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Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eighth Season


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


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 6, 2011 (Warner Home Video)
Color/2010-2011
MSRP: $44.98
Packaging: Clear Amaray case with page
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 16
Running Time: 484 minutes
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Special Features: None


Introduction:

The controversy-riddled eighth season of Two and a Half Men is now available, and should be a “winning” part of any fan of the show’s library. In this season, what has now become the final one to feature series star Charlie Sheen, his character Charlie Harper has a new problem. Rose, his former lover/stalker has stopped chasing after him... but now it seems he may actually want her back, now that she’s supposedly married. Alan and Jake move in with Alan’s girlfriend Lyndsey (Courtney Thorne-Smith)... but have to come back to Charlie’s after Alan burns the house down; and Alan hatches a Ponzi scheme to try to make some extra cash. The writing was top notch this season, but it was unfortunately cut short by the controversies surrounding Charlie Sheen and his firing from the show. I won’t go into those controversies here... TMZ has those covered well enough.


Episodes:

Because of the suspension and later firing of Sheen, the season was cut short at only sixteen episodes. In the season premiere “Three Girls and a Guy Named Bud,” Charlie tries to stop drinking as Alan begins dating the mother of one of Jake’s friends. Jake is obviously not happy about this development. Alan agrees to move in with Lyndsey, but begins also dating an old flame at the same time in “A Bottle of Wine and a Jackhammer,” and in “A Pudding-Filled Cactus,” Alan learns this is literally like playing with fire, when he accidentally burns his girlfriend’s house down! All four of them (Alan, Jake, Lyndsey, and her son Eldridge) end up moving back in with Charlie in “Hookers, Hookers, Hookers,” much to Charlie’s chagrin. Charlie begins dating an older woman in “Twanging Your Magic Clanger,” who is ready to accept all the crazy people in Charlie’s life... that is until Rose turns up in “The Crazy Bitch Gazette.” In “Lookin’ for Japanese Subs,” Jake and Eldridge begin putting their own life and limb in danger by filming themselves doing “Jackass” style stunts while Charlie starts stalking Rose, whom he believes is married (she really isn’t). In “Three Hookers and a Philly Cheesesteak,” Alan accidentally begins a Ponzi scheme, and in the (unintended) season finale, “That Darn Priest,” Rose and Alan discover each other’s secrets (the Ponzi scheme and the fake marriage.)

Given there are only sixteen episodes (four more were to be produced,) the set seems a bit overpriced as it is priced similarly to other seasons that had as many as 6 to 8 more episodes. You can likely find a discount at certain retailers, but the price is still on par with other seasons. Episodes are likely uncut, but the short running time of episodes 7, 10, and 16 is a bit troubling. All episodes are in their proper widescreen aspect ratio.

Runtimes:

Disc 1:
Three Girls and a Guy Named Bud (21:34)
A Bottle of Wine and a Jackhammer (21:36)
A Pudding-Filled Cactus (21:34)
Hookers, Hookers, Hookers (21:34)
The Immortal Mr. Billy Joel (21:26)
Twanging Your Magic Clanger (21:14)
The Crazy Bitch Gazette (19:32)
Springtime on a Stick (21:19)

Disc 2:
A Good Time in Central Africa (21:23)
Ow, Ow, Don’t Stop (19:31)
Dead From the Waist Down (21:36)
Chocolate Diddlers or My Puppy’s Dead (20:59)
Skunk, Dog Crap, and Ketchup (21:15)
Lookin’ For Japanese Subs (21:24)
Three Hookers and a Philly Cheesesteak (21:34)
That Darn Priest (19:55)


Packaging:

The discs come in a standard sized Amaray case (thin plastic to be more environmentally friendly) with a leaf attached to the middle to hold the second disc. The case is inside a cardboard sleeve. Both the front of the case and the sleeve picture has a current picture of the cast (Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and Angus T. Jones) and the show’s logo. The back of the sleeve features various still shots from the season and a description. The back of the actual case is a shot of Cryer and Sheen from an episode. The discs themselves both match with the same photo from the outer packaging, and there is also a handy booklet listing which episodes are on which disc and giving a brief description of them. The packaging serves its purpose and matches all the previous season sets, even if it is a bit boring.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu is simple and easy to use, but boring. You get a still shot of the cast (the same one that’s on the outer packaging) and a choice of Play All, Episodes, and Languages, as the show’s theme song plays. There’s no animation, no movement of any sort, but the menu is functional and does its job. Chapter stops are in appropriate places, usually at commercial breaks. 


Video and Audio Quality:

As expected from a show that’s from the previous broadcast season, the video and audio quality are excellent. Two and a Half Men is broadcast in high definition on CBS, so the widescreen video here looks very sharp and clear. This is one of the few shows left that’s actually shot on real film and not digitally, so the softness and realness that comes along with film shines through. The 5.1 audio mix is nice, but since it is a sitcom, it’s not as well-used as it would be in an action movie.


Special Features:

There are no special features at all on this set. Although there's a gag reel listed on the wbshop.com page, it's not included. While special features would have been nice, there’s a very good argument for not including any. I’m sure the show’s producers didn’t want to give the Charlie Sheen controversy any more publicity than it has already gotten, and I’m sure no one on the show’s staff would want to talk about the controversy either. And certainly there’s no way Charlie Sheen would want to participate in anything to do with this show ever again, nor would the producers want him to. It’s really a shame when a star’s controversy so negatively impacts a show and its DVD release. 


Final Comments:

I’ve been an on and off again fan of Two and a Half Men for years--I even saw an episode from season five in person--and the writing and acting on this season holds up just as well as any other, despite Angus T. Jones’ aging and the addition of a girlfriend character for Alan. It’s just too bad that it got cut so short with no resolution to either of the plots that were going on at the end of the season. I feel like the set is a little overpriced for only 16 episodes as well, and the length of a handful of episodes has me wondering if they are edited.

The new season premieres this month with Ashton Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen, so it still remains to be seen if the same magic from before can be upheld with a new lead. Two and a Half Men is a very funny show, so we can only hope that is does.


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

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Greg Brobeck on 09/07/11

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B003L77G7E/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=289334


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