TITLE: FAN FAVORITES: THE BEST OF FRASIER
Release Date: March 6, 2012 (CBS Home Entertainment)
Packaging: Amaray Case
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 8
Running Time: 180 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles and Captioning: English subtitles
Special Features: None
The fans have spoken! Here come eight great Frasier episodes, selected by fans in a Facebook poll. From a farcical ski trip fraught with sexual friction, to a radio drama that goes on the fritz thanks to Dr. Frasier Crane's all-controlling ego, to the unexpected tango between Frasier's insufferable brother Niles and daffy caretaker Daphne...all the finest, funniest moments are here. Join Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin and John Mahoney in the classic comedy series about a psychiatric expert who's always in over his head.
The release contains episodes representing the first six seasons: two episodes from season one, one episode from season two, one episode from season three, two episodes from season four, one episode from season five and one episode from season six. On a stormy night, and with his wife Maris stranded out of town, Niles finds himself alone with his secret crush, Daphne, in "A Midwinter night's Dream." While sick at home, Frasier becomes convinced that everyone is after his job...including Niles, who has filled in for his ailing brother at the radio station in "Frasier Crane's Day Off." Frasier's search for a missing book leads him to Daphne's bedroom, when she catches him poking around her belongings, she demands her privacy in "Daphne's Room." Upset that Maris's new romantic life is splashed all over the society pages, Niles decides to start dating again in "Moon Dance." Daphne faces a dilemma when she discovers that Clive, her ex-fiance, is coming for a visit in "The Two Mrs. Cranes." Frasier ahs a dream of putting on a "classic" radio drama, but his tyrannical control of the project causes a mutiny amoung the performers in "Ham Radio." A weekend trip to a ski lodge leads to a blizzard of romantic misunderstandings between all participants, including Frasier, Daphne, Niles and Daphne's friend, Annie, in "Ski Lodge." Cupid's arrows go awry on Valentine's Day when Niles' cozy dinner for two is interrupted by a fire; Frasier has a date with an ambiguous co-worker; and Martin and Daphne spend the evening lamenting the lack of romance in their lives in "Three Valentines."
All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of over 22 minutes. They seem to match what was previously released on the individual season releases. There is a standard CBS disclaimer on the back of the case that mentions that some episodes may be edited from their original network versions. I don't think this was much of an issue on any of the Frasier DVD releases, especially from the first six seasons. Runtimes are as follows:
"A Midwinter Night's Dream" (02/10/94) (22:46)
"Frasier Crane's Day Off" (05/12/94) (22:45)
"Daphne's Room" (02/28/95) (22:45)
"Moon Dance" (02/06/96) (22:42)
"The Two Mrs. Cranes" (09/17/96) (22:43)
"Ham Radio" (04/22/97) (22:43)
"Ski Lodge" (02/24/98) (22:10)
"Three Valentines" (02/11/99) (22:13)
The packaging is a clear plastic Amaray case. The cover art features a photo of Frasier holding a door with the other cast members, including Eddie, trying to get inside. This cast photo wasn't used on any of the regular DVD releases, but it appears to be from one of the early seasons. A synopsis of the set, a listing of the episodes and the DVD specs are provided on the back of the case. There is a cast photo with Frasier holding Eddie. The episode titles, original airdates and short summaries are listed inside the case. The disc is very plain with the series logo on a gray background. All of the episode titles are printed on the disc.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu is very simple and easy to navigate. It features a different photo of Frasier holding Eddie and the other cast members in the background. The Frasier logo is on the left side of the screen and the episode titles are below it. There is a yellow square next to the episode you highlight that turns gold upon your selection. You can turn on the English for the deaf and hard of hearing subtitles from that menu, which uses the same cast photo as the main menu. There is no Play All option on the menu. When you first insert the disc, there is a series of previews (2:43) that you can play or skip. There are promos for Cheers - The Final Season, Happy Days/Laverne & Shirley/Mork & Mindy - The Third Seasons and The Odd Couple - The Final Season. Chapters are placed at the appropriate places throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
The episodes look and sound excellent. There were really no issues with the video or audio quality on any of the Frasier season DVD releases. All of the episodes on this Fan Favorites set are the same as the earlier releases. The picture looks very sharp and the colors are vivid. Closing logos for Grub Street Productions and Paramount are included. The audio is presented in English Stereo, which has no problems. Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are available on all of the episodes.
Unfortunately, there are no special features included on any of these Fan Favorites DVD releases. This is a no-frills edition with just the episodes. Seasons 1-3 and 11 of Frasier had special features, but none were included on any of the other releases.
All 11 seasons and 264 episodes were released on DVD from 2003-07. There's a nice selection of episodes from Seasons 1-6 on this release, but where are the episodes from Seasons 7-11? Maybe they will release a second volume that includes only episodes from those seasons at some point. Before there was Uggie the dog in "The Artist," there was Eddie (Moose) on Frasier. He was a real scene stealer. It's nice to see him featured on the packaging and menu. If you are a new or casual fan of the show, this release would be worthy of a purchase. Frasier was one of the most critically acclaimed sitcoms of all time, so you can't really go wrong with any of the seasons.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 03/03/12
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