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Kate & Allie - The Complete Fourth Season (Canadian Release)



DVD Release Date: July 3, 2007 (Visual Entertainment Inc.)
Color / 1986-1987
MSRP: $34.95 CDN (~$33 USD)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 25
Running time: Approx. 10 hours
Running time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: None
Special Features: None


Kate & Allie are back for yet another season on DVD—at least in Canada (but don’t worry, you can import it into the United States too). The Complete Fourth Season contains all 25 episodes from the 1986-1987 season of the series. In this season, we see Allie graduate from college, Emma trying to get into college, Jennie finding the perfect boyfriend (and possibly going “all the way” with him), Kate and Allie going through a mid-life career change, and more.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The season begins with “The Trouble With Jason,” where Jason, the new kid in school that likes Emma and everybody at home likes Jason too—except Emma. Kate is in the hospital on her birthday in “General Hospital,” but it is okay because Allie is checking in too—to get a mole removed on her rear end. In “Jennie & Jason,” Jason and Emma decide that they are ready to have sex while his parents are away for the weekend—that is, until his mother comes back after the car breaks down (and walks into the apartment JUST before it is too late).

Kate and Allie decide to celebrate their anniversary of living together in “The Gift of the Magi” by buying gifts for each other, but there is one problem: they both decide to buy accessories for gifts that they pawned or sold in order to pay for the gifts! Allie is all grown up (well we know that) and ready to graduate from college in “Allie’s Graduation.” Emma is ready to pick a college in “Emma Goes to College,” but is she going to stay close to Kate or go to UCLA and be closer to her father?

After a late night of watching TV and being tempted to open a letter addressed to Charles, Allie has dreams of her and Kate being on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and I Love Lucy and being in similar schemes in “Reruns.” Jenna von Oy guest stars in “Dearly Beloved,” where Chip decides that starting his own pet cemetary is a good way to earn money. Kate and Allie go on strike after being tired of the kids in “Allie on Strike.” Kate and Allie are now caterers—and they are going to cater Charles and Claire’s anniversary dinner in “Charles’ Dinner.”

This season contains many guest stars including William H. Macy, Wendy Malick, David Groh, and Heather Lagenkamp, and more.


Basically, the packaging is pretty similar to the packaging from the first two sets, with the cover art containing a picture of Kate & Allie and the back of the box talking about the season and the guest stars from the season. The two slimcases inside contain the same artwork that is contained on the cover and lists all episodes on the disc (or discs) inside along with original airdates. Disc 1 is contained in a slimcase of its own while Disc 2 and Disc 3 share a slimcase. Episodes 1-8 are contained on Disc 1, episodes 9-17 are contained on Disc 2, and episodes 18-25 are contained on Disc 3.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus on the set are much like they were on the previous two sets, but they are slightly improved this time. First of all, the closing theme song plays on all of the menus. And it is VERY loud when it plays. The only options on the main menu are Play All and Episodes, both of which are self-explanatory. And when you go to Episodes, you get a set of screens, each containing 3-4 episodes per menu, where you can simply select the episode. There isn’t much more to say about it beyond that. There is one nice litle addition to this set, and that is the fact that they actually included chapters on every episode, even though they are slightly out of place on a few episodes. Still, it is better than no chapters at all.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality look a bit better this time around, and to be honest, I have no complaints other than general observations such as the picture not being incredibly sharp and OCCASSIONAL low audio levels (but be careful about turning your TV up, because the closing music that plays on the menus is INCREDIBLY loud). For some reason, this show generally doesn’t seem to be as well-preserved as other shows from the 80s (the video and audio always look dated on this show no matter where you see it, whether it is on DVD or on TV), but it still looks pretty good. One bad thing about these sets is that they aren’t closed-captioned, nor are there any subtitles.

Okay, after some of the previous releases of this series from both VEI as well as that pathetic first season release from Universal, there is one question that everybody probably has: are the episodes unedited? And finally, with (nearly) 100% certainty, I can finally say YES! They all appear to be totally unedited this time, with all episodes containing every part of the episode including the closing tags that were often cut out in syndication! Finally! A perfect Kate & Allie DVD set! Each episode runs around 24 minutes. The DVDs still contain a disclaimer stating that the DVDs contain technical anomalties inherited in historical footage, and I really have no clue what this means. One thing that it might be referring to is the fact that every episode contains an MCA TV Exclusive Distributor logo at the end of each episode (something that was not included in the previous sets), and obviously MCA TV didn’t distribute these DVDs. What is even more odd about the MCA TV logo is that it is NOT the original one that would have aired during the original airings of the episodes, but rather a version that was used in the 90s. Strange, but it is mostly irrelevant to the DVDs. Runtimes for the episodes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. The Trouble With Jason (24:01)
2. Found Money (23:59)
3. The Bully (23:59)
4. General Hospital (24:01)
5. RX for Love (24:01)
6. Halloween II(24:01)
7. Jennie & Jason (24:01)
8. Bringing Up Charles (24:03)

Disc 2:
9. Emma’s Coming Out Party (24:00)
10. Stage Mother (23:56)
11. The Goodbye Girl (23:59)
12. Dates of Future Past (23:53)
13. The Gift of the Magi (23:58)
14. Allie’s Graduation (24:25)
15. Upstairs, Downstairs (23:58)
16. Emma Goes to College (23:57)
17. Allie and the Three Wolves (24:00)

Disc 3:
18. Louis in Love (23:58)
19. Reruns (23:51)
20. Send Me No Flowers (23:51)
21. Dearly Beloved (24:00)
22. Allie on Strike (23:59)
23. Kate Quits (24:01)
24. Charles’ Dinner (23:50)
25. Allie’s Surprise Party (24:02)

Special Features:

None. Nada. Zip. I kind of give VEI a pass for this though, because this is an American show being marketed just to Canadians (although that doesn’t mean you can’t buy it if you live in the United States... we wouldn’t even be reviewing this set if you couldn’t). Still, it would be nice to have something such as bonus episodes or something on the set.

Final Comments:

This is a great set from VEI, particularly because ALL of the episodes are unedited on the set. Special features would be nice, but lets face it, we are lucky to even be getting this show on DVD at all (even if those of us that live in the United States have to import it from Canada). It appears that Universal is done with this series on DVD (after releasing only six episodes), but luckily, it appears that VEI is on track to finish the series (there are only two seasons remaining after these). Hopefully VEI will get these last two released within the next year or so and finish this series on DVD!

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

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

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 07/14/07

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