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Frasier - The Complete Fourth Season



DVD Release Date: February 1, 2005 (Paramount Home Video)
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 23
Running Time: 9 hours and 13 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed captioned
Special Features: None


Emmy Award-winner Kelsey Grammer is Frasier - the hilarious psychiatrist first seen on TV's Cheers and subsequently the star of this smash-hit comedy series. Cupid's arrows fly in all directions in Season Four as romantic entanglements include Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and Daphne (Jane Leeves) as well as Martin (John Mahoney) and Sherry (Emmy-nominated guest star Marsha Mason). Frasier's scorecard is even more impressive: Frasier and a blind date arranged by Roz (Peri Gilpin); Frasier and a "mystery woman" who accidentally called his answering machine; and Fraiser and... KACL co-worker Gil Chesterton (Edward Hibbert)! (Well, via an unexpected dream.) And to top the whole season off, Eddie is treated by a psychiatrist for doggie depression. The laughs come fast and frequent in this 23-episode, four-disc collection.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Memorable episodes included "The Two Mrs. Cranes," in which Daphne's ex-fiancé Clive comes to visit. Martin misinterprets Frasier's polite compliment of a painting as genuine sincerity, prompting him to buy it for his son in "Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven." Roz decides to audition for a radio show when a slot opens up in "Roz's Turn." In "Ham Radio," Frasier's ambitious plans to put on a "classic" radio drama are foiled after the actors, perturbed by Frasier's tyrannical style, revolt. Niles seeks counsel from both Martin and Frasier when Maris serves him with divorce papers in "Are You Being Served?"

There were several notable season 4 (1996-97) guest stars. Bebe Neuwirth returns as Lilith in "A Lilith Thanksgiving." John Cusack appeared as Greg in "Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven." Marsha Mason guest starred as Sherry Dempsey, Martin's new girlfriend, in "Dad Loves Sherry, The Boys Just Whine" and in several other episodes. Jane Kaczmarek played Maureen Cutler in the same episode. Megan Mullally appears as Beth in "Four For The Seesaw." James Earl Jones was nominated for an Emmy for his role as Norman in "Roz's Krantz & Gouldenstein Are Dead." Dan Butler, who played Bulldog, was listed in the opening credits as a regular in the episodes he appeared in.


Paramount continues with the early seasons with this 4th season release after the 11th and final season was made available on DVD on November 16th, 2004. The DVD cover art box features the cast dressed in black formal wear. The background and overall theme for this set is light blue. Frasier is, once again, featured on the spine as he was on the season 11 set. There is the usual digipak casing if you've seen the previous 4 releases. The back of the digipak features a nice cast photo that includes Bulldog and lists the episode titles by disc. The inside of the digipak features large photos of the 5 main cast members. The actual discs have the same light blue background, with the Frasier logo and the episodes listed on them. Disc 1 has a photo of Niles and Frasier and includes episodes 1-6, Disc 2 pictures Lilith and Frasier and contains episodes 7-12, Disc 3 shows Roz and Frasier and offers episodes 13-18, and Disc 4 has a shot of Frasier and Eddie and contains episodes 19-23.

Menu Design and Navigation:

There is a single, simple menu on each disc. The menus have 2 photos with the episode titles in black that are highlighted with a box when you select them. Disc 1 has the same photo as the DVD cover art with a light blue background. Disc 2 has a photo of Niles with his bird on his head and another photo of Frasier at the radio station. Disc 3 has a photo of Niles with Daphne and another of Frasier with Niles. Disc 4 has Martin with Sherry (Marsha Mason) and another solo shot of Frasier. The first disc also has a previews option for some other Paramount releases. There is a Play All button and chapter stops within the episodes, but there is no sub-menu for scene selections.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality for this set is excellent. The episodes are only around 8-9 years old now, so they still look nice and crisp. The picture looks very sharp and the colors look vivid. The episodes are in their original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. The episodes are well spread out on the discs with no more than 6 per disc, so there is little or no compression problems. The audio is an English 2.0 Dolby Digital track. It's clean with no major issues. Closed captioning is available. The episodes all appear to be unedited running around 22 minutes and are in their original broadcast order.

Special Features:

Unfortunately, there are no special features for this set, as there had been for the previous 4 Frasier DVD releases. The suggested retail price on this set is lower than the other seasons, so that is probably a factor. It still would have been nice to see a few bloopers, audio commentaries, or featurettes. There are previews on the first disc for other Paramount DVD releases of the first seasons of Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Mork & Mindy.

Other Information:

This set includes a rebate offer request form. One offer is if you buy Frasier Season 4 plus any other complete season DVD box set of Frasier, Cheers, or Taxi - you can get $15 by mail. You just send the original cash register receipts or original packing slips and a proof of purchase coupon. U.S. residents will receive $15 while Canadian residents will receive $20 (CAN) back by mail. Requests must be received by May 30, 2005. You must make the purchases between February 1, 2005 and April 30, 2005 - the offer is not valid on prior purchases.

Final Comments:

Season 4 was another great year for Frasier, as it won their fourth consecutive Emmy for "Outstanding Comedy Series." This is another great set despite the lack of any special features. It has a lower suggested retail price, although I'm sure diehard fans of the show would gladly pay a few extra dollars for them to include more than just the episodes. Look for season 5 to be released in the spring and season 6 to be released in the summer.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4.7/5
Audio Quality: 4.6/5
Special Features: N/A
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 01/26/05

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