The Fourth Season
Reba is a television series starring country singer Reba McIntire. In season one Reba finds herself recently divorced, a mother of three, and in the middle of a dysfunctional family. Reba's ex-husband Brock left her for his twenty-something assistant. Her seventeen year old daughter is pregnant and married her high school sweetheart, and they're living under her roof. To make matters worse, Brock and his new wife Barbara-Jean is a permanent fixture in Reba's life. Together they make a perfect dysfunctional family perfect for television. For more details about this series please refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one, season two, and season three
Season four begins with Reba in the midst of a love triangle with Brock and Barbra Jean--something she never wanted to be a part of. In the close of season three, Brock and Barbra Jean's relationship was on the rocks when Brock started to think he might have made a mistake leaving Reba for her. This serious and dramatic storyline is put into a humorous light with Barbra Jean's over-the-top, yet-oh-so-funny demeanor clashing with Reba surefire neurotic attitude. The relationship problems Brock and Barbra Jean have run all throughout the season. Some of the fun episodes associated with this storyline include "The Two-Girl Theory", Barbra Jean and Reba cruise the bars looking for hunky single men, and "Couples' Therapy", Reba gets roped into attending Brock and Barbra Jean's marriage counseling sessions.
Another big change for this season is Van's arena football career. Things are looking up for him, especially when it comes to renewing his contract. He manages to land one of the best agents in the business to work out his new contract in "Van's Agent". Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me, Frasier) guest stars as Sadie. What makes this a great story is when Sadie gets the wrong impression about Reba and by some odd chance of fate Reba asks her out on a date. It is a goofy sitcom mix-up. Van's career continues to be an issue in later episodes when he is traded to Denver and has to travel back and forth to be with his family. And midway into the season, he has to re-evaluate his future when his football career comes cashing in.
Van's career change is not the only one to happen this season. After Reba tries to reason with Brock, he decides to completely give up his practice and put his full efforts into playing pro golf. But he finds out what is more important and decides to the opposite thing. This story ties into the Brock/Barbra Jean troubled relationship. Reba also sees a career change. After losing her job, she tries a career in real estate. Eventually, the pursuit of a new career leads to an interview with one of Houston's biggest real estate agents, Dollar Majors (Dolly Parton), in "Reba's Rules Of Real Estate". In a later episode "Help Wanted", she hires Van to be her assistant.
Brock withstanding, this season has Reba and Barbra Jean competing for everyone's attention on occasion. The episode "Thanksgiving" celebrates the holiday of the same name. In it, the two mothers battle it out to host the holiday dinner. "The Pageant of Grandmas" is another fun and silly episode with Reba and Barbra Jean going head to head. Reba enters a beauty pageant for grandmothers and so does Barbra Jean. Unfortunately, only one grandmother can be in the contest. What is good about episodes like these is the chemistry the two characters have with each other. Reba's serious neurotic behavior and Barbra Jean's over-the-top personality make for a great combination.
Overall, I found season four of Reba to be a solid season. The content incorporates lots of slapstick comedy with over-the-top performances and good usage of physical comedy that is incorporated with dramatic storylines. The end result is an enjoyable sitcom that rarely deviates from its formula, but that is not necessarily a bad thing as the show's approach works well.
1. The Accidental Role Model: Reba is caught in the middle when Brock and Barbra Jean's marriage is on the rocks, and Kyra complicates matters by telling Cheyenne and Van that Barbra Jean caught Reba and Brock in bed together.
2. Mother's Intuition: Reba is surprised to discover that Kyra has canceled plans with her because Barbra Jean, reeling from her separation with Brock, has been monopolizing Kyra's time.
3. The Two-Girl Theory: Barbra Jean talks a reluctant Reba into a girls' night out, and they're both pleasantly surprised. Van's talk to Jake about the birds and the bees, on the other hand, doesn't go so well.
4. Van's Agent: After offending a prospective agent who happens to be a lesbian, Van covers up by saying that Reba is also gay and then asks Reba to go along with the ruse.
