The Drew Carey Show
The Complete First Season
Drew Carey, Kathy Kinney, Diedrich Bader
Christa Miller, Ryan Stiles
4 DVDs 22 Episodes
Originally aired ABC 1995-96
Warner Home Video 2007

The Drew Carey Show overstayed its welcome but the 22 episode 4 DVD The Complete First Season set shows why it lasted nine seasons.  An ensemble cast always makes a sitcom successful and Ryan Stiles (also of Whose Line Is It Anyway fame), Diedrich Bader, and Christa Miller make up that ensemble cast. Of course, a lot of the laughs in this situation comedy come from Kathy Kinney as Drew Carey’s arch-enemy Mimi. She is part and parcel of the pilot episode of The Drew Carey Show.

The Drew Carey Show worked in the early years because Carey is a very personable comic and this was translated in the character he played. This situation comedy was also ground breaking sometimes: the live broadcast, the Rocky Horror episode, the What’s Wrong With This Episode shows, and so on. The topics were also very original. The Drew Carey Show The Complete First Season includes the three part show where Drew gets into trouble for sending out a company memo where a caterpillar is trying to make it with a French fry. For a first season situation comedy to take on a topic like that shows even early on Carey was confident he could deliver. Look for Penn and Teller as Winfred-Louder’s legal team of Fenn and Geller. I enjoyed the Pauly Shore slams that are slipped in here and there: “Lots of guys made it bit with only one idea. The White-out lady, the Post-it-note guy, Pauly Shore.”

Not everything in Drew Carey season one works. His redneck neighbors make an early disappearance even if Blake Clark (the graveled voice guy on Home Improvement) is one of them. I always like watching pilots to bet on who’s going to make an early exit: this sitcom had all its horses in the gate from day one. Mrs. Louder, Nan Martin, first appears in episode 9, the Christmas show which itself is kind of lame. Still, you get Mimi and Drew in every show and that is always a lot of fun.

Aside from the three shows about the cartoon, good shows include: The Electron Doesn’t Fall Far From The Nucleus, DVD 2, where Drew turns down membership in his dad’s lodge because it’s is racist and then confronts his dad about his expectations; Isomers Have Distinct Characteristics, DVD 3 where Carey has to deal with an employee strike and Oswald and Mimi manning the make-up counters with Mimi in charge of makeovers; and the show where Drew fires an employee with a mental history. In fact, DVD 3 of The Drew Carey Show The Complete 1st Season features many of the really good shows.

Fans of the show will also enjoy the personal shopper face-off between Kate, Mimi, and Lisa. The results are, to say the least, stunning. Drew also becomes head of promotions on DVD 4 and, of course, his great idea gets him back to human resources. You will also enjoy the trip Drew and friends make to the inventor’s exposition that also launches the Buzz Beer stories.

Special features on The Drew Carey Show The Complete First Season include a short 900-Mimi spoof and Life Inside A Cubicle where the cast and producer reminisce about season one.


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