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Dallas - The Complete Fourth Season


TITLE: DALLAS - THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: January 24, 2006 (Warner Bros. Home Video)
Color
MSRP: $39.98
Number of discs: 4 (double-sided)
Number of episodes: 23
Running Time: 1124 minutes
Total Runtime of Special Features: approx. 1 hour and 26 min
Languages and Subtitles: English; English, French & Spanish Subtitles (on episodes only); Closed Captioned.
Special Features: 2004 Retrospective Documentary - DALLAS REUNION: Return to Southfork.


Introduction:

Who Shot J.R.? That was the question going into the hugely popular fourth season of DALLAS. This season there's power struggles, political scandal, a couple of weddings, even more two-timing and a dead body in the swimming pool. This 4-disc set contains all 23 Season 4 episodes, as well as the 2004 documentary reunion. Big hair, big egos, big trouble... it's all here in DALLAS: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON on DVD!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

For a show such as DALLAS, one could argue that every episode is memorable. Well, I'll try to narrow it down for you with a list of the episodes I think are some of the best. Parts 1 and 2 of "No More Mr. Nice Guy" featuring the fallout of the shooting of JR Ewing are good. "Who Done It?" in which the shooter is finally revealed. "The Fourth Son" in which, the you know what, hits the fan when Ray's father gives the family some shocking news. "The Prodigal Mother" is the one where tortured heroine Pam finds her birth mother. "End of the Road" Parts 1 and 2 is where Lucy Ewing marries Mitch Cooper and sees the arrival of Afton Cooper. "Lover, Come Back" in which Sue Ellen discovers long-ago lover Dusty Farlow is actually alive while Donna Culver and Ray decide to marry. "The New Mrs. Ewing" in which Ray and Donna get married and Bobby forms a business alliance with Cliff Barnes. "The New Beginnings," after half a season of marital difficulties, Jock and Miss Ellie take a second honeymoon which stalls JR's nefarious plan to sell Ewing Oil. And finally, in the season finale, "Ewing-Gate," JR is facing the possible loss of Ewing Oil as well as jail time for the Asian oil scandal while Cliff Barnes discovers a dead body in the Ewing pool.

This season finds many guest appearances and new faces are introduced to make the already troubled lives of the Ewing’s even more difficult. Susan Howard (who goes on to become a series regular for many seasons) returns as a recurring guest as Ray's love interest, widow Donna Culver. Joan Van Ark and Ted Shackelford make a few appearances as Valene and Gary Ewing, respectively. Priscilla Pointer becomes a recurring regular as Pam's mother, Rebecca. Who can forget Mary Crosby's recurring role as attempted murderess, Kristin Shephard. Well-known Daytime TV star Susan Flannery ("The Bold & the Beautiful") also makes several appearances as Leslie Stewart while Leigh J. McCloskey begins his several season stint as Lucy's husband, Mitch Cooper. This season also introduces long-time regular, Audrey Landers as Afton Cooper and we see the return of Jared Martin as Dusty Farlow. Minor guest appearances this season include Joel Fabiani as Alex Ward, Monte Markham, Barbara Babcock and more.


Packaging:

The packaging is identical to the S1/S2 and S3 release. The cover features spliced cast shots of Larry Hagman, Victoria Principal and Patrick Duffy pasted over the Dallas skyline. The overall color of the set is purple in color with a white text. It's a slip sleeve style case. The inside case folds open to the discs included with the set (S1/S2 and S3 had the same design). The episode titles are listed inside the case, but no descriptions are available, unlike the first two releases.

There are now just four discs (six in S1/S2 and five in S3). Disc 1/Side A contains episodes 1-3 while Side B contains episodes 4-6. Disc Two, Side A contains episodes 7-9 while Side B contains episodes 10-12. Disc 3, Side A, contains episodes 13-15 while Side B contains episodes 16-18. Disc Four, Side A, contains episodes 19-21 while Side B contains episodes 22-23 and the 2004 Retrospective Special.

The discs are exactly like that of the S1/S2 and S3 release. There are no photos on the disc, only small text around the hole telling you what side the disc is. I've never been a fan of double-sided discs. Very unappealing but probably cost efficient (or so I assume).


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are very easy to navigate. There is a "Play All" feature on the main menu. The main menu is the only menu that has the Dallas theme-song looping in the background. There is an episode selection menu. There is also a setup section to choose subtitles, etc. It's quite easy on the eyes and a nice menu screen (it's fairly identical to the S1/S2 & S3 release, not exactly the same, but it is close).


Video and Audio Quality:

The video quality is fairly good, considering the colors aren't all that vibrant but they are restored and as good as can be expected. The audio is fine and there are no real issues to be worried about, minus some minor dust and debris here and there. There are chapter skips available (except in the special feature) and each episode is uncut in length, and run about 48-49 minutes or so, as shown below.

Disc 1 / Side A:
1. "No More Mister Nice Guy," Part 1 (48:51)
2. "No More Mister Nice Guy," Part 2 (48:50)
3. "Nightmare" (48:54)

Disc 1 / Side B:
4. "Who Done It?" (48:54)
5. "Taste of Success" (48:50)
6. "The Venezuelan Connection" (48:49)

Disc 2 / Side A:
7. "The Fourth Son" (48:49)
8. "Trouble at Ewing 23" (48:54)
9. "The Prodigal Mother" (48:49)

Disc 2 / Side B:
10. "Executive Wife" (48:48)
11. "End of the Road," Part 1 (48:51)
12. "End of the Road," Part 2 (48:49)

Disc 3 / Side A:
13. "Making of a President" (48:51)
14. "Start the Revolution With Me" (48:50)
15. "The Quest" (48:53)

Disc 3 / Side B:
16. "Lover, Come Back" (48:53)
17. "The New Mrs. Ewing" (48:49)
18. "Mark of Gain" (47:46)

Disc 4 / Side A:
19. "The Gathering Storm" (48:51)
20. "Ewing vs. Ewing" (48:49)
21. "New Beginnings" (48:59)

Disc 4 / Side B:
22. "Full Circle" (48:50)
23. "Ewing-Gate" (48:54)

Special Feature: 2004's, "DALLAS REUNION: Return to Southfork" (1:26:56)


Special Features:

To start off with, what is with the studios dropping the ball on special features? Nearly every set I've done this year so far have seen a drastic decrease in special features. It's disappointing. No commentary this time, either, which to me, is a true highlight to a set. The only special feature is the 2004 CBS broadcast special entitled "DALLS REUNION: Return to Southfork" in which the main cast reminisces about the series and it includes bloopers and behind the scenes stories. It's great to have that on DVD, though, so I was happy by its inclusion.


Final Comments:

Well, a nice release by Warner. Not the amazing releases of S1/S2 and S3, but very good for fans. Warner did a good job packaging the set and offering the 2004 reunion special, but overall, the set lacks special features. That's always disappointing. Commentary is sorely missed, especially in a crucial season like this one. Not much to really talk about. It was a good release. The fact that each episode is unedited and restored is enough to want to own this set. My thanks go out to Warner for the somewhat quick release of the series and here's to Season 5!


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

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 3/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 (Shawn Eaton) on 01/31/06

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BVM1TG/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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