DeGeneres as Lucille Ball, I imagine)..."Just the Duck" captures the dilemmas singles face living in a small town and serves up some very bright moments of humor when Ellen attempts to dine alone at a fancy restaurant and finds plenty of patronizing pity on her plate..."Shallow Gal" speaks to all of us who weren't quite right with in the "in" crowd back in high school and secretly want a second chance (guest star Maureen McCormick couldn't have been better cast...I mean, it's "Marcia" we're talking about)..."Where the Sun Doesn't Shine" gives us a strong Cloris Leachman performance and proof that she has never lost her timing or her shine when it comes to delivering a great line.

My only disappointment here is that there are no extras (can you imagine the interviews they could have done?) and that there isn't more to love. "The Ellen Show" is a reminder that we need to save the sitcom before it dies for good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2013
This was such a great show, and it is a shame it did not last longer. The cast was amazing, with Martin Mull and Cloris Leachman, and the others who came together to make a very entertaining and quirky program. Most every episode was hysterically funny and very well written. Too bad Ellen's popularity had not yet reached the heights of today. I am sure it would have been a very longrunning and successful show. It is nice to be able to see it again now on DVD though.
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22 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2006
I'm very Glad that Ellen Degeneres's 2001 sitcom "The Ellen Show" is coming to DVD! This DVD set is on 2-DVDS, and it includes al 18 epiodes(only 13 were shown in the US.) I know this will be Great & I know you will like it to.(Also please bring"Ellen" Seasons 4&5 to DVD sooooon!!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2011
This was a great series. I was exremely disappointed when it was cancelled after only one season. As good as "Ellen" was, I think "The Ellen Show" was actually better. Her interaction with her mother and sister was great, and the butch gym teacher was one of the all-time funniest characters in sitcom history. Buy it and you will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2009
LOVE LOVE LOVE Ellen DeGeneres! This is a great 1st season of her 2nd sitcom. Chloris Leachman is hysterical as her mother too!!! As always Martin Mull is great as the principal of her old school. Ellen has certainly answered her calling as a comedian and entertainer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I never watched this series so decided to purchase it. Fantastic ,laugh,laugh,laugh! I got a fantastic deal on this DVD package and know that I'll be back.
Thanks
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