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COLUMBIA TRISTAR

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Various
Cast:
Ed O'Neill, Katey Sagal, Christina Applegate, David Faustino, Amanda Bearse, David Garrison
Writing Credits:
Various

Synopsis:
America's favorite dysfunctional family strikes back in Married ... With Children: The Complete Second Season, compiling all 22 hilarious episodes from the show's classic sophomore season, remastered on DVD for the first time. Called "too hot for TV" during its original run (1987-1997), see why this Emmy and Golden Globe nominated hit series is even raunchier, trashier, and more outrageous than you remember!

There goes the neighborhood all over again, as Al (Ed O'Neill), Peg (Katey Sagal), Kelly (Christina Applegate), Bud (David Faustino), and nosy neighbors, Marcy and Steve (Amanda Bearse, David Garrison) discover the flipside of domestic bliss. Launching upstart FOX network, while revolutionizing sitcoms forever, let this collector's three-disc set take you back to those crazy, cynical '80s - "for richer or poorer" was never supposed to be like this!

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:
English Dolby 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles:
None
Not Closed-captioned

Runtime: 526 min.
Price: $39.95
Release Date: 3/16/2004

Bonus:
• 13 Easter Eggs - Interview clips with the cast
• Trailers


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
TV - Mitsubishi WS-48311 48" HD 16X9; Subwoofer - RBH TS-12A; DVD Player - Integra DPC-7.4 Progressive Scan 6-Disc Changer; Receiver - Integra DTR-7.4 THX Certified; Center - RBH MC-616C MKII; Front Channels - RBH MC-6C MKII Bookshelf Speakers; Mid & Rear Channels - RBH MC-615 In-Ceiling Speakers.

RELATED REVIEWS


Married With Children: The Complete Second Season (1988)

Reviewed by David Williams (May 25, 2004)

After a rather successful first season run that included a mere 13 episodes, little did most viewers and critics realize that Married With Children was just beginning its reign of terror on network TV. During 1987-1988, the Bundy’s would return to the FOX network for a second season that included 22 episodes that allowed fans to tag along on many more escapades with one of America’s favorite dysfunctional families. (I assume if you’re reading this review, you’re more than familiar with the show and its cast of characters, but if you need a quick update, check out my review of season one.)

The show definitely didn’t become any more mature from its first season, as the storylines and situations only became more crude and risqué (especially for their time). As expected, the characters didn’t develop much more either – nor would they ever – as we find Al (Ed O’Neill) still working at the shoe store and staking his claim as a former local football hero and the rightful head of the Bundy household; Peg (Katey Sagal) isn’t enjoying sex (or even the mention of it) with her Al any more than before, but has no problems spending what little money he brings home; oldest daughter Kelly (Christina Applegate) remains hot, dumb, and slutty; and the Bundy’s son, Bud (David Faustino), still spends every waking moment dreaming of and planning his first sexual encounter. The much more prim and proper Rhoades’, Steve (David Garrison) and Marcy (Amanda Bearse), still live next door and make a great foil for the Bundy’s and their comical exploits.

Now that you’ve gotten a quick refresher, let’s take a quick look at season two … (As with season one, there are a couple of episodes that are out of order based on their original air date, as Columbia has changed them around slightly. I can only assume that the order the episodes air on the DVD set was the intended order.)

- Disc One -

Buck Can Do It (Original Air Date: October 11, 1987)
One of the Bundy’s neighbors threatens to sue when the Bundy’s dog, Buck, is caught doing the nasty with their dog and they owners feel that the conceived puppies will be dumb and ugly. One of the options suggested for curing this problem in the future is having Buck neutered, but Al doesn’t like that idea one bit.

Poppy’s By The Tree: Part I (Original Air Date: September 27, 1987)
The Bundy’s decide to take a vacation in Dumpwater, FL (where else?) and stay in a low-rent motel. When they get there, they learn that an axe murderer (Vic Polizos) – who hatestourists - visits the town every five years looking for his next victim(s). The locals enjoy the show, as they bet on when he will strike during the year.

Poppy’s By The Tree: Conclusion (Original Air Date: September 27, 1987)
Peg (Katey Sagal) is unfortunately kidnapped by the axe murderer and Al must come to her rescue.

