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The Brady Bunch - The Complete Final (Fifth) Season



DVD Release Date: March 7, 2006 (Paramount Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 9 hours, 13 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; closed-captioned
Special Features: None


Here's the story... of some lovely discs... The Complete Final Season of The Brady Bunch is the set... there are four discs... in double slim cases... and you will want it too! That's right, the fifth (and final) season of one of the biggest pop-culture sitcoms of all time is now coming to DVD, and you can keep on, keep on, keep on (sorry, I know that was season 4) enjoying your favorite adventures of Mike, Carol, Greg, Peter, Bobby, Marcia, Jan, Cindy, and the housekeeper that every stay-at-home mother requires, Alice!

The fun in the fifth season continues with things such as Greg perhaps becoming a big music star, Peter becoming Bobby's slave, the family going to King's Island, and America's favorite (or maybe least favorite) cousin coming to live with the Brady family--Cousin Oliver (played by Robbie Rist).

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Disc 1 begins with a talent scout seeing talent when she sees the Brady kids performing--but the talent she sees includes only Greg! What will win: Greg's ego, or his loyalty to his brothers and sisters? Find out in "Adios, Johnny Bravo" (25:04). Bobby tells his friends that he knows football legend Joe Namath (who plays himself)--and is challenged to prove it in "Mail Order Hero" (25:12). Cindy recruits the whole family (including Alice and Sam) to take part in a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves for her retiring teacher in "Snow White and the Seven Bradys" (25:04)... and they all want to be Dopey! Melissa Sue Anderson guest stars as Millicent, who gives Bobby his first kiss--but did she give him mumps too?? Find out the answer (and consider having an exciting roaring 20's party as the Bradys do...) in "Never Too Young" (25:13). Greg has to fix up his girlfriend's cousin with somebody so that he can double date--and he finds the perfect match for her, within his own family in "Peter and the Wolf" (25:13). Greg has a girl in his bedroom, and she is an animal--but don't worry, she really IS an animal, she is a goat! Why is she there? Find out in "Getting Greg's Goat" (25:13).

On to Disc 2, there is the episode "Marcia Gets Creamed" (25:14), where Marcia gets a job at an ice cream parlor and suggests to her boss that he take some time off and hire somebody else to do his work--other employees which include Peter, and then later Jan! But Marcia has to face the harsh reality when her boss decides that taking time off is not the thing for him. Bobby saves Peter's life (kind of), and Peter decides to become Bobby's slave for life--but Peter finds out that Bobby can be a very demanding person in "My Brother's Keeper" (25:15). Marcia has a date--and it is Greg's football rival--in "Quarterback Sneak" (25:13). Jan comes to the conclusion that she has no talent, and the family goes over the top to make her feel like she has many special talents in "Try, Try Again" (25:14). The family takes a vacation to King's Island in "The Cincinnati Kids" (25:13) so that Mike can present some blueprints to an interested client--but when he only has a half hour and discovers that his blueprints are missing, what is he going to do? Sam and Alice have plans for Saturday night, but not as big as the plans that the Brady’s think they have in "The Elopement" (25:13).

Disc 3 begins with "Miss Popularity" (24:47) where Jan wants to be voted the most popular girl at school--but will her ego disgust her classmates, and maybe even more? Ken Berry guest stars in "Kelly's Kids" (25:12), which was a pilot for a failed spin-off involving Berry's character and his wife adopting three children from different backgrounds. It's a battle of the sexes when Greg and Marcia vie to determine ‘who is the better driver’ in "The Driver's Seat" (25:04). Peter and Bobby see a UFO--seriously? Find out in "Out of this World" (25:00). The fifth season of the show wouldn't be complete without America's FAVORITE jinx, Cousin Oliver (played by Robbie Rist) moving in with the Brady family in "Welcome Aboard" (25:17).

