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M*A*S*H - Season Nine


TITLE: M*A*S*H - SEASON NINE


Info:

DVD Release Date: December 6, 2005 (Fox Home Entertainment)
Color/1980-81
MSRP: $39.98
Number of discs: 3
Number of episodes: 20
Total runtime: 502 minutes
Special Features Runtime: n/a
Audio Tracks: English/English without Laugh Track/Spanish/French (Mono)
Subtitles: English/Spanish/French; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Sign Up for a Tour of Duty with the 4077! Korea, 1950--They were the 4077 MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit stationed three miles from the front. After months of living a stone’s throw away from the daily bombings and dealing with the resulting nonstop casualties, the docs and nurses still managed to live up to their motto of delivering the “Best Care Anywhere.” The only things that kept the continued stress of war from turning these docs into casualties themselves were their own surgically sharp wits, love of laughter, and the knowledge that they were often the only hope for the incoming wounded. M*A*S*H stars Alan Alda, Mike Farrell, David Odgen Stiers, Jamie Farr, Harry Morgan, William Christopher and Loretta Swit. TV legend Larry Gelbart is the executive producer, along side series star Alan Alda.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Episodes started to get a bit thinner in terms of quality by the ninth season, but there were still definitely highlights. Death Takes a Holiday, and The Life You Save are both in Season Nine, as is The Best of Enemies and a few other classic episodes. Meanwhile, in the guest stars department, Joel Brooks (My Sister Sam) is in episode 3, Cementing Relationships. In show 18, a young Patrick Swayze guest stars as the Pt. Sturges character.


Packaging:

The packaging is similar to that of recent seasons. On the cover for season nine is Alan Alda, Harry Morgan, and David Ogden Stiers. The back cover has two pictures, one of Hawkeye, Klinger, and Winchester, while the second picture has Margaret, the Father, and another woman.

Disc art is simple--very VERY simple. Disc 1, containing the first seven episodes, is green with a green-tinted image of Alan Alda. Disc 2, containing episodes 8-14, has a brown-tinted image of Harry Morgan. The third disc, yellow-hued, has a picture of Mike Farrell, and has episodes 15-20.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Menus are well done…The main menu is an Army pitch-tent in front of the “M*A*S*H Mountains,” Season 9 is in broadcast order, as the menu makes sure to let you know. The episode titles are written on the side of the tent. The selected option is denoted by a bullet hole next to the episode title. Each episode has its own episode information screen, which essentially works out to a still from the episode with the menu options worked in. Scene selection consists of small photos from each episode. Language selection is a close-up shot of a helmet against a tent.


Video and Audio Quality:

Video’s superb. Obviously being a show from 1980, it’s in 4:3 aspect ratio. There are only marginal flaws with the video. Occasionally there is a bit of grain, and some scenes don’t seem as well-remastered as others. Chapter stops are placed at every scene. Audio is great considering it’s a mono. No noticeable flaws on audio. The ability to watch episodes without a laugh track is a great feature ­ other series should try this. Most episodes are over 24 minutes in length. 4 Episodes run under 24 minutes: #1 - 23:45, #2 - 23:40, #6 - 23:49, #11 - 23:11. It's hard to say if these episodes are edited or if they just originally ran short.


Special Features:

There are no special features included.


Final Comments:

What’s so bad about special features, anyway? I know its season nine, but surely FOX could fish up something. Commentaries would be nice ­ most of the cast is still alive and well, it shouldn’t be that hard. Overall though, another great MASH release. Nine is definitely not the place to start watching the series ­ you might want to pick up an earlier set for that ­ but there is no reason for anyone else to not buy the set.


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

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 12/06/2005

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000B837XS/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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