Everybody Loves Raymond: Season 8
DVD | Box Set
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Everybody Loves Raymond: The Complete Eighth Season (DVD)
A recurring theme throughout Everybody Loves Raymond's excellent eighth season might be, "No good deed goes unpunished." In the episode "Misery Loves Company," annoyingly happy newlyweds Robert (Brad Garrett) and Amy (Monica Horan) offer unwanted marriage advice to Raymond (Ray Romano) and Debra (Patricia Heaton) and even in-laws Frank (Peter Boyle) and Marie (Doris Roberts), who gives them a reality check on what marriage really is ("You plow through"). In "The Ingrate," Raymond pays tribute to Debra in his newspaper column after forgetting to acknowledge her in a speech, only to raise the ire of a resentful Marie. In "Debra at the Lodge," Debra volunteers at Frank's lodge, only to become an object of lust for the randy elderly members (this season, Debra begins to blossom as a suburban goddess in the grand Laura Petrie tradition).
After eight seasons, we know these characters like our own family members. So, much of each episode's comedy is built upon our anticipation of how they will react to each other, as when Marie catches Raymond and Debra in an escalating series of lies or when the Barones share Thanksgiving with Amy's more uptight family, who, she observes at one point, "wouldn't yell if they were on fire." In one of the season's best episodes, Debra seizes on a rift between Marie and family newcomer Amy over thank-you notes to shift the balance of power from the manipulative and Machiavellian Marie (as always, a losing battle).
Raymond is one of those rare sitcoms that stayed on top of its game during its nine-year run. This penultimate season is filled with classic episodes and priceless moments. The incisive and intimately observed writing, brought to life by the peerless, Emmy-winning ensemble, could turn on a dime from funny to genuinely moving. In "Golf for It," the season finale, Raymond and Robert pull an all-nighter waiting for a tee-time. Their conversation turns to the indomitable Marie, and which of the brothers will care for her in her dotage. Marriage, as Paul Rudd's character observes in Knocked Up, "is like a tense, unfunny version of Everybody Loves Raymond." But the secret to Raymond's enduring success is that it's funny because it's true. --Donald Liebenson
- 23 episodes on five discs
- Commentary on eight episodes by series creator Phil Rosenthal, Ray Romano, Chris Elliott, Andy Kindler, Jon Manfrellotti, Tom McGowan, Albert Romano, Richard Romano, Max Rosenthal, and writers Tom Caltabiano, Tucker Cawley, Mike Royce, Aaron Shure, and Jeremy Stevens
- Bloopers and deleted scenes
- Museum of Television & Radio panel discussion with Phil Rosenthal and writers
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New territory is covered, as Ally enters her teens, as well the familiar neverending saga of power struggles between Ray and Debra, and Debra and Marie. Another episode features Debra attempting to build closeness by golfing with Ray -- of course, with disatrous results!
The great thing about this series is its ability to make comedy out of everyday life. The Barones never need to look too far for subject matter -- even little things, like the promptness with which Robert and Amy write thank-you notes for their wedding gifts, is enough to set the family's penchant for drama in motion.
This box set also throws in a number of extra, such as bloopers and deleted scenes. Those are always a welcome bonus...but really, this superb series needs nothing extra to attract viewers.