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Jeri Jacquin

Time Life has done it once again as Kevin, Winnie, Josh are about to hit the big time, or as we called it – high school! Now on DVD is THE WONDER YEARS: The Complete Fifth Season.

The kids are growing up! Kevin (Fred Savage) and his family are with the Pfeiffer family at Lake Wenatchee for the summer. Kevin and Paul (Josh Saviano) decide its time to see the town and end up with Dave at the local drive-in. This is the second time that Kevin sees Cara and a romance begins.

As summer comes to an end, Kevin begins education at McKinley High School. Feeling alone since Paul isn’t with him but at lunch he sees Winnie (Danica McKellar). Its Kevin’s U.S. Government teacher that is about to teach him the lessons of higher learning and being low kid on the totem pole.

Kevin tries to help a couple in love, Frank and Denise, understand the words of poetry. When things get twisted, Kevin wants to help Frank speak the words of poetic love that end up being sung instead but still win the girl’s heart.

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Learning that parents can be embarrassing, Kevin has to deal with Randy and Purdle making fun of him when Mom drives everywhere. When Ricky gets his license it’s a night that they will all never forget – and will repeat!

Trying out sports turns out to be as problematic as Kevin thinks when he is cut from the football team for being to short. Thank goodness for soccer as he finds a place for himself. The Arnolds’ have their annual Christmas party but after one disaster of friendship after another, there comes a time when everyone realizes that times, and people, have changed.

Kevin and father Jack (Dan Lauria) have a bigger bonding session after the teenager finally comes of age to get his license. After stretching the truth, he gets the keys to the family car and in one moment takes out a lawn mower. Father and son come together as only they can!

Wayne (Jason Hervey) is studying hard for his SATs but he’s not really sure if going to college is really what he wants. That gets Kevin thinking about what he wants to do and that is nothing compared to what Wayne does. When Wayne and Wart join up, it is the physical that will shock who stays and who goes.

Winnie and Kevin are interested in other people and look to each other for introductions. Kevin likes Inga and Winnie likes Matt. At the Spring Formal, things become a little bit more than interesting between the friends.  Wayne gets to be head of the house when their parents go away for the weekend. When a party gets out of hand and parents come home early, one brother will save the other from a fate worse than a lifetime of restriction.

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Karen and Michael are finally having a wedding but Norma (Alley Mills) isn’t thrilled that it won’t be a traditional one. Looking for an Indian Maharishi to perform the ceremony in a backyard sends the family into a tizzy. If that isn’t enough, the couple is keeping another secret that isn’t going to make her parents any happier!

Now that Wayne works for Jack’s company, Kevin begins working at a Chinese restaurant while Winnie works at the local diner. It is also time that Kevin comes clean about his feelings for Winnie and after a misunderstanding; it’s going to take more than sweet words!

Savage as Kevin just took the hearts of America by storm! From the moment people realized what the show had to offer, it was Savage that brought parents and kids together during ever episode. Savage had the charm and puppy eyes that no one could be made at for long – not even his television parents.

McKellar as Winnie brightened and broke the hearts of many a young man, my son included. He was absolutely taken with McKellar’s portrayal of this young girl who grows into such an awesome young woman. The boys loved her and the girls wanted to be Winnie. It was as simple as that.

Lauria as Jack is a father who works hard for his family and is totally dedicated to his kids. Mills as Norma is a woman who is also in the midst of changes as the world around her begins to see women differently.

Hervey as Wayne is always hilarious and even occasionally when he isn’t trying to be. He is that brother that drove us all crazy but we couldn’t live without. Saviano as best bud Paul is an amazing and I thought him to be perfectly casted with Savage.

THE WONDER YEARS would go on to win 24 awards (and be nominated for 70 more) including an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Peabody Award in 1989. From 1988 to 1993, THE WONDER YEARS achieved a spot in the Nielsen Top 30 for four of its six seasons. THE WONDER YEARS was one of the most critically acclaimed sitcoms of it’s time and deservedly so!

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Time Life has brought this never before released anywhere classic collection of the series to fans. For more of what Time Life has to offer fans of classic television visit www.timelife.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE WONDER YEARS: The Complete Fifth Season five tubs of popcorn out of five. I am not the only person who believes that this series was and is one of the best for families to enjoy together. Watching them grow up as a family became a part of many of our lives. We all loved watching Kevin because it reminded us of the innocence of the time and the comical errors we all made growing up.

Even now I know many people, including in my own family, who have come to purchase this series because they want a show everyone can watch. That is important to many of us and with twenty-four episodes in this season alone; there is love, loyalty, friendship and the sweetness of a time many would never know without THE WONDER YEARS being made available on DVD.

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THE WONDER YEARS has an amazing Bonus Feature specially produced by the archivists at Time Life. It includes in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes Featurette, the new-to-retail set includes over four dozen songs as they were featured in the original broadcast. Classics by Jackson Browne, The Byrds, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Sonny & Cher, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Band, James Brown, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Percy Sledge, Sly & the Family Stone, Linda Ronstadt, Traffic and many more. Plus, the unforgettable rendition of The Beatle’s With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker.

More of the Bonus Features include: That’s A Wrap! Mark B. Perry’s Farewell Set Tour Season 5, Featurette: Will You Love Me Tomorrow: The Wonder Years’ Love Stories, and Interviews with: Olivia d’Arbo (Karen Arnold) and David Schwimmer who played Michael.

In the end – they are the family we grew up with!

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