ALF stands for Alien Life Form, but anyone who has seen this hit 1980’s comedy knows ALF stands for “laughing your ass off funny”. That’s what I had to say about season 1. Season 2 is just as funny, if not tons more. Of course, it helps that the show got its first full run of episodes in this year. Each episode shares its name with a song title. To the show’s credit, many are obscure. The big problem here continues to be the use of cut syndicated episodes. At least on this set the box clearly alerts you to this fact. An ethics issue I had with season 1 was the lack of any such warning. If this show were still around in syndication, at least here in the Tampa area, I would certainly forgo any bought sets and simply DVD-R them from broadcast. Uncut versions of these older shows is really the only reason to buy them.
Gordon Shumway, better known to the Tanner family as ALF, is the sole survivor of his home planet, Melmac. He crashed his spaceship into the Tanner garage and has been mooching off them ever since. ALF must hide from the Federal Alien Task Force as well as a nosy neighbor. His antics often lead to trouble that his cuteness always seems to bail him out of.
Each episode sports an adequate Dolby Digital 2.0 track. Let’s face it. This is at heart a TV sitcom. Dialogue is all that is important, and dialogue is all you’re going to get. It’s lean but it’s very clean.
Each episode of ALF is presented in its original full frame format. Again, let’s understand what we’re dealing with here. For a sitcom, these episodes are pretty well preserved. There is an occasional smudge, and colors are not at all consistent from episode to episode. Still, the presentation is as good as it ever was on broadcast TV. Colors are typical of 1980’s videotape, a bit saturated and unreal, but the print is mostly quite clean.
ALF is once again called upon to deliver a short synopsis of each episode. Very clever stuff. There are 2 ALF cartoons which are not very long or even that interesting. Still for the huge fans this is likely a very nice touch.
The packaging is better than the previous set. At least you can get to each disc without having to remove (and put down somewhere) another disc. The box, however, is still a bit awkward. In my set the middle disc holder doesn’t want to stay put.
Finally a full year of ALF, and it might have been worth the wait if not for these syndicated editions. Perhaps most of you are just happy to get anything. I’d like to see more pressure put on these distributors to do the shows more justice. At times I almost think the laugh is on us. “Ha!”