Cheers: The Complete Third Season Studio: Paramount Year: 1984-85 Rated: NR Length: 25 episodes, 10 hours, 19 minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo Surround English Closed Captioned Special Features: Five featurettes No S.R.P. Expected to sell for under $40 USD Release Date: May 25, 2004 One of the favorite series of the 80’s comes your way this week with Cheers, Season 3 on DVD. This picks up, if you recall, after the breakup of Sam and Diane in season two. Diane finds a new love interest in Frasier Crane, and Sam continues to “play the field.” Season three was Coach’s last season - Nicholas Colasanto died of a heart attack shortly after taping episode 66, Cheerio Cheers. With the remaining three episodes already nearing production, the Coach character was either explained as being on vacation, or they used outtakes and other video footage to give him a presence on screen. The show dealt with his death in the continuity of the series at the start of season four, with the addition of the Woody Boyd character. Video Cheers season three looks very much like season two - quite good, when you take the age and format of the elements into consideration. The picture is clean - only an occasional dust spot is visible - and sharp for a television product that’s twenty years old. There are no obvious sharpening or compression artifacts. Black levels are reasonably solid, with acceptable shadow detail. Colors are on the warm side. Audio The audio is clean and has good frequency response. Dialog is firmly planted front and center. Laugh track and music can be heard across the front soundstage and in the surround channel. Music cues have a pleasing bass response. This is just about as good as you could expect for Dolby Digital 2.0 sourced from a twenty year old sitcom. No complaints, here. Special Features Disc 4 Virtual Vera (2:53) A collection of clips about the never-seen Vera. Shrink-Warped: Introducing Frasier Crane (2:49) A collection of Frasier clips. Carla’s Whipping Boy (3:23) Carla / Cliff clips. Nicholas Colasanto: His Final Season (6:35) Interview with Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt - the cast remembers Colasanto. With clips, discussion of the loss. Cheers Bar Tour An interactive tour of the Cheers bar with art director Dahl Delu. Clicking the door plays a series of entrance and exit clips. Delu describes Tecumseh when you click there. Clicking on a bench has Delu describing the integration of the Bull & Finch Pub (the inspiration for Cheers in Boston) with the Hollywood set. Melville’s. Jukebox - clicking this plays the theme song. Photograph of Geronimo - the photo was found in Colasanto’s dressing room and added to the set. Other set pieces are described. Cliff’s barstool. Intro by Delu and clips. Norm’s barstool. Intro by Delu and clips. Tap - (glug-glug sound) cash register - (cha-ching sound) glasses - (clink sound) Final Thoughts One has to wonder why Paramount even bothers to put these extras on disc - they aren’t very enlightening or entertaining. Half of the hotspots on the Bar Tour do nothing more than play a sound effect - and the interviews with the cast were obviously shot at the same time as the interviews on previous Cheers sets. If they are going to provide so little of value, I’d rather they provide nothing - and knock five bucks off the price. Still, I’m happy to have these classic episodes of Cheers on DVD, and - most importantly - the audio and video are more than adequate.