Seinfeld-The Complete 4th Season (1990)

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Released 24-May-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Inside Look
Informational Subtitles-Notes About Nothing
Deleted Scenes-'In The Vault'
Featurette-The Breakthrough Season
Featurette-Regis And Kathy Lee Parody
Outtakes-'Not That There's Anything Wrong With That'
Featurette-Master Of His Domain
TV Spots-NBC Promo - Sponsored By Vandelay Industries
TV Spots-1992 Olympic Promos
Gallery-Photo
Introduction-Jason Alexander - The Handicap Spot
Alternative Version-The Handicap Spot
Easter Egg
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time ?
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (4)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Andy Ackerman
Jason Alexander
Tom Cherones
David Steinberg
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Jerry Seinfeld
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Michael Richards
Jason Alexander
Case ?
RPI $79.95 Music Jonathan Wolff


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Dutch
Danish
Finnish
Hebrew
Norwegian
Portuguese
Swedish
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Information
French Information
German Information
Dutch Information
English Audio Commentary
French Audio Commentary
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Presented more than 10 years after its original airing on TV, this is the complete 4th season of the classic TV comedy Seinfeld. For those few of you who might not be familiar with this show, it's basically about four friends - Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer - and the various situations they find themselves in. In my opinion this is the funniest comedy show to ever come out of the US. I put that down to the fact that the comedic timing was perfect, the situations were zany but believable, and the writing was sharp and often rife with subtle sarcasm (something that doesn't usually come across that well in American comedies).

    As many critics have pointed out over the years, Seinfeld worked so effectively because it managed to combine incisive social observations that most of us can relate to with old-time slapstick comedy.

    Season 4 contains some of the very funniest episodes in the entire 9 season series of the show. The season also introduces the important regular guest character of Susan, who remains George's love interest (on and off!) throughout this and later seasons. Jerry's on-screen parents also seem to pop up more frequently during this season.

    This season also carried a story arc more or less surrounding the creation of the Jerry Seinfeld Show, written by Jerry and George.

The Episodes

    I won't provide the story for each episode as detailed guides can be found on the Net. A good one is at the www.tvtome.com website. Details of episode-based extras are provided below:

Disc 1

1. The Trip pt 1

    'Inside Look' - short compilation of recent interviews with cast and crew members with excerpts from the episode.

    Deleted scenes (2:09)

    Commentary by writer Larry Charles who understandably focuses more on how the episode was written and produced. Slightly dry but nevertheless useful.

    Notes About Nothing - trivia track

2. The Trip pt 2

    Commentary by writer Larry Charles

    Notes About Nothing

3 & 4. The Pitch/The Ticket (one-hour episode)

    Notes About Nothing

5. The Wallet

    deleted scene (2:43)

    Notes About Nothing

6. The Watch

    Notes About Nothing

    The Breakthrough Season, which is actually a documentary, has been incorrectly included on disc one's Episodes Menu. However, it also appears in the Extras menu.

Disc 2

7. The Bubble Boy

    Inside Look

    Notes About Nothing

8. The Cheever Letters

    Inside Look

    Deleted Scenes (3:41)

    Commentary by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards. Very funny indeed!

9. The Opera

    Inside Look

    Deleted Scenes (3:07)

    Notes About Nothing

10. The Virgin

    Deleted scene (0:53)

    Notes About Nothing

11. The Contest

    Inside Look

    Deleted Scenes

    Commentary with Jerry Seinfeld - I wonder why he did his commentary separately to the other three cast members?

    Notes About Nothing

Disc 3

12. The Airport

    Inside Look

    Deleted scene (0:29)

    Alternate ending (0:45)

    Commentary with writer Larry Charles

    Notes About Nothing

13. The Pick

    Inside Look

    Deleted scenes (1:45)

    Notes About Nothing

14. The Visa

    Inside Look

    Notes About Nothing

15. The Movie

    Deleted scene (1:48)

    Notes About Nothing

16. The Outing

    Inside look

    Deleted scenes (2:28)

    Commentary by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards

    Notes About Nothing

17. The Shoes

    Notes About Nothing

Disc 4

18. The Old Man

    Inside Look

    Deleted scenes (0:55)

    Alternate ending (0:56)

    Notes About Nothing

19. The Implant

    Inside look

    Commentary by writer Peter Mehlman

    Notes About Nothing

20. The Handicap Spot

    Original version with John Randolph acting as George's father.

    Original version with a short introduction by Jason Alexander.

    Syndicated version with the much crazier and funnier Jerry Stiller (who remained in the role for the rest of the series)

    Inside Look

    Notes About Nothing

21. The Junior Mint

    Inside Look

    Deleted scene (1:00)

    Commentary by Jerry Seinfeld.

    Notes About Nothing

22. The Smelly Car

    Inside Look

    Notes About Nothing

23 & 24. The Pilot (pts 1 and 2)

    Commentary by production designer Tom Azzari and Director Tom Cherones.

    Notes About Nothing

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Considering the age and the source of the original material, the video quality on these DVDs is pretty good.

    The episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 full screen ratio, though some of the extras, such as the Inside Looks, are presented in 1.78:1 letterbox with excerpts from the show presented at 1.33:1.

    Sharpness was fairly good throughout, though never exceptionally so. However, given that this was a TV show, and over 10 years old, the sharpness and shadow detail were good.

    There was no visible low-level noise.

