Release Date: November 6, 2007 (First Look Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 25 (26 half-hours)
Running Time: 550 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: None
English Closed Captioned; Spanish Subtitles
Special Features: None
The Cosby Show is back on DVD from First Look Studios, this time with Season 5 (Season 6 is also coming out on a separate set the same day!). 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 25 hilarious episodes. The sitcom held TVs #1 slot for a record five consecutive seasons and stayed in the top 20 for all eight seasons on NBC.
Season five 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. With special appearances by Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
This season is season five and you might remember the episodes more if I tell you that the opening credits were in the Hawaiian Style clothing. Many fans feel this was the worst opening credits. As for the episodes, there were some great ones again, as this season yet again was #1 in the ratings. In the season premiere, “Together Again and Again” Denise drops out of college and we see pregnant Sondra, as the house gets full again. In “Move It,” everyone wants Sondra and Elvin to move out and get their own house. In the next episode, “Out of Brooklyn,” Denise announces she is going to Africa to travel. Then we have the one-hour episode, “The Birth,” where Sondra goes into labor and has twins. Clair goes on a secret diet to fit into a new dress in “If the Dress Fits, Wear It.” Vanessa and Rudy drive their parents crazy with their constant bickering, in “A Room with no View.”
Some very notable guest stars for season five include John Amos (Good Times, Men in Trees) in “The Physical,” L. Scott Caldwell (Lost) in “Out of Brooklyn,” Stephen Culp (Desperate Housewives, Traveler) in “The Birth,” Naomi Campbell as Julia (multiple episodes), Betty Carter in “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?,” Debbie Allen & Ahmad Rashad in “If the Dress Fits, Wear It,” Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy) in “The Lost Weekend,” Sammy Davis, Jr. in “No Way, Baby,” Harrold Perrineau Jr. (Lost) in “The Dead End Kids Meet Dr. Lotus,” Vanessa A. Williams as Jade (multiple episodes), Tichina Arnold in “Theo’s Women,” Placido Domingo in “Birthday Blues,”
Recurring guest stars include Theo’s friends Michelle Thomas Justine, Reno Wilson as Howard, and Troy Winbush as Denny; Rudy’s friend Peter Costa played by Peter Chiara, Vanessa’s friends Kara and Janet played by Elizabeth Narvaez & Pam Potillo; Clarice Taylor playing Cliff’s mother Anna Huxtable, Earle Hyman playing Cliff’s father Russell Huxtable, and Deon Richmond as “Bud” (aka Kenny), another of Rudy’s friends.
The packaging is similar to seasons three and four -- we get an outer box with three slim cases! That is better, I think than the digipaks from season’s one and two. The box art is very simple and not as good as the first two sets, but similar to seasons three & four. It is a plain looking and has a photo of just Cliff with him pointing to a notepad in his doctor’s uniform. It would have been better to match each set with the opening credit’s style. The color scheme is white and green. 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. 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 six’s set also coming out this day.
The artwork on the disc is the same really as the box cover and the slim cases cover, except no photo of Cosby. There is no artwork inside the slim cases, just a plain black background. Disc one holds episodes 1-8 from this season, disc two holds episodes 9-17 from this season and disc three holds episodes 18-25 from this season.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very nice again, like seasons three and four were. If you read my reviews of those two sets, 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 five theme playing in the background. The color of the menu matches the packaging, with green/white 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 closing theme song is 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 “The Birth” 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 seasons three & four. The video is crisp and clear, but it has some debris from time to time, though it is not bad at all. 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 unedited seasons thereafter, and this set is no different! We get season five all unedited just as it aired on NBC! The episodes primarily run around 23-24. The highest on this set is 24:09 (besides the one-hour episode that runs 47:14) and the lowest is 23:09. The episode runtimes per disc are listed below:
1. “Together Again and Again” 24:09
2. “The Physical” 24:08
3. “Rudy’s All-Nighter” 23:08
4. “Move It” 24:08
5. “Out of Brooklyn” 23:09
6. “The Birth” 47:14
7. “Cyranoise De Bergington” 24:08
8. “How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?” 23:38
9. “If the Dress Fits, Wear It” 23:39
10. “Is There a Hamster in the House?” 24:08
11. “Cliff Babysits” 24:08
12. “Truth or Consequences” 24:08
13. “Lost Weekend” 24:08
14. “Mrs. Huxtable Goes to Kindergarten” 23:28
15. “Dead End Kids Meet Dr. Lotus” 23:38
16. “Can I Say Something?” 24:07
17. “No Way, Baby” 23:38
18. “It Comes and It Goes” 24:08
19. “The Boys of Winter” 23:38
20. “Theo’s Women” 24:09
21. “Birthday Blues” 24:08
22. “A Room with No View” 23:38
23. “What He Did for Love” 24:09
24. “Day of the Locusts” 24:09
25. “57 Varieties” 23:08
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 seasons three & four. It is really a shame because all of the cast would love to do some interviews. The kids from the show hosted a Nick at Nite marathon earlier this year, 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, the transition from UrbanWorks to FirstLook starting with season three continues to make this set go down a bit in quality. The packaging art was worse again, but the use of slim cases for this set was good, like seasons three & four. The menu screen might have been better or on par with the first two sets. There are no extras on this set again, so that drastically changes the difference between the first two sets and this one. Seasons three and four also didn’t have extras.
Anyway, at least the episodes are all unedited. So go out and buy this set and the season six set on the same day! Getting two classic seasons on one day is so cool. See also our season six review.