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The Third Season
Running Time: 549 minutes
Starring: Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, Elizabeth Kerr and Conrad Janis
Retail Price: $29.99
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Mono, English Closed Captions, Episode Selection, Chapter Stops (5 per episode), Four-Disc Set
Released: November 27th, 2007
"Na nu! Na nu!"
Technically a spin-off to the beloved "Happy Days" (the season five episode where Mork was first introduced is still one of that series absolute best episodes), "Mork & Mindy" was able to break out of the shadow of the series that spawned it and became a pop culture phenom all its own. Running a good four years, the concept of the show was pretty simple: Mork from Ork (Robin Williams) is sent to earth to study the planet and report back his findings to his boss, Orson. After landing in the woods in Boulder, Colorado, Mork meets up with Mindy McConnell (Paw Dawber) after being left there by her boyfriend who steals her car (Mindy refused to put out). Mindy soon discovers that Mork is indeed an alien, and the two end up becoming roommates and Mindy offers to help him. The rest is comedic gold, as Mork tries his best to learn the ways of human society. Luckily for us, Mork is quite the lovable alien though with a load of childlike innocence, so it's usually hard to stay mad at him when his well meaning ways get him into trouble.
It's true the concept of the show is a bit standard at this point (aliens learning about human life and being taken in... hmm, did "3rd Rock From The Sun" slightly rip off this show?), but a lot of "Mork & Mindy" does still hold up very well today - this is a very entertaining and hilarious series. While the show would stumble in later seasons (though end on a predictable and happy note), the first season is where the show definitely shines the brightest (this was the only season where it got nominated for an Outstand Comedy Series Emmy). Other than the weird and manic energy from Mork, the writing is really good here. A lot of the episodes focus on Mork learning the basics of earth life - different kinds of people, pets, Christmas and in one of the most memorable episodes Mork learns a series of emotions (when Mindy kisses him). The pilot is also really great, as it features "Happy Days" favorites such as The Fonz and Laverne. (Who doesn't like to see other friends on another series?)
When it comes to a sitcom like this though, a good deal of the show's success depends on its cast and certainly that's where "Mork & Mindy" delivered. Robin Williams is certainly an iconic comedian and a fabulous as well as recognized film actor today, but let's not forget that his roots were in television and this series was more or less a vehcile from him. It really is hard to imagine anyone else but Williams in the role of Mork. Williams may walk the fine line of schmaltz these days, but he's still an incredibly gifted comedic talent and this show shows it off in the best ways possible. Williams is fun, he's beyond enthusiastic and he's certainly wacky, but he's also charming and heartfelt - who else could have formed such a fun, insane character? Williams plays well off of the entire cast with his silliness (got to love that voice) and crazed banter (I'm sure he improvised quite a bit). Pam Dawber was certainly great as Mindy. Of course she was a bit more stern as the straight woman, but Dawber certainly had great comedic talents and nicely developed the quirks of Mindy. Dawber had great chemistry with Williams which made it so easy to buy into their arrangement together. If anything, Garry Marshall certainly knows how to cast pairs well.
"Mork & Mindy" may not be remembered as one of the absolute best series of all time, but at least it's still remembered. While I think some viewers remember the show mainly for its changes, they shouldn't forget how great it was to begin with. It had two great leads, it had heart and it was really funny and imaginative. Whether it's been awhile since you've last seen someone from Ork or if you're part of a new generation discovering the show, you just might enjoy this third seaso.
The third season of "Mork & Mindy" is presented in 1.33:1 full screen, and there isn't much to write home about. The episodes certainly look their age and weren't given a clean-up, so expect a lot of blemishes and scratches on the prints of these episodes. The episodes do look a bit grainy and are a bit on the soft side, and there is some noise too. Detail isn't great, fleshtones are decent as is the color saturation. The colors aren't blah, but they don't pop out, either.
Just like the transfers, there's nothing special about the plain and old English mono tracks. Everything sounds clear, and isn't distorted - but these tracks are obviously limited. Nothing has much of an effect and nothing stands out - it all just comes together, and it's just how these episodes sounded on DVD. Fidelity is a bit high, but that's the only real thing of notice. Oh, and English closed captions are included.
Maybe the last season will have something? (I doubt it.)
I'm sure this set will only appeal to "Mork & Mindy" fanatics, as the episodes still look and sound a bit drab - not to mention there are no supplements. It's not the show's best season, but it's still a pretty amusing show to watch - especially for Robin Williams's antics.