TITLE: PUNKY BREWSTER - SEASON TWO
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2005 (SHOUT! Factory)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: Approx. 690 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: Approx. 186
minutes (including bonus “It's Punky Brewster”
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No
Subtitles or CC.
Special Features: Interview with George Gaynes; Eight
episodes of “It's Punky Brewster”
It's time to get more PUNKY POWER on DVD! All 22
episodes from Season Two of the 80s sitcom is now
available on a four disc DVD collection, complete with
Punky and all of her friends... Cherie, Allen,
Margaux, and of course, her faithful dog Brandon! And
once again, just as they did with Season One, SHOUT!
Factory has produced a DVD set that is a great
compilation at an unbeatable price!
In Season Two of Punky Brewster, Punky learns to
resist peer pressure in "Just Say No." Punky has a new
friend (Candace Cameron) that she recognizes as a
missing child in "Milk Does a Body Good." Punky
(accidentally) frames Mike (her teacher) for
shoplifting in "Christmas Shoplifting." Cherie gets
stuck in a refrigerator in "Cherie Lifesaver," an
episode that was inspired by a story written by an
8-year-old boy. The show deals with the tragedy of the
Challenger explosion, with the help of astronaut Buzz
Aldrin, in "Accidents Happen." And of course, who can
forget "Changes," the five-part episode in which
Henry's photography studio burns down and he loses
custody of Punky? We also get to see Peter Billingsley
(three years after he played Ralph on the Christmas
movie classic "A Christmas Story") and boxer Marvelous
Marvin Hagler in this season.
The packaging for this set is the type that TV-on-DVD
fans have become accustomed too--the basic cardboard
box with the digipak inside. The artwork on the cover
looks exactly like the cover from Season One, except
this time, the color scheme is orange. The digipak has
four panels, and each one holds one of the four discs.
Discs One and Three each have five episodes and Discs
Two and Four each have six episodes.
The special features (which will be described later)
are found on all four discs. I was a bit disappointed
that there weren't any episode descriptions with the
set. Instead, however, there is a list of episodes on
the panels in the digipak. The episodes are presented
on the set in the order in which they originally
When you place the disc into the DVD player, the first
(significant) thing that comes up is the menu screen
(well technically the first thing is a trailer for the
Season One set on Disc One). The menu screen is very
easy to navigate, but it takes a little while to load
unfortunately. It is an intentional thing... the menu
loads to make it appear that somebody is writing each
and every letter on the screen.
That is a bit slow, unfortunately. Also, the menu will
not allow you to fast forward or skip past this. So
basically, your only choice is to wait for the menu to
load. Once it loads, however, you can go straight to
the episode you want to watch from the main screen.
There is no scene selection menu, so once you select
an episode, it begins playing immediately. There is
also a Play All option as well as an option to go to
the Special Features menu screen.
The set presents every episode of the second season in
the format that the episodes were intended to be
in--unedited. Each episode on the set runs about 24 or
more minutes (one even ran for 26 minutes!). There are
chapter breaks between the commercial breaks, as well
as right after the opening credits and right before
the closing credits.
As far as the audio and video qualities are concerned,
I would say that the quality is about average. The
audio seems to be in mono, even though there are
episodes that actually had the original NBC "in
stereo" logo at the beginning of the opening credits!
The box as well as the press release that I received
with the set mentions nothing about the audio, but my
television did not receive a stereo signal from the
set, even though I have a feeling that it COULD be in
stereo! So basically what we have here is a set that,
regardless of how the audio is presented, sounds like
an average mono track. The only audio flaw that I
found in the set was the fact that the opening credits
on several of the episodes seemed to have a "canned"
sound. It sounded very unnatural, but fortunately, the
problem ended after the opening credits ended. As for
those that are hearing impaired, there is bad news
with this set.
There is no closed captioning or English subtitles
The video quality on the other hand was probably a bit
above average. I didn't see any problems with the
video on the set besides the fact that the show is a
little bit dated. The animated “It's Punky Brewster”
episodes, however, had video quality issues that I'll
discuss a bit later.
When SHOUT! Factory released Season One of Punky
Brewster in 2004, they included four half hour
episodes of the animated cartoon series “It's Punky
Brewster,” which, as the name suggests, is a cartoon
version of the program. This time, however, SHOUT!
Factory has done even better, by releasing twice as
many episodes of “It's Punky Brewster” on the set!
That's right, there are EIGHT half hour episodes of
“It's Punky Brewster” included in this set. Any fan of
Punky Brewster will love having the opportunity to see
the animated program, perhaps for the very first time!
Basically, the animated series is very similar to the
live action series, except there is one extra
character... a magical character named Glomer. So
simply put, the cartoon is just Punky Brewster with
the addition of magic. Even though I can't say that I
thought that the “It's Punky Brewster” program was an
excellent program, I did find the program very
interesting to watch.
The episodes of the It's Punky Brewster series that
are included are "The Gold Rush"/"Phar Out Pharaoh,"
"Switchin' Places"/"How the Midwest Was Won," "Little
Orphan Punky"/"Punky's Millions," "Fair Feathered
Friend"/"Be My Glomery," "All in Henry's
Family"/"Bright Eyes," "Mississippi Mud"/"Punky
P.I.," "Camp Confusion"/"Allen Who?," and "Punky's
Half Acre"/"Mother Of The Year." Since I had never
seen the animated show prior to reviewing the DVD set,
I really can't compare them to other airings of the
show, but each half hour episode of the program runs
about 22 minutes, but there are no closing credits for
the animated episodes in this set. There are two half
hour episodes on each disc in the set. The audio
quality on the animated series was about what I would
expect for the program, but I was a little
disappointed at the "glitches" in the video quality.
From time to time, it almost looked as if the episodes
had been copied from a VHS tape, as there were times
where it seemed like there were tracking problems. The
episodes are only included as a bonus, however, so the
video quality doesn't detract from the set overall.
So there are eight episodes of the animated series in
this set, the special features are great, so I'm done
with the special features, right? WRONG! Although
there are not as many interviews in this set as there
were in the first season, there is one new interview
in this set... a 10 minute interview with George
Gaynes! He, of course, played the role of Punky's
father, Henry, in the show. He obviously looks a bit
older than he did when he was on the program... after
all - he is nearly 90 years old. The interview was
probably not the most interesting interview that could
possibly be done, but Gaynes mainly talks about his
career in general as well as basic stuff from the
show. The interview can be found on Disc One.
Punky Brewster is one of those shows that either you
remember very well or have barely even heard of
it--probably because the show has often been shunned
by those that are critical of how "childish" they
believe the show is. The show may have themes that
appeal to children, but what better way to get in
touch with your inner child? Children of all ages ...
5, 10, 20, 30, 90 ... can enjoy Punky Brewster! Don't
pay any attention to the stereotypes and don't be
ashamed to own this set... you know that you want it!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
Video Clips from Season 2:
* Punky Celebrates Christmas
* Girls Will Be Boys
* Accidents Happen
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 01/29/2005.
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