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



DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008 (VEI)
MSRP: $31.99 (Canadian)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 10 hours
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English
Special Features: None


Just when you think you’re all by yourself, along comes another season of Kate & Allie! The Complete Fifth Season begins to set the series up for the final season (the sixth season) by putting a little romance into Allie’s life, which will change the dynamics of the series forever (and cause it to jump the shark, of course!). But until the final season, this season gives us a little more of the antics of Kate and Allie that we are used to, with just a little romance on the side, in a three disc DVD set.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Chip takes a look back at the 80s (seriously) with his own son in “Fathers and Sons.” Everybody has a date but Emma in “The Dilemma With Emma.” One of Allie’s old boyfriend’s is back and something could come of it (it will) in “Return of Bob Barsky.” In “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?,” Allie learns what it is like to be homeless--sort of.

Kate or Allie can make $500 quick by pretending to be the wife of a man for one night in “Hired Wife.” In “The Triangle Has Four Sides,” Kate learns that having three boyfriends is a little too much to handle. Deborah Jo Rupp guest stars in “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The ladies have a client that refuses to pay (and they go to court) in “A Catered Affair.” Everybody is away at a cabin in “Almost Married,” but there is also an escaped convict in the area.

Kate becomes Joe Namath’s personal assistant in “The Namath of the Game.” He guest stars as himself. What will Kate and Allie do with a mouse on the loose? Find out in “The Mouse that Squeaked.” Bob Barsky wants to live life to the fullest--and propose to Allie in “Bob Smells the Roses.” Find out Allie’s answer in the second part, “Allie Makes Up Her Mind.” The season ends with a clip show, appropriately titled, “The Clip Show.”


Sadly, the packaging was somewhat cheapened up this time, although it isn’t a major deal. Rather than the double slimcases, we have an Amaray style case with three discs inside. The packaging just has a simple photo of Kate and Allie on the front with information about the season on the back. Inside, there is a listing of all of the episode titles and original airdates. The disc art is very basic, with just a blue outline of the New York City skyline. With 24 episodes and three discs, the breakdown of the episodes is perfect: eight episodes per disc.

Menu Design and Navigation:

If you are looking for awesome menus, you’ll be disappointed here, but if you want functional menus, you’ll be satisfied. The main menu on each disc gives you options of “Play all” and “Select an episode.” Each one does exactly what it sounds like it does. If you pick “Select an episode,” you’ll be redirected to another menu with episode choices, with each episode hanging as a picture on a wall plastered with cheap 80s wallpaper. All menus have the closing theme music playing in the background. There are chapters placed at appropriate spots in all of the episodes, but they don’t exactly correspond with the commercial break positions. Still, it looks fine where they have the chapter breaks.

Video and Audio Quality:

The quality is about what one would expect from an 80s show that was recorded on videotape--slightly disappointing but very much watchable. I doubt there are any true problems on there that VEI could have made an earthshattering difference with. The audio is presented in mono with the usual dull effects of an older TV series, but again, can very easily be heard and is clear. All of the episodes have their original closed-captioning logos on them, but before you get too excited, none of them are actually closed-caption. This is just a technical issue from the original prints. The episodes all appear to be unedited, with the first four episodes on the set running at precisely 24:00 and the remaining episodes at 23:40, give or take a second.

Special Features:

I don’t know who would seriously expect a Canadian release of an American show to have any special features, particularly when it is one that is slipping into obscurity. Still, it would be nice to have some original promos or something along those lines.

Final Comments:

Our friends in Canada are doing a fine job doing what Universal long ago gave up on: releasing this show on DVD. It would be nice to see Universal pick it up again, as they did put out a nice Season One set, but it doesn’t appear that’ll be happening. In the meantime, we can all settle for these VEI releases (easily purchased online) that contain the most important thing of all (the episodes) in a complete fashion. So don’t have any tears and sorrow, pick these DVDs up today!

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

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 09/12/08

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