Season one of “The New Adventures of Old Christine” started off incredibly well with Julia Louis-Dreyfus carrying the series and proving herself able to rebound from the disappointing "Watching Ellie" (not to mention the "Seinfeld" curse that has plagued cast members in their efforts since that show ended.) Louis-Dreyfus offers an excellent (it won an Emmy, in fact) portrayal of a single mother who has to deal with multiple issues at once: her brother lives with her, she tries to maintain a friendship with her ex, she has to deal with the women at her child's private school who are nothing like her and - possibly worst of all - her ex's new girlfriend is named Christine (and is referred to as "New Christine".)
After season one of “The New Adventures of Old Christine” ended with Old Christine’s ex-husband Richard (Clark Gregg) being left by his girlfriend New Christine (Emily Rutherfurd), season two had something to build from. The first episode of season two reveals that Christine (Louis-Dreyfus proves she still has her impeccable comedic timing) and Richard have spent most of the summer hanging out together, which their son, Ritchie (Trevor Gagnon) misunderstands as them being officially back together. Of course, there wouldn’t be an Old Christine without a New Christine. New Christine and Richard try and reestablish their relationship during this season which adds the final element that helps keep “The New Adventures of Old Christine” from becoming stale.
While season one focused on introducing characters and creating the foundation for a new series, season two is able to offer more layered, quirky storylines and new additions to the cast that help make this a very funny and enjoyable season. Blair Underwood is briefly introduced in the first episode as Ritchie’s new teacher, Mr. Harris - who instantly grabs Christine’s attention. The relationship between Mr. Harris and Christine is humorously written and adds an interesting new element to the show, however Underwood and Louis-Dreyfus don’t have enough chemistry to make their continuing attraction believable.
Besides Mr. Harris, Christine finds herself trying to jump start her life and find a relationship. Scott Bakula plays one of Christine’s love interests who also happens to be New Christine’s dad. But one of the funnier relationships Christine has is with Richard’s friend, Tom (Dave Foley). While Foley only appears in one episode during season two, as a man Christine has little to no interest in (she can’t even remember his name), his banter with Louis-Dreyfus is so amusing that you can’t help but hope their paths continue to cross. Andy Richter returns again as “Sad Dad” Stan.
Of course, Christine isn’t the only one facing changes. Christine’s best friend Barb (Wanda Sykes) and brother Matthew (Hamish Linklater) have a big secret about their past that complicates their relationship. Sykes and Linklater add some of the best performances in “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and having them playing off one another in this season is highly enjoyable. It feels like Sykes has more to do in this season which, again, only enhances the quality of the series.
While the storyline between Mr. Harris and Christine is an entertaining one, some of the best episodes focus on Christine as she interacts with the people closest to her. Season two of “The New Adventures of Old Christine” is a wonderful follow-up to an already entertaining series. With supporting cast members getting more airtime and funnier lines, this season is worth watching for the first time or all over again. The cast play off each other perfectly and the show manages to balance the comedy with moments of heart. There is continuous wit and some unapologetic characteristics that make “The New Adventures of Old Christine” more than just another sitcom we’ve seen a hundred times before.
14. 2- 1 18 Sep 06 The Passion of the Christine (2)
15. 2- 2 25 Sep 06 The Answer is Maybe (1)
16. 2- 3 2 Oct 06 Come to Papa Jeff (2)
17. 2- 4 9 Oct 06 Oh God, Yes
18. 2- 5 16 Oct 06 Separation Anxiety
19. 2- 6 23 Oct 06 The Champ
20. 2- 7 6 Nov 06 Playdate with Destiny
21. 2- 8 13 Nov 06 Women 'N Tuition
22. 2- 9 20 Nov 06 Mission: Impossible
23. 2-10 27 Nov 06 What About Barb?
24. 2-11 11 Dec 06 Crash
25. 2-12 8 Jan 07 Ritchie Scores
26. 2-13 15 Jan 07 Endless Shrimp, Endless Night
27. 2-14 22 Jan 07 Let Him Eat Cake
28. 2-15 12 Mar 07 Sleepless in Mar Vista
29. 2-16 12 Mar 07 Undercover Brother
30. 2-17 19 Mar 07 Strange Bedfellows
31. 2-18 9 Apr 07 The Real Thing
32. 2-19 16 Apr 07 Faith Off
33. 2-20 23 Apr 07 My Big Fat Sober Wedding
34. 2-21 30 Apr 07 Friends
35. 2-22 7 May 07 Frasier
VIDEO: "The New Adventures of Old Christine" is presented here in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen by Warner Brothers. The quality of the episode presentations are not without a few minor concerns, but the overall impression is above average. Sharpness and detail were mostly quite good, as the image remained crisp and detailed throughout, with only a few hints of softness here-and-there.
The presentation did show some very slight instances of shimmer and pixelation, but no edge enhancement was spotted and no wear on the elements was visible. Overall, the presentation appeared mostly clean and up to broadcast quality. Colors were bright and well-saturated, with no smearing or other flaws.
SOUND: The show's Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation really doesn't offer much in the way of surround use, nor does it need to, given the material. This is primarily a dialogue-driven sound mix, and audio quality is just fine, with clear dialogue.
EXTRAS: “Adventures in Blunders”
This is a gag reel, and certainly one of the better ones I've watched lately. The cast are so great together and this gag reel may be an insight as to why -- they seriously seem to be having fun together and accepting of flubbed lines and more. Definitely check this out if you feel like a few good chuckles.
There are four discs in this set and each disc offers scenes that didn’t make it on air. Referred to as “Unaired Laundry”, these offer a nice variety of small scenes that wouldn’t have added anything to the story, but are nice for fans. There are some fun moments here (most are rather short) that are worth a look.
Final Thoughts: "New Adventures of Old Christine" is another solid addition to CBS - the series consistently generates solid laughs and the ensemble cast is terrific together. The DVD presentation offers fine audio/video quality, as well as a couple of minor supplements. Recommended.