Monday, February 15, 2010

Blog DVD Review: Dynasty - The Fourth Season, Volume Two; Smurfs Marathon on Boomerang Today

Welcome to a special President's Day edition of Blog DVD Reviews. Today we take a look at CBS DVD's Dynasty - The Fourth Season, Volume Two. Dynasty is of course the primetime soap that was a bit hit for many years and it was so addictive! The tale of the Carrington family is so rich and interesting. See my blog DVD review of Dynasty - The Fourth Season, Volume One:

Dynasty - The Fourth Season, Volume Two (CBS DVD, $35.98) brings us the final 13 episodes of the fourth 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 we continue the fourth season and get to the "nightmare" finale! This is the season where it reached its highest state thus far...it was #3 in the ratings for the entire fourth season. Seasons 3-6 all were in the time of the height of the popularity, with season five hitting number one. The series lasted 9 seasons on ABC, from 1981-89. We get the second half of the fourth season (1983-84) on this volume two set of the fourth season. Again, I don't understand why they are splitting the seasons in half. The show only had 27 episodes for season four...it's not like it was over 30 or 35. Anyway, the drama in Denver continues whether it is at the mansion or the LaMirage hotel.

Diahann Carroll joins the cast in the final two episodes of the season as the very mysterious Dominique Deveraux. Just who is she? We'll have to wait for more in season five to find out, but we get a little taste of her in the final two episodes here. Heather Locklear also returns in this second half of season four as Sammy Jo Carrington. She returns to Denver from New York to get custody of Danny in the final two episodes of the season. Michael Nader plays Farnsworth 'Dex' Dexter, Alexis' new suitor in this season. The final 13 episodes of the season begins with "Seizure," as Kirby is in poor health (that's all I will give away). We also get the three-part episode "The Voice," where so much happens that I won't give it away. And the final two episodes of the season are a must watch with Carroll joining the cast in "New Lady in Town," and the season finale "The Nightmare." Pamela Sue Martin (who plays Fallon Carrington-Colby) leaves the series after this episode. Just what will happen to Fallon as a result? We will have to wait and see in season five!

Packaging once again is a snap case holding three discs inside, similar to previous sets. Again the discs don't overlap each other, which is great. Discs one and two are in the white plastic little holder, while disc three is on the right panel of the case. That little holder is cheap, but I guess it works. The cover art of the case has a nice shot of Krystle, Blake and Alexis on the top, with the Dynasty logo below them along with the supporting cast which includes Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin). We have a nice purple style color scheme again for this volume, just like the first volume of season four. The back of the case has synopsis of the show, the set, and technical information. A nice shot of the cast and some episodic photos are also present. Back inside, there is a disc-by-disc breakdown on the left and right panel for every episode on this set. We get episode title, original airdate, and a long synopsis of each episode. Don't be reading it before watching the episode now! Artwork on the discs is just plain again. It is plain silver for each one. Dynasty logo and whatever disc number it is on the disc, and episode titles are listed. Disc one holds five episodes, while discs two & three hold four episodes each -- for a total of 13. There is nothing different about the packaging here. It is always consistent.

And the consistency continues for the menus. CBS DVD is terrible in menus, as you all know. Each menu has different artwork but it is so plain again. The episodes are listed right on the main menu once again. Set Up option is also available below the list of episodes. In Set Up, we can have English or Espanol languages and subtitles. Main menu artwork has three shots of the same image. Disc 1's main menu has three shots of Blake, disc two has three shots of Krystle, and disc three has three shots of Alexis. It is very similar to the first volume of season four. No theme music or any music in the background once again. Before the main menu on disc one, there is an option for previews...we get previews such as 90210 S1 DVD, CBS Home Entertainment series and Melrose Place S3 DVD. But you can skip to the main menu if you wish.
Each episode on this set is just around 47 minutes on average, with most of the episodes around 46:55. 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, lowest was 46:37 and highest was 46:58. 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 good. 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. No problems here at all. In the episode where Sammy Jo returns from New York, she has a boom-box and it is playing an instrumental version of Michael Jackson's Thriller...nice to see that was kept intact!

We get no special features at all, just like the two season three volumes and the first volume of season four. The second season had a little family tree thing, which was something at least. We get nothing here. The first season was done by 20th Century Fox, and they did a decent job with some featurettes and commentaries, but CBS DVD is doing nothing...which is typical. How about promos like they do with The Love Boat (which is also Aaron Spelling)? I'm sure Heather Locklear (or the rest of the cast) would love to do interviews or commentaries for this set. If anything, give us archival stuff at least!

