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3rd Rock From the Sun - Season 6


TITLE: 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN - SEASON 6


Info:

Release Date: November 14, 2006 (Anchor Bay Home Entertainment)
Color/2000-01
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 20
Running Time: 462 Minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: 23 minutes, 29 seconds.
Audio: English
Closed Captioned
Special Features:
* 3rd Rock: Six Seasons of Memories
* Final Episode Alternate Ending
* Alternate Show Ending Introduction Part 1
* Alternate Show Ending Introduction Part 2
* Episode Previews
* 3rd Rock from the Sun: A Guide to Living on Earth: Booklet Volume 6


Introduction:

After six brilliant seasons, over 30 Emmy nominations, and more laughs than any superior alien race can possible tabulate, the Solomon’s mission ends here: It was the year in which Tommy goes to college, Sally becomes a weather girl, Harry bothers the Amish, Mary’s rich sister proposes, Dick buys a timeshare, evil nemesis Dr. Liam Neesam returns, and the Big Giant Head issues a shocking final order. There’s love and sex, psychics and magicians, power brunches and pumping gas, self-help books and self-defense classes, a time/space portal in the closet, and the hour-long series finale that finishes their time on Earth forever. Join John Lithgow, Kristen Johnson, French Stewart, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jane Curtin, Simbi Khali, Elmarie Wendel, and Wayne Knight ­ along with such guest stars as Megan Mullaly, John Cleese, Richard Belzer, Darrell Hammond, Tracy Morgan, Ana Gasteyer, and Elvis Costello ­ for these 20 final episodes of the series that legions of humans will forever hail as the most hilarious sci-fi sitcom in the history of the universe.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Well, this is it --­ the final season. All the insanity of the five-and-a-half-year run wraps up this season. The season premiere, “Les Liaisons Dickgereuses,” sees Mary’s spoiled rich sister Renata (Megan Mullaly) arrive in Rutherford. Dick tries to help Mary get one over on her once and for all, but things don’t go according to plan. In the next episode, “Fear and Loathing in Rutherford,” Tommy tries to reconcile with Alissa (Larisa Oleynik), some stuff with a beer tap occurs, something, and it ends with everyone thinking they’ve gone to elope. In “InDickscretion” (which sounds similar to something you should see a doctor for…), Mary and Dick double-date with Don and Sally ­ only to find Don and Mary attracted to each other (Wow…). Harry and Tommy take the road, meanwhile (take the road where?)

Proving that I may very well name off every episode this season, in the two-parter “Dick’ll Take Manhattan,” Dick, Sally, and Harry get bored (story of life…) and travel to a parallel universe, where everyone is happy ­ except Dick, Richard Belzer, Ana Gasteyer, Tracy Morgan, and Darrell Hammond all guest-star as themselves.

Now that I’ve summarized the entire first disc, I’ll try to be a bit more selective, at least until the finale --­ I’ve yet to have a review go more than 6 pages, I’m not about to start now!. In “Red, White & Dick” (Disc 3, Episode 3), the gang sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a football game, and become fascinated with all things American. Dick learns that he’s Canadian, and goes off to get his citizenship.

Moving to disc 3 now --­ In “A Dick Replacement” (Gotta love the late 90s/early 00s), a psychic tells Dick he won’t be around too long, so Dick decides to find Mary a new lover. Harry and Sally are attempting to kill the psychic because she knows they’re aliens and the late Charles Rocket (best known for dropping an f-bomb on live TV on SNL in the 80s) guests as Gary Hemmings. Two guests to look for in “Dick’s Arc” (Disc 3, Episode 2): Ever Carradine (“Commander-in-Chief”) guests as Cheryl, while game show host Pat Finn guests as Chaz. In the episode, Mary suggests she and Dick spend time apart, while Sally becomes the new weather girl at the local TV station. Pat’s character would recur into the next episode, “You Don’t Know Dick.” In “Glengarry Glen Dick” (they were running out of Dick titles by then…), Dick and Don each buy half of a timeshare; taking Mary and Sally on vacation there. Meanwhile, Harry becomes afraid he’s shrinking after Tommy officially becomes taller than him. Boy Meets World fans pay attention in “Dick Soup for the Soul” ­ Will Friedel (Eric) guests as Stan. The episode itself is quite good, as Dick delights in a book explaining how to be truly happy ­ then Mary kicks him out of her house. Sally goes to Tommy’s college to try to help him out.

Finally, disc 4, which is 2 episodes over 2 parts each (4 total episodes). In “Mary Loves Scoochie.” Sally and Harry search for another alien team, but bump into an Amish family and are convinced they’re aliens since they look so weird. Dick learns Mary has a secret admirer, and pretends to be it. In part 2 --­ we find out just who…or what…the admirer really is.

Finally, there’s the final two-part episode. The DVD divides the episode into two parts, but I’ll get into that in the runtimes section. Mary sees Dick change Liam into a monkey, forcing Dick to reveal his true identity to her. Big Giant Head ­ excuse me ­ THE Big Giant Head ­ finds out and informs them their mission is over. Sally helps Don realize what it means to be a police officer, while Dick leaves Mary forever. The ending scene features the gang singing their national anthem, then disappearing back to their home planet.

