'10 Items Or Less - The Complete Series'
(John Lehr, Greg Davis Jr, Bob Clendenin, Chris Payne Gilbert, Kristen Gronfield, et al / 3-Disc DVD / PG / 2016 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: When he inherits his father's family-owned grocery store, Greens & Grains, young Leslie Pool's (Lehr) hands-on, open communication approach to store management soon alienates him from his misfit employees. Despite Pool's determination to prove he can do things his own way, chaos ensues, spawning a comedy of errors with a host of quick-witted characters and their outrageous relationships.
DVD Verdict: First off, I have to fully admit that this under-the-radar TV show - which was actually on TV for three (3) seasons, spread over 21 episodes - was, quite easily, one of my favorite late night visual treats to behold. That said, I fully admit that it wasn't for everyone, trust me.
So yeah, it's true that '10 Items or Less' establishes all the same clichés of being a grocery clerk that any common customer could see, but what is real life if not funny?! Anyway, having wrangled this menagerie of failed auditions, under the frayed control of manager Leslie - who assumes ownership of the family store after his father dies in a supposedly comedic fashion (a heart attack that knocks over a display stand, with the nearby employee fixing the stand first before helping the fallen owner - the 21 episodes reveal, time after time, aisle after aisle, an underbelly of pure stupidity that will blow your mind (or anger you completely!)
Anyway, this is just one of the many examples of failed attempts at achieving a punchline, and instead resorting to a fast quip. But, I personally loved the show because it launched into a 20 minute batch of comedic scenarios that just, well, seem very real to me. So, with that all said, and playing Devil's Advocate here, are endless, sometimes almost painful character / actor experiences played out on screen. Highlighting, for the most part, "the pain" of working in a grocery store (which also gives them their "character"), '10 Items Or Less' IS laugh out loud comedy, to my mind - but maybe plays more on the side of irony for others tuning in. You watch it and you choose.
Season One - Episode 1: The New Boss Nov. 27, 2006
Episode 2: The Miracle Worker Dec. 4, 2006
Episode 3: Health Insurance Dec. 11, 2006
Episode 4: What Women Want Dec. 18, 2006
Episode 5: Bag It Dec. 25, 2006
Season Two - Episode 1: Dollar Day Afternoon Jan. 15, 2008
Episode 2: Forever Young Jan. 22, 2008
Episode 3: To Heir Is Human Jan. 29, 2008
Episode 4: First Time Feb. 5, 2008
Episode 5: The Bromance Feb. 12, 2008
Episode 6: Amy Strikes Back Feb. 19, 2008
Episode 7: Illegal Alien Feb. 26, 2008
Episode 8: The Ren Fair - March 4, 2008
Season Three - Episode 1: Turkey Bowling Jan. 6, 2009
Episode 2: Eye Can See Clearly Jan. 13, 2009
Episode 3: Star Trok Jan. 20, 2009
Episode 4: One Day at a Time Jan. 27, 2009
Episode 5: The Whistler Feb. 3, 2009
Episode 6: The Milk Man Feb. 10, 2009
Episode 7: Dances with Groceries Feb. 17, 2009
Episode 8: Sesquicentennial Feb. 24, 2009
FYI: The series is filmed in a real grocery store called "Jon's" in Reseda, California (formerly Vons), often with actual customers used as extras! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.