TITLE: ACCORDING TO JIM - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON
Release Date: October 4, 2011 (Lionsgate/ABC Studios)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 484 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 25 minutes
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital
Subtitles and Captioning: No subtitles, Closed-Captioned.
* Season 5 According to Jim - Featurette
* “The House That Jim Built” - Featurette
Well, well, well, that was fast! According to Jim is back on DVD three months later, this time with season five! Get ready to laugh with one of TV’s favorite families this fall as Lionsgate debuts According to Jim: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD. In this four-time Emmy®-nominated comedy series, man of the house, Jim (Jim Belushi) lives with his beautiful wife, Cheryl (Courtney Thorne-Smith) and their three kids while dealing daily with the joys and pitfalls of normal family life. One of the longest-running live-action comedy series ever on television, “According to Jim” debuts its fifth season as a four-disc set including all 22 episodes and a “Season 5 According to Jim” featurette. In this earthy family comedy, Jim (Belushi) is the macho “everyman” who challenges wife, Cheryl (Thorne-Smith), with his stubborn manliness but contagious charm. Tagging along with this duo of happily married opposites are their three precocious kids. A success at his construction business and the family breadwinner at home, Jim feeds his other passion, blues music, playing with his six-man garage band. He keeps Cheryl in turmoil with his boyish bravado and ever-willful antics, but their underlying love guarantees that they are in this marriage for keeps.
The series stars Jim Belushi as Jim, Courtney Thorne-Smith as Cheryl, Kimberly Williams-Paisley as Dana, Larry Joe Campbell as Andy, Taylor Atelian as Ruby, Billi Bruno as Gracie, and joining the cast is Connor Rayburn as Kyle.
This season was the first season that saw the ratings going down. The first four seasons were very solid and carried ABC in comedy, but the ratings slipped this season, maybe because of American Idol. This season was also the first time since the first season the series didn’t get additional episodes, as the regular 22 were only ordered (after 28, 29, 27 the three years prior). Among the episodes this season is the season premiere “Foul Ball” as the fifth season premieres with Jim sneaking off to a Cubs game with Kyle instead of taking him to his first day of kindergarten. On the two-part episode, “The Tale of the Tape,” Jim worries that Cheryl's romantic expectations will increase when his new brother-in-law, Ryan, showers Dana with flowers and gifts, but then Jim learns that a special blues tape Cheryl supposedly made for him when they were dating, and that made him fall in love with her, was actually made for her by an old boyfriend. In “The Chick Whisperer,” Jim helps Andy pick up a beautiful woman in a bar, but she turns out to be crazy--and eventually leaves Andy and stalks Jim instead. In “The Dream,” Jim is being pestered by Dana to get on with renovations that seem to be taking for-ever, but after he pops over to get on with it, Ryan leaves him with Dana sleeping up-stairs, where Jim over-hears her dreaming, about Jim. In the naughty episode, “Sex Ed Fred,” when Jim and Cheryl watch a sex education video that is shown at Ruby's school, Jim realizes that he was in the video when he was young, at the age thinking it was for a horror movie. In “Mr. Freak,” Cheryl and Jim get into a disagreement about Erik Estrada, and Jim tries to prove that the incident that occurred ten years ago was not wrong. On “The Grumpy Guy,” Jim gets mad when he finds out that his neighbor, Julie, has been writing children books and basing them about him. And on the season finale, “Belaboring the Point,” when a proud and happy Ryan announces that Dana is pregnant, Jim warns him of Dana's upcoming hormone swings, and ends up dreaming that he is pregnant.
Guest starring this season are Robert Belushi, Jamison Belushi, Hugh Hefner, Rosalind Chao, Linda Hamilton, Kathleen Noone, Barry Williams, Erik Estrada, Julie Newmar, Willie Amakye, and Mitch Rouse as Ryan, Dana’s boyfriend. Here are the runtimes for each episode and disc-by-disc breakdown:
“Foul Ball” (21:33)
“The Tale of the Tape, 1” (21:13)
“The Tale of the Tape, 2” (21:32)
“Charity Begins At Hef’s” (21:33)
“The Race” (21:28)
“The Chick Whisperer” (21:32)
“James and the Annoying Peach” (21:33)
“The Dream” (21:32)
“Lean On Me” (21:32)
“The Gift of Maggie” (21:28)
“Sex Ed Fred” (21:27)
“Renewing Vows” (21:32)
“The Stick” (21:12)
“Mr. Right” (21:32)
“Get Your Freak On” (21:12)
“The Grumpy Guy” (21:22)
“Polite Jim” (21:32)
“Daddy Dearest” (21:16)
“Thin Green Line” (21:33)
“Jim’s Best Friend” (21:13)
“Belaboring the Point” (21:32)
The packaging for this set is a simple keep case, like seasons two through four. Season 1 had an outer box with a digipak case inside. The front of this set has a shot of Jim & Cheryl, with their three kids behind them. The color scheme is blue and red. The show logo also appears, with The Complete Fifth Season line on the top and Comedy Begins at Home on the bottom. The back has a shot of the entire cast lying down on grass. Also on the back of course is a description of the series and set, along with a list of special features.
