TITLE: NIGHT COURT - THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON (WBSHOP.COM) (AMAZON.COM)
Release Date: January 29, 2013 (Warner Archive - WBShop.com Exclusive)
Packaging: Keep case
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 574 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: None
All’s NOT fair in love and law in Night Court’s hit eighth season. We get all 24 season eight episodes on a three-disc set exclusively at WBShop.com from the Warner Archive Collection. This is the fifth set in a row for the series being an exclusive to WBShop.com, so it is your only way of owning it. And, for now, the episodes are on DVD instead of DVD-R’s, so take advantage and order EARLY before they go back to DVD-R’s. We only waited less than three months after season seven was released, so we are ready for the courtroom antics!
Originally conceived as the final season, Night Court’s eighth hit year saw the show’s creators moving some very long simmering subplots off the back burner and on the boil. As the season begins, Judge Harry (Harry Anderson), DA Dan (John Larroquette), bailiff Bull (Richard Moll), clerk Mac (Charles Robinson) and bailiff Roz (Marsha Warfield) are welcoming public defender Christine (Markie Post) back from maternity leave. The happy reunion is short-lived, however, as long-buried passions, secret guilts and long-lost relatives plunge the court into chaos. This being Night Court we are also treated to visits from a trick-or-treating Death (Stephen Root) and time travels with an angel (Mel Torme), and we brave a session at the horrific Day Court. By season’s end, two characters may be unable to deny their love any longer...
Night Court season eight stars: Harry Anderson, Markie Post, John Larroquette, Charles Robinson, Richard Moll, and Marsha Warfield. Click, click!
We’re now in the penultimate season in season eight and this was supposed to be the final season but NBC brought it back for a ninth season. Markie Post looks hotter and hotter as usual. Among the best episodes of season eight, the two-part season premiere, “A Family affair,” where Christine comes back from having her baby and has to deal with the shadow of her replacement, good 'ole Ted, as Harry tries to avoid the tutor arranged to help him pass a crucial high school history test, while Dan's sister comes to visit, and Dan asks Bull to take her out to see the sights of New York, unaware that his baby sister is a chip off the old Fielding block. In “When Harry Met Margaret,” Harry's first date with Margaret Turner (Mary Cadorette), the new court reporter, turns into a disaster when he follows Dan's advice. In “Death Takes Halloween,” on Halloween, Harry locks up a defendant known as the Spirit of Death (Stephen Root), and people, including next scheduled victim Dan, stop dying. In “A Night Court at the Opera,” Dan tries to win over Margaret during a night at the opera and Bull acquires disciples convinced that he's their god.
In “Presumed Insolvent,” Dan looks at Phil the wino in a whole new light when the bum rescues a defendant left penniless by the S&L crisis. In “Alone Again, Naturally,” Harry gets a wealth of conflicting advice when he confides in his friends that he thinks Margaret is about to propose marriage. In “Harry’s Fifteen Minutes,” Harry lets an article naming him one of New York's 10 most interesting men go to his head, and he disappoints Christine by fibbing to get out of a date, while Dan tries to live up to his responsibilities as head of the Phil Foundation. In the two-part season finale, “Fools Rush In,” Harry experiences some very mixed emotions when Tony tries to win Christine back, and the transformed Dan gets some help in running the Phil Foundation, from Phil's twin brother Will.
Among the guest stars this season are Stephen Root, Hal Williams, Stuart Pankin, Joyce Brothers, Bert Parks, Jack Riley, Melinda McGraw, Gregory Itzin, Joleen Lutz, S. Marc Jordan, Cathy McAuley and Mel Torme. Recurring stars include Mary Cadorette as Margaret Turner, Ray Abruzzo as Tony Guiliano, Mike Finneran as Art, William Utay as Phil, and Denice Kumagai as Quon Lee.
