Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
Number of discs: 4
Rating: Not Rated
DVD Release Date: May 30, 2006
Run Time: 600 minutes
Alf: Season 3 is a good representation of what television was like in the 80s. Cheesy and starring puppets.
Alf (short for Alien Life Form) is actually named Gordon Shumway. Gordon is from the planet Melmac, which died and Alf is now on Earth, living in the house of the Tanner family. No, not the family from Full House, we're talking the Willie Tanner and his wife and two kids. In season three, Alf has become ensconced in the family who are getting used to his antics, as well as hiding him from the neighbors.
Can you imagine a show like this on today? As I was sitting there watching it, I couldn't believe the show made it on to the air. Now back in the day, I was a huge Alf fan. I had an Alf nightlight, a strange bookmark where he would grip the page, and a poster. I even still have the finale episode from season one on tape where he electrocutes himself in the bathtub and forgets he's an alien. I was a huge fan. At least for the first season. Then the show ran into the same problem I see today. The whole alien angle is fun for a while, but after the first season, the show turned into a normal sitcom with the same plots as every other show. Take for instance the episode in this season where Alf tries to set up the daughter with someone and ends up in the back seat of the car for the date. OK so if he gets caught it's a little more awkward since he's an alien. But otherwise, what's the difference if it's him or her father in the backseat?
The DVD is interesting. The place where you get the options normally have a repeating background with music playing, but in this case Alf is there talking up his radio show. It goes on for quite a while and is rather fun. Then, when you go to the episode selection, you can click on an icon that shows Alf giving a run down of what the episode is about. The DVD doesn't have any extras like a commentary or behind the scenes stuff, so that's lacking. Actually, beyond the chapter thing and the main screen stuff, there are no extras. Anything would have been better than nothing, although since it has been about 20 years since the show aired, I guess there isn't much available.
The episodes in season three, as I said, fall into the typical sitcom format. What I don't understand is how the Tanner family, after living with Alf for a while, still let him get away with things. In the episode where he learns magic, for some reason they keep encouraging him even though you know he'll burn up the money. Oh, that reminds me, the actors. I don't want to sound mean, but beyond Alf, this has to be one of the worst set of actors I've ever seen in a sitcom. Max Wright, as the father, is the weakest father figure to ever appear on television. Andrea Elson, who plays daughter Lynn is probably the worst actress ever to appear on television. And that's something I realized back when the show first aired. Benji Gregory, who plays son Brian, is reasonably cute, but most of the time just irritating. Only Anne Schedeen, who plays the mom, Kate, is a decent actress. But for some reason, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the show because of the wise-cracking, cat-eating alien named Alf.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, if you're a fan of the show, go out and get the DVD collection. I'd start with season one and work my way up. Don't expect anything extra beyond the episodes, but it's still a fun trip down memory lane.
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