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Designing Women - The Complete Third Season


TITLE: DESIGNING WOMEN - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010 (Shout! Factory)
Color/1988-1989
MSRP: $44.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 480 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

A little southern charm returns to DVD with The Complete Third Season of Designing Women! The hit series about four businesswomen (and their delivery guy, Anthony) in Atlanta running a design firm returns for 22 more episodes in a four disc set.

The third season was where the show really started to pick up, and is one of the first really strong seasons of the series. By now, all of the characters have been established and Bernice (Alice Ghostley), the elderly woman with an “arterial flow” problem begins to become a more established character in the show. Much of the idea is still the same though: it is just four women trying to run a successful design firm in Atlanta.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The ladies and their gentlemen take a trip to the beach in “Reservations for 12, Plus Ursula,” but Ursula is the one causing the battle of the sexes. Julia may be going in to politics in “The Candidate.” Charlene invites everybody to go to Graceland with her in “E.P., Phone Home,” but can they handle the crazed Elvis fans? Bernice is getting married (or at least she seems to think so) in “Getting Married and Eating Dirt.”

The series takes on cheap (and illegal) labor in “Curtains.” The ladies (along with Anthony and Bernice) go to a wilderness survival weekend in “The Wilderness Experience,” but Bernice ends up taking control. Shavar Ross (Dudley on Diff’rent Strokes) plays Anthony’s surrogate little brother in “Tyrone,” but he ends up getting everybody in trouble with the law. The design firm has to decorate for a millionaire cat (it almost sounds like a reality show) in “Mr. Bailey.”

A new client is blind (and interested in Suzanne) in “One Sees, the Other Doesn’t.” Julia ends up mooning Atlanta’s elite (yes, Julia) in “Full Moon.” Charlene gets to meet her future mother-in-law, and Julia and Mary Jo go to a fraternity keg party in “The Engagement.” The girls are posing in a magazine feature about the women of Atlanta in “The Women of Atlanta,” but the photographer has some very provocative photo shoot ideas. Suzanne finds one of her ex-husbands who ripped her off working as a bellboy in “The Last Humorously-Dressed Bellboy in America.” Julia takes down a newsstand that sells pornography--literally, by running it down with her car--in “Julia Drives Over the First Amendment.”


Packaging:

This set uses the double slim case packaging design, just like the first two sets did. The cover art again has the four ladies (in separate snapshots) above the house, this time with a green color scheme. There is a cast photo, as well as several snapshots from the season on the back of the outer sleeve. Inside the sleeve, there are two slim cases, each containing two discs. There is a photo of Mary Jo and Charlene on the case containing Discs 1 and 2 and Julia and Suzanne on the case containing Discs 3 and 4. Episodes and original airdates are listed on the back of each slim case (along with snapshots from several of the episodes), but there is also a very nice episode booklet once again, with complete descriptions, guest stars, original airdates, photographs, production credits, and even quotes from the episodes! Hopefully these booklets continue for this series, as Shout! Factory has abandoned them beyond the first season for many series. The disc artwork is simple, with a cloud background and each of the cast members’ headshot on each disc. Julia is on Disc 1, Charlene is on Disc 2, Suzanne is on Disc 3, and Mary Jo is on Disc 4. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6, Disc 2 contains episodes 7-11, Disc 3 contains episodes 12-17, and Disc 4 contains episodes 18-22.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are basically the same as the first two sets. In fact, the only thing that has changed is the color scheme (green, just like the packaging). The main menu has the theme song playing (though it is the season one version) with videos from the episodes playing. The options on the main menu are Play All and Episodes. When you select Episodes, you go to a menu that lists all of the episodes on one screen. There are no scene selection menus, but chapters are placed throughout each episode.


Video and Audio Quality:

Once again, there are some minor video issues, although the video quality issues are certainly improving. Clearly, it is just one of those issues involving dated video, and as newer seasons are released on DVD, there is an improvement in quality. As has been the case before, the biggest problem is colors being washed out. The audio, for the most part, seems fine, though a little low. The entire set is closed-captioned.

The episodes on the set are completely unedited as far as I can tell. Each one runs around 23 minutes. I also checked the music contents of the episodes, and it seems that there are no musical edits. So far, this series has been flawless as far as edits are concerned, and hopefully it stays that way. Run times are as follows:

Disc 1:
“Reservations for 12, Plus Ursula” (23:10)
“The Candidate” (23:13)
“E.P., Phone Home” (23:12)
“Getting Married and Eating Dirt” (23:14)
“Big Haas and Little Falsie” (23:19)
“Hard Hats and Lovers” (23:13)

Disc 2:
“Curtains” (23:12)
“The Wilderness Experience” (23:24)
“Tyrone” (23:26)
“Mr. Bailey” (23:14)
“The Naked Truth” (23:30)

Disc 3:
“The Junies” (23:13)
“One Sees, the Other Doesn’t” (23:36)
“Odell” (23:13)
“Full Moon” (23:14)
“Mr. Meal Ticket” (23:13)
“The Engagement” (23:38)

Disc 4:
“Come On and Marry Me, Bill” (23:10)
“The Women of Atlanta” (23:14)
“Stand and Fight” (23:13)
“The Last Humorously-Dressed Bellboy in America” (23:07)
“Julia Drives Over the First Amendment” (23:13)

Video Clips:

Video Clip #1
Video Clip #2
Video Clip #3
Video Clip #4
Video Clip #5
Video Clip #6
Video Clip #7
Video Clip #8
Video Clip #9


Special Features:

There are no special features to be found on this set once again, like the last set. Some commentaries would be the best thing to have on this set, and it would be nice to see them in the future on the next release of the series.


Final Comments:

This is a great set of episodes, although it would have been nice to have some special features to go along with the episodes. Still, I doubt that any fans of the series would have any major issue with this set. This is a great series, and the presentation of the episodes on this set is fine. The only issue of concern (and I wouldn’t even call it a major concern) is the video quality, but even that is better than the previous releases. Fans of the series will want to own this set, and fans of some similar series (specifically The Golden Girls) would also love this. Even though Sophia once joked on The Golden Girls that she had lived through Designing Women, the series is actually very entertaining and funny. It is really just like a younger version of The Golden Girls (though not too much younger). These southern belles are definitely worth watching!


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

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

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 02/13/10

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0030ATZH6/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=261925


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