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Dawson's Creek - The Complete Fourth Season



DVD Release Date: October 5, 2004
Color/999 mins.
MSRP: $49.95
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 23
Audio Tracks: English, English w/Commentary
Subtitles: Spanish, Portuguese
Closed Captioned
Special Features Include:
*Audio Commentary for select episodes with executive producer Paul Stupin
*Trivia Game
*Columbia Tri-Star DVD Release Trailers


Dawson’s Creek returns for a fourth season on DVD starring the lovely Katie Holmes as Joey.

Season four has many good episodes. Let's start with the big one, Episode 22, "The Graduate". Considering the main crux of this show was always them in high school, this episode's a biggie. Working backwards to the start of the season, memorable episodes include "Coming Home", where Joey and Pacey return from having been together out at sea for the summer," The two Gentlemen of Capeside", where Dawson puts aside his grudge against Pacey to save his life when his boat gets stuck out to sea in a storm, "Promicide", the prom episode, A Winter's Tale, where Pacey and their relationship, and Coda, where Dawson leaves for college in California. There's really no special guest stars, so, on with the review.


Packaging is your standard four-disc unfolding setup, as is the norm for Columbia Tri-star releases with 3 or more discs (although they are starting to change that). The first thing you'll notice is that, immediately upon opening the setup, the episode card and promotional material - a $5 Rebate Offer with Purchase of BOTH the 3rd and 4th Season Dawson's Creek sets and the standard C-T DVD Releases insert - will come falling out of it's pocket in the packaging. This is really the only packaging flaw to be found in the set, though. Each Disc has a different actor in front of the waterfront, with Disc 1 having Dawson (James Van Der Beek), Disc 2 features Jen (Michelle Williams), Disc three has Pacey (Joshua Jackson), and Disc 4 features Joey (Katie Holmes) on the cover.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The intro to the four main menus (Disc 1's MM, Disc 2's MM, etc) is done well, with various fading shots of various characters, in front of a waterfront, with each main menu differing in the final cast member the intro stays on to lead into the main menu, as well as the actual tint of the menu itself. Disc 1's menu is orange-tinted, and features James Van Der Beek. Disc two goes with the blue tint, and features Katie Holmes. Disc three goes green, and has Josh Jackson. Finally, there's the yellow Disc Four menu with Michelle Williams. In the background of all four menus is just a little piece of music that, at least SOUNDS related to the show, but is neither the main theme, closing theme, nor the international theme, which, like for the season 3 set, was used as the main theme for this set.

Video and Audio Quality:

Episodes are presented in Standard 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio with Dolby Digital surround sound. Obviously, video deterioration isn't even a remote issue here, as these episodes are only a mere 3-4 years old. There are some digital compression artifacts on the discs, as there are six-ish hours of content per-disc. Audio's good too...nothing to complain about, nothing to praise heavily.

Special Features:

Special features for this set are somewhat sparse. There's a clip-laced Trivia game divided into various academic subcategories (Math, Film, etc). You really do these at your own pace, for your own length, making any estimate of length of feature for it irrelevant. There's also Audio Commentary from series Executive Producer Paul Stupin on two episodes, Coming Home, and The Graduate, and as there are on virtually EVERY Columbia Tri-Star release, Previews for their other DVD sets. This is fairly simple, but what do you expect for a Columbia Tri-Star release.

Final Comments:

Summary - There are two problems with this set, one of which won't interfere with your actual watching of the episodes themselves, and one of which you'll notice about two minutes into the first episode, if you still didn't know about already (it even says it's a special feature (Ha!) on the box). They replaced the main theme (I don't Want to Wait - Paula Cole) with the International Theme (Run Like Mad - Jann Arden). They also replaced a lot of the in-show music with other pieces. IF you can live with replaced music, then, there's no problem. But, if you're one of those individuals that wants their shows completely in-tact from their original airings, you're definitely not going to like the change.

Overall, it's a good set, but, it's missing a few things, mainly in the special features department. Perhaps, for the season five set, they could throw together some featurettes, and, audio commentary on more episodes, this time with actors from the series. Otherwise, it's still an ok set...If you’re a fan of the show, go ahead and pick it up. If you're new to the show and want to give it a try, I'd probably recommend renting it first to decide for you.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher (with help from Jon Kerrigan) on 10/03/04

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