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Green Acres - The Complete Third Season


TITLE: GREEN ACRES - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: December 6, 2005 (MGM/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Color
MSRP: $29.95
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 30
Running Time: 761 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: Closed-captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Green Acres is the place to be; now it's time to own season three! The third season of what is one of the funniest rural sitcoms of all time (the other being The Beverly Hillbillies) is now on DVD in a four disc set! The third season is basically consistent with the first two seasons of the show, and continues to explore Oliver and Lisa as they try to make it through farm life and fail miserably. By now, Lisa is becoming more resigned to the fact that she now has to live on the farm, and is becoming more and more understanding of the Hooterville citizens while Oliver is still hopelessly lost.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

There are many great episodes in the third season! The show tackles the controversial issue of interspecies dating when Arnold falls in love with a dog in "Love Comes to Arnold Ziffel." After complaining to the phone company about bad service, Oliver has the burden of running the Hooterville Phone Company thrown at him in "Oliver vs. the Phone Company," "Oliver Takes Over the Phone Company," and "Kind Word for the President." Oliver wants to harvest his tomato crops, but keeps running into obstacles from bizarre weather events in the former Nick at Nite Classic TV Countdown Favorite, "Don't Count Your Tomatoes Before They're Picked." Oliver and Lisa wake up to find that Eb has eloped in "Eb Elopes…" or DID he elope? Find out that answer on "Eb Returns." In "Das Lumpkin," Lisa details how she saved Oliver from the Nazis during World War II… also, Gordon Jump makes an appearance in this episode. Hooterville's favorite pig is missing in "Won't You Come Home Arnold Ziffel?" Lisa invests in "electronification" of the farm in "How to Succeed on TV Without Really Trying." Oliver has the wise idea to make Hooterville the rutabaga capital of the world in "The Rutabaga Story." Finally, the season ends with Arnold becoming the next big star in Hollywood in the two-parter, "A Star Named Arnold is Born."


Packaging:

The first season had a digipak. The second season had an Amaray style case. And for the third season, the packaging has changed AGAIN—but this time, it is a lot better, and hopefully they'll keep this packaging style for all subsequent releases. This time, the discs are in slim cases, double slim cases to be exact. And since there are two of the double slim cases, that means that for a change, there are FOUR discs in this set, and no more of the double-sided discs! The first two releases each contained two double-sided discs, but this time, there are just four single-sided ones. Hopefully this will continue for all further releases as well.

The artwork is different, but still of the same style as the first two releases. There is an overall purple color scheme, with Oliver, Lisa, and Arnold on the front of the box for the set. On the back of the set, there is a complete listing of all of the episodes contained within the set. On the slim cases, there is a picture of Lisa on the case that holds Disc 1 and 2, and a picture of Oliver on the case that holds Discs 3 and 4. On the back of each slim case, there is a listing of the episodes contained on the discs in that slim case along with a short description of each episode. Now there is one minor drawback here… these descriptions are not as good as the ones contained for season 2 (season 2 had a nice little booklet with episode descriptions, complete with lengthy descriptions for each episode). In fact, I'll go even further on this issue… if you want to see the episode descriptions, just visit the Green Acres section on the TV Land website, because the descriptions on this set are EXACTLY THE SAME, word for word. When you open the slim cases, behind the discs, you will find (for some reason) yet another listing of each episode on the disc. This one is a little different, because it contains technical information about the episodes, such as writers and directors. There is one thing that is a little bit annoying on the set, and that is the fact that one episode is misspelled several times throughout the set. The episode "Don't Count Your Tomatoes Before They're Picked" is written as "Don't Count Your Tomatoes Before Thry're Picked" in several instances throughout the set. Only in one place on the set is it written correctly. It is a minor issue that I've probably given more attention to than it should have, but an error like that should have been obvious.

The discs breakdown is as follows: episodes 1-8 on Disc 1, episodes 9-16 on Disc 2, episodes 17-24 on Disc 3, and episodes 25-30 on Disc 4. And since they have gone to single-sided discs, which means there is disc artwork this time, with Arnold on Disc 1, a rooster (or is it a chicken? I know nothing about farm animals, so I could be wrong) on Disc 2, a cow on Disc 3, and Oliver and Lisa on Disc 4.


Menu Design and Navigation:

This is MUCH better this time around! The previous menus were kind of cumbersome and annoying, but the menus this time have been "Sonyfied" so to speak. When you insert the DVD into the DVD player, once the MGM logo plays, you get a main menu where you are greeted with Arnold on top of the mailbox dancing to the closing theme music! I had to watch it a few times myself, I really liked watching the pig (although I'm sure the Ziffels would remind me not to insult him by calling him a pig) dance. In the background, there are several walls that have pictures of cast members, and each time a wall falls down, a new wall is shown with a different picture on the wall. Occasionally when a wall falls down, a piece of plywood will pop off and hit poor Arnold in the head. The options on the main menu are Play All Episodes, Episode Selection, and (on Disc 4 only) Previews. The episodes menu is very simplistic, with each episode listed (four on a screen at a time) with a snapshot from each episode. There isn't a scene selection menu, but there are chapters placed in all of the appropriate places in each episode (i.e. the commercial breaks, after the opening credits, and before the closing credits).


Video and Audio Quality:

The video quality is really about what you are going to expect for a show that is forty years old. It isn't perfectly clear, BUT I honestly think it looks a little better than reruns on TV Land (there are some episodes on TV Land that are atrocious as far as video quality is concerned; fortunately none of that quality are on this set or any other Green Acres sets). The bigger concern with the set is the audio quality, which could definitely stand quite a bit of improvement. It is presented in mono, but considering that is standard for any 1960s show, that is not the issue of concern. The problem is that the episodes on the set have low volume, and this problem is further compounded on some of the episodes by the fact that the audio seems a slight bit garbled (such as on the "Oliver vs. the Phone Company" episode). It would be nice to have a cleaner audio track on future releases. There were complaints of a few audio dropouts with season 2 (less than one second per instance), but with 761 minutes worth of episodes, it is virtually impossible to pinpoint whether or not such dropouts have occurred again in this set without carefully watching every second of every episode without blinking. But even if there are audio dropouts, if it is anything like season 2, they are very rare and very brief. For the hearing-impaired, closed-captioning is available on the set. And as a final note here, don't worry about this set—every episode is completely unedited running between approximately 25:00 and 25:30 per episode.


Special Features:

Unfortunately, there aren't any special features at all. Basic interviews or commentaries would be nice to have, but the first two seasons had no special features and neither does this one. There are a few trailers on Disc 4 for other Sony DVD products, including "Bewitched" (2:30), "Bewitched TV" (1:00), "Christmas with the Kranks" (2:30), and "The Partridge Family" (1:03).


Final Comments:

This is a pretty good set that is lacking mostly in just the area of special features. In general, I think this set is much better put together than the previous sets, but I still enjoyed the episode booklet such as the one in season two. I was a little bit worried that with the transition from MGM to Sony, Green Acres would be abandoned on DVD after the second season, but the release of the third season proves clearly that this is not the case, so hopefully the next three seasons will also be released eventually to complete the series on DVD. So don't move to a shack in Hooterville or grow a pots farm (I'm not referring to marijuana, but don't grow that either) on the terrace of your Manhattan penthouse, go buy the DVDs and experience farm living the easy and hilarious way, the way it should be!


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

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

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 12/05/05

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BITV1A/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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