TITLE: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT - THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011 (Sony Pictures)
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 13
Running Time: approx. 276 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: n/a
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: None
Flirting, fertility and "Free Free Nights." The gang is back and no topic is off-limits in the critically acclaimed
fourth season of Rules of Engagement! Married couple Audrey (Megyn Price) and Jeff (Patrick Warburton) relive their "single days"
by competing with each other to see who has the raciest past. Meanwhile, fed up with the hassles of planning a big wedding, Adam (Oliver Hudson) and Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich) attempt to race to the altar. And is it possible that eternal bad boy Russell (David Spade) has (gulp) fallen in love...with Timmy's (Adhir Kalyan) fiancée? Funny, honest and over the top "Rules of Enagement still rules!"
Under Russell's bad advisement, Jeff gets into trouble at home for flirting with a co-worker in "Flirting." Things get rough for Audrey and Jeff when they switch things up in the bedroom in "Snoozin's for a Brusin'." Jeff and Audrey try to "out-scam" each other when they each go to Atlantic City for the weekend with their own friends in "Atlantic City." Audrey tries to convince Jeff that she's seen her grandmother's ghost in "Ghost Story." Russell realizes he's infatuaged with Timmy's fiancée, Suneetha (Nazneen Contractor) in "The Four Pillars." Alan Ruck guest stars as Dr. Greenblatt. Audrey comforts a friend (guest star Wendi McLendon-Covey) by telling a little white lie that puts Jeff in a sticky sutuation in "3rd Wheel." Jeff realizes that he once "tangoed" with Audrey's favorite contestant on a reality show in "Indian Giver."
When Audrey's weekly Girls' Night Out is cancelled, Jeff hatches a plan to get Audrey out of the house so he can enjoy his "free" alone time in "Free Free Time." Jeff gets in touch with his femininde side after accidentally injecting himself with Audrey's fertility drugs in "The Score." Jeff and Audrey compete with another couple for the perfect surrogate (guest star Jaime Pressly). Audrey returns to her hometown for her high school reunion in the hopes of bragging about her successful and happy life in "The Reunion." After having a friendly conversation with a young male employee, Audrey's "people skills" are questioned when she is accused of sexual harassment in "Harassment." In an attempt to escape the pressures of planning a big wedding, Jennifer and Adam try to elope without anyone catching on, but a series of wwardrobe changes and other unforeseen obstacles get in their way in "They Do?"
All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of 20-21 minutes. There's nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of the music was changed for this DVD release. The show rarely uses any songs. Here is the breakdown by disc, including the exact runtimes:
Snoozin' for a Brusin' (20:51)
Atlantic City (21:27)
Ghost Story (21:26)
The Four Pillars (21:27)
3rd Wheel (21:26)
Indian Giver (21:27)
Free Free Time (21:17)
The Score (21:27)
The Surrogate (21:18)
The Reunion (21:26)
They Do? (20:50)
The 2-disc set contains all 13 episodes from the fourth season (2010). It comes in a cardboard box that holds two slim cases, just like the the previous three seasons. The cover art features photos of Patrick Warburton, Megyn Price, David Spade, Adhir Kalyan, Bianca Kajlich and Oliver Hudson. The show logo is in the center. Purple and white is the color scheme used for this set. On the back of the box, there are 6 small photos of the cast from the episodes. A synopsis of the set and the DVD specs are provided. David Spade, once again, is on the spine of the box. The two slimcases slide out from the right of the outer cardboard box. Slimcase #1 holds Disc One and four photos that feature the six main cast members. Slimcase #2 holds Disc Two and has four additional photos from the episodes of the six main cast members. On the back of the slimcases, they list the episode titles with short summaries and select guest stars. It would have been nice if they listed the original airdates and writing/directing/producing credits. There are photos of Price (wearing an eye patch) and Hudson on the back of slimase #1. Kajlich, Hudson and Warburton are featured in two photos on the back of slimcase #2. Many additional photos of the cast from the episodes are found inside the slimcases, which have a purple and white background. Disc One features Warburton, Price and Spade and contains episodes 1-7. Disc 2 features Kajlich, Hudson and Kalyan and holds episodes 8-13.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very simple and easy to navigate. Unfortunately, they no longer have the catchy theme song, "How Many Ways" by Señor Happy, playing in the background like they did for the first two season sets. The main menus feature photos of the six main cast members. The photos of Warburton, Spade, Kajlich and Hudson are the same as used as the cover art, but the Price and Kalyan photos are different.
A white satin background is used with a purple skyline. Play All Episodes and Episode Selections options are available.
A light blue heart-shaped knot is next to option that you highlight that turns purple upon your selection. When you choose episode selection, it takes you to another menu where there are still shots from each episode. A Play All option is alaso available on this menu.
Disc Two features a "Previews" option that includes trailers for Community - Season 1, Drop Dead Diva, HawthoRNe, Grown Ups, Get Low,
The Bridge on the River Kwai and Tamara Drewe. There are chapter stops within the episodes, but there are no separate scene selection menus.
Video and Audio Quality:
Since these episodes were just shot last year, they look flawless. The video is in anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1. I can't imagine these episodes looking any better. There hasn't been any mention of a Blu-ray release. The picture is incredibly sharp and the colors are vivid. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there are logos for Game Six Productions, Happy Madison Productions, CBS Paramount Television and Sony Pictures Television.
The audio is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital Stereo. Once again, there are no major problems with it.
The volume is at a good level and the dialogue is easy to understand. It is filmed before
a studio audience, so the laugh track is real. They have a nice little theme song, "How Many Ways" by Señor Happy. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes.
Unfortunately, there are no special features included on this fourth season release. Season one had a featurette, bloopers and a set tour with Oliver Hudson. Season two had only bloopers. It would have been
great to have bloopers for every season. Some audio commentaries by the cast and crew would have been interesting to hear.
Season four was another short one with only 13 episodes. They were a midseason replacement for the fourth time. Whenever CBS has aired it, the show seems to find an audience. It was nice to see them finally rewarded with a full episode order for the fifth season. This show doesn't rely on many major guest stars or cameos. They just have a very solid cast with good chemistry and funny writing. Adhir Kalyan, who became a series regular in season four, has been a great addition to the cast.
It's nice to see the fourth season released only four months after the third season. I think it would have been better if they were caught up to the fourth season in September when the fifth season premiered, but there should be no problems releasing the fifth season in the fall. This is a funny and underrated show that continues to draw viewers on Monday nights on CBS.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
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