Seinfeld-The Complete 5th Season (1990)

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Released 21-Nov-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Yada Yada Yada - 10 Episodes
Featurette-Inside Look
Informational Subtitles-Notes About Nothing
Deleted Scenes-In The Vault
Featurette-Jason + Larry = George
TV Spots-NBC Promo - Sponsored By Vandelay Industries
Featurette-Master Of His Domain
Outtakes-'Not That There's Anything Wrong With That'
Easter Egg-NBC Promo - Sponsored By Vandelay Industries
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 498
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (4)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 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, Pepsi and other products occasionally
Action In or After Credits Yes, opening credits over comedy routine

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

Plot Synopsis

    Presented on a 4-disc set more than 10 years after its original airing on TV is the complete 5th 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 very funniest comedy 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.

    This latest boxset (which is actually the fourth one released because Seasons 1 & 2 were combined into one set) contains all 22 episodes from Season 5. These were first broadcast from September 1993 to May 1994 and contain some classics such as The Puffy Shirt, The Glasses, and rounds up with The Opposite, which many fans regard as one of the finest episodes of the entire series. The characters (and the respective actors) have now been well established, which gives the script writers and the cast greater scope to explore different territory (and perhaps more controversial subject matter than in previous seasons).

    In my opinion this overall season was just slightly less funny than Season 4, though I'm happy to lose that argument with anyone!

   The Episodes

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

DISC 1

    1. The Mango

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

    Deleted scene (1:11)

    Commentary with Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards. Pretty much as hilarious as their efforts in the previous boxsets, though I sense that they were tiring a little of the whole thing. Slightly longer gaps, and not quite as 'zany'. I wonder how this will be by the time the last seasons are released!

    Notes About Nothing - trivia track which contains much useful background information on scenes, characters, and locations.

    2. The Glasses

    Inside Look

    Deleted scenes (1:39) - 2 scenes

    Commentary with writers Tom Gammill and Max Pross. This is their first script for Seinfeld, and they pay much homage to Larry David. More factual than funny, it ends up being a little dry.

    Notes About Nothing

    3. The Puffy Shirt

      Inside Look

      Deleted scenes (2:17) - 2 scenes

      Notes About Nothing

    4. The Sniffing Accountant

      Inside Look

      Notes About Nothing

    5. The Bris

      Notes About Nothing

DISC 2

    6. The Lip Reader

       Inside Look

       A commentary with writers Peter Mehlman and Carol Leifer which is quite enjoyable to listen to. There are a few gaps in the commentary track during which time the original dialogue can be heard.

        Notes About Nothing

    7. The Non-Fat Yogurt

        Original version with Mayor Giuliani (21:32)

        Alternate version with Mayor Dinkins (22:53)

        Inside Look

        Deleted scenes (1:37)

        Commentary with Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards.

        Notes About Nothing

    8. The Barber

        Inside Look

        Notes About Nothing

    9. The Masseuse

        Commentary with writers Peter Mehlman and Carol Leifer

        Notes About Nothing

    10. The Cigar Store Indian

        Commentary with writers Tom Gammill and Max Pross.

        Notes About Nothing

DISC 3

    11. The Conversion

    Inside Look

    Deleted Scenes (3:37) - including alternate ending

    Notes About Nothing

    12. The Stall

     Inside Look

    Deleted Scene (1:03)

    Notes About Nothing

    13. The Marine Biologist

     Inside Look

    Deleted Scenes (2:11) - 2 scenes

    Commentary with director/producer Tom Cherones and production designer Tom Azzari

    Notes About Nothing

    14. The Dinner Party

    Notes About Nothing

    15. The Pie  

     Inside Look

     Deleted Scenes (1:37)

     Commentary with writers Tom Gammill and Max Pross.

