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The Bill Cosby Show - Season One


TITLE: THE BILL COSBY SHOW - SEASON ONE


Info:

DVD Release Date: August 22, 2006 (Shout!)
Color/ 1969-70
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: approx. 645 minutes
Languages: English
Subtitles: Not Available
Closed Captioned: Not Available
Special Features: The Bill Cosby Interview
Running Time of Special Features: 21:25 minutes


Introduction:

Hey, hey, hey! Oh ... wrong show! This is a must-have for Cosby fans, because this was Bill Cosby's first situation comedy. In THE BILL COSBY SHOW, Bill Cosby plays Chet Kincaid, a gym teacher at Richard Allen Holmes High School in Los Angeles. Most of the comedic situations center on the fact that Chet is a good guy, and an inspiration to his family and friends. He often gets in trouble because of this. What's great about a Bill Cosby series is that he focuses on intelligent characters and real-life situations that are infused with his brand of dry humor. You can now purchase all 26 episodes of the first season on a four-disc DVD set, restored to it's original glory, which also includes a brand-new interview with the Cos himself, Bill Cosby!


Episodes Included / Notable Guest Stars:

Some memorable episodes include: "The Fatal Phone Call" in which Chet gets involved in a domestic dispute when he answers a pay phone. "To Kincaid, With Love" is the one in which a student breaks up with her boyfriend and stars sending gifts to Chet. "The Substitute" is the one where Chet teaches a sexual education class. "Brotherly Love" in which Chet's brother, estranged from his wife, arrives on his doorstep just as Chet was awaiting the arrival of a date. "Growing Growing Grown" in which Chet has to chaperone the school dance and escorts a new teacher there in his brother's garbage truck. "Driven to Distraction" is about a nervous Chet teaches a student to drive. And "The Mouth Is Rated X" in which Chet tries to stop a star basketball player from using foul language.

Some guest stars in the first season include Henry Fonda, Tom Bosley, Cicely Tyson, Elsa Lanchester, Wally Cox and many others.


Packaging:

The packaging is a flip fold case, meaning that you open the case to reveal four flaps that hold the discs. Not the best description, but the best I can offer up. The colors used on the covor are a pastel blue and a pastel yellow and seems to be designed the same way as a basketball. There are three circles, which I assume are to represent basketballs, that feature a still shot of Cosby from an episode of the series. There is also a large shot of Bill Cosby as Chet Kincaid, and he appears to be holding the show's logo. It's a decent design, but nothing too eye-catching or stellar about it, in my opinion. The back of the box features a large still shot, with a cropped in background. The flip fold case lists the discs and what episodes are on that disc, and the main design on the pull-out flip-fold is the same as the main box art.

Each disc shows the series logo and features three rings of different shades of green. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6 and the special feature. Disc 2 contains episodes 7-13. Disc 3 contains episodes 14-19 and Disc 4 contains episodes 20-26.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu design is almost identical to the box art. The show's theme song (with lyrics) plays, and then after it's done, it loops continuously. The selections are "Play All" which allows you to play all of the episodes un-interrupted. The second selection is "Episodes". When you select "Episodes" it takes you to another menu screen, with the theme song playing, and lists the episodes. When you select an episode, it takes you to yet another menu screen that allows you to select from different spots in the episode (ala chapter skips, or, as a better example, scene selections like in movie releases). I've never been a fan of this type of menu, it's too many menus to go through, but that's just me. I'm sure it's popular with a lot of people. Also on the scene selection menu, it does let you skip a scene selection and just play the episode.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video is clearly re-mastered, as the quality is very good, especially for a show shot in 1969 and 1970. The audio as well is very good, loud and clear. No problems to be concerned with for either. Episodes appear to me to be uncut, but having not seen the original run, I can't be 100%, although the run-times match with what was the norm for that time period. There are chapter skips for each episode.

Episode Run Times:

DISC 1
1- The Fatal Phone Call (25:03)
2- Lullaby And Goodnight (25:08)
3- The Best Hook Shot in the World (25:02)
4- A Girl Named Punkin (25:08)
5- Rules Is Rules (24:58)
6- Let X Equal A Lousy Weekend (25:03)
* SP - The Bill Cosby Interview (21:25)

DISC 2
7- To Kincaid With Love (25:05)
8- The Killer Instinct (25:00)
9- The Substitute (25:04)
10- Brotherly Love (25:07)
11- Going The Route (25:08)
12- A Word From Our Sponsor (24:56)
13- A Christmas Ballad (25:13)

DISC 3
14- Home Remedy (25:04)
15- Growing Growing Grown (24:59)
16- The Elevator Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (25:07)
17- Lover's Quarrel (25:04)
18- The Worst Crook That Ever Lived (25:07)
19- The Gumball Incident (25:17)

DISC 4
20- Goodbye Cruel World (25:08)
21- Driven To Distraction (25:09)
22- The Blind Date (25:09)
23- How You Play The Game (24:54)
24- The Return of Big, Bad, Bubba Bronson (25:08)
25- The Mouth Is Rated X (25:07)
26- Really Cool (25:15)


Special Features:

* The Bill Cosby Interview (approx. 21:25 minutes)

A brand-new interview with the Cos' himself: He discusses his time on the show. It's about as straight-forward as that. Not much else to say, except I'm glad there WAS a bonus feature and it was this interview. It's good to hear him talk about a show other than "The Cosby Show." Heh.


Final Comments:

Shout! does it again--another wonderful release from them! They definitely put a lot of effort into their sets, hands down. From the menu screens to the packaging, and in some cases, the special features, Shout! proves time and time again that it's one great studio. Anyway, having never seen the show, I'm glad I reviewed this set. It made me a fan of the show and I'm left scratching my head how it wasn't a hit that lasted years. Nevertheless, just one more season to go with it and I can't wait, so PLEASE, if you are a Bill Cosby fan, run out and buy this! Oh heck, even if you aren't a Bill Cosby fan ... heh.


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

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 3/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 (Shawn Eaton) on 07/27/06

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EQ5UUA/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=179299


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