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Step by Step - Television Favorites


TITLE: STEP BY STEP - TELEVISION FAVORITES


Info:

DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006 (Warner Bros. Home Video)
Color
MSRP: $9.97
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 6
Running Time: Approx. 138 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English, Spanish, and French Subtitles; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

The show that was called The Brady Bunch of the ‘90s—a more hip Brady Bunch that is, is coming to DVD for the first time! From the producers of "Full House," "Family Matters," and "Perfect Strangers" comes a "Brady Bunch" for the '90s -- a comedy about a thoroughly mismatched couple, a hasty marriage, and an instant family of six children. When two mismatched single parents fall in love, marry and move in together with their six mismatched kids, they hope it's only a matter of time until they all come to love their new life. Step by Step: TV Favorites brings you all fun, battles, and laughs from the Lambert and the Foster family. When Carol met Frank in Jamaica, sparks flew. And when the Lambert kids met the Foster kids, more sparks flew ­ the kind that could send Frank and Carol’s romance up in smoke. Can two parents who love each other and six kids who don’t ever become one big, happy family? Find out on this DVD from Warner Home Video featuring six memorable episodes of the series.

Step by Step premiered on ABC’s popular Friday night sitcom block called TGIF in September 1991, and it lasted seven strong seasons and 160 episodes. Patrick Duffy (Dallas) and Suzanne Somers (Three’s Company) both star as Frank and Carol. Step by Step also stars Staci Keanan as Dana Foster, Sasha Mitchell as Cody Lambert, Brandon Call as J.T. Lambert, Angela Watson as Karen Foster, Christine Lakin as Al Lambert, Christopher Castle as Mark Foster, and John Byrne as Brendan Lambert. Patrika Darbo, Peggy Rae, Emily Mae Young and Jason Marsden also star.


Episodes Included:

This set includes 6 episodes from the series. Don Knotts and Suzanne Somers reunite in “Christmas Story” from season three. And Doris Roberts guest stars in “I’ll be Home For Christmas.” Here is the list of episodes on this set:

#1 “Pilot” (Season 1)
While vacationing in the Caribbean, Frank and Carol get married, and when they return, have to deal with the conflicts between their children.
Written by William Bickley & Michael Warren and Directed by Richard Correll.

#3 “Rules of the House” (Season 1)
Noticing a lack of discipline among her new family, Carol decides to institute some household rules that Frank and his kids have a difficult time following.
Written by Alan Eisenstock & Larry Mintz and Directed by Richard Correll.

#26 “J.T.’s World” (Season 2)
J.T. produces his own Public Access Television show, but he gets into trouble when he uses it as a way to meet girls.
Written by Julia Newton and Directed by Richard Correll.

#57 “Christmas Story” (Season 3)
On Christmas Eve, Frank and Carol are mistakenly arrested by Deputy Feif for robbing a toy store. Special Guest Star: Don Knotts (Three’s Company, The Andy Griffith Show).
Written by Brian Bird & John Wierick and Directed by Patrick Duffy.

#81 “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (Season 4)
On Christmas, J.T.'s ski trip plans go awry, and crotchety Aunt Edna annoys everybody, until the whole family learns a lesson about relationships. Special Guest Star: Doris Roberts.
Written by Brian Bird & John Wierick and Directed by Joel Zwick.

#144 “Your Cheatin’ Heart” (Season 7)
Frank and Carol's romantic evening is plagued by unwanted interruptions. Dana suspects that Rich is being unfaithful.
Written by Robert Griffard & Howard Adler and Directed by Richard Correll.


Packaging:

The packaging is an Amaray movie-style case—sort of a snap case. The front cover features the Step by Step, with a photo of Frank & Carol in a sky blue background with clouds, head shots of Mark/Karen, Cody, Dana, J.T., Brendan/Al are on the left side, all inside a TV set (all the photos are from season one). You will notice a power button, volume up and down, and channel up and down on the TV set. The back cover has a promotional photo from season one of Frank carrying Carol by the door. There is a short summary of the series & set, and the episodes are listed as well in a yellow box. Inside the case, the background is the blue sky with clouds. A red box on the left side lists the episodes on the set, with the writers and director of each. I think it would have been nice for them to include short summaries of the episodes as well as the guest stars and original airdates. On the right side there is the disc itself. If you take out the disc, you’ll see a cast photo from season three (or four?). The single disc features the Step by Step logo and a cast photo from season one with the blue sky with clouds background.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu has the shorter theme song playing in the background (and it loops, too). The background is again the blue sky with clouds with a photo of the cast. There are 3 options on the menu: Play, Episodes, and Languages. The Play option will play all 6 episodes on the disc. When you select Episodes, it takes you to a sub-menu which has another photo of the cast. The episode titles are listed vertically in an orange box. When you highlight an episode, it is highlighted by a check mark, kind of like Carol’s rules from the episode “Rules of the House.” The languages option gives you the option of choosing Spanish or French subtitles. And it states that the spoken language is English. The languages sub-menu also has another cast photo. Thankfully, WHV placed chapter stops for each episode and in the spots where there would be commercials. Nicely done!


Video and Audio Quality:

Since this is a “best of” type of set, it is hard to judge the audio and video. I found the season one episodes to be in much better shape than the season four episode. Season seven was in great shape, too, but seasons two and three episodes were not bad. I found no real problems in audio or video for these six episodes, but season four didn’t look so good in video, maybe it was me. All the episodes are unedited (see run times below). You will get to see the full opening credits for the two season one episodes on this set. That theme is so long…it runs like 1:52. Also, you will get to hear the closing credits! ABC Family does their own credits, so viewers who watched and discovered the show on that channel, can finally see it. I have not seen those closing credits since probably local syndication on WWOR. For the rest of the episodes on this set, seasons 2 and on, they have actual scenes during the closing credits, so this will be new, too, since ABC Family doesn’t air them! Tidbit: For season one's opening credits, you can see a brown-haired kid with the cast, he must have been originally supposed to play Mark Foster. By season two, Christopher Castile (the real Mark Foster), is inserted in that scene in the opening credits—so they went a full season without re-shooting that!

#1 “Pilot” (23:16)
#3 “Rules of the House” (23:17)
#26 “J.T.’s World” (23:20)
#57 “A Christmas Story” (23:03)
#81 “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (22:51)
#144 “Your Cheatin’ Heart” (22:09)


Special Features:

No special features on this set. Just the 6 episodes are included. If they have plans for any season sets, it would be nice to have interviews with the cast, and some commentaries, too. Christine Lakin has been on television a lot recently…she has become quite a beauty, too, as we noticed in the later seasons of Step by Step.


Final Comments:

Fans might not be happy that we didn’t get a first season release, but you all have to realize that this set will make a big difference in that happening. So, go out and buy this set. It is affordable and you will get a preview of what is to come, if we get future season sets. All six episodes are truly great and they even have good guest stars and a good selection from the years (season one, two, three, four and seven). Though, as also a Perfect Strangers fan, it would have been nice to have a season six episode with Bronson Pinchot! I’m dying for more and let’s hope WHV releases this series the way it should be—complete season sets! Go out and buy this set and it WILL make a difference, just ask F Troop and Cheyenne fans, and they’ll tell you.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 07/14/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EU1QC2/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=177713


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