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Hearts Afire - The Complete Series


TITLE: HEARTS AFIRE - THE COMPLETE SERIES


Info:

DVD Release Date: January 8, 2013 (Mill Creek Entertainment)
Color/1992-95
MSRP: $29.98
Packaging: Amaray Case
Number of Discs: 7
Number of Episodes: 54
Running Time: 1410 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 32 minutes
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles and Captioning: English
Special Features: None 


Introduction:

Hearts Afire is back on DVD...but this time in all one boxed set from another studio, Mill Creek Entertainment! Frustrations and sparks fly in Washington D.C. when Emmy and Golden Globe Award Winning comedian John Ritter (Hartman), a strict conservative, hires Georgie Anne (Markie Post, Night Court), a free spirited journalist, as his father's press secretary. Their mismatched political views lead to arguments...and attraction! Known as one of the best series of the '90s, Hearts Afire combines cutting edge comedy and colorful characters to create an unforgettable political farce! After their flaming fling in Washington, Season 2 brings new twists to the series. John and Georgie Anne pack up and move to a small Southern town, John's boyhood home. The newlywed couple soon finds out that quirky characters and fiscal frustrations are not only in Washington!

Starring sitcom veterans John Ritter and Markie Post, with Billy Bob Thornton, George Gaynes and Ed Asner this series stellar cast amuses with loveable characters and sly comic timing! Now see all 54 half-hours from all three seasons on a seven-disc DVDs set together in one special edition collection. Featuring memorable appearances by Rush Limaugh, Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace) and cynical advice columnist played by Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men). Also included are bloopers, outtakes and the unaired final episode all from the creator of Designing Women! The show was created & produced by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (Designing Women). Executive producers include Linda’s then husband, Harry Thomason and John Ritter’s business partner, Robert M. Myman. 


Episodes:

This series had so many great episodes and many of them were in the very well-done first season. Since we covered the memorable episodes in our individual reviews when Image Entertainment released the series, we will refer to those. Please read those reviews for our best of the best episodes for each season:

Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3

The series was originally released on DVD in 2005-06 and we didn’t cover episode runtimes for each episode then, so we will cover them all today:

Season 1, Disc 1
1&2 Bees Can Sting You, Watch Out (46:50)
3 The Big Date (23:29)
4 Three Men and a Bed (22:52)
5 John's Stallion (23:34)
6 First Time (23:35)
7 Significant Others (23:28)
8 Everybody Loves My Baby (23:30)

Season 1, Disc 2
9 Conversations with my Shrink (23:35)
10 The Fundamental Things Apply (23:35)
11 Smithersgate (23:35)
12 Everyday's a Holiday (23:35)
13 While the Thomasons Slept (23:37)
14 Trivial Pursuit (23:23)
15 Never Play Touch Football with the Kennedys (23:25)
16 Miss Starr Dates Georgie Anne's Pop (23:22)

Season 1, Disc 3
17 While the Thomasons Slept in the Lincoln Bedroom (23:11)
18 Her Year with Fidel (23:36)
19&20 Cold Feet (46:50)
21 Take My Senate Seat, Please (22:33)
22 Flamingo Summer (23:46)
23 Class Reunion (23:19)

Season 2, Disc 1
24/25 Lovely Always (46:52)
26 Moonlighting (23:36)
27 The Great Depression (23:37)
28 First Edition (23:36)
29 String of Pearls (23:44)
30 The Stud Club (23:13)
31 Blue Christmas (23:42)
32 True Confessions (23:44)

Season 2, Disc 2
33 Accelerated Dating (23:37)
34 Sweet Revenge (23:44)
35 The Sons of Sissy-Whatsis (23:14)
36 Fatal Traction (23:36)
37 Sleepless in a Small Town (23:42)
38 Do the Limbaugh (23:30)
39 Love in the Afternoon (23:17)
40 The Big Yes (23:36)

