The LIFETIME series, "ARMY WIVES: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON" has been released on dvd by BUENA VISTA. While some of the themes dealt with in this series, are certainly important and increasingly more acknowledged than they used to be, eg., spousal abuse, army wives needing to become surrogate mothers while their husbands are away, just to make ends meet, adultery, etc., the way in which they're dealt with in the storylines feels more like a punchline than provocative drama. "ARMY WIVES" plays like a tv soap opera, and every bit as corny. Even most of the actors read their lines as if they're on stage needing to project, rather than on the small screen. Everyone is so earnest, that their over-the-top lines are often laughable, rather than emotionally stirring. Kim Delaney stars returns as Claudia Joy, the ideal army wife, devoted to her husband and high moral values. As Season three opens, she and her husband are grief stricken over the death of a daughter in season 2. Complicating matters further, their other daughter Emmalin is becoming rambunctious. Will this problem turn around when they elect to take in an Iraqi orphan? Get where the soap opera elements tend to veer? "ARMY WIVES" plays more like "Seventh Heaven" than a serious drama about the current war and its impact on the brave families of our brave men and women soldiers. It's not horrible, much in the same way that "SEVENTH HEAVEN" wasn't horrible. But, that doesn't make it very good, either. One of the biggest issues the series does address is the financial burdens facing families of soldier, certainly only worsened with the economic travesty facing the country today, while corporate scumbags responsible, are still laughing all the way to the bank. Unfortunately, none of the writing is top-notch, and scripts never attempt to seriously take on any of these issues. "LA LAW" had soap-opera elements, but it still managed to take on serious issues and on occasion, packed a real punch. "ARMY WIVES: SEASON 3" still provides the same light-pretending to be serious atmosphere of previous seasons.
All 18 episodes of season 3 are presented over 5 discs.
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio(16:9 enhanced). Colors are generally solid, though never particularly vibrant. Detail is consistently impressive, as is contrast. Blacks are deep enough to maintain detail in darker scenes.
BUENA VISTA has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. While dialogue-focused, surrounds kick in occasionally with ambient effects. It's never an aggressive mix, but more immersive than much of the tv-to-dvd releases in general. Music tends to be over-emphasized, and never subtle. Dialogue is always intelligible.
Extras include: a blooper reel, deleted scenes and a special episode, with real live families of soldiers are surprised. The stark difference in terms of glamour between the tv families and real families is probably the most insightful aspect of this release. Six webisodes are also included.