The Second Season has arrived!
The review thread for Season one can be found here:
and I encourage anyone interested in this series to take a look—there is lots of great HTF discussion in the thread)
(forgive me for repeating my synopsis from Season One…)
The Golden Girls is a very special television series; It’s well written, expertly acted, uproariously funny, and is built on a somewhat risk-taking premise -- the experiences of three senior-aged women cohabitating together, sharing in the events of one another’s daily life. On paper it would seem a sparse foundation upon which to build a humorous, let alone engaging, series. Yet The Golden Girls demonstrates that good characters and a good script can park us on the sofa and motivate us to learn to program the VCR. Beatrice Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty not only reward us with endless stomach-grabbing laughter…they also portray characters that at times feel so real and touching, that the effect is quite poignant, even moving.
Of course no TV show is perfect…so don’t go expecting miracles. But just ask any fan of the show and they’ll have little difficulty letting you know that this series well-deserved the Emmy Award it received its first season for “Outstanding Comedy Series”. Now if only they would release Designing Women on DVD…
|Packaging & Presentation...|
The Second Season of The Golden Girls comes in a handsome fold-out cardboard case that fits nicely into an outer box-sleeve. The inner jacket that houses the three DVDs folds out into three sections. The packaging format then gets a little unorthodox: rather than each fold-out section securing a disc, the first section lists the complete contents of each disc, the third fold-out section holds disc “one”, and the middle section holds both disc two and three in such a way that disc two overlaps disc three and needs to be lifted out to gain access to the third disc. You’ll see what I mean when you get it. Not an obstacle but a little odd to have to remove two discs at a time when you wish to view contents on the third disc. The programs on each disc are also nicely printed on the silkscreen art each disc making it easy to see just what you’re getting into before the disc ends up wasting time loading in player.
Also worth mentioning is that each episode is preceded and followed by what appears to be its original opening and closing sequence, and the shows also appear to be unedited—these are the full-length original versions.
What did you expect. Shot on analog video in the mid 1980’s before there was even a consciousness about a potential post-airwaves life for sitcoms such as this, the image quality of The Golden Girls is somewhat wanting…at least on a 106 inch screen.
Detail is…or the better way to phrase it is “Detail is not”. The detail, by definition, must be better than the VHS recording you made off of cable…but not by much. But then again I don’t think that the creators of this program were aiming for large-screen front-projection systems when they envisioned the show. Colors are somewhat drab, though flesh-tones are soothingly comfortable. Contrast seems generally relaxed and the picture lacks dynamic snap. Even if none of this is contradicting your expectations I think it is fair to mention these things because there are television shows, shot on video, from the same or earlier era that hold up quite well (The Muppet Show series, for instance, looks remarkably detailed, crisp, with gorgeously saturated colors and solid black-level and dynamic range). One gets the distinct impression that this DVD edition is being faithful to the source, so what I’m really describing for you is the quality of the image of the video medium on which it was recorded. I’m curious to see if shows from the later seasons “clear up” from what the first season reveals.
A disappointment? Not at all. We knew what we were getting…this was a 1980’s sitcom and the series on this DVD looks better than it ever has before to any consumer audience. And no commercials!
Picture Quality: 2.5 / 5
Note: Season Two is also in MONO!!!
The audio is presented in 2.0 and sounds as if it is mono (depending on the way your decoder processes such audio you may hear it play through your L/R speakers or your processor may process it like traditional surround which will send all the audio information to the center channel). I've heard reports that the show was supposed to have stereo…those of you better informed than I please comment.
[b]Sound Quality: 2.5 / 5
You get one whopping trivia-game. It’s actually fun. But it sure doesn’t make up for all the special feature content that could have been a part of this set. What gives? And such great extras on Scrubs! I was hoping that BV would have responded to consumer disappointment in the lack of SE content on the first season set but I guess not.
Fans know they have to get it. Picture quality is as good as the source material can allow, though there is still the question about the mono audio (fans swear that the show was broadcast in stereo…some even have stereo-taped copies on VHS…what gives???) and the lack of extras is a disappointment. But if you can get this set on sale, here’s your chance to own the complete second season un-edited for syndication.
Your comments are welcome…