The Osbournes: The First Season DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Starring: Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne, Jack Osbourne

Features:

  1. Two-disc set, ten episodes in set
  2. Option to play uncensored or censored version
  3. Running audio commentary by Sharon and Jack Osbourne
  4. Ozzy translator
  5. “Too Oz for TV” Blooper Reel
  6. Never before seen, unaired footage
  7. Conversations with the Osbournes
  8. Season highlights

Released by: Miramax Home Entertainment
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format

My Advice: Rent it.

I’ll admit, when I first heard of The Osbournes, I thought it would be another brick in that appalling edifice of mediocrity called Reality TV. After watching a few episodes, my opinion began to soften and after viewing the DVD set for the first season, I’ve actually started liking the show. As anyone who hasn’t been in an underground bunker knows, the show covers the life and times of Ozzy Osbourne, elder statesman of hard rock, his wife and manager Sharon, and two out of their three kids, Jack and Kelly (Aimee opted out of the show).

We see the clan dealing with the chaos of tour schedules, publicity appearances, and being part of the rock-n-roll scene. On the flip side, we also see the brood deal with moving into a new house, troublesome pets and neighbors, and relatively normal family crises. Yes, I said normal. A lot of people have focused on the outrageousness of the Osbournes’ behavior: the constant swearing, the jet set lifestyle, and the bratty behavior. It’s not every family that has Elijah Wood helping them clean dog pee off the sofa. But there’s a lot of behavior that anybody can recognize: the parents talking to kids about the dangers of drugs and condomless sex, the kids being grossed out by their parents kissing, and the tumult caused by the daughter Kelly getting a tattoo. That’s what makes the show work, the juxtaposition between these two.

The DVD has plenty of features to add to your Osbourne experience. With each episode, you can censor the prodigious profanity for those with more sensitive ears or those who like the constant beeping. You get the “Ozzy Translator”: subtitles for Ozzy’s thick Birmingham accent and nervous stutter. There is also a commentary for the episodes by Sharon and Jack Osbourne. They talk about how innocent they were before they exploded on the media landscape and how MTV’s editing of the footage changed how certain situations really were. But mostly it’s Sharon’s whining about her dead cat and Jack complaining about the Sinatra lounge music the series uses. It could have been more disciplined, but it wouldn’t be the Osbournes then, would it?

Other features include cut scenes from the episodes that removed due to time or being too gimmicky. Highlights include Ozzy appearing on the call-in radio sex show Loveline and Jack’s birthday celebrations. I can see why they were cut from the show since they don’t add to the episodes they were cut from as a whole, but they’re still entertaining for the most part. We also get interviews from the ‘cast’ about the experience of having cameras around twenty-four hours a day, how their lives have changed since the show aired, and that even though they fight like their cats and dogs, they really do love each other. Then there’s the blooper reel with the family running into cameramen, cameramen running into pets, and general silliness. And if want a quick hit, the disc features the best moments from the season. If you’re in the need for some guilty pleasure viewing, rent The Osbournes.

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