Season four is a wrap! Despite the splitting of the season again 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. I cannot stop watching whenever I put the DVD in. This is the mother of all primetime soaps (sorry never was big into Dallas)! If you have the first three seasons (and volume one of season four), then you have to get this to continue your collection of course. 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 and you'll be so lost. One thing CBS DVD does well is that they work pretty fast with most of their releases, so you better hurry before the first half of season five comes out. I hope CBS reconsiders and gives us the ENTIRE fifth season instead of splitting it up into two volumes, but they won't. I've made it obvious already I don't like the 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 13 episodes and NO extras? Still, I urge fans to buy it so we keep getting more sets. CBS DVD is at least consistent with their sets. They are very predictable as the sets are nearly identical to each other (it makes the reviews boring). But like I said last time (and the time before that), complain to CBS DVD for the lack of extras and splitting the seasons in half. I'd buy all 27 season four episodes for say, $59.99. By splitting them, they are just tricking us in paying like $70 MSRP for a season. Then with two volumes for one season, we are wasting shelf space on our shelves. Sorry to keep complaining about it, but there isn't really anything new to say here as these sets are so boring. New episodes are about the only new thing here and I'm going to give away storylines to you all, especially if you are watching the show for the first time on these DVDs. But new episodes is what counts the most, right? Anyway, you're going to get it all in the fourth season finale as you might be as stunned as Alexis is. That's all I'll give away from the finale!

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Dynasty TV.com Page



In 1981, a decidedly new cartoon debuted on NBC's Saturday morning lineup. Based on a 1957 Belgian comic strip, The Smurfs made television history following its premiere by becoming the highest-rated Saturday morning show in eight years, and the NBC's highest-rated animated series since 1970. Nearly 30 years later, the commercial-free Boomerang Network will celebrate this ground-breaking series with a 12-hour marathon on TODAY (Monday, Feb. 15), beginning at 8 a.m. (ET).
Kids enjoying a day off from school today will enjoy a special 12-hour presentation of one of the 1980's most popular cartoons ever to appear on broadcast television.
Highlights of the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. marathon include the following episodes:
* "Sir Hefty" - 8 a.m. (ET) - A giant fire-breathing dragon roams the forest, torching the trees as it passes. Hefty must fight the fires and defend Smurf Village. He leads the dragon away and is knighted "Sir Hefty Knight of the Smurf Table" by Papa Smurf.
* "Three Smurfketeers" - 1 p.m. (ET) - The Smurfs put on a play where Hefty, Jokey, and Greedy play the three musketeers, helping Clumsy Smurfingham win Smurfette Smurfington's hand in marriage.
* "The Haunted Castle" - 3:30 p.m. (ET) - Johan and Peewit, a young squire and his sidekick, join the Smurfs to help a ghost of a haunted castle find his rightful heir.
* "The Littlest Giant" - 6 p.m. (ET) - Papa Smurf helps a young runaway giant reunite with his own family.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, October 19

Superstore - "Workplace Bullying" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Tensions arise among the employees after an attempted robbery, pitting Dina (Lauren Ash) against Jonah (Ben Feldman). Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) has a tough time firing the store security guard, and Amy (America Ferrera) discovers that her coworkers have been hanging out without her.

The Good Place - "The Trolley Problem" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Eleanor (Kristen Bell) tackle a famous ethical dilemma, leading to a conflict with Michael (Ted Danson). Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) harbors a secret and confides in Janet (D'Arcy Carden).

Will & Grace - "Grandpa Jack" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jack (Sean Hayes) is stunned to learn that his estranged son, Elliot (guest star Michael Angarano) has a son of his own, Skip (guest star Jet Jurgensmeyer). Moreover, Skip needs the kind of help only Will (Eric McCormack) and Jack can provide. Grace (Debra Messing) and Karen (Megan Mullally) behave badly with the hot new guy at work.

Great News - "Award Show" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
For the first time in years, "The Breakdown" has been nominated for an American Journalism Award. Katie (Briga Heelan) is looking forward to spending the night as a peer with the very reporters she has admired her whole life. Fearing her mother will ruin it, Katie tries to stop Carol (Andrea Martin) from attending but is unsuccessful when Carol secures a position as a seat-filler. Katie is stuck babysitting her mom all night but gets distracted by Jeremy (guest star Reid Scott), a handsome New York Times reporter who looks down on cable news. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) is excited to reunite with all of his old anchormen friends, especially Len Archer (guest star Christopher McDonald), an idol of Chuck's who is receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Better Things - "Eulogy" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam demands satisfaction.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 16)

Thursday, October 19

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Catch Tracy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent) - Amy is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Carl Reinder (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Office) - Angela talks about the new season of her Netflix show Haters Back Off on the People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice) - Henry is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs) - Hayley appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - Joanna teams up with Michael Symon in the kitchen, giving the scoop on her new show and whipping up a tasty dish on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. She also talks about Kevin (Probably) Saves the World on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Redman (Method & Red) - Redman appears on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Debra Messing and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Debra and Eric are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
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