TITLE: MARRIED WITH CHILDREN - THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: March 17, 2008 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 588 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: None
The Bundys are back for the next-to-last season of the hit former Fox sitcom, Married... with Children! They’re all grown up now (but not out of the house, of course), and just as dysfunctional as they always have been. The tenth season brings us a new character that we had heard of in the past, but never actually saw (and we still don’t see in this season either, even though she lives with the Bundy’s now), Al’s mother-in-law, and she is as beastly as Al has described her! We also get to see more of Al’s NO MA’AM group and we even see Peggy leave the series (but only temporarily) as Katey Segal takes a leave of absence for her real-life pregnancy. It’s time for more love and marriage, once again!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The tenth season starts out big (and I mean huge) when Peggy’s whale of a mother moves in to the Bundy house in “Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.” It is a sad day in the Bundy house when Buck dies (and we also find out that not all dogs go to heaven) in “Requiem for a Dead Briard.” Ben Stein guest stars. Al starts his own church for NO MA’AM in “Reverend Al.” Kelly comes up with a cure for baldness in “How Bleen Was My Kelly,” but it has some side effects that the wives really like. It is a case of revenge of the nerds, and Kelly is the victim, in “Blonde & Blonder.” Shannon Tweed guest stars in “The Two That Got Away.”
Terry Bradshaw guest stars in “Dud Bowl II,” where Al is determined to have his high school football field named after himself. Will Peggy’s father (played by Tim Conway) take Peggy’s mom back to Wanker County? Find out in “Bearly Men.” Peggy’s mom gets a job working as a phone sex operator in “I Can’t Believe It’s Butter,” and Griff seems to have a thing for Butter! It is anniversary time for Marcy and Jefferson in “The Agony and the Extra C,” but will it be so happy when Jefferson gets a tattoo that has the “c” missing in Marcy’s name?
It is spring break time in the two-part episode “Spring Break,” and Kelly may become Miss Spring Break with a little help from Al and his friends--unless Marcy, Bud, and his fraternity can stop it! Pat Morita guest stars in “Turning Japanese” as Marcy’s boss, and he wants something that the Bundys have--the Dodge! Every dog needs a house, and Marcy teaches Al that it must be up to the building codes in “Al Goes to the Dogs.” Nicole Eggert and Alan Thicke guest star in “Enemies,” an episode that was to be a pilot for a spinoff that never got off the ground. Beverly Archer plays the librarian in “Bud Hits the Books,” where Bud has some, umm, unauthorized use of the school library, thanks in part to his sex-crazed librarian! Jefferson and Kelly are going to do it--a TV commercial that is--in “Kiss of the Coffee Woman,” but how will Al and Marcy react when they have to do a commercial together that actually makes it look like they are doing it? The season ends with “The Joke’s on Al,” where it is a race of practical jokes between Jefferson and Al.
We have slim cases for this set, once again. They’ve been using slim cases since season eight. This time, though, it is nothing to truly get all that excited about, but that isn’t to say it isn’t creative either. The cover art clearly refers to the “Spring Break” episodes and has a shot of the entire family on the beach (even though Peggy did not go to the beach as the rest of the family did...). Inside, we have slim cases that are designed to represent the Bundy refrigerator. Unfortunately, the DVDs open from the opposite side of where the handle is located... oh well. The back of each slim case lists the episodes contained on the discs with brief descriptions. Disc 1 features a picture of Al and Peggy, Disc 2 features a picture of Kelly, and Disc 3 features a picture of Bud. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-9, Disc 2 contains episodes 10-17, and Disc 3 contains episodes 18-26.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are pretty much the same on each disc, with the main menu having a family snapshot and options of Play All Episodes and Episode Selection. It isn’t anything fancy, and that should be of no surprise to fans. Once you select Episode Selections, you get a menu that shows you the episodes, with a snapshot from each episode. There aren’t any scene selection menus, but chapters are placed at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
As far as the video and audio are concerned, we should just say that it is below average, particularly in regards to the video. The episodes seem to have some contrast issues (some being too dark, others too light) that are somewhat bothersome to me, as I have NOT seen these problems in syndication. There are other minor defects here and there too that have a tendency to bother me. The audio isn’t quite a disaster, but it isn’t a great sounding audio track that is going to impress anybody. Truth be told, though, the series never really did have a great audio track anyway. Still, they could have done better. Each episode is presented in Dolby Digital Surround Sound (or, as the opening credits logo proclaims, “In Stereo Where Available”), and is closed-captioned.
We have the edited theme song once again. That doesn’t bother me. What DOES bother me is the fact that somebody felt a necessity to remove the “Love and Marriage” credit from the closing credits by redoing the entire credits, completely destroying virtually EVERY SINGLE scene that ran with the closing credits! In the past, we’ve had audio with still photos, which was awkward, but at least it was something. Now, in most cases, we have just a still photo from the missing scene with the new closing music instead of the audio from the scene! So, basically, we do have things missing from these episodes! It is incredibly obnoxious. There is one episode though that does have the original closing scene intact with the video, though--the episode “Kiss of the Coffee Woman.” Other than these edits, however, there seem to be no further edits. None of the episodes appear to be syndicated episodes, and original music is intact aside from the theme song. That is always great news. But how great is that news with the other problems this set is plagued with?
Runtimes for each episode are as follows:
Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (22:49)
A Shoe Room With a View (22:50)
Requiem for a Dead Briard (22:49)
Reverend Al (22:47)
How Bleen Was My Kelly (22:49)
The Weaker Sex (22:46)
Flight of the Bumble Bee (22:51)
Blonde & Blonder (22:50)
The Two That Got Away (22:49)
Dud Bowl II (22:45)
Bearly Men (22:49)
Love Conquers Al (22:34)
I Can’t Believe It’s Butter (22:50)
The Hood, The Bud, and The Kelly, Part 1 (22:34)
The Hood, The Bud, and The Kelly, Part 2 (22:34)
Calendar Girl (22:33)
The Agony and the Extra C (22:36)
Spring Break, Part 1 (22:34)
Spring Break, Part 2 (22:34)
Turning Japanese (22:33)
Al Goes to the Dogs (22:34)
Bud Hits the Books (22:34)
Kiss of the Coffee Woman (22:34)
Torch Song Duet (22:34)
The Joke’s On Al (22:36)
We have nothing at all as far as special features are concerned on this set. I am incredibly disappointed that they didn’t include the special “The Al Bundy Sports Spectacular” that Fox aired in the tenth season! And why can’t they do some interviews for these sets???
I can’t say that I am too thrilled with this set. I’ve been giving this series a pass in the past despite the theme song issue, but when they mess with the closing scenes like this, plus provide video quality that just seems disappointing at times, I can’t be too excited. I guess there is a ray of hope with season 11, since most episodes in that season did not feature any closing credit scenes, but still, will the video quality be this disappointing? Will we still have no special features? My guess is that the answer is “yes” to both questions. Still, this is a hilarious show (that will come as no surprise to the fans), and is definitely fun to watch. But make sure that when you do watch it, that you hold your nose when you think about the problems that plague this set, because much like Al’s feet, it stinks!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 03/10/09
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