TITLE: 8 SIMPLE RULES - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009 (Lionsgate/ABC Studios)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 23 (24 half-hours)
Running Time: approx. 528 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; no subtitles; Closed-Captioned.
Special Features: None
After nearly two years, the second season of 8 Simple Rules is coming to DVD! The series is now being released by Lionsgate in association with ABC Studios. This was an emotional and hard season. The season starts off well with Paul (John Ritter) dealing with his family (Katey Sagal, Kaley Cuoco, Amy Davidson, and Martin Spanjers), but the tragedy strikes by fourth episode with the untimely death of Paul Hennessy. In real-life, John Ritter passed away as well, and it shocked the entire world. He is still deeply missed and many still can’t believe it after nearly 6 years. Joining the cast this season are James Garner and David Spade to help Cate cope with the loss of Paul. Now she finds herself laying down the rules to keep with three teenagers on her own.
All 24 half-hours second season episodes are on this 3-disc set, including the three episodes with John Ritter. This is for you John.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
It is quite unfortunate that John Ritter passed away because this sitcom could be still on the air today and going strong. All three of John’s episodes are in the memorable category. I think just about every episode here is memorable until things sort of go back to normal by the episode “YMCA.”
In the second season “Premiere,” Bridget finds her popularity waning because of her exclusive, long distance relationship with Donny, while Kerry's social status skyrockets because of her relationship with Kyle. Meanwhile, as she waits for the results of her pregnancy test, Cate is stunned when Paul, Bridget, Kerry and Rory seem more concerned about how the baby could disrupt their lives than the blessed event itself. In the very next episode “Sex Ed,” Paul is worried about Kerry after they saw a French movie with a sex scene in it, while Cate teaches sex education at Bridget's school and gets suspicious when she reads a submission where a girl's older boyfriend was coming from Maryland & she felt pressured to have sex. In the final aired episode with John Ritter, “Donny Goes AWOL,” Bridget breaks up with Donny on a video, which leads to a feud between the Hennessys and the Doyles. In one of the saddest hours in the history of television, “Goodbye,” Cate and the family are horrified and heartbroken to learn that Paul died at the grocery store and Cate's parents arrive to help them through the funeral. The next four episodes are all centered on Paul’s passing. In “Get Real,” Cate's nephew C.J. (David Spade) stops by the Hennessy household to pay his final respects to Paul. In the three-part episode “Opposites Attract,” Bridget is forced to partner geeky Jeremy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) in Science class, and ends up falling for him. In another two-part episode, “Let’s Keep Going,” after deciding not to go on vacation to cabin at the lake, Cate forces Bridget and Kerry to fly out to visit Grandma Laura in Sarasota instead of attending the Maeve Festival, believing the festival to contain "sex, drugs, and rock and roll." They however don’t end up going to Florida. In “The Principal,” Bridget gets in trouble at school, prompting a meeting between Cate and Principal (Adam Arkin) who turns out to be an old schoolmate. And in the two-part season finale titled “Finale,” after forgetting to hand in a form for Kerry's trip to Europe, Cate is forced to deal with Principal Gibb again.
Recurring guests are Larry Miller as Tommy, Billy Aaron Brown as Kyle, Cole Williams as Anthony, Paul Wesley as Damian, Nikki Danielle Moore as Jenna Sharpe, Nicole Mansour as Rachel Sharpe, and Patrick Warburton as Nick Sharpe.
Guest starring this season in an episode or two are Suzanne Pleshette, Thad Luckinbill, Ethan Embry, Lisa Rinna, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Tatum O’Neal, Connie Stevens, Peter Bogdanovich, Mac Davis, Erik von Detten, Adam Arkin, Cindy Williams, and John Ratzenberger.
We get an outer box holding a case. Both the outer box and case have the same artwork, front and back. The color scheme is yellow and red. A cast photo is on the front, C.J., Bridget, Cate, Rory, Kerry and Grandpa Jim from left to right. The 8 Simple Rules logo is on top in red with a portrait of Paul hanging from the “u” in rules. The Complete Second Season line is on the bottom of the cover. The back of the case has about five great photos (promotion photo of Paul & Rory with Bridget and Kerry looking, along with four screenshots of Bridget, Cate & Kerry, Paul & Rory, Bridget, Kerry, Rory & Paul, and C.J. & Grandpa Jim). There is a nice synopsis of the show and set, with technical specifications o the bottom. When we open the case, we see a booklet holder on the left and the discs on the right. Last time we had overlapping discs, not this time though! The episode listing for each disc last time was on the left panel, so it is nice to get an insert this time. But there are no photos or artwork on the panels itself...it is plain black. The episode list insert has nice photos, episode title, and synopsis.
