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Soap - The Complete Fourth Season



DVD Release Date: October 11, 2005 (Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $29.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 21 (22 half hours season premiere is one hour)
Running Time: 523 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English-mono, no subtitles, Closed Captioned.
Special Features: Previews for other Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment products


The final season of SOAP is here for the first time on DVD! While the show doesn’t have a real ending, since the producers assumed they would be back for another season, the set is still a must buy! The unpredictable Tate and Campbell families are back with secrets, scandals, and just plain old fun in season four of SOAP! When we last saw the series, Jessica was dying ­ will she survive? Will Jodie get custody of his child? Who will Dutch choose—Eunice or Corrine? Is Billy going to get shot by his lover—who is also his teacher? And with Burt now as a sheriff, will that whole town just go nuts? These answers and more when you buy season 4 of SOAP on DVD!

SOAP season four stars Billy Crystal, Richard Mulligan, Katherine Helmond, Cathryn Damon, Robert Mandan, Diana Canova, Ted Wass, Jennifer Salt, Jimmy Baio, Donnelly Rhodes, Roscoe Lee Browne and Arthur Peterson as the Major.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

If you do not want to be spoiler, please skip to the next paragraph. Jessica survives and then later is kidnapped and finds a Latin lover, Mary reveals a BIG secret that could cost destroy her relationship with her sister, Danny sleeping with Chester’s new lover, and Jodie thinks he is now a Jewish man, are just some of the memorable moments in this fun filled season. It is just too bad that they couldn’t have a real ending, as the series finale has a cliffhanger.

Recurring guests include Eugene Roche as Mr. Mallu, Marla Pennington as Leslie, Nancy Dolman as Annie, Rebecca Balding as Carol, Peggy Pope as Mrs. David, Alan Miller as Dr. Posner, Lynne Moody as Polly, Gregory Sierra as El Puerco, Jesse Welles as Gwen, Granville Van Dusen as Dr. Hill, and Joe Mantegna as Juan One. George Wendt and Hamilton Camp also make appearances.


The packaging of this set is similar to the first three seasons. The color scheme for this set is green. Season three was 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 Saunders, Chester, Burt, Jodie, Mary, The Major and Jessica with bubbles floating in the background, and one of the bubbles has Chuck/Bob. The back of the box has a little synopsis of the show and this season, with four little bubbles with snapshots from the fourth season. The case’s back has four bubbles with snapshots from various episodes.

Now, inside the case we go! When we open the case once, there are more bubbles with photos on both the left side and right side. When we open the case again, we get to the discs. This is a 3-disc set which comes with an episode guide booklet featuring complete details on each episode on the set. The episode booklet is four sided and has long synopsis for each episode, by disc. It advertises for up to date SPHE news. There is also a booklet featuring other Sony Pictures sets already out. The discs itself has episode breakdowns right on the disc, just like the previous sets. Disc one has episodes 1-7 with a shot of Jessica and Burt, disc two has episodes 8-15 with a shot of Chester & Danny in hospital beds, and disc three has episodes 16-21 plus the previews for other products of SPHE with a shot Jodie and a new character (I won’t spoilt it!).

Soap menu Soap menu

Menu Design and Navigation:

As for the menus, it is also sort of similar in style to the first three seasons. A nice cast photo for season 4 is on all 3 menus. The options are Play All and Episode Selections. You can see the main menu and episode screen pictured above. Again there is no theme playing in the background. It is very easy to navigate.

Video and Audio Quality:

The audio and video are also similar on the lines of the first two sets. The video is worse though than seasons two & three and slightly worse than season one. For some reason the video looks a bit cloudy to me. The audio is in mono again, and at times you might have to turn the volume up a bit, but it is not too bad. The episodes might be unedited, might not be. I have no way of proving it. There are a few that are under 23 minutes, which is fishy. Season one was spotted in having a few syndicated episodes. I think seasons two and three were fine, though. Here are the run-times for season 4 episodes:

Disc 1
#1: 49:17 (one-hour episode)
#2: 24:10
#3: 23:50
#4: 24:17
#5: 22:58
#6: 23:32
#7: 23:41

Disc 2
#8: 23:42
#9: 24:05
#10: 23:59
#11: 24:07
#12: 24:01
#13: 23:16
#14: 22:58
#15: 23:53

Disc 3:
#16: 23:26
#17: 23:57
#18: 24:09
#19: 23:50
#20: 24:03
#21: 23:50

Now, this is 1980-81, 24 minutes or more should be the norm. Maybe 23:45, but less than that is fishy to me.

Special Features:

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 the last two sets. Those season recap episodes would have been nice, but Sony didn’t give it to us for some reason.

Final Comments:

The set is on par with previous releases, season two’s set had extras so that was the best set of the series. I was hoping that the three season recap shows would be on this set, but it wasn't. Maybe they are planning a special DVD just for that? If that is the case, I hope so, if not shame on you Sony! Let’s hope the spin-off series Benson comes to DVD in the near future, so the SOAP family can live on. Katherine Helmond appears twice during the series’ run in that show. Once I believe when SOAP was doing its third season and once a year or two after the SOAP run, as a ghost. So we have to assume what happened to Jessica in the SOAP series finale is what happened to her. Fans should for sure buy this set to complete their collection. Bring on Benson, Sony!

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

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

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/15/05

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