     Notes About Nothing

    16. The Stand-in

     Inside Look

     Notes About Nothing

DISC 4

    17. The Wife

    Notes About Nothing

    18. The Fire

    Inside Look

    Deleted Scenes (1:15)

    Notes About Nothing

    19 & 20. The Raincoats (pt 1 & 2)

    Inside Look

    Deleted Scenes (1:11)

    Notes About Nothing

    21. The Hamptons

    Inside Look

    Commentary with writers Peter Mehlman and Carol Leifer

    Notes About Nothing

    22. The Opposite

    Inside Look

    Deleted scenes (3:31)

    Commentary with Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David

    Notes About Nothing

 

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 fullscreen ratio. Some of the extras, such as the Inside Looks, are presented in 1.78:1 letterboxed, with clips from the show being presented at 1.33:1.

    Sharpness is reasonable, considering the nature and the age of the source material. Shadow detail is good at all times. There is some grain visible in outdoor shots (especially 'stock' footage).

    Colour is consistent but does have a slight reddish tinge to it which gives skin tones a slightly ruddy hue.

    These transfers have been taken from a good clean print that has been restored well with very few visible positive or negative film artefacts.

    Subtitles are available in a number of languages and are all selectable 'on the fly' via the remote, or via the setup menus.

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. It's somehow amusing to sample the German or French versions of some scenes!

    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 - 'Yada, yada, yada'

    Commentary by various cast/crew members is provided on 10 of the episodes. The commentaries 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 and George's girlfriends. Extremely worthwhile inclusion from which even the most ardent fan will learn something new.

Deleted Scenes

    Included for 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 - 'Jason + Larry = George' (25:37)

    As the title suggests, this 25 minute long documentary focuses on the character of George, and how Larry David and Jason Alexander worked on developing the character. There are snippets of interviews with Jason Alexander, Larry David, and other cast and crew. Fairly detailed and interesting documentary on this key character.

TV Spots - 'Sponsored by Vandelay Industries' (3:27)

    A collection of TV adverts primarily pushing the change in timeslot for the show. Slightly repetitive.

Featurette - Master of His Domain

    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.

Outtakes - 'Not That There's Anything Wrong With That' (13:18)

    A collection of bloopers, retakes, and so forth from various episodes in Season 5. Very funny, and not too long.

Easter Egg

    There's apparently at least one in this collection. I'd be happy if any reader could post clues!

R4 vs R1

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

     The R1 version is identical to the R4 version except that instead of a German soundtrack it has Spanish and Portuguese soundtracks (reflecting its target audience).

    Given that the release dates for the R1 and R4 versions appear to be the same, I would strongly recommend the R4 version, unless you are keen on Spanish or Portuguese audio.

Summary

    Like the previous boxset releases, a very good job has been done putting Season 5's release together. This set includes all the episodes from the seasons, in their entirety, remastered for better quality video and audio. There's also a whole raft of extras including commentary tracks, trivia tracks, deleted scenes and stand-alone featurettes and documentaries.

    Obviously, any fan who already has the first 3 box sets and isn't completely fed up with the antics of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer would be rushing out to get this latest set!

    Those who are curious about the Seinfeld 'phenomenon' and haven't yet purchased the earlier releases would be advised to try those out first. Although one would quickly pick up on the characters and interrelationships even without viewing previous seasons, it would add greater depth and understanding if the seasons were viewed in order. Yes, even for a show that oft purported to 'be about nothing' (but which actually covered just about everything!)

    Picture and sound are better that they were on TV with the significant benefits of no commercial breaks and the loss of a precious few words of dialogue that often happened on TV when they cut to a break.

     The discs are filled with great and worthwhile extras.

    A highly recommended purchase.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Satish Rajah (don't read my bio!)
Friday, November 18, 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)
i don't wanna be a pirate - Johnny Wadd (i am bionic)
Seinfeld favourite - George P
Curb Your Enthusiasm - Klokwerk
I agree - Anonymous
Curb Your Enthusiasm NOT cancelled - George P
Re: Curb Your Enthusiasm NOT cancelled - Matt
Re: Curb Your Enthusiasm NOT Cancelled - Anonymous
Re: Curb Your Enthusiasm NOT cancelled - Matt
Network TV is over! - George P