Martin: The Complete Third Season – DVD Review


Available at Amazon.com

Creators:
John Bowman
Topper Carew
Martin Lawrence

Cast:

Martin Lawrence ………. Martin Payne
Tisha Campbell ………. Gina Waters
Tichina Arnold ………. Pam James
Carl Anthony Payne II ………. Cole Brown
Thomas Mikal Ford ………. Tommy Strawn

The Show

As a TV comedy progresses, it follows a natural arch. It starts off introducing the characters and storylines in the early seasons. It eventually reaches a climax where the show is at the top and at its best with the core group of characters that fans fell in love with. From that point, it’s only natural for a show to decline. Sometimes a show drops off sharply as it begins to run “too long” and continues on while it gets further and further away from the climax. Other times, the show knows when to end things at the right moment. In the case of Martin, the third season was its climax.

The third season picks up where we left off at the end of season two. Martin Payne (Martin Lawrence) lost his job as a disc-jockey for a local radio station. He left Detroit to go “find himself”. His girlfriend, Gina (Tisha Campbell), her annoying best friend named Pam (Tichina Arnold), and Martin’s friends, Cole (Carl Anthony Payne II) and Tommy (Thomas Mikal Ford), all find him at the start of season three at a Monastery cult. At first, Martin has trouble finding work but eventually lands him a job as a host on a local cable-access TV station.

Season three of Martin featured only the core cast of Martin, Gina, Pam, Cole, and Tommy. That is a good thing, though. The chemistry between this group of actors is locked in at this point. They love playing off of each other and the characters they play on the show. The recurring jokes of Martin and Pam trading one-liners at the other’s expense and Martin trying to figure out if Tommy actually has a job or not are both featured again in this season. The major storyline shake-ups for this season involved the romance interests of the cast. Martin and Gina were well on their way to marriage, but during this season Martin finds out that Pam and Tommy have begun dating each other as well. As for Cole, he’s busy with a woman named “Big Shirley”, who lives up to her name.

Martin has always been known for Martin Lawrence’s crazy characters that he played on the show. All of the most popular ones are back in the third season including Sheneneh, Jerome, Roscoe, Otis, and Momma Payne. They are not featured as much during this season as in previous season, but that’s to keep all of these characters fresh and funny. When they are on the screen in season three, though, Martin Lawrence is at his crazy best.

After this season of Martin, things would begin to slide downward. But the third season is where the show, and all of the crazy characters and fantastic actors, were at their best. There was just enough change to keep things interesting, but not too much change to mess with the winning format of the first two seasons of the series. Once again, this show is not for everyone but if you are a fan of this show you will no doubt be laughing constantly throughout the third season of Martin.

Episodes:

Disc One:

Episode 1 – In Search of Martin
Gina searches for the missing Martin. But a canceled check leads her and the gang to find him. Martin has joined a cult.

Episode 2 – Martin Returns
Martin escapes from the Monastery after learning that the cult leader is a sado-masochist psycho who is just after his body, and returns to Detroit. But once home, he discovers that Gina has completely redecorated his apartment in his absence. He also discovers that Gina has new plans for their relationship.

Episode 3 – I’ve Got Work To Do
Martin goes looking for a good job, but his pride won’t let him take just any job. He has his reputation to maintain. As the bills begin to pile up, and he begins to get more desperate for work, he lands a series of low-paying, part-time positions.

Episode 4 – Martin Gets Paid
Martin auditions for a television job, but finds out he must have an audition tape of himself doing a TV show. So he hurriedly gets the gang together and hires audience members to put on a quick show. But his antics during the taping wind up alienating him from everyone. In the end, he is offered an associate producer’s job and must bring in donuts for the staff every morning.

Episode 5 – Break Up To Make Up
Martin feels his and Gina’s relationship is becoming more strained. To remedy this he tries to spend more time with her. But she has a big presentation to do and needs to be alone to work. Martin then convinces Pam to get Gina over to his apartment that night. Martin thinks Gina is not coming, then she comes in the apartment while he is not looking. They sing Fire and Desire together.

