A very funny series from IFC, "The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman" stars comedian Laura Knightlinger as Jackie, a writer at an independent film magazine who hangs out with pal Tara (Nicholle Tom, who viewers may remember as the daughter from "The Nanny"), a low-level employee at a production company.
Enjoyably deadpan and cynical, "Minor Accomplishments" opens surprisingly well with its debut episode, where Jackie and Tara get into a minor auto accident with actress Sally Kellerman, who Jackie tries to pitch a story on. However, things are derailed when Tara is sucked into a cult called "Step Up". The show's parody of such cult groups has been done before, but its subtle digs - and surprise reveal - are pretty funny and reasonably fresh. In another episode, a boyfriend steals her prized script idea, then offers her a job working on the film. In "Tumor Has It", Jackie gets elevated to the role of co-writer when studio execs think she has cancer.
Knightlinger is a delight in the lead role, giving a performance that manages to be slightly bitter and acidic, yet still sympathetic. She and Tom are a fun match together, as despite the occasional bickering, they're convincing as friends.
The show's only major fault is the filming, which appears to be digital video. It's truly not pretty, as the interiors can appear murky and exteriors look dark. Colors can also look off at times, as well. I can see where the series was trying to go for a somewhat gritty look at a less glam side of Hollywood, but instead, the series just looks cheap and rough. It doesn't make the series unwatchable by any means, but I did find it slightly distracting at times and it took a while to get used to. Overall, I thought this was a funny little show, but it could use a visual makeover.
1. 1- 1 6 Aug 06 Cult Classic
2. 1- 2 11 Aug 06 Mudlarking
3. 1- 3 18 Aug 06 Pounded
4. 1- 4 25 Aug 06 Tumor Has It
5. 1- 5 1 Sep 06 Turning Manure into Soy
6. 1- 6 8 Sep 06 Peyote Ugly
7. 1- 7 15 Sep 06 Nemesisyphus
8. 1- 8 22 Sep 06 The R*******
VIDEO: "Jackie Woodman" is presented by IFC in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Again, the show's digital video "look" isn't exactly the most appealing, but this transfer appears to do what it can with the material. Sharpness and detail are average, as while some scenes appear crisp enough, others can look noticably soft. The picture does also show some slight artifacting at times and colors can veer into looking unnatural. Still, the transfer seems to do about as best it can with difficult material.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack has some moments where the audio threatens to be slightly drown out by what's going on around the main characters, but the majority of the audio is crisp and clear.
EXTRAS: "Making Of" featurette and season 2 preview.
Final Thoughts: Hopefully the series will go for a new look next season, but the material's solid and the performances are very good. The DVD offers decent image quality and fine audio, as well as a couple of extras.