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Army Wives
The Complete Third Season

review by Zach B.

 

 

Rating: TV PG 

Running Time: 759 minutes

Starring: Kim Delaney, Sally Pressman, Brigid Brannagh, Brian McNamara, Sterling K. Brown, Wendy Davis, Drew Fuller and Catherine Bell

 

Studio: Disney

Retail Price: $45.99

Features: Stationed In The South, Bloopers, Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary, Webisodes, Army Wives Gives Back

Specs: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Episode Selection, Scenes (7 per episode), Five-Disc Set

Released: February 9th, 2010

 

 

The third season of "Army Wives" is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, and these are pretty nice transfers. Other than some edge halos, hints of noise and some imperfections on the episodes, the overall image quality is sharp. Colors are  vibrant but have a tendency to smear slightly, and detail is quite good. Black levels are on target, and fleshtones are largely accurate. Contrast and brightness is a little high, but these are still nice transfers.

 

All the episodes of "Army Wives" also feature English Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Given that this is a very talky show, the tracks are geared toward the front. With that noted, dialogue is very clean and easy to hear. Some surrounds pop up here and there — namely in some more flighty moments — but they aren't always discrete. The subwoofer doesn't kick in much, but dynamic range is decent, and fidelity is pretty high. Coming out the best though is the show's music, be it the instrumental cues or the songs used. Like the previous seasons on DVD, they engage the speakers pretty warmly and intimately, which is just what the show calls for. Nothing extraordinary here, but fitting overall.

Subtitles in English, French and Spanish are also included.

 

Once again, there are a good amount of extras that fans of the series will love. First up, and lasting 21 minutes, is Stationed In The South. Executive producer Marshall Persinger, executive producer Harry Bring, executive producer Debra Spera and much of the cast talk about the joys of shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. We get to see how different cast members spend their time: they do yoga, go boating, play basketball and even visit the MUSC Children's Hospital. Not only is this a relaxing watch, it's also a good tourism piece. I might have to make a trip to South Carolina in the near future. 

Also on hand are 8-and-a-half minutes of Bloopers, and 15 Deleted Scenes, with Optional Commentary by Executive Producer with Jeff Melvoin. Fans will certainly want to watch these, and Melvoin is very articulate as far as why the cuts were made — namely due to pacing reasons. Good times.

Included are Webisodes, which focus on two characters: Joan Burton and Jeremy Sherwood. Each character has 3 episodes, and they tend to last 2 minutes a piece. Finally, Army Wives Gives Back is divided into three pairs: Wendy Davis & Aneana Pearce, Sterling Brown & Jodi Petit and Wendy Davis & Brooke Atkins. Each of these last around 2 minutes as well, as real life army wives are surprised and get some form of assistance. They're heartwarming, but at the same time, are all loaded with corporate sponorship. (I know, I know... it's always a two-way street like that.)

 

 

"Army Wives" has been a successful series on Lifetime, and three seasons in now, it's easy to see the series' soapy appeal. This third season on DVD is a satisfying package, much like the previous two: a decent number of extras, plus very good presentations of the episodes. Fans of the show shouldn't hesitate to pick it up, and more casual viewers may want to rent.