Available at Amazon.com
Ray Romano Ray Barone
Patricia Heaton Debra Barone
Brad Garrett Robert Barone
Doris Roberts Marie Barone
Peter Boyle Frank Barone
Monica Horan Amy Barone
DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 480 Minutes on 4 discs
Nine seasons and ending its run, Everybody Loves Raymond stayed strong right through to the series finale. Only catching onto the show sometime in the fifth or sixth season; it was never clear to me what the big deal was. There aren’t many sitcoms that aren’t extremely over the top or don’t bring about situations so stupid that they are unbelievable. Yet Ray Romano took an idea that had worked before and added a nice twist to it Seinfeld with a family.
The two shows have major differences, but they are both virtually about nothing. While Seinfeld was about friends whose families got involved from time to time; Raymond is about family whose friends sometimes get involved. It’s a show that anyone can relate to because they have the stressful job, they don’t always get along with their wives, their mother is a nagging mess, or their kids just don’t want to listen.
While I will admit that Marie gets on my nerves more then a television character should be allowed to; that only means she is playing her part extremely well. Frank is just the perfect stereotypical hard-nosed dad. Doesn’t seem to care who he offends or what he does, but go too far and you’ll see he has feelings too. Robert is the big lovable oaf and adding in Amy as his wife made for a complete and cute couple.
The stars are of course Ray and Debra. Debra is by far my most favorite character on the whole show because she can be the typical loving wife, but can turn on Ray in a second. And it isn’t like he doesn’t deserve the treatment he gets for his stupidity, but the quick turn-arounds by Debra are hilarious. Ray is just funny in that ignorant, bungling husband sort of way while the whole time he is simply trying to help.
Season nine is full of episodes that will have you in stitches and almost in tears. Most shows seem to die off in quality and that is the reason for ending their run on the air, but not Raymond. Like Seinfeld, the show ended at perhaps its center peak making for fantastic episodes each and every season. “The Power Of No” is a prime example because it is something that any couple (married or not) can relate to because they have certainly withheld sex before in order to get their way. It’s just fun watching others do it instead of you. That is the lasting quality this series had. Third to last episode and just as good as the first.
“Favors” and “A Date For Peter” will quite possibly be the favorites of many fans because they are simply hilarious and non-stop from the first minute. Yet it is episodes like the series finale and “Debra’s Parents” that show the versatility of the show and how it can be just as endearing as it is funny. Everybody Loves Raymond may have ended too soon for many, but it did the smart thing and got out for getting stale. The episodes will long live on and be just as great in thirty years as they are today.
The Home: The moment they all have been waiting for finally arrives as Frank and Marie have bought a condo in New Jersey and are moving away. Amy and Robert have been offered a great deal on their house, and everything will finally be perfect. But Debra is not so sure as she is a bit sad to see them go.
Not So Fast: While Amy is driving Robert wild putting her own touches to the house and getting rid of Marie’s; Ray and Debra visit his parents yet again. The condo manager is happy to see them though because he wants Frank and Marie out immediately and the only place they can go is back home.
Angry Sex: Marie and Debra have a big-time falling out that leads to some wild and fun times for Ray which he calls “angry sex.” Marie comes over with a cake to apologize to Debra, but Ray tries to keep the angry sex going by getting rid of her. It is then that they make up and Ray is looked at as a nympho.
P.T. & A.: When Ray is told that by Debra that he looks too sloppy at their PTA meetings, Ray says the other women think Debra dresses too trampy. Debra hosts the next meeting and decides to flaunt her goods for all the other women to be jealous over, but it was really Ray who was jealous that his wife may look elsewhere so he made up the whole story.
Ally’s F: Ally comes home with an “F” in math on her report card which sets up a parent/teacher meeting to find out what she can do to pick it up. Ray finds Ally’s teacher to be mean, but they learn a cute boy may be distracting her causing her low grades. It is then that Ray turns responsible and Debra worries more about Ally’s crush.
Boys’ Therapy: Ray’s parenting skills cause all the girls to send the boys to therapy so that they can become better husbands and fathers. But Ray and Frank convince Robert to ditch and go fishing or to the dog track. The girls find out their little ruse after the boys insist they have gone to therapy, but their doctor ended up dying.
Debra’s Parents: It’s Thanksgiving in the Barone household and Debra has invited her now divorced parents to attend. When Ray walks in on Lois and Warren having sex, Debra thinks they are getting back together. Warren simply says they are happy with a physical relationship, but want to stay separated.
A Job For Robert: Marie is being extra nice to Robert and Amy, but it isn’t long before they find out why. Marie is hoping to get some grandchildren so she showers them with all kinds baby-making mood gifts. Robert is onto her tricks but decides to live it up as long as she favors him over Ray.
