TITLE: CHARLES IN CHARGE - SEASON 5
DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009 (Virgil Films)
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 598 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Special Features: None
Scott Baio is back for one last time with the Fifth and Final Season of Charles in Charge! Charles is a live-in helper 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!
Since season four, 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 previously released season four DVD. So order on our link at the end of the review!
Charles in Charge season five stars: Scott Baio (Charles), Willie Aames (Buddy Lembeck), Sandra Kerns (Ellen Powell), Nicole Eggert (Jamie Powell), Josie Davis (Sarah Powell), Alexander Polinsky (Adam Powell), with Ellen Travolta (Lillian) and James T. Callahan (Walter Powell).
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Like I mentioned on the last 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 “Get Thee to Nuttery,” Buddy decides to become a priest after a near-death experience. In “There’s a Girl in My Ficus,” Charles' girlfriend (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen) tells a lie about Buddy in order to get rid of him. In “Paper Covers Rock,” a tabloid shows pictures of Charles with a rock star (Samantha Fox), and everyone thinks they're in a relationship. In “Budd Flips a Disc,” Buddy wins a contest to be a disc jockey for a day at the diner. In “Up Your I.Q.,” when a boy thinks Jamie is shallow, she talks to Charles' intelligent girlfriend. In “All That Chaz,” an accidental bump on the head turns Charles into Chaz again. In “Lost Resort,” Charles works at a hotel in Hawaii with Buddy's cousin (played by Willie Aames). That episode is the first of three episodes where they attempted a back-door pilot. In “Seeing is Believing,” Charles gets trapped in an elevator with a blind woman. In the series finale, “Charles Be Demille,” Sarah puts on a show to raise money, and Charles directs while preparing for an interview to get into Princeton. Finally, two more back-door pilots aired, in “Fair Exchange,” Sarah visits her relatives (includes a cousin played by Nicole Eggert) in Albuquerque and a foreign exchange student that is living with them. And the third one was “Almost Family,” where Charles visits his Aunt Sally (played by Ellen Travolta) at her car wash. All three of those back-door pilots never made it to series and had a lot of things in common, such as Charles in Charge stars Willie Aames, Nicole Eggert, and Ellen Travolta as different characters and all of them had someone visiting with Charles visiting twice and Sarah the other time.
There were a lot of notable guest stars this season, such as Tony Dow, Ruta Lee, Marcia Wallace, Tiffany Thiesen, Samantha Fox, Ben Stein, James Karen, Pamela Anderson, and David Graf.
The packaging is just like season four. We get two cases. 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 a Polaroid style photo with the cast (it is a season four cast photo!) and the show logo is at the top of each case. A green tiled background is used for the first case and a blue/purple tiled one for the second case. On the back of the case, there is another Polaroid style photo, but this is an episodic photo of Charles and Buddy. There is also nice artwork of Charles with Jamie and Sarah. 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 purple scheme and has episodes 1-5. Disc 2 has a red color scheme and has episodes 6-9. Disc 3 is green and has episodes 10-13. Disc four is orange and has episodes 14-18. Disc five has a white color scheme and has episodes 19-22. And finally disc six is in purple and has episodes 23-26.
Menu Design and Navigation:
As with the last set, 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 Polaroid cast photo (case as cover art), along with the show’s logo and a mention of Season 5. 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. The back-door pilot episodes are in asterisk (*).
Here are the runtimes:
1. Summer Together, Fall Apart (22:25)
2. Get Thee to a Nuttery (22:23)
3. Three Dates & A Walnut (22:29)
4. Out with the In-Crowd (22:27)
5. There’s a Girl in My Ficus (22:24)
6. Judge Not Lest Ye Beheaded (22:26)
7. Child Hoods (22:23)
8. Baby Bummer (22:23)
9. Paper Covers Rock (22:26)
10. Advice and Contempt (22:24)
11. Daffy Doc (22:24)
12. Buddy Flips a Disc (22:29)
13. Don’t Rock the Vote (22:24)
14. Brain Man (22:26)
15. Frankie and Mommy (22:24)
16. Let’s Quake a Deal (22:25)
17. Up Your I.Q. (22:26)
18. All That Chaz (22:26)
19. Dead Puck Society (22:24)
20. Lost Resort (22:25) *
21. La Cage Aux Fools (22:23)
22. Seeing is Believing (22:25)
23. Teacher’s Pest (22:24)
24. Charles Be Demille (22:26) - series finale
25. Fair Exchange (22:25) *
26. Almost Family (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.
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.
I give credit to Virgil in finishing this series on DVD now that we have season 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 DVD-R for seasons four and five? Did it sell that badly? 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 show deserves better than just an on-demand Amazon set. It’s a wrap though for this show on DVD...sort of. Will Virgil release a complete series set? I know they had one in the works, but not sure what happened. And that would be a regular release I’m sure if that were to happen. At least I hope so. 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
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal
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