Episode 6 – The Closer I Get To You
After the host of the show Word On The Street, is arrested and dragged off the set right before airtime, Martin is pressed into service as a last-minute fill-in. And after his advice on the show brings an arguing couple back together, Martin begins referring to himself as the Love Doctor, and begins handing out relationship advice to everyone he meets. Little does he know though, that his advice to Tommy would pay such high dividends for Tommy and Pam, yet leave his shocked and speechless.

Episode 7 – Movin’ On In
Martin and Gina finally decide to move in together. However, the apartment gets rather crowded when all of Gina’s belongings get there. The two clash on what to keep, and they end up with two of everything. In the end they compromise on what to keep and what to give away to charity. Meanwhile, Pam and Tommy are glad Gina has moved out of her old apartment, so they can have a chance to “do things” once she is gone.

Disc Two:

Episode 8 – Momma’s Bay, Martin’s Maybe
Martin is excited when Gina’s mother, his future mother-in-law comes to visit them. This is his opportunity to impress Gina’s mom and get to know her better. But things go awry when a young boy shows up, claiming to be Martin’s long lost son. Now he must confront Gina and her mom with the news, and take on some new and unexpected responsibilities.

Episode 9 – Whole Lotta Trouble
Martin wins the Michigan State lottery. He celebrates by going out and buying tons of expensive luxury items and gives money away to his friends, BEFORE picking up his lottery money. But when he does, he finds out that the winning ticket is a tie, and must be split – thousands of ways!

Episode 10 – Get A Job
Martin and Gina attempt to discover information about Tommy’s mysterious job. Nobody knows what Tommy does for a living, and when asked direct questions about his occupation, Tommy gives evasive answers, and questionable body-language. So they decide to go undercover and stake him out, only to discover him on the runway at an uptown strip club! Could this be what Tommy does for a living?

Episode 11 – Feast or Famine
Thanksgiving dinner ends up a battle of the sexes when the gang holds a contest to see which gender cooks the best Thanksgiving feast. It only takes a short time for the guys to realize they are over matched, so they resort to some sneaky tactics to win the contest.

Episode 12 – Lockin’ Boots
Gina and Martin agree to save money. But then Gina is forced to secretly make a withdrawal from their bank account in order to pay a parking ticket. Martin finds out about the secret withdrawal, and gets even by going on a wild shopping spree.

Episode 13 – Go Tell It On the Martin
A deranged man who is distraught over losing his job and his woman, takes over the TV station during Martin’s show, with a bomb strapped to his body.

Episode 14 – Xpress Yourself
Martin’s new TV show is doing well, and they are being prepped for nation-wide broadcast, but the show needs an overhaul in order to have wider audience appeal. Gina’s company is hired by Martin’s production company to recommend some changes to the show. Martin is distressed over the changes Gina recommends, and Gina ends up regretting it too, because Martin’s personality begins to change as well.

Disc Three:

Episode 15 – Sophisticated Ladies
Gina and Pam put their best feet forward to be accepted into an exclusive women’s club, but their plans of impressing the women are jeopardized when Sheneneh and Laquita show up and turn their dreams into a nightmare.

Episode 16 – Nuttin’ Goin’ on But the Rent
Martin becomes angry when his landlord, Mr. Lopez, increases his rent by five percent. As a result, Martin refuses to pay the rent which leads Mr. Lopez to send him an eviction notice, and also cut off the heat during a terrible blizzard. As Martin and the gang suffer through the weather together, Martin attempts to settle his dispute with Mr. Lopez but discovers the landlord in a compromising situation with another tenant’s wife. Martin informs Mr. Lopez that he will keep quiet only if Mr. Lopez reduces the rent and turns the heat back on.

Episode 17 – The Ex-Files
After an argument about whether or not to invite their ex-lovers to the wedding, Martin and Gina decide to arrange a test to prove which one of them would be the most jealous of the other’s ex. They decide to go out to dinner with Gina’s ex, Derrick, and Martin’s ex, Tanya. Meanwhile, Pam decides that she and Tommy should not see so much of each other, so that when they do see each, it would be “HOT”.

