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Frasier - The Complete Seventh Season


TITLE: FRASIER - THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: November 15, 2005 (Paramount Home Video)
Color
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 23 (24 if you count the season finale as 2)
Running Time: Approx. 8 hours, 45 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Emmy Award-winner Kelsey Grammer is Frasier -- the hilarious psychiatrist first seen on TV's Cheers and subsequently the star of this smash-hit comedy series. In this collection, the laughs can only shift into high gear when a heavily medicated Frasier inadvertently spills the beans to Daphne (Jane Leeves) about Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and his powerful infatuation for her - just as she is preparing for her marriage to Donny Douglas! Meanwhile, Roz (Peri Gilpin), against her better judgement, hires the recently fired Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe (Dan Butler) as a babysitter. And Martin (John Mahoney) must act quickly when a new acquaintance innocently sets him up on a date - with another man! It's Frasier - The Complete Seventh Season, with all 23 Season Seven episodes from one of television's most critically acclaimed and honred comedy series.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Frasier finished in 6th place in the Nielsen ratings for the seventh (1999-2000) season with a 13.6 rating. It finished behind fellow NBC sitcom Friends. Jean Smart won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.

This was another strong season of Frasier with many funny and memorable episodes. A mixup has the media reporting Frasier dead, and Niles confronts his ex-wife's plastic surgeon in "The Late Dr. Crane." Frasier reluctantly invites Lilith and their son to Thanksgiving dinner in "The Apparent Trap." Niles gets separated from Frasier and Martin during a trip to Idaho on New Year's Eve in "Rdwrer." Frasier goes overboard when he writes a theme song for his show in "They're Playing Our Song." An unlikely chain of events forces Martin to pretend to be gay on Valentine's Day in "Out With Dad." Frasier and Bebe fill in as guest hosts on television's A.M. Seattle in "Morning Becomes Entertainment."

Notable guest stars included Rita Wilson as Mia in "Momma Mia." Saul Rubinek appeared in multiple episodes as Danny Douglas, Niles' scrappy lawyer. Katie Finneran was Poppy in "Everyone's a Critic and "Rivals." Gigi Rice played Regan in "Rivals" and "To Thine Old Self Be True." Jane Adams played Dr. Melinda "Mel" Karnofsky in multiple episodes. Edward Hibbert appeared as Gil Chesterton in several episodes. Tom McGowan guest starred as Kenny Daly in multiple episodes. Bebe Neuwirth retured as Dr. Lilith Sternin in "The Apparent Trap." Jean Smart appeared as Frasier's high school classmate, Lorna Lynley, in "Big Crane on Campus." She won an Emmy for her appearance. Marg Helgenberger guest starred as Emily in "Out With Dad." Kim Coles appeared as Mary Thomas in "Something About Dr. Mary." Harriet Sansom Harris guest starred as Bebe Glazer in "Morning Becomes Entertainment." Robert Loggia played Stefano in "The Three Faces of Frasier." Anthony LaPaglia makes his first appearances as Daphne's brother, Simon Moon, in "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Something Borrowed, Something Blue."


Packaging:

The Frasier sets always have stylish packaging, and this season is no exception. The DVD cover art features a cast photo of the five main cast members along with Eddie. The overall color theme of this set is pink and white. The back of the box has a montage of four photos of scenes from the episodes. There is a short summary of the season, and a list of the episode titles by disc is given. Frasier is featured on the spine of the box. The main digipak case, which features the same photo as the DVD cover art, slides out from the right of the main box. The back of the digipak is the same as the outer box. When you open the digipak, there is a cast photo that is split with half on one side and the other half on the other. The inside of the digipak has a white and pink background with a drawing of the Seattle skyline featured. The actual discs have the same pink and white color theme with a photo from the episode. Additionally, the episode titles are listed on each disc. Disc 1 has a photo of Roz and Daphne and includes episodes 145-151. Disc 2 has a picture of Niles with Eddie, wearing a party hat, lying on his back and contains episodes 151-156. Disc 3 pictures Niles and Daphne and offers episodes 157-162. Disc 4 has a shot of Niles and Frasier and completes the season with episodes 163-168.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are very stylish and attractive as usual. Each main menu features a different color photo. They also have the Seattle skyline and the Frasier logo. The episodes titles are listed vertically at the bottom of the screen in two columns. There is a white dot next to the episode you highlight. It turns black upon your selection. The bottom half of the screen features a gray background. Disc 1 has the same photo as the DVD cover art, but it is cropped a bit. Disc 2 has a shot of Frasier, Niles, and Martin in which they appear to be watching television. Disc 3 features a photo of Frasier at the radio microphone. Disc 4 has a cast photo which includes Eddie. There is a Play All button on all discs. Disc 1 offers a previews option. There are chapter stops within the episodes, but there are no scene selection menus.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video is presented in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. As with the other Frasier releases, the picture quality is generally excellent. I can't tell much difference in quality from season to season. I suppose the most recent seasons would look slightly better than the very early years. The episodes are well spread out with no more than seven per disc, so there are no compression issues. The audio is a Dolby 2.0 Digital track. There are no major problems that I noticed. The audio can be a little flat, but that is not a major issue, since most of the audio is just dialogue. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes.

The episodes are presented in their original broadcast order, and all appear to be unedited running around 21 1/2 to 22 minutes in length. The season finale, "Something Borrowed, Something Blue," originally was broadcast as an one-hour episode, and it is presented that way on the set. Here is the episode breakdown with running times:

Disc 1
---------
145. Momma Mia (21:58)
146. Father of the Bride (21:59)
147. Radio Wars (21:55)
148. Everyone's A Critic (21:58)
149. The Dog That Rocks The Cradle (21:58)
150. Rivals (21:58)

Disc 2
---------
151. A Tsar Is Born (21:58)
152. The Late Dr. Crane (21:58)
153. The Apparent Trap(21:28)
154. Back Talk (21:58)
155. The Fight Before Christmas (21:56)
156. Rdwrer (21:59)

Disc 3
---------
157. They're Playing Our Song (21:59)
158. Big Crane on Campus (21:59)
159. Out With Dad (21:58)
160. Something About Dr. Mary (21:59)
161. Whine Club (21:59)
162. Hot Pursuit (21:59)

Disc 4
---------
163. Morning Becomes Entertainment (21:59)
164. To Thine Old Self Be True (21:58)
165. The Three Faces of Frasier (21:59)
166. Dark Side of the Moon (21:59)
167-168. Something Borrowed, Something Blue (43:57)


Special Features:

There have been no special features included on any Frasier releases since The Complete Final Season (Season 11) was released last November. This has been the same pattern as the Cheers releases, so this is not a major surprise.

When you first insert disc 1, there is an option to view Previews or go to the directly the main menu. This is a new option starting with this set, and I like it that Paramount gives the viewer the option. On previous sets, the previews just played automatically and you had to use the skip button to bypass them. The previews are for some other Paramount DVD releases including The Oprah Winfrey Show 20th Anniversary Collection, The Brady Bunch, Charmed, MacGyver, and the Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Bueller.. Bueller... Edition DVD. This new Ferris Bueller's Day Off release (available January 10th) looks good with a making of special and deleted scenes.


Final Comments:

It is great that Paramount is putting these seasons out at such an accelerated pace. It was just two months ago when Season 6 was available. There were four seasons released in 2005. We can probably expect to see Seasons 8-10 released sometime in 2006 to complete the series. The 11th and final season was already released last November. If Paramount also continues to make Cheers avaiable at this pace, you would be able to watch Kelsey Grammer's amazing 20 year run as Dr. Frasier Crane on DVD. I like that these sets have kept the same design. They look great all lined up on my shelf as I've built my library of seasons.


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

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 11/11/05

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000B5XOUC/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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