TITLE: THAT '70S SHOW - SEASON SEVEN (MILL CREEK)
Release Date: March 19, 2013 (Mill Creek Entertainment)
Packaging: Keepcase with black paper sleeves
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: 548 minutes
Running Time of Features: 42 minutes
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles and Captioning: Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Episode Promos; Interviews with Don Stark; Behind the Polyester: Writing That '70s Show featurette; That Seventh '70s Season Highlights; Commentaries (3)
Hop in to the Vista Cruiser for another trip to the '70s in That '70s Show - Season Seven! Although it isn't a "new" release to DVD, this is Mill Creek's first time releasing the next-to-last season of the Fox series as a value-priced selection. In the seventh season, we see big changes coming for everybody, as Eric and Donna try to face each other after their broken engagement, Hyde meets his father, Jackie gets her own show, and more. You can find it all in this groovy three-disc set!
For those who are curious, this season uses Rolling Stones songs for the episode titles.
The season begins with "Time is on My Side," where Eric and Donna have to face decisions after the wedding disaster. Hyde is in for a bit of surprise when he meets his father (played by Tim Reid) in "Let's Spend the Night Together." Eric vandalizes a muffler shop in "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Everybody is getting new jobs in "Beast of Burden," but Eric isn't working at his father's new muffler shop, ironically named Forman & Son. Hyde begins working at his father's record store in "It's Only Rock and Roll." In "Rip This Joint," Eric is sent to jail after a prank that he pulls. Lindsay Lohan guest stars in "Mother's Little Helper," where she plays a customer at Fez's salon (and even goes on a date with him). The gang meets Hyde's half-sister in "Angie." In "You Can't Always Get What You Want," Eric wants to go to a Styx concert... on Thanksgiving.
Angie reveals something that Hyde doesn't want to hear in "Surprise, Surprise." In "Winter," the guys end up taking all of the toys meant for a toy drive. Jenna Fischer guest stars as a former high school classmate of the gang in "Don't Lie to Me." In "Can't You Hear Me Knocking," Kelso accidentally threatens the president, causing paranoia for all. The gang tries to figure out how to get three people into a Packers game with two tickets in "Street Fighting Men." A new intern at Donna's radio station is fired for not showing off her body in "It's All Over Now." In "On With the Show," Jackie is about to become a TV star (on public access at least). Eric decides to make a documentary about his life on the road in "Down the Road Apiece," but first he must actually live life on the road. Kelso ends up losing his daughter (literally) in "Oh, Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin')."
Kelso asks Hyde and Jackie to be Betsy's godparents in "Who's Been Sleeping Here?" In "Gimme Shelter," Kelso and Fez are looking for a place to live. Luke Wilson makes his first appearance in "2120 So. Michigan Avenue," where Eric finds out that he isn't a high school graduate since he received an incomplete in gym class. Eric is forced to find a way to fund his own college education in "2000 Light Years From Home." In "Take It Or Leave It," Jackie is offered a big job in Chicago. Jackie is about to head to Chicago in "Short and Curlies," so can Hyde stop her before it is too late? The season ends with "'Til the Next Goodbye," the episode which features the last regular appearance of Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher.
The episodes are unedited to an extent. The main thing that is really missing is the original music, as was the case in previous releases. Runtimes are as follows:
1. "Time Is On My Side" (21:58)
2. "Let's Spend the Night Together" (21:59)
3. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (21:58)
4. "Beast of Burden" (21:38)
5. "It's Only Rock and Roll" (22:00)
6. "Rip This Joint" (21:57)
7. "Mother's Little Helper" (21:36)
8. "Angie" (21:59)
9. "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (21:57)
10. "Surprise, Surprise" (21:58)
11. "Winter" (21:57)
12. "Don't Lie to Me" (21:56)
13. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" (21:57)
14. "Street Fighting Man" (21:58)
15. "It's All Over Now" (21:57)
16. "On With the Show" (21:58)
17. "Down the Road Apiece" (21:27)
18. "Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin')" (21:58)
19. "Who's Been Sleeping Here" (21:55)
20. "Gimme Shelter" (21:57)
21. "2120 So. Michigan Ave." (21:58)
22. "2000 Light Years From Home" (21:56)
23. "Take It or Leave It" (21:58)
24. "Short and Curlies" (21:40)
25. "Til the Next Goodbye" (21:58)
The packaging for the set is (as has been the case for all of these Mill Creek releases) very nicely designed when it comes to the artwork. There is an extended cast photo on the front, with a photo of the "kids" on the back. Of course, once you get inside, you'll find the standard black paper sleeves that contain the discs. Each disc has titles of all of the episodes printed on it.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu design is a bit different from the previous releases, but not too different. On the main menu, you are presented with the entire cast inside of a convertible, while the theme song plays in the background. Options on the main menu include Play All, Episodes, and Bonus (Disc 3 only). Selecting Episodes brings up a menu where all of the episodes are listed on one screen. If a commentary is available for the episode, you can also choose to play it from this menu. Luckily, the theme song does NOT loop on this menu... it did on previous releases, and it got old very quickly! Chapters are placed throughout the episodes at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality on the set is surprisingly decent, although not perfect. Once again, they have included all of the episodes in widescreen, which isn't exactly the original aspect ratio, but it generally looks pretty good. The audio sounds fine (though not overly impressive), with a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track. The episodes are all closed-captioned.
All of the special features that were included on the previous Fox release are included yet again on this set. These begin with commentaries from director David Trainer. These are included on the episodes "Time is On My Side," "Angie," and "Til The Next Goodbye." Honestly, these aren't particularly interesting to listen to.
"A '70s Flashback: Don Stark" (7:27) is a brief interview/clip segment featuring Don Stark. It is similar to other ones that have appeared in previous seasons. In "Behind the Polyester: Writing That '70s Show" (7:57), we get to hear some interviews from the writing staff of the series. "That Seventh '70s Season" (12:34) is a series of clips that more or less summarizes the seventh season. Finally, "Season Seven 30 Second Promos" (13:29) brings us the usual collection of 30 second syndication promos that were made for each of the episodes in the season.
This is another quality re-release from Mill Creek, and even though some may argue that the series was never intended to be in widescreen, I actually like these transfers. I still wish that Mill Creek would have been consistent on them from the beginning, though. As for the special features, I've never been truly impressed by any of the ones that I've seen on these sets (particularly the somewhat boring David Trainer commentaries). But it is nice that they are at least including these. Although there is one more season of the series remaining (which we are reviewing in a separate review), this really was the last season of the series as we all truly knew it. The final season was really just a desperate attempt by Fox to revive what was basically their only successful sitcom and milk it for another year. Even though some of the original cast returns for that season, the loss of Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher in the regular cast is a bit of a let down. Still, I think fans are certain to appreciate seeing these episodes on DVD again, especially for those who never purchased it before and choose to own it at the new lower price.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 04/01/13
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