All of these characters interact in familiar sitcom ways, but Elliott’s Peterson never comes around to learning a nice lesson like the format sets him up for. Get a Life displays a defiant disregard for continuity — episodes often feature Chris’ death and his utter lack of learning makes for a lead with unbelievably demented delusions of grandeur. Things get even more surreal in the second season when none other than pre-film career Charlie Kaufman and Bob Odenkirk joined as writers, and Chris moved into the garage of a deposed cop named Gus (Brian Doyle-Murray), who rivals Chris in the sociopath department.
Shout! Factory’s six disc set includes all 35 episodes in reasonable approximations of what they probably looked like when they aired. They’ve commissioned a number of superb special features that are as valuable as the show itself, although it’s unfortunate that Elliott isn’t a participant on any of them. One of the best extras is a laugh-track-free option on selected episodes, which is much more in line with the show’s sensibility.
Creator (and later Simpsons show-runner) Mirkin offers up a crash course on television production with his detailed, thoughtful audio commentaries, offered for every episode in either complete or selected-scene form. A number of new featurettes offer a history of the show’s production, reasons behind its cancellation, its cult status and the process of working in a writers’ room. A number of writers, executives and fans James L. Brooks and Judd Apatow offer their thoughts. A 2000 panel from Paleyfest, production stills, script pages, shot lists, storyboards and schedules are also included on the discs. The set comes packaged with a booklet with an essay by TV critic Tom Shales and episode info.