Top critical review
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Great series but poor implementation
on 16 March 2013
I've been wanting this series on DVD ever since I started collecting television boxsets. I remember years ago a site that offered unofficial bootleg DVDs mastered off VHS tapes, and I remember being tempted to get them since they were the only way to get this series at the time. I just wanted this series that bad. But, for good and ill, an official DVD release finally came one day. It's not all good. If I were reviewing only the series itself, I'd have awarded five stars, although one or two of them are undoubtedly subjective because of my rose colored nostalgia glasses letting me revisit when I was ten years old. But I am not reviewing the series in vacuum, but also the implementation of this DVD release. Because of that, I went down to three stars for the following reasons.
First, there are no subtitles of any kind, not even english. This means that I would not recommend this product for anybody who is deaf, hard of hearing, or has trouble with the english language. This is compounded by the fact that as of this writing, I could not find any english language subtitles for the series anywhere on the Internet, so currently there's no way I can tell to fix this. Having said that, now that I have the DVD, I am planning to create subtitles and release them on the web, so hopefully later this year there will be a fix for the lack of subtitles. However, implementing the fix will require some technical jiggery as you'll have to view the series on a computer with a media player software that supports loading subtitles on top of a DVD, such as Media Player Classic.
Second, some of the music in the series has been changed. The episode "Second Self" (one of George Clooney's first roles) originally featured Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" and The Eagles' "Desperado". Both of these songs have been replaced with generic instrumentals. I'm pretty sure a third music piece in that episode was also changed but I'm not one hundred percent sure as I don't have as clear a memory of that original scene. As I personally consider the soundtrack a fairly important part of television, this is a pretty big flaw for me. I understand that licensing songs can be expensive business, and that's probably why the change was made, but regardless of the reason, it still ruined the episode for me a little bit.
Other than that, though, I'm pretty happy with the set. The DVD menus are fairly snappy instead of having to wait ten seconds for animations after every click. The video quality is IMO quite good. Audio has a noticeable amount of noise at most times so no crystal clear sound here. But for the most part, I really love just sitting down and watching an episode or three of Street Hawk. I just wish that subtitles and the original soundtrack were present, and their lack is enough to knock off a star or two in my book.