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Cheers - The Tenth Season


TITLE: CHEERS - THE TENTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 2, 2008 (CBS DVD/Paramount)
Color / 1991-1992
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 25 (26 if you count the one-hour season finale as 2)
Running Time: Aprrox. 10 hours, 2 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

It's the cozy little Boston bar where everybody knows your name... raise a glass of to Cheers - the Emmy Award-winning smash-hit television series that kept the laughs uncorked for 11 seasons. Cheers: The Tenth Season finds Sam (Ted Danson) yearning for fatherhood. And he believes he's found the perfect candidate to be the mother of his child: Rebecca (Kirstie Alley)! Meanwhile, Norm (George Wendt) and Cliff (John Ratzenberger) wreak havoc on Frasier's (Kelsey Grammer) therapy group, and Carla (Rhea Perlman) is shocked to discover that her son has decided to become a priest. That may have come in handy - since Woody (Woody Harrelson) and Kelly have decided to annoiuce their plans to wed. Join the gang for round after round of laughs and good times in this 25-episode volume of the classic TV sitcom.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Cheers' tenth season premiered on September 19, 1991. It continued to air at the usual time - Thursdays at 9-9:30 PM on NBC. After finishing #1 in the ratings for the ninth season, the show dropped to a tie for fourth place with Home Improvement with a 17.5 rating (down from a 21.3). The show received 8 Emmy nominations this season, but didn't win any. They were nominated for "Outstanding Comedy Series." Other nominations included James Burrows for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing in a Comedy Series," Ted Danson for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series," Kirstie Alley for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series," Harvey Fierstein for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series," and Frances Sternhagen for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series." They were also nominated in the "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Editing for a Series - Multi-Camera Production" and "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special." Bebe Neuwirth was listed in the opening credits starting with this season.

Memorable episodes included "Baby Balk," in which Sam and Rebecca each separately turn to the Drs. Crane for help in conceiving a baby. Frasier takes the guys on a trip to rediscover the "inner man" while the gals discover Carla's cousin Frankie when he fills in at the bar in "Get Your Kicks on Route 66." Sam may have played his last prank when it appears that his Halloween trick may have killed his old nemesis Gary in "Bar Wars V: The Final Judgment." Frasier has to face making out a will while Sam braces himself for bad news from Rebecca's fertility doctor in "I'm OK, You're Defective." Rebecca insists she can handle the bar while the rest of the gang plays poker, then learns that she's allowed their liquor license to lapse in "License to Hill." The new owners of Gary's Olde Towne Tavern lack a sense of humor and respond badly to Cheers' latest prank in "Bar Wars VI: This Time It's For Real." Norm tells Cliff a little white lie about Carson using Cliff's material on The Tonight Show, then regrets it when Cliff comes up with two tickets to Burbank in "Heeeeeeere's Cliffy!." Woody and Kelly's wedding faces some funny obstacles, before and during the ceremony in "An Old Fashioned Wedding (Parts 1 & 2)."

Notable guest stars included Leah Remini as Serafina Tortelli in "Unplanned Parenthood." Boston Celtics' legend Kevin McHale appeared as himself in "Where Have All the Floorboards Gone?." Emma Thompson guest starred as Nanette "Nanny G" Gooseman in "One Hugs, The Other Doesn't." Harry Connick, Jr. played Russell Boyd in "A Diminished Rebecca with a Suspended Cliff." Kevin Sorbo made an uncredited appearance as a bar patron in "License to Hill." Harvey Fierstein was Mark Newberger in "Rebecca's Lover...Not." Senator John Kerry appeared as himself in "Bar Wars VI: This Time It's For Real." Johnny Carson and Doc Severinsen appeared as themselves in "Heeeeeeere's Cliffy!."


Packaging:

The packaging continues the pattern of season 9. After seasons 1-8 came in digipaks, CBS DVD started using a different format that is thinner in size. The set comes in an Amaray movie-style snapcase with clear, outer plastic edges. It will be interesting if/when CBS decides to release the complete series if they will re-release the sets with the thinner packaging. The season ten cover art features a photo of the 7 main cast members. The Cheers logo and Season 10 is in an orangish color and centered at the top. On the back of the case, there is a photo of Rebecca and Sam close together and 5 smaller, rectangular photos of Frasier, Woody, Norm, Cliff and Carla. A summary of the set, a listing of the episodes and the DVD specs are given. Opening the case, there is just blank/white space. I know that none of the other seasons have included episode guides, but there was plenty of space for them to include one here and on Season 9. Not everybody is able to identify the episodes by the title alone, and it would be nice to have summaries for reference. Discs 2-3 are held in two overlapping white, plastic holders. Discs 1 and 4 are held in embedded holders on the front and back of the case. All of the previous seasons (except season 9) have included photos on the discs. They are just silver and have the Cheers logo which has a hologram-type effect when you turn it in light. The episode titles are listed on the disc. Each disc holds 5-7 episodes.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The static menus are very simple and easy to navigate. There is just one main menu on each disc. A different cast member is featured on each disc. Disc 1 has Sam. Disc 2 features Cliff at the bar. Disc 3 has a photo of Rebecca looking downward at the bar. Disc 4 has Norm at the bar (where else would you expect him?). The Cheers logo and the season and disc number is listed at the top. Episodes are listed vertically in the Cheers credits font. There is a red and gold border at the top and bottom of the screen. There is a tiny orange beer mug next to the episode that you highlight. Upon your selection, it turns light blue. A "Play All" button is available for those who wish to watch the episodes without any interruptions. When you first insert disc 1, there is an option to view Previews or you can go directly to the main menu. The previews (3:19) are for some other CBS DVD/Paramount TV DVD releases, including Becker (with Ted Danson) - The First Season and I Love Lucy - The Complete Series. Chapter stops are available within the episodes, but there are no separate scene selection menus.


