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MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN was crude, rude, loud and obnoxious- not to mention one of the funniest shows to ever grace the boob tube. I have had countless hours of joy hanging out with the Bundy clan- first, during their eleven-year run on the Fox Network, and time and again during their syndicated reruns on local stations, not to mention the cable based FX channel. There were moments where MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN left me in excruciating pain, which was great, because it was directly related to the fact that I was laughing so hard at the antics of ladies shoe salesman Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill). O'Neill brilliantly brought to life this likable loser in a dead-end job, who has his dreams dashed and finds his life being slowly sucked away because he is fated to be married... with children.

Another source of constant laughter is Katey Sagal, who makes Peggy Bundy (the biggest millstone around Alís neck) one of the most memorable sitcom wives in the history of television. Not to be underestimated is Amanda Bearse, as Marcy Rhoades, Alís materialistic next-door neighbor and constant comic foil, who went on to direct some of the most screemingly funny outings of MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN. Other series regulars include Christina Applegate as airhead daughter Kelly Bundy, who got increasingly trashy as she filled out her ever-tighter leather miniskirts, David Faustino .as the intelligent, but perpetually horny son Bud Bundy, and David Garrison as Marcyís equally materialistic husband Steve Rhoades.

MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($40) comes in a three-disc set that features the following twenty-two episodes: Poppy's By The Tree (Part 1), Poppy's By The Tree (Part 2), If I Were A Rich Man, Buck Can Do It, Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Part 1), Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Part2), For Whom The Bell Tolls, Born To Walk, Alley Of The Dolls, The Razor's Edge, How Do You Spell Revenge?, Earth Angel, You Better Watch Out, Guys And Dolls, Build A Better Mousetrap, Master The Possibilities, Peggy Loves Al, Yeah Yeah, Yeah, The Great Escape, Im-Po-Dent, Just Married ... With Children, Father Lode And All In The Family. Some second season highlights include: Poppy's By The Tree, where the Bundyís come face to face with a serial killer, while on vacation in Dumpwater Florida. Buck Can Do It finds Al making tremendous sacrifices to spare the family dog from being neutered. Girls Just Want To Have Fun has Peggy and Marcy visit a male strip club. Earth Angel features a new arrival in the Bundy household that makes Peggy very happyÖ again and again. Build A Better Mousetrap is a hilarious romp in which a rodent outsmarts Al when the shoe salesman plays exterminator. Just Married ... With Children finds the Bundys on a tortuous game show, where suffering and prizes go hand in hand.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has made all the episodes that comprise MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on DVD in the proper full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. Since MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN was produced on video, instead of film; it isnít the most attractive sitcom to ever air on television. Still, the episodes on DVD do manage to look better somewhat better than syndicate reruns, which should make fans pretty happy. The image provides decent levels of sharpness and detail, which is about all one is likely to get out of a late 1980ís video source. Colors are reasonably solid and life like, but the more intense hues can come across as a little fuzzy. Blacks appear accurate, whites are fine and contrast it truncated to the NTSC broadcast level. Overall, the picture is trashy and cheap looking- just like the Bundys themselves. Digital compression artifacts are never particularly problematic, even with twenty-two episodes crammed into three dual layered discs.

The Dolby Digital 2.0 channel surround stereo soundtracks are perfectly fine and donít exhibit any serious defects. Dialogue is always completely understandable and the music has reasonable fidelity. No other language tracks are present, although English subtitles have been included. The basic interactive menus provide access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as some "hidden" Easter Eggs that feature a number of brief interviews with the cast. Considering that Easter Eggs are usually hidden nuggets on DVDs for fans to find, it didnít seem to make much sense that they are an advertised feature of this release.

Iíve always been a big fan of the crude, rude, loud and obnoxious Bundy clan, so Iím delighted that MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN is being released on DVD. Columbia has done well by the late 1980s video source for the episodes- i.e. getting them onto disc without any significant defects. If you are a fan, then it is pretty much certain that youíll want to add MARRIED... WITH CHILDREN: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON to your personal collection.



Married with Children - The Complete Second Season (1987)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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