There’s plenty of reasons people get married. Love is primary. But Royal couples tie the knot in order to expand their families empires. Criminal families exchange nuptials so they can’t be compelled to testify against each other. Why did Ned Dorsey (Wings‘s Thomas Haden Church) and Stacey Colbert (Will & Grace‘s Debra Messing) say, “I do?” They both had needs that could be fulfilled with each other. Sadly none of those needs were emotional, spiritual or carnal in nature. Ned needed a wife so that he could be taken seriously for promotion at his advertising firm. Stacey was in desperate need of an apartment so she doesn’t have to live with her parents. They were a match made in Manhattan’s personal ads. Ned and Stacey: The Complete Series brings together both seasons including the 11 episodes that Fox didn’t air when it axed the show early.
“Pilot” lays out the show of both Ned and Stacey desperately seeking a solution so they can continue enjoying New York City. How do they meet? Turns out Stacey is the sister of Ned’s office accountant’s wife. The two can’t really stand each other, but oddly enough neither of them are ultra uptight about the sacrament of marriage. So they get hitched with a real ceremony since they need to at least have nice photos for Ned to have in his office. Of course there’s little differences as Ned picks up one of the hotel employees to take on a date during his honeymoon. And even though they have an agreement that this is all for show, Stacey gets a little hurt. Can she handle her emotions or will she be moving back in with her parents? “Take My Wife, Please” has things flip when Stacey begins dating a guy and Ned find he has issues with his wife happy with another man. And her date gets confused as to what’s really happening. “Model Husband” has accountant Eric (Allie McBeal‘s Greg Germann) getting too close to the actress (Paulina Porizkova) in a pick up truck ad. He doesn’t think his wife (Happy Accidents‘ Nadia Dajani) will understand that it’s just to get her perform right. “Threesome” has the couple going nuts when John Slattery (Mad Men) arrives. They both want to be close to him for different reasons.
Fox canceled the series halfway through the second season after they had greenlit the series for an entire year. This meant that there were 11 episodes unaired. Excitedly enough, they are part of the boxset. For fans of the original run, you have a massive new gift to absorb. Most of the episodes deal with them filling out the paperwork for the divorce and wondering if they really do want to be married to each other. “Best of Luck In Future Projects” has the last days of the marriage. Ned needs Stacey for one last business dinner. It works as an ending for the series without being a finale.
Ned and Stacey is truly a gem from the mid-90s. They even had Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation) writing episodes and producing during the second season. They even have a quirky end credit jokes including when they get chased by a bear. Seems like the series should have lasted longer, but then we wouldn’t have Messing in Will & Grace. Getting to see the “lost” 11 episodes is like they revived Ned and Stacey for one last go around.
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer brings out the details of why you’d marry Ned for the apartment. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo. You’ll hear them argue on the right and left of the room. The episodes are Closed Captioned.
Creator Commentary on “Pilot” with Michael J. Weithorn. He went on to make King of Queens so he ended up on his feet.
Strings Attached (22:10) is a special about the series with cast and crew. They enjoyed the show with it’s odd view of marriage.
Shout! Factory presents Ned and Stacey: The Complete Series. Starring: Thomas Haden Church, Debra Messing, Greg Germann & Nadia Dajani. Boxset Content: 46 episodes on 6 DVDs. Released: September 26, 2017.
Tags: Debra Messing, Ned and Stacey, Thomas Haden Church