TITLE: NIGHT COURT - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON (WBSHOP.COM) (AMAZON.COM)
Release Date: October 25, 2011 (Warner Archive - WBShop.com Exclusive)
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 1.0
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: None
All rise! Laughter’s in session as criminal court, part two for the state of New York in season five of Night Court. We get all 22 zany season four episodes on a four-disc set exclusively at WBShop.com from the Warner Archive Collection. This is the second set in a row for the series being an exclusive to WBShop.com, so it is your only way of owning it. And the episodes are on DVD-R’s, so be aware. We waited a little over a year after season four was released, so we are ready for of the courtroom antics! Season 5 opens with a distraught Judge Harry T. Stone (Harry Anderson), unaware he has his job back, planning to pull off a maniacal prank against the City of New York. Dan (John Larroquette, winning his fourth Emmy(r) for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy) is given an unwanted overseas assignment, public defender Christine (Markie Post) comes to the rescue when Roz (Marsha Warfield) has trouble with her boyfriend. Meanwhile, Bull (Richard Moll) gets struck by lightning and thinks God spoke to him and Mac (Charles Robinson) works on curing his technophobia. Featuring guest stars Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives), Mel Torme and Don Cheadle, these 22 episodes on 3 discs are where non-stop laughter is the final ruling.
Night Court season five stars: Harry Anderson, Markie Post, John Larroquette, Charles Robinson, Richard Moll, and Marsha Warfield.
The middle seasons were among the series’ best seasons and season five is among the best. With Markie Post as popular as ever and John Larroquette winning Emmys, this season showcased their talents even more. Roz shines even more this season as well! The season premiere continues where we left off in season four, “Her Honor, Part 2,” Christine nervously takes the bench as Dan and Mac try to cover for the newly reinstated Harry, who is planning the greatest gag of all time. In part four, while preparing to attempt his outrageous stunt, Harry talks to and saves the life of a suicidal man. In “Ladies Night,” Christine and Roz visit a male strip joint to do some female bonding, but Harry and the guys show up just as the show gets going. In “Who Was That Mashed Man,” Dan's sadistic boss asks him to look out for his very attractive niece (Teri Hatcher) while Harry tries to prevent a TV hero of yesteryear from killing himself. In the two-part episode “Constitution,” Harry tries to talk sense to Roz, a recently diagnosed diabetic who's convinced her life is over, and handle a desperate man holding an original draft of the Constitution hostage in the courtroom. In “Let It Snow,” a blizzard traps everyone inside the courthouse and cancels holiday plans, including a visit from Bull's mother, the skipper of a garbage scow.
In “I'm OK, You're Catatonic/Schizophrenic," Dan ties up Mel Tormé so Harry can meet him but the judge is preoccupied with trying to keep his stepfather Buddy out of a mental hospital. In “Another Day in the Life,” panic grips the courtroom as the gang races to clear 207 cases in one session so a millionaire will donate money to save an orphanage and so Dan can win an office pool for the most convictions. In “Russkie Business,” Yakov returns for some help in getting a visa to return to Russia to visit his mother, as Johnny Carson appears as himself. On the season finale, “Danny Got His Gun,” Dan flip-flops on his active duty for the Army Reserve until he learns it will be in a tropical paradise with a beautiful lady officer. What will happen? You’ll find out in season six!
Among the guest stars this season are David Graf, Teri Hatcher, Robert Costanzo, Elayne Booster, Eugene Roche, John Astin Dick O’Neill, Marcia Wallace, Johnny Carson, Yakov Smirnoff, Don Cheadle, Parley Baer, Keene Curtis, and Mel Torme. Recurring stars include Mike Finneran as Art, William Utay as Phil, Denice Kumagai as Quon Lee, and Daniel Frishman as District Attorney Vincent Daniels.