Kind of sad, isn’t it? Well, yeah. That’s why, in syndication, an additional bit was tacked onto the end ­ Dick returns, in the nude no less, and abducts Mary (who had just had her memory erased, and thus was VERY confused).

The End. DVD version is NBC, but the syndication ending is included in special features.

Anyway…


Packaging:

This should be old-hat. I’m going to keep this concise, detailed, yet short--outer box, inner digipak. Front cover of outer box is the Solomon family and Mary sitting on the root (though Mary and Dick are actually sitting in the window). The Season 6 circle is in a pink font. Rear cover features the same five just standing around in the bottom left, with a pink planetary ring around them. Digipak features a panel on the outside with each cast member. Dick’s swallowed a pink ball, while having a blue one midair and an orange in his hand. Sally has command of a pink boa, Harry has on a fur coat and is attempting to think, Tommy is in a suit, while Mary is just kind of waving. Each disc features the same cast photo as before, in the order Dick, Harry, Sally, and Mary on 1-4 respectively, in front of a light blue star field. Inside the left sleeve is the final edition of the Guide to Living on Earth booklet. Inside the final booklet are a guide to movies, Good and Bad about Earth, Things Each Person is Taking Back. Earth Humor Explained, a list of Funny People, and the set’s episode information. First five episodes are on disc 1, 6 through 10 are on disc 2; 11-16 are on disc 3, while the final two two-parters (17-20) are on disc 4.


Menu Design and Navigation:

One thing I love about this season is the return to the original, classic, theme. I bring that up here as it’s the one thing really worth mentioning ­ season five used the…other…theme, so that menu used it as well. Otherwise, these are the same menus used for most of the set. Hopefully you either know the drill. 3rd Rock logo in the top left, spinning Earth below it. Other planets rotate and bounce around. Episodes and Play All text, and on Disc 4 Extras, appear to the right of Earth. Episodes feature the Jupiter-like planet still at the top, with the episode titles listed below. Each episode’s menu features the title at the top, followed by a synopsis, a still image in the bottom left, the options in the bottom-center (including the Preview option), and Saturn in the bottom-right. Extras feature the options in the middle of a field of various planets, none of which are identifiable (IE: All generic).


Video and Audio Quality:

I can’t especially say anything about the video or audio that I or Todd ­ haven’t already said about it in the last two years. It’s nice, not amazing, but nice. There’s nothing wrong with the audio, it’s held up well for a standard-definition show filmed five-to-six years ago. The video jitters just a little bit, but it’s honestly more an issue with the DVD player at the moment --­ it’s a bit older, and doesn’t handle interlacing well. Audio’s a perfectly fine 2-channel setup ­ there are no muffled spots, everything is well balanced. It’s good enough. There is only 1 chapter stop, after the teaser/opening credits.

Runtimes:
Disc 1:
Les Liaisons Dickgereuses: 21:38
Fear and Loathing in Rutherford: 21:39
InDickscretion: 21:38
Dick’ll Take Manhattan: 21:38
Dick’ll Take Manhattan (II): 21:39

Disc 2:
Why Dickie Can’t Teach: 21:39
B.D.O.C: 21:39
Red, White & Dick: 21:38
Dick Digs: 21:39
There’s No Business Like Dick Business: 21:36

Disc 3:
A Dick Replacement: 21:38
Dick’s Ark: 21:38
You Don’t Know Dick: 21:39
My Mother, My Dick: 21:37
Glengarry Glen Dick: 21:38
Dick Soup for the Soul: 21:38

Disc 4:
Mary Loves Scoochie Part I: 21:37
Mary Loves Scoochie Part II: 21:38
The Thing That Wouldn’t Die (I): 21:38
The Thing That Wouldn’t Die (II): 21:36


Special Features:

Episode Previews: 30 second episode previews. 0:30 x 20 episodes = 10:00

3rd Rock: Six Seasons of Memories (10:37): The consensus is the 3-D episode is the favorite, but a lot of others they all really like. This is just the cast reflecting on which episodes they liked, memories of the show, etc.

Final Episode Alternate Ending (1:52): Now THIS is the ending I like. They come back and get Mary anyway. Doesn’t make sense after they wipe her memory, but I still like it better anyway.

Alternate Show Ending Introductions (0:30 each): These aired with the show the first time the finale aired in syndication, to introduce the new ending. 1:00 total

Total Runtime of Special Features: 23:29.


Final Comments:

Well, that’s that--six seasons of one of the funniest sitcoms, in my opinion, of the 1990s all are now available on DVD. I’m kind of disappointed the number of special features continued to drop over the course of the releases, to the point of marginalization by the end. Still, it’s an amazingly funny show, and there’s no reason to not pick up the sets (I’m sorry; I just don’t see Anchor Bay re-releasing the initial seasons). STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Final Score: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 11/17/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000HDRB6G/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=187946


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