TITLE: CYBILL - THE COLLECTOR'S EDITON - VOLUME 1
Release Date: September 16, 2008 (First Look Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 10 (13)
Running Time: 240 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: approx 80 minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: Closed Captioned
* 2008 Never-before-seen interview with Cybill Shepherd
* Cybillís 3 favorite episodes
Cybill aired on CBS from 1995 to 1998. Cybill was a sophisticated series, comically dealing with single parenthood, divorce, sex and dating for people over 40 from a realistic and fresh perspective. Cybill Shepherd stars as Cybill Sheridan (Donít you love these creative character names in sitcoms?), a woman who had it all: two spiteful daughters, two clingy ex-husbands, an outrageous best friend, an unstable future, and a house on an eroding LA hillside. But with humor and determination, Cybill braved each new challenge that came her way, while having the time of her life discovering that life after forty was anything but downhill. In the mid 1990s, CBS tried to build a show that was similar and yet vastly different to Murphy Brown. And the result was certainly interesting. This DVD set contains ten...err...thirteen episodes from the showís 4 seasons on the air, including the cliffhanger series finale.
Episodes Included / Notable Guest Stars:
Whenever I review a compilation set, the format takes a different turn. I briefly describe each episode and list any relevant guest stars. The ten primary episodes of the set are listed here -- for the additional three, see the special features section.
Episode descriptions are courtesy TV.com. Itís the most efficient way to do this:
1) The Last Temptation of Cybill: April 10, 1995: Episode #11:
Cybill and Ira's second chance at romance faces a Herculean challenge when handsome young actor Rick takes his love-scene rehearsals with Cybill very seriously. Meanwhile, Maryann buys a telescope to gaze at the stars - movie stars.
Guests: Zsa Zsa Gabor, Elliot Gould, Kevin Sorbo
2) Local Hero: November 26, 1995: Episode #22:
After she is replaced in a movie starring Kenny Rogers, Cybill thinks her career's a flop - until she takes a gamble on accepting an invitation to visit an immigrant family who collectively idolize her. Meanwhile, Rachel tries to counsel Ira out of his neurotic fear of the telephone.
3) Educating Zoey: January 14, 1996: Episode #26:
Cybill and Ira learn a lesson in parenting when one of Zoey's counselors informs them that college is not part of Zoey's plans for the future.
4) Pal Zoey: May 6, 1996: Episode #35:
Cybill is disconcerted but delighted when a heartbroken Zoey decides she wants to be best friends; but Rachel storms off when Cybill and Kevin agree to sit in on a marriage counseling session, only to discover that Kevin slept with Rachel's therapist. Meanwhile, Maryann tries to make Ira jealous by flirting with Cybill's Arkansas cousin Lyle, who is obsessed with getting onto The Price is Right.
Guests: Jeff Foxworthy
5) Bringing Home the Bacon: September 16, 1996: Episode #38: (Season Three Premiere):
On the barnyard set of her new show (a parody of Babe), Cybill rescues a pig that was fired and doomed to the frying pan; then tries to keep an independent Zoey from flying the coop after she visits the greener pastures of Paris. Meanwhile, Maryann dresses as Little Bo Peep to entice a sheepish Ira.
Guest: Dom DeLuise, Daisy Fuentes, Denver Pyle, Gabrielle Reece
6) Cybill Does Diary: October 21, 1996: Episode #43:
After discovering Cybill's picture on an X-rated video, Cybill and Maryann decide to produce an erotic video intended for women. But when Cybill borrows Zoey's laptop to write the script and tries to e-mail it to a producer, she accidentally sends Zoey's European diary instead - and the producer loves the story of how Zoey lost her virginity.
Guests: Jane Kaczmarek
7) Kiss Me You Fool: February 17, 1997: Episode #54:
Cybill and Jeff co-star in a new action film. Just as Cybill is complaining to her photographer friend, Davolio that her career is going nowhere, Jeff pulls some strings to get her the co-starring role in his new action film. Cybill must then return the favor when she learns that Jeff's future as the next action hero is on the line because he's unable to keep a straight face during intimate scenes. Now that Jeff's making more money than he knows what to do with, he gives Rachel and Kevin a down payment for a new house.
Guests: Dan Castellaneta
8) Whereís a Harpoon When You Need One?: November 3, 1997: Episode #71:
Cybill gets a job as a spokeswoman on a cruise ship, but when she and Maryann take a cruise, it turns out to be one of displeasure: Dr. Dick, relentless in his efforts to win back Maryann, puts Cybill in a difficult situation by giving her a letter for his ex that Cybill knows will make Maryann "melt down."
Guests: Robert Stack
9) Show Me the Minnie: December 8, 1997: Episode #75:
When Cybill's garage roof collapses and requires expensive repairs, she tries to get a loan from the bank, only to discover that the loan officer turns out to be her disgruntled former fan, Minnie Arbogast. Adding to Cybill's troubles, Ira accuses Maryann of causing the breakup of his marriage to Cybill. After trying unsuccessfully to reconcile her two friends and resolve her own financial crisis, Cybill gets help from an unlikely source - her former enemy and new-found friend, Minnie.
10 )Ka-Boom: July 13, 1998: Episode #87: (Series Finale)
Cybill's show with Julie is being plugged; Dr. Dick steals Maryann's money; Cybill and Maryann are arrested for murder when Dr. Dick's boat explodes. This "to be continued" cliffhanger episode ends up being the series finale.
