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The Brady Bunch - The Complete Third Season


TITLE: THE BRADY BUNCH - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 13, 2005 (Paramount Home Video)
Color
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 23
Running Time: Approx. 9 hours, 54 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Here's the story... of America's grooviest TV sitcom family! It's Season Three of the wildly popular comedy series, which means there's a whole new season of hilarious adventures upstairs and down in the Brady home. Marcia's on the trail of Davy Jones of The Monkees; Jan is weary of the constant comparisons to her older sibling ("Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!"); and Cindy just wants a boy to call her own. Across the hallway, Greg's new car is less than cool; Peter channels Humphrey Bogart (among others) while undergoing an image makeover; and little Bobby hates being just that - "little" - until he saves the day! From Mike and Carol's journey with the kids in the Grand Canyon to Alice's look-alike cousin who brusquely takes "command" of the Brady household, here are all 23 episode of The Complete Third Season of The Brady Bunch. It's enough to make you break out in song... that is, unless your voice is cracking!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The vacation episodes were always popular, and the third season opened with a trip to the Grand Canyon. The three-part vacation trip to the Grand Canyon starts ominously when they set up camp in an old deserted mining town in "Ghost Town, U.S.A.." After their harrowing encounter with Zaccariah T. Brown, the Bradys finally make it to the Grand Canyon - only to discover that, as night falls, Cindy and Bobby are missing in "Grand Canyon or Bust." Cindy and Bobby, lost in the wilds of the Grand Canyon, are befriended by Jimmy, a Native American boy in "The Brady Braves." At school, Greg's arch-rival, Warren Mulaney, has edged him out of a first-string spot on the basketball team, then beats him in the campaign race for student body president in "My Sister, Benedict Arnold." Jan insists that she doesn't need glasses... until she crashes her bike into the family portrait that Mike has hidden in the garage as a surprise for Carol on their anniversary in "The Not-So-Rose-Colored Glasses." Pop music stardom beckons when Greg writes a groovy song - "We Can Make The World A Whole Lot Brighter" - and the Brady kids decide to professionally record it at a local studio in "Dough Re Mi."

Some well-known actors made appearances in season three. Jim Backus guest stars as Zaccariah T. Brown in the three-part Grand Canyon episodes. Paul Winchell appears as Skip Farnum in "And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor." Davy Jones appears as himself and Marcia Wallace plays Mrs. Robbins in "Getting Davy Jones." Imogene Coca plays Aunt Jenny in "Jan's Aunt Jenny." Hope Sherwood, daughter of Sherwood Schwartz, guest starred as Rachel in "The Big Bet." Jackie Coogan returns to the show and appears as Harry Duggan in "The Fender Benders."


Packaging:

The packaging remains similar to the first two season releases. It features the famous Brady Bunch checkerboard grid with a hologram type cover. When you turn it from side to side and you are in good light, you can see the cast's faces move in different directions as you saw on the show's opening credits. If you look at the cover, you'll notice that it is the same photo they used on the season 2 set. Some of the facial expressions and directions they are looking at are a bit different though. An interesting bit of trivia: they used the same opening credits for seasons 2 and 3. The theme song was updated for the third season though. The overall color scheme of this set is lime green and pink. On the back of the box, they give some details of the set and there is a season 3 cast photo on the right. The 23 episodes of the set are broken down by disc. Two slimcases slide out from the right of the box. Slimcase #1 holds discs 1 & 2 and has a lime green cover with 4 photos of Carol/Jan, Alice, Bobby, and Greg/Peter. Slimcase #2 holds discs 3 & 4 and has a pink cover with 4 photos of Cindy, Marcia, Greg/Peter/Jan, and Mike. There are some detailed summaries on the back of the cases that list the original airdates as well.

