TITLE: DAVE'S WORLD - THE FIRST SEASON
DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008 (CBS DVD)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 23
Running Time: approx. 546 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English language; No Subtitles
Special Features: None
Recognizable sitcom star Harry Anderson (Night Court) returned to series television in 1993 in the CBS sitcom Dave’s World, based on Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist Dave Barry who wrote Dave Barry’s Greatest Hits and Dave Barry Turns 40. Harry Anderson plays Dave, a newspaper columnist for the Miami Record-Dispatch dealing with the absurdities of adult life as a husband, father, and semi-responsible citizen, in suburban Miami. This sitcom lasted four seasons on CBS from 1993-97.
The sitcom also had Dave’s wife Beth (DeLane Matthews), and their sons Tommy (Zane Carney) and Willie (Andrew Ducote). We also have Dave's editor and best friend, Kenny Beckett, played by Shadoe Stevens and Meshach Taylor plays Dave's other friend, Sheldon Baylor.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
I haven’t seen many episodes of this show ever before. From what I saw in reruns on the old PAX TV it was a good show. I remember the John Ritter episode most from the second season. Anyway, this is a good show and the first season has some goodies. The “Pilot” is where it all begins... Dave volunteers to help coach his older son's soccer team so he can be more a part of his life. Sheldon’s van is stolen in the next episode so Beth buys a security system in “The Insecurity System.” In “The Anniversary Schmaltz,” Beth and Dave celebrate their 14th anniversary in a romantic way and together alone. The gang takes a weekend trip to Orlando at Walt Disney World but it turns ugly in “It’s a Small Van After All.” Beth’s mother visits for Thanksgiving in “Death and Mom Take a Holiday.” The true meaning of Christmas is stated as Beth contemplates going back to work in “I Saw Mommy Kicking Santa Claus.” Dave lends Kenny his wedding ring on a bet and things go haywire at a singles bar in “Four Characters in Search of a Ring.”
Some famous faces this season include Dave Barry himself, Florence Henderson as Beth’s mom, Pat Morita, Fred Willard, Jane Curtin, Patrick Warburton, Peter Scolari, Nick Stellino, Andrea Parker, Gregory Itzin, Amy Yasbeck, and Jackee Harry.
The packaging is a simple case holding discs inside. It is just like other CBS DVDs, very simple. The front of the case has a photo of Dave (Harry Anderson) holding on to a globe with a nice sky with clouds background. The show logo is in the middle with a mention of The First Season below that. On the back of the case we have a nice sky with clouds background again with a nice cast photo and on the right we have three nice screenshots from the shows. We also of course have basic information on the series and set.
When we open the case, first on the left side we get a disc-by-disc breakdown of discs one and two. We get the episode title, original airdate and a short synopsis of the episode. It is very handy. On the right side of the case, we get the discs. It is very similar to other CBS DVD sets. A little white plastic thing holds discs one and two. Disc 1 is on the front of that thing and disc 2 is on the back. Disc 3 is actually on the right panel of the case and when you take the disc out you can see the disc-by-disc breakdown of disc three. As for the disc art, it is again very similar to past CBS DVD sets. It is very generic looking with the show logo on the top, the mention The First Season, and what disc number it is. The color for each is silver. Episode titles for each disc are on the bottom of each disc, which is pretty handy.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu screen is decent but very generic, again like nearly every other CBS DVDs lately. First, disc one has an option of either to go to Previews or Main Menu. If you choose Previews, we get previews for Becker; CBS DVD sitcoms; and CSI. On to the Main Menu, there is no music in the background, unfortunately. All of the discs have the episodes listed in a checklist style form on the left side of the screen with Play All on top. So there are no submenus at all. Artwork for each main menu is very cartoonish. Disc one’s main menu has a photo of Dave, Beth, and their two kids. Disc 2 has another shot of Dave, Beth, and the kids. Disc three has a shot of just Dave.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio are very good; as good as they can be probably for 1993-94. CBS DVD tends to do some bad work on some of its older DVDs, but this series isn’t that old really. It doesn’t say on the box if they are remastered, but it looks good. You do see some debris here and there, but it is not a big deal. Each episode has 4 chapter stops, as it is very good to have chapter stops in the right places. OK, now to the bad part. The show's opening theme song was a version of Billy Joel's "You May Be Right" sung by Southside Johnny, but on this DVD we get some instrumental music that sounds very cartoonish (so it does fit the artwork in the credits I guess), but no original theme. Ugh a theme song replacement! I am not sure what the closing credits sounded like originally, so I cannot tell you if the closing theme been replaced or not. So let us know in our discussion thread at the end of the review. On the back of the box there is a very small disclaimer (usually on every CBS DVD) stating, “Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions. Some music has been changed for this home entertainment version.” I am not sure if there is anything edited actually on the episodes itself, but the opening teaser scene on the pilot looks clearly edited. It starts off in a weird spot and then goes to the opening credits about 5 seconds or so later. The scene makes no sense, so CBS DVD probably removed some music or something in the beginning of the scene. Most of the other teaser scenes on the other episodes on this set runs over 30 seconds and some even over a minute, so 5 seconds or so is fishy. Nearly all the episodes run 23:40, give or take a few seconds. There are two episodes that run below 23 minutes, “Pilot” and “The Funeral.” So if I were to guess, something was edited out in those, possibly scenes with music. If you know for sure, please post on our discussion thread. Also, some good news, the two-part episode “I Saw Mommy Kicking Santa Claus,” as the “to be continued line” and “next week on Dave’s World” preview at the end of part one and “last week on Dave’s World” recap at the start of part two.
Here are the runtimes:
1. Pilot (22:57)
2. The Insecurity Team (23:42)
3. Martian Death Flu (23:42)
4. The Anniversary Schmaltz (23:12)
5. The Great Mandala of Life (23:41)
6. I Sort of Saw What You Did (23:45)
7. It’s A Small Van After All (23:09)
8. Heat Wave (23:13)
9. Writer’s Block (23:46)
10. Educating Rita (23:42)
11. Death and Mom Take a Holiday (23:42)
12. Exercising with Dave Barry (23:42)
13. I Saw Mommy Kicking Santa Claus, Part 1 (23:39)
14. I Saw Mommy Kicking Santa Claus, Part 2 (23:43)
15. Just Kidding (23:38)
16. The Road Taken (23:42)
17. Shel in Love (23:32)
18. Four Characters in Search of a Ring (23:36)
19. Lost Weekend (23:41)
20. Rat Story (23:41)
21. Six Years Old and All Washed Up (23:34)
22. The Funeral (22:43)
23. Saved by Estelle (23:27)
Well most CBS DVDs don’t get any special features, so we don’t get anything here. Promos would have been nice at least since some other CBS DVDs are having those now. I think interviews or bloopers would have been the best option for extras or this series. None of the cast is doing anything at all now really. Mesach, Shadoe and Harry would have been nice for interviews at least.
Well this is a good show! Harry Anderson is once again wonderful in a sitcom and it is too bad this series didn’t last as long as Night Court did. CBS DVD did an average job with this set. Looks like the opening theme song was replaced by an instrumental replacement and maybe some episodes are edited, as I know the pilot teaser scene looks edited. The runtime is fishy for that and another one as well. There are no extras on this set to make up for that fact, so I cannot really recommend this set. However, it is nice this series on DVD in the first place. I don’t think any other major studio if they had this title would have released this. That is one good thing about CBS DVD, that they release anything...just not good in quality as the other studios. So head on to Dave’s World because it is a nice world that is funny!
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
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal
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