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Soap - The Complete Third Season



DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005 (Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $29.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22 (23 half hours ­ season finale is one hour)
Running Time: 611 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English-mono, no subtitles, Closed Captioned.
Special Features: Previews for other Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment products

Soap - The Complete Third Season DVD Menu

My Thoughts:

On the last DVD set of SOAP, we saw Burt being abducted by aliens, Jessica about to choose who she will stay with—Chester or Donahue, Danny being kidnapped and Billy being held by The Sunnies. Confused? You won't be after you buy the season three DVD of SOAP!

This season gets even zanier and wackier. Burt meets face to face with the aliens, who have a huge surprise on what they will do to him—a must see! Chester is back to his old ways from season one—hitting on other women. Little Billy is growing up and is having an affair with his teacher, with a shocking twist towards the end of the season. Eunice and Dutch ­ or is it Corrine and Dutch now? Jodie the dad ­ or is Jodie fighting to get custody of the child? Benson leaves the Tate’s for another job (and his own show). Will Jessica or someone else die? Those are just SOME of the shocking plot twists in season 3. I won’t tell you more ­ watch yourself and see.

John Byner continues his role as Donahue. Other guests include Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger himself!), Marla Pennington (TV’s Small Wonder) as Billy’s teacher/lover, Eugene Roche as Mr. Mallu, Rebecca Balding returns to pay Jodie a visit and Alan Miller as Dr. Posner. The main cast is an all-star cast of Billy Crystal, Richard Mulligan, Robert Guillaume, Katherine Helmond, Cathryn Damon, Robert Mandan, Diana Canova, Ted Wass, Jennifer Salt, Jimmy Baio and Arthur Peterson as the Major. Season 3 was in the 1979-80 season on ABC and still a ratings hit, in the top 25. Robert Guillaume moved on to his own show, Benson as this season started. He appeared in the first few episodes of Soap before saying goodbye to Jessica and the family. He does appear in the season finale, which is a very sad episode. Robert Guillaume won an Emmy just prior to the start of this season and his own show’s debut.

The packaging of this set is similar to the first two seasons. The color scheme for this set is purple. Season two was red and season one was orange. The box cover and the case cover are the same. They have a shot of Benson, Chester, Burt, Jessica, Mary and Jodie with bubbles floating in the background. The back of the box has a little synopsis of the show and this season, with a photo of Burt and Chester choking each other and another of Mary & Jessica talking. The case’s back has a few bubbles with snapshots from various episodes.

Now, inside the case we go! This is a 3-disc set which comes with an episode guide booklet featuring complete details on each episode on the set. There is also a booklet featuring other Columbia Tri-Star sets already out and the ones coming soon, such as One Day at a Time Season One and Partridge Family Season One. The discs itself has episode breakdowns right on the disc, just like the previous sets. Disc one has episodes 1-8, disc two has episodes 9-16 and disc three has episodes 17-22 plus the previews for other products of Tri-Star. Each disc has different photos of the families posing in a purple background.

As for the menus, it is also sort of similar in style to the first two seasons. The same photo for the box and case are in the main menu. The options are Play All and Episode Selections. Though, this time each episode selection is in a box type, rather than the bubbles from season two. Again there is no theme playing in the background. It is very easy to navigate.

The audio and video are also similar on the lines of the first two sets. The video is better than season one and on the same line as season two. The audio is in mono again, and at times you might have to turn the volume up a bit. All the episodes seem unedited, but I can’t confirm. They range in the 25 minute range. Season one was spotted in having a few syndicated episodes, but this set seems fine. I think season two was fine, too, in this matter.

This set has really no special features, other than the bonus previews of other Tri-Star products. This is such a shame because season two had a nice interview feature of the producers. So, it was a let down having nothing else on this set. Hopefully season 4 has something. These previews are so dated. I’m disappointed that the season preview shows are still not on these sets. Some bloopers, new interviews with Mandan or Helmond or someone would be nice to watch.

Overall, this set is on par with season one but slightly down from season two because of no special features. I was hoping that the season two recap show would be on this set, but it wasn't. I hope they are waiting to put all three recap shows (that aired prior to seasons 2, 3 and 4) in the season 4 set. The 90 minute episodes were aired a few weeks prior to the season and recapped season two and three. The recap of season three has Bea Arthur guest starring as an angel. That would be great to see on the season four set. Since Benson moved on to his own show, it would be nice if Benson is released the same time or even before the last season of Soap comes out on DVD. If Columbia is listening out there AGAIN, we fans want to have all three recap shows on the last set, since it is not shown in syndication.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video quality: 4.5/5
Audio quality: 4.0/5
Special Features: N/A
Menu Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4.0/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 01/04/05

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