TITLE: THE COSBY SHOW - SEASON 8
Release Date: April 8, 2008 (First Look Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24 (25 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 the final season, season eight. 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 24 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 eight stars Dr. Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, Phylicia Rashad as Clair Huxtable, Sabrina Le Beauf as Sondra Huxtable, Geoffrey Owens as Elvin Tibideaux, Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Theo Huxtable, Tempest Bledsoe as Vanessa Huxtable, 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 that “Street Dreams” theme that I talked a bit about on the season 7 review. They wanted to use that theme on that season but they couldn’t clear it, so they used it on this season. This season is the final season, season eight and the episodes were not as strong I thought as previous seasons. Denise and Martin do not appear in credits and don’t appear at all in any episode except for Martin on one episode. In the season premiere, “With This Ring,” Vanessa is engaged to Dabnis. Rudy and her friends try to sneak into a club to see a famous rapper in “Warning: A Double-Lit Candle Can Cause a Meltdown.” In “The Iceman Bricketh,” Vanessa's grandparents Russell Huxtable and Carrie Hanks are desperate to meet her fiancé Dabnis. Cliff goes on Olivia’s field trip to the museum in “Olivia’s Field Trip.” Clair finally gets her own room for Christmas on “Clair’s Place.” Theo is now accepted to graduate school in “Theo’s Future” and decides he wants to go in “Cliff and Theo Come Clean.” In the one-hour series finale, “And So We Commence...” Theo’s undergrad graduation is the main story.
Some very notable guest stars for season eight include Wallace Shawn, Merlin Santana, Saundra Quarterman, rapper Special Ed, Miriam Makeba, Dick Vitale, Jimmy Valvano and CCH Pounder.
Recurring guest stars Merlin Santana as Stanley; William Thomas, Jr. as Dabnis; 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 seven -- 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 as we have Cosby with a grey sweater with his hands folded with the show logo in red and the season 8 title. The color scheme is different shades of grey, but darker than season seven. 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 below that...Cliff; Claire/Rudy/Vanessa; Theo; Olivia/Denise; and Elvin/Sondra. Wait a minute Denise is not even in this season! 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 seven coming on this day.
The artwork on the discs has the same image of Cosby as the cover art. At least season seven was a bit different. There is no artwork inside the slim cases, just a plain black background. Disc one holds episodes 1-9 from this season, disc two holds episodes 10-17 from this season and disc three holds episodes 18-24 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 eight theme playing in the background and the clips are playing on the little TVs, just as the season seven set. 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 previous two sets? It was missing for season seven, too. 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. This is the same as season seven. 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. Season seven was very similar, so I mean before that. 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 minutes, with most around 23:11. The highest on this set is 23:11 and the lowest is 22:17. Well, we get one one-hour episode, the series finale, that runs 44:14, so technically that is the highest. The season finale is in its original one-hour form, and has the different theme music. The little clip montage at the end after Bill and Phylicia walk off the set is intact. We see clips in a timeline form presented by NBC. It is very nicely done. It is not shown in syndication, so fans who don’t have the original airing will like seeing it. The episode runtimes per disc are listed below:
1. “With This Ring” 23:11
2. “There’s No Place Like This Home” 23:11
3. “Particles in Motion” 23:11
4. “Warning: A Double-Lit Candle Can Cause a Meltdown” 23:11
5. “Pam Applies to College” 23:11
6. “It’s Apparent to Everyone” 22:41
7. “The Iceman Bricketh” 23:10
8. “Olivia’s Field Trip” 23:10
9. “For Men Only” 23:11
10. “Olivia Comes Out of the Closet” 23:11
11. “Two is a Crowd” 23:10
12. “Clair’s Place” 23:11
13. “Theo’s Future” 23:11
14. “The Price is Wrong” 23:11
15. “Bring Me the Lip Gloss of Deidre Arpell” 22:10
16. “Eat, Drink And Be Weary” 23:10
17. “The Getaway” 23:11
18. “Cliff Gets Jilted” 22:17
19. “Cliff and Theo Come Clean” 23:10
20. “Clair’s Reunion” 23:11
21. “Rudy’s Retreat” 23:10
22. “You Can’t Stop the Music” 23:10
23. “Some Gifts Aren’t Deductible” 23:10
24. “And So We Commence” 44:14
Since we haven’t gotten any extras since season two, I wasn’t expecting any on this set (and season 7) 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. We are now finished with this series on DVD! This set’s video is not as good to me as previous seasons (seasons 1-6)...season 7 to me seems like this set, a little poor in video. At least we have unedited episodes. As I said many times, 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! Join the Huxtables as they say goodbye and celebrate the graduation of Theo in the series finale. See also our season seven 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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