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That '70s Show - Season Two



DVD Release Date: April 19, 2005 (20th Century FOX Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $49.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 598 min.
Total Duration of Special Features: approx. 45 Minutes
Languages: English
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned
Special Features:
• “Season One: A Look Back”
• Audio Commentaries by director David Trainer for episodes: “Halloween,” “Hunting,” and “Catfight Club”
• “Season Two Featuretee: A Talk With David Trainer”
• “6 Behind-the-Scenes Webisodes: “Kelso’s Scrusade,” “Jackie Moves On,” “Holy Crap!,” “Red Fired Up,” “Cat Fight Club,” and “Moon Over Point Place”

My Thoughts:

Crank up the 8-track and flash back to the “me” decade because That ‘70s Show is back on DVD with season 2! Set in the era of Led Zeppelin, Tab cola and Farrah Fawcett posters, this hilarious sitcom starring Topher Grace & Ashton Kutcher continues to delight fans with its nostalgic references and funny, slice-of-life storylines about growing up in the ‘70s. 26 groovy episodes of the hit FOX sitcom are on this set, which aired originally in the 1999-2000 season. Or as I like to say, That ‘70s Show Meets the 21st Century.

The show stars the six kids: Topher Grace as Eric Forman, Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso, Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti, Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde, Mila Kunis as Jackie Beulah Burkhart, and Wilmer Valderrama as Fez. Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith star as Eric’s parents. The show also stars Don Stark & Tanya Roberts as Donna’s parents.

Some memorable episodes this season include: “Garage Sale,” “Halloween,” “Red’s Birthday,” “Hunting,” “Kelso’s Serenade,” “Holy Crap!,” and “Moon Over Point Place.”

Memorable guests for this season include Paul Anka, Lyle Waggoner, Marion Ross, Rod Roddy, Melissa Joan Hart, Jenilee Harrison, Richard Kline, and Bob Eubanks. Jenilee Harrison & Richard Kline both appeared on the same episode (“Red’s Birthday”) and both were on the hit sitcom from the 70s, “Three’s Company.” Marion Ross of Happy Days returns in “Halloween.”

The packaging is similar to the first season. We have an outer box with a 4 slim cases inside. The box art has the six kids with Eric holding a big crystal ball. The back of the box has show and set information. A photo of the entire cast is shown also. The color scheme for this set is blue, with shades of red, green and orange/yellow. The cases all have different covers. Case one has yellow/red/orange color scheme with Eric and Donna. They are also on the disc one photo, though a different photo. Case two has a green color scheme with Jackie and Kelso. They are also on the disc two photo, though a different photo. Case three has an orange color scheme with Fez and Hyde. They are also on the disc three photo, though a different photo. Case four has a blue color scheme with Eric’s parents. They are also on the disc four photo, though a different photo.

The back of all four cases has episode info for each disc. Episode title and a brief synopsis are provided, with original air date! When we open the cases, we get the discs, but surrounding that is supporting colors from the cover of all the cases. One other note: There is also two enclosed inserts when you open the box, one is a 20th Century FOX TV-DVD catalog showcasing what is out and what is coming and the other is an insert saying, the fun-filled flashbacks continue, with season three, in November 2005! This means to saddle up for that season on DVD then!

Disc one has episodes 1-7 and bonus material. Disc two has episodes 8-14 and bonus material. Disc three has episodes 15-21 and bonus material. Disc four has episodes 22-26 and bonus material.

The menu screen has the theme song playing, with nice colors for each disc. For example the menu screen is disc one is an aqua blue. Photos and clips are playing also in the background. The options for this set are: Episode Selection, Language Selection, and Special Features. When selecting Episode Selection you get to a screen of episodes, when you choose one you get to the episode. When you select Languages, you can turn on closed captioning or have subtitles in English – not much of a choice.

The video is excellent, but what can you expect this season is only 5-6 years old. The audio is in dolby surround, so must be a good stereo quality. Each episode is just over 22 minutes or so. There are chapters on this set as well, like season one. There is no separate scene selection screen, which is OK with me, since we have chapters. Sometimes having both is just pointless. Personally having just the chapters is good enough.

This set is jam-packed with bonus material! Even more than season one! Fans will be proud to hear audio commentaries by director David Trainer in almost a handful of episodes. He provides a lot of information and good facts. He comments on the episode “Halloween” on disc one. He mentions almost every episode starts with the kids in the basement. He also said the show is shot live with 200 people and the laughter is very real. He also comments on the episode on disc two called “Hunting.” He mentions this episode is written by one of the three co-creators, Mark Brazill. The show is based somewhat on Brazill’s life. Finally, he comments on disc four’s “Cat Fight Club.”

The special features don’t stop with just the commentaries! There is 5 minute clip montage from season one titled—“Season One: A Look Back.” It is located on disc one. Disc three has a behind the scenes feature of That ‘70s Show episode: “Kelso’s Scrusade.” It runs over 7:20. You see the cast, crew, the set, the studio audience at CBS Television Studios Stage 2. Among the people you never see on camera include, Jim O’Doherty (audience warm-up guy), Linda Wallen (writer), David Trainer (director), Mark Brazill & Terry Turner (co-creators/exec. producers). There are 5 more of these on disc four. These should be done for all sitcom sets. They are very good and interesting. The 5 episodes that get the behind-the-scenes treatment for disc four are: “Jackie Moves On” (7:23), “Holy Crap!” (5:32), “Red Fired Up” (6:49), “Cat Fight Club” (6:56), and “Moon Over Point Place” (7:18). All these are called “webisodes.” I assume they were created for the web? Maybe it was for the official website or for I’m not really sure, but still good to have on this set!

Finally, the last special feature I have yet to mention is a season two featurette on disc four. It is an interview with director David Trainer with tons of clips. It runs just under 13 minutes. He talks a lot about the kids and how the show revolves around them, like Happy Days did in the ‘70s.

The set is a must buy. With nearly all of the six kids hitting it big in the movies, like Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace, this set is a must to get! I was very impressed with the behind-the-scenes stuff. I hope they have those on future sets. Season 3 is grooving our way in November. Just in time for Thanksgiving with your family, but first buy this set before summer comes!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4.8/5
Audio Quality: 4.8/5
Special Features: 4.8/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4.8/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 04/08/05

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