Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Dynasty - The Third Season, Volume One (June 17)

Welcome to another edition of mini-DVD reviews. This week we take a look at CBS DVD's Dynasty - The Third Season, Volume One. Dynasty is of course the primetime soap that was a bit hit for many years and it was so addictive! The tale of the Carrington family is so rich and interesting. We previously did full reviews of the first two seasons of Dynasty and are now moving further Dynasty reviews to our blog reviews on Saturdays...so it won't be as detailed, but we'll still cover everything Dynasty fans. See my mini-DVD review of Dynasty - The Third Season, Volume One:

Dynasty - The Third Season, Volume One (CBS DVD, $39.99) brings us the first 12 episodes of the third season of the mega-hit series Dynasty on a 3-disc set! John Forsythe, Linda Evans and Joan Collins continue to heat up the show as Jack Coleman (replacing Al Corley) and Gordon Thomson join the cast for season three. This is the season where it moved from the top 20 to the top 5 in the ratings. Seasons 3-6 all were in the time of the height of the popularity. The series lasted 9 seasons on ABC, from 1981-89. In this third season, CBS DVD is only giving us half the episodes on this set. The second half of the season will be released at a later date on the volume two set of the third season. I don't understand why they are doing this. The show only had 24 episodes for season three...it's not like it was over 30 or 35. I think they should split up a season if it is over like 34 or 35 episodes. Now we have to wait more just to finish a season. Shame on you CBS DVD! The second season was a nice 6-disc set for 22 episodes, so they are splitting them up into two volumes just because this season has two extra episodes? Seasons 4-7 have a lot of episodes though: 27, 29, 31, 28...I guess that is the reason they started this? But why not wait until season 4 or 5? The last two seasons have 22 each.
Each episode on this set is between 47-48 minutes (no higher or lower), with most in the 47:30 range. Nearly every CBS DVD has a disclaimer on the back of the box saying, "Some episodes maybe be edited from their original network versions." So there is a chance something could be edited, but I didn't see anything, as the runtimes were fairly consistent. There are 6 chapter stops each for every episode, counting the opening and closing credits stops. The video is on par with the previous season and it looks great. Just some debris here and there on the opening credits, like flashing black dots, but it is still good quality. The audio is decent, a nice sounding mono...that is crisp and clear.
Packaging is a snap case holding three discs inside, sort of similar to the second season DVD. No, the discs don't overlap each other. Each disc has its own little holder. The cover art of the case has a nice shot of Krystle, Blake and Alexis. The back of the case has synopsis of the show, the set, and technical information. A nice shot of the supporting cast and some screen shots are also present. Back inside, there is a disc by disc breakdown on the left and right panel. We get episode title, original airdate, and a long synopsis of each episode. Don't be reading it before watching the episode! Artwork on the discs is not that good. It is plain silver for each one. Dynasty logo and whatever disc number it is, is on the disc, similar to the second season DVD again. Each disc holds four episodes.
CBS DVD is terrible in menus, as you all know. Each menu has different artwork but it is so plain. The episodes are listed right on the main menu once again, as with the second season DVD. Set Up option is also available. In Set Up, we can have English or Espanol languages and subtitles. Main menu artwork has three shots of the same image. Disc 1 has the same photo from the cover art; disc 2 has another photo of Krystle, Blake and Alexis; and disc 3 has Krystle and Blake only. No theme music or anything in the background.
We get no special features at all! Even the second season had a little family tree thing. Nothing here. First season was done by 20th Century Fox, and they did a decent job with some featurettes and commentaries. CBS DVD is doing nothing.
Despite just the first 12 episodes of the third season and no extras, I still highly do recommend any fan of the show to pick-up this set. If you have the first two seasons, then you have to get this to continue your collection. If you haven't gotten those yet, what are you waiting for? One thing is that CBS DVD works pretty fast with most of their releases, so you better hurry. I'm just mad we have to wait a few more months or so probably to just see the next half of the season. It is even worse that this show is very serialized so it makes people not want to wait. I've made it obvious I don't like the change in splitting up the seasons into volumes, but CBS DVD seems to do that with a lot of their hour shows like The Love Boat, Perry Mason and so on. It is too bad, because it should only really be done if it is like over 35 episodes. I think they are just trying to get more money, come on $39.99 for 12 episodes and NO extras? Still, I urge fans to buy it so we keep getting more sets. But complain to CBS DVD for the lack of extras and splitting the seasons in half. Anyway, betrayal and revenge are some of the things you'll see in this first half of season three!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Dynasty TV.com Page

See our Full DVD Reviews of Seasons 1 and 2:
Season 1
Season 2

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