Last time, the discs themselves had simple artwork, and were not really creative. Not the case this time. All the discs are yellow and a bit of white in color, with the logo in red. Discs one and two are on a little plastic holder in the middle that you can flip like a book. Disc one is on the front side, and disc two on the back side. Disc three is on the right panel itself. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-7 and has artwork of Paul & Cate, Disc 2 contains episodes 8-15 and has artwork of Bridget, Rory & Kerry, and Disc 3 contains episodes 16-23 and has artwork of C.J. & Grandpa Jim. Packaging is a mixed bag...more better than worse though.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu has the theme song (a different version it seems) playing in the background, with a mention of season two on the top, along with the show logo, disc number, and we get the same artwork of the cast from the cover art. There is no Paul though. You have options of Play All and Episode Selection. This time audio is just in English and no French, while there are no subtitles at all. Last time we had English, French and Spanish subtitles. We do have closed-captioning at least. The Episode Selection menu has a moving video screenshot from each episode, with the episode number and title. That is cool at least...but no different audio tracks and no subtitles at all make this section a let down.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video is in widescreen again! Yes, the enhanced for 16x9 televisions widescreen. I’ve never seen the show look better. It is perfect. The audio is also excellent. It is a nice stereo sound. There are 4 chapter stops per episode, which is always convenient if you’re looking for a particular scene. The episodes are all unedited, but I have a big problem. The first three episodes from the season each had that special introduction by Katey Sagal telling us these were John’s final three episodes. We don’t get that on this set! I don’t understand why either. These didn’t air in syndication on ABC Family or WB Daytime either I believe. They should have been extras at least. Not a big deal, but this aired originally on ABC, so it should be on here. Also missing is the clip montage that was aired during the end of “Donny Goes AWOL,” which was the last episode to air with John. That is a disgrace if you ask me. Again, they could have put it as an extra. One silver lining here is we get that scene that was originally edited out because of the clip montage of Paul in the bathroom and you hear him calling someone that there are no more toilet papers. Anyway, here is the Katey Sagal intro and here is that
wonderful montage that
aired originally on ABC. It’s too bad these didn’t make it to DVD. Lionsgate should have known. Everything else is intact, including the “to be continued” tags on a few part one episodes and the previously on 8 Simple Rules recap on “Let’s Keep Going, Part 2.”
1. Premiere (21:32)
2. Sex Ed (21:36)
3. Donny Goes AWOL (21:38)
4. Goodbye (42:59)
5. No Right Way (21:28)
6. What Dad Would Want (20:42)
7. The First Thanksgiving (21:37)
8. The Story of Anne Frank and Skeevy (21:33)
9. YMC (21:04)
10. Get Real (21:37)
11. Consequences (20:53)
12. Opposites Attract, Part I (21:07)
13. Opposites Attract, Part II (21:37)
14. Opposites Attract: Night of the Locust, Part III (21:37)
15. Daddy’s Girl (20:52)
16. Mall in the Family (21:36)
17. Let’s Keep Going, Part I (21:37)
18. Let’s Keep Going, Part II (21:36)
19. C.J.’s Party (21:36)
20. Mother’s Day (21:36)
21. The Principal (20:58)
22. Finalé, Part Un (21:01)
23. Finalé, Part Duex (21:06)
Last time we got bloopers. This time we get nothing. Bloopers for this season would not be appropriate, but why on earth are we NOT getting the Katey Sagal introduction for the first three episodes and no clip montage for John Ritter originally used at the end of “Donny Goes AWOL?” Utter disgrace. Buena Vista had produced a tribute to John Ritter featuring the cast, but that is no where to be found. Maybe they couldn’t use it since Lionsgate didn’t produce it? Or maybe it will be on the third season DVD? I sure hope so! Someone has explaining to do.
I am so glad this season is finally on DVD! Though this season of course is not as good as the first season since the passing of John Ritter, it is still great...and we get John on the first three episodes. This set made some improvements in packaging, but that is about it in terms of improvements. Everything else is below season one’s standards. No extras, no other audio tracks, no subtitles at all, and the omission of the Sagal intro and Ritter montage are big losses. What were they thinking? Especially on the latter two things.
Anyway, I hope this set still sells well. We need to have all three seasons on DVD...and we want to make sure of it. I hope the third season goes out with a bang with great extras and tributes to John Ritter. As Paul says in one of his eight rules, “you make her cry, I make you cry.” I want to make Lionsgate cry with the removals of the Sagal intro and the Ritter clip montage! But anyway, you will want to own this piece of TV history, as the “Goodbye” episode is among the best sitcom episodes done ever, even though it is very sad. It was very real and all families should watch together. So get in C.J.’s van and get yourself to buy this DVD! You better hurry before he goes to an Aerosmith concert instead!
View my 8 Simple Rules website: http://8simplerules.tvheaven.com
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 05/09/09
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