Disc 4 begins with "Two Petes in a Pod" (24:47), where a new student that looks EXACTLY like him shows up in his school--and causes all kinds of trouble for him at home when he decides to play a trick on the family! Bobby and Oliver believe that Sam might be a spy in "Top Secret" (25:17). Marcia seeks revenge on the snooping Cindy in "The Snooperstar" (25:16). Natalie Schafer guest stars. Yet another Gilligan's Island star, Jim Backus, plays Mike's boss in the very next episode, "The Hustler" (25:18), where he gives the Brady’s a pool table. Finally, Disc 4 (and the season, and the series) ends with "The Hairbrained Scheme" (25:18), where Bobby gets into the hair tonic business--and sells the tonic to Greg, who runs into a disaster using the tonic, just days before graduation!


Consistency: that is the key word here. I don't think I've ever seen a series of DVD releases that have been as consistent as consistent as Paramount's releases of The Brady Bunch, and the final season makes no exception. The typical hologram family square (I LOVE that this is done) graces the cover once again, with three different ways of each family member moving their heads. Of course, the color scheme changes with each season--this time we have orange and yellow.

Inside the box, we have four discs inside of two double slim cases. The artwork on the front of each slim case includes various snapshots from episodes from those discs, and on the back, there are episode listings for each disc (including descriptions and airdates for the episodes). The case for Discs 1 and 2 is orange, and the case for Discs 2 and 4 is yellow. Inside of each slim case, each disc has a picture from an episode on that set for the disc art. You'll even find quotes from the episodes inside the slim case.

The breakdown of episodes is rather consistent on the set. Episodes 96-101 are on Disc 1, 102-107 on Disc 2, 108-112 on Disc 3, and 113-117 on Disc 4.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The consistency that I just mentioned continues to the menus. The main menus (which come up once you insert the disc) are very basic, and allow you to select an episode or Play All. And when you select the episode, it plays immediately--no scene selection or other frills. Disc 1 is a little different, because when you insert that disc, you have the option to view previews or to go to the main menu (I think this is a better way of doing forced trailers than the way most companies do it). The main menu has a picture from an episode on the disc, but again, there is no music or anything playing in the background. As far as scene selections, they aren't there, but very appropriately placed chapters can be found within the episodes.

There was one thing that kind of bothered me about the menus, though (and this is something that shows up from time to time on various sets). The difference in the color between the flower and the background of the menu on some discs is not very different, and as a result, it is hard to see what episode you are currently on when navigating the menu. I've seen worse cases, but still, this is a little bit annoying, and the difference is particularly problematic on Disc 1.

Video and Audio Quality:

I have nothing to gripe about with the video and audio quality. They are both as expected, and of course, the audio is presented in mono (Dolby Digital Mono to be specific). The video just has the usual grain and other minor issues that are associated with older shows. Closed-captioning is available on the set. As far as the episode lengths are concerned, all the episodes are fine and seem to be uncut, running around 25 minutes for each one. And for the closing logo enthusiasts, just as the previous sets have been, the original Paramount closing logo is intact.

Special Features:

Just like seasons 2-4, there are no special features once again. Unfortunately, this was the last opportunity for Paramount to get special features right on these sets. Unless they intend to re-release season sets of the show for some reason (and I don't think I've ever seen that happen with any television show on DVD so far), this is the end of the line. They can't throw in something that has been sitting in the archives on a "future release." They can't have any more commentaries. They can't have any more interviews. The opportunities for these (and more) are gone.

Final Comments:

Despite the special features (or the lack thereof), Paramount has done a great job with all five releases... releasing sets at a fast pace, including all unedited episodes, and having sets that are just nicely produced and put together. This is definitely a set worth getting--and if you don't have them already, the first four seasons are worth picking up too (and there are some special features on the first season set for those that are interested). Now, perhaps Paramount ought to release some of the spin-offs produced from the show, such as The Brady Brides and The Bradys... I honestly wouldn't expect that though, so in the meantime get these classic Brady Bunch episodes!

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

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

--Reviewed by skees53 on 03/04/06

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