TITLE: HOOPERMAN - SEASON ONE
Release Date: January 24, 2017 (Olive Films)
Color / 1987-88
Packaging: Keep case
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 528 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles and Captioning: English Subtitles
Special Features: None
Available for the first time on DVD, the classic (but short-lived) ABC ‘80s TV series Hooperman! The series stars John Ritter (Three’s Company) as plainclothes San Francisco police inspector Harry Hooperman. When he inherits a building from his former landlady, he also gains ownership of her dog - a feisty Jack Russell Terrier named Bijoux. Comedy and drama ensue in equal measure as Hooperman juggles the pressures of his job, his newfound pet, and a romantic entanglement with the building manager he hires. The series co-stars Barbara Bosson (Hill Street Blues) and Felton Perry (RoboCop) and includes guest appearances (throughout the two-season run) by Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Norman Fell (Three’s Company), Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Barbara Rush (Bigger Than Life), David Paymer (Mr. Saturday Night), Joanna Kerns (Growing Pains), Jane Leeves (Frasier), Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years), Lorna Luft (Grease 2) and Shannon Tweed (Hot Dog ... The Movie).
The three-disc set from Olive Films contains all 22 first season episodes in their unedited format. The first season starred John Ritter, Felton Perry, Debrah Farentino, Barbara Bosson, Clarence Felder, Sydney Walsh, Joseph Gian, and Alix Elias.
The series is finally on DVD! This was a much underrated series, known to be one of the first dramedies ever. Maybe it was on way before its time, as police comedy series like Angie Tribeca have flourished in today’s time. John Ritter is brilliant in this series, and was nominated for both an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and a Golden Globe for Best TV Actor in a Musical/Comedy in this first season. In addition, John won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in a New TV Program for the first season. In the “Pilot,” the beloved owner of the apartment building is killed by a burglar and Hooperman inherits both the building and her dog, Bijoux. In “Aria Da Capo,” Hooperman must wrestle with his ethics when the Federal Witness Protection Program orders him to ignore a rape by one of its witnesses. In “Baby Talk,” an Arab sheik brings his spoiled daughter with him to the U.S., and Hooperman must watch over her, while DeMott and Silardi work to catch baby brokers that kidnap innocent children. In “High Noon,” while working undercover as a fence, Hooperman discovers that a convict who threatened to kill him has just escaped from prison. In the season finale, “Surprise Party,” it is showdown time when Silardi's homophobic twin brother and Susan's Hooperman-phobic mother both show up in time to celebrate Hooperman's birthday. Guest stars include Dan Lauria, Kurt Fuller, Shannon Tweed, Kim Delaney, Richard Kind, Miguel Ferrer, Don Cheadle, Joanna Kerns, Stuart Pankin, and more.
All of the episodes on the set are presumably unedited but presented as in production order. Runtimes are as follows:
The Answer My Friend Is Passing in the Wind (24:09)
Me and Mr. Magoo (22:55)
Aria da Capo (23:58)
Don We Now Our Gay Apparel (23:59)
John Doe, We Hardly Knew Ye (23:50)
The Shooting (23:01)
Hot Wired (23:33)
I, Witness (24:02)
Baby Talk (24:03)
Blues for Danny Welles (23:59)
Deck the Cell with Bars of Folly (23:50)
The Naked and the Dead (23:40)
The Snitch (24:20)
Chariots of Fire (24:14)
High Noon (24:13)
Blaste from the Past (24:12)
Baby on Board (24:12)
Tomato Can (24:09)
Trudy and Clyde (24:11)
Nick Derringer, P.I. (24:09)
Surprise Party (24:02)
The packaging is designed nicely. The cover art has a nice shot of the Hooperman in a blazer and jeans and Bijoux right next to him with a city skyline in the background. The back of the packaging we have a nice shot of the cast. We also have basic information on the series and set and DVD Specifications.
Inside the case we have a little plastic holder that you can flip back and forth like a page of a book. The holder holds disc one on the front and disc two on the back. Disc three is on the right panel on the case. There is no artwork on the panels, as it is plain white. There is also an insert about other Olive Films DVD sets. As for disc artwork, each disc has blue background with the city skyline. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-7, Disc 2 contains episodes 8-14, and Disc 3 contains episodes 15-22.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very nicely done, with the same artwork as the cover art for the main menu screen. There is no music playing in the background, though. The main menu options are: Play All, Episode Selection and English Subtitles. Play All of course plays all episodes consecutively. The Episode Selection option takes us to an episode submenu. We get the episode number and title of the episode. There is different artwork, too. The English Subtitles option lets you turn on subtitles in English. 4 chapter stops are placed appropriately throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
Both the video and audio are as good as they can be. This isn’t a Blu-ray set, but the video quality is decent. Some grains here and there, but this series is nearly 30 years old and shot on film. It is in 1.33 aspect ratio form. Most DVD players should upconvert it to HD and it will look as if you’re watching it in HD. The audio is crisp and clear in Dolby Digital 5.1 in English language. Love hearing the Hooperman theme, as anything created by Mike Post is great. We have closing logos for Adam Productions and 20th Century Fox after the closing theme for each episode.
There are no special features on this set. Maybe some archival stuff like bloopers, interviews, and promos would have been good? Oh well, wasn’t expecting anything anyway. We’re just glad this series is finally on DVD!
I’ve always wanted to own this show on DVD! I don’t remember many of these episodes either, so it is good to see these. The series was only on FX in reruns in the mid-1990s, but I didn’t have FX back then. Everything is as good as it can be for a show nearing 30 years old. The DVD needed some special features, I think, but that’s not a big deal, as that is just a bonus. I like the menu design, it is simple and concise but wish there was music in the background. The episodes are pretty funny and of course dramatic, too. This is a dramedy! I enjoyed all 22 episodes and John Ritter was such a brilliant actor. Look for our review of season 2, as well! This series mixes comedy and drama at its best, all under 30 minutes!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall Score: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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