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Charles in Charge - The Complete Fourth Season


TITLE: CHARLES IN CHARGE - THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009 (Virgil Films)
Color/1988-89
MSRP: $29.95
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 598 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages: English
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Scott Baio is BACK with the Fourth Season of Charles in Charge! Charles is a college student who is working as a keeper to the Powell kids (Nicole Eggert, Josie Davis, and Alexander Polinsky). His friend Buddy Lembeck (Willie Aames) also returns along with his Mom (Ellen Travolta) and the rest of the Powell family (Sandra Kerns, James T. Callahan). This is a must-own collection for every Charles in Charge fan!

Beginning with this season, this show is manufactured "on demand" when ordered from Amazon.com, using recordable media as authorized by the rights holder. Powered by CreateSpace, this on-demand program makes thousands of titles available that would not otherwise be available. Amazon.com is the only way to get this DVD and the season five DVD. So order on our link at the end of the review!

Charles in Charge season four stars: Scott Baio (Charles), Willie Aames (Buddy Lembeck), Sandra Kerns (Ellen Powell), Nicole Eggert (Jamie Powell), Josie Davis (Sarah Powell), Alexander Polinsky (Adam Powell), Justin Whalin as Anthony, with Ellen Travolta (Lillian) and James T. Callahan (Walter Powell).


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

As I mentioned on the season two and three reviews, the series was in first-run syndication so the episode order is usually weird, but the DVD has the right order...how it airs in reruns. Sometimes there can be continuity issues in any order of this series it seems, but what can you do? In “Ninny and the Professor,” Charles' professor disagrees with the grade he gives a student. In “Room at the Bottom,” as the show’s theme song goes, “lives right downstairs and its understood,” Walter remodels the basement and it is Charles’ new room! In the next episode, “Yesterday Café,” Lillian starts a 1950's-style restaurant called the "Yesterday Café." And again the very next episode is classic in “Dueling Presleys,” Lillian hires an Elvis impersonator for the diner. In “Fatal Obsession,” a woman Charles met at a camp pursues Charles and it becomes Fatal Attraction, like the film. In “Curing the Common Cult,” Jamie joins a cult, and Charles must prove that the leader is a fake. In the two-part episode, “Charles Splits,” Charles bumps his head, he begins acting strangely and calls himself Chaz. In “Aunt Vanessa,” Jamie wants to move to New York and live with Charles' aunt. In “Buddy’s Daddy,” Buddy's father visits and reveals he is getting a divorce.

There were a lot of notable guest stars this season, such as Erika Eleniak, Marcia Wallace, Kellie Martin, Sally Struthers, Eva LaRue, Charles Nelson Reilly, Daniel Baldwin, Jerry O’Connell, and Don Most.


Packaging:

The packaging is now different. We get two cases instead of one. So there is no more Amaray movie-style snap case holding the discs inside. I don’t know why they went with two cases. They should have done a box at least to hold them because this wastes lots of space on shelves. Anyway, the cover art for the cases are generally the same, except for color. Scott Baio is in the center with three Polaroid style photos surrounding him and the show logo is at the top of each case. A blue tiled background is used for the first case and a yellow tiled one for the second case. On the back of the case, there is another Polaroid style photo, but this is a cast photo at the diner. A synopsis of the set and episodes on each case are listed. Scott Baio is on the spine of the case, once again.

When we open the cases, we get to the discs. There is no artwork inside the case on the panels at all, just a black background. For case one, Discs 1 & 2 are on a little holder that you can turn like a page on a book, with disc 3 on the right panel. For case two, Discs 4 & 5 are on a little holder that you can turn like a page on a book, with disc 6 on the right panel. Each disc has the same photo of Scott Baio that is used on the cover art and the Charles in Charge logo. Disc 1 has a yellow scheme and has episodes 1-5. Disc 2 has a purple color scheme and has episodes 6-10. Disc 3 is green and has episodes 11-14. Disc four is red and has episodes 15-18. Disc five has an orange color scheme and has episodes 19-22. And finally disc six is in purple and has episodes 23-26.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen is not good anymore. It is very plain, but since this is a DVD-R set, what can I expect? There is no theme song at all playing in the background. But the good thing is we get to the main menu right away, no trailers or FBI warning nonsense or anything! The main menu is in a blue/purple style background with a cast photo, along with the show’s logo and a mention of Season 4. The options are Play and Chapters. When we select the Play option, it plays all the episodes on the disc consecutively. In the Chapters menu, that is actually an episodes menu. It lists the episode titles and we can choose them. So this means each episode is only one chapter each. So no chapter stops on any episode...not good..


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio are both good. There are a few episodes that look a little bright and grainy, but this is DVD-R. The episodes are in their original full screen format. All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of around 22:25 in length. The times are all very consistent once again, give or take a few seconds. As I said, this time we don’t get any chapter stops. The audio is a Dolby Digital Mono 2.0 track. The dialogue is at a good level and it easy to understand. I didn't notice any major problems. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there are plenty of logos here. There is Al Burton Productions, Scholastic Productions and an old Universal logo, just like previous sets. In the two-part episode “Charles Splits,” there is a “to be continued” tag at the end of part one and there is a recap at the start of part two...so that is intact.

Here are the runtimes:

Disc One
1. No Nukes, Is Good Nukes (22:24)
2. Ninny and the Professor (22:24)
3. A String of Pearls (22:24)
4. A Room at the Bottom (22:24)
5. Yesterday Café (22:27)

Disc Two
6. Dueling Presleys (22:28)
7. Walter Gets a Dodo (22:27)
8. Adam See, Adam Do (22:23)
9. Ladies Night Out (22:23)
10. Fatal Obsession (22:24)

Disc Three
11. Still at Large (22:26)
12. Chargin’ Charles (22:25)
13. A Fish Called Buddy (22:25)
14. Curing the Common Cult (22:23)

Disc Four
15. Walter’s War (22:24)
16. Second Banana (22:23)
17. Poetic License (22:23)
18. Charles Splits, Part 1 (22:24)

Disc Five
19. Charles Splits, Part 2 (22:24)
20. The Organization Man (22:24)
21. Aunt Vanessa (22:23)
22. It’s a Blunderfull Life (22:23)

Disc Six
23. Bad Boy (22:25)
24. Big Bang (22:25)
25. Triple Threat (22:25)
26. Buddy’s Daddy (22:25)

As I discussed in the memorable episodes section, the episodes are in rerun order, so the way you saw it on Nick at Nite and other stations is the way it airs.


Special Features:

Unfortunately, there are no special features included once again. It would be great to see some bloopers/outtakes, syndication promos and new cast interviews on future releases. Anything to see Nicole Eggert in something new or even the past! Josie Davis looks great now as well. But this is a DVD-R set, so Virgil is only interested in the episodes now since this is being done on-demand. Sigh.


Final Comments:

I give credit to Virgil in finishing this series on DVD with seasons four and five but why did it have to be on DVR-R on-demand sets? What made them go from a regular season 3 DVD set to this? They are releasing Donna Reed Show the right way, so why not Charles in Charge as well? It’s not like they release tons of series like the major companies. I hate to complain, but this deserves better than just an on-demand Amazon set. Anyway, the only way you can buy this set is through Amazon. So click below and you can be in charge like Charles!


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

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 08/14/09

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001AQT0QS/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=251669


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