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Frasier - The Complete Final Season


TITLE: FRASIER - THE COMPLETE FINAL SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004 (Paramount Home Video)
color, approx. 8 hours, 55 minutes
MSRP: $59.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 23 (the finale is 2 parts)
Language and Subtitles: English, closed captioning available
Special Features: Observations, Analyses, and Good-Byes feature; Frasier Says Farewell feature


Introduction:

After five consecutive "Best Comedy Series" Emmy Awards - and a record total of 31 Emmys in all - Frasier brings its 11-year run to a close with this hilarious and poignant final season. And what a way to go - both Lilith and Frederick make suprise visits to Seattle; Niles and Daphne have a stunning announcement, and while clowning around, Frasier gives his father Martin a heart attack (literally!). Then the entire cast says "Goodbye, Seattle" in a memorable, two-part finale. You won't want to miss a minute of this acclaimed comedy's final season in this entertaining, laugh-provoking four-disc DVD collection.

The first three seasons of Frasier have already been released to DVD. Paramount made a special effort to release the final 11th season to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the recent ending of the show. The normal schedule of releasing the seasons in order will resume in early 2005. Season 4 will be released on February 1st, and then there will be an accelerated release pace with Season 5 in the spring, Season 6 in the summer, and Season 7 in the Fall.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Frasier remained fresh and funny in its final season with some memorable episodes. The season opener "No Sex, Please, We're Skittish" featured Felicity Huffman as radio newswoman Julia Wilcox. One of the funniest and most memorable episodes of the season was "The Doctor Is Out," in which Patrick Stewart makes a guest appearance as an actor who has designs on Frasier, and the entire city of Seattle thinks Frasier is gay. In "Boo!," Frasier treats a woman who has a phobia about clowns. The always funny Lilith returned to town for a one-day conference in "Guns N' Neuroses." The hilarious and touching finale "Goodnight, Seattle" wrapped up the series nicely.

Notable final season guest stars included Felicity Huffman as Julia Wilcox in "No Sex Please, We're Skittish" and "A Man, a Plan and a Gal: Julia." Patrick Stewart appeared as Alistair Burke, the head of the Seattle opera guild, in "The Doctor Is Out." Wendie Malick appears in multiple episodes as Martin's love interest - Ronee Lawrence. Julia Sweeney and Krista Allen guest star in "The Placeholder." Sarah Silverman and Dan Castellana appeared in "Maris Returns". Bebe Neuwirth returns to make her final appearance as Dr. Lilith Sternin in "Guns N' Neuroses." Dan Butler makes his final appearance as Bulldog in "Frasier-Lite." Laurie Metcalf appeared as Nanette "Nanny G" Guzman in "Caught in the Act." Emmy Award-winning Laura Linney appears in multiple episodes as Charlotte. Jennifer Tilly plays Kim, a love interest of Frasier, in "Miss Right Now." "Goodnight, Seattle" features guest stars including Jason Biggs, Jennifer Beals, Robbie Coltrane, Richard E. Grant, and Anthony LaPaglia.


Packaging:

If you have seen the first 3 season releases, this final season DVD set offers more of the same. All 23 episodes from the 11th and final season are included on 4 discs. The set has an overall dark red/burgundy theme. The DVD cover art features a photo of the main cast members with a drawing of the Seattle skyline at the bottom. The back of the box features another photo of the cast in formal wear and lists information on the set and the episode titles by disc. Frasier is pictured on the spine of the box, unlike the previous 3 releases which featured Eddie. Inside the box is the main digipak that holds the discs. The front and back of the digipak features the same photos and information as the DVD front and back cover art. There is a nice photo of Frasier and Roz and another of Niles, Martin, and Daphne when you open the digipak. When you lift up the discs from the pack, there are some additional scene photos from the episodes. Disc 1 has a photo of Frasier and Julia (Felicity Huffman) and features episodes 1-7, Disc 2 has Frasier and Lillith sleeping and episodes 8-13, Disc 3 has a photo of Ronee (Wendie Malick) and Martin and contains episodes 14-19, and Disc 4 pictures Daphne and Niles and completes the series with episodes 20-23 and the special features.


Menu Design and Navigation:

There is a single, simple menu on each disc. The menu features the same photo as the DVD cover art with a dark red background and with the Frasier title in white and the Seattle skyline at the bottom. The episode titles are listed vertically in 2 rows. A black bar underlines your episode selection and turns white when you click on it. There is a Play All button and chapter stops within the episodes, but there is no sub-menu for scene selections.


Video and Audio Quality:

I would say the overall quality of this set is improved over the first 3 seasons. The picture looks very sharp and the colors look vivid. The episodes are in their original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. The episodes are well spread out on the discs with no more than 7 per disc, so there is little or no compression problems. The audio is an English 2.0 Dolby Digital track. It's clean with no major issues. Closed captioning is available. The episodes all appear to be undedited running around 22 minutes (except for the finale which is nearly 47 minutes) and are in their original broadcast order.


Special Features:

There are only 2 special features on this set, which is a bit disappointing considering this was the final season. "Observations, Analyses, And Good-Byes" runs 16 minutes, 47 seconds and includes interviews with Creators Peter Casey and David Lee, Executive Producer Jon Sherman, Producer Maggie Blanc, Executive Producer Joe Keenan, Co-Executive Producer Bob Dailey, and Executive Producer John Richman. They talk about how the characters were written, developed, and changed. They also discuss some of their favorite episodes and memorable moments of the series. The second feature "Frasier Says Farewell" runs 13 minutes, 19 seconds and includes interviews with David Hyde-Pierce, Jane Leeves, John Mahoney, Peri Gilpin, and Kelsey Grammer. They talk about their emotions of the last episode, the legacy of Frasier and how they raised the bar for comedy and how they respected the audience, their plans for the future - most would like to continue acting after taking a break to recharge, what they would take from the set, and what they will most about the series. There is no Celebrity Voices feature like the first 3 season sets as there were very few call ins to Frasier's show the last season.


Other Information:

This set includes a rebate offer request form. One offer is if you buy Frasier Season 1, 2, or 3 AND Frasier: The Complete Final Season. The second is if you purchase the Frasier 4-Season Pack DVD set (contains Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 11). You just send the original cash register receipts or original packing slips and a proof of purchase coupon. U.S. residents will receive $20 while Canadian residents will receive $20 (CAN) back by mail. Requests must be received by February 28, 2005.


Final Comments:

If you have bought the first 3 seasons of Frasier, you will surely want to pick up this set. I'm a bit surprised that they chose to release season 11 instead of continuing with season 4 and going in order, but the fact they will be releasing seasons 4-7 next year at an accelerated pace should make up for it. Goodbye Frasier, I'll miss you.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 4.0
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.6/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 11/14/04

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002WZTLQ/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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