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Rita Rocks: Season 1

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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(Apr 27, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Nicole Sullivan (MADtv) stars as Rita Clemens, an overworked wife, mother, and former lead singer of a Bangles cover band who has traded in a life of jam sessions and rock clubs for carpools and PTA meetings. On the verge of a full-blown identity crisis, Rita struggles to maintain romance with her husband, Jay (Richard Ruccolo, Two Guys and a Girl), juggle the demands of her 9-year-old daughter, Shannon (Kelly Gould, Lucky Louie), and discipline her defiant teenage daughter, Hallie (Natalie Dreyfuss) and her ever-present boyfriend, Kip (Raviv Ullman, Phil of the Future). In an attempt to reconnect with her youth and with the hopes of putting some spark back in her life, Rita dusts off her guitar and forms a garage band with Kip, her nosy postal carrier Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin, My Wife and Kids, Martin) and her unemployed neighbor Owen (Ian Gomez).

RITA ROCKS: THE COMPLETE SEASON 1 features all 20 episodes

DISC ONE: Pilot / Lies, Lies, Lies, Yeah-ah / You Gotta Have Friends / Flirting With Disaster / Mother s Little Helper / Nobody Does it Better / Take This Job and Shove It

DISC TWO: The Crying Game / Under Pressure / Got No Time / Love On the Rocks / I Write the Songs / The Girl Is Mine / Old Friends

DISC THREE: It s My Party / I Can t Make You Love Me / Get Off of My Cloud / Killer Queen / What s Love Got to Do With It? / We Can Work It Out / Bonus Music Video

BONUS FEATURE: Music Video Somebody to Worry About Performed by Nicole Sullivan, Tisha Campbell Martin, Raviv Ullman, and Ian Gomez. Lyrics and Music by Kathleen Wilhoite

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Nicole Sullivan, Richard Ruccolo
  • Directors: Lifetime
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010
  • Run Time: 430 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00366BBSA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,955 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rita Rocks: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I loved Nicole Sullivan in MAD TV and she made a perfect transition to "Rita Rocks". With my schedule (like Rita's, evidently), I didn't get to see all of the episodes, so I'm looking forward to watching the whole shebang again on the DVD set. Though sometimes predictable (like most sitcoms), the acting is never pretentious and everyone is a pleasure to watch. A great series to unwind with at the end of the day!
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Rita Rocks: The Complete Season One
20 Episodes on 3 Discs Widescreen Edition (2010) being released on DVD April 27

"Rita Rocks" stars Nicole Sullivan from MADtv as Rita, an overworked wife, mother, and former lead singer of a Bangles cover band who in the verge of an identity crisis with her family life decides to reconnect with her past by forming a garage band with her postal worker, an unemployed neighbor, and her daughter's boyfriend. The story angle seems a little unlikely, but she mostly still has the same conflicts as other sitcoms when someone wants to pursue a hobby or new career choice with occasional garage performances that are clearly studio taped and dubbed over them giving it a slight "Glee" feel without the dancing.

Nicole Sullivan has always been funny in MADtv and even though this is a more laid-back family version of her usual comedy, her voice and line delivery are hilarious. She is very believable as a family mom trying to keep everyone together and her singing voice is nice enough for this sitcom. She lights up the show while most of the other characters are a bit dull. Sullivan is charismatic and can still deliver lots of laugh-out-loud moments over the course of each episode.

Patty is the postal worker played by Tisha Campbell-Martin from the "Martin" TV show and is more impressive vocally as a singer. She still carries enough attitude to be funny but her singing voice is a little better than Sullivan's. I haven't seen postal workers delivering mail door to door handing it to people since black and white TV shows in the 1950s, but they try to make it seem like it's a natural everyday occurrence. She ends up becoming the sassy black best friend who gets to throw in stuff like "oh no she didn't!
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This show is precious. The parents actually get along and work together to raise their children. A great bonus in the show is Rita and the band. Most all the characters are interesting and endearing and really grew on me over time. It is very funny and can be enjoyed by the whole family as it is a wholesome show.
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A middle aged wife and working mom, who plays in a garage band in her spare time, is the center of attention in Rita Rocks (2008-2009) a comedy that aired on Lifetime for two seasons. Comedienne Nicole Sullivan is Rita Clemens, who met her husband Jay (Richard Ruccolo) in college, while playing in Bangles cover band. Living somewhere in Michigan, she now has two daughters, sixteen year old Hallie (Natalie Dreyfuss), and five year old Shannon (Kelly Gould). Working part time at a bed and bath store, Rita rediscovers her passion for music, forming a band with Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin), her local US mail carrier, Owen (Ian Gomez), a neighbor, and Kip (Ricky Ullman), her daughter Hallie's everpresent boyfriend.

Sullivan is probably best known for her outrageous portrayals on MAD TV, but there are few signs of the "Vancome Lady" here, as she plays things mostly straight, though often with a sarcastic undertone. Sullivan demonstrates the ability to carry a series, and displays some musical talent as well. Tisha Campbell-Martin as Patty, is ultra-sassy, and even louder and more opinionated than Rita. The relationship between these two strong personalities quickly becomes tight, and usually generates the most laughs. As Rita's insurance peddling husband, Richard Ruccolo is kind of passive, and something of a goof, but he does have some good points and remains likeable. On those occasions when her character is featured, Natalie Dreyfuss is usually pretty good as the slightly spoiled, mildly rebellious Hallie.

Rita and her bandmates come together to form a group in the pilot episode. Although each of the subsequent episodes is typically named after a popular song, it takes some time before the music becomes a significant factor.
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Over the last ten years, the number of quality sitcoms has consistently dwindled. Of the select group that remains, a good amount of these air on cable, rather than network television. Lifetime's "Rita Rocks" is one of only a handful of such shows that I've really gotten into post-2005.

The premise of the show is that Rita, a late-30s/early 40s mother of two with a working husband, tries to balance her motherly duties with a retail job on top of deciding to pursue a long-stifled desire to have her own band. The resulting story lines alternate between elements of each of these aspects of her life—with the "band" segments often focusing on brief, yet colorful, rehearsals in Rita's garage.

There are several elements that really make this series click, despite the fact that it boasts none of the over-the-top plots or far-fetched comedy that seem necessary to make a sitcom popular these days. One, the writing consistently displays a good balance of true-to-life scenarios with relatable, wholesome humor. Two, the cast members are clearly engaged in their roles, instead of pandering to a certain demographic or trend. Lead actress Nicole Sullivan is remarkably versatile yet understated; Tisha Campbell is sassy yet very likable in her role as Rita's friend/postal carrier, Patty; and Natalie Dreyfuss does a commendable job as Rita's older daughter, Hallie—effectively conveying the amusing temperament of a teenager without turning it into a stereotype.

I use the term "quirky" in my review title because, although Sullivan (as "Rita") is not a bad singer, it seems a little far-fetched that someone of her limited vocal range would be so passionate about forming a band at her stage of life.
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