Oh, what a difference a year makes. The crew of the classic 1972 series Sealab 2020 has been replaced with a gang of misfits unfit for public service. Their mission: to investigate underwater colonization. They are doing a... more » very bad job.DVD Features:
"This is the last 'Sealab 2021' season that's gonna be worth owning. This is where it started to crash, with a general dip in quality, and one really rather questionable episode. (Dearly Beloved Seed) But, overall it's still damn good, and has a few truly great episodes. (Though not quite the funniest episode of the show, 'Red Dawn' is probably my favorite episode. In fact, each of the episodes where Murphy is still around ranges from very good to excellent) Course, the show really had no hope of maintaining itself with Murphy gone. It's not that there is anything inherently wrong with Shanks; I think he's pretty funny. (And much of the time, he might as well be Murphy, other than the voice-acting, which proves to be a huge difference.) But Murphy was always the heart of the show and the funniest character, so you can't expect it to hold up with out him. Course, it turns out that Goz's death isn't the only problem. The writing totally went to hell after this season. Not everything made after this is completely worthless, but it's been weak enough that I never really bothered to watch it consistently. But, that's the next season, and Season 3 is still really cool.
Also, the packaging for this season is really neat, and seems to be a lot more solid and durable than the other ones."
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 07/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The third season of Sealab 2021 was a bittersweet one to say the least. Harry Goz, voice of the hilariously maniacal Captain Murphy, died after lending his voice for the first four episodes, and his son Michael eventually took his place as Captain Tornado Shanks. Many Sealab viewers believe that Shanks' arrival signaled the downfall of the series, but this is quite untrue. "Chalkboard Jungle", in which Shanks assists Quinn in substituting Debbie Love's class, wouldn't work the same without him, while "Dearly Beloved Seed" is possibly the most off the wall episode of Sealab ever. "Red Dawn", in which Captain Murphy introduces a Communist regime to Sealab and he wages war with JFK, must be seen to be believed. Yes, this was the beginning of the series going downhill writing wise, but for die hard Adult Swim viewers who immensely enjoyed Sealab 2021, the fact that these are Harry Goz's final vocal performances are reason enough to own this alone. The special features are once again dismal, this time there are no commentaries (even though I really wouldn't consider the commentaries on Season two worth hearing), and a few extra episodes, including the original version of "Dearly Beloved Seed" and some unaired material."
First few episodes are good
Vik Twain | 09/01/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The first few episodes, which still have Harry Goz (Capt Murphy) and Erik Estrada (Marco), are really good and funny. These include Tourist Season, Red Dawn (one of my favorite Sealab episodes), Meet Beck Bristow, and I Robot Really.
There are then 2 episodes without Capt Murphy (Harry Goz died) and Marco (Estrada's apearances on the show became less frequent for some reason) which are decent; these 2, Frozen Dinner and Splitsville, are both funny but clearly suffer from not having Capt Murphy or Marco.
The rest of the episodes feature Tornado Shanks as the new captain (voiced by Goz's son). ASHDTV and Chalkboard Jungle are both funny but again are just not as good as episodes from earlier in the series; they are showing signs of the new "direction" the show takes in later episodes.
This new "direction" is clear in the rest of the episodes on the DVD. They are just plain stupid. Rather than having humerous situations and dialog like the show used to have, they resort to totally random stuff in an attempt to be funny. The "jokes" are more blunt and they really kill them.
I know some people like these types of jokes and find the new episodes funny, but I don't. To me, the new Sealab episodes have the same problems as the new Family Guy episodes they've started showing again on Fox and the newer Simpsons episodes (like season 11 on). Hard to explain - you either know what I'm talking about because you feel the same way about these shows or you don't."
Great show, dismal extras
Luke Wienecke | Nowhere, USA | 07/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now for this review I will have to seperate 2 era's, The Murphy Era and the Shanks Era.
Murphy Era: Who are we kidding? Murphy was the funniest character on the show, and made the show! His episodes are hilarious, including to 4 or so on this set. The best are the ones where he becomes a Commie, and where he becomes a Barbeaubot.
Shanks Era: Funny, but lost a bit of its impact. Some funny episodes, but Shanks was mostly a hit or miss character. There are funny moments, but no where near as great as Murphy.
Extras: As on every disc of Sealab, the extras are pretty bad. Yeah, there are 2 unused episodes, one of which has bad sound, and the other isn't animated. The Kitty FunFun shorts suck, I didn't really find "Stormy Waters, Pundit" any funny as well. The commentaries are meh, so the extras are all right.
Bottom Line: This show is hilarious and in some episodes, brilliant. The pure quality of the shows are worth the set, but if I were to own one Sealab set, it would be Season 2, which has some pretty good extras. But don't buy it for the extras. Highly recommended."
Overly dramatic reviews only cloud the issue...
Andrew | Washington, D.C. | 03/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"And the issue is that these are still great episodes! If you are a fan, then expect some changes with the new captain. If not then I'd say give season 2 a try (most consistent to me- I found some of season one to be so intent on being absurd that they failed to be funny!). A lot of friends think I'm an idiot for liking this show- so be prepared for one goofy show!
Is this the last great season? Who knows- I'm just some schmuck reviewer on Amazon. But don't be confused by the childish drama- these are fun and goofy as before. As much as I liked the early shows, this is not some character driven drama, it is a crazy cartoon."