Video and Audio Quality:

These episodes are from 1991-92, so they seem to look a bit better than the earlier seasons. In 2001, these episodes were remastered for syndication and a set was donated to the Museum of Television and Radio by creator James Burrows on the behalf of Paramount Pictures. They are likely using the same prints on the DVD, although with some edits because of music licensing issues. Since the show was shot on film, there is some dirt, debris and other digital artifacts in these episodes. They certainly look better than the episodes I remember seeing in syndication before 2001. The release is in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. The episodes are spread out well with no more than 7 episosdes per disc, so there are no compression issues. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is one for Charles Burrows Charles Productions. This is followed by a new one for CBS Television Distribution.

The audio is a Dolby Digital - English Surround track. It's generally clear and crisp with no major problems. The original opening and closing credits appear to be intact. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes.

Unlike season 9, there are no disclaimers on the set that indicate that any episodes may be edited from their original network version or that music has been changed for this home entertainment version. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Maybe it was just an oversight on their part not to mention them. According to a poster, zypherix, on our message board, there are at least 3 episodes which contain edited scenes and/or replaced music. They say:

In "The Norm Who Came for Dinner", the gang singing "Those Were the Days" is replaced by music when Frasier and Lilith are in bed in the middle of the night, and a few seconds of the gang singing it when Lilith walks downstairs and again when she leaves are missing.

A scene starts rather abruptly in "Get Your Kicks on Route 666" as well, when they're in the car the scene starts with Cliff mentioning that something must be wrong with the 8-track.. as if they had been singing before that.

"Monster Mash" is replaced with another song in "Bar Wars V"

Most other episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of around 23-23:30. "An Old Fashioned Wedding" originally aired as one-hour episode, and it is presented that way on the DVD. It runs 45:20. Some other episodes which may be edited due to the shorter running times include: "No Rest For the Woody" (22:46), "My Son, the Father" (22:56), "A Diminised Rebecca with a Suspended Cliff" (22:31), "Rebecca's Lover...Not" (22:37). If you notice and other music substiutions or edited episodes on this set, please post about them in this thread.

Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the running times:

Disc 1
---------
Baby Balk (22:37)
Get Your Kicks on Route 66 (23:11)
Madame LaCarla (23:25)
The Norm Who Came to Dinner (22:38)
Ma's Little Maggie (23:07)
Unplanned Parenthood (23:10)
Bar Wars V: The Final Judgment (23:23)

Disc 2
---------
Where Have all the Floorboards Gone? (23:26)
Head Over Hill (23:06)
A Fine French Whine (23:27)
I'm OK, You're Defective (23:26)
Go Make (23:25)
Don't Shoot...I'm Only the Psychiatrist (23:25)
No Rest For the Woody (23:25)

Disc 3
---------
My Son, the Father (22:56)
One Hugs, the Other Doesn't (23:27)
A Diminished Rebecca with a Suspended Cliff (22:31)
License to Hill (23:26)
Rich Man, Wood Man (23:26)
Smotherly Love (23:27)

Disc 4
---------
Take Me Out of the Ball Game (23:26)
Rebecca's Lover...Not (22:37)
Bar Wars VI: This Time It's for Real (23:27)
Heeeeeeere's...Cliffy! (23:27)
An Old Fashioned Wedding (Parts 1 & 2) (45:20)


Special Features:

There have been no special features included on any Cheers releases since Season 3. Unfortunately, that trend is continued here. I've just been happy to build my Cheers library of episodes. If/when they release a complete series boxed set, we could see some previously unreleased special features on there.


Final Comments:

After waiting nearly 2 years between seasons 8-9, we only had to wait a little over 4 months between seasons 9-10. The ninth season may have been the last great season of Cheers, but they were still going on strong here with some funny episodes, such as the two Bar Wars and Cliff's trip to see Johnny Carson. There was a pretty significant drop in the ratings, but they still finished in a tie for fourth place.

This is an ok set, but it suffers from the same problems as some of the previous seasons. Despite the fact there are no disclaimers about any edited episodes or music substitutions, there are at least 3 episodes and maybe as many as 7 which may be edited. Unfortunately, there has been a continued trend on CBS DVD releases over the last few years. I think most fans can accept some minor music subsitutions, but when they cut entire scenes that involve singing that is a different story. Another problem with this set (and all of the previous Cheers releases) is a lack of any episode guide. They had the space to include one in season 9 and here, but none was included. With the fast release of this season, it seems likely that we will receive the final call for the eleventh season in December. It also seems like a good bet that we'll see a complete series boxed set in time for the holidays. Stay tuned for any announcements at TVShowsonDVD.com .


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

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

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 08/25/08

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0019F02W6/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=231125


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