If I Were A Rich Man (Original Air Date: October 4, 1987)
Al (Ed O’Neill) and Steve (David Garrison) spend a little time in a Steve’s vault at the local bank and the next day, it’s reported that $1 million dollars has shown up missing and/or stolen. When the news hits the Bundy household, everyone assumes Al stole the cash and they start treating him with tons of respect as they assume that they are now rich.

For Whom The Bell Tolls (Original Air Date: October 25, 1987)
Al gets an unusually large phone bill that he refuses to pay because of a huge discrepancy and when the phone company cuts off their service, everyone takes it out on Al … again.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Part I (Original Air Date: October 18, 1987)
Problems at home causes the girls, namely Peggy and Marcy (Amanda Bearse), to head out to a male strip club for the first time ever. However, their problems have only just begun, as Marcy loses her self-control – and then her wedding ring - down a stripper’s (Billy Hufsey) pants while giving him a tip.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Conclusion (Original Air Date: October 18, 1987)
Zorro, the stripper, shows up at Steve and Marcy’s house to return her wedding ring. Steve awkwardly takes the ring from Zorro and waits for an inopportune time to confront Marcy about her escapades at the club …

Born To Walk (Original Air Date: November 1, 1987)
Kelly (Christina Applegate) passes her driver’s test and gets her license … on the same day that Al fails his driver’s license renewal test.

Alley Of The Dolls (Original Air Date: November 8, 1987)
Peg meets up with an old rival from her high school days and the two agree to a bowling match to see who will become the ultimate loser. However, the Bundy’s bowling team is a man short, so Steve agrees to help out. Also, we learn that Bud (David Faustino) has been spending his money for bowling lessons on other things.

- Disc Two -

The Razor’s Edge (Original Air Date: November 15, 1987)
When Steve goes away on a rafting trip, he comes back home to Marcy with a full grown beard. This causes a huge argument between the two when Steve refuses to shave it off. Steve decides to move in with the Bundy’s while things cool off at home.

How Do You Spell Revenge? (Original Air Date: November 22, 1987)
Al wants Peggy to work on her softball skills and he tells her that he plans on kicking her off of the team if she can’t improve soon. Meanwhile, Kelly’s boyfriend wants proof of her undying love for him, as he asks her to get a tattoo.

Earth Angel (Original Air Date: December 6, 1987)
Bud finally gets the girl of his dreams when he meets a 21-year-old art student, Tiffany (Dawn Merrick), in the park and brings her home to meet the family. Everyone really seems to like Tiffany except for Marcy … and she has plans for getting rid of her.

You Better Watch Out (Original Air Date: December 20, 1987)
Here’s the Bundy’s infamous Christmas episode … and it’s anything but traditional, as the Bundy’s receive a visit from Santa in a very unexpected manner. You see, this Santa was supposed to parachute into the local mall for a visit; but when his chute fails to open, he ends up landing in the Bundy’s back yard, d-e-a-d.

Guys And Dolls (Original Air Date: January 10, 1988)
Al and Steve buy a coupe of old, rather valuable, baseball cards by selling Marcy’s 20-year-old Barbie keepsake doll that she intended to give her daughter one day (when she has one). Needless to say, she’s not too happy when she hears the news and it’s up to Al and Steve to pound the pavement, find Marcy’s doll, and bring it back home to her.

Build A Better Mousetrap (Original Air Date: January 17, 1988)
A mouse is on the loose in the Bundy home and Al, being the consummate man, refuses to call an exterminator. However, when the war he’s waging against the rodent becomes “personal”, Al is more determined than ever to kill the rat, even if it means destroying his own house in the process.

Master The Possibilities (Original Air Date: February 7, 1988)
The Bundy’s go on a wild spending spree when the postman delivers a credit card … issued to Buck, the family dog.

