Weird Science - The Complete Seasons 1 & 2
DVD | Box Set
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Wyatt Donnelly and Gary Wallace are two regular high school nerds struggling with unpopularity, a serious dating drought, and the endless torment of Wyatt s older brother Chett. They use their computer skills to create their dream girl, Lisa, whose supermodel good looks and super-genius brain are overshadowed only by her extraordinary power to grant the boys whatever they desire. But Lisa often takes the boys wishes a bit too literally, and things don t always turn out quite as planned.
From the first bolt of inspiration through their high-tech attempts at wish fulfillment in dating, sports, and popularity, WEIRD SCIENCE is a comical look at Wyatt and Gary s uproarious misadventures, and at what happens when high school gets reinvented.
Based on the classic John Hughes film of the same name, every episode of the first two seasons of this hilarious hit science-fiction series is collected here for the first time on DVD.
DVD Features: Audio Commentary on She s Alive and The Bazooka Boys with Cast Members Vanessa Angel, John Mallory Asher, Audio Commentary on She s Alive: and The Most Dangerous Wish by Michael Manasseri; Trivia Quiz; Cast Biographies
Based on John Hughes' popular teen science-fiction comedy of the same name, the Weird Science series took the film's premise--two socially inept high schoolers use technology to create their own fantasy woman--and took it to outlandish ends over the course of its four-year run. The show toned down the original feature's raunchier aspects--though ravishing in her wardrobe, dream girl Lisa (played by Vanessa Angel) hewed closer to Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie than vampish Kelly LeBrock)--and the boys (John Mallory Asher and Michael Manaserri in the Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith roles, respectively) play more as good-natured goofs than hormonally charged nerds. Much of the show's humor came from Lisa's ability to grant the guys' wishes, which invariably went awry (spots on the basketball team in "Airball Kings" lead to a disastrous season; Manaserri accidentally becomes the Commander-in-Chief in "Mr. President"; Lisa's clones of the boys--made from bubble gum--want to replace them permanently in "The Bazooka Boys"), though Lee Tergesen (later of Oz) earned plenty as Wyatt's thick-skulled brother Chett. Though the fashion and music scream early '90s, the show's breezy, silly gags have largely remained fresh, which should please its longtime fans. All 23 episodes of the first two seasons are retained in this four-disc box set; Asher and Angel are also on hand to lend commentary to three episodes, including the pilot, "She's Alive," "Bazooka Boys," and "The Most Dangerous Wish" (Lisa brings a video game villain to life). A trivia quiz and cast biographies round out the extras. --Paul Gaita
- 26 episodes on four discs
- Commentary by cast members on three episodes
- Trivia quiz
- Cast biographies
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Spinning off from the 1985 John Hughes cult classic, with geeky high school pals Gary Wallace (John Mallory Asher) and Wyatt Donnelly (Michael Manasseri), inspired by 'The Bride of Frankenstein', attempting to create a virtual woman to learn more about the opposite sex, but by some twist in the time-space continuum, they unwittingly create a real, live woman; Lisa (the GORGEOUS Vanessa Angel), who is capable of manipulating reality to grant the boys' wishes... and frequently screwing with the already warped mind of Wyatt's somewhat sadistic older brother, Chett (the HILARIOUS Lee Tergessen, whose every word is pure comedy gold).
Season 1 is a loose remake of the film, featuring Lisa's creation in the pilot, 'She's Alive', which is actually pretty faithful to the opening of the film, and the second-to-last episode of the season, 'Killer Party', takes the premise of the boys throwing a party at Wyatt's house, but vastly changing the plot and the outcome. There really aren't any episodes I don't like, but if I had to pick a favorite from Season 1 I'd have to go with 'Sex Ed', as one of the great Gary-centric episodes.
