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Eight Is Enough - The Complete Fourth Season


TITLE: EIGHT IS ENOUGH - THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON (WBSHOP.COM) (AMAZON.COM)


Info:

Release Date: August 13, 2013 (Warner Archive Collection)
Color/1979-1980
MSRP: $49.95
Packaging: Viva Cases (2)
Number of Discs: 7
Number of Episodes: 27
Running Time: 1342 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Mono
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: None


Introduction:

It's time to have a little more family love once again with Eight is Enough - The Complete Fourth Season! It has only been a few short months since we last saw the Bradford family, and now they're back (and entering the 80s) as a minor league baseball player sweeps Susan off her feet, David sets his wedding date, Mary finds a positive pregnancy test, and one of the kids runs for prom queen... but is it seriously Tommy? See it all in the third season of Eight is Enough!


Episodes:

The season begins with "Merle the Pearl," where Nicholas and Susan meet a minor league baseball player who has his eyes set on Susan. A double wedding is in the works in "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do." In "Ten Ships in the Night," everybody seems to be busy all day (and nobody has time for Nicholas). It turns out that Tom is a stockholder in a porn theater in town in "The Devil and Mr. Bradford." It shouldn't be hard for Tom to find a partner for a father-son golf tournament, right? Maybe it is in "Big Shoes, Little Feet." Tom may be on the verge of reuniting with his father after 40 long years in the two-part episode "Fathers and Other Strangers." In "Letter to One Bradford," Nicholas breaks a chain letter. Susan and Merle get into an argument when Merle is asked to play ball in Puerto Rico in "Separate Ways."

In "Arrivals," Tom and Abby discover a big surprise about Susan, except Susan is in a bit of a depression. David hires Tommy on the construction site (at Tom's urging), but Tommy still has to prove himself in "Brotherhood, Sisterhood." In "My Son, the Prom Queen," Tommy decides to put up a protest against an all-girl band playing at the prom by running for prom queen. Tommy helps a friend overcome alcoholism in "The Courage to Be." Tom is less than thrilled that it is his 50th birthday in "Semi-Centennial Bradford." Winter break just brings misery to Tom in "Seven More Days in February."

David becomes jealous of Janet's long work hours with a male colleague in "Bradford vs. Bradford." In "Memories," a prisoner of war shows up in Sacramento and brings memories of Abby's late husband with him. A publisher decides to publish Abby's thesis instead of Tom's in "Official Positions." In "Roll Over Bradford," Tommy decides that he'd rather pursue a career in music instead of going to college, which naturally upsets Tom. The season ends with "Grad Night," where Tom and Abby agree to let Tommy have a post-graduation party at the Bradford house.

The episodes on the set all appear to be unedited, though I can't say for certain. There is one "two-part" episode in the set, but as is typical for this series, it was originally a two-hour episode that was split into two for syndication. In any event, runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "Merle the Pearl" (48:48)
2. "The Cupid Crisis" (49:51)
3. "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" (49:54)

Disc 2:
4. "Ten Ships in the Night" (49:52)
5. "The Devil and Mr. Bradford" (49:53)
6. "The Night They Raided the Bradfords" (49:53)
7. "Big Shoes, Little Feet" (49:48)

Disc 3:
8. "Fathers and Other Strangers (Part 1)" (47:33)
9. "Fathers and Other Stranger (Part 2)" (47:27)
10. "Letter to One Bradford" (49:47)
11. "Separate Ways" (49:47)

Disc 4:
12. "Arrivals" (49:49)
13. "Brotherhood - Sisterhood" (49:53)
14. "Mary, He's Married" (49:52)
15. "My Son, the Prom Queen" (49:53)

Disc 5:
16. "The Courage to Be" (49:51)
17. "Semi-Centennial Bradford" (49:52)
18. "The Commitment" (49:23)
19. "Seven More Days in February" (49:49)

Disc 6:
20. "The Return of Joe Simons" (49:48)
21. "Bradford vs. Bradford" (49:45)
22. "Memories" (49:47)
23. "Official Positions" (48:46)

Disc 7:
24. "A Matter of Mentors" (49:51)
25. "Roll Over Bradford" (49:47)
26. "A Little Triangle" (49:50)
27. "Grad Night" (48:52)


Packaging:

Once again, the fourth season comes as two "volumes," but really it is just one set with two separate cases. In fact, as of right now, you can only buy the two "volumes" as one, but they still come in separate cases. Both volumes have cover art that features the entire family forming a pyramid (as they do in the opening credits), with a description of the season (same one for both "volumes") and some episode snapshots on the back. The only real difference between the two cases is that Part 1 uses a purple color scheme and Part 2 uses a gold color scheme. The discs all have the series logo as the artwork. As is common for Warner Archive releases, the discs for the initial release are all on pressed DVDs, but this will likely evolve into DVD-R for later pressings.


Menu Design and Navigation:

There isn't a whole lot to the menus. On the main menu, we have the same photo seen on the cover art, along with a listing of all episodes and a Play All option. When you select an episode, it plays immediately. Chapters are placed appropriately throughout each episode.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality of the episodes on this set is pretty good. I'm not sure if they actually did any restoration work on the episodes, but it really does look better than I ever remember it looking. There is some grain and debris in the video, and the audio isn't anything fancy, but everything is perfectly acceptable (really excellent) for a 30 year old series. Unfortunately, the episodes are neither closed-captioned nor subtitled.


Special Features:

As has been the case with the previous seasons of the series (at least the ones released from Warner Archive), there are no special features.


Final Comments:

Well, once again we have another excellent (but barebones) release of the series. Regardless, I'm glad that we're actually getting a chance to see it on DVD. With this season, we're down to only one more season left to be released and I feel confident in saying that we'll see that we'll see this series completed very shortly. In fact, given the pace at which they've been releasing this, it even seems possible that we could see it before the end of the year, but that is just pure speculation on what is possible. While I certainly would like to see some special features on the DVDs of this series, I'm perfectly fine with this if the other option is to not see the series at all.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 08/27/13

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Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=316549


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