TITLE: BOY MEETS WORLD - THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
Release Date: December 7, 2010 (Lionsgate/ABC Studios)
Packaging: Keep case
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 528 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital
Subtitles and Captioning: Closed-Captioned
Special Features: None
We’re back to Philadelphia! After a LONG wait, Boy Meets World - The Complete Fourth Season has FINALLY arrived on DVD after a wait of over 5 long years since we got season three! Cory and his friends try to make the most of their time together this season because who knows what the future holds as they near the end of their lives in high school. We get all 22 episodes of this fourth season on a 3-disc set from Lionsgate who licensed the series from ABC Studios to continue this series on DVD!
The season four cast features Ben Savage as Cory Matthews, Rider Strong as Shawn Patrick Hunter, Danielle Fishel as Topanga Lawrence, Will Friedle as Eric Matthews, Betsy Randle as Amy Matthews, Lindsay Ridgeway as Morgan Matthews, Anthony Tyler Quinn as Mr. Turner, with William Daniels as Mr. Feeny and William Russ as Alan Matthews.
The show seems to jump in time starting this season (or maybe a bit more next season?). The first season Cory, Shawn & Topanga were in 6th grade. Then in season two they moved to high school for 7th grade, which seems early to start high school. In season three it appears they are in 8th grade but it isn’t certain. In this fourth season we are to believe they are in 11th grade since they are turning sixteen and in season five they graduate from high school at the end of the season. That is weird. Anyway, I always liked the first three seasons of the show, as I religiously watched it on ABC’s TGIF block every week. Then the show got a bit weird for me and it turned into the Cory-Topanga with Shawn hanging around show. Also, Eric and Feeny (oddly enough) seem to have a sub-show of their own going starting this season. After watching some episode again on this DVD, it isn’t as bad as I thought, but it’s no where near the quality of the first three seasons (especially the first two). Anyway, some memorable episodes include the season premiere “You Can Go Home Again,” where nearing the end of last season's summer road trip, Cory agrees to a final pit stop-- without realizing that his brother Eric intends to make it a permanent one because he feels that there's nothing there for him back home, while winning a company award makes Alan consider whether or not he's really happy with his current employment as a supermarket manager. In “Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow,” after Cory expresses his insecurity about his hair (it looks terrible this season), Topanga cuts off six inches of her own hair in an attempt to show him how meaningless outward appearance is compared with inner beauty, however she soon realizes that even she can be self-conscious when she becomes horrified after seeing her new 'do', and decides to get a makeover and meanwhile, Eric refuses to look for a job and instead lazily stays home watching daytime TV--but what will he do when he gets a glimpse of the real world?
In “Dangerous Secret,” when Cory discovers that attractive Claire has been sleeping over at Shawn's place, he jumps to the obvious conclusion, especially when Shawn swears him to secrecy, but Cory learns that they have a much more serious, much more dangerous problem. In “Wheels,” Alan finds himself at a crossroads when Cory, armed with a new driver's license on his 16th birthday, would rather celebrate the event on a road trip with Shawn and Topanga instead of with his father. The war between the sexes starts heating up at John Adams High when the boys realize that girls expect different things when out on a date, in “Chick Like Me.” In the two-part episode “A Long Walk to Pittsburgh,” Eric accidentally discovers that Shawn and Topanga have a secret when he finds them behaving more than friendly at Chubbie's, and he tells Cory about it, but unfortunately they only know half the truth and tensions rise between friends and family as Cory tries to find out the real reason why Topanga is acting so strangely and soon finds out the truth -- she's moving to Pittsburgh. In part two, Cory is taking Topanga's departure very hard, and is wavering between depression and anger, fortunately for him, a surprise visitor comes to help him: Topanga is back... but the couple will need to convince their friends and family that theirs is a true love if they want a shot of her staying in Philadelphia. Jumping to the season finale, “Learning to Fly,” Eric invites Cory and his friends to come with him to a potential college, however once Cory finds out Topanga isn't coming, he gets upset, but a sexy college girl named Mary Beth offers to give him the "fun" he was hoping to have with Topanga, while Eric's doubt that any real college will accept him leads him to consider staying at a surfer school. Will Eric get into a college a year later?
