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That '70s Show - Season Five


TITLE: THAT '70S SHOW - SEASON FIVE


Info:

DVD Release Date: October 17, 2006 (20th Century Fox)
Color/2002-03
MSRP: $49.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: 547 Minutes
Running Time of Special Features: Approx 33 minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.1 Surround
English Subtitles
Closed Captioned
Special Features:
Episode promos
"A 70s Flashback" with Wilmer Valderrama and Danny Masterson
Season 5 in 5 Minutes" featurette


Introduction:

Flash on back to the swinging ‘70s, where there’s a whole lotta love going around in the gang’s senior year. Jackie is secretly making out with Hyde even though she still has the hots for Kelso. But Eric and Donna soon have a bigger secret, after Eric gives her a diamond ring. Even Fez finally finds love at the DMV. But it’s the job fair that has everyone thinking of life after high school. Kelso toys with the idea of becoming a cop, while Donna and Eric plan on moving in together. But its Fez’s future that may be the most uncertain when he learns he’s being deported. Join the gang for season five now on DVD!

That ‘70s Show stars Topher Grace as Eric, Laura Prepon as Donna, Ashton Kutcher as Kelso, Danny Masterson as Hyde, Mila Kunis as Jackie, Wilmer Valderrama as Fez, plus Don Stark as Donna’s father Bob, and Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp as Eric’s parents Red and Kitty.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The season starts out quit well in the season premiere, “Going to California.” The technical two-parter “What Is and What Should Never Be” and “Heartbreaker” are quite good. Kitty is pregnant…or so she thinks. Turns out she’s going through Menopause. A confused Red and Eric ­ this WAS the 70s ­ don’t know what that means, and go look it up in the World Book Encyclopedia. You can’t unlearn things. In “Hot Dog”, Eric winds up buying Donna an engagement ring, while Red buys Kitty a puppy. In “The Crunge”, everyone does better on their SATs than Eric ­ even Kelso ­ by significantly higher numbers. This causes Eric to feel he’s being distracted, so he enlists the help of Red to buckle down. He also lets slip to the rest of the gang the engagement to Donna. In “Your Time is Gonna Come,” Kelso’s girlfriend from California, Annette, comes to Point Place to visit him. Meanwhile, Kitty’s parents unexpectedly show up and wind up moving in. This gets worse when Eric finds his grandfather collapsed in the driveway. Honestly, ladies and gentlemen, there are no bad episodes this season. I could keep going, but this review would be 19 pages long, and NO ONE wants that. There’s really no bad episode here. The only recommendation is to watch the episodes in order ­ while you can watch the shows in random order and it still is quite funny, if you watch them in order, the plot arcs actually do make sense.

Anyway, in terms of guest stars for the season,

Jessica Simpson [as Annette]: “Going to California,” “Your Time is Gonna Come,” “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”
Tom Poston [as Burt]: “Heartbreaker,” “Thank You,” “Your Time is Gonna Come”
Betty White [as Bea]: “Heartbreaker,” “Thank You,” “Your Time is Gonna Come,” “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”
Jamie Farr [as himself]: “The Girl I Love”
Jack Osbourne (Ozzy’s son): “Misty Mountain Hop”
Seth Green [as Mitch Miller]: “The Battle of Evermore,” “Nobody’s Fault but Mine”
Fred Willard [as Charlie Miller]: “The Battle of Evermore”


Packaging:

Packaging is standard for That ‘70s Show. Outer box, 4 inside slim cases, each hold one disc. This time, the outer box is purple, with the three colors making up the H-shape being a lighter purple, maroon, and yellow-green. That ‘70s Show logo sits in the top indention in the front cover, with the Season Five text being in the smaller bottom indention. On the back, the entire cast minus Don Stark poses on the center-left, with the box text wrapping above and beside the photo. Special features, or a lack thereof, are promoted below all that in a nearly unreadable green text on pink background text box. Each of the 4 slim cases contains two characters/cast members posing together, in front of a solid color background overlaid with slightly darker shaded 8-sided psychedelic-type flowers (The darker shading being relative to the main color). On case 1 is Donna and Eric, on case 2 is Kelso and Jackie, on case 3 is Fez and Hyde, while Kitty and Red are on the 4th case. Each case has a different colored background ­ disc 1 is pink, disc 2 is lime green, disc 3 is maroon, while disc 4 is purple. Each of the 4 slim cases features art behind the clear-plastic disc holders. The disc art itself is the right half of said art. The cast members on each disc match the cast members on that slim case’s front cover. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-7, Disc 2 holds 8-14, Disc 3 has 15-21, and Disc 4 has 22-25.


Menu Design and Navigation:

I love the menus. The various flowers mentioned before fly by via animation, while larger rainbow-colored flowers go by with clips from various episodes from the season. To the left is a rainbow that spirals around the center-left side of the screen, with a “Season Five Disc [x]” text inside a rainbow circle. Language selection is a static version of this menu. Episode selection does as well, with the episode titles listed in static text beside the ribbon. One problem with the menus is that due to using little blue circles as the selection hotspots, navigation can be a bit problematic if viewing on a computer. When you select an episode, a rainbow circle appears and asks if you want to view the episode with the promo on or off.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video looks decent. It’s somewhat grainy, though. Colors are a bit warm. At first, I thought it was strange the show wasn’t in widescreen; however, a bit of research shows FOX lagged behind quite a bit in HDTV, and didn’t switch to HD for another year or so. The audio is about as nice as you’ll get without 5.1, everything is at exactly the right levels…it’s just good. There also appear to be a few mild interlacing issues on the video. Mild compression issues appear on the aforementioned larger resolution screens. Still, there’s no major problems, and unless you’re watching on a PC or HDTV, you shouldn’t notice anything major. Chapter stops are at the end of every act.

Runtimes
Disc 1:
Going to California: 21:57
Can’t Quit You Baby: 22:00
What Is and What Should Never Be: 22:00
Heartbreaker: 22:00
Ramble On: 22:00
Over the Hills and Far Away: 21:59
Hot Dog: 21:55

Disc 2:
Thank You: 21:28
Black Dog: 21:52
The Crunge: 21:26
The Girl I Love: 21:59
Misty Mountain Hop: 21:59
Your Time is Gonna Come: 21:58
Babe I’m Gonna Leave You: 21:57

Disc 3:
When the Levee Breaks: 21:35
Whole Lotta Love: 21:59
The Battle of Evermore: 21:50
Hey Hey What Can I Do: 21:49
Bring It On Home: 21:29
No Quarter: 21:58
Trampled Under Foot: 21:55

Disc 4:
You Shook Me: 22:00
Nobody’s Fault But Mine: 22:00
Immigrant Song: 21:59
Celebration Day: 22:00


Special Features:

Episode promos ­ 25 of these, 0:30 each. 12 minutes 30 seconds total.

A ‘70s Flashback: Wilmer Valderrama: 8:36. Interview with Wilmer, mixed with clips of Fez.

A ‘70s Flashback: Danny Masterson. Interview with Danny, mixed with clips of Hyde. 6:51

Season 5 in 5 minutes ­ clips to weave together all the moments of the season ­ and in just 5:02.

Total Features Runtime: Approximately 33 minutes.


Final Comments:

Where did all the special features go? Over the course of the releases, FOX has whittled the special features down from a lot of features initially, to the promos, two interviews, and some clips edited together. There wasn’t even commentary this time. This is definitely what I’d like to see more of on the next set.

That said, this is a good show ­ I occasionally forget how good the show was (well, excluding the final season, but that’s another story for another time). The set is released next week ­ If you haven’t purchased it already, I urge you to do so now. RECOMMENDED.


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

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Final Score: 4/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 (Shawn Eaton) on 10/10/06

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000GUJYGK/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=185044


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