Episode runtimes are around 23:30, though two episodes are under 23 minutes, but they probably just ran short. Here are all the runtimes:
1. Her Honor, Part 3: 23:42
2. Her Honor, Part 4: 23:31
3. Death of a Bailiff: 23:40
4. Ladies Night: 23:27
5. Safe: 23:36
6. Mac’s Dilemma: 23:36
7. Who Was That Mashed Man?: 23:42
8. No Hard Feelings: 23:41
9. Constitution, Part 1: 22:51
10. Constitution, Part 2: 23:45
11. Let It Snow: 23:40
12. Dan, the Walking Time Bomb: 23:41
13. Hit the Road, Jack: 22:42
14. I'm OK, You're Catatonic/Schizophrenic: 23:45
15. Chrizzi's Honor: 23:39
16. Another Day in the Life: 23:44
17. Heart of Stone: 23:38
18. Russkie Business: 23:37
19. Jung and the Restless: 23:44
20. Top Judge: 23:40
21. Mac’s Millions: 23:39
22. Danny Got His Gun, Part 1: 24:30
The packaging of the set is a very simple with a keep case, similar to the previous set. The cover art has a cast photo (Bull, Harry, Mac, Dan, Christine & Roz) with a starry city night background and the Night Court logo on top once again. The color theme is like dark blue and purple. The back of the case features a similar starry night background of the city, with three promotional photos along with info on the series and set. When we open the case, we see no artwork on the panels at all once again, as it is plain white. Also, we don’t get an episode booklet again, which is a shame. The discs are not overlapping and each disc has its own side. There is a plastic holder holding discs one and two, one on each side. The last disc is on the right panel itself. At least this is good. The disc art is the same dark city night drawn image on all three discs with episode titles printed on the disc. Disc one will be where you can find episodes 1-8, while Disc two holds episodes 9-17, and Disc three has episodes 18-22. There are no errors on the episode titles this time! That was weird they made errors for season four, but thankfully we have none of that here on season five.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu has the starry night background and the same cast photo from the cover art, very similar to the previous sets. The opening theme is NOT playing in the background again this time. Why? As we did last time, we have the choice of Play All or choose an episode title right on the main menu. Why not have an episode submenu like they always had prior to season four? I understand this is a DVD-R release, but still? There are no subtitles even this time. Oh yes, before the main menu on each disc we once again have a FBI warning, saying you will get 5 years in federal prison and $250,000 fine for making illegal copies of this DVD. Ouch, so we don’t get a $50 fine and time served from Judge Stone?
Video and Audio Quality:
The video varies from episode to episode, but it is much better than season four. It is more consistent like the first three sets. DVD-R is probably the reason why we had some choppy episodes last time, but it seems much better this time. The audio is on par with the previous set and I have no complaints there. We get four chapter stops per episode only and they are correctly placed this time. Last season’s set was terrible having a chapter stop every 10 minutes rather than at the end of an act. I’m glad they fixed that! Couple of tidbits, on most episodes we have the Night Court bumper in the middle of the episode. So that’s cool. In the two-part episodes, the “To Be Continued...” tag is intact at the end of part one, but there are no “Last week on Night Court...” recaps, if there ever were made though. For your closing logo enthusiasts, we get the Starry Night Productions logo and the old Warner Bros. Communications logo after the closing credits.
For season one, we got a few extras. But like seasons two through four, we get NONE whatsoever on this set. That is such a shame, but expected since they moved this series to WBShop.com only. They cheapened the set big time, but seasons two and three were regular WHV sets, and we didn’t get any extras for those either. Warner Archive is not to be blamed here because we actually are grateful they are continuing this series on DVD!
Yes, we had to wait a little over a year to get season five, but it was worth it! The video quality is much better on this set. The show itself is of course great in season five, but this DVD is better produced than season four. The show had excellent writing, acting, and stories. And did I mention it is funny? I still think fans should buy this set because they’ll want to continue the series on DVD. Two episodes are under 23 minutes, but I don’t think they are edited. They certainly cheapened this set because of DVD-R, but if I didn’t get this for review, I’d still probably end up buying it. Anyway, die-hard fans should for sure “click, click” (as the opening theme says and click on the link below to buy the set) away. Actually, make that everyone should “click click” and buy this set! It is improved from season four’s set! And who can’t get enough of Christine Sullivan?
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: 3/5
Overall Score: 3.5/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 11/14/11
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