TITLE: THE COSBY SHOW - SEASON 4
Release Date: June 5, 2007 (First Look Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 23 (24 half-hours)
Running Time: 528 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: None
English Closed Captioned; Spanish Subtitles
Special Features: None
After over a year a wait, we are back with not one but two seasons of The Cosby Show on DVD on June 5! Both Seasons 3 and 4 of the mega-hit sitcom will each be sold separately from First Look Home Entertainment! This season, season four, the opening theme song is a tap dance style theme and the episodes are once again classic episodes. Join OBGYN Dr. Cliff Huxtable, his wife Clair Huxtable the lawyer and the rest of his family for some great laughs, fun, and a just a good time in 23 hilarious episodes. The sitcom held TV’s #1 slot for a record five consecutive seasons and stayed in the top 20 for all eight seasons on NBC.
Season four stars Dr. Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, Phylicia Rashad as Clair Huxtable, Sabrina Le Beauf as Sondra Huxtable, Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux, Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Theo Huxtable, Tempest Bledsoe as Vanessa Huxtable, and Keshia Knight Pulliam as Rudy Huxtable.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
This show is just so classic that it is hard to choose the most memorable episodes. I have come with a condensed list of the best of the best from season four. “Call of the Wild” is the one where Sondra and Elvin return from their honeymoon. “Cliff’s Mistake” is the one where Cliff loses a power drill borrowed from a neighbor. “Where’s Rudy” is the one where Theo and Vanessa lose Rudy at the mall. “Dance Mania” is the classic episode where Theo and Cockroach go to the hit TV show. “The Show Must Go On” is Cliff with Rudy and her friends...these episodes are always great, this time he takes them to a play, and obviously they get bored. “The Visit” is the episode where Theo’s friend is in the hospital with cancer. “Waterworks” is a very fun episode with Cliff trying to fix the plumbing. “Home for the Weekend” is the where Denise comes home but spends most of her time with friends rather than being home. “The Prom” is the episode where Theo and his friends go to their prom.
Some very notable guest stars for season four include Wallace Shawn in “Cliff’s Mistake,” Roscoe Lee Browne and Christopher Plummer in “Shakespeare,” S. Epatha Merkerson and Angela Basset in “Bookworm,” and LaChanze and Michelle Thomas in “The Prom.”
Recurring guest stars include Theo’s friends Adam Sandler as Smitty, Walter “Cockroach” Bradley played by Carl Anthony Payne II, and Troy Winbush as Denny; Rudy’s friend Peter Costa played by Peter Chiara, Clarice Taylor playing Cliff’s mother Anna Huxtable, Denise visiting from college played by Lisa Bonet, Earle Hyman playing Cliff’s father Russell Huxtable, and Deon Richmond as “Bud” (aka Kenny), another of Rudy’s friends.
The packaging is different from the first two seasons because now UrbanWorks is no more and they have been bought out by FirstLook Studios...long story. The first two sets were digipaks. This season, like season three, we have three slim cases! That is better, I think. However, the artwork and style on this set is not as good as the first two sets. The box art is very simple and not as good as the first two sets. It is a plain looking and has a photo of just Cliff with the slogan, “Still the greatest.” The color scheme is white and brown. The back of the box has synopsis of the season and set, with a breakdown of each disc (episode titles for each disc). There are many small promotional images in little squares. A brown circle says Special Features are Spanish Subtitles and English CC. How are they special features? Anyway, inside the box are the aforementioned slim cases. The cover of each slim case is the same as the box. The back of the slim cases are also the same as the box, but the episode breakdown shows what is on that disc only. They could have at least changed the artwork for the slim cases. All of this is very similar to season three’s set also coming out this day.
The artwork on the disc is the same as the box cover and the slim cases cover. Too redundant. There is no artwork inside the slim cases, just a plain black background. Disc one holds episodes 1-7 from this season, disc two holds episodes 8-15 from this season and disc three holds episodes 16-23 from this season.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very nice and didn’t suffer like the quality of the packaging from the change of UrbanWorks to FirstLook. If you read my season three review, then you will know how the menus are still good. The main menu starts with little video clips reciting classic lines from the season. Each disc has different lines. It is very cool. Then the actual main menu appears with the season four theme playing in the background. The color of the menu matches the packaging, with a brown/gold style color. There are still clips playing on the left, with no audio of course. There are two options: Select Episode and Set Up. Set Up is where we can choose English CC, Spanish Subtitles, or None. Select Episodes menu is very cool. The theme song is still playing in the background with clips from the episode selected playing on the top, with the episode title, a Play episode option, and an option to skip to Act 1 and Act 2. On the first two sets, there was an option to go right to the end credits, but that is not on here. I wish they put it on here, too. Anyway, so there are three chapter skips (Opening, Act 1 and Act 2). The one-hour episode “Looking Back” has 5 chapter skips, so 4 acts. On the bottom of the episodes menu are the rest of the episodes indicated by episode number and little video clips. It is very cool.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio both are great, and in the same vein as season three. The video is crisp and clear, but it has some debris from time to time, though it is not bad at all. I guess because there are 7 episodes on disc one and 8 episodes apiece on discs two and three. The audio is very good, but I am not sure if it is in stereo or not, as it was on the first two sets because the packaging doesn’t mention it. After the season one mess, we got seasons two and three unedited, and this set is no different! We get season four all unedited just as it aired on NBC! The episodes primarily run around 24:38. The highest on this set is 24:39 (besides the one-hour episode that runs 48:23) and the lowest is 23:19. The episode runtimes per disc are listed below:
1. “Call of the Wild” 24:38
2. “Theogate” 24:38
3. “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” 23:37
4. “Cliff’s Mistake” 24:38
5. “Shakespeare” 24:38
6. “That’s Not What I Said” 24:37
7. “Autumn Gifts” 24:38
8. “Looking Back” 48:23
9. “Where’s Rudy?” 23:39
10. “Bookworm” 24:38
11. “Dance Mania” 24:38
12. “The Locker Room” 24:39
13. “The Show Must Go On” 24:39
14. “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” 24:09
15. “The Visit” 24:39
16. “The Drum Major” 24:38
17. “Waterworks” 24:08
18. “Once Upon a Time” 24:39
19. “Petanque” 23:38
20. “Trust Me” 24:08
21. “Home for the Weekend” 24:39
22. “The Prom” 24:39
23. “Gone Fishin’” 23:19
We got an ample amount of special features on the first two sets by UrbanWorks. We get nothing here from FirstLook, just as we got nothing on season three. It is really a shame because all of the cast would love to do some interviews. The kids from the show recently hosted a Nick at Nite marathon, so I’m sure they would have participated on the DVD. We had bloopers and commentaries last time that would have sufficed this time, but nothing at all here for one of the top sitcoms of all-time in the ratings and quality.
Well, as I said in the season three review, the transition from UrbanWorks to FirstLook made this set go down a bit in quality. The packaging art was worse this time, but the use of slim cases for this set was good, like season three. The menu screen might have been better or on par with the first two sets. There are no extras on this set, so that drastically changes the difference between the first two sets and this one. Season three also didn’t have extras.
Anyway, at least the episodes are all unedited. So go out and buy this set and the season three set on the same day! Getting two classic seasons on one day is so cool. See also our season three review.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 06/01/07
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