# A B
C D E
F G H
I J K
L M N
O P Q
R S T
U V W
X Y Z

 

 

 

7th Heaven
The Complete Second Season

review by Zach B.

 

 

Not Rated

Running Time: 994 minutes

Starring: Stephen Collins, Catherine Hicks, Barry Watson, Jessica Biel, Beverley Mitchell, David Gallagher, Mackenzie Rosman

 

 

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $49.99

Features: None

Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, French Stereo, English Closed Captions, Episode Selection, Chapter Stops (6 chapters per episode), Six-Disc Set

Released: February 14th, 2005

 

 

Aaron Spelling - prolific TV producer. Best known for some of television's most memorable prime-time soap operas and action-adventures: "Charlie's Angels," "Dynasty," "Beverly Hills 90210"... the list goes on and on. Which is why it was a shock to many when Spelling attached himself to a family-oriented show with morals and decent values. The show of course was "7th Heaven." It was an interesting change of pace for Spelling, but if anything it's this: the man certainly believes in solid entertainment for different kinds of audiences. He conquered every demographic in the past with his shows, so why not families?

I'm sure most of you know that "7th Heaven" has been a WB staple since its inception in 1996, scoring strong ratings and an incredibly dedicated fan base. Currently entering its 9th season (and nearing 200 episodes), the show has gone through some major changes in the past few years (such as shifting cast members and a focus on secondary characters) but has somehow still remained consistent with its beloved formula of everyday characters and relatable situations.

The show is situation based and character driven - some of it is serialized, but it's easy to go into an episode and know what's going on. Basically, the jist is this: the Camdens are a normal family that are tight-knit and they love each other. The family goes through all sorts of problems together or with people they know. This includes matters of faith, diseases, relationships, peer pressure and a lot more (especially as the seasons go on). There's father Eric (Stephen Collins) who's a minister, his wife Annie (Catherine Hicks), oldest son Matt (Barry Watson), tomboy daughter Mary (Jessica Biel), middle child Lucy (Beverley Mitchell), persistent son Simon (David Gallagher) and the always curious Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman) - the youngest in the clan.

I'm not a major fan of "7th Heaven" nor do I regularly watch the show, but I've caught it now and then. It's predictable and really corny, but sometimes I just can't resist formulaic dramedys. And when it comes to series dealing with family, important life lessons, good values and strong morals - this show is as good as they get. Sometimes cheese is good, and this show is fun since it's familiar and offers something to take away from it (even if you already know the point the show is trying to make). No, the series hasn't garnered any major awards (or even major nominations) but to quote Satan it "keeps America smiling" (bonus points to you if you know what I'm referencing). I can see girls and families loving this show, but for me (and I'm sure others) it's really just a guilty pleasure that's a more-than-decent escape for an hour. Still, I can't knock a show that has hits priorities straight (with what it's trying to preach, anyway) and balances the drama and humor pretty flawlessly. People really identify with this show and are quite passionate about it. Probably due to the religious backdrop, this show has grown comparisons to the CBS mega-hit "Touched By Angel" (except "7th Heaven" - while having mainly Christian characters - is less Christany) - it's easy to see why since it's all clean family entertainment. The series breaks no ground whatsoever - but it must be doing a few things right since its longevity has been impressive.

The cast is pretty solid, as they really do seem like a real family - they're probably instrumental in the show's success since there is a natural chemistry between them. Most staggering to me though is just how much they've matured in the past eight years - the kids are pretty much adults now and aren't as adorable (Jessica Biel is certainly hotter now, though!) - but that's what puberty and some forms of maturity will do to you. Anyway, Collins and Hicks are commanding, strong but still kind-hearted as the two parents shepherding the household - they bring the right kind of touches to their roles, and work well together as a team. Rosman is really cutesy, but still enthusiastic and that's fine given the nature of the show. Watson captures Matt's angst well, but Gallagher is just a bit annoying as Simon (his character is the most predictable, and in fairness, the annoyance is based on how is role is slanted). Of course, Mitchell and Biel are believable and enjoyable as the daughters going through their own growing pains.

With the TV on DVD boom in full alert, "7th Heaven" has now hit DVD. So if you just need to, you can now get all 22 episodes of season two on DVD.

 

Every single episode here is given the 1.33:1 full screen treatment (as they were shown on TV) and don't look too bad. The quality doesn't seem to have really improved from the first season set, though. The transfer still look pretty grainy, and typically, there is a little artifacting going on. The source prints look pretty clean, detail is okay, and color saturation is good but nothing spectacular. The fleshtones are a bit disappointing though, and there is a little noise. In all... rather average looking.

 

The audio is pretty average too. The English Dolby Surround tracks get the job done. The show is pretty dialogue driven, so the characters talking is the most important &emdash; and everything they say come across clear. The show's sound effects envelope nicely into the mixes as they are often small and subtle, while the show's musical cues and theme song still remain on the warm side which definitely adds a bit to the energy. There are also English closed captions to be had, as well as French stereo tracks.

 

Like the first season, nothing's here.

 

"7th Heaven" is a good show for families, and is a stark contrast to what the WB is usually stereotyped for. Die-hard fans will definitely want to own this set, but the price is pretty steep. The episodes still have okay presentations, and this set &emdash; like the first &emdash; lacks any extras. With that said, you'll still have to be pretty big Camden fan if you want to buy this season set.