TITLE: REBA - THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: June 23, 2009 (20th Century Fox)
Number of Discs: 1 (double-sided)
Number of Episodes: 13
Running Time: 269 minutes
Video: Color Full Frame (1.33:1)
Audio: Dolby Surround Stereo (English, Spanish)
Subtitles: English and Spanish; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None
Get ready to join country music superstar Reba McEntire and bid farewell to Americaís first family of down-home dysfunction in the hilarious and heartfelt final season of Reba. McEntire stars as Reba Hart, a feisty single mother whose family is feeling some growing pains -- Van and Cheyenne are expecting a baby, Kyra wants to drop out of school, and Brock and Barbara Jeanís marriage is on the rocks -- again. As usual, Reba is caught in the middle trying to keep the peace -- and her sanity. All it takes is a little tough love and a lot of heart.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
With such a great series, itís hard to single out any one particularly great episode. One of the fun things in watching this in syndication is that the series is so consistent, start to finish, that you can watch just about any episode and enjoy yourself, and never have the thought of ďoh, this is the year where they switched to the gift shop setting and it went downhill,Ē or ďoh, this is the year the whole cast moved to LA.Ē You donít have that problem with Reba, and itís why itís such a great show to re-watch. One of my favorites from the season is the seasonís 8th episode -- the final show on the first disc, when Barbara Jean panics when the station hires someone new and Barbara Jean begins to fear for her job. Thereís something about the Reba/Barbara Jean dynamic that just makes for GREAT television, and this episodeís a great showcase of that. And as someone who ALWAYS suggests watching premieres and finales, the final episode in the set -- the series finale -- is must-watch. Van and Cheyenne are forced to move back in with Reba after Van starts a fire, while Barbara Jean has to decide whether to take a promotion out-of-state.
Former Saturday Night Live cast member Tim Meadows, who most probably remember for his ďLadies ManĒ character, appears as the Steve character in the seasonís 2nd episode ďJust Business.Ē Musician Kelly Clarkson appears in the episode ďAs We Forgive Those...Ē as Kelly, the person who Barbara Jean is terrified is out to steal her job.
For the second season in a row the packaging is a simple case, but itís different this time. Rather than the black plastic used for season five, this seasonís set features those horrifying clear plastic cases that I just do *not* like. The only plus side is that with one disc thereís no disc tray affixed to the spine. The clips holding that tray are the fragile part, and as such itís not an issue here. For a single-disc release this is definitely serviceable packaging. The color scheme for the packaging is red and white, which whether coincidence or deliberate happens to match the photo of Reba used for the cover art. Front cover features a solo photo of Reba, while the rest of the cast is on the rear cover. Thereís only one disc. The particular disc in question is dual-layer on the first side and single-layer on the second side. The disc itself, to actually touch it, feels to be slightly less than sturdy, as thereís a strange noise that occurs whenever the disc is touched that I havenít heard before. It could just be an issue with my disc or with the whole line, but itís something to be aware of. Side A contains shows 1-8, while the final five are on Side B.
Menu Design and Navigation:
Each disc/sideís menu has a different color and photo -- with both playable sides having an otherwise consistent style--lots of squares to be found here. Generally speaking when a packaging style uses one color range as its primary palette, the menus follow a similar design. Not so here. Disc oneís menus are very, very purple, while disc two goes orange.
Main theme plays in the background, the one real nicety in the DVD set. Play All, Episode Selection, and Language Selection appear towards the bottom of the screen in a dark purple/orange bar. Episode selection features a list of episode titles in a block in the center, with various still photos to the left and right, and a notice about the other episodes being on the other side. Unlike many other sets from the publisher, thereís no option for scene selection which I find a bit disappointing, but Iím just happy to see the whole run on DVD at *all*.
Video and Audio Quality:
I canít recall if the final season aired in HD originally or not. Iím thinking no, but Iím not positive on that. Regardless, presented here are the regular full-frame versions of the episodes, and they look spectacular. The colors are crisp, clear, and vibrant. The colors match almost perfectly. There are no visible compression artifacts, no noise or grain, or any other things to distract the overly sensitive viewerís eyeballs. The video is just...great. Audio mixes out well. There is no distortion or other issues with the sound. Sounds great, looks good, what more can you ask for? Chapter stops occur where youíd normally find commercials, leading to roughly 4 breaks per show.
DISC 1 / SIDE A:
Letís Get Physical: 20:53
Just Business: 20:34
Trading Spaces: 20:54
Roll with It: 20:44
The Break-up: 20:55
Sweet Child Oí Mine: 20:55
Locked and Loaded: 20:44
As We Forgive Those...: 20:44
DISC 1 / SIDE B:
Bullets Over Brock: 20:54
Cheyenneís Rival: 20:24
Sheís With the Band: 19:54
The Housewarming: 20:54
The Kids are Alright: 20:44
Runtimes are generally consistent with sitcoms from this decade. I would, though, express a bit of concern over the episode with the runtime *under twenty minutes*. Not sure if itís an edit or a pathetically short episode, but less than twenty minutes is a sad sign of the times.
There is nothing to see here, please move along. It would have been nice to have some interviews, commentaries or even bloopers since this is a relatively new show!
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/CW. I have nothing directly against either network, but letís be frank no one really watched either channel. Now, though, you can catch the show in prime timeslots on cable, and the showís gained a large fan base can enjoy the great show five nights a week on DVD or on TV. Recommend the set and show wholeheartedly.
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 06/30/09
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