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The Complete 1st Season

Airline - Season 1 Review




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Rating
Video:   8/10
Audio:   6/10
Extras:   0/10

Can I have more peanuts?
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
4/20/2005

We've all heard horror stories of missed flights, missing baggage, or delays, but these are everyday occurrences for employees of Southwest Airlines. They spend each day dealing with passengers that can be pleasant, drunk, stressed, upset, rude, friendly or obese. They all have one thing in common; they have somewhere to be, and they want to get there. Culled from nearly 5,000 hours of footage, Airline documents the jobs hardworking and harried Southwest Airlines employees at Los Angeles International and Chicago Midway airports.

I had heard of Airline when it first premiered on A&E a few years ago, but I hadn't seen an episode of it until the DVD arrived. I fly a few times a year, and I have my share of minor problems, but I've never experienced what some of these people go through! I loved seeing some of the crazy issues employees have to deal with; people that stink, a man whose twig and berries may be showing, and the drunks (can't forget about them).

This set was announced for release a month or so ago, but was delayed due to problems clearing the opening theme. The theme was removed, and the set was rescheduled.

Here's a look at the set:

Disc 1 (3:16:50)
The Delicate Art of Saying "No" (21:52)
Consider Yourself One of the Family (21:52)
Beyond Our Control (21:53)
Times Change (21:52)
Kids...Who'd Have Them? (21:52)
Winners and Losers (21:52)
Terminal Beauty (21:52)
Luv is in the Air (21:52)
High Spirits (21:53)

Disc 2 (3:16:28)
A Team Effort (21:52)
You Must Be Kidding? (21:53)
Relative Values (21:53)
For Better For Worse (21:53)
It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over (21:53)
Don't Take No For An Answer (21:53)
All Creatures Great and Small (21:25)
There's Real Time... Then There's Airline Time (21:53)
Oh, What a Performance (21:53)

Video

Airline is shot on video, but it's done very well. I was surprised by the number of overhead shots of the airports. They look very nice, and add to the series. I didn't notice any major glitches, though some scenes contain a bit of video noise (darker scenes, usually at LAX). Most of the people's faces are visible, though a few have been blurred to hide their identity. Both discs contain a "play all," but they lack a chapter right after the opening. It would be difficult to include since the theme song blends into the episode.

Audio

Ugh, the audio on these sets really, really frustrated me. The levels were totally inconsistent, and I was always reaching for the remote to turn the volume up or down. The opening audio was louder than the dialog, so then I'd turn it up, but then other music would come on and I'd turn it down, then back up, then I'd have to turn it down at the start of the next episode. I'm sure that had to do with the replaced music, since they would have remixed the opening bit, and probably the other music throughout the show. There were also numerous times that the dialog broke up and was distorted, though this would have occurred during the original recording and isn't a problem with the DVD. Swears are beeped, and the set lacks subtitles and captions.

Just a reminder that the theme song has been changed on the DVD, and it's noted on the back of the box.

Extras - How we rate extras

The set doesn't contain any extras; just the episodes.

Summary

What a fun show! I got through the season in two sittings; most of disc one in a night, and the rest of the episode the next day. I kept wondering what would be next, and I just had to keep watching. I've flown through LAX a lot in the past few years, so it was fun to see the terminal I've spent many hours in (I fly America West, but they're out of the same area as Southwest). While watching the show I had to wonder why Southwest would take part in this; they don't always come out looking good, though it's obvious the employees enjoy their jobs and like helping others. I'll have to keep my eyes open for some of the stars the next time I'm in LAX.

This is a series that should appeal to anyone that's spent time flying. I wish there were some special features on the set; I know they had a lot of unused material, and I expected to find some of it on the DVD.


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