Release Date: April 30, 2013 (Warner Archive Collection)
Packaging: Viva Cases (2)
Number of Discs: 8
Number of Episodes: 28
Running Time: 1351 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Mono
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: None
The Bradford family is back in Eight is Enough - The Complete Third Season! Warner Archive brings all 28 episodes (along with a new and much more memorable theme song) to DVD in an eight disc set. The series, for those unfamiliar with it, is a series about a large family, much like The Brady Bunch. But Eight is Enough wasn't pure comedy. It also mixed in elements of drama, and took on serious issues, such as (in this season) teen pregnancy, sexism, living together out of wedlock, death, divorce, and more. Despite all of the issues that the Bradford family had to deal with, though, everything always worked out for them in the end and they survived. The series was based upon the book Eight is Enough, an autobiography written by journalist (and later CNN Crossfire co-host) Tom Braden about his own very large family.
Tom thinks he could be going crazy in "Who's Crazy Here?" In "Nine is Too Much," Tom is pushed out as the coach of Nicholas' little league team in favor of another member of the household. Abby thinks she may be pregnant in "Here We Go Again." In "Cinderella's Understudy," Joanie has to memorize her lines for a play after another actress suddenly quits... in one day! Somebody has a crush on the teacher in "Milk and Sympathy." Nancy is having some major difficulties in college in "The Flunked and the Funked." Susan decides to try out for the police force in "Cops and Toddlers." In "The Hipbone's Connected to the Thighbone," Mary has to deal with a bit of sexism in medical school. David loses a close friend due to a heart attack and begins to consider his own life in "Fast and Loose." A sex war breaks out in the household in "War Between the Bradfords." In "All the Vice President's Men," a very special visitor may be on the way to the family Thanksgiving dinner. Nicholas runs away from home in the two part episode "You Won't Have Nicholas to Kick Around Anymore."
Tom and Abby have a plan to get rid of the kids for the weekend in "Alone at Last." Elizabeth has found the perfect college in "The Yearning Point," but can Tom afford it? Nancy, Susan, and Joanie may be leaving the Bradford house in "Moving Out." Tom decides to end all curfews for the kids in "Mother's Rule." In "Inlaws and Outlaws," Tom finds that his in-laws are splitting up... and he is also an outlaw when he is picked up for the many unpaid parking tickets of his kids. Everybody is in a predicament when there is a power outage all over Sacramento in "Horror Story." In "Just the Ten of Us," David decides to live with Janet... which may not go over so well for Tom when he is up for Father of the Year.
Tommy wants to marry a pregnant friend in "Best of Friends." Nicholas brings home a friend who wants to become part of the Bradford family in "The Kid Who Came to Dinner." Abby becomes a substitute teacher in "The Better Part of Valor," and her refusal to pass an athlete who didn't deserve to pass puts Tommy in a compromising situation. Tom gets Nicholas a drum set in "Dads, Daughters, Different Drummers," which of course can't possibly be a bad idea. Senior citizens go on strike on the Bradford front lawn in "The Final Days." A prank may keep Elizabeth from participating in her own graduation (where Tom is giving a speech) in "The Graduates." The season ends with the two-part episode "Marriage and Other Flights of Fancy," where David and Janet face complications in their engagement, and Tom gets a short story published... but it is in a magazine that he'd rather his family not see!
Once again, the episodes appear to be unedited, but the final episode of the season (which originally aired as a two hour episode) is split into two parts... and both parts seem a little bit shorter than they should be. But I can't say one way or the other if anything is missing. Runtimes are as follows:
1. "Who's Crazy Here?" (49:49)
2. "Nine is Too Much" (49:47)
3. "Here We Go Again!" (49:46)
4. "Cinderella Understudy" (49:51)
5. "Milk and Sympathy" (49:47)
6. "The Flunked and the Funked" (49:46)
7. "Cops and Toddlers" (49:52)
8. "The Hipbone's Connected to the Thighbone" (49:49)
9. "Fast and Loose" (49:48)
10. "War Between the Bradfords" (49:47)
11. "All the Vice-President's Men" (49:50)
12. "We Won't Have Nicholas to Kick Around Anymore (Part 1)" (49:27)
13. "We Won't Have Nicholas to Kick Around Anymore (Part 2)" (50:51)
14. "Alone at Last" (49:51)
15. "The Yearning Point" (49:53)
16. "Moving Out" (49:49)
17. "Mother's Rule" (49:52)
18. "Inlaws and Outlaws" (49:50)
19. "Horror Story" (49:55)
20. "Just the Ten of Us" (49:49)
21. "Best of Friends" (49:52)
22. "The Kid Who Came to Dinner" (49:54)
23. "The Better Part of Valor" (49:51)
24. "Dads, Daughters, Different Drummers" (49:50)
25. "The Final Days" (49:52)
26. "The Graduates" (49:52)
27. "Marriage and Other Flights of Fancy (Part 1)" (47:23)
28. "Marriage and Other Flights of Fancy (Part 2)" (47:27)
The packaging for this set is a bit unusual, in part due to the fact that it is a Warner Archive title. The set is presented as two volumes, but the only way to buy the season is to buy both volumes together, and they come in two separate Viva cases (each containing four discs). The artwork is the same on both sets, with the same cast photo on the front, same episode snapshots on the back, and same description of the season on the back. In fact, the back of both cases refers to the release as a 28 episode set. As is typical for the multi-disc releases from Warner Archive, the initial copies of the set are actual pressed DVDs, not DVD-Rs (note that this will likely change at an undetermined point in the future).
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are pretty simple, with the same photo seen on the cover art on the main menu, along with options of Play All and a listing of all of the episodes on the disc. Once you select an episode, it plays immediately. There are chapters placed throughout each episode... ironically, for most episodes, there are eight of them. And that is enough.
Video and Audio Quality:
This series never looked or sounded too impressive in syndication, but these DVDs have been fine for the most part. Not exactly perfect, of course, but the video quality is pretty clean for a series of this era (with some grain and debris). The audio is fine, although a bit dull, with each episode in a standard mono track. There are no subtitles or closed-captions on the episodes.
There are no special features on this set.
I love having the chance to watch this series again! This series used to get moderate airplay in syndication (I remember, in particular, watching reruns on FX in the '90s and PAX in the early 2000s), but it has practically disappeared from any widespread airplay in the past decade. This was really one of the first shows to really show what family life of the era was really like without sugarcoating it, but also without making it too extreme. There are only two more seasons remaining of the series (and a pair of reunion movies), and I'm hoping that we see those on DVD soon. For now, though, there is "more than enough" to enjoy on this set, along with the first two seasons on DVD.