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The Golden Girls - The Complete Second Season



DVD Release Date: May 17, 2005 (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $49.99
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 644 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English subtitles; Closed Captioned
Special Features: "Go for the Gold Trivia Challenge"

My Thoughts:

Miami's favorite girls are back for another season! The Golden Girls: The Complete Second Season is the second installment in the DVD series of one of America's favorite television shows, and it is complete with 26 great episodes full of Sophia's stories of Sicily, Blanche's many men, Rose's St. Olaf stories, and Dorothy's... well... whatever it is that Dorothy has.

Unlike most series, The Golden Girls did not really fluctuate in overall quality over the years. Instead, it just maintained a high quality standard that is seen throughout ever single season. And undoubtedly, the second season is no exception. We get to see Blanche go through menopause in "End of the Curse." Burt Reynolds guest stars as the girls get (accidentally) thrown into jail for prostitution in "Ladies of the Evening." The girls fight their hated neighbor Frieda Claxton to save a tree in one of my all time favorites, "It's a Miserable Life." One of Dorothy's friends (a lesbian) visits the girls and accidentally finds romance among the girls in "Isn't It Romantic." Mario Lopez makes a guest appearance in "Dorothy's Prize Pupil." George Clooney makes a guest appearance in "To Catch a Neighbor." Finally, the pilot for the television series Empty Nest concludes the second season, although the pilot is much different than the actual show.

The way that this set was put together really isn't much different from The Complete First Season at all. Perhaps the biggest change is that a blue color scheme is used in this set as opposed to the "golden" color scheme. Once again, a digipak has been used, with the far left panel having a list of episode titles (along with writing and directing credits), the far right panel containing Disc Three, and the middle panel containing Discs One and Two (once again, to my disappointment, they have chosen again to place Disc Two in a position where Disc One must be removed from the package before Disc Two can be removed). The set contains 26 episodes on three discs. Disc One contains eight episodes (as well as the special feature) and Discs Two and Three each contain nine episodes. Each disc contains a picture of one of the girls, and also has a list of the episodes that are on the disc.

The menus are very simplistic, containing just the basics. When you put the DVD into the DVD player, the Main Menu comes up after the FBI warning (there are no trailers to wait through on Disc One this time!) and from there, you can choose from Play All, Episode Selection, or Setup. Additionally, Disc One has an option to play the "Go for the Gold Trivia Challenge" special feature. The Play All option is self-explanatory. Episode Selection takes you to a menu where you can (as one would expect) select which episode you want to watch. Setup takes you to a menu where you can turn on the English subtitles, and also gives you information about how to register your DVDs, which probably is not a bad idea to do (even though I'm still not quite sure what the benefits of registration are). On the Main Menu and Episode Selection menu, the music from the closing credits plays in the background.

The overall video quality in the set wasn't perfect, but it was still pretty good. The only problem I had was that the colors weren't quite as sharp as I'd like for them to be. The audio quality was decent as well, although there was some inconsistency in audio quality from one episode to the next. Some episodes had very loud and clear audio, while some of the episodes had audio that seemed a bit muffled. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital Mono. Each episode on this set is uncut, running approximately 25 minutes. Also, there are no chapters included in this set! That is a change from the first season, which included many chapters in each episode.

Just like the first season, The Complete Second Season contains only one special feature. HOWEVER, the special feature included in this set is MUCH better than the one that was included in the first season! What is included is a very interesting interactive trivia game called "Go for the Gold Trivia Challenge." Basically, you watch a short clip from the show, and then you are given a multiple choice question that is (in some way) based upon that clip. There are eight questions, and at the end, you are given your score and your ranking. You can either score "Clueless as Rose," "Wise as Sophia," or you can score "Average as Dorothy." I scored "Average as Dorothy" both times that I completed the trivia. The questions are not all about the show itself, and in fact, some of them have very little at all to do with the show. Some of the questions are designed to see just how closely you pay attention to every little detail in the clip, such as remembering what Dorothy was pouring in the clip (obviously you can't rewind just to get the answer). I am not quite sure how many questions there are on the disc (I estimate at least 20), but each time you play it, you should get a random set of eight questions. The whole game lasts approximately ten minutes, and there is a time limit on how long you have to answer the questions. I really enjoyed this special feature (in fact, I think it is one of the most enjoyable special features I've encountered on any DVD set), although I wish that the trivia focused more upon the show and there were more questions, because certainly, after playing the game a couple of times, you will have the answers memorized.

Overall, this set was a great set, and even better than the first season set, mainly because of the special feature that was included on this set. I'd still like to see more special features, particularly interviews and/or commentaries. Still, though, I'm glad that the series is even being released. And there is no need for fans to worry about the third season either! A promotional booklet included with this set indicates that The Complete Third Season is coming soon (along with Home Improvement S3)! Hopefully Buena Vista will keep these short time periods between releases going and have the entire series released before we know it. But for now, just pick up The Complete Second Season... every true fan needs it!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 04/25/2005.

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