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Two and a Half Men - The Complete Seventh Season


TITLE: TWO AND A HALF MEN - THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010 (Warner Home Video)
Color/2009-10
MSRP: $44.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 463 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: approx. 17 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital English, Portuguese
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese; Closed Captioned
Bonus Features:
*A Charlie Harper Ex Reunion
*Gag Reel


Introduction:

As we finished season six and moved into year seven, Cupid finally aimed his arrow at Charlie Harperís heart instead of at another region of his anatomy -- and scored a direct hit. Yes, Charlie has discovered that Chelsea is the real deal, and in the season to come, heíll try anything to keep her. Be gracious to her parents. Pretend heís listening when she talks. Even, gulp, staying faithful (Well, try anyway). But Charlie isnít the only man in the household lost in loveís funhouse. Convinced that the only thing that separates him from stud-ly status is hair, Alan tries the spray-on variety. Jake, meanwhile, decides that what he needs...is advice on women from his uncle Charlie.


Episodes:

Iíve been a critic for six wonderful years, and Iíve been an avid viewer of sitcoms for nearly twenty five. In that time, Iíve watched all of the timeless classics, and the not-so-classics. And in that time, Iíve come to the realization that EVERY show, given enough time, eventually reaches a point where the show grows stale. Some shows are lucky enough to get cancelled before that happens. As one of the highest-rated sitcoms of the last decade, Two and a Half Men gets no such reprieve, and the seventh season is the point where I call it a day. Jake is too old to be the crazy kid anymore, and as a teenager I just find him annoying. Alanís neuroticism has worn me tired, and after all of these years, the tread is even wearing down on my appreciation of Charlie Sheen.

Mind you, this season still has a couple of highlights. Actually having the perennial bachelor Charlie trying to gradually settle down was certainly an interesting arc to watch, though the ending result -- Charlie still being Charlie -- really, really disappointed me. I also got huge chuckles out of the seasonís finale -- Charlie gets a suspended license, forcing him to rely on Jake for transportation.

Music icon Eddie Van Halen appears in the first episode of the season. Annie Potts (Designing Women) appears in the seasonís third episode. Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) appears in ďGord. Fnark. Schmegle.Ē Carl Reiner appears in the seasonís Christmas episode, ďWarning, Itís DirtyĒ (ever an apt name for a Christmas episode if Iíve ever heard one). Stacy Keach (Mike Hammer) is in ďYay, No Polyps,Ē and later appears in additional episodes as does John Amos (Good Times). Courtney Thorne-Smith, last seen for several years on the hilariously mediocre According to Jim, begins her recurring role as Lyndsey in the episode ďI Called Him Magoo.Ē Finally, the inimitable Martin Mull (perhaps most remembered by modern audiences as Leon in Roseanne) makes his scheduled yearly appearance in ďGumby with a Pokey.Ē I honestly consider Mr. Mull one of the more underrated actors in the business, so itís always nice to see him again.

Runtimes:
Disc 1:
818-jlkpuzo: 22:00
Whipped Unto the Third Generation: 20:51
Mmm, fish. Yum: 20:02
Laxative Tester. Horse Inseminator: 20:29
For the Sake of the Child: 21:56
Give Me Your Thumb: 20:53
Untainted by Fish: 22:06
Gorp. Fnark. Schmegle: 20:40

Disc 2:
Captain Terryís Spray-On Hair: 21:15
Thatís Why They Call It ĎBall Roomí: 20:01
Warning, Itís Dirty: 19:49
Fart Jokes, Pie and Celeste: 22:05
Yay, No Polyps: 20:58
Crude and Uncalled For: 21:29
Aye, Aye, Captain Douche: 22:04
Tinkle Like a Princess: 21:39

Disc 3:
I Found Your Mustache: 21:43
Ixnay on the Oggie Day: 21:19
Keith Moon is Vomiting in His Grave: 18:52
I Call Him Magoo: 21:50
Gumby with a Pokey: 21:51
This is Not Gonna End Well: 21:01
You canít tell me 18:52 and 19:49 are normal runtimes. But, I donít know whatís missing, and the Amazon video on demand versions match the DVDs.


Packaging:

...Three cheers for those transparent plastic cases all the studios love because the per-set packaging costs are 10 cents lower than any other type! Hooray for cost-effective measures! Yay!! You can see the box art at the top, and if youíve read any review written by me on this site in the two years you know that I find them to be cheap and brittle. But you know what? They get the job done, look decent on a shelf, fit great on store shelves, and they lower the studiosí needed cost to make a set profitable, so bring them on. Iím tired of fighting. Each disc takes the main box art and breaks it down to a character-by-character level. This is nothing new. Since we only have three discs this time instead of four, the disc with all 4 cast members is abolished, with each of the three primary actors given their own disc. Charlie Sheenís on disc 1, Jon Cryerís on disc 2, and Angus Jones is on disc 3. Between the two fewer episodes and the advice to waste less space, this set balances out far more nicely -- 8 shows on the first two discs, six on the final PLUS the features.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are fairly simple -- just a rehash of the main box art in widescreen, with the main theme playing in the background. The episode selection menus feature the usual episode list in alternating white and yellow fonts, with a strip of episode stills to the left. Languages menu is roughly the same as the episode menu, except with different stills, now on the right side. Play All is available. The menus wonít win any particular awards for design excellence (are there such things?), but at least the main menu has music. Dig the Portuguese audio track, and the various subtitles. Those are definitely a nice touch.


Video and Audio Quality:

The nice thing about a modern TV show is that you just canít screw up the VQ/AQ except through deliberate incompetence. When you have a show that sits in a vault for 30 years, the VQ deteriorates and the audio gets hissy. Miami Vice is a great example: Universal really busted their rears to clean up those prints, but thereís only so much you can do to a show from back then. But when you go straight from on-air broadcast to DVD with as little as 4 months turnaround thereís no time for any of those effects to destroy the prints. Video is good, audio is good, and as you might expect thereís nothing to bring complaints against. The video is as nice as a standard-def DVD allows. Chapter stops occur at the ad breaks.


Special Features:

The special features seem to dwindle with each passing season. This time around, we get:

Gag Reel (7:34): Various bloopers and outtakes from the season.

A Charlie Harper Ex Reunion (9:16): A feature with interviews of the various women who have played Charlieís girlfriends over the course of the series.


Final Comments:

I want to end the review talking about how tired I am of the show, but the fact is that itís one of a handful of multi-camera sitcoms still left, and if it goes thatís one less high-rated series to continue on the classic format. I WANT the show to continue to succeed, but as the show heads into its upcoming eighth season the show seems to be running on empty, and I think weíre at a point where you realistically have to talk about ending it.

The set itself...less than nineteen minutes on an episode? Really? Iím not buying it. It doesnít pass the smell test. Without original copies of the episode I have no source for comparison, but I smell a rat. Even by modern standards, thatís ridiculously short. The Magical Shrinking Special Features List is also a cause for a concern (COMMENTARY?!).

If youíre a fan of the show, by all means buy it. All Iím suggesting is that there are funnier seasons of this show you could buy if you havenít already, and this season is NOT a great introduction to the show.


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

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3.5/5
Special Features: 1/5
Final Score: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 10/11/10

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002N5N4PS/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=274213


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