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Cheers - The Complete Eighth Season



DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006 (Paramount Home Video)
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: Aprrox. 10 hours, 19 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed captioned
Special Features: None


It's the cozy Boston bar where everybody knows your name... welcome to Cheers - the Emmy Award-winning, smash-hit television series that kept the laughs uncorked for 11 years. Sam (Ted Danson) and Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) share their first kiss in Cheers: The Complete Eighth Season, but their romance is short-lived when millionaire playboy Robin Colcord sweeps Rebecca off her feet. But Sam quickly rebounds.. with Rebecca's favorite college professor! The laughs are on the house when Carla (Rhea Perlman), Woody (Woody Harrelson), Cliff (John Ratzenberger), Norm (George Wendt), along with Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth), order up double shots of unforgettable fun in the incredible eighth season of TV's classic comedy hit... Cheers!

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Cheers moved up one slot in the ratings to 3rd place, with a 22.7 rating for the 1989-1990 season. It finished behind The Cosby Show and Roseanne, which shared the top spot. Ted Danson won an Emmy for Outstandng Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Bebe Neuwirth won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Season 8 saw the introduction of multi-millionaire playboy Robin Colcord (played by Roger Rees). Memorable episodes included the two-part season premiere, in which Rebecca falls instantly for Robin. Just as Rebecca fears for her sanity because of the erotic dreams she's been having about Sam, multi-millionaire Robin Colcord sweeps her off her feet in "The Improbable Dream (Part 1)." Rebecca quickly forgets about Sam after she agrees to go to California with Robin Colcord in "The Improbably Dream (Part 2)." Jeopardy makes an appearance in Boston, and Cliff gets on the show in "What Is...Cliff Clavin?". Tonight might be the night that Rebecca and Robin finally get together, despite Sam's presence in "Finally! (Part 1)." The aftermath of their get together isn't all she hoped it would be, when Rebecca finds Robin with another woman in "Finally! (Part 2)." Rebecca impresses Sam and the boys when she shows them Robin's fancy apartment while he's out of town in "Cry Hard." Rebecca and Sam both have mixed emotions as they face the fact that Robin Colcord, after proposing to Rebecca, is arrested for insider trading based on information supplied by the once and future owner of Cheers in "Cry Harder."

Cheers never relied on many notable guest stars, but there were some each season. Cynthia Stevenson appeared as Doris, Norm's secretary, in "The Two Faces of Norm" and "Feeble Attraction." Thomas Haden Church guest starred as Gordie Brown in "Death Takes a Holiday on Ice." Lisa Kudrow played Emily in "Two Girls For Every Boyd." Diedrich Bader was the Waiter in "Sammy and the Professor." Alex Trebek appeared as himself in "What Is...Cliff Clavin?". Bill Medley appeared as himself in "Finally! (Part 1)" and "Finally! (Part 2)." Gail O'Grady guest starred as Laura Walton in "Finally! (Part 1)."


