The seventh season of Everybody Loves Raymond
serves up a delightful mix of comedy and pathos as the Barones deal with cults, theft, marriage, and death. The season opener (which aired on CBS in 2002) starts where season 6 ended: with Debra (Patricia Heaton) and Marie (Doris Roberts) feuding, and Ray (Ray Romano) and Robert (Brad Garrett) conjuring up a plan to get them to make up. This 5-disc set includes all 25 episodes, including the two-part wedding finale between Robert and Amy (Monica Horan). In typical Marie fashion, she has a shocking and inappropriate comment to make when the priest makes the rhetorical statement, "If anyone can think of any reason why these two should not be joined, speak now or forever hold your peace." There is very little peace when Marie is around. A fantastic cook and a loving mother, Marie is the reason why women worldwide dislike mama's boys. When things go wrong on the home front, Ray isn't above comparing Debra to his mother. Sometimes it's unintentional. But at other times, it's calculated as a means of getting his way. The show's saving grace is the likeability of the characters and the strong writing, which makes up in humor what it lacks in subtlety.
The relationship between woebegone Robert and Amy is a delight, especially because viewers get to meet her parents this season. Fred Willard (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) and Georgia Engel (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) play Amy's conservative parents who'd rather see their daughter remain single than marry into the Barone family. Chris Elliott also guest stars as Amy's spoiled, unemployed brother who likes to stir things up between the two clans. The show's success always has been less about completely out-there premises than taking a slice of everyday life--helping the kids with their homework, sharing chores, dealing with in laws--and presenting them in a comical manner. In the real world, a lazy husband like Ray wouldn't be nearly as cuddly. And an interfering mother-in-law like Marie would not be tolerated by most wives. But on Everybody Loves Raymond, they're two of the main reasons why viewers consistently tuned in to this hit sitcom. --Jae-Ha Kim
(Comedy Series) Standup comedian Ray Romano stars as Ray Barone, a successful sportswriter who deals with his brother and parents, who happen to live across the street. Patricia Heaton ("The Goodbye Girl"), Peter Boyle ("While You Were Sleeping"), Doris Roberts ("Remington Steele"), and Brad Garrett ("Gleason") round out the stellar cast.
Audio Commentary:Four optional audio commentaries ("Counseling," "Just a Formality," "Meeting the Parents," "Baggage") with series creator Phil Rosenthal, Ray Romano, Chris Elliott, Monica Horan, Anna Romano Fred Willard and writers Mike Royce and Tucker Cawley.