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Frasier - The Complete Eighth Season


TITLE: FRASIER - THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006 (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Color
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22 (2 are one-hour episodes)
Running Time: Approx. 8 hours, 41 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 Season 8, wedding bells chime a sour note when Daphne (Jane Leeves) flees her marriage ceremony to run off with Niles (David Hyde Pierce), and the two lovebirds -- as well as a hapless Frasier -- ultimatley find themselves embroiled in a lawsuit as a result of the marital mayhem! Frasier also seeks the wisdom and advice of an old college professor, whom Frasier drafts as his "professional mentor." And new-puppy training quickly goes to the dogs when Roz (Peri Gilpin) brings home a new Dalmatian and Martin (John Mahoney) takes command as the puppy's official trainer. It's 22 cupfuls of Seattle's funniest, most flavorful blend -- Frasier: The Complete Eighth Season!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Frasier slipped to a tie for 17th place in the Nielsen ratings for the eighth (2000-2001) season, with a 10.7 rating. The show was moved from its familiar home of Thursday nights back to Tuesdays at 9:00-9:30 PM on NBC. During this season, Niles and Daphne began dating and were engaged. Sir Derek Jacobi won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, and Jean Smart won for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy series for the second consecutive season. Showrunners and writers Joe Keenan and Christopher Lloyd left the series following Season 7.

Memorable episodes included the one-hour season premiere. In "And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon (Part 1)," Niles and Daphne drive off in the Winnebago, but decide to go back and face the music. Niles is forced to postpone his first romantic date with Daphne due to his marriage obligations with Mel in "And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon (Part 2).". Frasier is delighted to hear that he's been awarded a lifetime achievement award, but freaks out after he receives flowers from his mentor with a card that doesn't say exactly what he hoped in "Frasier's Edge." Niles and Frasier accidentally hire a bad actor for a play in "The Show Must Go Off." Frasier, Niles and Martin go to a Supersonics game, where Niles gets to make a half-court shot during halftime in "Hooping Cranes." Frasier is horrified when he learns Martin, Niles and Daphne are going to accompany him on his trip to Belize with Claire in "The Cranes Go Caribbean."

Notable guest stars included Anthony LaPaglia, returning as Simon Moon, in "And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon (Parts 1 and 2)." Victor Garber guest starred as Ferguson in "Taking Liberties." He was nominated for a 2001 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role. Teri Polo appeared as Abby in "Legal Tender, Love and Care." Gary Cole guest starred as Luke Parker in "The New Friend." Bess Armstrong played Kelly Kirkland and Kim Coles was Mary Thomas in "Mary Christmas." Rene Auberjnois appeared as Professor Tewksbury in "Frasier's Edge" and "The Wizard and Roz." Derek Jacobi guest starred as Jackson Hedley in "The Show Must Go Off." He won the 2001 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his work in the episode. Patrick Macnee played Cecil Hedley in "The Show Must Go Off." Bernadette Peters appeared as Rachel and Charlotte Ross was Monica in "Sliding Frasiers." Illeana Douglas was Kenny's Wife in "Hungry Heart." Barbara Babcock guest starred as Penelope Janvier in "It Takes Two to Tangle." Jennifer Coolidge played Frederica in "Forgotten But Not Gone." Jean Smart appeared in 4 episodes as Lana Gardner. She won her second consecutive Emmy for the role.


Packaging:

Frasier continues its long line of stylish packaging. The DVD cover art features a photo of the five main cast members, along with Eddie. A drawing of the Seattle skyline can be seen in the background. This is the same photo that they used inside the Season 7 digipak packaging. The overall color theme of this set is gold and teal. On the back of the box, there is a montage of four photos of scenes from the episodes. There is a short summary of the set, and a list of the episode titles by disc is given. Frasier is on the spine of the box, once again. The main digipak case, which features the same cast 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 up the digipak, there is a cast photo that is split with half on one side and the other half on the right side. The inside of the digipak has a light blue background, with a drawing of the Seattle skyline featured. The actual discs have yellow/gold backgrounds. There is a photo of a cast member on the right side, and the episode titles are listed on the left. Disc 1 has a photo of Martin looking bug-eyed and includes episodes 169-174. Disc 2 has a picture of Roz and includes episodes 175-180. Disc 3 pictures Daphne and Niles about to kiss and offers episodes 181-186. Disc 4 has a shot of Frasier and completes the season with episodes 187-192.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are very stylish and attractive, as usual. Each main menu features a different color photo. They have the same gold and teal color scheme as the rest of the packaging. The episode titles, in blue text, are either on the left or right side of the screen - alternating by disc. Your episode selection is underlined, and it turns orange when you select it. Disc 1 has the same photo as the DVD cover art, but it is cropped a bit. Disc 2 has a shot of Daphne and Niles about to kiss. Disc 3 features Niles and Frasier. Disc 4 has a photo of Roz. When you first insert disc 1, you are given an option for "Previews" or "Main Menu." The Previews are for some other Paramount DVD releases including MacGyver, Charmed, and The Brady Bunch (2:47). There is a Play All button on all discs. 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 6 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. They all appear to be unedited, with most running around 21 1/2 to 22 minutes in length. The season premiere aired as an one-hour episode, and it is presented that way on this set. It runs 44 minutes, 27 seconds. The other one-hour episode, "Semi-Decent Proposal" and "A Passing Fancy" runs 43 minutes, 21 seconds.

Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the running times:

Disc 1
---------
169-170. And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon (Parts 1 and 2) (44:27)
171. The Bad Son (21:42)
172. The Great Crane Robbery (21:42)
173. Taking Liberties (21:42)
174. Legal Tender, Love and Care (21:42)

Disc 2
---------
175. The New Friend (21:42)
176. Mary Christmas (21:33)
177. Frasier's Edge (21:42)
178. Cranes Unplugged (21:42)
179. Motor Skills (21:42)
180. The Show Must Go Off (21:42)

Disc 3
---------
181. Sliding Frasiers (21:42)
182. Hungry Heart (22:11)
183. Hooping Cranes (21:42)
184. Doc.drama (21:42)
185. It Takes Two to Tangle (21:42)
186. Forgotten But Not Gone (21:27)

Disc 4
---------
187. Daphne Returns (22:32)
188. The Wizard and Roz (21:26)
189-190. Semi-Decent Proposal/A Passing Fancy (43:21)
191. A Day in May (20:49)
192. The Cranes Go Caribbean (22:34)


Special Features:

There have been no special features included on any Frasier releases since The Complete Final Season (Season 11) was released in November 2004. This has been the same pattern as the Cheers releases, so this is not a major surprise. It is too bad Paramount stopped including special features after the first 3 seasons of Frasier and Cheers.


Final Comments:

Frasier fans must be upset with such a long wait (nearly 7 months) between Seasons 7 and 8. 2005 was a great year for Frasier and Cheers releases. Paramount released 4 seasons of each series. It seems unlikely that we will see both the remaining 2 seasons (9 and 10) by the end of 2006. Frasier went through some ups and downs like all shows, but the cast had great chemistry and there were so many funny moments.


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 06/04/06

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000ERVJMW/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=174229


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