TITLE: ROSEANNE - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON (MILL CREEK)
Release Date: April 3, 2012 (Mill Creek Entertainment)
Packaging: Keepcase with paper sleeves
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 608 minutes
Running Time of Features: 23 minutes
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles and Captioning: Closed-captioned
Special Features: "Laurie Metcalf: The Sister that Never Leaves" featurette; "Lecy Goransen: I Was a Teenaged Becky" featurette; "The Best of Season Three" featurette
The Conners are back! Roseanne - The Complete Third Season brings 25 more episodes of the contemporary classic ABC sitcom to DVD again (it was previously released by Mill Creek), but this time, at a very low sub $15 price point. In what the studio bills as "the best season yet," Roseanne takes on a new job as a waitress, Dan opens a motorcycle shop, Becky begins her relationship with Mark, and Crystal is pregnant... with Dan's brother! The three disc set brings many more laughs to fans of the series and assures fans and first time viewers alike a season of more hilarious lower middle-class humor.
The season kicks off with "The Test," where Roseanne thinks that she may be pregnant. Dan lends money to Arnie in "Friends and Relatives," which he ends up using to buy her breast implants (unbeknownst to Dan). Roseanne and Dan want to talk to Becky about birth control in "Like a Virgin," but is that the daughter they should be talking to? Roseanne takes a job as a waitress in "Like, a New Job." Alyson Hannigan guest stars. DJ has a stash of dismembered dolls under his bed in "Goodbye Mr. Right." In "Becky, Beds, and Boys," Roseanne and Dan go bed shopping; meanwhile, Becky begins dating Mark. DJ wants to be a witch for Halloween in "Trick or Treat." Dan's birthday has come at the same time as one of Roseanne's special visitors in "PMS, I Love You." In "Bird is the Word," Becky is suspended for making an obscene gesture in a school photo.
Roseanne feels threatened by another woman in "Dream Lover." Dan and Roseanne try to teach Becky and Darlene a lesson about curfews in "Do You Know Where Your Parents Are?" Roseanne learns what her mother really thinks of her in "Confessions." Dan's father drops a bombshell on the family in "The Courtship of Eddie, Dan's Father." The story continues with "The Wedding," where Dan discovers that he is about to have a baby brother. Becky runs away to live with Mark in "Becky Doesn't Live Here Anymore." Leonardo DiCaprio makes a brief appearance in "Home-Ec," where Roseanne visits Darlene's home-economics class and takes the class on a field trip to the supermarket. Tobey Maguire guest stars in "Valentine's Day," where Roseanne is awaiting a special gift from Dan. In "Communicable Theater," Roseanne can't seem to stay out of the way when Jackie gets a role in a play.
Roseanne and Dan have a perfect trip to Vegas planned in "Vegas Interruptus," but a snowstorm causes a bit of trouble before they can even leave the airport. Mark and Becky ride Dan's vintage motorcycle in "Her Boyfriend's Back," except they didn't quite get permission. The new neighbor thinks that DJ is a bad influence on her son in "Trouble with the Rubbles." In "Second Time Around," Jackie is offended when she learns that Roseanne and Dan don't think she's responsible enough to take care of the kids if they die. Roseanne tries to get Darlene to wear something feminine to her school dance in "Dances with Darlene." In "Scenes from a Barbecue," a Mother's Day barbecue brings everybody together. The season ends with "The Pied Piper of Lanford," where Roseanne and Dan consider opening up their own motorcycle shop. Look for a pre-Raymond Brad Garrett in this episode.
