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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Melrose Place - The Fourth Season
Melrose Place - The Fourth Season
Paramount // Unrated // April 15, 2008
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted July 3, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Fourth Season

Melrose Place is a spin-off series from Beverly Hills, 90210 that first aired in 1992 and ran for seven seasons. Melrose Place is a soapy, melodramatic show about the tenants of the apartment complex at 4616 Melrose Place in Los Angeles, California. The show offers viewers a soapy look into several twenty-somethings as they struggle through life: careers, romances, friendships, successes, failures, etc. Overall, it is a solid over-the-top, dramatic television show. And despite being over a decade old, the series' content works well, although the styles from the nineties look a little silly. For more details, refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one, season two, and season three.

The third season of Melrose Place progressed with a fantastic, riveting, over-the-top tone. The season is a perfect example of how intense the show can get. While the super-soapy third season was pretty amazing, season four continues the soapy-fun and has a similar appeal. And while there are moments when the season four tone can get a little strong at times, it is still fun. The season is packed with a lot of new developments for the cast. Referencing the season three finale, there are a number of storylines addressed in the opening of season four. Matt was framed for murder and continues to struggle behind bars to prove his innocence. The gang mourns the loss of Jake's brother Jess. In particular, Jake faces his own demons and blames himself for his brother. Kimberly's explosive revenge catches up to her. In the aftermath, Kimberly is admitted to a psychiatric ward. As the rest of the gang deals with Kimberly's revenge, Alison is temporarily blinded and everyone is forced to take up new living situation. Billy and Brooke also face difficulty with Brooke's father Hayley.

As the season continues, there are a variety of melodramatic storylines introduced. In the early portions of the season, Peter stands up for Kimberly and does what he can to keep her out of trouble. However, her violent tendencies make it difficult. He learns that she has a dark childhood secret, which explains a lot of her mental issues. Later into the season, Kimberly reunites with Michael. Unfortunately for both Michael and Peter, Kimberly develops multiple personalities and sometimes her alternative ego Betsy Jones takes control.

Another intense storyline deals with Matt clearing his good name. He is exonerated for killing Paul's wife and decides to go to medical school. He gets pretty stressed out and becomes a drug addict. But before Matt reaches this point, he runs into problems like losing his lawyer Alycia Barnett. Alycia is quite a character. She and Peter join forces later into the season to take advantage of Bobby Parezi. That situation turns out for the worst and Peter finds himself in the crosshairs of a murder investigation.

Bobby also plays a pretty big role this season. Brooke is suspicious of Amanda and conducts an investigation into her life. Brooke finds out her real name is Parezi, which happens to be the same as Bobby's. The two are connected and there is quite a lot of drama with this bunch. Around the same time of Brooke's investigation, Bobby comes back into Amanda's life and introduces a slew of problems that include an Amanda-Bobby-Peter love triangle. There is also Bobby's family, who have some ties to the darker side of life.

The Brooke-Billy relationship is at the fore throughout the season. They have their ups and downs, but typically more downs. Brooke forbids Billy being friends with Alison, but due to her temporarily blindness feels the situation is okay. Brooke and Billy also get pregnant, which causes some complications and eventually leads to Brooke's departure from the show. Directly tying into the bunch, Alison gets really close to Brooke's father.

Beyond the aforementioned plotlines, the season has more fantastic, melodramatic storylines that intertwine together as the characters' situations constantly involve each other as they have affairs, lie/cheat, commit felonies, attempt to harm each other, and more. Overall, Melrose Place's fourth season has the right amount of intensity and drama. There are lots of new developments with nonstop melodrama and characters you love to hate. Fans of the series will not want to miss out on a single minute this season has to offer.

