Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The-Season 4 (1993)

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Released 6-Dec-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 583:51 (Case: 582)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (4)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Debbie Allen
Madeline Cripe
Ellen Falcon
Eddie Gorodetsky
Studio
Distributor
NBC Productions
Warner Home Video
Starring Will Smith
James Avery
Janet Hubert-Whitten
Daphne Reid
Alfonso Ribeiro
Karyn Parsons
Tatyana Ali
Joseph Marcell
Ross Bagley
Jeffrey A. Townes
Nia Long
Vernee Watson-Johnson
Jenifer Lewis
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Quincy Jones III
Tom Jones
Marco Marinangeli


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
German
German for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

Season Four of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which originally aired in the USA in 1993-1994, marked several changes for the situation comedy Ė interestingly it was intended to be the last season of the popular show. The first main change was the appearance of actress Daphne Maxwell Reid in the role of Vivian Smith-Banks. Actress Janet Hubert-Whitten originally inhabited the role of Vivian for the first three seasons of the show and her characterisation of Vivian was as a serious career-minded woman, yet Reidís characterisation of Vivian is that of the non-confrontational sit-com Ďmomí. Reidís Vivian is also now a mother to baby Nicky (Nicholas Andrew Michael Shawn Nathan Wanya Banks) and she subsequently has a smaller role in the showís adult orientated plot lines. For many fans of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air this cast change is known as when the show "jumped the shark." The second change is Carlton and Will attending the fictional University of Los Angeles, which is where many of the adult thematic concerns are explored such as alcoholism, absent fathers and race. Other than the more satirical approach to the show, the characters of Phillip, Hilary and Ashley remain unchanged.

DISC 1

1. Where There's A Will, There's A Way, Part One

Phillip is dismayed when Will and Carlton move out of the mansion to attend University. Furthermore, Hilary reveals she is engaged to Trevor and Ashley decides she wants to be treated as a young adult rather than a child. Tyra Banks and Michael Rappaport guest star.

2. Where There's A Will, There's A Way, Part Two

Carlton is upset to find out Jackie Ames (Tyra Banks) is an ex girlfriend of Willís and moves back home. Will is forced to leave the apartment after his party is gate-crashed and has to choose between moving back home or staying with Jazz. Trevor decides to propose to Hilary on air with disastrous consequences.

3. All Guts, No Glory

Will decides to take it easy at University by signing up to the less academic classes but he is challenged when he meets Professor Mansfield (Jim Meskimen) who teaches Philosophy. Will continues to work at The Peacock to make rent for the pool house.

4. Father of the Year

Will poses as a single Dad at University when he is stuck with baby-sitting Nicky.

5. It's Better to Have Loved and Lost it

After Carlton is made a fool of by Willís friends for being a virgin by choice, Will encourages Carlton to see Joann (Natalie Venetia Belcon), a woman who shares many things in common with Carlton. The two seem perfect for one another, but Joann is harbouring a secret.

6. Will Goes a-Courtin'

Phillip sues Will and Carlton after they refuse to pay rent.

7. Hex and the Single Guy

In an attempt to come to terms with Trevorís sudden death, Hilary decides to see a TV psychic with the family.

DISC 2

8. Blood is Thicker Than Mud

Will and Carlton hope to join an African American fraternity but Carlton is victimised for being born into wealth.

9. Fresh Prince After Dark

Hilary is asked to pose for Playboy and her decision leaves Phillip and Carlton angry but Will more than pleased.

10. Home is Where the Heart Attack Is

Phillip is told he has to lose weight in order to prevent a heart attack by the family doctor. The family decides to put Phillip on a diet and exercise plan but Will sneaks unhealthy food into the house for Phillip, who has promised to fund his trip to Mexico in return. Phillip later suffers a heart attack leaving Will wracked with guilt.

11. Take My Cousin Ė Please

Will is placed on academic probation and in an attempt to achieve better grades he sets up his recently divorced professor with Hilary.

12. You've Got to Be a Football Hero

Will tries to prove his masculinity by competing in a drinking game only to be found unconscious in a graveyard speaking with dead spirits.

