Home Improvement: The Complete Seventh Season – DVD Review


Available at Amazon.com

Creators:

Carmen Finestra
David McFadzean
Matt Williams

Cast:

Tim Allen ………. Tim Taylor
Patricia Richardson ………. Jill Taylor
Earl Hindman ………. Wilson Wilson Jr.
Taran Noah Smith ………. Mark Taylor
Jonathan Taylor Thomas ………. Randy Taylor
Zachery Ty Bryan ………. Brad Taylor
Richard Karn ………. Al Borland
Debbe Dunning ………. Heidi Keppert

The Show

Every hit show comes to the point in time where it reaches the peak of the mountain. This point in time is when the show is at its best; the episodes couldn’t get any better. There is only one way you can go after reaching the top. Home Improvement started its decent down the mountain in the sixth season. The question now is could the seventh season still be good enough to slow that descent down even more or would this be the breaking point where the show completely falls off the map?

Each season of Home Improvement has followed a natural progression. As the Tim, Jill, and the boys get older, the storylines get more mature. The main theme for this season, though, is change. Everyone seems to want to change almost everything in their lives. Tim and Jill go through a “mid-life crisis” and want to make changes, Brad wants to grow up too soon, Randy questions everything that he has known in his life thus far, and Mark decides to go goth. This season is definitely different.

There are certain episodes that are often remembered more so that others in every season. By the seventh season, there is not much more that we haven’t seen before. Still there is one episode that is pretty infamous in the history of the choice. During the “Say Goodnight, Gracie” episode, Tim decides he wants to have more kids. Jill has other ideas and wants him to get a vasectomy. This kind of subject matter was pretty unique for that time. Other infamous episodes include Jill having dreams of another man, and Tim blowing up more stuff, of course.

This would be the last season that the entire cast would be together. Jonathan Taylor Thomas would leave after this year, and really that means the show is not the same anymore. So for that reason, if you are a Home Improvement fan you have to watch this season. It is not nearly as good as previous seasons, but you have to commend the risks that the writers took during this season. Most didn’t really work, but some did.

Even with all the changes during this season, at least the writers were trying to keep things interesting than just going with the same old thing. Sometimes it seems that were trying too hard. The jokes are still mostly funny, but at the end of the day this season of Home Improvement doesn’t have enough (horse) power to keep pace with the rest of the series. You could start to hear the door slamming behind them at the end here.

Episodes:

Disc One:

Episode 1 – Quest for Fire
The Taylors vacation at a Lake Michigan resort, while Tim tries to give MORE POWER to the BBQ concept. Randy meets with Lauren and Brad breaks up with Angela. Mark’s changing, but is it for the better? Tim is seriously considering quitting Tool Time and moving permanently to this country resort.

Episode 2 – Clash of the Taylors
Tim and Randy disagree on Binford’s environmental policies. Jill gets an internship counseling families.

Episode 3 – Room at the Top
Jill wants Tim to build her an office in the attic and then changes her mind at the last minute; Tim makes a big deal about it.

Episode 4 – Pump You Up
Tim pushes Brad after he gets a soccer scholarship. Randy and Lauren, his girlfriend, want to go on another date, but not a double date with two of their friends.

Episode 5 – A Night To Dismember
Mark decides to do a horror video for his class using different scenes from old horror shows and movies, but Jill and Tim don’t like the idea when they sneak a preview at Mark’s video.

Episode 6 – The Niece
Willow, Wilson’s niece, comes to stay, which makes it so that Wilson has no time to spend with Tim.

Episode 7 – Jill’s Passion
Ian, a man Jill met at the YMCA gym, asks her out, mistaking Tim for her brother. That night Jill has a dream about him. But after talking to Patty, a friend, and Tim she straightens it out.

Episode 8 – Losing My Religion
Randy questions his religion. Tim breaks a valuable piece of church equipment.

Disc Two:

Episode 9 – Thanksgiving
The Taylors go to a football game in a box seat for Thanksgiving. But Tim manages to black out all the lights.

Episode 10 – The Dating Game
Tim takes Al to a club to meet women after they find out Ilene is engaged.

Episode 11 – Bright Christmas
Tim does the ultimate Christmas decorating display job. Jill is worried when she finds out her mother is dating.

Episode 12 – The Old College Try
Tim realizes his friends are boring, so he starts hanging out with students half his age.