Inside the case we do NOT have a listing of the episodes again for the fourth straight set. In fact, it is pretty bland again, with no artwork on the panels. Once again, we have two disc holders that flip like a book. It is very good and works best because we get one disc on each side, so no overlapping occurs! As for disc art, each disc one has a shot of Jim in a blue background with episodes 1-6. Disc two has a shot of Cheryl in an orange background with episodes 7-12. Disc three has a shot of the three kids in a green background with episodes 13-18. Disc four has a shot of Andy & Dana with episodes 18-22 & the special features.
Menu Design and Navigation:
We start off the menu with the theme (a long version) playing and we then go to the main menu, like the last few sets. The main menu has the same artwork as the cover art, once again. The menu options are Play All, Episode Selection, Audio Set Up, and Special Features (disc four only). Play All obviously just plays them all at once on that particular disc. Episode Selection takes us to another menu where we see each episode listed with episode titles. In Audio Set Up, we can either choose English 5.1 Dolby Digital or Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital. There are no subtitles, but we have closed-captioning. And obviously Special Features lists the extras, which we will get to in that section. This section is also consistent with the previous few sets again...consistency is good. Nothing is different, so you know what to expect here.
Video and Audio Quality:
Once again, the video is in its original widescreen form (16x9, 1.78:1)! That is very good to hear, a good job by Lionsgate and good job by ABC Studios for providing it to them. So that means, the video is widescreen again and not full screen. Also, if you have a DVD player that upconverts to HD, this set looks very good! The audio is in a nice Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio...so nothing to complain about here. Each episode has about 4 chapter stops once again. The only tidbit I can give you here is that “The Tale of the Tape” two-part episode has the “to be continued” tag at the end of part one and the “Previously on According to Jim” recap at the beginning of part two.
We have some good special features again! Though, I wish we had audio commentary again on here though, as Jim Belushi and Larry Joe Campbell were awesome to listen to on the previous sets. Anyway, the extras are all on disc four and heavily feature Jim Belushi once again. The first one is “Season Five According to Jim” (13:36) and is exactly what the title says. Basically Jim is talking about this fifth season in great detail. He gives great information and details, and you know what to expect on this. Like the last set, this was recorded recently as he is not on the set. He goes into detail about the episodes being a bit more adult, the ratings drop, and so much more. He really enjoyed his time on this show and it tells just by looking at his face. The next extra is very cool is titled “The House That Jim Built” (11:27) and features interviews with Jim Belushi and the director of photography George Mouradian, who Jim brought in this season. George was nominated for an Emmy this season for cinematography. It’s too bad none of the extras have interviews with Courtney Thorne-Smith, Larry Joe Campbell, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and the kids Taylor Atelian, Billi Bruno, and Conner Rayburn this time.
This was a decent set again. It is very consistent to the seasons two through four sets, but my only gripe once again was we didn’t have those fun Jim & Larry audio commentaries and this time no other cast member participates in the extras but Jim. I think the fourth season is one of my favorite seasons and is right up there with the second and third seasons. As I said last time, the first 4-5 seasons of this show were very fun and people have forgotten that. Ratings proved that this was a hit in those years and yes this is the season where the ratings started to go down but I think this is still a great season in quality. I recommend you get this set because it is funny and relatable. We need shows like this on the air. Why would people want to make fun of something that is pretty real, as it seems According to Jim always gets knocked in the media from people who have never watched an episode or sampled a few minutes? Hopefully we won’t have to wait long for the sixth season on DVD and it will be out in a few months. The last three seasons were not as good as the first five, but I hope we get them all on DVD! From here on out we will have 18 episodes each for the last three seasons, so enjoy this full season, as it is the last full season! Go buy it before Dana’s pregnancy is up in nine months!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 11/07/11
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