Mission Hill - The Complete Series
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Mission Hill: The Complete Series (DVD)
It's just around the corner and close to home- a funky, colorful neighborhood where a college degree can bring you an exciting career in retail sales. Welcome to your world: Mission Hill. Meet overqualified, underemployed, 24-year-old Andy French. Ambition: to be a cartoonist. Occupation: salesman at Waterbed World. Hobby: Where's the party? But responsibility soon knocks on the door of the loft apartment Andy shares with two fellow slackers when Kevin, a nerdy 17 -year-old who wears his SAT score on his shirt and his admiration for big brother Andy on his sleeve, moves in. And, for good measure, so does the French family's dog. Friends, roomies, canines, countrymen: lend me your beers. They're all part of the daze of Andy's life. And all here in this Complete Series DVD Set.]]>
A colorful cross between the graphic art of Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) and the TV work of Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks), Mission Hill centers around 24-year-old slacker Andy French (Wallace Langham, CSI). A wannabe-cartoonist, Andy works at Waterbed World with part-time girlfriend Gwen (Jane Wiedlin, the Go-Gos). In the pilot, his nerdy 17-year-old brother, Kevin (Scott Menville, The Wonder Years)--beer-swilling pooch, Stogie, in tow--moves in with Andy and spacey roommates Jim (Brian Posehn, Mr. Show) and Posey (Vicki Lewis, Newsradio) when the French parents relocate to Wyoming.
Created by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons), Mission Hill began life on the WB, but was unjustly axed after six episodes. As Andy notes in "Andy vs. the Real World," "I'm not MTV material. Hell, I'm barely WB material." The hand-drawn 'toon was a better fit for the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim animation block, which aired the remaining seven. (Five more were written, but not produced.) During its run, Andy and Kevin meander through their share of mishaps. They include Kevin accidentally burning down pal Georges mini-mart in "Kevin's Problem," the brothers falling for George's sister in "Andy and Kevin Make a Friend," and Andy losing his job in "Unemployment Part One."
Guest voices include David Clennon (thirtysomething) as Jim's boss ("Unemployment Part Two") and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle) as the strange object of Kevin's affection ("Kevin Finds Love"). Other voices include Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Dave Thomas (SCTV), who voice a variety of characters. Cake performed the funky title theme ("Italian Leather Sofa"); although not all of the other alt-rock acts featured in the show made it to DVD. Fun fact: Kevin's gravel-voiced gay neighbor, Gus (Nick Jameson, Foghat), was based on tough guy Lawrence Tierney (Reservoir Dogs). --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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The show itself thrives off of its brilliant, mundane, situational humor. In fact, the show is so mundane that you almost feel like you are living in Mission Hill and become Andy's roommate. Every time something bad happens you'll either think to yourself "Wow! That's my life," or "Thank God my life isn't as bad as his." Andy is the typical twenty-something year old living on his own and not caring at all about his budget or anything for that matter. He loves drinking, eating Bugels, and watching famous puke scenes from movies. I find that he is the most unforgettable character out of any series that I have ever seen. He basically gets stuck "babysitting" his teenage brother Kevin, who is probably the biggest nerd ever. While Andy isn't the brightest bulb in the crayon box, he knows a lot about the world. He almost never gets a break from life. His roommate Jim is, to say the least, hilarious. I can't even begin to describe him; you will just have to see for yourself if you haven't already. You will love him from the moment you see him. Posey is basically a typical hippie. She is a very slow, absent-minded individual who enjoys meditating and gardening. Andy also has several neighbors in his apartment complex. Gus and Wally are a gay couple that live in the apartments and are friends with Andy. Gus runs a diner, and Wally works at the movie theater. Even if you are homophobic, you are pretty much forced to love them. Carlos, Natalie, and their baby are also neighbors of Andy. They are major hippies and animal rights activists. Carlos is a painter and somewhat of a hypocrite. I don't think the writers ever reveal what Natalie does however. Andy's dog, Stogie, is also a pretty funny addition to the cast of characters. He can't talk like Brian in Family Guy, but put a dog on a whole bunch of drugs and you get Stogie. That's the only way I can describe him.
The only real con to the DVD box set is that one of the episodes has messed up audio. It is the episode with the "nerd" convention where George's sister comes to town, and Andy and Kevin are fighting over her. The voices are softer than the sound effects (ex: slamming a door). If you have surround sound hooked up, then this will probably really bother you. I personally was not too bothered by this. It is somewhat bad, but I think it gets a little better as the episode progresses. This is the only episode where this is a problem though. All the other episodes have really good audio. For this one episode, just turn the TV volume up a little more to hear the dialogue and tune out the ambient noises.
1) Remarkable character development
2) The plots of the episodes are really good.
3) The series is hilarous.
4) Artwork is very enticing.
5) You will most likely be able to relate to the characters and feel at home in their environment.
6) The theme song is an edited version of "Italian Leather Sofa" by Cake, and Cake is an awesome band.
1) The audio is messed up in one episode.
Mission Hill chronicles the lives of the French brothers and their wacky roomies and neighbors of their tenant building in Mission Hill (which, according to the creators' commentary, is based on the Wicker Park community in Chicago). Although the show originally aired in 2000 (i think) on the WB (young teen girl's network...bad place for this show, hence the cancellation) it does a great job of poking fun at the pop culture of today. I find myself able to empathize with Andy French, the main character of the show, who is a 24 year-old wannabe cartoonist (like me, only I'm a 3D artist) working at a water bed store that has to take on Kevin, his younger 17 year old brother, as a roomie so that Kevin can continue to go to school in the area in the event of his parents moving to another state . Ensuing are many great comedic moments between the rival siblings and the ensuing adventures of their roommates and neighbors, which are interwoven so well in the show.
As other reviewers have noted, there are audio 'problems' throughout some episodes simply because of rights issues with songs. In the episode 'Unemployment Part 1' there is a moment where it even appears that music was used to cover up some dialog, for reasons to me unknown (never saw this episode on TV...put it back on Adult Swim!). All other music missing or replaced is a simple case of not being able to get rights to use it on the DVD because the studio didn't want to pay for the royalties, I'm guessing. Damn those music labels and their greed...anywho, it's a small price to pay to have a fantastic show like this on hand to watch whenever you feel like some quality TV viewing.
I can only hope that enough people buy this DVD set to produce enough interest from Paramount to restart production of this show and bring back all the fantastic people involved in making this show what it was. If a crappy show like Family Guy can come back from the dead, surely a genius show like this can...though I fear it will not happen.
For all the mediocre, even down right horrible series on TV that are renewed year after year, it blows my mind that this one was canceled. Perhaps it was ahead of it's time, as I believe if it came out today, people would be going crazy for it.
The series was ahead of its time ... on the wrong network, unfortunately. Were it a new series now, it might have been pitched to Comedy Central or Cartoon Network (Adult Swim) and survived not only to _finish_ the first season but for subsequent seasons as well.
The episodes have a slightly higher replay value than most series', a lot of the humor and in fact, some of the best humor is very subtle - such as the No Smoking sign in Jim's office. Moreover, the question everyone always asks is finally answered in the commentary, I am referring of course to the reason all of the characters appear to have Jaundice and yellow teeth. ;)
For ~$20, the two-disc set is well worth it - it would make a great stocking stuffer for anyone with a Kevin or Andy character in his or her own life. :)
Most recent customer reviews
I love the snarky attitude Mission Hill offers, it's comedy,wit,and it was...Read more