TITLE: REBA - SEASON FIVE
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009 (20th Century Fox)
Number of Discs: 2 (double-sided)
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 468 minutes
Video: Color Full Frame (1.33:1)
Audio: Dolby Surround Stereo (English, Spanish)
Subtitles: English and Spanish; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None
Itís the show that no one watched in original broadcast (at least I had an excuse -- no WB/CW affiliate to watch it on), yet everyone seems to have fallen in love with in syndication on Lifetime. This is Rebaís fifth season, where Cheyenne and Van struggle to save their marriage, Brock is in danger of losing his home, and Barbra Jean is just driving everyone nuts -- well, thatís really no different than usual. Trying to keep everyone sane...or at least keep herself sane...is Reba, the matriarch of this bizarre extended family.
This season is without supporting cast member Scarlett Pomers, who was away from the show the entire season while battling an eating disorder. While the circumstances behind her temporary departure are unfortunate, in my opinion the show actually improves a slight amount this season without her. Scarlett/Kyra would disappear from the show after the beginning of the season, and wouldnít be seen again until the sixth/final season. Having one fewer cast member to consider in plots actually seemed to quicken the pace of the slow just slightly -- at least in my opinion. The remainder of the cast (Reba McEntire, Christopher Rich, Melissa Peterman, Joanna Garcia, and Steve Howey) shines, and shows why this really is one of the best sitcoms of this decade!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
With such a great series, itís hard to single out any one particularly great episode. Perhaps my favorite episode is the seasonís 18th episode ďThe Blonde Leading the Blind,Ē where Reba has eye surgery, resulting in Barbra Jean taking care of her. Reba -- temporarily blinded by the surgery -- thinks sheís talking to Cheyenne and absolutely rips on Barbra...leading to hijinks and hurt feelings. This is a great season and series, though, and you really canít find a bad episode.
While the show was never guest star driven, it did feature a couple of appearances of note: Thomas Wilson, who I certainly remember best as Biff Tannen in Back to the Future, appears in ďReba and the One.Ē In ďNo Good Deed,Ē Jo Marie Payton -- best known to many of us as Harriette Winslow on Family Matters -- guests in episode 5 ďNo Good Deed.Ē Richard Kind, seen on shows such as Spin City and Mad About You, appears in episode 10 ďIssues.Ē Finally, Masi Oka - now of Heroes fame - appears in ďDonít Mess with Taxes.Ē
The packaging is a relatively simple black plastic case. While I applaud a simple but durable package, there are fans that will have no doubt complained or will eventually complain in a lack of consistency in the packaging. Itís the nature of the game. Packaging features a lot of blue and green hues, with the show logo at the top in a blue font in front of a green background. Reba appears in the front-focus of the artwork, with the rest of the fifth season cast towards the back. All appear in front of a blue/white background. Back cover features a photo of Reba on top-center-left, with introductory text on the right in a white font -- all in front of a blue background. There is no disc art as the set once again uses dual-sided discs. Unlike the last seasonís release, this season places more episodes per disc: Disc 1 side A holds episodes 1-7, Disc 1 side B holds 8-11, Disc 2 side A holds 12-18, and Disc 2 side B holds 19-22.
Menu Design and Navigation:
Each disc/sideís menu has a different color and photo -- with all four playable sides having an otherwise consistent style. Show logo is at top-left, with a photo of Reba in center-right. Menu options appear at the bottom. An overexposed collage of images appears in the center. Play All, Episode Selection, and Language Selection are selectable from each main menu. Episode selection is a static list. Disc one side A has a red menu scheme -- 1B has an orange scheme. Disc two side A has a green scheme, while 2B has a blue scheme.
Video and Audio Quality:
Iíve developed a bit of a habit about complaining about the most tiny and insignificant things -- sometimes as theyíre legitimate issues, and sometimes because I run out of things to say by the time I get to this part. But I really canít complain about the video -- it couldnít be better without being in actual HD. No artifacts, grain, noise, or any issues. The audio track is a respectable Dolby Surround track, available in English & Spanish. There are subtitles of both languages available as well. Chapter stops occur at the end of each act.
DISC 1 / SIDE A:
Where Thereís Smoke: 21:26
Reba and the One: 21:12
As Is: 21:27
And God Created Van: 21:23
No Good Deed: 21:28
Best Liíl Haunted House in Texas: 21:16
Have Your Cake: 21:16
DISC 1 / SIDE B:
Grannies Gone Wild: 21:24
Brockís Got Stones: 20:39
DISC 2 / SIDE A:
Parenting with Puppets: 21:03
Donít Mess with Taxes: 20:53
The Goodbye Guy: 21:29
Money Blues: 21:19
The Trouble with Dr. Hunky: 21:18
Reba the Landlord: 21:09
The Blonde Leading the Blind: 21:09
DISC 2 / SIDE B:
Here We Go Again: 21:09
Red Alert: 21:28
Two Weddings and a Funeral: 21:29
Rebaís Heart: 21:29
Runtimes are consistent with sitcoms from this decade.
Nothing to see here, please move along. It is a shame a series that is still pretty fresh in our minds has no extras. Reba would do interviews or commentaries, Iím sure.
This is a great series, and itís just a shame that so many of its casual fans only discovered the show in reruns and not on original broadcast -- but thatís what happens when you air on a second tier broadcast network like The WB, which is now extinct. Still, itís great to have fans at the party, so to speak, even if theyíre a bit late. Reba is a great show, and itís about time people discovered that fact. Sales finally drifted upward that Fox has decided to continue releases, so if you havenít purchased the show already, I canít begin to recommend it enough.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 02/10/09
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