TITLE: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT - THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: October 2, 2012 (Sony Pictures On Demand)
Packaging: Viva Eco Case
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 13
Running Time: approx. 325 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: n/a
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English Dolby Digital 5.1; None
Special Features: None
All of your favorite chracters are back for 13 laugh-filled episodes as Rules of Engagement returns for a sixth season. Join Audrey (Megyn Price) and Jeff (Partrick Warburton) as they prepare to have a baby through a surrogate (guest star Sara Rue). Adam (Oliver Hudson) and Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich) continue their journey through pre-marital bliss. And Russell (David Spade) realizes that he got married while drunk on a cruise ship, much to the delight of his assistant, Timmy (Adhir Kalyan). Also guest starring Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids) as Russell's wife, Season Six is the funniest season yet.
The sixth season premiered on CBS on October 10, 2011. They initially received a 24-episode order for this season, but they were then cut back to only 15 episodes. Although 15 episodes were broadcast in the sixth season, 2 of those episodes ("Cheating" and "Scavenger Hunt") were produced for the fifth season and were included on that prior release. The episodes are presented in their original production order (the order in which they were made), which differs quite a bit from the order CBS originally broadcast them.
Audrey’s throat surgery makes her unable to speak, much to Jeff’s delight in "Audrey Is Dumb." Audrey tries to prepare for motherhood by continuing to repair a doll that she keeps damaging in "Goodbye Dolly." Russell tries to get out of his marriage to a persistent Liz (Wendi McLendon-Covey), who tries to make it work in "Dirty Talk." Worried about getting his father's approval, Russell gets Liz all dolled up to meet him in "Bros Before Nodes." Jeff uses an app on his phone that automatically puts his calls through to Audrey's voicemail in "Shy Dial." When the gang decides to take a trip to Vermont to check out the fall foliage, they find themselves wishing they had never left home in "Nature Calls." When a couple cancels their plans to go to dinner, Jeff and Audrey blame each other for the couple's unwillingness to hang out with them in "Missed Connections."
Audrey is given a baby shower by Jen, but Jen has to scramble after realizing the invitations list the wrong date in "Audrey's Shower." Audrey challenges Jeff to list five nice things about her, but predictably, Jeff is stumped in "The Five Things." Accidentally, Audrey raises money for her maid's breast implants, angering her neighbors in "A Big Bust." It's husband versus wife, when Jeff pretends to love an arm chair that Audrey bought off the internet but now despises in "The Chair." When Audrey and Jennifer make plans to see a concert for a girls' night out, Jeff hurts Adam's feelings when he announces he'd prefer a night alone over hanging together in "Meat Wars." When Jeff discovers that Audrey uses sex as a way to manipulate him, he attempts to turn the tables around on her in "After the Lovin." Episode summaries courtesy of Wikipedia.
All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with all but one running over 21 minutes. "A Big Bust" runs only 19 minutes, 58 seconds, but it seems to match what is available online. They probably just had a couple of extra commercials that week. Here is the breakdown by disc, including the exact runtimes:
"Audrey Is Dumb" (21:36)
"Goodbye Dolly" (21:18)
"Dirty Talk" (21:35)
"Bros Before Nodes" (21:35)
"Shy Dial" (21:35)
"Nature Calls" (21:11)
"Missed Connections" (21:34)
"Audrey's Shower" (21:33)
"The Five Things" (21:09)
"A Big Bust" (19:58)
"The Chair" (21:26)
"Meat Wars" (21:24)
"After the Lovin" (21:34)
The 2-disc set contains all 13 episodes that were produced for the sixth season (2011-2012). It comes in a Viva eco case, which means it's environmentally friendly. The cover aft features the six cast members in four boxes. The show logo is in the center of the case. There is a publicity photo of the cast at the diner on the back of the case, as well as two smaller screenshots from the episodes. A short synopsis of the set and the DVD specs are provided. David Spade is, once again, featured on the spine of the case. Opening up the case, there is just blank space. There is no episode guide booklet included, which is unfortunate. Only a sheet that promotes some of CBS other on demand releases is included. The DVD-Rs just have a white background with the show logo in black. Disc 1 contains 7 episodes. Disc 2 contains 6 episodes.
Menu Design and Navigation:
This is a manufactured-on-demand release from Sony Pictures, so it just uses their generic menu. It has a bunch of retro television sets in the background and has a blue tint. There is a light blue box on the left side of the screen where the episode titles are listed vertically in black text. A blue film cannister icon is next to the option you highlight that turns yellow upon your selection. A Play All option is available at the top of the screen. I had problems playing the last two episodes on Disc 2 initially, but that seems like a typical issue I have with these on demand releases. The episodes do eventually play, however. There are no chapter stops within the episodes.
Video and Audio Quality:
The episodes are in excellent video and audio quality. They just aired in 2011-2012. They are presented in anamporphic widescreen 1.78:1. These episodes look as nice as possible for being in a non blu-ray format. The picture quality is very shap and the colors are vivid. There haven't been any blu-ray releases yet, but all seasons are available in HD on iTunes. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there are logos for Game Six Productions, Happy Madison Productions, CBS Television Studios and Sony Pictures Television.
The audio is an English 5.1 Dolby Digital track, which is an improvement over the English Stereo track in Season 5. The volume is at a good level and the dialogue is easy to understand. One of the downsides of these manufactured on demand releases is that they lack any subtitles or closed captioning.
Unfortunately, there are no special features included for this release. Only the first two seasons contained a few extras. It's typical of these on demand releases to not include any, so this is no big surprise. I did notice there were a few extras available for seasons five and six as freebies on iTunes, so that is worth checking out if you are a big fan of the series.
Season five was a bit of an odd one. They originally received a 24-episode order and were scheduled to air on Saturdays, which seemed like bad treatment for an established show headed into its sixth season. When How to Be a Gentleman struggled early in the ratings, Rules of Engagement was moved to Thursdays. They did respectable ratings there, but they were pulled from the schedule in January 2012 for the Rob Schneider sitcom, Rob. They returned to Thursdays for the final 8 episodes of the season. Recurring guest stars this season included Wendi McLendon-Covey and Sara Rue. Curtis Armstrong (Booger in Revenge of the Nerds) also appeared as himself as Adam's new friend in "Bros Before Nodes."
The order in which the episodes are included on this sixth season DVD release may seem a little confusing. They are presented in their original production order, so the storylines may differ from how people remember watching them as the season progressed. CBS aired this season wildly out of order, so viewers were probably a bit confused when storylines and events seemed out of place.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about this set missing two episodes ("Cheating" and "Scavenger Hunt") when in fact they were already included in the fifth season release. It's odd that the DVD releases for the fifth and sixth seasons are in the production order, while the first four seasons used the CBS broadcast order.
Despite the confusion about the order of the episodes, this was another funny season of the show. Even when the show is pulled from the schedule or placed on different nights or times, people seem to be able to find it. I'm surprised that the fifth and sixth seasons were released only as manufactured-on-demand releases and not sold in stores. It just seems unusual for a show that is still currently airing its seventh season would receive this kind of release. There's nothing wrong with these type of releases, but you are losing things such as nicely designed menus, an episode guide booklet, closed captioning and any chance of special features. These on demand releases should also be priced based on how many episodes you are actually receiving. This season is priced like a full season, but you are only getting 13 episodes. The fifth season is the much better value because you are getting double the amount of episodes at a considerably lower price.
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: 3/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
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