Paramount has gone back to the type of cover art they used for Seasons 1-5. I think it was a mistake to go to a whole different look with white border backgrounds for Seasons 6-7, so I'm glad they've gone back to their original style. The cover art features a photo with 8 cast members. The photo looks a bit grainier compared to some of the other cast photos they've used. The Cheers Logo is centered in gold at the top of the box. The overall color theme of this set is gold and white. A shot of the empty bar is on the back of the box. A summary of the set, a listing of the episodes by disc, and the DVD specs are listed. The familiar digipak packaging that they've used for the previous seven Cheers releases is used once again. There is a photo of Kirstie Alley and Ted Danson on the back of the digipak. When you open up the digipak, there is another photo of Ted and Kirstie on the left side and Bebe Neuwirth and Kelsey Grammer on the right side. There is just a gold background inside the case where the discs are held. Various photos of items (statue, piano, lighting fixture, cash register) from the bar are shown underneath the discs. The discs feature the Cheers logo in gold at the top and a photo of one of the cast members in a gold center band. Episode titles are listed in white. Disc 1 has a photo of Ted Danson and includes episodes 169-175. Disc 2 pictures Rebecca and has episodes 176-182. Disc 3 shows Bebe Neuwirth and Kelsey Grammer and offers episodes 183-188. Disc 4 has a shot of George Wendt and Rhea Perlman and rounds out the set with episodes 189-194.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are a bit unique this time. The photos and episode titles are on a beer label. You can see beer at the top and bottom of the screen, and the label is in the middle. There are sepia-colored photos of the cast and a vintage photo that you see in the opening credits on the left side. The Cheers logo is centered at the top. The episode titles are listed vertically in white on the right side of the screen. There is a little red icon next to the episode that you highlight that turns blue upon your selection. A Play All button is available on each disc. There is a Previews option on Disc 1. Each menu has a different photo on the beer label. Disc 1 has Sam and Rebecca, Disc 2 has Lilith and Frasier, Disc 3 has Sam, and Disc 4 has Rebecca. There are chapter stops within the episodes but no scene selection menus. When you first insert disc 1, there is an option to view Previews or go to the directly the main menu. The previews are for some other Paramount DVD releases including MacGyver, Charmed, and The Brady Bunch (2:49).

Video and Audio Quality:

As we've got to the later seasons, the video and audio quality has seemed to improve a little bit each season. The original source material just seems to be better, and there was probably less that needed to be remastered. The release is in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. There is a bit of grain and dust as Cheers was shot on film, but the episodes all look to be very watchable. The episodes are well spread out with no more than 7 episodes per disc, so there are no compression issues. All of the episodes run around 23 to 24 minutes in length. The audio is your standard English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Sound track. It's generally clear and crisp with no major problems. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes.

There is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of the music has been changed for this release. There was a notice on Seasons 4, 6, and 7 that some music was changed for those home entertainment versions.

Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including running times:

Disc 1
169. The Improbable Dream (Part 1) (23:55)
170. The Improbable Dream (Part 2) (23:59)
171. A Star Is Born (23:54)
172. How To Marry A Millionaire (23:59)
173. Two Two Faces of Norm (24:00
174. The Stork Brings a Crane (23:59)
175. Death Takes a Holiday on Ice (23:43)

Disc 2
176. For Real Men Only (22:59)
177. Two Girls For Every Boyd (24:00)
178. The Art of the Steal (23:28)
179. Feeble Attraction (23:57)
180. Sam Ahoy (23:26)
181. Sammy and the Professor (23:52)
182. What Is... Cliff Clavin? (24:00

Disc 3
183. Finally! (Part 1) (23:57)
184. Finally! (Part 2) (24:01)
185. Woody or Won't He (23:42)
186. Severe Crane Damage (23:51)
187. Indoor Fun with Sammy and Robby (23:58)
188. 50-50 Carla (23:58)

Disc 4
189. Bar Wars III: The Return of Tecumseh (23:19)
190. Loverboyd (23:46)
191. The Ghost and Mrs. Lebec (23:51)
192. Mr. Otis Regrets (23:59)
193. Cry Hard (23:58)
194. Cry Harder (23:51)

Special Features:

There have been no special features included on any Cheers releases since Season 3. Unfortunately, that trend is continued here. I've just been happy to build my Cheers library of episodes. Maybe they will include some as we get to the last three seasons. You would think that there would be some for the final season at the very least.

Final Comments:

2005 was a great year for Cheers releases. We saw four releases (Seasons 4-7). I'm disappointed that Paramount waited nearly 7 months between Seasons 7 and 8. I was hoping that we would have the entire series by the end of 2006, but that doesn't appear possible now. I wonder if the packaging had anything to do with lower sales or if the market is just flooded with so many TV DVD releases? I'm glad they've gone back to the packaging style they used for the first 5 seasons. It has more of that Cheers bar theme. Season 8 was another hilarious season of Cheers. Ted Danson and Bebe Neuwirth won their first Emmys.

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

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

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 06/02/06

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