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Ellen - The Complete Season Four



DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006 (A&E Home Video)
MSRP: $49.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: approx. 9 hours and 35 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed captioned.
Special Features: Audio Commentary with writers of "The Puppy Episode" and Cast Biographies.


Multiple times Emmy-winner, Ellen Degeneres is back in ELLEN: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON, which includes all 25 episodes of this landmark series that, in this year, made entertainment history. DeGeneres plays Ellen Morgan, a neurotic book-store owner in California. She's surrounded by her zany friends, Spence (Emmy-winner Jeremy Piven) and Paige (Joely Fisher of "íTil Death") as well as her equally neurotic and zany co-workers, Joe (David Anthony Higgins) and Audrey (Clea Lewis). This season, Ellen goes through more of the motions: with her parents divorcing, going to therapy, going on a spiritual retreat and coming out as gay. Don't miss this hilarious and much talked about season of "Ellen."

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

"A Deer Head for Joe" in which Ellen resorts to desperate measures when Joe is fired. "Splitsville, Man" in which Ellen deals badly with her parents separating. "The Bubble Gum Incident" in which Paige seeks revenge at her and Ellen's 25th camp reunion. "Kiss My Bum" in which Ellen unknowingly invites a homeless man to Thanksgiving dinner. "Joe's Kept Secret" in which Joe reveals he's dating an older woman. "Ellen Unplugged" is the one in which Ellen lives a childhood fantasy of hers. "The Puppy Episode" the two-part episode in which Ellen famously comes out as gay. "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" in which Ellen hilariously tries to tell her parents she's gay.

Notable guests this season include author Anne Rice, country-singer Trisha Yearwood, Martha Stewart (again), Bonnie Raitt, Laura Dern, Oprah Winfrey, Florence Henderson, Queen Latifah, Sheryl Crow, Demi Moore, Gina Gershon, Melissa Etheridge, Harriet Sansom Harris, Lyle Waggoner and more!


The cover art is blue this time (Orange in Season 1, Yellow in Season 2 and Green in Season 3). It features pretty much the exact same design as before: a large photo of Ellen with the cast from that season (Paige, Spence, Ellen, Joe and Audrey). The case is a slip sleeve that includes three individual cases with the three discs in each of them. The cases themselves have the exact same design as the main cover art. The back of those cases list the episodes on that disc as well as a very brief episode description. The discs themselves are blue in color and with no pictures. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-9. Disc 2 contains Episodes 10-17 and Disc 3 contains Episodes 18-25.

Menu Design and Navigation:

Well, like the first three releases, the menu is identical, except for the coloring and the picture, which is identical to the box the set, came in. The theme loops in the background. There's a "Play All" option as well as an "Episodes" selection option that takes you to another screen to select the episode you want to watch. Nothing more and nothing less, simple and basic -- I like that.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio are both great. No complaints in that department. It has closed captioning but no subtitles, either in English or Spanish or any language for that matter. Each episode runs around 22 minutes in length (is probably unedited, but not sure), as shown below, although episode #15, Makin' Whoopie is at a surprisingly low 20 minutes. Chapter skips are available on each episode.

Disc 1:
1- Give Me Equity or Give Me Death (22:38)
2- A Deer Head for Joe (22:21)
3- Splitsville, Man (22:22)
4- The Parent Trap (22:22)
5- Looking Out for Number One (22:22)
6- The Bubble Gum Incident (23:01)
7- Harold and Ellen (22:22)
8- Not So Great Expectations (22:22)
9- The Pregnancy Test (22:22)

Disc 2:
10- Kiss My Bum (22:22)
11- Bowl, Baby, Bowl (22:22)
12- Fleas Navidad (22:19)
13- Alone Again ... Naturally (22:22)
14- Joe's Kept Secret (22:22)
15- Makin' Whoopie (20:57)
16- Ellen Unplugged (22:22)
17- Ellen's Deaf Comedy Jam (22:21)

Disc 3:
18- Hello, Dalan (22:22)
19- Secrets & Ellen (21:32)
20- Reversal of Misfortune (21:52)
21- The Clip Show Patient (21:51)
22- The Puppy Episode, Part 1 (23:32)
23- The Puppy Episode, Part 2 (23:22)
24- Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (22:22)
25- Moving On (22:22)

Special Features:

Well, Season's 1 & 2 brought us commentary tracks and Season 3 brought us a gag reel. Season 4 again brings us commentary tracks (just one), but no actors are involved, just production. No offense to them but I'd rather hear actors comment on the show. Oh, there are again cast biographies, nice but I don't know if I'd call them a "special feature."

* Audio commentary with the writers of the "The Puppy Episode" 2-part episode.

Final Comments:

Nice seven month wait between releases. Beats the year we had to wait between Season 2 and Season 3! As usual, A&E does a great job; another solid release. I like the fact that each set is similar to the other -- I don't know, I just like continuity. Hard to believe one more season to go (which will be released in November!) and we're done. After four seasons, I really don't have much more to say! I love that commentaries are back (no cast-members, just production). Oh, on that note, I'm sure the actors would be more than willing to do commentaries! So get them! Especially Ellen! And A&E, please listen to me and decrease the price! $50 is still WAY too much for a set like this.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 (Shawn Eaton) on 09/20/06

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