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Miami Vice - Season Four


TITLE: MIAMI VICE - SEASON FOUR


Info:

DVD Release Date: March 20, 2007 (Universal Home Video)
Color/1987-1988
MSRP: $59.98
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 17 hours, 32 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English subtitles; Closed-Captioned.
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Well, that was a pretty short wait in between seasons for Miami Vice! That’s right, on March 20th, Universal is releasing not only the Season Three of Miami Vice, but also Season Four! You can join Crockett and Tubbs again for 22 more episodes of the hit detective action drama from the 80s.

The fourth season is a very weird season of the show (but honestly, that is why I like it). For some reason, producers tried to recapture what they had in the first two seasons, but it had some unintended consequences, the biggest of which being that they kind of overdid it and there were some outright absurd episodes in this season (but that made this season interesting to me). The show still focused on the hard criminals of Miami and still had the very dark and gritty episodes like those introduced in Season Three, but we also get to see some “fun” plots, such as a crazy televangelist’s wife getting busted for trying to buy cocaine (since when do Crockett and Tubbs go after BUYERS?) or James Brown guest starring in an episode about being abducted by aliens. Crockett even gets married again in this season—for however long that will last. However, there is so much more than just that in this five-disc collection of unedited episodes with all of the original music, including artists such as Phil Collins, U2, Aerosmith, and more!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Crockett and Tubbs get involved in the biggest war they have ever been involved in--a “holy” war so to speak—when they bust a televangelist’s wife for drug charges in “Amen...Send Money.” Brian Dennehy and a very young Ben Stiller guest star. Crockett and Tubbs become bodyguards--for a frozen, dead body--in “The Big Thaw.” Isaac Hayes guest stars in “Child’s Play,” where Sonny accidentally shoots an innocent 13 year old...or was he innocent? Chris Rock guest star in the episode “Missing Hours,” where Trudy has a close encounter with an alien—played by (who else?) James Brown. This is by all means the weirdest episode of the series. Crockett finds love when he is forced to guard a musician in “Like a Hurricane.” Sheena Easton makes her first appearance in the series in this episode as Caitlin (and Toukie A. Smith, who later went on to play Eva on 227, plays her assistant), and there might actually be wedding bells this time.

Not to spoil what happens with Crockett’s relationship in “Like a Hurricane,” but in “Love at First Site,” Caitlin fears that she might become a widow when Crocket is assigned to bait a killer at a dating service. Harry Shearer guest stars in “The Cows of October,” where Crockett and Tubbs battle the case of the missing bull semen--no, I am not kidding--it might just be in the hand of the Cubans. In “Hell Hath No Fury...,” the man that raped one of Trudy’s friends has been released from prison and is determined to meet up with his victim in an apology that has the attention of all of the media—but is an apology all he really wants? Crockett gets shot in “A Bullet for Crockett.” Finally, the season ends with “Deliver Us from Evil” and “Mirror Image,” where Crockett sustains some injuries and may just leave Crockett into believing that he is not a detective, but instead one of the lowlifes that he takes off of the street every day in Miami.


Packaging:

Not a thing is different from the Season Three packaging--it almost doesn’t make sense to even talk about this again! But just to be safe, I will. We have the standard artwork, similar to all of the other three seasons (Crockett and Tubbs on front, and Crockett’s car on the front as well) with a three panel digipak inside of the box (it slides out from the top and bottom of the box). Just like Season Three, the digipak lists all of the episodes, along with episode descriptions on the box. This is much nicer than it had been on the first two seasons where only titles were listed! The set uses five single sided discs, with the Miami Vice logo on each disc (in pink). They are all contained in a three-panel digipak, where Disc 1 is in the far left panel, Discs 2 and 3 overlap in the middle panel, and Discs 4 and 5 overlap in the far right panel. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-4, Disc 2 contains 5-9, Disc 3 contains 10-13, Disc 4 contains 14-18, and Disc 5 contains 19-22.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Again, this is just like the packaging in the fact that nothing has really changed at ALL in regards to the menus. The main menu has options of Play All, Episode Index, and Subtitles. During the main menu, you get the theme song and many clips from the series--very good for consistency. Just like Season Three also, the menus for each episode are gone, but it is okay because there are still chapter stops at all of the appropriate places within the episodes.


Video and Audio Quality:

Again, not much has changed concerning video and audio quality (although it of course does look newer in this season, but that makes sense because these are newer episodes than any of the previously released seasons). There is always the issue of grain but that is about it (unless you want to seriously nitpick). The audio is in the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and although there are no closed-captions, English subtitles are available. The episode lengths have a lot of variance in this season (anywhere from about 46 minutes up to about 49 minutes) but all of these are reasonable lengths for a series in the late 1980s, so I doubt there is anything to be concerned about. All of the music, of course, should be intact (I didn’t thoroughly check to make sure that every song was intact but for the ones that I did check, they were there, and Universal hasn’t failed us so far…plus they say it is all there on the packaging).


Special Features:

No special features at all--come on, Universal! This is one of your biggest sellers on DVD! End the series with a splash when you release Season Five!


Final Comments:

Releasing Season Three and Season Four on the same date is one of the best things Universal has done for this show considering how slow the releases have been. Really, the only big question that remains is this: when will we see Season Five? And when it comes out, will we finally see some bonus features? They tried with a few on Season One, but really, fans want even more than that! I personally think that this season is probably better than Season Three (simply because they brought back some very odd episodes like those from the first two seasons), but they are both good and worth having in the collection of any Vice fan out there--or for anybody that just likes wearing pastels and driving fast European sports cars.


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

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

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 03/17/07

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000MLWQ6I/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=196566


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