I’ve admittedly never watched CBS much and while I can recall tuning into the premiere of Becker solely because I used to watch Cheers and I found Ted Danson humorous, I never did continue watching the series. Perhaps because I was eleven at the time and didn’t particularly find a whiney doctor humorous, but after catching it on repeats down the line I began to realize just how funny Becker really was.
Just what the doctor ordered – television’s angriest physician is back on DVD! Fans love Ted Danson as BECKER, THE Bronx doctor who’s ranting and raving drives his friends and co-workers nuts! This season, when John Becker goes to the rescue of his blind friend Jake (Alex Desert) he gets shot, but meets an attractive doctor while recuperating. And as diner owner Reggie (Terry Ferrell) goes back to college, office manager Margaret (Hattie Winston) is flabbergasted when wacky employee Linda (Shawnee Smith) takes in the diner’s most annoying customer. This 3-disc set includes all 24 Season Two episodes of the smart and funny series Becker, on DVD for the very first time. But don’t let Dr. Becker get started. He’ll end up telling you where it hurts!
There’s plenty to love about Becker and most of it stems from Danson’s hilarious portrayal of a seriously bitter doctor. Not only does he whine and moan about topics that no doubt anger the majority of the U.S. population (or at least those who live in New York), but he does them with wit and finesse that makes those talking against him feel incredibly stupid. Being a huge fan of the art of sarcasm, Becker is nothing short of absolute brilliance to me.
Knowing just how much I enjoyed the first season on DVD, I was eagerly waiting for this second season to pop up (it’s been almost a year since the first season was released) and was quite relieved to see it when it did. Of course the set is completely barebones again, but at least we get the series on DVD; it wasn’t exactly the most popular and acclaimed of all TV series, but it fits nicely into the little niche area of TV shows that are wonderfully written that not very many people know about or remember.
So what makes this second season enjoyable? Well between the twenty four episodes included here, it’s hard to find a stinker among the lot of them. There are a few (towards the end of the season mainly) that begin to take the series down a more serious avenue that isn’t necessarily the most well constructed bit of plot development for this series, but up until that point it’s hard to fault a single one of the episodes. From Becker high on valium to Becker in anger management, the season is filled with plenty of “classic” Becker moments that really define just what this show is all about.
The season is easily a step above the first, with a high number of episodes that entertain effortlessly from beginning to end. Becker, while the star of the series obviously, doesn’t even have a problem sharing the spotlight this season, with plenty of supporting character moments that keep the laughs coming even when Danson’s sarcastic character isn’t on screen. Linda’s incredible quirks are stronger than ever this season and Reggie and Jake are as entertaining as always.
Overall the second season of Becker is well worth checking out. I daresay it eclipses the first season in terms of consistency and quality, as it’s not until, again, the end of the season that things start to go a bit south, but considering the twenty some episodes that preceded it were all veritable gold, it’s hard to fault it for even a few of its flaws. Highly Recommended.
Becker arrives on his second DVD release in a three-disc set crammed inside of a single disc amaray case. The clear DVD case allows for the insert behind it to list all of the episodes on each disc and the tray in the middle holds two of the discs, with the third on the back like normal. Menus for the season are simple and easy to navigate, with only a few previews to precede the first disc in the set.
Video for this release is your standard 90s television fare, with an admittedly blurry transfer at times that has plenty of compression, artifacts and the occasional aliasing issue. It’s an older show, however, so you can’t fault it too much—it does look better than it did when it was originally broadcast, so there’s not much to complain about. The Dolby Surround 2.0 also sounds great, bringing through plenty of crisp and clear dialogue throughout the twenty-four episodes included on this set.
Moving onto the extras we have absolutely nothing. Aside for the previews, there are no extras whatsoever on this set—no commentaries, no bloopers, no deleted scenes, no nada. Granted there are twenty-four episodes spread across three discs, but there could have been a little something thrown in for the fans that waited so long. I personally just found it great to watch the show, but I would’ve liked a commentary with Danson and crew on the pilot at least to reminisce about it all; perhaps we’ll get something on the final season (which, if the show keeps its current release schedule, will arrive between 2013 and 2014).
Overall Becker is a strictly barebones, show-only release but for the fans who wanted it, it’s nice to finally have the second season. Hopefully it performs in sales well enough to warrant future releases at a faster release rate, as the show really is one of the more “overlooked” comedies from the late 90s. Recommended.
Becker – Season 2 is now available on DVD.