Season 2 is equally, if not more, hilarious. Favorites include 'The Most Dangerous Wish', 'Nightmare On Chett Street', 'Magic For Beginners' (which prominently features series regular, the great Bruce Jarchow as Principal Scampi, Chett's sworn nemesis), and 'Chett Reborn'.
The set features commentaries by John Asher, Michael Manasseri, and Vanessa Angel for 'She's Alive', 'The Bazooka Boys', and 'The Most Dangerous Wish', and I recommend them for fans. Michael Manasseri gives great insight into the technical aspects of TV production, and John Asher and Vanessa Angel are a delight to listen to as they share some of the backstories and joking that went on behind the scenes. They all seem to agree that Chett was the funniest character, and although Gary was my favorite character, I concur. Having gone back and watched YEARS later, I realize I still regularly spout Chett one-liners, having totally forgotten where I ripped them off of.
The only thing that would've made the set perfect would've been the inclusion of seasons 3, 4, and 5. Seasons 3 and 4 both tie for my favorite, and 4 features my favorite episode 'Lisa's Childhood Memories'. But I went ahead and gave the set five stars because just having 1 and 2, as well as commentaries, is very exciting for me considering how much I loved this show when it first aired on the USA Network. It was a show for basic cable, and although it's appeared on ABC Family in the interim, and they mention it being a "family friendly" show in the commentary, some of the jokes are very liberal/sexually oriented and true to John Hughes' source material. Along with 'Duckman', it aired pretty late originally, right before another childhood favorite USA Up All Night.
Highly recommended for anyone, but fans especially shouldn't hesitate to pick it up, or else my dream of 'Weird Science' on DVD might go the way of another favorite Universal-produced series, 'Night Gallery'. Here's hoping for the rest of 'em.
Huges had based his movie version more on the Frankenstein/Bride of Frankenstein films. Producers Tom Spezialy and Alan Cross wisely decide to base the TV series on a more recent classic..."I Dream of Jennie". The Lisa character became much more like an ecentric genie whoes wishes didn't always go as planned. The roles of Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly were teen versions of Major Healy and Major Nelson respectfully. Wyatt's sadistic older brother Chett (played by the brillant Lee Tergesen of "OZ" fame) took the brunt of many of Lisa's antics as did Principal Scampi, both actors taking a liking to the franzeled Doctor Belows character.
After a few akward and somewhat uncomfoiratable episodes were Gary and Wyatt "create" Lisa then try hitting on her consistenly, the show settles down into a more user friendly "wish of the week" formate. The show is still far more sexual than "I dream of Jennie" ever was (we see a little more than Lisa's belly button) and is not really appropraite for kids under 13 since Gary and Wyatt often wish for attention from the opposite sex. As the show moved into the second season less empasis was put on sex and more on crazy antics, also Lee Tergesen takes on a stronger role. Also story lines began riffing more on popular culture like the movie "E.T"., "2001", and video games.
A&E, the distrubuters of the DVDs, wisely choose to combine the first two seasons as both are well under the standard 22 episodes. However few extras are on the set, a few commentaries by actors John Mallory Asher (Gary Wallace), Vanessa Angel (Lisa), and Michael Manasseri. (Wyatt Donnelly) give a little insight into the show, like the fact that Seth Green almost got the role of Gary and that John Ashers real mom played his TV mom. A trivia game and actor bios are also added but bring little value to the set as a whole.
"Weird Science" will never be mentioned in the same breath as "The Honeymooners" or "Seinfeld", reguardless the show is surprisingly enjoyable. It is simply a fun little show that manages to hit more right notes than wrong ones, which is always rare in television.
OK, it pushes the bounds of reality, but that's the fun of it. The movie took a teen male fantasy of creating a woman for their own purposes and the series expands on it. Many story lines deal with the concept of "be careful what you wish for". The male stars will remind you of the originals. Lisa has little resemblence to Kelly LeBrock. She is basically a genie. She can create magical things, but they are shortlived... most of the time thankfully so!
Overall, a fun watch.