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Alice - Television Favorites


TITLE: ALICE - TELEVISION FAVORITES


Info:

DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006 (Warner Home Video)
Color / 1976-80
MSRP: $9.98
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 6
Running time: 151 minutes
Running time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: Spanish and French Subtitles; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Well kiss my grits! The late 70s/early 80s classic sitcom about three waitresses and their boss Mel is finally on DVD--kind of! The Television Favorites collection of Alice contains 6 of the best episodes of the sitcom, as chosen by Alice fans on the Alice message board right here at Sitcoms Online!

Alice was the show about a widow named (appropriately) Alice (Linda Lavin) who recently moved from New Jersey to Phoenix with her son, Tommy (Philip McKeon... that is Nancy's brother for those that don't know) and became a waitress at Mel's Diner. She worked alongside with Flo (Polly Holliday), who has had probably had every man in the state of Texas in her trailer at one point in time, Vera (Beth Howland), who could most politely be described as "dingy," and of course Mel (Vic Tayback), the demanding owner and cook at Mel's diner.


Episodes Included:

As previously mentioned, the episodes on this set were chosen in part by fans on the message boards at this very site, so hopefully fans reading this review are satisfied with the episodes Warner has selected! I am not a fan at all of Warner's approach to DVD releases, but it was great to see that they actually did approach the fans that know about the show, rather than the executives that know nothing about Warner's shows and only care about increasing profit margins, about which episodes to include.

The first episode on the disc is "Alice Gets a Pass," where Alice finds her perfect match in one of Mel's old friends... but he can't date Alice because he has a little secret of his own about his sexuality! Next, we have "The Odd Couple," where somebody has stolen Flo's trailer! With no place else to go, she ends up at Alice's apartment. Can two single women share an apartment without driving each other crazy? In "Close Encounters of the Worst Kind," Alice is taking a psychology class in college and suddenly thinks she is an expert in psychology, which immediately causes major conflict to erupt at Mel's Diner!

Alice is addicted to chocolate, Vera can't stop smoking, and Flo is addicted to coffee in "Block Those Kicks," but Mel's problem is that he is addicted to gambling, and has just made a bet that could mean he'll lose the diner! In "Cabin Fever," Mel is going to take his girlfriend to a cabin that he rented in New Mexico--not knowing that Alice, Flo, and Vera are going to the same cabin for the weekend. And that isn't all; a tornado is also coming to the cabin! The disc ends with "Flo's Farewell," where Flo is offered a job as a hostess at a restaurant in Houston. Is it goodbye to Mel's Diner forever?


Packaging:

The disc comes in the typical clear Amaray case, just like the other Warner TV Favorites selections. There is a cast photo on the front of the case and some screen captures from the show on the back of the case. Inside the case, you'll find a "menu" that lists the episodes on the disc, along with the writers and directors of the episode. The disc itself has simple artwork, with the Alice logo on the top of the disc and a shot of Flo, Alice, and Vera on the bottom of the disc.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu has a photo of Flo, Alice, and Vera, with the theme song (first season version) playing in the background and options for "Play," "Episodes," and "Languages." Play simple plays all of the episodes on the disc, Episodes gives you a "menu" (pardon the pun) where you can select an episode (the episode plays immediately upon selection), and Languages allows you to turn on subtitles, which are available in Spanish and French.

There are chapters that are placed appropriately within each episode (where every commercial break should be).


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality of this set looks like it has been well-preserved from when the show originally aired. The episodes look a little better than the versions that I have seen floating around in syndication, so that is a definite positive. Still, the picture isn't that sharp and there seem to be some minor "video glitches" here and there throughout the episodes. This isn't a major concern though. The audio quality has no major concerns either and sounds pretty clear, and is presented in mono. Closed-captioning is available, as well as Spanish and French subtitles.

The episodes appear to be unedited. The runtimes are as follows:
1. "Alice Gets a Pass" (25:35)
2. "The Odd Couple" (25:32)
3. "Close Encounters of the Worst Kind" (25:31)
4. "Block Those Kicks" (24:58)
5. "Cabin Fever" (24:45)
6. "Flo's Farewell" (24:42)


Special Features:

There are no special features, I'm not sure if any of these Television Favorites discs have ever had any either.


Final Comments:

I don't want to get into a rant here, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to. I am so frustrated with Warner only releasing these Television Favorites discs! They seem do the best job on the technical aspects of the episodes (generally good quality in audio and video, making sure syndicated versions don't slip in, etc.), but they simply don't understand that fans do NOT want these Television Favorites discs. With practically every other studio, there is always hope that you'll get season releases, but with Warner, the policy seems to be that they will do a Television Favorites disc, and if that sells well enough, then they'll do season sets, but the problem is that a lot of fans (myself included) do not care to waste money on a set with just a few random episodes. So what ends up happening is that nobody buys these discs and Warner will say that there is no interest in the series. When I look in my TV-on-DVD collection, even though Warner is the studio with some of the best series, I have very few DVD sets from Warner, and that is because I'm simply not interested in these Television Favorites discs. And I'm sure I'm not alone.

With my ranting aside, however, this DVD is a good DVD and if you really want to see the show, you'll want this DVD. The good thing about these Television Favorites is that it is easy to find them at a very reasonable price, so if you don't know much about the show and you are just interested in finding out about it, this disc may be for you too. But for the person that is collecting various television series on DVD, this disc may very likely be your one and only hope for Alice on DVD--unless things change at Warner sometime soon.


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

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 07/14/06

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EU1QBS/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=177714


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