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The Doris Day Show - Season Four


TITLE: THE DORIS DAY SHOW - SEASON FOUR


Info:

DVD Release Date: February 27, 2007 (MPI Home Video)
Color/1971-1972
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 690 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English subtitles
Special Features: Doris Day on “The Pet Set;” Doris Day Animal Shelter Commercial; Doris Day Fashion Show Outtakes; Cast Interviews; Season 5 Preview; Special Footage; Movie Trailer


Introduction:

Doris Day is back yet again for another season of The Doris Day Show, the series from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s that didn't really have a consistent plot throughout the seasons, but starred Doris Day. In the first season, Doris lived on a farm with her father-in-law and two sons; in the second season, she still lived on the farm, but took a job in San Francisco; in the third season, she moved to San Francisco and took her kids with her. Now, there is yet another change in this season. She is mysteriously now a single woman living in San Francisco with no children. Also gone this season is McLean Stevenson and Rose Marie. Now, Doris works for Cy Bennett (played by John Dehner) and her co-worker is Jackie Parker (played by Jackie Joseph).


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The fourth season begins with “... And Here's Doris,” where Doris needs to get an interview with a talk show host. How does she accomplish this? By being a guest on his show! Don't worry though, it isn't anything like Maury or Jerry Springer. In “The People's Choice,” Mr. Jarvis decides to run for city council, and Doris gets to be his campaign manager. Doris has to write an article about a dating service in “A Fine Romance,” and what better way to get the story than to try using the service?

Doris takes a trip to England in “To England With Doris” in order to get the rights to a book, but she might just find romance in England too. Doris gets taken hostage by international terrorists—and it isn't the first time this has happened in the series either—in “The Sheik of Araby.” Doris finds a new love interest, and he has an MD, in “Doris and the Doctor.” Santa Claus may have just committed a murder, and Doris might be next in “Whodunnit, Doris?” As a side note, this is one of the most bizarre episodes of a sitcom that I have ever seen. Just so you know, there really IS a murder in this episode and the episode treats the whole thing as if it is funny... oh well.

Doris becomes a nurse (temporarily) assisting her new boyfriend in “Doris At Sea.” In “The Blessed Event,” Doris hears that Angie is expecting, and Doris plans a baby shower for her. The only problem is that what Angie is expecting is for her dog to have puppies.


Packaging:

The packaging is pretty much the same as the packaging for the previous Doris Day sets. Basically, we have an outer box (it is pink this time) with Doris on the front of the box and a description of the season on the back of the box. Inside, we have a four panel digipak that holds all of the discs and also contains a listing of all of the episodes, complete with descriptions and original airdates. The disc artwork contains various snapshots from the episodes in the season. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-7, Disc 2 contains 8-14, Disc 3 contains 15-21, and Disc 4 contains 22-24 as well as the special features.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu on each disc is pretty basic, with the same music playing in the background that was playing in the background on the season 3 set and a snapshot of Doris. The options on the main menu are Play All, Episodes, Subtitles, and (on Disc 4) Bonus Features. There is not really much to say about the menus, because the submenus are very basic and you just select what you want from them. One problem that continues on this set (and has been a problem on all of these Doris Day sets) is the fact that when you play an episode and the episode ends, the next episode starts playing, instead of going back to the main menu or episode menu. Chapters are not placed in the episodes at all.


Video and Audio Quality:

As much as I hate to say this, I was very disappointed with the video quality on some of the episodes. While I wouldn't say that video quality is a serious problem throughout the set, there are some parts in some episodes where the cast members appeared to have green skin. Certainly anybody could watch the episode and not miss a thing if they just ignore the problematic colors on the set, but it is pretty annoying to see the colors so messed up. Honestly, I don't feel that MPI is to blame for this (because let's face it, this is an old show that has been sitting on the shelf for a long time, and MPI isn't a major production company that is producing films with actors like Tom Cruise every year, which means that they don't have the resources to get these episodes to perfection), but it is still somewhat annoying. No need to worry too much though, because this isn't a problem that is prevalent throughout the set. As far as the audio is concerned, it isn't great, but it isn't as bad as the video either. It is just a simple mono audio track, with English subtitles available for those requiring those.

