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M*A*S*H - Season Eight



DVD Release Date: May 24, 2005 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: 638 minutes
Languages: English, Spanish (except for two episodes) and French
Subtitles: English & Spanish
Closed Captioned
Special Features: None.

My Thoughts:

Hawkeye, Hot Lips, Winchester and for the last time Radar are back now in the M*A*S*H TV Season 8 DVD --The Collector’s Edition. The M*A*S*H TV Season 8 three-disc DVD set includes all 25 episodes from the season, which aired on Mondays at 9PM in 1979-1980 on CBS, including fan favorite episodes “Good-bye Radar” and “Dreams.” Every episode can be viewed with or without a laugh track. M*A*S*H stars Alan Alda, Mike Farrell, David Odgen Stiers, Jamie Farr, Gary Burghoff, Harry Morgan, William Christopher and Loretta Swit. TV legend Larry Gelbart is the executive producer, along side series star - Alan Alda. Season 8 of the series was #5 in the Nielsen Ratings for the season, up from season 7.

Some memorable season seven episodes include the season premiere “Too Many Cooks,” the two-part episode “Good-bye Radar,” “Point of View” and the Emmy Award Winning episode which Alan Alda won an Emmy for directing “Dreams.” Some famous faces guest starring were Ed Begley Jr. (“Too Many Cook”), G.W. Bailey (various episodes) and Shelley Long (“Bottle Fatigue”).

The packaging on this set is similar to season seven. The case is a bit bigger, at least to me, like how season 7 was. Like previous sets, there is no box cover, just the case. The cover features Hawkeye, Hot Lips and Radar. The back of the case features info on the set and the eighth season, with credits and two screenshots from episodes, such as one with Radar and two Korean women. When you open the case once, you will see a space on the left side, for previous seasons an M*A*S*H information booklet was there, but nothing this time! At least nothing came on my copy. On the right side, you can see disc one. Disc one is green and has a photo of Radar on the phone. When you open the case another time, you will see disc two on the left and disc three on the right. Disc two is orange and has a photo of Hawkeye and disc three is beige with a photo of Hot Lips. Disc one has episodes 1-8, disc two has episodes 9-16 and disc three has 17-25.

The menu screen is nothing fancy. Just about the same as the previous sets. No music in the background. We see all the episodes on the discs on the main menu and the ever famous “Play All” option, your selector is the M*A*S*H asterisk (*). When you select an episode, you get to the episode menu screen. That has the options of “Play Episode,” “Language Selection,” “Chapter Selection” and “Home.” Each episode menu screen is different obviously with different pictures of that episode. The language option has the no laugh track feature, like previous sets. And you can change the language and turn on subtitles here, too. Chapter Selection has about 10 different stops. So that’s like 2-3 min per each stop. A little too much, but better than nothing.

The video and audio are on par with previous sets as well. It is better than we see on television like on The Hallmark Channel and before that on fX. The audio is in mono, but if you don’t speak English, you’re in luck ­ French and Spanish audio is available, along with subtitles for the Spanish. Two episodes, “Yessir, That’s Our Baby” & “Bottle Fatigue,” have no Spanish audio. Each episode is roughly 24:00-24:45 in length. Though, there are two episodes in the 23-23:30 range, which is fishy. The two episodes are both on disc two and are back-to-back, “The Yalu Brick Road” & “Lifetime.” I have no proof though, other than that, that these episodes are edited a bit.

The set features no special features, like all of the other previous sets, which is a shame AGAIN. For a show this popular, there ought to be something out there. Remember the M*A*S*H series finale, still to this date, is the highest rated show in the history of television.

Overall, all fans should still buy this set to continue their collection. We still have three more seasons still after this set. So, FOX, surprise us and give us special features, so I can at least make this review sound more exciting. This review is almost exactly like season 7. All fans should buy this, but I’m not sure new fans should start buying these. Hallmark Channel aired the show unedited for a while, so if you taped them, then these DVDs are a waste, because FOX hasn’t given us any added value to these sets. Please at least give us slim cases, like your other TV DVD sets, like Family Guy and Reba. Make some changes because I don’t want to review season 9 and make that review exactly like this one, too!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 05/13/2005

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