Monday, July 8, 2013

TV on DVD Review: Reba - Season 4

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great acting and characters find the humor in everything
Cons: None worth mentioning
The Bottom Line
Reba leads the cast
Laughs in every episode
A winner for sure

"You Can't Sue Me for Being a Bad Puppet."

Take a famous female country music singer and give her a sitcom.  I would have said it was a recipe for disaster, but Reba proved me wrong.  Season after season, this show never failed to make me laugh, and pulling out season 4 on DVD again reminded me why.

Season 4 picks up where season 3 left off - Brock (Christopher Rich) has just confessed to his ex-wife Reba (Reba McEntire) that he made a mistake when he divorced her to marry his pregnant girlfriend Barbara Jean (Melissa Peterman).  The problems in their marriage grow so intense that Barbara Jean kicks Brock out.  No, he doesn't go back to Reba (and I'm glad about that), but they do spend quite a bit of the season trying to work things out.  Of the kids, this hits Kyra (Scarlett Pomers) the hardest since she's still living with Barbara Jean and trying to pick up the pieces.

In other developments this season, Reba become a realtor, daughter Cheyenne (JoAnna Garcia) continues with her schooling to become a dentist, son-in-law Van (Steve Howey) gets traded to the Denver arena football team before seeing his career ended by a rare spinal condition, and Jake (Mitch Hollerman) goes out for football as well.

While every episode has plenty of laughs (this is a sitcom after all), a few of them really stand out.  For example, the one where they throw a surprise party for Van only to have him drop a bombshell is a riot.  Another great one involves Barbara Jean's missing dog (also named Brock) and who might have hurt it.  The show is always walking a fine line between the comedy and some of the more serious issues they deal with, and that is most true in the seasons finale, which involves someone realizing they are an alcoholic.  And while they do get serious at the end, the show features some more truly gut busting laughs.

I have usually found that the longer a show lasts, the better the acting from the main cast gets, and that holds true here.  These actors know the characters and are able to tap into that to truly show us what the character are feeling.  Yet, since this is a sitcom, the comic timing is also important, and the cast has that as well.  Yes, even Reba.  She is a gifted comedian as well as a gifted singer.  I have to also praise Steve Howey whose comic timing and facial expressions are absolutely priceless.  Just his reactions can often bring down the house.  On the guest star front, watch for an episode that features Reba's friend Dolly Parton.

Season 4 marked a shift in the release of the show on DVD.  While the previous seasons had extras, there are none to be found here (or on the last two releases).  But since for a while it was iffy that we'd even get the season at all on DVD, I'll take what I can get.  The set includes all 22 episodes on three double sided discs.  They are in their native full frame and stereo sound and look and sound great.

While the show does tackle some serious issues, it never forgets to make us laugh.  And that's why season 4 of Reba is another winner.

Season 4 Episodes:
1. The Accidental Role Model
2. Mother's Intuition
3. The Two-Girl Theory
4. Van's Agent
5. Surprise
6. Couple's Therapy
7. All Fore One
8. Hello, I Must be Going
9. Thanksgiving
10. No Boys Upstairs
11. Diamond Jim Brady
12. Reba and the Nanny
13. Date of Mirth
14. Reba the Realtor
15. Flowers for Van
16. Who Killed Brock?
17. The Pageant of Grandmas
18. Reba's Rules of Real Estate
19. Driving Miss Kyra
20. Go Far
21. Help Wanted
22. Hello, My Name is Cheyenne

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