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Frasier - The Complete Fifth Season



DVD Release Date: June 7, 2005 (Paramount Home Video)
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: Approx. 9 hours
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. Sibling rivalry between Frasier and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) leads to some riotous cases of one-upsmanship in Season Five. Which of the two will find their father Martin (John Mahoney) the better birthday gift? Have an actual day named after them? And come out the winner as they vie for the same attractive woman? Meanwhile, Daphne (Jane Leeves) finds her favorite pub invaded by a familiar (and unwelcome) interloper; Roz (Peri Gilpin) is expecting a visit from the stork; and KACL's abrasive Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe becomes the hero of the day to all - all except Frasier, who knows the untold story! It's the fifth side-splitting season of Frasier - yours to enjoy in this 24-episode, four-disc collection.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Frasier finished the fifth season tied for 10th place in the Nielsen ratings with a 12.0 rating. The show would win the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series this season. This was the 5th consecutive year that the show won that award. Kelsey Grammer won for Outstanding Lead Actor and David Hyde Pierce took the honors for Outstanding Supporting Actor. Memorable episodes included "The Gift Horse," in which Frasier and Niles compete to buy their father the best birthday present. Everyone attends Niles' literary themed Halloween party, including Roz, who tells Frasier she may be pregnant in "Halloween." The Crane household and Daphne's good friend Annie take a weekend trip to a ski lodge, leading to romantic misunderstandings in "The Ski Lodge." In "Roz and the Schnoz," Roz is horrified to learn that Rick's family has a history of large noses. Tired of struggling to find dates, Frasier and Niles host a singles party that culminates with Roz giving birth in "The Life of the Party."

There were several notable season 5 (1997-98) guest stars. Sela Ward appeared as Kelly Easterbrook in "Frasier's Imaginary Friend." Camille Donatacci Grammer, Kelsey Grammer's wife, guest starred as Eve in "Halloween." Larry King appeared as himself in "My Fair Frasier." Lesley Stahl appeared as herself in "Desperately Seeking Closure." Bebe Neuwirth returns as Dr. Lilith Sternin in "Room Service." Marsha Mason returned in several episodes as Sherry Dempsey.


This set features very nice packaging, like all of the other Frasier releases. I like that all of the sets have had similar packaging, but different color themes and photos that make them unique. The DVD cover art features a photo of the cast including Bulldog and Eddie. The back of the box has 4 color photos of the cast and lists a summary of the set and the episode titles by disc. The overall color theme of this set is red and powder blue. Frasier is once again featured on the spine. The main digipak case slides out from the left of the main box. The back of the digipak has a photo of Niles, Martin, and Frasier making a toast. When you open the digipak, there is a photo of Frasier and Martin on one side, and a shot of Daphne, Roz, and Niles on the right side. There is a white and blue Seattle skyline drawing inside where the discs are held. Episode titles are listed on each disc. The actual discs have the Frasier logo and Seattle skyline with photos of the cast on them. Disc 1 has a photo of Niles and Frasier and includes episodes 1-6. Disc 2 pictures Frasier and Roz as Santa and Mrs. Claus and contains episodes 7-12. Disc 3 shows Frasier and Lilith and offers episodes 13-18. Disc 4 has a shot of Frasier, Martin, Bulldog, and Daphne (?) and contains episodes 19-24.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are very stylish, like the set in general. Each menu features a different color photo. Disc 1 has the same photo as the DVD cover art on the right hand side of the screen with the Frasier logo in red with the Seattle skyline in the light blue. The episode titles are listed vertically in black. Disc 2 has a color Frasier photo and various other blue shaded photos. The episode titles are listed horizontally at the bottom in two columns. Disc 3 has a photo of Niles with some blue shaed photos. The episode titles are listed on the right in one column. Disc 4 pictures Martin and Eddie at the bottom, with the episodes listed at the top vertically in two columns. There 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 are no sub-menus for scene selections.

Video and Audio Quality:

These episodes are fairly new, and only about 7-8 years old at this point. They look fantastic, as you probably would expect for such a recent show. The episodes are shown in their original 1:33:1 ratio. There are little or no compression problems as the episodes are well spread out with only six episdoes per disc. The audio is an English 2.0 Dolby 2.0 Dolby Digital track. I didn't notice any major audio problems as I glanced at various scenes. The audio is at a good level and easy to hear. Closed captioning is available for all episodes. The episodes are in their original broadcast order, and all appear to be unedited, running around 21 1/2 to 22 minutes in length. "The 1000th Show" runs a little over 24 minutes, which was a few more minutes than normal.

Special Features:

There were special features on the first three seasons and the final season release. Unfortunately, there are none included once again on this fifth season release. It would be nice to see some bloopers or other season specific features on these sets.

A minor annoyance is the previews that are played when you insert the first disc. There are a number of previews for other Paramount TV DVD releases including Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, MacGyver, Charmed, and The Brady Bunch. There is no way to fast forward through these or go directly to the main menu. I found the only way to bypass them was to use the 'Skip' button. It seems like some other recent Paramount releases have used this method. I hope they can make it easier for those who don't want to view the previews at the start to skip them.

Other Information:

This set includes a rebate offer request form. One offer is if you buy Frasier Season 5 plus any other complete season DVD box set of Frasier, Cheers, 7th Heaven or Charmed - you can get $15 by mail. A second option is to purchase Frasier Season 5 and any one complete DVD box set featuring the Paramount Television banner. 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 August 31, 2005. You must make the purchases between June 7, 2005 and July 31, 2005 - the offer is not valid on prior purchases.

Final Comments:

Another outstanding season of Frasier. I don't know if there will ever be another sitcom that wins the Outstanding Comedy Series Award for five consecutive years. The sets always have very attractive packaging and stylish menus. It would be nice to see Paramount start including some special features once again on these sets for future releases. Look for all 23 episodes from season six to be released on September 13th, 2005.

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

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 06/07/05

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