TITLE: BOY MEETS WORLD - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON
Release Date: May 3, 2011 (Lionsgate/ABC Studios)
Packaging: Keep case
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 576 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital
Subtitles and Captioning: Closed-Captioned
Special Features: None
When this Boy Meets World! We’re back quickly to Philadelphia! Boy Meets World - The Complete Fifth Season has arrived on DVD after only a 5 month wait! That sure beats the 5 long years wait in between seasons three and four. Join Cory (Ben Savage) and all your favorite characters as they encounter the ups and downs of senior year at John Adams High School. Shawn unexpectedly finds a new love, and in the final episode, Topanga rocks Cory's world with a “surprise” at graduation that we won’t reveal here but you probably all know. We get all 24 episodes of season five on a 3-disc set from Lionsgate/ABC Studios!
The season five 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, Matthew Lawrence as Jack Hunter, with William Daniels as Mr. Feeny and William Russ as Alan Matthews. Recurring is Trina McGee-Davis as Angela Moore.
As a fan of the first three seasons, this season is when it started really becoming a teen only show. That isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t what I wanted. Yes, the show is about these teens but the first two or three seasons it had more of a family dynamic to it. After watching some of these episodes again on this DVD, it isn’t as bad as I thought again like I thought it with season four, but still it’s no where near the quality of the first three seasons (especially the first two). Anyway, some memorable episodes include the season premiere “Brothers,” Cory is so upset when Eric moves back home that he vows to find him a place to stay, but the perfect roommate he picks out is Shawn's long-lost half-brother, Jack (Matthew Lawrence), and there's no love lost as far as Shawn is concerned. In “The Witches of Pennbrook,” witches seem to be invading Pennbrook College when Jack's new spooky girlfriend Millie (guest star Candace Cameron Bure) causes a serious rift between the roommates after Eric tells Jack that he caught her practicing witchcraft and an unsuspecting Eric goes on a date with a teenaged witch named Sabrina (Guest Melissa Joan Hart crosses over in her role from another ABC comedy: Sabrina, the Teenage Witch). In “No Guts, No Cory,” the time ball swallowed by Salem the Cat from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch takes everyone back to the 1940s: Cory becomes a soldier fighting on the dangerous front lines in Europe, who wants his best buddy Shawn to marry his girl Topanga if he does not return. In part one of a two-part episode, Shawn's steadfast rule of dating girls only for a fixed two-week period leads him to break up with Angela and then he finds himself falling in love with the owner of a lost purse he finds, since the contents indicate that she is the girl of his dreams, in “I Love You, Donna Karan.” In the conclusion, “Chasing Angela,” an eager Cory encourages Shawn to consider the same type of long-term relationship he has with Topanga with Angela - except that the two of them start not to get along so well. In “A Very Topanga Christmas,” Cory wonders if he's being henpecked when Topanga spends the holidays with the Matthews family and takes charge of the festivities. In “Then There Was Shawn,” feeling that Cory and Topanga's break-up is having severe ramifications on his life Shawn instigates a class-wide argument, prompting Mr. Feeny to send them all into detention, however in a parody of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, it soon develops into a detention like none of them have ever experienced. Jennifer Love Hewitt guests stars as Jennifer Love Fefferman.
In “Eric Hollywood,” after a surprisingly superb Shakespearean acting debut, Eric is invited to join the cast of the hit ABC sitcom Kid Gets Acquainted with Universe. In “Starry Night,” Cory remains adamant that he will love Topanga forever and that kissing Lauren meant nothing to him. In the season finale, “Graduation,” it's the end of an era as Cory, Shawn, Topanga, Angela and the rest of their class prepare to graduate, as Topanga wrestles with going to Yale or staying with Cory, while Eric tries to keep Mr. Feeny from retiring and Topanga slyly secures the valedictorian position and shocks Cory at graduation with a bombshell.
