TITLE: SISTER, SISTER - THE SECOND SEASON
DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009 (CBS DVD)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 19
Running Time: 7 hours 10 minutes
Languages: English; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None
Get ready for a double helping of fun and laughter as Tia and Tamera Mowry return for the second season of the sitcom Sister, Sister. Confusion continues to reign in the Campbell and Landry household as newly-reunited twins Tia and Tamera join forces to drive their adoptive parents, played by the wonderful Tim Reid and Jackee Harry, absolutely crazy.
This was the showís second and final season on ABC. In the fall of 1995 it jumped ship for The WB as part of the networkís early lineup of comedies -- it would continue a moderately successful run there for several years before departing for the lands of rerun-incarnation. You can currently view the show on ABC Family, where it fits right in with the rest of their lineup.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Iím going to be completely honest with you, the reader, as I feel honesty is one of the most important characteristics to have; if I didnít tell you this outright itíd probably shine through in the tone of the writing anyway. Iím not particularly a fan of the show. I donít particularly dislike it, I just donít happen to like it either. I caught a few episodes when it originally aired in the Ď90s, and if thereís absolutely nothing else on I might surf by now and then, but Iím probably the last person qualified to tell you what episodes you should immediately jump to. There are people far, FAR more qualified, such as the nice folks on our Sister, Sister Message Board, who could do a much better job if you just ask them.
While I canít be the one to help guide you to the seasonís top episodes, I can at least point you towards the guest stars. The sistersí real life brother Tahj (whoíd later go on to star in his own sitcom, ďSmart GuyĒ) appeared as the fictional versions of the sistersí ďcousinĒ Tahj in the episodes ďGet a Job.Ē Meanwhile, in the episode ďPut to the Test,Ē youíll find an appearance from RuPaul. If the name doesnít ring a bell in your head, then I highly suggest you consult your local Wikipedia.
Those of you familiar with my reviews may recall my distaste with a certain packaging type. You know the ones. Semi-transparent white plastic, roughly the same dimensions as an ordinary keep case, with a tray or two of discs in the center attached by fragile plastic clips. Thatís what used here. Thatís whatís being used everywhere. Itís fine packaging, when it doesnít arrive broken. Iíve had more sets than I can recall, though, arrive with broken clips or other damage to the case. And itís annoying the bejeezus out of me particularly given the rise in popularity of the packaging type. Itís one thing when you go into a brick-and-mortar retail store and buy it off the shelf as thereís a low risk of damage. But when shipped via a package service, such as UPS or Fed Ex, the rate of damage becomes significantly higher. The customer, angry at the product, then demands a return and sometimes a refund, which hurts the bottom line.
The package art is extremely simple, and you can see it at the top of this review. It features the sisters, smiling, with the show logo on top. The overall color palette used for this set is a range from a muted pink on through to purple. Discs are the usual CBS DVD standard of a silver matte disc surface, with the show logo, disc number, and contained episodes being omissions of the matte finish, exposing the normal top-of-disc surface in those etchings. Each of the first two discs holds six episodes, while the final seven shows are found on the final disc.
Menu Design and Navigation:
One single omni-menu for each disc. Same art on all three. Same pink/purple floral print style as the packaging art, show logo on top, photo of the sisters on the left side, episode list on the right, play all at bottom. The episode list is written in a font normally reserved for Photoshop contests on the internet when Impact is banned. The fonts donít even appear to be properly anti-aliased, creating a strange edge. As someone who has done their fair share of design work my eyes always turn to the aesthetic first and foremost, and this just looks terrible. Itís one thing when you have Spartan menus when those menus are actually well-designed, but this is ridiculous. I donít mean anything terribly personal against whoever designed these menus, but theyíre just not well-designed. I always try to avoid saying this, but I honestly think *I* could have done a better job here. This is...just...no. Iím a design guy, so this is THE one area where if somethingís bad Iím going to be the one to go nuclear. Iím perfectly sure that much of the mass market will find these menus perfectly tolerable, but I donít.
Video and Audio Quality:
Iím on a hot streak today, letís keep with the complaining. Thereís a large amount of grain and noise. You can clearly see strange lines of noise running down the picture. Itís especially evident on solid colors. This showís only 15 years old, so it shouldnít have the video quality of a series shot in 1982. I mean, itís not as though the video is upside-down or a negative-color image, but Iíve got a few VHS tapes of game shows from the 70s that look better. This is why I love the digital/HD era. Shows from today hopefully shouldnít look anywhere near this bad 15 years from now as this does, to me, now. There are ALSO interlacing issues that will affect some players. Nevermind that you can clearly see ghosting -- GHOSTING! -- around some edges on the show. Audio quality isnít earth-shatteringly good, but it does its job alright. Volume may be a *tad* on the low side, but if itís an issue just turn up your TV set. At least with DVD there wonít be any volume-oversaturated ads to deafen you. Chapter stops occur at the ends of each act, at the point where commercials would normally occur.
But wait, thereís more! We get not one but BOTH disclaimers. Not only do we get ďsome episodes may be edited from their original network versions,Ē but we get ďmusic has been changed for this home entertainment versionĒ. The music edits, when you hear them, will stand out clearly. Iím not really the one to point out other edits, however.
Hair Today...: 23:08
Get a Job: 22:43
Joeyís Choice: 22:40
A Tall Tale: 22:38
Itís a Love Thang: 22:52
Free Billy: 22:50
Operation: Dťjŗ View: 21:46
Two for the Road: 22:46
Itís a Party Thang: 22:04
Field Trip: 22:51
Put to the Test: 22:30
Kid in Play: 22:42
Dream Lover: 23:23
Scrambled Eggs: 22:50
Smoking in the Girls Room: 22:21
Playing Hooky: 22:50
Single White Teenager: 22:32
I Do?: 22:35
Generally speaking, the closer an episode is to 23 minutes the less likely itíll be edited. The episode clocking in at less than 22 minutes almost assuredly is edited. The episode right at 22 (22:04 specifically) probably is as well.
If I made it this far without anything exceptionally positive to say, would this be any different? Nada. This part honestly doesnít surprise me, but that doesnít make it any less sad.
At 2.5/5 (Which corresponds to 50% of the possible score, IE an F), this ties for the worst score Iíve ever given a DVD set. There are so many things wrong that itís hard to talk about whatís right. If I could say only positive thing, itís that in viewing over the seasonís episodes Iíve found the show to be more enjoyable than I remember and Iíll probably give the show a closer look now in reruns.
Technically and aesthetically speaking, this setís terrible. Packaging is cheap and fragile, the menu design is extremely poor at best not to mention featureless, the color choices werenít very good looking, the video is a mess, the audio is low, there are no features whatsoever...I can give a recommend giving the show a good watching on cable, I canít, in good conscience, ever suggest you spend $40 of your hard money on *this* set, so deeply flawed as it is. If you can find it at an immense discount, or if you just love the show THAT much, then go for it. Otherwise, I have to recommend staying away.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 2.5/5
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 2.5/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 05/27/09
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