Becker: The Second Season (1999)

Genre(s): Comedy
Paramount || NR - 526 minutes - $36.98 || February 3, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-02-02


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Dave Heckel (creator)
Cast: Ted Danson, Terry Farrell, Hattie Winston, Shawnee Smith, Alex Desert


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Full Frame (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Stereo)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

[Parts from my season one review.]

“Becker” is a semi-hit TV series that ran on CBS from 1998 to 2004, an impressive six seasons. It was created by Dave Hackel, who also served as executive producer on “Wings” and was a creative consultant on “Frasier”. The series follows Dr. John Becker, a grouchy fart who always speaks his mind even though nobody asks for his input. His only friends consist of a blind man (Desert), a coffee shop owner (Farrell), his office assistant/secretary (Winston) and a ditzy assistant (Smith).

“Becker” is the kind of show that is enjoyable enough and produces some good laughs, but never produced classic material compared to shows like “Cheers”, “Frasier” and even “Friends”. But what makes the show good is that is it has a certain heart at its core.

The supporting cast also works well together, developing a nice chemistry only a few episodes in. Terry Farrell as Reggie is cute, a bit feisty and an interesting inclusion as a sort of love interest for Becker, though nothing develops until, if I remember right, later in the series. The addition of Jake provides Becker with, I guess, his only male friend and although they use the blind jokes sometimes too often, he’s a fun character and Alex Desert plays him with good comic timing. Hattie Winston as Nurse Margaret plays the mother type to Becker grounding him and never taking crap from him either. Last, Saw fans will recognize Shawnee Smith and if anything, “Becker” shows she has a good amount of range able to handle thankless comedy to drama to horror-thriller.

In its second season, “Becker”, like many sitcoms, seems to find its groove in both cast chemistry and storytelling. This season finds a way to both provide very funny situations for the grouchy Dr. Becker to stumble into and at the same time develop the character so it won’t get stale after 10 episodes. What I also like about the show in general, not just this season, is despite continuing storylines and whatnot; you can still go from one episode to another without missing a beat. Although some episode may not necessarily be considered standalones, you can turn one on without seeing previous episodes (i.e. “Becker” is now showing on Universal HD – in widescreen – but you can turn it on whenever you want).

“Becker” isn’t that great of a show and occasionally the gags/jokes fall short, but with Ted Danson in the lead and a solid supporting cast, it is far from an average series. For fans of Danson, or perhaps those yearning for ye ole days of the annoying laugh track, give this a try again.

EPISODES:
01. Point of Contact
02. Imm-oral Fixations
03. Cyrano De-Beckerac
04. Linda Quits
05. My Boyfriend’s Back
06. Shovel Off to Buffalo
07. He Said, She Said
08. Stumble in the Bronx
09. Hate Thy Neighbor
10. Pain in the Aspirin
11. Blind Curve
12. Santa on Ice
13. The Hypocritic Oath
14. The Rumor
15. All the Rage
16. Old Yeller
17. The Roast that Ruined Them
18. For Whom the Toll Calls
19. The Bearer of Bad Tidings
20. One Angry Man
21. Sight Unseen
22. Crosstalk
23. Cooked
24. Panic on the 86th Floor



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Once again, no features have been included. I only hope when the final season gets released, they’ll at least add some sort of retrospective featurette or something...



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“Becker: The Second Season” comes to you in standard full frame presentation and really it’s a fair transfer but like many template sitcoms, it’s not going to be a visual feast. Like I mentioned, the series is being shown on Universal HD in widescreen and actually looks great given it’s now 10 years old. But on DVD, it’s acceptable enough.

On the audio front, the Dolby Surround track is serviceable but nothing more. If you expect 5.1 quality then you’ll be sorely disappointed.



.::OVERALL::.

“Becker” is not the classic sitcom like “Cheers”, “Frasier” or “Friends”, I doubt anyone really remembers this show until you see it on the schedule, after which you’d say, “Oh, forgot about that one,” and soon enough discard it. It’s unfortunate because it’s a show you really don’t have to think about and one that even weaker episodes still make you laugh, which is all I can ask for from a sitcom.