A Date For Peter: Amy’s parents are worried about her brother Peter and want to find him a girlfriend so he can start a life with someone. Ray and Debra try to help by throwing a small party where Peter can meet some single women. Ray’s helpfulness turns into a nightmare when Peter has eyes for Peggy, the woman who beat him up over girl scout cookies. This would definitely be my most favorite episode from the season as Ray’s interaction with Peggy is classic.
Favors: Ray is all excited about a letter signed by Muhammed Ali, but can’t find it anywhere to show it off. Marie covers for Debra who accidentally threw it out, but then Marie wants the favor returned and it starts a vicious cycle caked in lies.
The Faux Pas: Ray puts his foot in his mouth again as he makes a derogatory comment about janitors in front of the boys’ friend Chris whose dad is a janitor. Matters are only made worse when Ray tries to apologize and the entire family ends up looking stupid by saying mistakes they’ve made. An absolutely hilarious episode.
Tasteless Frank: Marie is incredibly insulted when Frank puts salt on her lasagna, but there is a reason for it. Due to some pills he was taking for his “foot,” Frank has lost his sense of taste. When the truth comes out that he would rather have lost his sense of taste instead of give up a lot in his relationship with Marie, she is touched.
Sister-In-Law: Amy is insulted by Ray’s insinuation that she talks way too much because she wouldn’t shut up while he was watching TV. This leads to little quirks about everyone coming out, but ultimately everyone gangs up on Ray and how little he talks to the whole family.
The Power Of No: The power in the house has always firmly been with Debra, but Ray thinks he has come up with a way of diverting it to him. He’s going to withhold sex so that he is in charge. Even with Debra’s advances, Ray constantly tells her no. When she finds out what he’s up to; it turns into a teasing game to see who will give in first.
Pat’s Secret: Robert finds out that Amy’s mom Pat has a little secret that she’s been keeping when he catches her smoking. But the smell on Robert’s clothes leads others to believe he is the one smoking. When the truth comes out, the entire family begins admitting the little secrets they have in order to help deal with stress and each other.
Finale: The final episode of the series is a good one as it brings back some of the best moments throughout all its years on the air. Ray goes into the hospital for minor surgery but some complications have him slip into a coma. As the family begins to fear for his life; they reminisce about all the good times they have had with him and each other. A truly fitting end to a great show.
The episodes are shown in 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen format and they look really good. The transfer over to DVD seems absolutely flawless with no obvious problems and the colors look great. Everybody Loves Raymond always seemed to have a dark shadow over it and gives a rustic feel so to speak which is a nice touch.
The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 sound and come through fine. It seems as if the volume needs to be up a little louder then you may normally have it, but that shouldn’t be a big deal. For some reason though, and I don’t usually feel this way with sitcoms, I would have enjoyed surround sound.
Bloopers – Extremely disappointing as there were two bloopers totaling maybe a minute.
Deleted Scenes – Each episode has a couple deleted scenes for each, most of which weren’t really necessary for what was going on. Some of them are quite humorous though so they are worth checking out.
Audio Commentaries – A few episodes spread throughout the set have commentary including cast members such as Ray and then creator Phil Rosenthal, some of the writers, and others. The commentaries vary in their enjoyment because sometimes there isn’t much being said at all while others are non-stop laughter. To me though it always seems as if Rosenthal takes over and actually appears to talk to others as if they are children. It’s kind of weird.
The Last Laugh – A forty-five minute feature all about filming the last episode. There are cast interviews, backstage conversations, scene run-throughs, script walkthroughs, and some really funny moments from the cast not as characters, but as themselves. One of the most amusing things is the first few minutes where they had to send the audience home because Patricia Heaton (Debra) had lost her voice and they couldn’t film. This is a really nice sendoff piece for the end of the series.
The Inside Pulse
Whether you have the previous seasons or not, this is one to pick up. The season is full of episodes that are all worth watching over and over again. It is a shame that the special features leave so much to be desired because this could have been the complete perfect set. Even the packaging is really sweet as it is made from a very strong wood-like type cardboard that folds out to present the great looking discs. “The Last Laugh” featurette makes up for the rest of the crappy features even though it is hard to justify why the “bloopers” were even included at all. Overall though it should be the episodes you are picking this set up for and considering it’s the last season; it is one to definitely own. When you finish watching and laughing so hard; you will surely quote the words of one Frank Barone, “Holy crap!”
|The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for
Everybody Loves Raymond: The Complete Ninth Season
||RATING(OUT OF 10)
||8(NOT AN AVERAGE)|