In the tradition of Hercules The Legendary Journeys, that was established after it became a regular series as opposed to a run of two-hour made-for-tv movies, humor plays the largest role in this season. Improperly done, this would have fallen horribly flat but, as it stands and taken for what it is, this is easily the wittiest and most creative season of the series as Kevin Sorbo comes into his own as a comedic straight man/action hero.
In the season opener, "Beanstalks and Bad Eggs", Hercules and Autolycus (played brilliantly by Bruce Campbell) are out to rescue Lianna, who had been kidnapped by the giant Typhoon and taken to a castle in the clouds. Upon climbing a giant beanstalk, the two unlikely partners find Lianna in Typhoon's castle, caring for three golden eggs that belonged to the Harpies. Without spoiling the rest, the high points to watch are Autolycus' explanation of the art of love and one of the classic lines of the series concerning the harpies.
The usual mixture of Pop Culture references, legend, myth and fairy tale which, though strange bedfellows are somehow a great combination, permeate this seasons episodes. In "Hero's Heart" we have a standard episode where Iolaus (Hercules' sidekick played by the very talented Michael Hurst) loses his memory and ends up fighting his best friend. Although this has been done to death in the science fiction/fantasy genres, it plays well in the Hercules universe.
There are three homages to modern cinema in this set. "...And Fancy Free" is Hercules The Legendary Journeys' answer to "Dirty Dancing." "My Fair Cupcake" is obviously based on "Pygmalion" which later became the musical "My Fair Lady" from which the title is derived and centers around the character of Autolycus and his former girlfriend. Thirdly, the high point of the season in movie rip-offs, "Men in Pink." A completely undisguised send-up of "Some Like It Hot," is worth the price of the set by itself.
In what becomes in later seasons a reoccurring event, the episode "Yes Virginia, There is a Hercules" introduces us to "reality" as some of the many regular stars of the show take on the interesting task of playing the crew and production staff of Hercules The Legendary Journeys. It seems that after an earthquake in Los Angeles, Kevin Sorbo has disappeared and chaos insues. There are in jokes we only now as casual viewers become privy to in an incredibly enlightening commentary on this one.
There are no lack of continuitous episodes and guest appearances from the sister series/spin-off Xena Warrior Princess but, at this point I felt the two series had diverged in respect to tone. Hercules, and rightly so, will always be heavily influenced by Sam Raimi and his unique sense of humor which is shared by series regular Bruce Campbell who directs a large portion of this seasons best. There are very good reasons that "cross-overs" were rare soon after these episodes though.
When all is said and done, this is money well spent and I just watched them all on a lazy summer day and have no regrets about time spent. I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the series while it was on or even want a little taste of the action and humor of the Spider-man movies. This is the same creative staff.