Two single-sided discs can be found in each case. I would have preferred if they used some kind of overlapping system instead of having the discs on two different holders on opposite sides of the case. They seem to pop out of their cases too easily, and they can be easily scratched - especially if you are receiving this set by mail. Inside of slimcase #1, there is a photo of Jan, Marcia, and Cindy from the Grand Canyon episodes with a pink tint as well as some classic quotes from the show. Slimcase #2 features a publicity still of Greg, Peter, and Bobby from the Grand Canyon episodes with a lime green tint with a couple of classic quotes. The discs are lime green or pink in color and feature various photos of the cast. Disc 1 is green and has a photo of Carol and Mike with episodes 50-55. Disc 2 pictures is green and pictures Greg and Marcia with episodes 56-61. Disc 3 is pink and shows a picture of Jan and Peter with episodes 62-67. Disc 4 is pink and has a shot of Bobby and the youngest one in curls (Cindy) with episodes 68-72.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus have a familiar look as the first two season sets. They feature various photos and different pastel-colored backgrounds on each disc. Disc 1 has a cast photo (that is also pictured on the back of the main box). Disc 2 has a still photo from the Grand Canyon episodes of Jan, Marcia, and Cindy. Disc 3 has another still photo from the Grand Canyon episodes of Greg, Peter, and Bobby. Alice is not left out as she is featured on the menu on disc 4. The episode titles are listed vertically in two rows. All discs have a Play All button or you can play the episodes individually. There is a Previews option on the first disc. There are well-placed chapter stops within the episodes, but there are no separate menus for scene selections. It would have been nice to hear the theme song or some of the great music cues by Frank DeVol on the menus.


Video and Audio Quality:

There is no noticeable improvement in the video quality of the episodes from the other two releases. Some episodes look great with little or no video problems. Once again, it seems like Paramount has used a variety of prints to get the complete, unedited episodes. Some scenes have some dirt and debris, and the color is a bit faded and dull. The scenes with lower quality seem to be the ones that are cut in syndication and re-inserted here on the set. The episodes are well spread out over 4 discs with no more than 6 episodes per disc, so there are no compression problems. All of the episodes appear to be unedited, running from 25-26 minutes in length. It's amazing that there are 3-4 minutes cut of the episodes when they are shown in syndication. There are no original bumpers included on the set. On the previous 2 releases, they had "The Brady Bunch - In Color" still image at the start of the episodes. I'm not sure if they dropped them when season 3 originally aired. There are no commercial break bumpers saying "The Brady Bunch will return in a moment." Those would have been fun to see. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is the red, white, and blue closing Paramount logo that was used at the time. The episodes are presented in their original airdate order. It's strange to see that their season ended so early in March 1972. There were very few repeat airings it seems compared to today's network schedules.

The audio is a standard Digital 2.0 Mono track. The audio is at a good level and there are no noticeable problems. Listen for the updated season 3 theme song on this set. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes.

Here is the episode breakdown with running times:

Disc 1
---------
50. Ghost Town, U.S.A. (25:34)
51. Grand Canyon or bust (25:33)
52. The Brady Braves (25:33)
53. The Wheeler-Dealer (25:52)
54. My Sister, Benedict Arnold (25:53)
55. The Personality Kid (25:52)

Disc 2
---------
56. Juliet in the Sun (25:52)
57. And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor (25:52)
58. The Private Ear (25:52)
59. Her Sister's Shadow (25:55)
60. Click (25:53)
61. Getting Davy Jones (25:54)

Disc 3
---------
62. The Not-So-Rose Colored Glasses (25:56)
63. The Teeter-Totter Caper (25:26)
64. Big Little Man (25:52)
65. Dough Re Mi (25:52)
66. Jan's Aunt Jenny (25:54)
67. The Big Bet (26:08)

Disc 4
---------
68. The Power Of The Press (25:53)
69. Sergeant Emma (26:05)
70. Cindy Brady, Lady (26:04)
71. My Fair Opponent (25:53)
72. The Fender Benders (25:51)


Special Features:

Season 1 had a nice amount of special features, and I think fans were hoping to have them on all seasons. No special features were included on season 2. Unfortunately, they've continued that trend on this set. According to Barry Williams Official Website, he did episode commentaries with Susan Olsen and Christopher Knight for seasons 1-3. The complete, unedited episodes are probably the most important thing to people. Special features add to the overall enjoyment and value of the set. It seems unlikely that they would come out with "Special Editions" in the future.

There are abour 3 minutes worth of previews of Paramount DVD releases on the first disc. They promote MacGyver Seasons 1-3, Charmed Seasons 1-3, and the Airplane "Don't Call Me Shirley" Edition. Airplane is definitely one of my favorite movie comedies of the 80's. I look forward to picking up this special edition.


Final Comments:

It's nice to see The Brady Bunch released at such a fast rate by Paramount. I hope they haven't taken out any special features because of the speed they've come out though. I don't think many people buy dvd sets just for the extras, but they are always fun to watch. Season 4 also starts with a vacation as the Bradys travel to Hawaii. Look for season 4 to be released in less than two months on November 1st!


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

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/05/2005

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000A0GORS/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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