As anyone whoís been around knows, Iím a sucker for hard plastic book-style packages. Theyíre sturdy, reliable, and usually have well-designed packaging art. They donít appear cheap. As Iím mentioning this, I think you can guess what First Look has gone with here. Hard plastic book-style, with two panels held together by interlocking plastic edges. The left half holds the disc with the whopping ten episodes on the disc; the right side has the bonus features disc -- including bonus episodes. The packaging art is nice, featuring Cybill sitting on a surface in front of some sort of circular background. The show logo appears in raised shiny red text. This shiny red look carries over to the front edge, around the side, and onto the back. Disc 1 is dark red and features the episodes listed on the disc -- no photos. Disc two is an orange-red color and is the bonus disc. No photos.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The animated menus are well-designed -- the showís main theme plays in the background. A moving strip of still images slides in the background. Animation effects play in the background and foreground. Thereís a lens glare effect and everything. The filmstrip is even animated to look like it reflects off of the shiny floor surface. The episode selection menu isnít quite as nice, but Iím not complaining. A static shot of the red/black/gold background portion of the main menu, with the episodes as a static list. When the episode selection menu is your weakest point, youíre putting out good product.
Video and Audio Quality:
When Iíve made it to this point and the only thing Iíve complained about are the episode selection menus, this is a good sign. This is also usually the make or break section of the review. And overall, the VQ is pretty good. The video colors appear a bit overly warm, but this is a chronic problem that seems to plague nearly every mid 1990s TV series Iíve seen. I donít know what it is about shows from the mid 1990s, but everything is overly warm across the board. There are minor specks of grain here and there. The real problem comes as the colors of a scene approach green. Certain objects seem to cast a mild green shadow, including shirts and in some cases Cybillís hair. This primarily affects the first episode, and the video presentation improves over the course of the episodes. Iím not sure if itís a print issue or a mastering problem, but itís noticeable -- but not a huge problem. Audio is a nice and decent stereo track -- it wonít win any awards but it gets the job done. Chapter stops occur at the end of each act, usually leading to 4-5 per show. Play All is available from the main menu.
1.) The Last Temptation of Cybill: 22:43
2.) Local Hero: 23:15
3.) Educating Zoey: 23:17
4.) Pal Zoey: 23:09
5.) Bringing Home the Bacon: 22:46
6.) Cybill Does Diary: 23:12
7.) Kiss Me You Fool: 23:13
8.) Whereís a Harpoon When You Need One?: 22:07*
9.) Show Me the Minnie: 22:43
10.) Ka-Boom: 22:03*
*These episodes in particular seem short, but given that they were during the seemingly-afterthought final season, Iím giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming that the network took more ad time here.
The bonus features are self-contained on the second disc of the set:
Cybillís Favorite Episodes:
Three MORE episodes for your viewing pleasure:
Going to Hell in a Limo, Part 1 (23:12): Season Three: November 11, 1996: Episode #45:
Cybill becomes a prime-time hit in the new series Lifeforms, but when her co-star starts sleeping with the female producer, Cybill's role gets reduced to a few lines per episode. Meanwhile, Ira tries to convince Zoey to throw a bridal shower for Holly.
Guests: Jane Kaczmarek, Dinah Manoff
Valentineís Day (23:05): Season Three: February 10, 1997: Episode #53:
Maryann is acting more bizarre than usual during a Valentine's Day outing with Richard and her visiting son. Meanwhile, Zoey moves in with Ira to spite her mother. Sparks fly between Zoey and Maryann's son, Justin. Maryann arranges a Valentine's Day dinner with her son and her new flame but panics and shows up on Cybill's doorstep with Justin and her beau, looking for moral support - just as Zoey is leaving to meet Ira. When Zoey and Justin see each other again - after years apart - they begin spending time together, and, although Maryann loves Zoey like a daughter, she fears that Zoey may break her son's heart. Meanwhile, Cybill spends Valentine's Day with the special guy in her life - her grandson, William.
Guests: Danny Masterson
The Golden Years (22:04): Season Four: December 1, 1997: Episode #74:
It's the year 2027, and Cybill and Maryann, now senior citizens, are still sipping martinis and insulting men. When they come across Cybill's diary from 97, Cybill begins to read aloud from the book, and one of the passages hurts Maryann's feelings - creating a rift between the two friends. Cybill and Maryann must travel 30 years into the past to resolve the issue and discover that their friendship has withstood the test of time for good reason.
Cybill Shepherd Interview:
Broken into two parts:
Part 1: The Cast of Cybill (6:14): Not surprisingly, this is aboutÖthe cast of Cybill!
Part 2: Battle to Be a Breakthrough (6:15): The censors wouldnít let them say vagina, but the censors, not knowing anatomical vocabulary, wound up letting something else through in the Valentineís Day episode. She talks about the show and its place as a forerunner in bringing womenís health, etc. to light in the mid 1990s. Based on the way the interview is presented, Iím assuming more was shot and is being held for future sets.
Running time of special features: approx 80 minutes.
This is a great -- and inexpensive set -- that can serve both as an introduction for people unfamiliar with the series as well as a great refresher for people who havenít seen the series in a while. Hopefully more releases are to come, as it was great to see this series again! My only suggestion for next time would be to possibly split the set into two discs of content (if not more) and maybe add a few additional episodes. At 10 episodes per disc, itíll still be another 8 releases before the full series is released.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 3/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 3/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Final Score: 3.5/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 09/20/08
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