TITLE: TWO AND A HALF MEN - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON
DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008 (Warner Home Video)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 527 minutes
Total Running Time of Special Features: 10 minutes, 22 seconds
Audio: Dolby Digital English...plus Portuguese!
Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese; Closed Captioned
Bonus Features: Gag Reel
Season 3 of Two and a Half Men -- still the highest rated comedy on TV -- is now on DVD! Let’s be honest here, this show is pretty much just a television vehicle that allows Charlie Sheen to be Charlie Sheen. There isn’t a whole lot of distance between Charlie and his character on this show. Personally, I think that’s what makes this show so entertaining -- it’s pretty much just Charlie being Charlie. In this season, as always, a drop-dead gorgeous parade of women marches in and out of the Harpers’ Malibu beach house, but the warm heart of the series remains the makeshift family that calls the beach house home -- Charlie, his fussy chiropractor brother Alan (Jon Cryer), and Alan’s young son Jake (Angus T. Jones). This season Charlie romances a beautiful ballet dancer, Alan dates a 22-year-old cutie as well as...his domineering ex-wife?? And wedding bells ring as well.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
One of the remarkable things about this show is that pretty much EVERY episode has a consistent quality -- there are no valleys in terms of the quality of the entertainment. In the season premiere, Alan falls off the roof, meaning someone needs to watch Jake. Charlie is more than thrilled to volunteer, until the responsibility starts to get in his way. In “Carpet Burns and a Bite Mark,” Charlie discovers that Alan and Judith have begun to date again. In the episode “Something Salted and Twisted” Alan starts dating a woman who for all intents and purposes is a Martha Stewart clone. Very soon after, she is taken complete control of the house obsessed with neatness and order to the point that it even drives Alan berserk.
In terms of guest stars -- In “Hi, Mr. Horned One” Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Nash Bridges, Prison Break) plays Isabella. In “The Unfortunate Little Schnauzer” Jon Lovitz (Saturday Night Live, The Critic, NewsRadio) guests. A grown up and now stunning Josie Davis (Sarah on Charles in Charge) guest stars in “Santa’s Village of the Damned.” In “Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Burro” TV’s Hercules -- Kevin Sorbo -- appears. TV veteran Gail O’Grady guest stars in two episodes.
Fans of the show should be very used to the packaging by now -- which is of course the standard issue Digipak used for nearly ALL Warner titles. Artwork features a dark green background, with lighter green vertical stripes and the occasional groups of diamonds. Show logo is in the top right corner of the box art. The cast do the general standing together pose that studios use when they can’t find another picture better suited for a cover. There’s nothing wrong with it -- it’s just generic. The front cover of the inner package uses the same art. The discs, meanwhile, feature a different photo on each disc. Disc 1 features a variant from the same photo shoot -- with Charlie much happier in this photo. Discs 2-4 each feature a cast member solo -- Charlie on Disc 2, Alan (Jon Cryer) on Disc 3, and Jake (Angus T. Jones) on the fourth and final discs. For a listing of which episodes are on which disc, see the runtimes a bit farther down in the review.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are, as always, simple -- but effective. The shot from the front cover is recycled here, with the menu options appearing down the right side. The 20 second version of the main theme plays in the background. Episode selection features a group of still images from various episodes down the left side, with the episode titles in center-right. Languages menu is reversed, and are placed on a strip that runs down center-left, with still images down the right.
Video and Audio Quality:
The thing about reviewing modern shows is that this section becomes INCREDIBLY easy to write -- there hasn’t been sufficient time for deterioration to occur, and filming in HD affords the episodes increases in video quality not possible with standard definition source footage. There is only one little thing that can occur with newer footage -- and older footage as well. Compression effects can occasionally cause just a little excess noise in the video, which is what occurs here. On older TVs and smaller TVs, you’re not going to notice a thing. Only on nicer, larger sets. But it’s still a small issue so I wanted to bring it to light. It shouldn’t detract from your viewing in the least though. In regards to the audio: If you’re fluent in Portuguese, you’ll love this set. Not only are there Portuguese subtitles -- but there’s a Portuguese audio track as well! Too bad I don’t understand nearly any of the language. The English audio track is fine -- no complaints. Chapter stops at the end of each scene. Play All is available from the main menu.
Weekend in Bangkok with Two Olympic Gymnasts: 22:01
Principal Gallagher’s Lesbian Lover: 22:02
Carpet Burns and a Bite Mark: 22:03
Your Dismissive Attitude Towards Boobs: 22:01
We Called It Mr. Pinky: 21:56
Hi, Mr. Horned One: 21:56
Sleep Tight, Pudding’ Pop: 22:01
That Voodoo That I Do Do: 21:56
Madame and Her Special Friend: 21:57
Something Salty and Twisted: 22:02
Santa’s Village of the Damned: 22:03
That Special Tug: 22:03
Humiliation is a Visual Medium: 22:02
Love Isn’t Blind, It’s Retarded: 22:00
My Tongue is Meat: 22:03
Ergo, The Booty Call: 22:01
The Unfortunate Little Schnauzer: 21:44
The Spit-Covered Cobbler: 21:56
Golly Moses, She’s a Muffin: 22:02
Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Burro: 21:45
And the Plot Moistens: 21:49
Just Once with Aunt Sophie: 22:03
Arguments for the Quickie: 22:03
The Pistol-Packin’ Hermaphrodite: 21:57
Gag Reel (10:22): It’s a gag reel -- I’m a fan of bloopers so this is always a welcome sign. Good times.
My only complaint is simple: Why is this the ONLY feature included? Surely they could include more than this. I know 4 months isn’t a long window from release to release, but something else could have been found in addition to this, I’d think. Original CBS promos? Interviews?
This is a great show -- and the episodes are consistently funny from program to program. The single, solitary detraction of the set IS the special features -- they were present but a bit sparse last time. This time they’ve found a way to shrink even more -- were it not for the bloopers, there’d be nothing at all. That’s a shame.
Luckily, *I* care most with TV DVD about the episodes themselves, and all episodes here are complete and edit free. I’ll gladly take that as a victory and be happy. Wholeheartedly recommend this set.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3.5/5
Special Features: 1/5
Final Score: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 05/03/08...happy birthday Grandma!
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