Episode 13 – An Older Woman
Brad’s getting MARRIED, well maybe not after Tim and Jill get through with him. The Taylor parents try to make Brad realize that he’s not ready for the commitment of marriage to a college girl he just recently met at a party.

Episode 14 – Tim “The Landlord” Taylor
Al rents a house from Tim and Tim takes advantage of him as his landlord. Meanwhile, Randy and Brad buy the same shirt.

Episode 15 – Say Goodnight, Gracie
Tim begins to want to have more children after Marty asks him to babysit one of the twins. After some discussions about his vasectomy with Jill, and some words of wisdom from Wilson, he decides that being able to return the twins after playing with them is the best idea. Mark is still wearing black, but with an added touch (of lipstick) for this episode.

Episode 16 – What a Drag
On Tool Time, Tim and Al show viewers how to prepare for a severe winter storm. When Tim falls through the gazebo he discovers a small bag of marijuana taped to the underside of the swing. Jill and Tim stake out their backyard from Wilson’s to catch the culprit to everyone’s surprise, Brad is caught red-handed with the goods.

Episode 17 – Taking Jill For Granite
The Taylors do a kitchen remodel, but a surprise is in store when Tim and Jill find out who the installer is.

Disc Three:

Episode 18 – Futile Attraction
Tim becomes suspicious that Heidi and Al are having a hot affair when he finds out she has separated from her husband; he sets out to find out exactly how much of an affair they are having. On Tool Time, Tim adds a little MORE POWER to his golf swing when golf-pro Payne Stewart guests.

Episode 19 – Desperately Seeking Willow
While staying over at the Taylors, Willow doesn’t return home from a club one night. Jill fears the worst and sends the whole family out searching for her. It’s Saint Patrick’s day on Tool Time, and who better to celebrate with than the boys from K&B Construction.

Episode 20 – The Write Stuff
On Tool Time, Tim manages to throw himself out a window while doing renovation work. Jill tries to get Tim to help prepare for a tax audit. Brad and Randy become rivals when Brad’s article “Hey Yo!” takes the spotlight away from Randy’s “Genetic Mutations in the Second Half of the 20th Century.”

Episode 21 – The Son Also Mooches
It’s Jill’s turn to worry about needing glasses as she reaches middle age. Tim worries that his mother is going to lose money on another of his brother Jeff’s business schemes.

Episode 22 – Believe It Or Not
On Tool Time, “Men’s Convenience Week” features a visit by Grant Hill of the Detroit Pistons. Wilson becomes upset with Tim after Tim tells everyone about Wilson’s encounter with an alien, something Wilson would rather Tim had kept to himself.

Episode 23 – Rebel Without Night Driving Privileges
Randy’s driving, get off the sidewalk! … Randy doesn’t feel that he’s being treated fairly when his driving privileges differ from those Brad had when he first got his license. On Tool Time, “Judy’s Rat” pulls cable through hard to reach spaces.

Episode 24 – Tool-Thousand-One: A Space Odyssey
Tool Time is revisited by Astronauts Ken Bowersox and Steve Hawley, who announce that a Binford tool will be used on their next shuttle mission. Will Tim or Al win the competition to be the one to use the tool in space? Back on Earth, Mark tries to impress a girl by making a dramatic change to his appearance.

Episode 25 – From Top To Bottom
Jill makes some embarrassing remarks about Tim on a talk show, while he watches it from Harry’s Hardware, with all his friends.

The Video:

The video is given in fullscreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Transfer is good with minimal distortion. Pretty much just like the other sets. No major problems at all.

The Audio:

The audio included is available in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. Again no problems here either, and the same as all the previous sets. It’s nothing special, but it’s good for a TV show.

The Extras:

Bloopers
So it looks like the only feature that they will ever put on these DVD sets is bloopers. That’s fine and all, because once again this feature is funny, but we should get more than this. I can understand spreading out various interviews with the cast over the different DVD sets, but this is close to the end and no change is in sight. So once again, a disappointment overall in the “extras” department.

THE INSIDE PULSE

I wouldn’t start here if you haven’t seen the show before. The pinnacle of Home Improvement is definitely in the rear-view mirror. Still, if you are a super fan of the show you have to get this season since it’s the last one with the original cast. But I can only recommend this to hardcore fans. Casual fans of the show could probably pass up this season and not miss a whole lot.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Home Improvement: The Complete Seventh Season
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

7
THE VIDEO

7
THE AUDIO

7
THE EXTRAS

3
REPLAY VALUE

6
OVERALL
5.5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)