Episode Guide

1. Post Mortem Madness: The aftermath of Kimberly's effort to destroy the building unfolds; jailed Matt tries to prove his innocence.
2. Melrose Is Like a Box of Chocolates: The bombing's damage spawns strange living arrangements; Billy consoles Alison; Jake grieves for his brother; Peter helps Jane play office power games.
3. Blind Ambition: Brooke discovers a secret from Amanda's past; Alison continues to deceive Billy; Matt gets bad news; Jo and Jake rekindle passion; Jane gets a proposal.
4. Simply Shocking: Brooke embarks on a secret trip to dig up more dirt on Amanda; Jess' wife causes trouble for Jo and Jake; Matt decides to sue the hospital.
5. Drawing Henry: Jack Parezi stalks Brooke; Peter asks Kimberly's mother for help; Hayley approaches Alison with a proposition.
6. The Jane Mutiny: Brooke tries to land her father's account at D&D; Jo apprises Richard of Jane's feelings; Peter gains custody of Kimberly; Amanda seeks a divorce.
7. Let The Games Begin: Henry resurfaces in Kimberly's life; Amanda throws a party at the new complex; romance sparks for Alison and Hayley.
8. Dial M For Melrose: Desperate Amanda asks Peter for help; Alison and Hayley plan to tell Brooke and Billy about their relationship; Jane tries to reconcile with Richard.
9. Amanda Unplugged: Brooke reveals a secret to Billy; Alison discovers a locked room in Hayley's mansion; Richard plans a romantic Hawaiian vacation.
10. El Syd: Sydney blackmails Amanda; Alison goes on a business trip with Billy; Matt receives a letter from medical school; Jo and Richard find romance in Hawaii.
11. Free Kimmy: Jack's brother arrives in Los Angeles to take revenge against Amanda; Jane uses Michael to make Richard jealous.
12. Kimberly Does L.A.: Matt becomes suspicious of Shelly's management of Shooters; a stalker is on the loose.
13. Hook, Line And Hayley: Bobby stirs up trouble between Amanda and Peter; Jake takes action against Shelly.
14. Two Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest: Alison and Hayley's marriage tragically ends; Amanda stands in opposition to Bobby and Peter's friendship; Jake needs some fast money.
15. Oy! To The World: Sydney throws a holiday fund-raiser at Bobby's mansion; Alison starts drinking again; Michael learns Kimberly is advising Sydney; Matt begins a new relationship.
16. Holy Strokes: Bobby helps Peter out of a jam; Billy learns the truth about Brooke's pregnancy; Sydney makes a confession to Kimberly.
17. The Brooke Stops Here: Peter assesses Amanda's and Bobby's feelings; Jake sinks deeper into debt with the loan shark; Billy wrestles with his feelings for Brooke and Alison.
18. Sydney, Bothered And Bewildered: Jane's health is at risk when Sydney sets her new scheme in motion; Peter plots to win Amanda back.
19. The Bobby Trap: Sydney moves out of the beach house; Michael learns the cause of Jane's heart attack; Alison tries to convince Billy to give Brooke another chance.
20. No Lifeguard On Duty (Parts 1 & 2): Billy throws Brooke out; Amanda and Bobby escape danger; Peter makes advances toward Bobby's new attorney; Kimberly's life is threatened.
21. Devil In A Wet Dress: Jane and Richard vie for the same account; Kimberly moves back into the beach house; passion ignites between Jake and Jane.
22. The Circle Of Strife: Everyone assembles at the beach for a surprise wedding; Sydney drops a bomb on Peter; Billy makes a move on a beautiful advertising executive.
23. Run Billy, Run: Jake and Alison offer to help Jane make new designs; Jo designs a set for Richard's fashion show; Kimberly has blackouts.
24. Ruthless People: The tension grows between Matt and Alan when Alan's parents arrive for the wedding; Kimberly has lapses in personality.
25. The Burning Sofa: Sydney helps Bobby out of a jam; Billy fights for more power at D&D; Kimberly's new identity, "Betsy,'' sets out to destroy Michael.
26. Triumph Of The Bill: Kimberly develops another personality; Richard schemes to break up Jake and Jane; Billy wants Julie Newmar for a spokesperson.
27. What Goes Up Must Come Down: Peter and Michael become judges for a beauty contest; a contestant's mother tries to ensure that her daughter wins; Sydney gets a surprise visitor.
28. True Fibs: Teri Carson comes to Los Angeles to seek revenge for her daughter's loss; Kimberly's illness worsens.
29. Melrose Unglued: Amanda confronts Teri Carson about Peter; Matt sets Jo up on a blind date; Bobby ends his relationship with Sydney.
30. Peter's Excellent Adventure: Jake goes after Richard when Jane identifies her rapist; Kimberly traps Peter; Nurse Benson holds Peter against his will.
31. Full Metal Betsy: Peter tries to escape from Nurse Benson by seducing her; Jane blackmails Sydney into helping her seek revenge against Richard.
32. Dead Sisters Walking (Parts 1 & 2): Michael and Amanda meet danger when they try to rescue Peter; Jane buys a boutique; Jane and Sydney make a move against Richard.

The DVD

Video:
The video is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture quality is average for a television series from the 90s. Generally, the episodes look fine, but there are noticeable visual distortions and some problems with color representation. There are also traces of dirt in the film and a couple glitches from damaged film. Overall, the picture is acceptable and should not ruin the viewing experience.

Audio:
The audio track included with this release is English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The sound quality is decent with dialogue consistently audible. It is an average TV on DVD audio track, dialogue driven and is pretty flat with little use of the stereo sound. Music is also flat and bland.

This release does not come with subtitles, but it is closed caption enabled.

Extras:
There are no extras included with this release.

Final Thoughts:
Melrose Place is a soapy drama about an oversexed group of people who get caught up in one dramatic development after the other. The show's fourth season continues the soapy, over-the-top, melodramatic tone set in season three. The drama is nonstop and has lots of new developments for the cast. The traditional soap opera context involving sordid love affairs, murder attempts, backstabbing, etc. is at the fore. This season, while a little too over-the-top at times, is still a lot of fun for fans of the show. It is definitely worth picking up.

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