Saturday, November 22, 2008
Dynasty - The Third Season, Volume Two (CBS DVD, $35.98) brings us the final 12 episodes of the third season of the mega-hit ABC '80s series Dynasty on a 3-disc set! John Forsythe, Linda Evans and Joan Collins continue to heat up the show as the season ends with a truly sizzling season-ending cliffhanger! This is the season where it moved from the top 20 to the top 5 in the ratings. Seasons 3-6 all were in the time of the height of the popularity. The series lasted 9 seasons on ABC, from 1981-89. We get the second half of the third season on this volume two set of the third season. Again, I don't understand why they are doing this. The show only had 24 episodes for season three...it's not like it was over 30 or 35. I think they should split up a season if it is over like 34 or 35 episodes. Shame on you CBS DVD for making fans wait to finish a season! The second season was a nice 6-disc set for 22 episodes, so why did they split up season three into two volumes just because this season has two extra episodes? Seasons 4-7 have a lot of episodes though: 27, 29, 31, 28...I guess that is the reason they started this? But why not wait until season 4 or 5? The last two seasons have 22 each. Even if seasons 4-7 have between 27-31, that is enough to put on six discs...CBS DVD is being very cheap. They did season 2 on six discs and at a higher price, so what is the problem?
Each episode on this set is between 47-48 minutes (no higher or lower). Nearly every CBS DVD has a disclaimer on the back of the box saying, "Some episodes maybe be edited from their original network versions." So there is a chance something could be edited, but I didn't see anything, as the runtimes were fairly consistent. There are 6 chapter stops each for every episode, counting the opening and closing credits stops. The video is on par with the previous season and it looks great. Just some debris here and there on the opening credits, like flashing black dots, but it is still good quality. The audio is decent, a nice sounding mono...that is crisp and clear.
Packaging is a snap case holding three discs inside, sort of similar to the volume one, third season DVD. No, again the discs don't overlap each other. Each disc has its own little holder. The cover art of the case has a nice shot of Blake, Alexis, and Krystle. The back of the case has synopsis of the show, the set, and technical information. A nice shot of the supporting cast and some screen shots are also present. Back inside, there is a disc by disc breakdown on the left and right panel. We get episode title, original airdate, and a long synopsis of each episode. Don't be reading it before watching the episode! Artwork on the discs is not that good. It is plain silver for each one. Dynasty logo and whatever disc number it is, is on the disc, similar to the previous season 2 and season 3, volume one sets again. Each disc holds four episodes. All very consistent from the past.
CBS DVD is terrible in menus, as you all know. Each menu has different artwork but it is so plain. The episodes are listed right on the main menu once again, as with the second season and season three, volume one DVDs. Set Up option is also available. In Set Up, we can have English or Espanol languages and subtitles. Main menu artwork has three shots of the same image. Disc 1 has three shots of Blake, disc two has three shots of Krystle, and disc three has three shots of Alexis. No theme music or anything in the background.
We get no special features at all, just like the volume one DVD for season three! Even the second season had a little family tree thing. Nothing here. First season was done by 20th Century Fox, and they did a decent job with some featurettes and commentaries. CBS DVD is doing nothing...which is typical. How about promos like they do with Family Ties?
Despite the splitting of the third season and no extras, I still highly do recommend any fan of the show to pick-up this set, because the episodes are so good and addictive. If you like shows like Desperate Housewives and Dirty Sexy Money, then you will love this mother of all primetime soaps! If you have the first two seasons and the first half of season three, then you have to get this to continue your collection. If you haven't gotten those yet, what are you waiting for? It won't make sense buying this set for your first buy of this series, as the episodes are heavily serialized. One thing CBS DVD does well is that they work pretty fast with most of their releases, so you better hurry before season four comes out...and I bet that will be split into half again. It is even worse that this show is very serialized so it makes people not want to wait to just finish a season. I've made it obvious already I don't like the change in splitting up the seasons into volumes, but CBS DVD seems to do that with a lot of their hour shows like The Love Boat, Perry Mason and so on. It is too bad, because it should only really be done if it is like over 35 episodes. I think they are just trying to get more money, come on $35.98 for 12 episodes and NO extras? They did make it $4 less than before, though. They could charge 59.99 for 24 episodes and still make a profit, but they are being very cheap and stealing fans for their money here. Still, I urge fans to buy it so we keep getting more sets. But complain to CBS DVD for the lack of extras and splitting the seasons in half. Anyway, surprise revelations and a shocking end in the season finale are some of the things you'll see in this second half of season three! Watch out for that cabin fire...whoops, forget I said that! Think of the Desperate Housewives nightclub fire instead!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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