TITLE: ROSEANNE - TRICKS & TREATS
Release Date: September 27, 2011 (Mill Creek Entertainment)
Packaging: Amaray Case
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 8
Running Time: 186 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: Video Commentary by Roseanne on "Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down"
Holiday episodes have been a big part of classic TV throughout the years, and usually when we say holiday episodes, we mean Christmas episodes. But the series Roseanne had a different type of tradition with holiday episodes, and in eight of the nine seasons that the series aired, they created an annual Halloween episode for the series (Home Improvement, which shared the same night on ABC for many seasons, had a similar tradition). Several years ago, Anchor Bay released a DVD featuring seven of those Halloween episodes, but now that Anchor Bay's releases of Roseanne are now out of print, Mill Creek has been releasing the series and has an even better release featuring all eight of those Halloween episodes, beginning with the first one in season two and the final one from the ninth season.
In "Boo!", from the second season, Roseanne is trying to do her best to scare Dan. The household deals with gender bending in "Trick or Treat," when DJ wants to be a witch for Halloween. Roseanne follows a neighbor after being convinced she's planning a prank in "Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down." In "Halloween IV," Roseanne is visited by the ghosts of Halloween past, present, and future. In "Halloween V," Roseanne tries to prove to Nancy that Halloween pranks are how you show people that you like them. Leon's Halloween party goes all wrong when it is revealed that Fred is gay in "Skeleton in the Closet." Ed McMahon guest stars in "Halloween - The Final Chapter," where Roseanne revisits Halloweens of the past as she goes into labor on Halloween night. The DVD ends with "Satan, Darling," where a night of drinking with New York socialites leaves Roseanne having a strange dream. Marlo Thomas, Jim J. Bullock, and many others guest star.
The episodes appear to be unedited, although there is a slight issue with an alternate version of "Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down" with a video commentary that appears to be edited (don't worry, the version without the commentary is unedited). The runtimes of the episodes are as follows:
"Trick or Treat" (23:30)
"Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down" (23:31)
"Halloween IV" (23:35)
"Halloween V" (23:36)
"Skeleton in the Closet" (23:06)
"Halloween - The Final Chapter" (23:05)
"Satan, Darling" (22:18)
The packaging on this DVD is pretty basic, but actually very nicely done. In fact, the packaging is just as professional as a release from one of the major studios. The cover art has a photo of Roseanne dressed as a witch, with several jack-o-lanterns in the background and a cauldron which has the words "8 episodes" above it. It even includes a quote from the website DVDTalk.com (obviously, websites are becoming a factor in these things these days!) stating how "the Halloween episodes were among the best this show ever did." On the back, there is an episode list, along with several snapshots and a list of guest stars from the episodes included. Inside the case, there is one disc, and unlike many Mill Creek releases, it is inside of a standard DVD tray, and there is no black paper sleeve! The single disc contains a photo of Roseanne (same one seen on the cover).
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus on this DVD are very nice. On the main menu, we have a Halloween themed version of the theme song with several spooky clips from the episodes included on the DVD, along with options of Play All and Episode Select. Once you select Episode Select, you get a list of episodes, with a photo of Roseanne (again, the same one on the cover art). At the bottom of this menu, you'll also find an option for the one and only commentary included on this DVD. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
I was actually fairly impressed with the video and audio quality on this DVD. Sometimes, Mill Creek tends to compress things a bit too much, and that even seemed to be a factor on the season sets of this series that were released just weeks ago. But I didn't really notice that issue here. Everything looks about how it should on here, with no major flaws. The audio, presented in stereo, is a little bit low, but it is no major deal. Unfortunately, unlike the recently released season sets, the episodes here are not closed-captioned (which is especially odd since the season two episode included here WAS closed-captioned on the season set).
Usually, single disc "best of" releases like this are devoid of special features, but there was a pleasant surprise on this one... there actually IS one special feature! On the episode "Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down," there is a video commentary from Roseanne. This video commentary was carried over from the Anchor Bay release of the series. But there is one serious flaw with this commentary. The episode presented in the commentary, while presented in an unedited form if you watch it WITHOUT the commentary, is actually the edited version of the episode if you watch it WITH the commentary! So if you watch the commentary, you'll only get a 22 minute episode (whereas the unedited version presented on the disc is 23:31). At least the unedited version is included on the disc, but it is strange to have two different versions of the episode here.
This is actually a pretty good DVD for a "best of" collection, and these Halloween episodes are definitely worth having on a DVD of their own. It is also great that Mill Creek was thoughtful enough to include ALL of the Halloween episodes and not leave one out as Anchor Bay did with their release. This is a DVD that can probably be picked up very cheaply, and fans of the Halloween episodes (after all, they probably were one of the highlights of the series) will definitely want to own this. This DVD is one of the best TV series DVDs that I can recommend for Halloween viewing (outside of series such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents or The Twilight Zone, of course), and is definitely worth having in your collection just in time for Halloween.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 1/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 10/09/11
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