Monday, January 23, 2017

TV on DVD Review: Reba - Season 6

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Lots of great laughs in 13 episodes
Cons: One storyline felt like a retread, final scene a bit rushed.
The Bottom Line:
Final episodes
Give us more wonderful laughs
Mostly nice wrap up

“If You Take Loyalty and Ethics out of a Business, You Know What You Have?”  “A TV Network?”

At the end of season 4 of Reba, the WB, the station airing the show at the time, renewed it for two seasons.  At the end of season 5, the WB merged with UPN, and in the resulting confusion, Reba almost got canceled (despite strong ratings) until the resulting new CW network realized what it would cost them to do so.  As a result, they ordered the minimum 13 episode season 6, which allowed the show to give us a proper wrap up.

Since the writers had some idea the show might not be back for season 6, we start the season off with no cliffhanger resolution.  (I just had to give the writer’s a shout out for being responsible.)

But change is definitely in the air for the Hart family, and Reba Hart (Reba McIntyre) is just trying to weather the storm.  Daughter Cheyenne (JoAnna Garcia) and son-in-law Van (Steve Howey) are expecting their second child and are looking to move out and get a place of their own.  That’s driving Van to be a better realtor, which is causing some friction with his business partner Reba, especially when he gets an offer to move to a different company.  Meanwhile, Barbara Jean (Melissa Peterman) has lost weight and is finally pursuing one of her own dreams, causing conflict in her marriage to Reba’s ex-husband Brock (Christopher Rich).  Of course, Reba is caught right in the middle.  Meanwhile, Jake (Mitch Hollerman) get caught up in a new sport he wants to keep secret from everyone else.

Middle daughter Kyra missed almost all of season 5 since Scarlett Pomers, the actress who played her, was in treatment for an eating disorder.  (And I still applaud everyone for how it was handled.)  Her absence was actually never really explained the show, and they mock themselves brilliantly in the first episode this season when Kyra reappears.  She is back in full force with her wonderful sarcasm.  She’s now a senior is high school and decides to move back in with Reba for her final year before she goes off to college.  The resulting fights are predictable, but they are still entertaining.

And that’s the thing with this show this season.  We’ve seen some of these jokes before, but we still laugh at them because the writers find ways to make them funny still.  It helps that, while the jokes may be familiar, we are seeing the characters growing and changing so many of the situations are fresh.

Notice I said many.  Brock and Barbara Jean’s marital problems had been an on-going story at this point, and I still feel like this season didn’t add much new, but it’s a minor issue.

My only other complaint with the season is the ending.  Don’t get me wrong, the ending is the right ending.  In fact, if you listen to the commentaries on earlier seasons, you’ll see the actors felt this was how the show should have ended back then.  However, that final scene still feels forced.  I like it, but I don’t just because it feels very abrupt.  Maybe if the writers had more than 13 episodes this season, they could have eased into it easier.  After all, if you really think about what all happened in these 13 episodes, at lot is packed in.

The acting this season is fine as always.  The cast knows these characters, and they mine the scripts for every laugh.  I have no complaints in that department.

In fact, my complaints above are more niggles than true complaints.  They keep the season from being perfect, but I’d forgotten just how funny these epiosdes are until I went to rewatch them.

The thirteen episodes from this season are preserved here in their native full frame and stereo sound.  (This was 2006 after all.)  We get one double sided disc with the episodes and no bonus features.  Honestly, I was happy to get that with how the show was treated for this final season.

If you’ve been a fan of Reba, you’ll definitely want to have the final season in your collection.  And if you’ve missed this gem, by all means go back and start at the beginning.  It’s a truly funny show.

Season 6 Episodes:
1. Let’s Get Physical
2. Just Business
3. Trading Spaces
4. Roll with It
5. The Break-Up
6. Sweet Child O’ Mine
7. Locked and Loaded
8. As We Forgive Those
9. Bullets over Brock
10. Cheyenne’s Rival
11. She’s with the Band
12. The Housewarming
13. The Kids are Alright

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