TITLE: THE COSBY SHOW - SEASON 7
Release Date: April 8, 2008 (First Look Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24 (26 half-hours)
Running Time: 572 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: None
English Closed Captioned; Spanish Subtitles
Special Features: None
The Cosby Show is back one last time on DVD from First Look Studios this time with Seasons 7 and 8...each sold separately as The Huxtables say goodbye. This review is for Season 7. Join OBGYN Dr. Cliff Huxtable, his wife Clair Huxtable the lawyer and the rest of his family for some great laughs, fun, and a just a good time in 25 hilarious episodes. The sitcom held TVs #1 slot for a record five consecutive seasons and stayed in the top 20 for all eight seasons on NBC.
Season seven stars Dr. Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, Phylicia Rashad as Clair Huxtable, Sabrina Le Beauf as Sondra Huxtable, Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable, Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux, Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Theo Huxtable, Tempest Bledsoe as Vanessa Huxtable, Joseph C. Phillips as Martin Kendall, Keshia Knight Pulliam as Rudy Huxtable, Erika Alexander as Pam and Raven Symone as Olivia.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The opening theme of this season is similar to season six (Apollo opening). We don’t get that rare theme (“Street Dreams”) that was used originally for the first 4 episodes probably because of what happened originally with the lawsuit. They eventually settled and that theme was finally used for season 8, minus Lisa Bonet and Joseph C. Phillips. However, you can watch that theme on YouTube ... you know it is from those four episodes because of the Bonet and Phillips credits and Cosby says “yo...” at the end. This season is season seven and the episodes were still strong, despite the character of Pam coming. Many didn’t like the character. Pam was Claire’s younger second cousin, and some of the episodes this season revolved around her and her friends...but we still got a lot of Huxtable fun! In the season premiere, “Same Time Next Year,” it’s back to school for a lot of our characters: Denise takes classes locally at Medgar Evers College, while Vanessa enrolls at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, meanwhile Rudy starts sixth grade and Olivia starts kindergarten. One of the best episodes of the season is “The Last Barbecue,” where the Huxtables engage in a battle of the sexes because of Theo's stripper idea at Martin's bachelor party. In “A Period of Adjustment,” Clair's second cousin, Pam, moves in with the family. In the one-hour episode “Just Thinking About You,” Pam considers starting birth control. In “Clair's Liberation,” Clair begins menopause. In “Total Control,” Cliff's patient and her husband (special guest John Ritter) are convinced that they are prepared for every scenario... and then labor begins. The episode “Cliff & Jake” aired during the seventh season, but it was actually a left over from season six but didn’t air that season. The episode is a good one, too. Clair tries to prevent Cliff from buying a new appliance from his friend Jake. And the two-part season finale, “Theo and the Kids,” Theo begins as junior counselor at the community center and thinks one of his kids is dyslexic, like he is.
Some very notable guest stars for season seven include John Ritter & Amy Yasbeck (“Total Control”), Bern Nadette Stanis (“Adventures in Babysitting”), Vanessa A. Williams, Leslie Uggams (“The Return of the Clairettes”), Merlin Santana & Lynne Thigpen (“Theo and the Kids” Parts 1 and 2) and Ahmad Rashad.
Recurring guest stars Karen Malina White as Charmaine; Allen Payne as Lance; Mushond Lee as Slide; Clarice Taylor playing Cliff’s mother Anna Huxtable, Earle Hyman playing Cliff’s father Russell Huxtable, and Deon Richmond as “Bud” (aka Kenny).
The packaging is similar to seasons three through six -- we get an outer box with three slim cases! That is better, I think than the digipaks from season’s one and two. The box art is very simple and maybe better than the bland looking ones from the last two sets. We get a full body photo of Bill Cosby with the show logo and the season 7 mention, and on the right side are five little TV’s going down (Cliff/Clair; Elvin/Sondra; Denise; Theo; Rudy/Vanessa/Olivia). The color scheme is different shades of grey and a bit of blue. The back of the box has synopsis of the season and set, with a breakdown of each disc (episode titles for each disc). There are many small promotional images in little TVs, the same from the cover art, though. It says the special features are English CC. How is that a special feature? Inside the box are the aforementioned slim cases. The cover of each slim case is the same as the box. The back of the slim cases are also the same as the box, but the episode breakdown shows what is on that disc only. They could have at least changed the artwork for the slim cases. All of this is very similar to seasons five and six, and season eight coming on this day.
