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My Boys - The Final (Fourth) Season


TITLE: MY BOYS - THE FINAL (FOURTH) SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Color/2010
MSRP: $30.99
Packaging: Amaray case
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 9
Running time: Approx. 190 minutes
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio Tracks: Dolby Digital Stereo
No subtitles or closed captioning
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Sportswriter P.J. Franklin continues juggling her feminity and tomboy reputation in order to make her way as a woman living large in a man's world. Will she and Bobby work out, or is the new power couple the unlikely pairing of Stephanie and Kenny? And is there anyone out there compatible with Mike? The final season of "My Boys" stars Jordana Spiro, Kyle Howard, Reid Scott, Michael Bunin, Jamie Kaler and Kellee Stewart.


Episodes:

My Boys' fourth and final season premiered on TBS with 2 episodes on July 25, 2010. The fourth season began with "Addition By Subtraction," in which P.J. and the guys look for a replacement for Andy, while reminiscing about how they all first met. PJ and Bobby go on their first double date with Stephanie and Kenny; Brendan and Mike try to act more like adults in "Gourmets and Confused." The gang goes on a pub crawl to celebrate Mike's birthday in "Mike-Fest." Brendan's new girlfriend is too much for him to handle in "Be a Man!" P.J. worries the spark has gone out of her relationship with Bobby in "The NTO." Brendan considers moving out of P.J.'s apartment in "Hanger Management." P.J. and Stephanie step in to help Mike and Brando find nice women, and to stay away from the "crazies" in "Puss 'N' Glutes." Rachael Harris joined the cast as Marcia for the final 3 episodes of the series. The group has to search for a new bar after Crowley's gets voted one of the most popular in the city in "Extreme Mike-Over." PJ is close to realizing her dream of being a front page sportswriter but it may cost more than she thought in "My Men." Episode summaries courtesy of TV.com .

All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with the same exact running times of 21 minutes, 6 seconds. They are presented in their original TBS broadcast order. The runtimes are as follows:

Addition By Subtraction (07/25/10) (21:06)
Gourmets and Confused (07/25/10) (21:06)
Mike-Fest (08/01/10) (21:06)
Be a Man! (08/08/10) (21:06)
The NTO (08/15/10) (21:06)
Hanger Management (08/22/10) (21:06)
Puss 'N' Glutes (09/05/10) (21:06)
Extreme Mike-Over (09/12/10)
My Men (09/12/10)(21:06)


Packaging:

The single disc set contains all 9 episodes from the fourth and final season of the series, which aired on TBS from July 25, 2010 to September 12, 2010. It comes in a standard Amaray movie-style case. A photo of the fourth season cast is used as the cover art. Jim Gaffigan had left after the third season, so he isn't featured. The back of the case has a large photo of P.J. and the boys celebrating a birthday with some cake. There are three smaller episode snapshots below that. A short synopsis of the season and the DVD specs are provided. Jordana Spiro is, once again, featured on the spine of the case. Inside the case, there is just blank space. It would have been great if they included some episode summaries or additional photos. The disc just has a plain white background, with the My Boys logo in black.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu is very basic and no thrills. It just has various televisons in the background with a blue/green tint. They've used this same generic menu on other Sony on demand releases. This is one of the most unimaginative menus I've ever seen. I'm surprised that they just didn't use a cast photo, even if it was just the same one as the cover art. The episode titles are listed vertically in black text in a teal box on the left side of the screen. There's a "Play All" button or you can view the episodes individually. A film cannister type icon is next to the option you highlight that turns yellow upon your selection. Unfortunately, there are no chapter stops within the episodes.


Video and Audio Quality:

The product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. The packaging notes that this disc is expected to play back in DVD Video "Play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives. The episodes are presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 format. As you might expect for a show from a couple of years ago, the episodes look and sound excellent. My Boys is a single-camera comedy shot without a studio audience. The picture is very sharp and the colors are vivid. They have some pretty elaborate sets and the lighting is good on all of them. While almost all of the principal filming is done in Los Angeles, there many second unit establishing shots of Chicago used. I don't think they did any shooting in Chicago after the first season. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there are logos for Pariah and 2 Out Rally Productions followed by one for Sony Pictures Television.

The audio is an English Dolby Digital Stereo track. That is pretty much overkill for a show that is mostly dialogue. The dialogue is at a good volume level and easy to understand. Since they shot without a studio audience, there is no audience reaction and no added laugh track. They have a nice bluesy instrumental opening and ending theme and some nice score by composer Ed Alton. There are no subtitles or closed captioning on any of the episodes.


Special Features:

Unfortunately, there are no special features included. This is usually the case with these on manufactured on demand type releases. You just get the episodes here. Season one had about 45 minutes of special features that included interviews with all of the main cast members, deleted scenes, a blooper reel and other featurettes. The second and third seasons release didn't have any special features. It shouldn't be too surprising that the fourth season doesn't have any special features since the cast and crew have moved on to other projects.


Final Comments:

All 4 seasons and 49 episodes of My Boys are now available on DVD/DVD-R. It took them a while to finish the series, but I'm sure fans will be pleased to have them in this format. This show never generated huge ratings, but it seems there was a very devoted fan base for it and critics seemed to like it. The only full season was the first season with 22 episodes. Seasons two-four only had 9 episodes produced. I'm not sure why they changed the format from the first season. The show just seemed like it was hard to find on the TBS schedule at times. Fans had to wait many months between the seasons. A typical broadcast network sitcom only has a few months between seasons, but it was about 9 months between seasons for My Boys. I think some fans just lost interest because of the long wait. The show deserved better treatment by the TBS scheduling department.

Jim Gaffigan left the show after the third season. He played one of the funniest and most well-liked characters in Andy, so that was a bit of a blow to the show. They still had a strong ensemble cast and did some quality work in the final season. Some loose ends were wrapped up in the final episode. This is a disappointing release compared to the other two releases. It seems like they didn't put any effort designing the menu. They also didn't include any episode summaries, chapter stops or special features. It's also priced like a full season DVD release when you are only getting 9 episodes. I think about $15 would be reasonable for such a small amount of episodes. If you don't need the physical product, puurchasing the episodes on iTunes in standard or high definition would be a cheaper option.


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: 2/5
Overall: 3/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 05/06/12

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0036TGTES/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=299031


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