Guest stars for this season include Dick Van Patten, Will Estes, Dick O’Neill, John O’Hurley, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Buddy Hackett, Soupy Sales, and Dan Lauria. All of the episodes seem unedited at around 21:30, some a bit higher and some a bit lower. The MTV Singled Out episode seems a bit low (20:25), but it probably just ran short. See the runtimes:
1. “You Can Go Home Again” 21:31
2. “Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow” 21:32
3. “I Ain't Gonna Spray Lettuce No More” 21:05
4. “Fishing for Virna” 21:57
5. “Shallow Boy” 21:55
6. “Janitor Dad” 21:55
7. “Singled Out” 20:25
8. “Dangerous Secret” 21:40
9. “Sixteen Candles and Four-Hundred-Pound Men” 21:51
10. “Turkey Day” 21:56
11. “An Affair to Forget” 21:36
12. “East Street” 21:37
13. “B & B's B 'N' B" 21:27
14. “Wheels” 21:51
15. “Chick Like Me” 21:56
16. “A Long Walk to Pittsburgh, Part 1” 21:34
17. “A Long Walk to Pittsburgh, Part 2” 21:51
18. “Uncle Daddy” 21:54
19. “Quiz Show” 21:56
20. “Security Guy” 21:50
21. “Cult Fiction” 21:55
22. “Learning to Fly” 21:51
Let’s start analyzing this set with the packaging. The color scheme for this set is yellow and some blue, too. Season one was a maroon type color, season two was blue and season three was orange. All of those were solely produced by ABC Studios. Lionsgate licensed to continue the series on DVD. The case cover has Shawn, Topanga, Cory, and Eric in a playful pose. The logo is in a white background and blue font. The logo we all know. The back of the case is in a yellow background, too, and has four episodic photos from the show, along with the season synopsis and technical specifications. When you open the case, you get no artwork on the panels this time. It is just plain black. That is disappointing, as we used to get a disc-by-disc breakdown with episode titles, writers, directors and special features. The disc placement is better, as we don’t get overlapping discs. Discs one and two are in a little plastic holder in the middle, in which you can flip like a page in a book. Disc three is on the right panel itself.
The discs are all in yellow, like the case. Disc one has a photo of Cory and mentions it has episodes 1-8. Disc two has a photo of Topanga and mentions it has episodes 9-15. Disc three has a photo of Shawn and mentions it has episodes 16-22.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are a bit different. It’s not as good as the ABC Studios produced series. The new season four theme song plays in the background. I never really liked this theme. It is way too short. It loops, so it keeps playing over and over again if you don’t want to choose something really quick. The menu screen is in yellow (duh... that’s the color scheme for the set!) and has the logo and the same artwork as the cover art in a blue rectangle. The options on the menu screen are: Play All and Episode Selection. It’s that simple. When you select ‘Episode Selection,’ you get to a sub-menu listing the episodes on the disc. That’s it. It is nothing fancy.
Video and Audio Quality:
Now this is similar to last time. The video quality is decent. Expect something similar to previous sets. The audio is pretty good in Dolby Digital 2.0. I didn’t find any flaws in either. One change for the better...we get chapter stops! We have four chapter stops per episode. That’s good because season three didn’t have any for some reason. The first two seasons had chapters, though. One other tidbit, the two-part episode on this set does have the “To Be Continued” line at the end of part one. And in part two, we do have “Previously on Boy Meets World” recap after the opening theme.
There are no special features whatsoever for this season. That’s a huge disappointment since all of the previous seasons had some. I miss those audio commentaries! Heck, we even got that trivia "The World According to Boy" thing on the last set. If you all remember on the season one set, they had a bonus season four episode (“Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow”) with commentary. That commentary track is NOT included on this set for some reason. They should have included that at least! Come on!
Overall, the set is not as good as the previous sets, especially seasons one and two. Lack of special features is bad along with the cheapened packaging and menus, but the disc layout is better and the chapter stops are back. The episodes are not as enjoyable to me as they were in the previous three seasons. But that’s just my opinion because many fans loved the later high school years and college years. All fans should still buy this set and continue their collection (even I am, despite not liking seasons 4-7 too much). It isn’t a bad season but it is better than I remember for sure. I would continue the collection and if you haven’t bought the series yet, what are you waiting for? Lionsgate even re-released the first three seasons in September for a cheap price (with cheap packaging) but with the same content. Get those and then get this set because you’ll love Cory, his friends, family and of course Mr. Feeny! Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another five years to get the next set. I don’t think that will be the case, though. Three more seasons (5-7) to go on DVD. Feeeeeeeeeny!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 12/03/10
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