TITLE: THAT '70S SHOW - SEASON EIGHT (MILL CREEK)
Release Date: March 19, 2013 (Mill Creek Entertainment)
Packaging: Keepcase with black paper sleeves
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 477 minutes
Running Time of Features: 68 minutes
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles and Captioning: Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Episode Promos; Interviews with Josh Meyers and Tommy Chong; Set Tour; That '70s Show Retrospective; Season 8 in 8 Minutes; Commentaries (4)
Take a flashback to 1979 for one last journey through the '70s in That '70s Show - Season Eight! This is where it all comes to an end... for those who didn't think of the seventh season as an end. Gone now is Topher Grace, who was essentially the star of the series before this season, and (for the most part) Ashton Kutcher, who was the breakout star of the series. But the rest of the gang is back, along with Josh Meyers (brother of Seth Meyers) in the role of Randy Pearson... the character who managed to be the Ted McGinley of That '70s Show. In any event, all 22 episodes of this season are available on DVD to own once again at a low price from Mill Creek!
Once again, the episode titles have a meaning for this season. They're all Queen songs.
The season begins with "Bohemian Rhapsody," where a everybody deals with new changes everywhere. A teenager pops up at the front door and never quite goes away in "Somebody to Love." Randy's plans to throw Hyde a bachelor party all go wrong in "You're My Best Friend." Kelso moves to Chicago in "Misfire." In "Stone Cold Crazy," Jackie finds ways to move on after Kelso leaves. In "Long Away," Donna has been spending time with Randy... more than the other guys are comfortable with. A stolen mascot upsets the whole town in "Fun It." In "Good Company," Jackie uncovers Donna's crush on Randy.
Jackie floods Fez's apartment in "Who Needs You." In "Sweet Lady," Jackie gets a new job working for a talk show host (played by Mary Tyler Moore). Jackie asks for help in getting her new boss to like her in "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy." In "Killer Queen," Jackie and Fez pretend to be a couple for the sake of a TV interview. Donna wants to keep her relationship with Randy a secret in "Spread Your Wings." In "Son and Daughter," Hyde throws a party that gets a bit out of control. Fez loses Kitty's wedding ring in "Keep Yourself Alive." Samantha and Hyde are on the rocks in "My Fairy King."
In "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," Jackie begins to make some revelations about her feelings towards Fez. Disco is dead in "We Will Rock You." In "Sheer Heart Attack," Red and Hyde decide to sell some unneeded heart pills. Bob tries to get Kitty and Red to move to Florida with him in "Leaving Home Ain't Easy." The series ends with "Love of My Life" and "That '70s Finale," where we get to December 31, 1979... and we all know what is coming next.
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. "Bohemian Rhapsody" (21:32)
2. "Somebody to Love" (21:41)
3. "You're My Best Friend" (21:42)
4. "Misfire" (21:58)
5. "Cold Stone Crazy" (21:41)
6. "Long Away" (21:42)
7. "Fun It" (21:41)
8. "Good Company" (21:41)
9. "Who Needs You" (21:42)
10. "Sweet Lady" (21:42)
11. "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" (21:41)
12. "Killer Queen" (21:41)
13. "Spread Your Wings" (21:41)
14. "Son and Daughter" (21:40)
15. "Keep Yourself Alive" (21:41)
16. "My Fairy King" (21:41)
17. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (21:40)
18. "We Will Rock You" (21:43)
19. "Sheer Heart Attack" (21:42)
20. "Leaving Home Ain't Easy" (21:43)
21. "Love of My Life" (21:42)
22. "That '70s Finale" (22:02)
As always, Mill Creek does excellent artwork with a terrible package. I like the cover art for this set (and all of the sets for this series), and it looks much better than what Fox had. There is a cast photo on the cover, along with another cast photo on the back. The funny thing about the cast photo on the cover is that they conveniently managed to edit the picture to get Josh Meyers out of the picture. There is also a description of the season on the back. But inside? Yes, the black paper sleeves are back. Each disc has the series title and the episode titles printed on the disc.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu design is very well done, but less animated than the previous sets. The artwork that is seen on the cover is used on the main menu, but at least they included Josh Meyers this time. In the background, the theme song (yes, still the season 1 version!) plays in the background. Main menu options include Play All, Episodes, and Bonus (Disc 3). Episodes allows you to select an episode, along with allowing you to turn on the commentary for episodes that have them. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
There really aren't any issues with the quality of the video and audio. I haven't seen the Fox release of this series, but I understand that the episodes on that set were presented in full-screen. This set proclaims to have "all new widescreen transfers," although I believe that they're not really that new, as that was how this originally aired. I really like the widescreen on these sets, though. The audio track is the standard Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, and the episodes are closed-captioned.
Oh, those commentaries. I've hardly ever seen a show where I can say that I'm sick of commentaries, but this show wins that distinction. There are four commentaries on this set, which would be great if we got anything meaningful out of them. But as usual, it is just director David Trainer, all by himself, talking about the episodes. They're on "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Keep Yourself Alive," "We Will Rock You," and "That 70s Finale." Skip them. They're not worth your time.
There is more fun with David Trainer in "That '70s Set Tour with Director David Trainer" (11:34), but this isn't as bad as the commentaries. Basically, he takes viewers on a behind-the-scenes look at the set.
"Season 8 in 8 Minutes" (8:00) is the standard recap of the entire season... in eight minutes. If you've seen the episodes, you'd might as well skip this. There are two "That '70s Show Flashback" featurettes on this set, the first with Tommy Chong (4:57) and the second with Josh Meyer (4:37). These are just the standard interviews and clips interspersed together.
"That '70s Show Retrospective" (24:07) is a series of clips and interviews from the series focusing on each cast member. While there are a few new interviews in here, you'll notice that many of the interviews are recycled from previous seasons. And don't look for them to give any retrospective on Randy. They just skip him.
Finally, there are syndication promos (11:46), with one for each episode of the season.
Honestly, I have actually never seen a single episode from this season prior to seeing this set, and only heard bad things about it. In watching it, I can see where the complaints come from. There is something that truly is lost in this season. This is a good example of how a show really can't go on once it loses two main characters in one swoop. Still, there are some redeeming qualities about this season, and I didn't think Josh Meyers' character isn't as bad as I've heard. But all in all, this season is still a disappointment. At the low MSRP Mill Creek has put on the set, though, it is worth picking up anyway. It is nice to see that they finished the series on DVD (for a second time), and I'm hopeful that they'll see it through completion on Blu-ray as well. Until then, I think it is worth owning all eight of these sets (or the complete series set that is coming very soon)... including this less-than-stellar season... to complete your collection.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 04/03/13
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