I'm hesitant to say that all of the episodes on this set are completely unedited, because as I have recently learned, that hasn't quite been the case for all of these Carsey-Werner sets released by Mill Creek, despite the first batch even being specifically labeled as "unedited." However, even without original airings to compare these episodes to, I do feel confident saying that these episodes are for the most part (and maybe entirely, but I can't confirm that) unedited. One episode, "Second Time Around" is a bit shorter than the rest, but I'm not sure that it is necessarily a cause for alarm. Runtimes are as follows:
1. "The Test" (23:36)
2. "Friends & Relatives" (23:09)
3. "Like a Virgin" (23:42)
4. "Like, a New Job" (23:40)
5. "Good-Bye Mr. Right" (23:40)
6. "Becky, Beds and Boys" (23:39)
7. "Trick or Treat" (23:25)
8. "PMS, I Love You" (23:36)
9. "Bird is the Word" (23:25)
10. "Dream Lover" (23:25)
11. "Do You Know Where Your Parents Are?" (23:26)
12. "Confessions" (23:24)
13. "The Courtship of Eddie, Dan's Father" (23:26)
14. "The Wedding" (23:26)
15. "Becky Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (23:25)
16. "Home-Ec" (23:25)
17. "Valentine's Day" (23:26)
18. "Communicable Theater" (23:25)
19. "Vegas Interruptus" (23:24)
20. "Her Boyfriend's Back" (23:15)
21. "Trouble with the Rubbles" (23:26)
22. "Second Time Around" (22:40)
23. "Dances with Darlene" (23:25)
24. "Scenes from a Barbecue" (23:05)
25. "The Pied Piper Lanford" (23:00)
Mill Creek has come to be known as a studio which creates some of the nicest packaging artwork for their releases, but putting them in a very substandard package. And they've done it again here. I won't deny that whoever created the packaging artwork for this set did a very great job. In fact, it looks like something that one of the major studios would release on the surface. Basically, we have a standard sized DVD case (not double-thick this time!) with a large photo of Roseanne on the front, along with several publicity photographs from the episodes surrounding her, and on the back, we have information about the third season, a list of guest stars, bonus features, and a few episode snapshots. It is very professional artwork. But what isn't professional is what you'll find when you open the case... the dreaded black paper sleeves! As usual, Mill Creek has done provided these substandard sleeves for holding the discs, and the more they use them, the more I begin to dislike them. But if there is a bright side, with the standard sized DVD case which Mill Creek is using this time, you can actually buy decent cases which hold three discs on amazon.com and replace these substandard cases with those, as I have done (and it still looks professional since the artwork fits inside of the plastic sleeve with no issues). The disc artwork is the same as the cover artwork, with episodes 1-9 on Disc 1, episodes 10-18 on Disc 2, and episodes 19-25 and the special features on Disc 3.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus on this release are basically the same as the menus from the first two seasons, but that is by no means a complaint. The main menu has a photo of Dan and Roseanne, along with video from some of the episodes playing in the background. Also, the theme music plays in the background. From the main menu, you have choices of Play All, Episode Select, and (on Disc 3) Bonus Features. Going to Episode Select gives you a list of all of the episodes on the disc, and as you go through the list you even get a photo snapshot from the episode on the right side of the screen. Each episode plays immediately upon being selected. Chapters are placed in each episode at the point where each commercial break would be located if you were watching it on TV.
Video and Audio Quality:
Before I complain about the video and audio quality, I should make it clear that the quality isn't terrible. But nothing on the set is as sharp as it could be, and I feel like compression plays a big part of the problem in that. As they often do, Mill Creek has crammed far too many episodes on each disc, and you can tell. The episodes look a bit blurry and unfocused, and not quite as good as they look on TV. That is a bit problematic, although I don't know that the Anchor Bay releases (since I've never seen them personally) are any better or worse. The stereo audio on the episodes sounds decent, though a bit low. And believe it or not, the episodes are actually all closed-captioned, a rarity for Mill Creek.
The special features from the previous Anchor Bay release have all carried over to this set, so you really won't miss out on anything with this edition of the release. First, we have "Laurie Metcalf: The Sister that Never Leaves" (8:49), which is a nice (although short) featurette where Laurie Metcalf talks about her experiences on the show. A longer interview would have been nicer, but then again, this is just a carryover special feature from the set which Anchor Bay released in 2006... so the length was beyond Mill Creek's control. "Lecy Goranson: I Was a Teenaged Becky" (7:39) is a very similar feature to the Laurie Metcalf one, except of course in this one, Lecy Goranson talks about her experience on the series, and how she came to be Becky on the series... or at least for the seasons where she played the role. One thing that I found amusing in this interview is how she went to her audition for the series not knowing who Roseanne was, and was expecting a typical '80s TV mom, like Meredith Baxter-Birney... but was very surprised when she met the woman who would be playing her mom! Finally, "Best of Season Three" (7:05) is just what it sounds like, a series of the "best" clips from the third season. But by the time you get to these special features, you will have likely already watched all of the third season, so it isn't really that useful.
Once again, Mill Creek has put out a very nice value-priced release... although that also comes with the typical Mill Creek issue of discs containing more episodes than they really should (nine episodes per disc is too much), and of course, the usual black paper sleeves to hold the discs. I kind of doubt that making these minor improvements would cause the cost of production to increase to a point where the releases would no longer be profitable, but it isn't that big of a deal. It is certainly very nice that this set can be purchased for $15 (or often even under $10), with complete (as far as I can tell) episodes and even a few nice special features, even if they are just carryover special features. I don't see any reason why anybody who likes this series should not own this set. Even if you're just a casual fan or have never even seen it and just think it might be your show (although considering that it airs literally nonstop on TV that is unlikely), it is well worth the price to pick up.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 05/01/12
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