Season 3, Disc 1
41 Don't Say Nothin' Bad about My Baby (23:57)
42 The Virgin Lonnie (23:13)
43 It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To (23:50)
44 The Sock-Her Boys (24:05)
45 Birth of a Donation (23:42)
46 Fat Like Me (22:46)
47 Born to Dance (24:02)

Season 3, Disc 2
48 Prose and Condoms (24:02)
49 The Perfect Christmas (23:37)
50 Help Wanted (24:05)
51 Mrs. Hartman, Mrs. Hartman (23:06)
52 Group Therapy (23:28)
53 John and Georgie's Not-So-Excellent Adventure (23:36)
54 The Outsider (23:26)


Packaging:

The packaging is different from Image Entertainment. We have one giant case. The case’s front cover has a photo of John in a suit leaning Georgie in a blue dress holding a flag of the US (same as the cover art from the second season release from Image Entertainment) and we have red, white & blue background. The show’s logo, John, Markie, Billy Bob and Ed Asner’s names, and The Complete Series marking are also present. The back of the case has a photo of Georgie in a sexy black dress sitting on a flag pole, with John also sitting nervously (the same cover art from the third season release from Image Entertainment). The back also has a nice synopsis of the show, some nice episodic photos in a reel format, and a quite from DVDEmpire.

When we open the case, there is no artwork on the panels, instead it is all black. All the discs are in black paper sleeves and piled on top of each other. That’s a little disappointing and cheap. When the series was originally released by seasons by Image Entertainment, we had a total of 10 discs when we combined each season, for this complete series set, Mill Creek has reduced each season by a disc, so we have a total of 7 discs.

Each disc has the same photo & style. The same photo that is used on the back of this set is used on the discs. We also have a season and disc number along with episode titles printed on the discs themselves.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen is different from Image Entertainment as well. We have the same artwork from the cover art and we have the theme song playing in the background. We have options of Play All, Episode Select and Subtitles. Subtitles are available in English that you can have on or off. In Episode Select, we have a list of episode titles we can choose from. Each episode has four chapter stops, except the ones that are one-hour episodes have 5 or 6.




Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio are the same as the Image Entertainment releases because these are the same prints. There’s nothing to complain about really, as the video is good. The audio is very clear and in the original stereo. And the original “CBS StereoSound Where Available” tag is intact on every episode underneath the show’s logo.

As we mentioned in the individual release reviews, Hearts Afire was well known for using music in episodes (in particular for the last scenes). I urge you to read our reviews to find out what original music are intact and what is missing, because it is the same here as well.

Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3

So, in essence, again we don’t get all the music, but we get whatever was used in syndication on USA Network.


Special Features:

The first and second season both had nice blooper reels on the individual releases, and we get those here, too. The first season blooper reel is available on disc three of the first season set that runs 27:13, while the second season blooper reel is available on disc two of the second season that runs 5:00. It’s funny stuff but I wish we had more extras on here and on the individual releases from 2005-06.


Final Comments:

Image Entertainment quickly gave us the series of Hearts Afire individually in a nice 6 month window in 2005-06, and now Mill Creek has wrapped it all together nearly seven years later on a complete series set. They did a decent job with the set, as my only gripe with Mill Creek is the packaging. The paper black sleeves just are cheap, I think. As I mentioned in or original reviews, the music issue is not complaining worthy because if they had tried to get all of the music intact, then we would have never gotten the series on DVD. At least we get some original music. The bloopers were nice for the first two seasons.

Other than some of the music missing and the black paper sleeves, it is a must buy. John Ritter’s memory will continue for eternity and having this entire series is precious. Let’s hope Mill Creek can obtain the rights to John Ritter’s other series Hooperman, which lasted two seasons, for DVD. That would be perfect for them to release since it has never come out on DVD and fans are dying to have it! But before we get into that, get Hearts Afire on DVD because it’s worth watching. The cast is great, the episodes are funny and John Ritter and Markie Post are a magical on-screen couple. So hot! But the DVD from the link below because as Billy Bob would say, “it’s just a rule I have.”


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
Menu Navigation/Design: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Pavan on 01/19/13

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00A2XQTF0/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=308099


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