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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Designing Women – The Complete Third Season (1988 – 89/Shout! Factory DVD Sets)

Designing Women – The Complete Third Season (1988 – 89/Shout! Factory DVD Sets)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: B-



When word was broadcast that actress Dixie Carter had passed away from cancer, fans of Designing Women were not the only ones saddened by her loss.  As part of the cast of a positive, pro-active comedy with some heart, soul and political sense, maybe the show did not go far enough all the time, but her character Julia did speaking her mind in ways we now know could not be heard enough.


If you are not familiar with the show, try the link to my review of Designing Women – The Complete First Season to find out:





To its advantage, the show cohered much better than it had in the beginning and the cast’s chemistry is part of that.  Carter, Meshach Taylor, Annie Potts, Jean Smart and Delta Burke made for a cast that used to define how good such casts in TV situation comedy could be, but the format was already becoming infantilized by lesser such shows and it turned out to be at the very tail end of the last golden era.


All 22 half-hours are included and more poignant to look at when you realize what a legacy they all left, but especially Carter.  When you have this kind of energy and personality, it is hard to believe such a person or their character could no longer be with us, but this release and the two previous will have a new interest as a result and many will see how prolific it was on the issues presented.


The 1.33 X 1 image is the same for Designing as the last sets, but the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sounds a little better this time.  Again, the filmed shows were finished on NTSC professional analog video, so you get aliasing, detail limits and it all seems second generation in the HD era.  There are no extras, but with Carter’s loss, a tribute is called for in the next season release.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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