TITLE: WEBSTER - SEASON TWO
Release Date: May 10, 2011 (Shout! Factory)
Color / 1984-1985, 1987
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 600 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Subtitles and Captioning: Closed-Captioned
Special Features: None
Yippee! Webster Long is back for the second season of the pop-culture classic 80s series Webster, in Webster - Season Two. Webster is the story of a newly married (but older) couple getting married and coming back from their honeymoon to find a surprise: they have a seven-year-old boy waiting to live with them. He's black and they're white, but that difference never seems to play much of a role in the household.
Changes are on the way in the second season, the Papadapolis family moves from their high-rise into an old Victorian house owned by another couple, Bill and Cassie Parker (Eugene Roche and Cathryn Damon). Faced with a cliffhanger from the first season, George and Katherine's days of being Webster's guardian could be at risk when Webster's uncle attempts to gain custody of Webster, but considering that is only the beginning of the second season, surely something will happen to keep Webster in their custody. Find out the answer to that question and more in Webster - Season Two.
The season kicks off with the second and third parts of the cliffhanger from the first season, "Webster Long," where Webster comes to the center of a custody battle between the Papadapolis' and his Uncle Phillip (Ben Vereen). James Avery also guest stars. Harold Gould guest stars as a former magician that Webster tries to get back into the biz in "The Great Walnutto." In "Knock, Knock," George and Katherine find Webster in a potentially intimate moment with his girlfriend. The apartment catches on fire in "Burn-Out." In "Moving On," the family has to find a new place to live, and end up in an old Victorian house. Frank Gifford guest stars in "You Can't Go Home Again," where George attempts to relive his old football days by getting back into the game.
It's a not-so-happy Thanksgiving for Katherine and her mother in "Thanksgiving Show." Did God take Webster's parents away? That is the impression he gets from a pastor in "God Bless the Child." Webster might just be too smart for his teacher in "Too Much Class," where he gets moved to a class for gifted children. Webster reveals one of Katherine's secrets in "To Tell the Truth," on television. Katherine fights to save Webster's favorite diner in "Katherine Fights City Hall." In "It's a Dog's Life," Uncle Phillip buys Webster a dog... but fails to inform George and Katherine.
Bill and Cassie's estranged daughter returns in "Runaway." In "Keep on Truckin' Papa," the entire family is trying to find a job for George's out-of-work father. The series deals with a substitute teacher who may have bad motives towards children in "The Uh-Oh Feeling." Meredith MacRae guest stars. Webster makes plans to have Diahann Carroll sing in a school fundraiser in "Strike Up the Band." Does baby make four? Find out in the two-part episode "In the Family Way," where Katherine finds out another Papadapolis may be in the oven. Is it art or is it garbage? Webster thinks Uncle Phillip's tin sculpture is garbage (and throws it away) in "What is Art?"
A camp out ends with a battle between friends in the episode: "Best of Friends." In "It's Academic," Katherine has a crush on a college professor. Practical jokes keep going one step further between George and Bill in "Be it Ever So Humble." Webster makes a shocking discover in "The Best Thing I Can Be," where he discovers that he is short! The final two episodes in the set, the two-part episode "Blast From The Past," was unaired during the original airing of the series (airing two years later in syndication), and have Webster getting trapped in a secret room with no apparent exit.
Most of the episodes on the set appear to be unedited, running around 23:30, but a few are a little shorter. The one that concerns me the most is the episode "Moving On," which runs at 22:32. This seems abnormally low, and the episode is also missing the opening teaser, although it DOES have the full version of the theme song (as opposed to the syndicated version). Still, I can't say definitively whether or not anything is missing, as some episodes simply didn't have the teasers. Runtimes for each episode are as follows:
1. "Webster Long: Part 2" (23:40)
2. "Webster Long: Part 3" (23:38)
3. "The Great Walnutto" (23:39)
4. "Knock, Knock" (23:33)
5. "Burn-Out" (23:34)
6. "Moving On" (22:32)
7. "You Can't Go Home Again" (23:15)
8. "The Thanksgiving Show" (23:36)
9. "God Bless the Child" (23:09)
10. "Too Much Class" (23:38)
11. "To Tell the Truth" (23:36)
12. "Katherine Fights City Hall" (23:34)
13. "It's a Dog's Life" (23:05)
14. "Runaway" (23:35)
15. "Keep on Truckin' Papa" (23:34)
16. "The Uh-Oh Feeling" (23:35)
17. "Strike Up the Band" (23:35)
18. "In the Family Way: Part 1" (23:36)
19. "In the Family Way: Part 2" (23:35)
20. "What is Art?" (23:35)
21. "Best of Friends" (23:20)
22. "It's Academic" (23:35)
23. "Be it Ever So Humble" (23:33)
24. "The Best Thing I Can Be" (23:34)
25. "Blast from the Past: Part 1" (23:35)
26. "Blast from the Past: Part 2" (23:36)
As with the first season packaging, the set comes packaged in a Viva-case. The cover art has a photo of Webster by himself (again) and the back has a brief synopsis of the series and the second season. There are also several episode snapshots on the back of the case. Inside, there is a listing of all of the episodes and original airdates on the sides of the case, but no episode booklet is included this time. Disc 1 has a photo of Webster on it, Disc 2 has a photo of George, Disc 3 has a photo of Katherine, and Disc 4 has all three of them together. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-7, Disc 2 contains episodes 8-13, Disc 3 contains episodes 14-20, and Disc 4 contains episodes 21-26.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus on the set are the same as the menus from the first season, which is good for consistency. The main menu begins with a brief scene from an episode on each disc, and then options are presented for Play All and Episodes. Selecting Episodes will take you to a menu that lists all of the episodes on the disc. There are chapters placed throughout each episode at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
The episodes look and sound great, with no real problems that can be noted. It is actually somewhat surprising given how old the series is. Everything looks rather crisp and clear without, although as was the case with the first season, some of the colors are a little washed out. The audio is presented in mono, and is more than adequate for the series. Closed-captioning is available for all of the episodes.
Sadly, no special features are included at all this time. Literally, there is nothing. I wish that they could have included some interviews with the cast members. None were included on the first season, and none are included on this set, either.
I never would have imagined this series coming to DVD, but in just the past six months, we've already gotten both the first AND second seasons, and the third season is already announced for a release in August! It appears that Shout! Factory is serious about getting this series released, and that is great news for fans of this pop-culture series. They have been doing a decent job with quality on these sets, but the very minimal special feature on the first season and total lack of special features on this set is a little disappointing. Still, for a series that many people never thought would make it to DVD in the first place, it is great that the series is even on DVD. This is truly one of those rare gems that earns a place in your heart.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 05/09/11
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