...after all my years of waiting, the complete Frasier is mine! And is it worth the wait?
Well, yes and no. All eleven seasons of this great show in one box? Yes! The best comedy series ever in one handy-dandy package? Yes! All eleven seasons packaged sensibly? Sadly no, but more on this later!
There's a reason this has been voted the best comedy series ever. 11 seasons of top-quality, high-brow situation comedy. Why Channel 4 stuck this on at 10pm (on Fridays, if I recall) I'll never know. Personally I'm hoping that when Friends finishes it's run on E4 next year Frasier will take it's place and have it's chance with a whole new generation of fans. Quite how this is going to work on the decidedly low-brow E4 I don't know, but one can hope!
Anyhoo, if you're looking for a great series to get you through the long winter nights, I cannot recommend this one enough. And at this price it's a steal! Of course the cheaper price has to come from somehwere....
The problem with this boxset (and what has led me to award 4 stars) is the inherent failure with the packaging. Upon closer inspection of the item you can see the outer housing is visibly bowing at the edges, suggesting of course the contents of the box are far too big for the box itself.
Because of this, the cardboard sleeves the DVD's reside in are under far more pressure than they should be and are in fact marking the DVD's across the diameter of the disc. The problem is evident throughout the entire set, but I've found it to be more prevalent on the earlier and later seasons, with the middle seasons escaping the brunt of the damage.
Does this render this discs unwatchable? Not really, but it does make a couple episodes in the early seasons skip a little, plus there is some macro-blocking present which is also down to the markings on the disc.
As it is an inherent design flaw, unless Paramount decide to do a recall and reissue owners with more satisfatory packaging, if you want to keep this series (and at this price, who wouldn't?!) it is something we have to live with. Personally I find there are a couple good options for over-coming this hurdle:
1) Remove the discs from their cardboard cases, and then re-insert them until the packaging just takes 'hold' of the disc. The outer housing should keep everything from flapping around. I find a gap of around half an inch to be about right.
2) Remove the individual cardboard cases from the outer housing and keep them on the shelf instead; this should remove the excess pressure placed on the packaging. What you do with the outer housing is of course your choice!
3) If you have an HMV or Blockbuster near you, take the most damaged discs into them and get them cleaned.
Other than that, please don't let the packaging issue put you off of buying this fabulous TV show. It really is the best!