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King of the Hill - The Complete Third Season


TITLE: KING OF THE HILL - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: December 28, 2004 (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Color
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 3 (all are double-sided)
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: 600 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English & Spanish audio and subtitles; Closed captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Yeeee haw! The Emmy award winning third season of King of the Hill has finally made it to DVD! You can now spend the evenings enjoying some chicken fried steak (cooked using propane, of course) and seeing what is going on with the Hill family, as well as their neighbors!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The third season includes many great episodes from the series such as "Next of Shin," "Pretty, Pretty Dresses," "To Spank, With Love," "John Vitti Presents: 'Return to La Grunta,'" "Escape from Party Island," an "Revenge of the Lutefisk." There are also two other great episode included in this set, but unfortunately, the episodes were multipart episodes that were not solely contained within the third season! "Death of a Propane Salesman" is one of these episodes; it is part 2 of an episode that began in the second season (which is available on DVD, but not on this set). The other episode is "As Old as the Hills," which began as the season finale in the third season and ended in the fourth season, which has not been released (or even announced). So, although these are both great (and memorable) episodes, they really aren't as good to watch without having the complete episodes. This is a real drawback in my opinion; they should have included every part from each episode as bonus features. Then again, by doing it this way, it probably does make the consumer more willing to purchase the other seasons... but this consumer would be a happier consumer if they were included on THIS set. Some of the guest voices in the third season include Phyllis Diller, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew McConaughey, Mary Tyler Moore, Billy Bob Thornton, and Betty White.


Packaging:

The packaging for this set is very simple, but also very convenient. The box has a picture of Hank and his friends on it (a picture that appears to have been created just for the box set). There really isn't much more to say about the box besides that--after all, it is very simple. Inside the box, there are three individual cases, one for each disc. Each case has a large mug shot of each member of the Hill family: Hank on the Disc One case, Bobby on the Disc Two case, Peggy on the Disc Three case. On the back of each case, there is a description of each episode that is included on that disc. The descriptions aren't very long (about a sentence for each one), but they are adequate. Also, writing and directing credits, as well as the original air date, is shown on the back of each case. The episodes are presented in air date order, by the way.

There are three discs in the set, and each disc is double-sided. Honestly, I don't like this arrangement too much. It is almost as if there are six discs included in this set since the discs have to be turned over so often. As a result, there are four episodes per side, although Side One of Disc One has five episodes on it. Personally, I think that every DVD set should be included in a way where there are 6-8 episodes per disc (without getting too technical on the math, it is almost always possible to do this when you have more than 12 episodes in a set, the only exception would be a set with 17 episodes). The fact that this set uses two sides instead of dual layers is good in one respect, however. It means that there are never any points in the DVD where the disc has to switch layers. This is a problem in some DVD sets where the layer switches are inappropriately placed.


Menu Design and Navigation:

When you first place the disc in the player, you will love the main menu screen! Each side of each disc has a unique main menu, all of them involving different scenes of Hank and his friends sitting on a couch in the alley drinking beer. Unfortunately, it all goes downhill (no pun intended) from there. You have a choice o going to Episode Selection or Language Selection from the main menu. While the Language Selection menu is very basic and easy to navigate, the Episode Selection menu is a disaster. It seems like they tried too hard in making this menu. When you go down the list on each episode, it brings up a screenshot from the episode as well as an episode description. That may sound great at first, but it takes a couple of seconds for the DVD player to load these. If you want to get to the episode at the bottom of the list, you have to go through each and every episode and allow the description to load for each one along the way. It isn't quite as bad with only 4 episodes on a disc (imagine how it would be if the discs were one sided and each disc had 10 episodes!), but it is still bad enough for me to honestly say that it is probably among the worst menu setups I have seen in a DVD set (the worst setups unfortunately usually come when companies try hard to make creative menus). There aren't any submenus for any of the episodes, and there is no scene selection either.


Video and Audio Quality:

There isn't anything to complain about with the audio and video quality. I could probably be nitpicky and come up with something, but these episodes are about the same quality as an episode that you would watch on original episodes on FOX, cable reruns on FX, or in local syndication. The audio is presented in Dolby Surround Sound. Each episode runs about 22 minutes and 30 seconds, which is 30 seconds longer than syndicated episodes. That isn't a huge difference, but you might find 30 seconds of material in each episode that you did not see in the syndicated episodes.


Special Features:

There are NO special features on this set. The first two seasons that were released were full of special features, including deleted scenes and commentaries. It is unfortunate that Fox went from sets full of special features to absolutely none for the third season. On the plus side, this set is $10 cheaper than the second season was -- so perhaps the lower cost offsets the lack of any special features. Still, I would have liked commentaries on the episodes at the very least.


Final Comments:

So, in conclusion, this is a great set for every fan of King of the Hill to own. It is unfortunate that it is lacking in special features, but this set is worth it just for the great episodes that are included in the set and the excellent quality of the episodes. So get on down to the Megalomart (or for convenience, just click on the link that is provided at the end of this review) and get your copy of this DVD set today!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 12/29/2004.

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002XVQT4/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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