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Home Improvement - The Complete Second Season


TITLE: HOME IMPROVEMENT - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: June 7, 2005 (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Color
MSRP: $49.99
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: 588 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: 25 minutes Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English subtitles, closed-captioning
Special Features: Loose Screws Part 2 (clips of hilarious moments from the first season)


Introduction:

Once again, it's time to get more power on DVD! All 25 episodes of the second season of the former hit ABC sitcom Home Improvement are coming soon on a three disc set from Buena Vista Home Entertainment. You can see more Tim, more Al, more Jill, more of the kids, and more Wilson... well, at least part of Wilson... and of course, more power in this set!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The second season of Home Improvement is almost identical to the first season in many ways. The kids really haven't hit puberty yet (although Brad is heading that way), the show still has a heavy emphasis on the relationship problems between Tim and Jill, and we still haven't got to know Al all that well. In the second season, we get to see the first appearance of Debbie Dunning... NOT as Heidi, but as a woman in a restaurant... in "Overactive Glance." Mario Andretti makes a guest appearance on Tool Time as Tim is forced to live with Al when Mark has chicken pox in "Roomie for Improvement." Brad and Randy steal money that they are collecting for charity in "I'm Scheming of a White Christmas." Tim and Jill find out that they may not actually BE meant for each other in "Love is a Many Splintered Thing." Polly Holliday makes her first appearance as Jill's mother in "Much Ado about Nana." Finally, the second season concludes with Bob Vila having a lawnmower race with Tim in "The Great Race."


Packaging:

The packaging for the set isn't as creative as the toolbox that was used for the first season, but it is still adequate. This time, we have a more standard box, with a three panel digipak inside. The outer box also has some holes in it, intended to look like drill holes; at random spots all over the box (as well as X's that indicate where drill, implying that, as usual, Tim screwed up). The digipak inside is the exact same one that Buena Vista has been using for other sitcoms--it isn't terrible, but it is a bit annoying how Disc One must be removed in order to get to Disc Two out of the packaging. Just like the first season, there are three discs in this set, with 8 episodes on Disc One, 9 episodes on Disc Two, and 8 more episodes on Disc Three. Additionally, Disc Three contains the Loose Screws featurettes. The episodes are listed on one of the panels of the digipak, and there are no descriptions of the episodes unfortunately. Disc One has a picture of Tim on it, Disc Two has a picture of Jill on it, and Disc Three has a picture of the kids on it.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are basically identical to the ones in The Complete First Season. The main menu has the theme song playing, with options of Play All, Episode Selection, and Set Up. Additionally, Disc One has an option for Sneak Peeks, and Disc Three has an option for the Loose Screws featurettes. Unfortunately, on Disc One, the Sneak Peeks play as soon as you load the disc, and although you can bypass them by using the menu button, there are a total of FOUR trailers on there. The Set Up menu has options to turn on the English subtitles as well as information on how to register your DVD set. A problem that the first season had that is again repeated in this set is the readability of episode titles the Episode Selection menu... once again, we have small yellow letters on a white background, which is only worse when you have a certain episode highlighted, because then you have yellow text with a lighter yellow background! I'm not sure who in their right mind can say that these menus are very readable. Scene selection, by the way, is not available in this set.


Video and Audio Quality:

Home Improvement is probably among the best shows on DVD in regards to audio quality and video quality. The video quality on this set is pretty good, but it seems a little bit too compressed. That is really about the only problem with the video on the set, however. The audio quality is even better. It is presented in Dolby Digital Surround Sound, and there is absolutely nothing that I can find to nitpick on with regards to it. The audio is very loud and clear, which is great considering that one of the main audio problems with most DVD sets is the fact that the audio volume is very low. Each episode runs about 23 minutes and 30 seconds (a sign that the episodes are indeed uncut), with several chapters in each episode (actually, too many chapters in each episode, there is one about every three minutes, making it difficult to get to certain points very quickly). The set is closed-captioned and also contains English subtitles.


Special Features:

The special features on this set are very disappointing. Commentaries (which were actually included in the first season set), interviews, promotional material, and behind-the-scenes footage would all be great to see in this set. Instead, what do we get? One set of short featurettes called Loose Screws Part 2. This is nothing more than a few featurettes that show the funniest moments from the second season as short clips. Certainly, these were funny moments from the show, but if I wanted to see those moments, I would just watch the episodes (they are on the DVDs anyway!). There are ten of these featurettes with a total running time of 25 minutes. Honestly, even though I watched all 25 minutes of this, I felt like it was a waste of time, and that I would enjoy watching the whole episodes much more than just certain clips.


Final Comments:

I'm pretty disappointed about the special features on this set. If some REAL special features had been included, this would have been an absolutely, positively perfect set. Still, though, this is a great set, and I would buy it with little hesitation at all. The video and audio quality of this set, as well as the fact that the episodes are uncut, are good enough reasons for fans to pick up this set (and The Complete First Season for those that have not yet done so). In keeping up with tradition, Buena Vista has already indirectly announced that the Complete Third Season is "coming soon" in the promotional booklet included in this set (the same one that was included in the Golden Girls Complete Second Season release), so more power will be on the way! Let's just hope that next time; Buena Vista will put "more power" on the special features so that it can truly be the perfect DVD set!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
(Special Note: Over the past year and a half, Sitcoms Online has strived to bring you the best DVD reviews available online. In response to "Final Numbers" in the reviews that may have been artificially inflated and the fact that the numbers may have seemed arbitrary, we have started to use a special algorithm to calculate final numbers, beginning with this review. Therefore, the numbers will likely be lower, and thus more accurate, than numbers presented in past reviews.)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 1/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 05/21/05

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007US79Y/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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