The Fourth & Final Season
Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica is a reality television series about the married life of pop stars Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. The series first aired in 2003 and completed its final season earlier this year. Each season is divided into ten episodes. In the first season, Nick and Jessica were just learning what life was like together. There were plenty of opportunities for the two to get used to each other's idiosyncrasies. In the second and third seasons, which were packaged together as in one DVD set, Nick and Jessica were no longer official newlyweds. With a year of marriage in the past they have become more accustomed to living with each other and understand each other better. But despite the change, the seasons flow pretty much the same as the first season. This fourth season sees the couple together (and a part) for another ten episodes.
When I reviewed the first season, I found it to be entertaining. What I liked about it was more or less due to the way Jessica was portrayed. She acts like a spoiled brat and seeing her try to get through some of the most basic everyday situations is pathetic and consequently, entertaining. On the other, Nick comes off in a completely different light. He is a lot more headstrong and able as an individual. He's a really likeable guy. Nonetheless, the two make for quite a couple and their indifferent personalities made for some fun reality TV. With the second and third seasons, I found the show flowed the exact same way and there were some fun moments, but on the whole I found it was missing the appeal season one had.
Now I have had the chance to sit down with the fourth and final season. This season being the final season is little ironic, because at about the same time this DVD release came out, the "happy" couple called it quits. Maybe there's a good reason this series ended... So to an important question regarding this DVD set, what is there to like about season four? Well, I can't really say much besides that if you really enjoyed the past seasons, then ten more episodes of Jessica acting the airhead and Nick rolling his eyes should do you well. The show's overly melodramatic situations deliver the same entertainment value as past seasons. There are a few funny moments scatter throughout the season, but nothing really happens that is so big and moving you just have to see it.
For instance despite Nick's best efforts, Jessica is still horrible with money. The episode "The Valentine's Day Budget" is a perfect example. In this episode the happy couple set a twenty dollar cap on gifts for each other. Nick manages to spend less than twenty bucks and Jessica manages to go way over. We saw this same thing happen in season two when Jessica planned a very expensive thirtieth birthday for Nick. There are other common themes from their personalities we see, Jessica whining about this or that, Nick obsessing over sports, light bouts of unconvincing drama, and so on.
However there are some slight variations. In this season we see the couple separated at times. Jessica goes away in "The Dukes Of Hazzard" to do the filming for the movie of the same name. The change with Nick and Jessica being separated are not enough to make this season any better than the others. The end effect is that the show's content in terms of whatever problems, situations, and ordeals they deal with comes off as the same as any other episode.
In the end, the fourth and final season offers the same kind of excitement as the past seasons. The show is good for an occasional chuckle or insight into the lives of two very rich celebrities. For that reason it is worth sitting through, but I can't imagine wanting to watch it several times over. Rent it.
1. Newlyweds Two Year Anniversary
2. Jess Gets A Root Canal
3. Training Daisy
4. The Dukes of Hazzard
5. New Year's Eve
6. The Orange Bowl
7. Boys Weekend in Cabo
8. Newlyweds Together Again
9. The Valentine's Day Budget
10. Newlyweds Series Finale
The video is given in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture quality is pretty good. The image remains fairly sharp with detail looking crisp and clean.
The audio is given in English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The audio track is dialogue driven, but is supplemented with plenty of background music. The music came off fairly rich and vibrant. For the dialogue, I noticed that sometimes there tended to be varying sound levels. During voiceovers the sound came off very loud and clear, but some dialogue during the actual footage came off a little too quiet because the microphone did not pick it up. However, this did not occur often enough to be a real problem.
In the extras department there are three different featurettes. The first is Behind the Scenes: Nick and Jessica. It is almost thirty-two minutes of behind the scenes footage and comments from crew members about what it was like working with Nick and Jessica in relation to directing, editing, production, traveling, camping, eating. There are also several deleted scenes and some comments from the supporting cast (Joe & Tina Simpson, Drew & Lea Lachey, Cacee Cobb). The featurette ends with a montage of photos of Nick and Jessica. The next item is The Good, The Bad and The Mess-Ups. It is twenty-five minutes of the various good and bad moments in Nick and Jessica history. The featurette begins with the couple talking about how the show has affected their lives and how lucky they are to have their lives documented. Then we are subjected to a variety of clips and segments from Newlywed's history. The third and final featurette Newlywed Moments is four minute montage of clips from the series. There are also trailers for other MTV DVD releases Laguna Beach, Aeon Flux, Beavis & Butt-head, and Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica.
If you really enjoyed any of the past seasons in Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, then you should definitely pick up this fourth and final season set. However if you fall into the camp where I reside, then you might not want to. I enjoyed this show when I sat through the first season, but as I watched the subsequent seasons, nothing new happened to keep my attention. The show flowed in the same way, which started to become less and less exciting with each passing episode. This final season set doesn't stand out over any of the other seasons and should prove entertaining for a rental.