Episode runtimes are around 23-24 minutes and all unedited. Here are all the runtimes:
1. A Family Affair, Part 1: 23:58
2. A Family Affair, Part 2: 23:24
3. When Harry Met Margaret: 23:21
4. Can’t Buy Me Love: 23:27
5. Death Takes a Halloween: 23:57
6. Crossroads, Part 1: 23:55
7. Crossroads, Part 2: 23:56
8. Day Court: 23:51
9. A Night Court at the Opera: 23:55
10. Nobody Says Rat Fink Anymore: 23:10
11. Jailbait: 23:56
12. It’s Just A Joke: 23:51
13. Bringing Down Baby: 23:53
14. Presumed Insolvent: 23:54
15. Mama Was a Rollin' Stone: 23:56
16. Attachments Included: 23:54
17. Alone Again, Naturally: 23:56
18. Hey Harry, F'Crying Out Loud -- It is a Wonderful Life... Sorta: 23:49
19. To Sleep, No More: 23:58
20. With a Little Help From My Friends: 23:53
21. Mac Takes a Vocation: 23:53
22. Harry's Fifteen Minutes: 23:52
23. Fools Rush In, Part 1: 23:59
24. Fools Rush In, Part 2: 23:56
The packaging of the set is a very simple with a keep case, similar to the previous sets. The cover art has a shot of Harry holding his gavel (with the number eight) with a starry city night background and the Night Court logo on top once again. The color theme is like aqua blue and dark blue. The back of the case features a similar starry night background of the city, with a shot of Harry in glasses and three episodic photos along with info on the series and set. When we open the case, we see no artwork on the panels at all once again, as it is plain white. Also, we don’t get an episode booklet again, which is a shame. The discs are not overlapping and each disc has its own side. There is a plastic holder holding discs one and two, one on each side. The last disc is on the right panel itself. All this is good and similar to the last few sets. The disc art is the same dark city night drawn image on all three discs with episode titles printed on the disc. Disc one will be where you can find episodes 1-8, while Disc two holds episodes 9-16 and Disc three has episodes 17-24. This is all consistent from previous sets.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu has the starry night background and the same cast photo from the cover art (Harry with the gavel that has the number 8), very similar to the previous sets. The opening theme is NOT playing in the background again this time. Why? As we did the last few times, we have the choice of Play All or choose an episode title right on the main menu. As I have said before, why not have an episode menu like they always had prior to season four? I understand this is a Warner Archive release, but still? There are no subtitles again. Oh yes, before the main menu on each disc we once again have a FBI warning, saying you will get 5 years in federal prison and $250,000 fine for making illegal copies of this DVD. Ouch, so we don’t get a $50 fine and time served from Judge Stone?
Video and Audio Quality:
The video varies from episode to episode, but it is much better than season four and on par with seasons five through seven. I think it looks good. It is more consistent like the first three seasons when it was a Warner Home Video title, but some episodes look lighter while others looks pretty dark, especially on the closing credits. Just look at the screenshots from this review, the great episodes look like this (but the one with Bull and Christine on top is a little choppy, as you can see). The audio is on par with the previous sets and I have no complaints there. We get four chapter stops per episode again and they are correctly placed. Couple of tidbits, on the two-part episodes, the “To Be Continued...” tag is intact at the end of part one and there are “previously on Night Court...” (Voiceover by Marsha Warfield) recaps for all the part two episodes. I didn’t see the Night Court logo bumper in the middle of the episode like season seven, though. For your closing logo enthusiasts, we get the Starry Night Productions logo and the old Warner Bros. Communications logo after the closing credits.
There is nothing here again and we didn’t expect anything anyway. For season one, we got a few extras. But like seasons two through seven, we get NONE whatsoever on this set. That is such a shame, but expected since they moved this series to WBShop.com only. They cheapened the set big time, but seasons two and three were regular WHV sets, and we didn’t get any extras for those either. Warner Archive is not to be blamed here because we actually are grateful they are continuing this series on DVD and have just one more season left to be released! Click click!
This is another solid season and a solid set. It’s a Warner Archive set, so it’s not a DVD sold in stores, so you’ll have to order online. I loved Markie Post with the shorter hair again and it is growing nicely. It will be cool to see it grow even more in season nine, where I think she looked the best. Especially in that dress in the season nine premiere, wow. More on that next time! In terms of the DVD, the video quality is on par with the previous set and looks good. I still think fans should buy this set because they’ll want to continue the series on DVD. All of the episodes are unedited and close to 24 minutes. I think the episodes for this season is better than season seven, so that is a big plus. They certainly cheapened this series on DVD since season four, but I’m glad we are getting every season on DVD at a great pace. Hopefully season nine comes in spring or early summer 2013 and then we would be complete with this series on DVD...so they can’t stop now. It makes no sense to stop, as we should be done in another three months or so. Die-hard fans should for sure “click, click” (as the opening theme says and click on the link below to buy the set) away. Actually, make that everyone should “click, click” and buy this set! This is a great show, with great writing and of course great characters. Dan Fielding, Bull Shannon, Judge Stone...such great characters! It’s the penultimate in laughs, and the laughs are always in store for Night Court!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3/5
Overall Score: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 02/02/13
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