TITLE: THAT GIRL - SEASON FIVE
DVD Release Date: May 5, 2009 (Shout! Factory)
Number of discs: 4
Number of episodes: 24
Running Time: 600 minutes
Total Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages and Subtitles: English; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Commentaries by Marlo Thomas and Bill Persky
Diamonds, daisies, snowflakes, That Girl... and now comes the fifth and final season of the late ‘60s/early ‘70s sitcom starring Marlo Thomas! Thomas plays Ann Marie, “that girl” that is aspiring to become an actress in Manhattan, but can’t seem to get any gigs that last more than an episode. The 1970-1971 season brings closure to the series as Ann Marie’s boyfriend, Donald (Ted Bessell) proposes to her and the season sets us up for potential matrimonial bliss between Ann Marie and Donald. Is “that girl” about to become Mrs. Ann Marie Hollinger? Find out in Season Five of That Girl!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Donald is ready to pop the question in “Counter Proposal,” but chaos ensues when he buys a second-hand engagement ring. Does Ann Marie really bare all for Playpen magazine? It seems that way in “I Ain’t Got Nobody.” Ann Marie wants some neighborly bonding in “No Man is Manhattan Island,” but one neighbor may have bonded with her purse! Like all engaged couples, Ann Marie must “meet the parents” in the two-part episode, “There Sure Are a Bunch of Cards in St. Louis.”
Regis Philbin plays a TV news reporter in the episode “That Cake,” where Ann Marie loses her engagement ring. Ann Marie has a new job, and it is with one of Donald’s rival magazines in “Stop the Presses, I Want Off.” Can Ann Marie do a sketch that is offensive to Mexicans? Find out in “That Senorita.”
Uncle Herbert drops by and gets Ann Marie and Donald involved in some “get rich quick” schemes in “An Uncle Herbert for All Seasons.” Milton Berle and Danny Thomas (Marlo’s very own father) guest star as themselves in “Those Friars.” Is the wedding off? Find out in “Limited Engagement.” Ann Marie has a new job as a shoplifter in “That Shoplifter,” but how legit is this job, if it is legit at all?
Hal Williams makes an appearance in “Stag Party,” where we learn how a bachelor party can ruin an engagement. Ann Marie may have the winning ticket (except she may have also lost it) in “Two for the Money.” The series ends (very appropriately) with “The Elevated Woman,” where Donald and Ann Marie are stuck on an elevator and remember things that have happened over the past five years.
The DVD set has a pretty standard digipak inside of a slipcase. The slipcase has a picture of Ann Marie winking and the back of the slipcase has the standard series information. Inside, we have the three panel digipak, which the first two panels holding one disc each and the third panel holding two discs. The back of the third panel has listings of all of the episodes and original airdates. The disc artwork is simple, with just a drawing of Ann Marie (as on the closing credits) on each disc, and each disc contains exactly six episodes.
Menu Design and Navigation:
As is common for Shout! Factory, the menus on this set are virtually identical to the previous seasons. The main menu gives options of Play All and The Episodes, and has the theme song playing in the background. When you select The Episodes, you get a list of episodes (along with an option of playing the commentary on the four episodes with commentary tracks). The theme song plays on this menu as well. Chapters are placed at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
Generally speaking, the episodes look fine, but there are definitely some minor issues with the video quality, probably due mostly to the age of the series. The issues aren’t anything to be deeply concerned with, as the picture is very vivid and clear on every episode, but there are occasional issues with grain and video defects. The audio quality is definitely above average, although it can be a tad too low at times. It is, of course, presented in mono, and for the hearing-impaired, the episodes are all closed-captioned.
The episodes all appear to be unedited, generally running around 25 minutes, although a few are a little shorter. I don’t think there is anything to really be concerned about, though. Runtimes are as follows:
A Counter Proposal (25:06)
Donald, Sandi, Harry, and Snoopy (25:21)
I Ain’t Got Nobody (24:54)
No Man is Manhattan Island (25:01)
Rattle of a Single Girl (24:08)
There Sure Are a Bunch of Cards in St. Louis, Part 1 (25:16)
There Sure Are a Bunch of Cards in St. Louis, Part 2 (25:45)
That Cake (25:20)
That Girl’s Daddy (25:18)
Stop the Presses, I Want to Get Off (25:45)
Super Reporter (23:56)
That Senorita (25:20)
An Uncle Herbert for All Seasons (25:46)
That Script (25:15)
Those Friars (24:47)
A Limited Engagement (25:58)
The Russians are Staying (25:48)
That Shoplifter (25:42)
Chef’s Night Out (25:13)
That King (25:46)
Stag Party (25:50)
Two for the Money (24:38)
Soot Yourself (24:13)
The Elevated Woman (25:45)
Fans were probably a little disappointed about the lack of special features on Season Four, but the good news is that we now have special features once again on this set. There isn’t anything that is outrageously unique or clever, but there are audio commentaries on four episodes by Marlo Thomas and Bill Persky. They provide very interesting insight into the episodes and are definitely worth listening to. The commentaries can be found on “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” “That Cake,” “Those Friars,” and “The Elevated Woman.”
I’m always pleased to see a series wrapped up on DVD, and it is great to see that Shout! Factory saw this through all five seasons. A larger studio probably would not have made such a commitment. It would have been nice to see some more special features for the final set, but the commentaries are pretty good and obviously better than nothing at all.
Personally, I never discovered this series until the DVD releases, and the writing and plots have been a pleasant surprise for me. It almost surprises me that this series isn’t on TV anywhere these days. The series is very unique and unlike many other sitcoms that have ever been created. This season is a very strong season, which suggests that the show never really declined in quality as many series do by their final years. By the way, not to completely spoil the season, but you will find that the series does end in a way that Marlo Thomas considers to be a positive way, even though the “expected” doesn’t actually end up happening. Hopefully, my indirect explanation here doesn’t sound like an explanation that Ann Marie would give! Fans of this series or classic TV in general are sure to enjoy this set, and maybe some of the female fans out there will realize that someday, they’ll be “that girl” too!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 1/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 04/08/09
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