TITLE: GET SMART - SEASON 4 (HBO HOME VIDEO)
DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009 (HBO Video)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 650 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Audio Introductions by Barbara Feldon for all episodes, Commentaries for two episodes
Spies, spies, everywhere spies, and they might not get a whole lot done if one of them is Maxwell Smart! Season Four of the spy-spoof series Get Smart brings 26 more episodes of hilarity to DVD on a four disc set. In the fourth season, some changes are happening, particularly with a little bit of matrimonial bliss possibly occurring in the future between Max and Agent 99.
This is not the first time that these episodes have been presented on DVD, but it is the first time that they have made it to DVD in an affordable retail release. The retail release differs from the previous release in that it has fewer special features, but at a much lower retail price.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The season begins with “The Impossible Mission,” where Max proposes to Agent 99 assuming that he won’t get out of a situation alive, but you know how that goes with Maxwell Smart! Jamie Farr guest stars. Jane Dulo plays Agent 99’s mother in “Snoopy Smart vs. the Red Baron,” where Max engages in a parody of Snoopy and the Red Baron. Mary Frann also guest stars. Gino Conforti guest stars in “Diamonds Are a Spy’s Best Friend,” where Agent 99’s engagement ring is wanted by KAOS! Max needs a best man for the wedding in “The Worst Best Man,” but they all seem to get murdered once he picks one.
It’s time for the wedding day in “With Love and Twitches,” but will all go as planned? Julie Newmar guest stars in “The Laser Blazer,” where a blazer is, well, a laser! In “The Farkas Fracas,” Alice Ghostley and Tom Bosley prove to be not-so-good neighbors. Max is called back into the Navy in “Temporarily Out of CONTROL.” An invisible scientist shows up at Max’s apartment in “One Nation Invisible,” but when she turns out to be a beautiful woman and suddenly is no longer invisible, what will Agent 99 think?
Agent 99 is laid off in “The Day They Raided the Knights,” but in the typical fashion of Get Smart, she still won’t be able to avoid trouble with KAOS. In “I Shot 86 Today,” Max has to follow a golf pro after missiles are being blown up near golf courses. James Caan guest stars in the two-part episode “To Sire, With Love,” where Max’s double stays with the Smarts.
Tom Poston guest stars in “Shock It to Me,” where dead people are stealing electronic equipment. A spy in a wheelchair? So it is in “Leadside,” a parody on the series Ironside. In “Greer Window,” Max is stuck at home due to an injury, but again, does this mean he’ll stay out of trouble for the day? Max gets stuck in a real bind in the season finale two-parter, “The Not-So-Great Escape.”
Just like the previous season sets, we have a standard white DVD case with a cardboard sleeve on the outside. The artwork has a purple color scheme, and the cover artwork has Max and Agent 99 on the cover. It is very simple, but at the same time, very aesthetically pleasing. There are four discs, each containing no artwork aside from the series logo. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-7, Disc 2 contains episodes 8-14, Disc 3 contains episodes 15-20, and Disc 4 contains episodes 21-26. You’ll also find a sheet inside that gives the episode breakdown by disc, as well as a text interview with two dedicated fans of the series.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are just the same as the previous set (which is no surprise, as every season set was produced at the same time), which means that they are very basic but to the point. The main menu has the theme song playing with videos from the episodes playing in the background, and each menu screen has options of Play All, Episodes, and Commentaries (on Discs 2 and 4). When you select Episodes, you get a menu that shows a snapshot from each episode, as well as the episode title. When you select an episode, an audio introduction plays from Barbara Feldon for about 20 seconds, which you can skip if you’d like and go straight to the episode. There are chapters in all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
Just as has been the case before, the video and audio on the set is nearly perfect, ESPECIALLY considering the age of the series. We have a very clear, vivid, and sharp image on every single episode, and audio that is loud and clear (albeit in mono) on every single episode. It is obvious that many great efforts were taken to ensure that the episodes on this DVD set were presented in pristine condition. Each episode is closed-captioned for those that require closed-captioning. Of course, it goes without saying that the episodes are all unedited. Runtimes are as follows:
1. The Impossible Mission (25:03)
2. Snoopy Smart vs. the Red Baron (24:58)
3. Closely Watched Planes (24:42)
4. The Secret of Sam Vittorio (24:44)
5. Diamonds Are a Spy's Best Friend (24:44)
6. The Worst Best Man (24:45)
7. A Tale of Two Tails (24:43)
8. The Return of the Ancient Mariner (24:44)
9. With Love and Twitches (24:44)
10. The Lazer Blazer (24:49)
11. The Farkas Fracas (24:49)
12. Temporarily Out of CONTROL (24:40)
13. Schwartz's Island (24:42)
14. One Nation Invisible (24:41)
15. Hurray for Hollywood (24:43)
16. The Day They Raided the Knights (24:41)
17. Tequila Mockingbird (24:41)
18. I Shot 86 Today (24:41)
19. Absorb the Greek (24:42)
20. To Sire, With Love, Part 1 (24:42)
21. To Sire, With Love, Part 2 (24:42)
22. Shock it to Me (24:44)
23. Leadside (24:46)
24. Greer Window (24:42)
25. The Not-So-Great-Escape, Part 1 (24:41)
26. The Not-So-Great-Escape, Part 2 (24:41)
While this set does not contain the plethora of special features contained in the previously released Complete Series set, it DOES contain a few special features. Each episode begins with a 20-30 second audio introduction from Barbara Feldon, where she gives some background on the episode. Additionally, there are commentaries on two of the episodes on the set. Barbara Feldon offers commentary on the episode “With Love and Twitches,” and James Caan offers commentary on the episode “To Sire, With Love, Part 2.”
For fans that are interested in other special features, including clips from other series, commercials, Emmy award acceptance speeches, extended interviews, and more, it would be worth checking out the Complete Series set instead.
It is hard to come off as enthusiastic about a DVD set when it is perfect, but without a lot of special features, but this really is a good DVD set. The lack of special features is not a problem at all from my perspective. In fact, it is a positive thing, because it gives those that are interested in the series a chance to pay a lower price for a stripped down set or to pay a little more for DVDs that are loaded in special features. Devoted fans of the series will prefer to go for the sets containing more special features, but casual fans that just want the episodes are certain to appreciate this version of the DVD set. So really, it is just all a matter of what you want, and this DVD set is an excellent choice for collectors that aren’t interested in the extras of the Complete Series release.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 1.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 10/06/09
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