'Melrose Place - The Fourth Season'
(Heather Locklear, et al / 9-Disc DVD / NR / (1959) 2008 / Paramount)
Overview: A nighttime soap opera about the lives careers trials and tribulations of a group of young people living in an apartment building in the trendy neighborhood of Melrose Place. The show was a spin off of Beverly Hills 90210 and starred Heather Locklear as the scheming Amanda Woodward head of her own advertising agency and owner of the apartment building.
DVD Verdict: I think of Season Four of Melrose - along with Season's Two and Three - as the last of the "classic" seasons. With the departure of Darren Star as executive producer (he still planned many of the storylines and character arcs for Season Four), Frank South makes sure fans aren't disappointed by giving us what we want - and then some!!
With the number of episodes per season - not to mention the g-force inducing pace of each individual episodes - you may think the cracks would begin to show by now (the 100th episode is early in Season Four), but how wrong you'd be. Each episode is packed with everything we've come to expect from Melrose: hilarious bitchy one-liners and put-downs; more movie references than you can shake a stick at (reflected in the individual episode titles too); brutal conflict between characters who were friends five minutes earlier (Jo and Jane as one example); sudden drastic career changes (Kim's couch anyone?); dramatic relationship changes (Brooke's step-mom, and Billy's new Mother-In-Law), Guest-Stars Galore; huge revelations about people's lives pre-Melrose (notably Amanda); and personalities that turn on a dime, becoming - well let's not kid ourselves - EVIL!
Everyone gets a makeover to some degree, and Season Four's distinctive look feels fresh. The cast is huge this year, and everyone has a memorable scene or two. The women in particular are finally allowed to really start packing punches, and the result is dynamite. Syd and Kimberly continue to shine as their fiery love/hate, confidante/nemesis relationship gets even weirder.
The series still has the power to shock too. From Kimberly's experiences in the hospital in the first few episodes, through Brooke's disturbing behaviour , to the last frame of the Season Finale. If you haven't seen Season Four, there's still plenty of mileage here, with huge re-watch value. If there's one word that for me summed up the best thing about Season Four of Melrose, that word would have to be - BETSY!!!
After season Four, with the cast beginning the exodus, I think some of the magic left too (don't worry though- there's still plenty more action in the final 3 Seasons). In the meantime, Season Four is up there - not just the cream of Melrose, but the best of 90's trashy TV. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs but does not come with any Special Features.