The artwork on the discs has those little TVs again. Cliff/Clair are on disc one. Disc two has Denise with Sondra and Elvin though. Moreover, disc three has Theo with Rudy/Vanessa/Olivia. There is no artwork inside the slim cases, just a plain black background. Disc one holds episodes 1-7 from this season, disc two holds episodes 8-16 from this season and disc three holds episodes 17-25 from this season.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very nice again, like how they are for every set after season three. If you read my reviews of those sets, then you will know how the menus are still good. The main menu starts with little video clips reciting classic lines from the season...they started this starting with the season five set. Each disc has different lines. It is very cool. Then the actual main menu appears with the season seven theme playing in the background and the clips are playing on the little TVs. The main menu has a little blue background. There are two options: Episodes and Play All. What happened to the Set Up menu we had on the previous two sets? They changed up the episodes menu once again. Last few sets had the theme playing and option of which Act to choose. It is different for this set. We get a list of episodes, with episode info and a screenshot from the episode on a little TV. It is more basic, but still works.
There are 4 chapter stops per episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio both are good, and in the same vein starting with the season three set. The video is crisp and clear, but it has some debris from time to time, though it is not bad at all. I think it is a bit worse actually than the last few sets...maybe it is just me. The audio is very good, but I am not sure if it is in stereo or not, as it was on the first two sets because the packaging doesn’t mention it. After the season one mess, we got unedited seasons thereafter, and this set is no different! We get season seven all unedited just as it aired on NBC! The episodes primarily run around 23-24 minutes, with most around 23:49. The highest on this set is 23:51 and the lowest is 23:18. Well, we get one one-hour episode that runs 46:27, so technically that is the highest. The season finale is in its original two-part form, and part one at the end as a “to be continued” notice. Of note, the Bart Simpson teaser is intact on the opening teaser of the season premiere, where Olivia has a huge Bart Simpson mask...as that was Cosby’s reaction to The Simpsons moving into completion on Thursday nights. As I mentioned earlier, the opening theme originally used for the first four episodes is not on this set. That is the only edit on the set. The episode runtimes per disc are listed below:
1. “Same Time Next Year” 23:18
2. “Bird in the Hand” 23:50
3. “Last Barbecue” 23:49
4. “Period of Adjustment” 23:51
5. “It’s All in the Game” 23:49
6. “Getting the Story” 23:49
7. “Just Thinking About It” 46:27
8. “The Infantry Has Landed” 23:49
9. “You Can Go Home Again” 23:49
10. “It’s a Boy” 23:48
11. “Claire’s Liberation” 23:48
12. “It’s Your Move” 23:48
13. “Theo’s Final Final” 22:48
14. “Attack of the Killer B’s” 23:49
15. “Total Control” 23:49
16. “Adventures in Babysitting” 23:48
17. “27 And Still Cooking” 23:49
18. “Return of the Clairettes” 23:49
19. “No More Mr. Nice Guy” 23:20
20. “Home Remedies” 23:49
21. “Nightmare on Stigwood Avenue” 23:50
22. “There’s Still No Joy in Mudville” 23:49
23. “Cliff and Jake” 23:19
24. “Theo and the Kids, Part 1” 23:49
25. “Theo and the Kids, Part 2” 23:49
Since we haven’t gotten any extras since season two, I wasn’t expecting any on this set and it is a good thing because there is nothing on this set. It is really a shame because all of the cast would love to do some interviews. The kids were all on Oprah a few months ago...it would have been great to have that on this DVD, but maybe this DVD was already produced by the time they were on since Oprah was giving out seasons 7 and 8 to the audience for free at the end of that taping.
Well, we got two sets once again on the same day, as that has been happening since FirstLook took over for Urban Works So, we got seasons 3 & 4 on one day, then seasons 5 & 6 on one day and now seasons 7 & 8 on one day. Since season eight is out on the same day, we are now finished with this series on DVD! This set’s video is not as good to me as previous seasons. At least we have unedited episodes though, but it would have been nice to have that original theme used for the first four episodes on this season. Let’s just hope they reissue season one, since they had syndicated prints on that DVD. Anyway, get in on the Huxtable clan with this wonderful season on DVD and you’ll say “Hello” as Cliff would! See also our season eight review.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 03/30/08
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