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Doogie Howser, M.D. - Season Two


TITLE: DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D. - SEASON TWO


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005 (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Color
MSRP: $39.98
Number of discs: 4
Number of episodes: 25
Total runtime: 600 minutes
Special Features Runtime: Approx 24 minutes
Audio Tracks: English 2.0
Subtitles: None
Closed Captioned
Special Features: Interviews with Neil Patrick Harris & Max Casella Trivia Questions on the inside covers of both slim cases.


Introduction:

When we’re all little, we all dream of being astronauts, firemen- and the largest majority of us want to be doctors when we grow up. Well, child genius Douglas “Doogie” Howser managed to do young children the world over one better He finished high school in 9 weeks, pulled off a perfect score on the SAT's at 6, graduated from Princeton at 10, and passed his medical board exam at 14, making it into full residency at Eastwood Medical Center in LA by the time of his 16th birthday. The second season of the comedy-drama hybrid Doogie Howser is now on DVD.

Neil Patrick Harris stars as Doogie Howser, M.D. a resident physician at Eastwood Medical Center in LA. To run through a typical day in his life on his 16th birthday (the series pilot), he both attended a dance and had his first kiss then turned right around and lost his first patient ever less than an hour later, through it all, his best friend Vinnie Delpino (Max Casella), his parents (Belinda Montgomery, James Sikking), and his girlfriend Wanda (Lisa Dean Ryan). Coworkers at Eastwood include Dr. Benjamin Canfield (Lawrence Pressman), Dr. Jack McGwire (Mitchell Anderson), and Nurse Curly Spaulding.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

This is a great season. Some of the better episodes this season are Guess Who’s Coming to Doogie’s, To Live and Die in Brentwood, Air Doogie (featuring Special Guest Star Julius Erving). A Kiss Ain’t Just a Kiss, and Dances with Wanda. Some guests include Blossom’s Mayim Bialik, sitcom verteran Teddy Wilson, Patricia McCormack, Charles in Charge’s James T. Callahan, and before she was a star Carla Gugino.


Packaging:

As far as the packaging goes it is in two snap cases in a cardboard sleeve. Each of the three main pictures features Doogie with various characters. The front cover has Doogie sharing a microscope with Vinnie. The cover of the slim case holding discs one and two has Doogie with the two doctors from the hospital. The holder for the second cases features Vinnie, Doogie, Wanda, and Raymond.

Disc Art follows the same style as Season One, just with some color changes. Disc 1 is now black with a red 1, Disc 2 is now white with a red 2, Disc 3 is Red with a while 3. Disc 4 uses a blood-red color background, with a white 4. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-7, Disc 2 contains 8-14, Disc 3 holds shows 15-21, and the fourth disc holds the final four shows.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Menus are incredibly well done…but they’re an EXACT carryover from the Season 1 set. Again, the menus themselves are set against Doogie’s computer screen, a focal point of the series. As various anatomy diagrams and newspaper articles about Doogie circle around the screen, a version of the main theme plays. At the same time, the computer screen in the background is typing something, though it’s impossible to read what with the pictures swirling around. The Play All, Special Features, and Episodes buttons are in easy to read text on top of a black translucent background over the bottom left corner of the background, while the Season and Disc numbers are in a similar box in the top-right half of the screen.


Video and Audio Quality:

Was I in a delirious fog that caused me to overrate the first season’s video, or did the video for season two deteriorate THAT badly. The video looks amazingly faded…the colors are dull, and the video looks far older than it actually is. It’s still fairly watch-able ­ it’s just…faded. Audio is a nice 2.0 mix. Audio from both speakers is balanced; there are no cutouts or glitches on either channel. No chapter stops.

Due to the recent practice by some outfits of releasing syndicated episodes of a series onto DVD as opposed to the much-preferred master copies, from here onward in all my reviews I will be listing the runtimes of every episode in the DVD set next to the episode title. As I don’t always have the resources to judge every show versus the original or syndicated copies, I may be unable to state with certainty whether a set is original broadcast-length or if it’s syndication-edited in some cases, therefore I’m including runtimes, and you can make up your own mind.

Disc 1:
Doogenstein: 23:25
Guess Who’s Coming to Doogie’s: 23:31
Ask Dr. Doogie: 23:17
C’est La Vinnie: 23:38
Car Wars: 23:38
Doogie Sings the Blues: 23:33
Academia Nuts: 23:40

Disc 2:
Revenge of the Teenage Dead 23:35
Nautilus for Naught: 23:38
Don’t Let the Turkeys Get You Down: 23:10
Oh Very Young: 23:37
TV or not TV: 23:11
A Woman Too Far: 23:36
Presumed Guilty: 23:25

Disc 3:
To Live and Die in Brentwood: 22:49
Air Doogie: 23:10
A Life in Progress: 22:45
My Two Dads: 23:16
Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition: 23:12
Fatal Distraction: 23:22
The Doctor, The Wife, His Son, and The Job: 23:17

Disc 4:
Planet of the Dateless: 23:15
Doogie’s Wager: 23:08
A Kiss Ain’t Just a Kiss: 23:20
Dances With Wanda: 23:17


Special Features:

Special features on the set are still sparse -­ hey, at least it’s a consistent set that way.

Doogie Howser, M.D., Remembering the Cast: This is essentially one long interview with Neil Patrick Harris as he reflects about experiences with each cast member. Fascinating insight...Neil lays down a lot of praise for most of the cast, and general niceties otherwise. Runs 9:15

Max Casella Interview. It's nice to see Max involved for this set. Except for a mustache, Max hasn't really changed from the series run. Interesting factoid: When the show first started, Max had to actually have a credit card in the name of Steven Bochco Productions. A lot of fascinating info from Max is given. Runs 14:25

Runtime of Special Features: Approximately 24 minutes.


Final Comments:

What the heck happened to the video? I *genuinely* do not remember season 1’s video being this bad. 4/5, if I remember correctly. The video on the season two set…it isn’t a 4/5. Also, recycled menus? (the computer screen in the menus actually says “1989” as the date even though this is the 1990-91 season.)--sad. Otherwise, it’s a fairly well-done set. Good to see another Neil Patrick Harris interview, and glad to see Max Casella onboard…but why couldn’t they have laid down a few commentary bits while they had them? Also, perhaps some bloopers, outtakes, and promos from the original ABC run might be nice for future sets. And finally: Chapter Stops. Please, insert them. Not everyone wants to have to FF through 17 minutes of show to re-watch one scene. Hopefully we see season three in the near future…just with improved video. Still, it’s a must-buy for fans of the show, or anyone who already bought season one. Everyone else…rent it.


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

Video Quality: 2.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 3/5

--- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 09/06/05

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000A3DGEO/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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