Now, as for the big (well, not really that big, but there has been some) debate over the episodes, and whether or not they are edited. The episodes run at roughly 23:30 per episode, which has led some people to speculate that the episodes are syndicated versions of the episodes. I mentioned this in the review of season 3, and the producer of the DVD set responded saying that he can assure all viewers that the episodes are the original and unedited versions of the series. I believe that the producer of the set knows what he is talking about, and is most likely correct about this. One thing that I've noticed in these claims that some have made that the episodes are edited is that not a single person has ever mentioned specifically what is missing from the episodes, so based upon this information, I feel comfortable with saying that these are unedited episodes of the series, and if anybody believes that I (as well as the DVD producer) am wrong, they really need to provide evidence.


Special Features:

MPI never ceases to amaze me with the bonus features that they include on these Doris Day sets. Once again, they did an impressive job in this area. As has been the case with all previous sets, these can all be found on Disc 4.

The first bonus feature is one that not only will fans of Doris Day enjoy, but any fan of classic television might enjoy. It is an episode of the series “The Pet Set,” (23:02) a very rare talk show about pets from 1971 that was hosted by classic TV legend Betty White. In this particular episode, her guests include Doris Day and some of her best friends—her dogs! And as many dogs as she brings on with her, she mentions that she didn't even bring all of them. The video quality on this isn't that great, but then again, who would have ever anticipated this being viewed by anybody 36 years later?

Next, we have a commercial from the 1970s where Doris Day promotes adopting animals from an animal shelter (1:02). The commercial is pretty much self-explanatory, and it was shot on the set of The Doris Day Show.

There are plenty of fashion show outtakes (36:40) on the set. You are probably wondering exactly what I mean by fashion show outtakes, and in all honesty, I'm not sure what the purpose of all of this footage was. There were episodes of the series where Doris was a fashion model (only as a fill-in), but I don't think there would be over a half hour worth of outtake just for that. Additionally, the opening credits for this season have Doris acting as a fashion model, and these outtakes are similar to the opening credits, so I'm thinking that is what these clips were from. But why so many outtakes? I'm sure there is a better explanation (maybe this was some promotional thing for the show?), and it would have been nice if MPI had made that clear. But regardless, it is nice to have this feature.

There are interviews on the set with Jackie Joseph (16:34) and Kaye Ballard (12:02). These are both very interesting interviews to watch, and both actresses bring up the awkward shifts that took place throughout the series, where things would change every season of the show. It was nice to finally see somebody acknowledge this, because every season of this show that I watch seems like a totally different series! While these interviews are interesting, it would be nice to have an interview with Doris herself! She has been out of the public spotlight for a very long time, and it would be nice to hear from her. Supposedly, though, Doris hated doing the show, so I guess I can understand why she wouldn't want to participate in these sets.

There is a preview of season 5 (3:38) where, as one would expect, gives a preview of the fifth season of the show, which is also the final season of the show. Hopefully MPI will get this out soon to complete the series!

Next, there is special footage from the show (1:31)... basically, these are sponsorship tags from the show, with an announcer saying “The Doris Day Show has been brought to you by...” and then promoting the sponsors. The sponsors include lots and lots of brands that'll keep you clean, such as Bold (laundry detergent), Zest, Prell, Secret, Downy, and Kraft (okay, so maybe Kraft won't keep you clean).

Finally, like every other Doris Day set, there is a movie trailer that really has nothing to do with the series but has a lot to do with Doris Day. This time, it is a trailer for the movie “Twinkle and Shine,” which starred Doris Day and Jack Lemmon. Even though these might seem a little out of place on the sets to some, it is still interesting to see these old movie trailers. The way these things were done back in the older days of movies was much different than today's movie trailers, as these all include an announcer telling you key things about the plot, with extended clips from the movie and plenty of text on the screen—nothing like the movie trailers of today where you see very short clips with lots of action and think to yourself, “what is this movie even about?”


Final Comments:

I'm not going to lie, this was a very weird season of the show. I think they had the format perfected in either the second or third season, and probably should have stopped making changes then, because completely eliminating the children without any explanation is very peculiar. Still, as weird as this season was, it was still interesting to watch, and it really helps this set that MPI takes the time to invest in quality DVD sets with plenty of bonus features to keep the viewer occupied for a while. So if you started collecting these Doris Day sets already, you'll want to get this one, otherwise I'd say to start with one of the other ones first! This isn't a bad season, just a very strange one.


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

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 01/27/07

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000K7VL4M/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=193004


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