    There was a very slight red tinge to the colour palette on this transfer which 'aged' the picture slightly.

    The most annoying artefact present was a flickering in the background of some scenes, such as as 3:47 and 4:41 in episode 1, disc 1. This sort of 'flickering', which may have been due to some form of aliasing, occurred at various points in many of the episodes. However, the usual sources of aliasing, such as greenery or window blinds, didn't seem to give rise to this artefact.

    The print itself was rather clean and almost completely free of visible positive or negative film artefacts.

    Subtitles were available in many languages. I sampled a few and found them to be well synchronised with the onscreen dialogue. The trivia track present on almost all episodes utilised one of the subtitle streams and could hence be activated on the fly.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio tracks are available in the original English, as well as in French and German. I was amused that they managed to get Germans with highish-pitched voices to do the voices for Jerry and others!

    Dialogue is well synchronised to the actors' lip movements at all times (except in the dubbed soundtracks of course). The dialogue is clear and undistorted at all times.

    The music, by Jonathon Wolff, is really only used during the opening and closing credits, as well as the 'return from commercial breaks'. It's upbeat and catchy and suits the show nicely.

    The surround channels went on holiday during this show. Even the front left and right speakers were barely audible, with the vast majority of the soundtrack (even the audience applause) being carried by the centre channel. This (a little disappointingly) results in a rather monophonic soundtrack.

    The subwoofer chipped in to fill out the bottom end of the soundtrack, such as during the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio and Animation

    Each disc has a menu that's themed to one of the episodes on the disc. The submenus are themed likewise.

Audio Commentary

    Commentary is provided for 9 of the episodes. These vary in terms of information and entertainment between the various parties doing the commentary tracks. However, overall they are an extremely valuable and enjoyable addition.   

Featurette - Inside Look

    These are short (around 5 minute duration) looks at the particular episode in question. These are presented in 1.78:1 letterboxed with the clips from the episodes presented in 4:3 fullscreen.

Informational Subtitles - 'Notes About Nothing'

    These are continuous streams of information on characters, actors (including the many background actors), locations, and production snippets relating to each episode. They continue the counters for such things as Kramer's entrances and Jerry's girlfriends. An extremely worthwhile inclusion from which even the most ardent fan will learn something new.

Deleted Scenes

    Included on a number of the episodes. These range from extensions to existing scenes, to alternative takes on a scene, to scenes completely left out. Once again, highly worthwhile at least for the sake of completeness.

Featurette - The Breakthrough Season (runtime 19:10)

    Snippets of recent interviews with cast, crew and NBC Executives looking back at the 4th season of Seinfeld.   Interspersed with many clips from various season 4 episodes.

Featurette - Regis & Kathie Lee Parody (4:40)

    A short documentary on a take-off done of the long-running US chat show Regis and Kathie Lee.

Outtakes - 'Not That There's Anything Wrong With That' (21:13)

    A collection of retakes, bloopers, and gags from the filming of various season 4 episodes. Whilst these were great fun to watch, I felt that at 21 minutes it was a little too long. Perhaps they could have split this into 2 separate extras.

Featurette - Master Of His Domain (8:03)

    A collection of Jerry's pseudo-live stand-up comedy routines like those shown before and after each episode. The ones that appear in this featurette were not used in any episodes.

TV Spots - Sponsored by Vandelay Industries (2:58)

    A collection of short TV promos primarily advertising a shift in time slot for the show.

TV Spots - 1992 Olympic Promos (4:15)

    Various TV spots themed around the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Mostly featuring just Jerry and George.

Photo Gallery

    A collection of photos taken on-set. These advance automatically after about 4 seconds. The show's theme music plays in the background.

Introduction to Episode

    The episode titled "The Handicap Spot" includes an optional short introduction provided by Jason Alexander explaining the change of actor.

Alternate Version

    Two full versions of the episode "The Handicap Spot" are included on disc 4. One has the role of George's father played by the original actor, John Randolph. The second version has Jerry Stiller in the role.

Easter Egg

    The disc menus, and of course the subject material, lend themselves to an Easter Egg or three. However, I'll let you find them yourselves...i.e. I couldn't find them.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The content of the R4 release appears to be identical to the R1 release, except that the R4 version provides soundtracks in French and German, but misses out on the Spanish.

Summary

    Seinfeld season 4 contains some of the funniest episodes of the entire series. Every fan has their own 'picks' from the episodes in this season. For me, the best ones were "The Bubble Boy", "The Pick", "The Outing", "The Junior Mint", and "The Smelly Car". In fact, all 24 episodes were just about all equally funny, with some slight exceptions such as occasional segments of "The Trip" and "The Opera" which were a little dull or serious. This spoiled the 'fun factor' just a tiny bit.

    The video and audio quality is far better than when originally broadcast on TV. The flickering present in a few scenes is something that can be lived with.

    The extras, especially the commentary tracks and fact tracks, are full of info, fun and really make a great case for repeat viewings of the episodes.

    Seinfeld fans, buy this set now! You won't be disappointed. Even IF you get tired of endless repetitions of the 24 episodes, you'll still have plenty of extras to keep you entertained for ages.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Satish Rajah (don't read my bio!)
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output
DisplaySony KV-XA34M31 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2801
SpeakersMain: Mission 753; Centre: Mission m7c2; rear: Mission 77DS; Sub: JBL PB10

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
flickering - Neil