TITLE: MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN - THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: March 18, 2008 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 592 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: 10 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: Minisodes of Silver Spoons and V.I.P.
It’s time for another whoooooooa Bundy as the eighth season of the long running sitcom “Married... With Children” arrives on DVD! The whole family is back (thankfully without that awful Seven character) along with Marcy and Jefferson in this three disc DVD set. The eighth season is the one that truly pushes the series into more for what it was remembered for in its later days... a completely offbeat series about a completely screwed up family. It isn’t as if it wasn’t that in the earlier seasons, but the later seasons strongly reinforced that.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The season begins with “A Tisket, A Tasket, Can Peggy Make a Basket,” where Al takes Peg to a basketball game and switches seats with him--right before the seat that he WAS sitting in is randomly chosen to take part in a $10,000 free throw competition. The Bundys start having good luck in “Luck of the Bundys,” but will it last, or will the Bundy Curse take over? Kelly and Bud get a car together in “No Chicken, No Check,” but how long will the friendly sharing arrangement last when both have dates on the same night? The Village People guest star in “Take My Wife, Please.” One of Al’s new co-workers is a football star and Al is determined to make sure that he doesn’t ruin his life by marrying his girlfriend in “Scared Single,” but is that really such a great plan? Al and his friends cause chaos to Jerry Springer (playing himself) when the “masculine feminist” ruins everything that the guys want in “NO MA’AM.”
Marcy and Peg are determined to go see The Jeffersons live on stage in “Dances with Weezy,” but Al and Jefferson have other plans. Joe Namath and Ernie Banks guest star. Al goes into the hospital to get a circular incision operation in “A Little Off the Top,” but ends up getting much more than he bargained for thanks to miscommunication. There is a new billboard of Peg near Al’s shoe store in “Honey, I Blew Up Myself,” but how will Al deal with having to look at Peg all day long? Gary Coleman, Danny Bonaduce, and Dave Madden all guest star in “How Green Was My Apple,” where the Bundys and D’Arcys go to war over a tree. In “Get Outta Dodge,” Al is going to get a brand new Dodge Viper when his car crosses the one million mile mark... but you know SOMETHING will have to go wrong.
Robert Mandan guest stars in “The D’Arcy Files,” where Al may become a millionaire if he revels one of Jefferson’s secrets. Rick Dees guest stars in “Nooner or Nothing,” where Peg can win a radio contest by convincing Al to leave work for lunch to have sex with her. Will it work? Al becomes trapped in a department store at the same time his favorite movie is to air on TV in “Assault and Batteries.” In “Kelly Knows Something,” Al teaches Kelly everything there is to know about sports so that she can compete in a trivia game show about sports... will it really work?
After seven seasons of the exact same packaging, Sony has finally moved to something a little different, though actually very similar to the packaging that they are currently using on most other shows. Basically, we have slim case packaging. There are two slim cases, with one holding Discs 1 and 2 and the other holding Disc 3. The front of each slim case has screenshots taken from the episodes and the back lists all of the episodes with a brief description. Discs 1 and 2 contain nine episodes each, while Disc 3 contains eight episodes.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are pretty basic, with the main menu on each disc containing a snapshot from the series and options of Play All, Episode Selection, and (on Disc 3) Minisodes. Once you select an option, you get exactly what you expect. The Episode Selection menu presents you with a set of screens containing three episodes each. There is no music or special effects on the menus, as is the case with many Sony DVD sets. While the set contains no scene selection menus, every episode does contain chapters at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
Once again, the episodes look how they’ve always looked, basically fine but far from being over-the-top impressive. The video is mostly clear, but does tend to not be quite as sharp as it probably should be. The audio is, again, fine but not incredibly impressive. It is presented in Dolby Digital Surround Sound, with closed-captioning available for those that require it. The episodes themselves appear to all be unedited, except of course for the fact that the theme song has been replaced with some generic theme song used on every set since season three. Runtimes are as follows:
1. A Tisket, A Tasket, Can Peg Make a Basket (22:48)
2. Hood in the Boyz (22:55)
3. Proud to Be Your Bud (22:53)
4. Luck of the Bundys (22:58)
5. Banking on Marcy (22:57)
6. No Chicken, No Check (22:57)
7. Take My Wife, Please (22:55)
8. Scared Single (22:56)
9. NO MA’AM (22:57)
10. Dancing With Weezie (22:54)
11. Change for a Buck (22:57)
12. A Little off the Top (22:56)
13. The Worst Noel (22:55)
14. Sofa So Good (22:54)
15. Honey, I Blew Up Myself (22:42)
16. How Green Was My Apple (22:57)
17. Valentine’s Day Massacre (22:55)
18. Get Outta Dodge (22:26)
19. Field of Screams (22:22)
20. The D’Arcy Files (22:54)
21. Nooner or Later (22:54)
22. Ride Scare (22:56)
23. Legend of Ironhand Haynes (22:55)
24. Assault and Batteries (22:25)
25. Al Goes Deep (22:58)
26. Kelly Knows Something (22:56)
Not much of an effort was made to bring together quality special features for this set, but at least SOME effort was made this time. Essentially, we have two of Sony’s Minisodes, which for those that aren’t familiar with these; these are like condensed version of episodes of shows. On this DVD set, we have one good one and another that many people won’t care about. The Silver Spoons episode “A Family Affair” (3:48) is the good one, and many fans will like this because Christina Applegate guest stars in this episode. There is also an episode of V.I.P. called “Loh-Down Dirty Shame” (6:08), which seems to have nothing at all to do with this series. Oh well.
It is pretty nice to see that the DVDs of this show are finally moving along a little faster now, and we are getting close to closing up the series once we get past a few more releases. These releases have the potential to be perfect if only the original theme song would reappear and if special features were included, but of course, perfection isn’t meant to be. It is a shame because this show has such a loyal fan-base that I would think fans would be willing to pay for a much better set. Still, that isn’t to say the set is bad, in fact aside from those flaws, it is pretty good and contains (what appears to be) unedited episodes of a great TV series. So get out of your FOX viewing position and pop this DVD set in your DVD player, and give your family a “whooooa Bundy!”
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 1/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 03/03/08
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