13. 'Twas the Night Before Christening

The family competes to give Nicky the best christening present.

DISC 3

14. Sleepless in Bel-Air

Ashley disobeys Phillip and stays out late with her boyfriend. Will covers for Ashley when Phillip becomes suspicious, but Carlton, who is studying for midterms hopes to get his little sister in trouble.

15. Who's the Boss

Carlton takes over as manager at The Peacock and Will quits after disagreeing with Carltonís money-minded approach.

16. I Know Why the Caged Bird Screams

After Will and Jazz steal a statue from a rival school, the school retaliates by stealing ULAís peacock mascot Ė Carlton.

17. When You Hit Upon a Star

Will dates pop-star Michelle Michaels (Stacey Dash).

18. Stop Will! In the Name of Love

When Phillip wants to accompany Ashley on her Valentine's date, she asks Will if she could double date with him to keep Phillip happy. Will agrees but when he sees how grown up Ashley and her date are he becomes overprotective of his cousin.

19. You'd Better Shop Around

Will is instantly hired as a car dealer after persuading Phillip to purchase a high priced sports car. When Willís work commitment interferes with his study, he decides to quit college much to the disapproval of Vivian and his mother.

20. The Ol' Ball and Chain

Jazz is preparing to marry Jewel (Karen Malina White) who has been recently released from prison. Hilary confuses her feelings for the newly attached Jazz while Phillip reluctantly agrees to host and pay for the wedding.

DISC 4

21. The Harder They Fall

The domineering father of Willís current girlfriend disapproves of Will and he attempts to scare Will by taking him on a plane ride. After the plane malfunctions the two are left stranded in the wilderness.

22. M is for the Many Things She Gave Me

Will finds himself seduced by Phillipís former girlfriend Janice, played by Pam Grier. To further complicate matters Janiceís daughter is also attracted to Will.

23. Mother's Day

Jazz and Jewel are hoping to have a baby but a complication arises which leaves Will with a dilemma.

24. Papa's Got a Brand-New Excuse

Willís long lost father Lou Smith (Ben Vereen) surprisingly returns to make peace with Will leaving both Phillip and Vivian suspicious regarding Louís motives. Will forgives his father and hopes to have a relationship with him, but has he set himself up for disappointment?

25. For Sale By Owner

This flashback episode is incited when a stranger makes a generous offer to purchase the mansion. The family then reminisces about the events of the past four years.

26. The Philadelphia Story

Will returns to Philadelphia and finds himself settling an old score.

This series includes the odd serious episode but overall remains satirical and light-hearted. The episodes introduce some new storylines and characters but unfortunately there are major continuity errors. These can be forgiven, however, as much of what made the show remains untouched, such as the rapport between Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro and James Avery. This season was to be the last, as NBC had cancelled the series after the third season. The series finale was to be the episode where Will moves back to Philadelphia, however fan reaction and letters written to Will Smith and NBC persuaded them to renew the show. Will Smith was also beginning his film career during this season with Six Degrees of Separation (1993) and Made in America (1993).

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Transfer Quality

Video

The show is presented full frame in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1 and the quality of the transfer is particularly good, although the picture is somewhat over-bright. However, there are no incidents of colour bleeding or MPEG compression artefacting. Overall, the picture quality is pleasant with minimal grain and defects. The subtitles remain true to the spoken dialogue and onscreen action.

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

Audio

The 2.0 English Dolby Digital soundtrack is also commendable. There are no defects to mention as dialogue is audible, sound effects are well balanced and canned laughter remains clear. Overall a satisfactory soundtrack for a sitcom.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

The menu includes a static cast photo with a section of the opening theme of the show.

The practical menu includes episode selections and language and subtitle options. While there is no option for chapter selection, each episode has 3 chapters which can be accessed while viewing.

R4 vs R1

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

The Region 4 Four Disc Boxset misses out on:

The Region 1 Four Disc Boxset misses out on:

Summary

The major changes which occurred during this season may have been frowned upon by fans but overall the season is enjoyable and is leading up to the final two seasons of the show. Unfortunately, this season release has no extras but the transfer and audio soundtrack are commendable.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1910, using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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