|Category||Comedy||Main Menu Animation & Audio
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||2.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The episodes that make up this DVD are;
1. Hair (28:54). Whilst Tony is abroad in Europe, Dorothy convinces Gary that she should move in with him. Tony returns from Europe sporting a beard (hoping this will impress Deborah) and after a suitably blokey discussion with Gary, Gary decides that Tony should stay rather than moving out. The only problem is, Dorothy has already moved in. What's a decisive bloke like Gary to do?
2. The Good Pub Guide (29:00). The Crown, Gary and Tony's favourite watering hole, is being renovated and so Gary and Tony need to investigate the other pubs in the area in order to work out which one of them will be their new favourite watering hole, but not before they take the opportunity to souvenir some of the choicer fittings from the old Crown. Deborah develops an interest in astrology, so Tony does too.
3. Cowardice (28:59). Tony applies for and gets a job as a barman at the newly renovated, and very quiet, Crown. Gary manages to incur the wrath of another motorist by beeping at him. Unfortunately, Dorothy is in the driver's seat at the time, and so the road rager vents his spleen on Dorothy, not Gary. Gary 'bravely' looks on, much to the disgust of Dorothy, and needs to make amends in his own inimitable way. Simultaneously, Tony and Gary decide that Deborah must be a lesbian, which leads to many hysterically funny situations.
4. Your Mate v your Bird (28:56). Gary, Dorothy and Tony find out that the three of them living under one roof just isn't working, and so Gary is faced with a dilemma of who to kick out. Tony decides that a home-brew tattoo would impress Deborah, and proceeds to do exactly that, hilariously.
5. Cardigan (27:39). Deborah goes to university to study psychology, meeting many new student friends, much to Tony's chagrin. Gary suddenly feels very old, and decides that a rave party is exactly how he will prove that he is still young-at-heart.
6. Rich And Fat (29:05). Tony is developing a little pot, which both Dorothy and Deborah find most amusing, much to his embarrassment, and so he goes on a diet. Tony discovers Gary is far more affluent than he lets on, and in a fit of foot-in-mouth disease, Gary donates 5,000 pounds to the local hospital, until he comes to his senses and desperately tries to get out of it.
7. Home Made Sauna (29:09). Dorothy and Deborah go on a weekend sailing trip, leaving the boys to their own devices. They soon cook up a storm with the girls next door, although Tony's sauna plan doesn't quite go as he expected.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is usually quite sharp and clear, although it never matches the quality of film-based transfers. It remains eminently watchable at all times, with good foreground and background detail. The overall brightness of the episodes is a little variable, with Episodes 1 and 7 being a tad too dark and Episode 6 being a tad too bright. Exterior shots tended to vary in their brightness and definition somewhat. For example, the 5-A-Side soccer match of Episode 4 was overbright, whilst the black level of the interior car shots in Episode 5 was too high. Having said all of that, the variability described really isn't all that bad, and certainly never gets in the way of the story. Shadow detail, whenever it was shown, was reasonable, and there was no low level noise to speak of.
The colours were smoothly and evenly rendered throughout, never being oversaturated nor undersaturated.
Background MPEG artefacting occasionally appeared on the verge of breaking out. This was most evident in some of the exterior shots which were grainier than the rest of the footage, such as the backyard barbecue footage of Episode 7. This was also evident during some scene transitions. Fortunately, this never came even close to the mess of posterization and macro-blocking that marred the Series 4 DVD, although this disc does give the appearance of being compressed as tightly as it would reasonably go.
Aliasing was never a problem with this DVD, but there was some minor cross-colouration in Tony's shirt towards the end of Episode 5. I noticed a brief digital tape dropout at 6:45 during Episode 7.
This disc is RSDL
formatted, with the layer change occurring at 12:14
during Episode 4. It was minimally intrusive.
The dialogue is always easy to hear, and there are no audio sync problems. The dialogue during Episode 5 in the car is a tad "boxy", but this can reasonably be attributed to the characteristics of recording audio in the confined space of a car. There is a brief audio dropout at 20:42 in Episode 7.
A low bass hum is present from 21:11 - 22:10 during Episode 1. This is possibly a deliberate moving van sound effect, but I could not be sure of this.
There is considerably more music in this series than in previous series, with significant background music being present during a number of the episodes, including a hysterical rendition of Night Fever in Episode 7. The theme music and incidental music is credited to Alan Lisk.
There was no activity in the surround channels, and
the stereo presence of this soundtrack is limited to the music and the
audience laughter. The subwoofer did very little for the majority of the
series, but unexpectedly burst into action during the aforementioned Night
Fever sequence in Episode 7.
|Surround Channel Use|
You are able to select each individual episode from the main menu, which then leads to a chapter submenu for each episode. This is a tad cumbersome, and an option to play all 6 episodes sequentially would have been appreciated.
© Michael Demtschyna
(read my bio)
8th October 2000
|DVD||SAST AEP-803, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer|