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The Golden Girls - The Complete Seventh and Final Season


TITLE: THE GOLDEN GIRLS - THE COMPLETE SEVENTH AND FINAL SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: February 13, 2007 (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Color/1991-1992
MSRP: $39.99
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 625 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, English subtitles; Closed-Captioned.
Special Features: Thank You For Being a Friend: A Look Back With the Golden Girls


Introduction:

The girls are back—for the last time—in The Golden Girls: The Complete Seventh and Final Season. This three disc set contains the final 26 episodes of the sitcom that made staying at home on Saturday nights in the 80s and early 90s cooler than going to a party. One can say that this is the "final piece of the cheesecake" for your DVD collection, as now, for the first time ever, you can (well, except for a few problems on the fifth season DVD set) own every single episode of this classic sitcom on DVD.

But unlike most shows, the final season is, once again, a great season! Most shows have gone downhill by the time that they get this far through the series, but The Golden Girls is one of those few rare shows that has great moments from the very first episode all the way up through the final episode.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

There are too many good episodes to list—but I'll list them all anyway. The season begins with “Hey, Look Me Over,” where Rose develops an old roll of film with Charlie, when he was in Florida on a business trip. But how will Rose handle it when it appears that Charlie did everything in Florida, including Blanche? Blanche could be a murderer in “The Case of the Libertine Belle.” Edie McClurg guest stars as Sophia's nurse (who Sophia seems to like more than Dorothy) in “Beauty and the Beast.” A city inspector says that Blanche has too many renters in “That's For Me to Know,” so who is going to go? Peter Graves plays a news anchor that is torn between two women, Blanche and his mother, in “Mother Load.” Steve Landesberg makes his first appearance as Stan's psychiatrist in this episode as well. The girls remember their worst dates ever in “Dateline: Miami.” A hurricane is a comin' and so is Dorothy's sister—and you'll never guess who she sleeps with—in “The Monkey Show.”

Rose becomes concerned with how cheap Miles is in “Ro$e Love$ Mile$.” In “Room 7,” Sophia dies—a little bit, and comes back to life—and Blanche is determined to save her grandmother's plantation. Blanche encounters a man that she supposedly promised would be her one and only in “From Here to the Pharmacy.” Sophia accidentally takes the Pope's ring in “The Pope's Ring.” Ken Berry and Betty Garrett guest star in “Old Boyfriends,” where Sophia begins dating a... couple... and Rose is confronted with an old boyfriend that she doesn't even remember. Rose arranges for Dorothy and Blanche to be on a talk show about women that live and sleep together in “Goodbye, Mr. Gordon,” but does Rose even know what is meant by women that live and sleep together? Blanche is unable to get the man she wants in “The Commitments.” Alex Trebek and Merv Griffin guest star in “Questions and Answers,” where Dorothy could possibly become the next contestant on Jeopardy! Rose accidentally exposes Dorothy and Stan as the slumlords they are in “Ebbtide VI: The Wrath of Stan.”

Blanche gets jealous when Dorothy becomes the latest hit at the Rusty Anchor in “Journey to the Center of Attention.” Everything goes wrong during Blanche's moonlight party in the two-part episode “A Midwinter Night's Dream.” Rose poses for a naughty photo for a birthday gift for Rose, which is fine until he decides to open the gift in front of his friends, in “Rose: Portrait of a Woman.” Rose has a heart attack in “Home Again, Rose.” Finally, the series ends with the episode “One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest,” where Blanche sets up Dorothy with uncle (played by Leslie Nielsen), but as a joke, the two decide to make Blanche believe that the seriously are in love. But all of this pretending could lead to something bigger... something much bigger (I won't spoil it but any fan knows how the series ends).


Packaging:

Seven seasons and they are all pretty much the same as far as the packaging is concerned, which is a great thing as far as consistency is concerned. This season probably has the most elegant packaging of all of the sets released so far, but only because of the color scheme used in this set—the overall color scheme is black (the previous sets have all used various pastel colors). Aside from the color scheme, the cover art should look very familiar—it is almost identical to the first season artwork. The cover has four pictures on it, one of each of the girls. They have updated the photos for this set to how the girls all looked during the final season. Inside, we have the same type of digipak that has been used for every set, with Discs 1 and 2 in the middle panel and Disc 3 in the right hand panel (the left hand panel contains episode listings as well as a folder-type pocket to hold something—except my set had nothing in there, I'm guessing it would just be some sort of promotional material that has nothing to do with the show). The discs are not black, however, but instead they are of a bronze color, with a photo of Rose on Disc 1, Dorothy and Sophia on Disc 2, and Blanche on Disc 3. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-9, Disc 2 contains episodes 10-18, and Disc 3 contains episodes 19-26 as well as the bonus feature.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are the same as they were in the previous set, except of course they use a black color scheme this time. The menu options are Play All, Episode Selections, Set Up, Sneak Peeks (Disc 1), and the bonus feature (Disc 3). The closing theme music plays while you make your selection as it has in ever set so far. The Play All, Episode Selections, and Sneak Peeks options do exactly what one would think they do, and the Set Up option allows you to turn on subtitles and gives you information on how to register your DVDs. As has been the case for all of these sets, there is no scene selection menu, but chapters are placed at all of the appropriate spots within the episode.


Video and Audio Quality:

There is SOME fluctuation when it comes to video and audio quality from one season to the next, but it is never all that significant. The main problem seems to be with the sharpness of the picture quality, but other than that, there is nothing significantly WRONG with these sets. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo sound, and while you won't find the audio quality to be quite as good as the quality that you may find in the latest Star Wars movie, you have to keep in mind—this is “top of the line” for a television show from 1991-1992 (which is kind a reasonable expectation for television shows on DVD). Closed-captioning and English subtitles are available on the set.

These days, I am very hesitant to declare ANY DVD set as being edited or unedited, due to little problems some seemingly perfect sets have had lately. I do believe that this set is unedited, however, as most of the runtimes are fairly consistent. It should be noted that some (though not all) of the episodes from this season have scenes that run during the closing credits. Although Lifetime did air these at one point in time, ever since they have, in their infinite wisdom, realized that closing credits aren't important for us, these pretty much haven't been seen at all. It is a shame too because some of these are pretty funny, particularly the ones on “Goodbye, Mr. Gordon” and “Rose: Portrait of a Woman.” This is one (of many) good reasons to own the DVDs! The runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "Hey, Look Me Over" (23:44)
2. "The Case of the Libertine Bell" (23:26)
3. "Beauty and the Beast" (23:46)
4. "That's For Me to Know" (23:29)
5. "Where's Charlie?" (23:44)
6. "Mother Load" (23:45)
7. "Dateline: Miami" (23:44)
8/9. "The Monkey Show (Parts 1 and 2)" (45:22)

Disc 2:
10. "Ro$e Love$ Mile$" (23:39)
11. "Room 7" (23:43)
12. "From Here to the Pharmacy" (23:29)
13. "The Pope's Ring" (23:31)
14. "Old Boyfriends" (23:46)
15. "Goodbye, Mr. Gordon" (23:42)
16. "The Commitments" (23:45)
17. "Questions and Answers" (23:35)
18. "Ebbtide VI: The Wrath of Stan" (23:44)

Disc 3:
19. "Journey to the Center of Attention" (23:44)
20/21. "A Midwinter Night's Dream (Parts 1 and 2)" (45:20)
22. "Rose: Portrait of a Woman" (23:46)
23. "Home Again Rose (Part 1)" (23:25)
24. "Home Again Rose (Part 2)" (23:43)
25/26. "One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest (Parts 1 and 2)" (46:25)


Special Features:

For the most part, Buena Vista has kind of screwed us over again on the special features—kind of. Of course, I'm not complaining about the special feature that is on here, in fact, it is pretty good, but it just isn't enough. “Thank You For Being a Friend:­ A Look Back With the Golden Girls” (15:00) is a collection of clips (from all seven seasons) combined with new interviews from Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Betty White. It is a nice featurette, but with 15 minutes, they don't get nearly as in-depth as I would like for them to get! Personally, I enjoyed the commentaries that were on the fifth season set more than I enjoyed this, but I'm glad this was included anyway.

The series is done as far as season sets are concerned on DVD, and Buena Vista has really blown a “golden opportunity” when it comes to giving us good special features. Lets hope that whenever the series is released on another format in the future (or if a “complete series” collection is released), we will see some more innovative special features, particularly with the cast members involved in the special features!


Final Comments:

This is the end of the series, and as much as I like the show and would recommend that fans (no matter how loyal) purchase this set as well as the previous six sets, I have to say that I am SLIGHTLY disappointed in the way that Buena Vista has handled this set as far as the special features are concerned. This show had so much potential for special features, yet Buena Vista chose to release all of these sets with (at most) one special feature per set. They should have gone all out—commentaries, interviews, and bonus footage—on EVERY season that was released.

Despite this (and the syndicated episodes problem on the fifth season set), I have to say that I AM pleased with the rate at which Buena Vista released these sets, and about the fact that I was generally satisfied with the video and audio quality of the sets. Plus, it is great to just have this series (which, although it is hard to say for sure, is probably my favorite series of all time) complete on DVD. Of course, there is still more work to do. Now, it would be nice to see Buena Vista release the spin-off of this show, The Golden Palace. Sure, it wasn't quite the same show without Bea Arthur, but it was still an enjoyable show to watch and fans would love to see it on DVD. Also, what about the seemingly forgotten spin-off, Empty Nest? That show lasted for just as many years as The Golden Girls, yet it seems to have been totally forgotten over the past 10 years. Well, in any event, you'll want to get this set to complete your collection!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 1.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 02/07/07

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000KGGIL4/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=193701


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