DVD Review: girlfriends (The Complete Series)

Before the CW became the Superhero network, they aired shows that dealt with normal people. It’s hard to believe that there could be a show about friends doing their best to face the challenges of the world with each others support. They’re not out to save the world, but keep up their bonds. Impossible you say? Well back in the Fall of 2000, Girlfriends appeared on what was then called UPN. The series quickly found a loyal following among young African-American viewers. Now all 8 seasons and 169 episodes have been collected on girlfriends: The Complete Series.

The show deals with four girlfriends doing their best to stay sane in a complicated world. Joan Carol Clayton (Black-ish‘s Tracee Ellis Ross) is the ringleader who finds herself often sacrificing her own life in order to help her friends. Maya Wilkes (Beauty Shop‘s Golden Brooks) once worked for Joan, but is now raising her kid. Her marriage is rather rocky over the seasons. Lynn Searcy (The Vampire Diaries‘ Persia White) is a rich kid who ends up working off jobs in order to be independent from her family. “Toni” Childs-Garrett (Ash vs Evil Dead‘s Jill Marie Jones) is a real estate agent who overcame a bad childhood to have bumpy adulthood. The four friends do their best to overcome life’s weirdness in a sitcom that mixed humor with real issues instead of treating everything as a joke.

The series was loaded with tons of guest roles from famous faces including Bernie Casey, Beverly Johnson, Big Boi, CCH Pounder, Isaac Hayes, Idris Elba (The Wire), Jackie Collins, Danny Bonaduce, Jill Scott, Kelly Rowland, Kat Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Rev. Al Sharton, Phil Morris (Seinfeld), Terrell Davis, Kurt Loder (MTV), Kadeem Hardison, John Salley, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (Welcome Back Kotter), Laila Al, Michael Warren, Master P, Mo’Nique and Wendell Pierce (The Wire). Even Dawn Wells from Gilligan’s Island popped by the set. Not only did Kelsey Grammer join the cast for an episode, he was executive producer on the series. The series spun off The Game which last nine seasons. girlfriends was about those bonds that make us human and not superheros in tights.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame for the first two seasons. The remainder at 1.78:1 anamorphic for the remaining seasons. The image looks fine for both versions. The audio is Stereo Surround for the first four seasons and 5.1 English Stereo. The levels keep the dialogue clear. The episodes are Closed Captioned.

Commentary Track with Mara Brock Akil on “I Want My Baby Back,” “Hot For Preacher,” “Time To Man Up,” “Willie Or Won’t He III: This Time It’s Personal” and “What Had Happened Was…”

We All Fall Down: A Closer Look at “Trick Or Truth?”

Creating the Show

Getting the Girls Together

Episode Guide

It’s What You Wear That Counts

Here Comes the Bride: An Invitation Inside “The Wedding”

Bonus Episode from The Game: “Away Game”

CBS DVD presents girlfriends: The Complete Series. Starring: Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White & Jill Marie Jones. Boxset Contents: 169 episodes on 25 DVDs. RDVD Release: January 9, 2018

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