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The Brady Bunch - The Complete Fourth Season


TITLE: THE BRADY BUNCH - THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: November 1, 2005 (Paramount Home Video)
Color/1972-73
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 23
Running Time: Approx. 9 hours, 41 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Less than two months after the last DVD release, The Brady Bunch is back with the complete fourth season on DVD! Join Mike, Carol, Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, Cindy and Alice for 23 more half hours of groovy fun. Lessons to live by in season four: 1. Football + Nose = Ouch! 2. Beware of Mysterious Tiki Idols. 3. Make Every Day a ‘Sunshine Day!’ So sit back with your family during the holiday season for some family fun with the wholesome Bradys!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Like season three opened with a vacation three part episode, the fourth season did as well. This season they head on over to Hawaii (“Hawaii Bound,” “Pass the Tabu,” “The Tiki Caves”). Aloha…oh! The Bradys fall under the curse of an ancient Tiki idol during their tropical trip. Once safely back in suburbia, the Bradys find even more family escapades awaiting them, from the traumas of school curses (and errant footballs) to revoked driving privileges and sibling rivalries. And the Brady kids create their own singing group—oh what a Sunshine Day that will be! Must see episodes are the Hawaii 3-parter, “Today I’m a Freshman” is where Marcia enters high school, “Love and the Older Man” sees Marcia fall in love with dentist Dr. Vogel (love that name!), “Greg Gets Grounded” has Greg losing his privileges to drive, “Amateur Night” is where we first see those kids sing Sunshine Day, “The Subject Was Noses” ‘Oh, my nose,’ and “Room at the Top” has a battle between Greg & Marcia for the room in the attic.

Guest starring this season is: Don Ho & Vincent Price in the Hawaii three-parter; Kym Karath (“Cyrano de Brady”); Rita Wilson (“Greg’s Triangle”); Nicholas Hammond (“The Subject Was Noses”); and the legendary Burt Mustin (“Bobby’s Hero”).


Packaging:

The packaging remains similar to the first three 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. The overall color scheme of this set is lime red and blue. On the back of the box, they give some details of the set and there are three memorable photos from this season. The 23 episodes of the set are broken down by disc. Two slim cases slide out from the right of the box. Slim case #1 holds discs 1 & 2 and has an aqua blue cover with 4 photos of Cindy, Alice/Carol, Greg/a date, and the Brady kids singing. Slim case #2 holds discs 3 & 4 and has a red cover with 4 photos of Marcia, Marcia/Cindy/Peter/Bobby, Mike/Carol, and Peter. There are some detailed episode summaries on the back of the cases that list the original airdates as well. The episodes are in original airdate order.

Two single-sided discs can be found in each case. Inside of slim case #1, the background is aqua blue; the classic quotes from the show are there when you remove the discs from the case. Slim case #2 has a red background color inside and has classic quotes again when you remove each disc. Disc 1 is red and has a photo of Carol and Mike with episodes 73-78. Disc 2 is also red and pictures Greg and Marcia with episodes 79-84. Disc 3 is blue and shows a picture of Jan and Peter with episodes 85-91. Disc 4 is also blue and has a shot of Bobby and the youngest one in curls (Cindy) with episodes 92-96.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus have a familiar look as the first three season sets. They feature various photos and different pastel-colored backgrounds on each disc. The episode titles are listed right on the main menu screen. All discs have a Play All button or you can play the episodes individually. There is a Previews option on the first disc, with a few movie and TV DVD trailers. There are well-placed chapter stops within the episodes using the commercial break as stops, but there are no separate menus for scene selections. Again, 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:

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 25-25:30 minutes in length. Most of the episodes are 25:20. There are no original bumpers included on the set (S1 and S2 had them). On the first 2 releases, they had "The Brady Bunch - In Color" still image at the start of the episodes. I'm sure they dropped them by the time seasons three and four 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 Grand Canyon episodes in season three had a little voiceover saying stay tuned next week for the next episode, but the Hawaii three-part episode does not have that. The audio is a standard Digital 2.0 Mono track. The audio is at a good level and there are no noticeable problems. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes.


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 seasons 2 and 3. Unfortunately, they've continued that trend on this set again. The complete, unedited episodes are probably the most important thing to people. The Brady Bunch DVDs are coming out so fast, so I think fans are very happy, as some shows come out on DVD like snails. I understand Barry Williams recorded commentary; Paramount should have included all those at least. There are about 3 minutes worth of previews of Paramount DVD releases on the first disc that play when you pop the disc in and there is an option again on the main menu.


Final Comments:

We are already done with four of the five seasons on DVD! Good job by Paramount in releasing these in a fast pace. Extras would have been nice to have for seasons 2-4. I hope we get at least audio commentary for the final season. Maybe Paramount will release other related series like The Brady Kids animated series, the sitcom The Brady Brides (with the two hour pilot movie!), and the drama series The Bradys. Maybe by next Christmas they can come out with A Very Brady Christmas on DVD, too! Hopefully the reason Paramount is releasing the original series in a fast pace is so they can release all the other movies and incarnations of the show. I think we can expect season 5 in early 2006, if I were to guess, most likely in February or March. If that is the case, we would have all the seasons in just one year. Talk about fast paced! "Keep on, keep on..." Paramount!


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

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

--Reviewed by pavanbadal on 10/27/2005.

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000B5XOUM/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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