Peggy Loves Al - Yeah, Yeah, Yeah (Original Air Date: February 14, 1988)
On Valentine’s Day, Bud is holding a vigil at the mailbox waiting for his first Valentine; Kelly has more than her fair share; and Steve has plans to take Marcy to Hawaii. All Peg wants for Valentines Day is for Al to say “I Love You”. (During this episode, viewers were actually given a number to call to vote on whether or not Al should tell her. After the votes were tallied, an overwhelming 67% of viewers thought that Al should tell Peg he loved her. An ending was played showing just that …)

Great Escape (Original Air Date: February 21, 1988)
The Bundy home is being fumigated because of a termite problem, so the clan moves in to the shoe store until their home is livable again. While there, a grounded Kelly plots her escape in order to attend a rock concert.

- Disc Three -

Im-Po-Dent (Original Air Date: February 28, 1988)
Steve makes sure that Marcy regrets ever putting a dent in his Mercedes. He makes a wild claim that the damage to his car has made him impotent and he forces Marcy to be his “slave” while he recovers.

Just Married … With Children (Original Air Date: March 6, 1988)
Al and Peg find an interesting piece of mail in Steve and Marcy’s mailbox – an invitation to appear on a game show called “How Do I Love Thee?”. Al and Peggy sign up for the show … as Steve and Marcy … and when Steve and Marcy learn about the Bundy’s plans, they sign up for the show as well … as Al and Peg. However, they’re all “shocked” to learn that the object of the show is to find out who can survive the most pain and torture in order to prove their love.

Father Lode (Original Air Date: March 13, 1988)
Al wins a nice chunk of money while gambling at a local racetrack and then stresses over how to keep Peg from finding out. Meanwhile, Peg is consistently removing money from Al’s wallet.

All In The Family (Original Air Date: May 1, 1988)
All Al wants to do is watch the John Wayne classic “Hondo”, but he has to deal with Peg’s visiting relatives from Wanker County. With a strange mix of fighting uncles and triplet aunts who love to sing and dance, Al’s simple task is going to be much harder than he ever imagined.

Well, that’s the second season of Married With Children in a nutshell … and it ends up being a very strong collection of episodes. Married definitely started finding its footing during its sophomore season and the increased popularity and ratings for the show proved many of its staunchest critics dead wrong on what made for “good TV”. Americans embraced the dysfunctional Bundy’s and their brand of raunchy and politically incorrect humor, causing the show to become one of the most popular and longest running sitcoms of all time.

Married With Children: The Complete Second Season is simply another excellent boxed set from the folks at Columbia and hardcore fans of the show have more than likely picked this one up already. If you haven’t … well, what are you waiting for?!?


The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio C+/ Bonus C

As with the first season, Married With Children: The Complete Second Season is presented in its televised aspect ratio of 1.33:1. And again, the transfer is good, but far from great. However, having already seen and reviewed the season one set, I wasn’t expecting much more than previously seen and therefore, I wasn’t too disappointed with the results. (The fact that Columbia squeezed all 22 of the second season episodes onto just three discs didn’t help matters much either.)

Sharpness and detail were fair and exhibited all the flaws inherent to the era, as well as the rather low budgets the show was produced on. The image could be soft at times – detracting from the otherwise acceptable detail and delineation – but it never reached overly distracting levels. Grain was also pretty evident, as it was during the first season set, but it failed to sidetrack from the episodes themselves. Artificial sharpening was evident (and overused) in spots and caused some minor edge enhancement throughout many of the second season episodes and at times, shimmer and blocking were noted as well. The show’s color palette remained garish and uneven, although Columbia has seemingly reproduced the vast majority of them appropriately. Bleeding was never an issue, although some very, very slight smearing was evident in a few spots. Black levels were acceptable, although fine details suffered somewhat.

Columbia’s transfer for Married With Children: The Complete Second Season was on par with its predecessor and more than acceptable considering the age of the source material and its low budget origins. Fans will find little fault with Columbia’s efforts as the individual episodes are definitely better than most re-broadcasts that can be found.

As before, the audio for Married With Children is pretty generic and straightforward. Save for the opening Sinatra tune, “Love and Marriage”, that opens up the show, the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track rarely strays from the ordinary. The audio still maintains a very “soundstage” quality to it – laugh tracks and cat calls included.

