The teenage soap opera sensation of the 90s came to an end with this, its 10th season. As one would expect, in a season all about wrapping up storylines, along with various assorted crises, romantic and otherwise, weddings are in the offing. One is supposed to be between Kelly (Jennie Garth) and Matt (Daniel Cosgrove), but is complicated by the brooding presence of Dylan (Luke Perry). Will Kelly and Dylan sort out how they feel about each other (and I note with amusement that the jacket copy describes the relationship between these two twenty-somethings as “age-old”)? Perhaps more promising is the wedding between David (Brian Austin Green) and Donna (Tori Spelling), which provides a reason for most of the cast, past and present (minus the problematic Shannon Doherty) to reassemble for the grand finale.
This was always a pretty slick package, and for all that it was about terminally pretty people, the series did delve into some heady topics (gay bashing is one that is handled this season). But the overpowering odor of cheese was never far away (I remember a particularly hilarious studio-set version of Paris that the gang visited), and how did anyone ever take Perry’s Poor Man’s James Dean impression seriously? This will be an enjoyable nostalgic trip for fans, though, and a startling reminder of how many cast members became household names, only to plunge into the Where Are They Now File within seconds of the series’ cancellation.
We are in the broadcast year of 1999-2000 here, but the picture actually looks rather older than that. The sharpness is only just good enough to get by, there is some grain, and there is some pretty severe aliasing going on in a number of shots. The colours, though, are fine. Best experienced on a small screen. The aspect ratio is the original 1.33:1 fullscreen.
Things are better here. This is a solid 2.0 track, with a pretty active collection of surround sound effects. Far more, in point of fact, than I am used to encountering with a television package. The dialogue, meanwhile, is crisp and free of distortion. So though you may want the smaller TV for the picture, don’t be afraid of multiple speakers for the sound.
The Final Goodbye: (43:34) The running time and the announcer (who tells us what’s coming up “tonight” in this special) give away the fact that the one and only extra here originally broadcast with the show. It’s basically a long ode to how wonderful everything was, and how surprised everyone was with how well the show did.
Good sound, so-so picture, and not much by way of extras, but fans will certainly want to complete their collection with this release.