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Featured TV on DVD Review: According to Jim: Season Three

May 1st, 2011

According to Jim: Season Three - Buy from Amazon

The TV industry is very competitive and most shows don't last past their first season. Once 65 episodes are finished, the financial benefits of syndication start outweighing the benefits of making additional episodes. This is especially true when you hit seven seasons. According to Jim lasted eight seasons on TV. So is it a great show that deserved this longevity?

The Show

In a word, no. ... I should probably give more details than that before moving onto the next review.

Jim Belushi stars as Jim, husband of Cheryl and father of two daughters, Ruby and Gracie, and a young son, Kyle. He works with Andy, his brother-in-law, while his sister-in-law, Dana, practically lives at their house.

The typical episode plays out with some sort of problem, Jim overreacting and then making it worse, before things are fixed by the end of the episode. Whether it's trying to save money by Jim going grocery shopping instead of getting them delivered. Or getting his two daughters to raise money for scooters or getting into a competition with their neighbors. Or trying to get out of a baby shower. Or if he doesn't have a problem to overreact to, he creates one, by sneaking his daughters into a scary movie because he doesn't want to see a movie about a talking pig. Sometimes the screw-up is a team effort, like when Cheryl is stuck on the roof and Jim, Andy, and Dana don't even know she is missing. Sometimes, rarely but sometimes, Jim isn't even the cause of the screw-up, but the victim. Throughout the season, there are very few episodes that change that basic formula and for the most part the show is an unending stream of mediocrity.

There are a few highlight episodes. For instance, We Have a Bingo and Dana Dates the Reverend are fun, mainly because they feature guest appearances by Chris Elliot as Reverend Gaylord Pierson. Jane Lynch shows up as a competitive parent in The Lemonade Stand, which is a character she can nail. There are a few other guest stars worth noting. Nana Visitor from Deep Space Nine shows up as a demanding client of Jim and Andy in Who's the Boss?. Stephen Tobolowsky plays a marriage councilor in The Marriage Bank, while James Earl Jones provides the voice for a toilet in The Toilet, which sounds bad, but its one of the better episodes on the DVD.

The Extras

There are actually extras on the four-disc set, both on the final disc. Season 3 is a nine-minute retrospective while Live on Tape is a 14-minute look at the filming process. Both are talking heads interviews with Jim Belushi and others intercut with clips from the show. There are no subtitles, but there are play all buttons and chapter placement.

The Verdict

According to Jim is a sitcom in every sense of the word, and that's not really a compliment. Season Three is just too average to recommend. On the other hand, it's no worse that the past two seasons, so if you are a fan, take that into consideration.

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