5. Surprise: To celebrate Van's arena football contract, Reba and Cheyenne plan a surprise party for him, but he's the one with the real surprise.
6. Couple's Therapy: Brock and Barbra Jean begin seeing a therapist who says that Reba is largely to blame for their marital problems. Meanwhile, Cheyenne is crushed to find that Van loves his new life in Denver.
7. All Fore One: Barbra Jean is upset when Reba forces Brock to choose between his dental practice and professional golf, and Van worries that his football career is costing him too much precious time away from his daughter, Elizabeth.
8. Hello, I Must Be Going: Reba is emotionally conflicted when Kura announces that she wants to move back home because Kyra thinks that Brock hates her. Meanwhile, Cheyenne's good intentions are driving Van away from her.
9. Thanksgiving: Reba and Barbra clash over who will host this year's Thanksgiving dinner.
10. No Boys Upstairs: Against Barbra Jean's wishes and her own better judgment, Reba slows Kyra to have her new boyfriend over without adult supervision, while Cheyenne decides to decorate Van's apartment when she visits him in Denver.
11. Diamond Jim Brady: Van is crushed to learn that he has career-ending medical condition, but his luck quickly changes when he receives a huge financial settlement and then proceeds to blow it.
12. Reba And The Nanny: While Cheyenne is running herself ragged, Van hires a nanny to care for Elizabeth. Meanwhile, Barbra Jean considers asking Brock to move back in with her.
13. Date Of Mirth: Reba and Barbra Jean are both attracted to the same man-Barbra Jean's new marriage counselor.
14. Reba The Realtor: After being fired from her job, Reba embarks on a real estate career with Brock as her first client, and Van has some big ideas after seeing Kyra and her band perform at a club.
15. Flowers For Van: Elizabeth's play date feels like a real date for Cheyenne, while Reba and Brock unknowingly flirt with each other via online poker.
16. Who Killed Brock?: No one is above suspicion when a psychic informs Barbra Jean that her missing dog, Brock, was killed by a family member. Who done it?
17. The Pageant Of Grandmas: When Jake enters Reba into a beauty pageant for grandmothers, a jealous Barbra Jean sets out to compete with her.
18. Reba's Rules Of Real Estate: Reba applies for a job with the city's hottest real estate agent, and the pressure is on when the agent shows up at Reba's house for a surprise interview. Guest starring Dolly Parton!
19. Driving Miss Kyra: When Kura passes her driving test, a distrusting Reba gives her a cell phone with hidden tracking device. Meanwhile, Cheyenne, feeling that life is passing her by, tries to break out of her rut.
20. Go Far: Brock volunteers to coach football in order to spend time with Jake, and it's up to Van, who has some unresolved issues with his own father, to teach Jake the hard-hitting fundamentals.
21. Help Wanted: Reba reluctantly hires Van to be her assistant and is surprised-and a bit jealous-when he demonstrates a natural knack for selling real estate.
22. Hello, My Name Is Cheyenne: Van takes the blame Reba finds a hidden bottle of liquor belonging to Cheyenne, and Cheyenne drives everyone crazy when she finally comes clean.
The video is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture is the most impressive aspect of this DVD release, as it is very clean and crisp. There are no noticeable compression artifacts and colors tend to be very rich.
The audio in this DVD release is given in two languages, English and Spanish. For both languages the audio is in the same format, 2.0 Dolby digital stereo surround. The majority of the audio in this release is dialogue driven, which sounds very good with no noticeable distortions. It comes off flat and takes very little advantage of the multiple channels.
There are also subtitles in English and Spanish. The release also supports closed captioning.
There are no extras included with this set.
The fourth season of Reba continues to offer a fun cast that uses over-the-top slapstick and physical comedy to get laughs. The actors and actresses all involved have a solid chemistry together as they turn the dramatic and serious problems of a dysfunctional family into a laugh fest. This season features some strong moments and it is one fans should not miss.