This is a great show that ends very sadly.
I wish there had been commentary tracks and more extras.
I am very happy that I finally got sent a season of Three's Company to review. The fact that it was the last season makes it all the more bittersweet, simply because of how I feel about this show. In my opinion, the writing was so good that they could lose characters like the Ropers, Chrissy and Cindy, and that had no effect on the show whatsoever. I know that people feel that once Chrissy (Suzanne Somers) left that the show went down hill, bit I have to be honest, I don't think that Cindy (Jenilee Harrison) was that bad and I thought that the casting of Priscilla Barnes as Terri was particularly inspired. All those years they had had the blonde roommate be a ditz, and then Barnes comes in and completely changes things up. Janet (Joyce DeWitt) and Jack (John Ritter) were always pitch perfect in their portrayals. Add Larry (Richard Kline), Mr. Furley (Don Knotts) and a host of other actors to play into their foibles, and it isn't surprising that this show ran for 8 seasons.
Three's Company: Season 8 was a joy to review, if not filled with a lot of sadness. This is the end people. I had also seen the behind the scenes movie they made on this show, and when one considers the inner turmoil going on between Ritter and DeWitt (he had signed to do Three's A Crowd, which DeWitt wasn't a part of), I think that makes their performances stand out that much more. By this time in the show, Jack had his own Bistro, and things had certainly changed for Janet and Terri, yet I never felt that Three's Company rang a false note. Even when there was a misunderstanding between the characters, or Larry had roped Jack into a crazy scheme or date, or Mr. Furley threatened the kids with his umpteenth eviction, I never felt that anything about this show was stale.
Call me sentimental, but watching this DVD set, I realized just how special Three's Company had been.
Moreso than any other blooper reels I have seen, I found this one to be particularly jarring. I say that because I have been watching this show for over twenty years. So, when I was watching these bloopers, everything is playing fine, and then suddenly I see Don Knotts or John Ritter mess up a line and I can't believe that it is happening. Normally I don't watch all of the blooper reel (because how much of that do really you need to watch?), but with this one I couldn't keep my eyes off it.
John Ritter: Working With A Master
People like Nancy Ritter (John's first wife) and Dave Powers sit back and remember John Ritter as a performer, a man, and just an overall great human being. This is a guy that seemed like he was always trying to stretch himself. Whether in his work, or around other people, he was a constant ball of energy that never needed to upstage anyone. On top of that, he could be truly heartwarming and I think that's why he endeared himself to so many people.
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The best way I can describe this is that it's a scene from the episode where Jack is trying to get a letter back that he sent to a food critic. Well, everyone else is talking in English, we can see tell that Janet's lines have been poorly dubbed in Spanish. I am not really sure what the purpose of this is, but it was interesting to say the least.
The Best Of sequences are broken up giving us separate moments with Jack, Janet, Terri, Larry and Mr. Furley. I really liked that they did it this way because you can watch what you want to watch in a very easy fashion. The fact that you can also boil the performances down in this easy manner makes it that much more user friendly. Great work, Anchor Bay!
Full Screen. These episodes looked about as good as I expected they would. I didn't think that they were going to be too much brighter (they are 23 years old!) than when they currently play on TV Land, but it doesn't look like much has been done to these episodes at all. Don't get me wrong, the picture quality hasn't lost anything, it just isn't as sharp as one might expect these DVDs to be.
Dolby Digital. The audio on these shows was solid. I didn't have to turn my TV up that loud, and if anything it seems like Anchor Bay has bumped things up a bit in the sound department. The fact that this isn't a show that seems like many jokes failed, I think says something about the audio's ability to put across various jokes and themes.
Terri, Jack and and Janet grace this simple blue cover which seems like it was made in the 1980s. The back shows a scene between those three and Larry, and one can tell by the looks on Terri and Janet's faces that he is up to something. There is a description of Season 8, a Special Features section, and some minor technical specs. All the discs pull out of this packaging with a really well written piece on the show inside it. The discs are stacked in a booklike form, with more pictures and artwork laid out everywhere. Anchor Bay has done a fine job making these Three's Company releases feel special.
John Ritter was brilliant as Jack Tripper. While I am sure some people probably see his work and wonder what the big deal was, to do what he did every week is very hard. He didn't just do it week after week, he did it for eight years. Now I am not saying that Joyce DeWitt wasn't alongside him keeping pace (she certainly was), I just think that, like Don Knotts characterizations of Mr. Furley or Barney Fife, Ritter made something that is very hard seem easy. That is exactly where his brilliance was. It's almost as if Ritter was able to manipulate the elements of physics and incorporate them into his performance at will.
I feel that is only fitting that a company like Anchor Bay be the one to bring out this show. Every set of Three's Company that I have seen seems like it has been given the bells and whistles treatment. While I wish that we had more supplemental features in this final set, it is understandable that by the eighth season they had picked the apple barrel dry. Still this set has some stuff even if it seems redundant. All in all, it's a nice send off to a show that never aimed for anything more than to make people laugh, and provided entertainment each and every moment.
Three's Company was released .