Guest stars for this season include Bernie Kopell, Ted Lange, Candace Cameron-Bure, Melissa Joan Hart, Nick Bakay, Brian George, Linda Cardellini, Lee Norris and Jennifer Love Hewitt. All of the episodes seem unedited at around 21:30, some a tad higher and some a bit lower. There was a debate on the season four DVD review that the season four DVD might be edited: http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=276457. We are still not sure. We are not sure about this season either, as the runtimes are similar to season four. Unless someone has proof and shows us ABC episodes, we won’t know for sure. See the runtimes for this season:
1. “Brothers” 21:27
2. “Boy Meets Real World” 21:25
3. “It’s Not You...It’s Me” 21:39
4. “Fraternity Row” 20:56
5. “The Witches of Pennbrook” 21:21
6. “No Guts, No Cory” 21:40
7. “I Love You, Donna Karan - Part 1” 21:42
8. “Chasing Angela - Part 2” 21:37
9. “How To Succeed In Business” 21:20
10. “Last Tango In Philly” 21:16
11. “A Very Topanga Christmas” 21:14
12. “Raging Cory” 21:41
13. “The Eskimo" 21:26
14. “Heartbreak Cory” 21:25
15. “First Girlfriends’ Club” 21:29
16. “Torn Between Two Lovers” 21:40
17. “And Then There Was Shawn” 21:40
18. “If you Can’t Be With The One You Love...” 21:29
19. “Eric Hollywood” 21:28
20. “Starry Night” 21:01
21. “Honesty Night” 21:40
22. “Prom-ises, Prom-ises” 21:35
23. “Things Change” 21:40
24. “Graduation” 21:41
Let’s start analyzing this set with the packaging. The color scheme for this set is orange and some purple, too. Season one was a maroon type color, season two was blue, season three was orange and season four was yellow. The first three seasons were solely produced by ABC Studios. Lionsgate licensed to continue the series on DVD and released season four along with re-releasing the first three seasons. The case cover has Shawn, Topanga, Cory, and Eric sitting or standing next to a globe. The logo is in a white background and blue font. The logo we all know. The back of the case is in an orange background, too, and has five 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 again, as Lionsgate tends to do that. 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 from ABC Studios. The disc placement is better like last time, 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 orange, 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 9-16. Disc three has a photo of Shawn and mentions it has episodes 17-24.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are similar to the previous set but different from the ABC Studios sets. It’s not as good as the ABC Studios produced series. The season four theme song plays in the background for some reason and not the season five theme (more on this new theme in the next section). 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 orange (duh... that’s the color scheme for the set!) and has the logo and the same artwork as the cover art in a purple rectangle. The options on the menu screen once again 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, but it works I guess.
Video and Audio Quality:
This section is the most consistent from Lionsgate to the ABC Studios sets. The video quality is decent. Expect something similar to previous sets. The audio is pretty good in Dolby Digital 2.0, but I wish we had 5.1, but maybe it wasn’t like that originally. I didn’t find any flaws in either the audio or video. We have four chapter stops per episode. That’s always a must on a DVD. There is a new theme song that will be used for the final three seasons (5-7), it is catchy and has lyrics (see an image from the new opening below). The first four seasons never had lyrics. I still prefer the seasons 1-3 theme, 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 for the second set in a row. That’s a huge disappointment since the previous three seasons had some. I miss those audio commentaries! Heck, we even got that trivia "The World According to Boy" thing on the season three DVD. Mr. Feeny is pissed that there is nothing special here!
Overall, the set is not as good as the previous sets, but on par with the season four DVD. Negatives are the lack of special features and using the season four theme on the main menu. And we’re not sure about if the episodes are unedited or not. That would be the biggest concern if they are edited. These episodes are not as enjoyable to me as they were in the first three seasons. But that’s just my opinion because many fans loved the later high school years and college years better than those first few seasons for some reason. All fans should still buy this set and continue their collection (even I am, despite not liking seasons 4-7 too much). Like season four, it isn’t a bad season but it is better than I remember for sure. Come on graduation time is right around the corner and this is the season where the gang graduates from high school, so what perfect timing! And in some good news, season six will be out in July--which is only two months away as you can get ready to go back to school as the gang heads to college in season six. ‘When this Boy Meets World! Boy Meets World...wandering down this road, that we call life...is what we're doin', it's good to know I have friends that will always stand by me! When this Boy Meets World!’ If anything, just get this set for the catchy theme or to just look at Topanga (or Shawn or Eric for you woman)!
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 04/30/11
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