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Anchor Bay presents
Three's Company: Season Eight (1984)

"Boy, when I think of all the girls that he has chased over the years I...I get tired."
- Janet (Joyce DeWitt)

Review By: Ross Johnson   
Published: October 20, 2006

Stars: John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Priscilla Barnes
Other Stars: Don Knotts
Director: Dave Powers

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild sexual innuendo)
Run Time: 09h:12m:00s
Release Date: October 03, 2006
UPC: 013131455298
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+A-B+ B+

DVD Review

You would think that by year eight of Three's Company, they would have learned. Don't listen in on conversations. Don't jump to conclusions. And, most importantly, that bit of gossip that sounds like sexual inneuendo is probably harmless. Of course, if the gang all stopped making hairbrained assumptions, there wouldn't be much of a show. Ergo: Jack's girlfriend is pregnant! The new neighbor is a killer! Janet was gettin' it on with the old man from the flower shop! If nothing else, this show is reliable. The season premiere, for example, involves future Growing Pains mom Joanna Kerns as a modern woman of the 80s who wants nothing more from Jack than a baby. A half-overheard phone conversation convinces Janet that Jack has already done the deed, and that he plans to leave the lady high and dry. Pardon the cliché, but wackiness does, in fact, ensue. By year eight, things are starting to get mighty stale around the the ol' apartment, but a show like this works precisely because of its dependability, and there are still chuckles to be had.

The secret, I think, is the game and gifted cast. They all look like they're having fun, and that goes a long way. The writers and directors keep thing moving, and keep things light, with a safe, but slightly naughty sense of humor. It's not normally the type of show I enjoy, but there's a warmth and charm to the characters that overcomes much of the outright doofiness that infects the show. Which isn't to say that there's not real talent here: Joyce DeWitt as Janet and Priscilla Barnes as Terri make great straight women for the more slapsticky antics of Don Knotts and John Ritter. This ain't brain surgery, folks, but I had remembered the show fondly and find that it holds up in a weird, retro sort of way. The fashions alone are worth it. In 1984, for instance, you could be a real ladies man in a skin tight rainbow polo and cut-off jean shorts, but twenty years later it hardly seems improbable that all of Jack's landlords thought that he was gay. In fact, as a cultural artifact of its time, you couldn't do a whole lot better than this. The clothes, the design, even that opening theme song which drills its way into your brain scream of the middle-class, middlebrow late-70s/early-80s. Don't just watch it. Study it. If you grew up or were grown up during this era, this show is what you'll be judged on. Hill Street Blues and all the other "smart" shows you watched to prove how intelligent you were will have faded to oblivion, but Nick-at-Nite 2050 will still be showing Three's Company, and your grandkids will find much entertainment value in making fun of the way you wore your hair or those shorts ("Grandpa, did you really dress like a go-go boy?"). Might as well be ready.

This set of 21 eps includes the final episodes of the series, with Janet falling in love with new boyfriend Phillip just in time for a marriage in the series finale. Jack similarly finds romance with newcomer Vicki, setting up the the short-lived Three's A Crowd. The series finale isn't bad, but much of it plays like a pilot for the secretly-developed spin-off and gives short-shrift to everyone but Jack. Sadly, Terri doesn't get much of anything by way of character resolution except for an out-of-the-blue trip to Hawaii that seems like an afterthought. Though everybody remembers Suzanne Sommers, Barnes had been on the show for three seasons by this point, and deserved a bit better. Still, there's a definite conclusion, which is better than a lot of shows get. Janet, Jack, Terri, Larry, and (my personal favorite) Mr. Furley all get to say goodbye and turn out the lights.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio4:3 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Things look a bit soft, but I was actually pretty impressed after having only seen the show in reruns on TV. I didn't note any digital issues, and overall the image is better than I was expecting and probably about the best the show has ever, and possibly will ever, look.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The original mono track is included here by way of Dolby Digital. The dialogue is the most important part of the audio track, and it's all clear and relatively crisp.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
6 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Four fold case
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Bloopers
Extras Review: What's here are mostly repurposed clips, but it's nice for a show like this that Anchor Bay has provided quantity, at least.

There are five "Best Of" season features, with favorite scenes from Season 8 of Jack, Janet, Terri, Larry, and good ol' Mr. Furley. A lot of people don't like these things, since you have all this footage on the preceding discs, but I enjoy a good montage myself, so I shan't complain. It's like Three's Company concentrate.

Usted Habla Three's Company is a scene with Janet dubbed in Spanish, presented based on the premise that, apparently, people are funnier in Spanish. Hmmm.

Better is the 20-minute selection of bloopers. It's cute stuff, and it's nice that they've added it here. Working with a Master: John Ritter is a bit of a hodge-podge. Series director Dave Powers and Ritter's widow Nancy reminisce warmly about John's time on the series. They talk around clips of Ritter with various guest stars from the series run, and then an extended clip of the farewell scene from the last episode. It's pleasant enough, but pretty unfocused for the centerpiece special feature. This is also, apparently, the feature that is billed on the box sticker as a "30th anniversary reunion special." Somehow, I was expecting more than a reunion between one of the directors and the wife of one member of the cast...

Extras Grade: B+


Final Comments

This show had a formula, man, and stuck with it for eight years. Despite the repetition, Season Eight is still a lot of fun for fans. The special features mostly consist of clips, but the bloopers and brief new interviews aren't bad. If you've been collecting these up to this point, you'll definitely want this one.


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