The sound design is a slight improvement from Season One, with the key word being slight. However, for those of you familiar with the show and its first couple of seasons, the anomalies in the dialogue shouldn’t come as any big surprise. The soundtrack is low-budget, lacking any sorts of bells and whistles, but it’s clear and intelligible and that’s what’s important. Dialogue is key in Married With Children and thankfully, Columbia has made sure it sounded crisp and clean throughout the entire second season. There was no clipping or distortion heard at any time and the dialogue reproduction came across properly authored, sounding quite natural in the process.

Any sort of deep bass or directional cues were all but non-existent, as the show rarely exhibited anything outside of an audience-provided laugh track and some cheesy dialogue. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole left to say about the track, as I’ve stretched my comments on it about as far as they can go. In a nutshell, it’s “no harm, no foul” and Columbia has done a commendable job with an average mix.

There are quite a few supplements included with the set (13 to be exact), but most are pretty irrelevant and come as “easter eggs” rather than selectable options. The extras, such as they are, are nothing but interview snippets of the cast from the reunion special and are average at best. Since that’s all they are, I won’t go into any sort of elaborate detail on each snippet, but I will tell you how to find all 13 eggs.

While I don’t understand – or agree - with the implementation of the extras (especially when there’s so few of them), it is what it is and here’s what’s included (by disc):

- Disc One -

Egg 1: From the MAIN MENU, choose TRAILERS and then press –LEFT- three times.

Egg 2: From the MAIN MENU, choose the EASTER EGG menu, highlight HINT and press –UP- twice.

Egg 3: Place your cursor EPISODE SELECTIONS, press –UP- twice.

Egg 4: From the first page of the EPISOIDE SELECTIONS menu, highlight the episode “Poppy’s By The Tree: Part I”, press –UP- three times.

Egg 5: From the second page of the EPISOIDE SELECTIONS menu, highlight the heading PREVIOUS MENU and press –UP- three times.

Egg 6: From the third page of the EPISODE SELECTIONS menu, highlight the episode “Alley Of The Dolls” and press –LEFT- twice.

- Disc Two -

Egg 7: From the MAIN MENU, highlight PLAY ALL EPISODES and press –DOWN- twice.

Egg 8: On the first screen of the EPISODE SELECTIONS menu, highlight NEXT MENU and press –UP- three times.

Egg 9: On the second page of the EPISODE SELECTIONS menu, highlight the episode “You Better Watch Out” and press –UP- three times.

Egg 10: On the third screen of EPISODE SELECTIONS menu, highlight RETURN TO MAIN MENU and press –DOWN- three times.

- Disc Three -

Egg 11: From the MAIN MENU, highlight EPISODE SELECTIONS and press –UP- twice.

Egg 12: On the second screen of the EPISODE SELECTIONS menu, highlight “Father Lode” and press –LEFT- three times.

Egg 13: From the MAIN MENU, choose the EASTER EGG menu, highlight HINT and press –RIGHT- three times.

Each disc also includes Trailers for other Columbia DVDs under the headings “Classic Comedy” (All In The Family, Good Times, Sanford And Son, The Jeffersons, Soap, What’s Happening!, and Barney Miller), “Contemporary TV” (The Larry Sanders Show, The King Of Queens, The Steve Harvey Show, Dawson’s Creek, Designing Women, Married With Children, My Big, Fat Greek Life, Mad About You), “Original Programming TV” (Dilbert, The Critic, The Tick) and finally, “Arrested Development on FOX” … easily the best new show on network TV (and just re-upped for a second season!).

If you enjoyed the inaugural season of the show on DVD, then the second season is nothing more than a natural progression. Married With Children was a great show that provided viewers with countless hours of laughter and Columbia’s DVD boxed set is a great way for fans to revisit this classic comedy series. Hardcore Married fans more than likely already have this in their collection, but with the low asking price for the set, even casual fans will be tempted to pick this one up. Even though the series received rather low-key audio and video transfers – and supplements that were sketchy at best – Columbia’s set is still a bargain and shouldn’t be missed by hardcore and casual fans alike. With the release of the entire second season of the show so soon after the first, Columbia seems to have the series on a fairly solid release schedule now and much to the delight of fans like myself, season three should be on its way very soon.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.4444 Stars Number of Votes: 18
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