Episode 18 – All the Players Come
Martin organizes a fund-raiser to save a neighborhood theater. Musical Guest: Outkast

Episode 19 – Best and Bester
Martin must choose between Tommy or Cole to decide who will be the best man at his wedding. They both want to be the one chosen, so they bribe Martin with gifts to influence his decision. Meanwhile, Gina and Pam search for a bridesmaid dress.

Episode 20 – High Noon
Marting finds out from the D.A. that a criminal (named “Mad Dog No Good”) that Martin helped put away, is getting out of jail on parole. The criminal has been watching Martin on his TV show, and calls Martin live-on-the-air and tells him he’s getting out and wants to meet with him face-to-face. Martin tries to get encouragement from all his friends, but when they find out that Mad Dog No Good is coming to get him, they all desert him and run.

Episode 21 – Mother of the Bride
Gina’s mother hires a high-class wedding planner who promises to arrange the day of Gina’s dreams. But Martin wants to seek out a more economical (cheaper) alternative. So he hires his own personal consultant – Hustle Man.

Disc Four:

Episode 22 – C.R.E.A.M.
Martin and Gina bite off more than they can chew when they invest all their money in a restaurant, (named Martin’s Meatloaf & Waffles), that becomes more popular than they anticipated. The problem is that neither one of them knows how to run a restaurant or manage the finances, AND they take on Stan as a partner, which leads to lots of hilarious situations along the way.

Episode 23 – Girlfriend
Gina’s conceited college friend comes to town. She’s so offensive that Martin and Pam call a truce in their never ending fights and team up to expose her lurid past. Later, Martin invites Monique to appear on his tv talk show, and he exposes her to all of Detroit.

Episode 24 – The Romantic Weekend
Gina is envious when Tommy and Pam plan to celebrate their six-month anniversary at a luxurious resort. When she complains to Martin about why they never do anything special, Martin takes Gina on a vacation to Chilligan’s Island, a dreadful and low-rate resort that was advertised on the back of a cereal box. As the two try to make the best of their stay, they inadvertently run into Tommy and Pam who also are vacationing at the resort.

Episode 25 – The Bachelor Party
A nervous Martin and Gina try to enjoy their respective bachelor/bachelorette parties, but instead find themselves victims of their friends’ advice and both imagine married life five years down the road.

Episode 26 – Wedding Bell Blues
As Martin and Gina are making final preparations for their wedding, a visit from Martin’s wacky relatives and Gina’s conservative parents results in both families constantly bickering & fighting. At the last minute, Martin and Gina decide to elope. Mama Payne becomes furious and throws a fit in the chapel.

Episode 27 – Love is a Beach
Martin and Gina flee to the Bahamas with Tommy and Pam to escape their families constant bickering. As the couples make last minute preparations, Martin gets stuck in an elevator with Tommy, while Pam accidentally ruins Gina’s wedding gown. After the disasters have passed, Martin and Gina are free to take part in their long-awaited oceanside wedding.

The Video:

The video is given in fullscreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Transfer is good with minimal distortion. The quality is the same as it was for the first two DVD sets, which isn’t a bad thing since that was fairly good for an early 1990’s TV show. The same thing goes here.

The Audio:

The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. There are subtitles available in English, Spanish, and French. Pretty standard quality for a TV show and the same as it was for seasons one and two. The dialogue comes out crisp and clear.

The Extras:

Just like the season two DVD set, there are no extras on this set at all. Disappointing for sure, but that’s the only real complaint for this DVD set.

THE INSIDE PULSE

Martin Lawrence and Martin fans will want to run out and buy this DVD set. There are no extras, so that may shy some casual fans away. But at the very least rent it if you haven’t seen it. If you are new to the show, you could just jump right in with this season. At least give this show a chance, before you dismiss it.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for
Martin: The Complete Third Season
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

9
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

0
REPLAY VALUE

9
OVERALL
7
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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