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The Golden Girls - The Complete Fourth Season



DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006 (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $39.99
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22 half hour episodes; 2 two-part episodes
Running Time: 624 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: 12 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English subtitles; closed-captioned
Special Features: Top Ten Guest Stars of Season Four


Miami’s hottest senior citizens are back in action again! Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and of course Sophia are back for the fourth season of the show that was THE excuse for staying home on Saturday nights in the 80s, back when networks weren’t afraid to air new episodes of hit shows on Saturday nights.

The fourth season is the middle of the series, which is often when a series is at its best. Of course, The Golden Girls managed to maintain a consistency throughout all seven seasons that make almost any episode from one particular season as good as any other episode from another season. With that being said, the fourth season contains many great episodes of the show, and is one of the seven “greatest” seasons of the show (which only lasted seven seasons to begin with).

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The fourth season begins with “Yes, We Have No Havanas,” where Blanche discovers that her newest boyfriend, Fidel, has been seeing another woman on the side—Sophia! Dorothy and Blanche will resort to anything for Rose to allow her to win the title of St. Olaf's Woman of the Year in "Yokel Hero." Sophia gets married to a man that she spent most of her life despising in the two-parter "Sophia's Wedding." Other Disc 1 episodes include “The Days and Nights of Sophia Petrillo,” “The One That Got Away,” “Bang the Drum, Stanley,” and “Brother, Can You Spare that Jacket?”

Blanche's brother Clayton is in town and he has a surprise about his sexuality that Blanche just can't handle in "Scared Straight." Elinor Donahue plays Stan's third wife in "Stan Takes a Wife." Blanche has a new boyfriend that is unable to appreciate her for the one thing that she has always used as her strong point--how she looks--in "Blind Date." Rose's newest boyfriend has some performance problems in "The Impotence of Being Ernest." John Fielder plays Dorothy's newest boyfriend (that was set up by Sophia) in "Love Me Tender." Julio Iglesias plays Sophia's date for Valentine's Day on "Valentine's Day." Dorothy wants to spend quality time with Sophia (which Sophia isn't all so thrilled about) at Disney World in "Two Rode Together." Bob Hope appears as himself in "You Gotta Have Hope." “The Auction” is also included on Disc 2.

Dorothy's prankster friend Trudy makes a visit in "Till Death Do We Volley," but then Trudy suddenly dies--or does she? Rose is forced to deal with her addiction to pain pills from a farming accident several years ago in "High Anxiety." Sophia decides to save her friend Lillian from a bad nursing home by kidnapping her from the home in "Sophia's Choice." Sophia's friends from Italy are visiting Miami, to claim their long-lost daughter--Dorothy--in "Foreign Exchange." Finally, the fourth season ends with the two-parter "We're Out of Here" where Blanche receives a very attractive offer to purchase the house, and must decide whether or not to sell. Other Disc 3 episodes include “Fiddler on the Ropes,” “Little Sister,” and “Rites of Spring.”


Same packaging as before—nothing really changes much with this show on DVD, and having the same packaging is good (hopefully the last three seasons will have similar packaging too). Basically, the three panel digipak is back, this time with a green color scheme. The packaging seems to be very appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day, as there is so much green and the front of the box has the girls’ pictures in what appears to be a four-leaf clover. Inside, the digipak has a listing of the episodes for each disc on the left-hand panel, Discs 1 and 2 in the middle panel (unfortunately they overlap, but most fans have gotten used to that by now) and Disc 3 in the right-hand panel. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-8 (6 and 7 are presented as one episode), Disc 2 contains episodes 9-17, and Disc 3 contains episodes 18-26 (25 and 26 are presented as one episode). The discs themselves are in the same green color scheme, with Blanche on Disc 1, Dorothy and Sophia on Disc 2, and Rose on Disc 3.

Menu Design and Navigation:

These sets have been more consistent as far as menus than almost any other set I’ve seen. The menus on this set are exactly the same as the ones that were used in all of the first three seasons, except of course the video clips on the main screen are different and the background is in a green color scheme. The main menu also has the closing theme music playing in the background once again, as do all of the other menus in the set. The menu options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, and Set Up. Play All plays every episode on the disc, Episode Selection takes you to a menu where you choose the episodes, and Set Up allows you to turn on English subtitles and gives information on how to register the DVD set. In addition, Disc 1 has an option for the special feature on that disc. And while there are no scene selection menus, there are chapters, which are placed very appropriately throughout the episodes at the commercial breaks.

Video and Audio Quality:

This is very good this time… it seems to improve with each and every season. In fact, there wasn’t anything I could find to nitpick on this time, which is a good sign (although I’m sure some others could find problems with it). The audio is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo, with closed-captioning and English subtitles available for those that require that.

Once again, the episodes seem to be completely uncut, which is always a good sign. Some episodes ran as short as 23:30 and others as long as 24:30. Usually, edited vs. unedited, although it is annoying to have something edited, doesn’t affect a show too much, but believe me, for The Golden Girls, you can tell a HUGE difference… and the unedited versions are MUCH better.

Special Features:

Once again, the special features on this set are a disappointment. There was some effort made in regards to special features, but it really isn’t enough. The special feature that is included is “The Top Ten Guest Stars of Season 4” (11:46) on Disc 1. Basically, it is just like it sounds… a top 10 countdown of what the DVD producers consider the best guest stars of the fourth season. I don’t think too many people would agree with the rankings… in fact, there were a few people in this that I had never even heard of outside of The Golden Girls, and when I searched for information about them on Google, I still didn’t find out anything about them. And then they also included guest stars like Richard Mulligan, who wasn’t really a special guest star for the show. The #1 choice was rather obvious and made a lot of sense, I just had trouble with most of 2-9.

In addition to this special feature, there are tons (and I mean WAY too many) previews on Disc 1.

They really need to do better with these special features on these sets. The rumor is that Betty White will be providing commentaries on the fifth season when that is released, so that will be a little bit better, assuming it is true. But for now, you’ll have to settle for limited special features.

Final Comments:

I can’t complain too much, because again, Buena Vista has made an effort to present a DVD set that is complete with every single episode in the original unedited format. But where are the special features??? Something seriously needs to be done about this! This is one of the most popular shows out there, and these DVDs are being presented as barebones sets… and that just isn’t right. By no means would I suggest that anybody pass up this set—it is a must own set, because it is such a great show and the episodes are uncut unlike the heavily edited versions that are aired on Lifetime. It is just that special features aren’t there, when they really should be. It is really unfortunate that the best special feature on these Golden Girls sets so far has been the trivia game from The Complete Second Season. Still, though, this is a great show and a set that every fan MUST own.

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

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 1/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 02/06/06

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