TITLE: THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR - THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON
Release Date: April 19, 2011 (Warner Home Video)
Color / 1995-1996
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 542 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Subtitles and Captioning: English and French Subtitles
Special Features: None
It's a rap for the final season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! The NBC sitcom of the 90s that made Will Smith a household name finally comes to an end on DVD with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Sixth Season, a three disc set containing all of the final 24 episodes of the series about a guy named Will (Will Smith) who is sent to live with his aunty and uncle in Bel-Air after being up to no good in West Philadelphia. Big changes are coming for Will and the entire Banks family in the sixth season as everybody is growing up and the series comes to an end with a famous dry cleaning family deciding to "move on up" when the family home is put up for sale. Yo holmes, to Bel-Air we go!
The phrase "burnin' down the house" means just that in "Burnin' Down the House." In "Get a Job," Will has a date with the ugly sister of a famous comedian (played by Chris Rock). It's time for Uncle Phil to go on a diet in "Stress Related," so how exactly will he handle that? Will has to fill Carlton's role during a Princeton interview in "Bourgie Sings the Blues." Will causes trouble for Uncle Phil (as always) when he books a juror from one of his trials in "The Script Formerly Known As..." In "Not, I Barbecue," a double date for Will and Carlton turns into a single disaster. Will and Carlton are snooping in on Ashley with the home intercom in "Not With My Cousin You Don't," and the topic of her discussing is sex. Carlton keeps winning big in Vegas in "Viva Lost Wages," but high rollers can't always win, right?
A family Thanksgiving brings lessons to everybody (but not necessarily a good-feeling one for Will and Phil) in the two-part episode "There's the Rub." Hilary has decided that she wants to be a mother in "I, Ooh, Baby, Baby," but that can't possibly be a good idea, right? Will gets knocked out (as does his pride) by a gorgeous boxing instructor in "Boxing Helena." In "I, Clownius," Phil, Will, and Carlton are held hostage by a bomb-toting clown. Phil and Viv's marriage is on the rocks in the two-part episode "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," and it is up to Will and Carlton to play the love guru role. In "I, Bowl Buster," Carlton's dream comes true: he is accepted at Princeton. But why does he suddenly decide to become a pro bowler?
Geoffrey is greeted with a big surprise in "The Butler's Son Did It," but Will is skeptical. In "Hare Today...," the family minister decides to give one of his flock some special attention, and it is one of the Banks family members. Will takes a behind-the-scenes look at the series and bloopers in "I, Whoops, There It Is." In "I, Stank Horse," Carlton and Hilary do whatever they can to save an aging racehorse. Hilary gets a big gig (well, for a week) when she gets to host with Regis Philbin (in Kathie Lee Gifford's place) in "I, Stank Hole in One." William Shatner is a guest on Hillary's show in "Eye, Tooth," but anything that can go wrong possibly will. The series ends with the two-part episode "I, Done," where the mansion is for sale... but don't fret, the new owners, The Jeffersons (Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford) will take good care of the place.
Of course, the season contains many other guest stars aside from those mentioned, including Jaleel White, B.B. King, Wayne Newton, Zachery Ty Bryan, Joan Van Ark, Dick Clark, Kathie Lee Gifford, Arthel Neville, Conrad Bain, Gary Coleman, Marla Gibbs, and many more.
The episodes have varying runtimes, with most running around 22:30, but some running lower, even as low as 21:16 on episode 14. I don't think that there is anything to worry about, though, as the series had a few episodes that did run a little lower than normal. Runtimes for all of the episodes are as follows:
1. "Burnin' Down the House" (22:33)
2. "Get a Job" (22:16)
3. "Stress Related" (22:17)
4. "Bourgie Sings the Blues" (22:23)
5. "The Script Formerly Known As..." (22:32)
6. "Not, I Barbecue" (22:42)
7. "Not with My Cousin You Don't" (22:33)
8. "Viva Lost Wages" (21:43)
9. "There's the Rub, Part 1" (22:33)
10. "There's the Rub, Part 2" (22:33)
11. "I, Ooh, Baby, Baby" (22:33)
12. "Boxing Helena" (22:09)
13. "I, Clownius" (21:53)
14. "Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Part 1" (21:16)
15. "Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Part 2" (22:15)
16. "I, Bowl Buster" (22:08)
17. "The Butler's Son Did It" (22:33)
18. "Hare Today..." (22:33)
19. "I, Whoops, There It Is" (22:33)
20. "I, Stank Horse" (22:34)
21. "I, Stank Hole in One" (22:32)
22. "Eye, Tooth" (22:33)
23. "I, Done, Part 1" (22:25)
24. "I, Done, Part 2" (23:10)
Like other Warner Home Video releases, the set comes in a standard Viva-case packaged inside of a sturdy cardboard slipcover. The slipcover features a photo of Will on the front with a graffiti background and an orange color scheme for the season number bar on the top of the front cover. On the back, there is a photo of the entire cast, along with a description of the season. Inside, the Viva-case has the same artwork as the front of the slipcover on the front, and a different photo of Will on the back of the case. Inside, each disc has a snapshot of Will (same as the one on the cover art) along with the series logo. Each disc contains exactly eight episodes. Finally, there is an episode insert that contains writing credits, directing credits, original airdates, and episode descriptions for every episode contained on the set.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very standard, but nice looking and capable of serving their purpose. The main menu has a cast photo, with the theme song playing in the background, and options of Play, Episodes, and Languages. The Episodes option gives you a text listing of all of the episodes on the disc (four episodes are listed per screen) and Languages allows you to turn on English or French subtitles. Chapters are placed throughout all of the episodes at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality of the set is fairly standard, and there really isn't anything to complain about with it, aside from a few interlacing issues here and there. It isn't really all that bad, though. The audio is very loud and clear, with really nothing to complain about at all. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo sound. Additionally, each episode contains English and French subtitles.
There are no special features at all on this set, which is not unexpected, as that has been the case in previous sets as well. It would be nice to see Will Smith do some interviews on the set if a complete series set is ever released, but I seriously doubt we'll ever see that (although there was a good skit recently on Saturday Night Live advertising a complete series deluxe version of the series with Will Smith interviews, but sadly, that was only parody).
It is very rare that we see Warner finishing up any sitcom, but I am glad that they did with this one. This is certainly one of those series that fans have wanted to see make it to completion, and it is even better that we managed to get that without the series being sent to Warner Archive (which is a good idea for some series, but not for mainstream ones like this one). There really isn't anything to gripe about in regards to this set aside from the lack of special features. What I always liked about this show is that, to me, it never really seemed to have one of those "jump the shark" moments and stayed consistently good throughout the entire run. Of course, this is a series that either you like or you don't like, and if you haven't been interested in the previous sets, you won't be interested in this one... but if you have been interested in the previous sets, you'll want this one. So give yourself the royal treatment and take one last trip back to Bel-air, homey!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 04/18/11
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