TITLE: THAT '70S SHOW - SEASON SEVEN
DVD Release Date: October 16, 2007 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: approx. 650 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 106 minutes 30 seconds
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned
Special Features: Episodic Promos, three Audio Commentaries, and three Featurettes
The gang is still grooving after all these years, but it is time for the residents of Point Place to do some semi-serious thinking about their future. This season, Eric and Donna pick up the pieces of their broken engagement and decide to just hang out and have some fun. Hyde gets to know his funky father and foxy half-sister. Jackie gets her own public access TV show, while Kelso struggles to treat women with more respect after the birth of his daughter. In addition, Fez finally finds his true calling as the shampoo boy at a beauty salon. It does not get any cooler -- or funnier -- than this, as 20th Century Fox gives us the seventh season of this groovy sitcom on DVD!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
I’ll be honest -- I stopped watching the show around this time. Something about the show...I don’t know, I wasn’t thrilled in the direction it was going by this point. So, most of these are new to me. I am sure everyone has favorites or well-liked episodes from this season, but I really do not feel qualified to speak on it. Re-watching the show on DVD did not really help. There were not, on first glance, any true breakout episodes.
Guest Stars for Season Seven:
Brooke Shields: “Time is On My Side”
Tim Reid: “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” “Beast of Burden,” “It’s Only Rock and Roll,” “Rip This Joint,” “Angie,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “2000 Light Years from Home”
Lindsay Lohan: “Mother’s Little Helper”
Jenna Fischer: “Don’t Lie to Me”
Eliza Dushku: “It’s All Over Now”
Luke Wilson: “2120 So. Michigan Ave.”
Chris Elliott: “2000 Light Years from Home”
Fox has elected to go with the two double-sided slimcases again rather than four individual slim-cases, the same as season six’s packaging. Corresponding to this packaging, two discs now also share a design style and color, though the character on the disc still changes disc-to-disc. On the first case are Eric, Hyde, Donna, and Kelso, while on case two are Fez, Jackie, Kitty, and Red. Case 1 is purple, case 2 is orange, and both have overlaying circles of lighter and darker shades of that case’s color. The discs are similar in design to the slimcase art, with Jackie and Donna on Disc 1, Hyde and Eric on Disc 2, Fez and Kelso on Disc 3, and Kitty and Red on Disc 4. Discs break down to a 7-7-7-4 arrangement. 1-7 on D1, 8-14 on D2, 15-21 on D3, and 22-25 plus features on D4.
All of this is inside a slimmer outer box with the same rainbow-colored-H pattern you’ve seen before on the other sets. The outer color is black, then orange, teal, and purple, and then a yellow setup similar to the design style of the slimcases. All six “kids” pose on the front cover -- no Red and Kitty. The “kids” again pose on the rear cover, which is just a black background with yellow text.
Menu Design and Navigation:
They gave us nice menus! However, the menus for Fox’s That ‘70s Show releases are always extremely well done. There is a VERY ‘70s background (starting orange/yellow but working in some greens and blues as well), in which are both rotating flowers (with clips in circles in the center), while similar flowers fall behind them. On the upper left is a center flower that features the disc options coming up from the center. Episode selection is a static menu with the episode titles appearing in an extremely large version of the above pattern. Language selection essentially just serves as a subtitles menu, but it is here as well, featuring another static menu based on said pattern. Ditto Special Features as well.
Video and Audio Quality:
Video quality is nice, if a bit warm. The signs of compression are minimal at best. As this is a new show clearly, there are no grain or debris issues. I am baffled as to why Fox was not airing the show in high definition at this point, as it would have been nice to see, but that’s the nature of the HD transition I guess. Audio is nice and balanced. I really don’t even see the point about writing an A/V section for shows made in this decade, because aside from some Dawson’s Creek releases, I’ve never seen a DVD release of a show made in the last 10 years that had poor VQ or AQ. Chapter stops are at the end of each scene and runtimes average between 21:30 and 22:00 depending upon the episode -- these are normal runtimes for a 2000s series.
Promos - 30-second promos for each episode: 25 episodes. 25 x 30 seconds = approx. 12 minutes and 30 seconds
Audio Commentary (approx. 66 minutes): There is three of ‘em, ALL by director David Trainer. You know, I like commentaries, but when you just have one person doing commentary on a couple of shows, why even bother. Commentaries are on Time is On My Side, Angie, and Til the Next Goodbye.
A ‘70s Show Flashback (7:27): Don Stark. Same format as previous flashbacks.
Behind the Polyester: Writing That 70s Show (7:57): Featurette about the writers.
That Seventh ‘70s Season (12:36): Featurette about dairy cows. No wait, that is not right. It is a clip montage from the show’s 7th season, clearly.
Total Runtime of special feature: approx. 106 minutes and 30 seconds.
I am still not a fan of the last couple of years of the show. Moreover, as disinterested as I was by this season, next season loses us Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher. Therefore, that is not good. I really wish a bit more effort would be made on the commentary tracks again, but I am not complaining, as most live-action Fox shows do not even get this nice of a treatment. If you are a fan of the show, buy this set. If you are not a fan of this show, catch some reruns in syndication or on cable first to make up your mind, and THEN buy this set. Recommended.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Final Score: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 10/28/07
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