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The Golden Girls on DVD: Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7

"The Golden Girls" The Complete Seventh and Final Season DVD Review

Buy The Golden Girls: The Complete Seventh and Final Season from Amazon.com The Golden Girls: Season Seven (1991-92)
Show & DVD Details

Regular Director: Lex Passaris, Peter D. Beyt

Regular Cast: Beatrice Arthur (Dorothy Zbornak), Betty White (Rose Nylund), Rue McClanahan (Blanche Devereaux), Estelle Getty (Sophia Petrillo)

Recurring Characters: Herb Edelman (Stan Zbornak), Harold Gould (Miles Webber), Bill Dana (Uncle Angelo)

Notable Guest Stars: Edie McClurg (Nurse DeFarge), Barbara Alyn Woods (Woman), Alisan Porter (Melissa), Sid Melton (Salvador Petrillo), Richard Tanner (Young Stan), Lyn Greene (Young Dorothy), Dena Dietrich (Gloria Petrillo), Steve Landesberg (Dr. Halperin), Bryan Norcross (Himself), Bruce Kirby (Bill), Steve Gilborn (Priest), Gene Greytalk (The Pope), Ken Berry (Thor Anderson), Betty Garrett (Sarah), Louis Guss (Marvin), James Callahan (Mr. Gordon), Ken Howard (Jerry), Terry Kiser (Don), Alex Trebek (Himself), Merv Griffin (Himself), David Leisure (Charlie Dietz), Derek McGrath (Coordinator), Lane Davies (Peterson), Dinah Manoff (Carol Weston), Kristy McNichol (Barbara Weston), Jessica Lundy (Janet), Lee Garlington (Kirsten), Leslie Nielsen (Lucas Hollingsworth)

Running Time: 625 Minutes (26 episodes) / Rating: TV-PG
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio) / Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired; Closed Captioned
DVD Release Date: February 13, 2007
Season 7 Airdates: September 21, 1991 - May 5, 1992
Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9); Suggested Retail Price: $39.99
Six-sided fold-out Digipak with cardboard slipcover

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Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

A star () denotes my ten favorite episodes from the season.

Golden Girls Gone Wild! Season Seven showcases several "Empty Nest" cross-overs, including both parts of "A Midwinter Night's Dream." Dorothy at the head of a different kind of class in her new job.

Disc 3

19. Journey to the Center of Attention (23:44) (Originally aired February 22, 1992)
Blanche is desperate for attention when Dorothy becomes the new favorite at the local bar.

20 & 21. A Midwinter's Night Dream (Parts I & II) (45:20) (Originally aired February 29, 1992)
In one of the all-time greatest "Golden Girls" episodes, Sophia attempts to complete three difficult tasks to defend Dorothy against a Sicilian curse. This was originally aired as an hour-long episode and is presented as such here.

22. Rose: Portrait of Woman (23:46) (Originally aired March 7, 1992)
To spice up their relationship, Rose gives Miles a scandalous painting of herself. Meanwhile, a former student of Dorothy's offers her a high-paying job.

The Reunion Crashers
Golden Girls on Ice Dorothy's first date with her future husband (Leslie Nielsen) is a little less than romantic.

23. Home Again, Rose (Part I) (23:25) (Originally aired April 25, 1992)
When Rose misses her high school reunion, the girls decide to assume false identities and crash someone else's.

24. Home Again, Rose (Part II) (23:43) (Originally aired May 2, 1992)
With Rose in the hospital and awaiting major surgery, the girls fear the worst. Unlike the other three two-part episodes in this season, "Home Again Rose" was originally aired in two parts over the course of two weeks, and it is presented that way here.

25 & 26. One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest (Part I & II) (46:25) (Originally aired May 9, 1992)
In the "Golden Girls" series finale, what begins as a blind date and turns into a practical joke winds up as true love. Dorothy falls in love with Blanche's Uncle Lucas (Leslie Nielsen) and agrees to marry him, returning with him to Atlanta and leaving her mother and two best friends behind. Though the fact that Dorothy meets and weds the same man in the same episode is something of a stretch, the writers sell it well. The closing of the episode is heart-breaking and it stands out as one of the most touching sitcom finales, despite the logical flaw. It was originally aired as an hour-long episode and is presented as such here.

As seen here, several of Season 7's episodes are presented with unusual framing, cutting off just the tiniest bit of video on the top and bottom. Blanche gets unexpected news. (Perhaps that her top has been designed to help you calibrate your color settings.)

VIDEO and AUDIO

"The Golden Girls" is again presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio (well, for the most part -- more on that in a moment). As the most recent of the seven seasons, this set looks better on DVD than previous releases.
Still, there is no doubt that very little, if any, restoration work went into the show and there's still detectable grain and mild visual imperfections. In comparison to older episodes, though, this lot is cleaner, brighter, and more vivid.

A handful of the episodes suffer from an apparent framing problem, in which the aspect ratio is ever so slightly wider than 1.33:1. As a result, black bars can be seen at the top and bottom of the screen. No, these episodes weren't filmed in any kind of widescreen and the framing most certainly seems to be a mistake. Occasionally, the top of characters' heads (usually about the top inch of their massive hair) is cut off and the camera movement will seem a little odd to anyone who is paying attention. The difference is very minimal and some television sets' overscan may render it practically unnoticeable. The problem immediately stood out to me but a friend viewing it along with me didn't even notice. It's frustrating that this sort of thing can go undetected prior to distribution and that consumers are asked to settle for compromised framing, but it's truthfully the most minor of distractions. This is hardly the kind of thing that should detract anyone from a purchase.

The audio is presented in a Dolby Stereo 2.0 track, which is exactly what one should expect from a 1991-1992 sitcom. I didn't detect any glaring problems, given that a less-than-dynamic sound is expected. To be sure, the track gets the job done and doesn't elicit any complaints.

Bea Arthur reflect on her seven years with "The Golden Girls" in the all-new featurette, "Thank You For Being a Friend." Disc 1's rather classy main menu

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS and PACKAGING

The Complete Seventh and Final Season comes with just one bonus feature: "Thank You For Being a Friend" (14:59), an all-new retrospective featurette.
New interviews with Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Betty White highlight the strengths of "The Golden Girls" and its legacy. It's more brief than one would like, Estelle Getty is sadly (but understandably) absent, and no new ground is covered for those who have already seen the other supplemental material available on other releases, but the stars' candid expressions and the high-quality production make it worthwhile.

I could go on and on with a list of additional supplements that could and should have been included on one of the series' seven DVD sets. I've done all that before, though, so suffice it to say that this isn't the total package. Still, like the last few releases, this shows more effort than the first few season sets did and "Thank You For Being A Friend" is the perfect compliment to this, the final season.

Packaging only counts for so much in a DVD release, but I must admit to being excited about this one's. It's far from elaborate and not altogether different from the first six sets, but the sleek black slipcover and elegant golden digipak inside it make for a very classy presentation. The menus look just like the previous menus (three video clips rotate while an instrumental rendition of the theme song plays), only they're black and silky-looking, matching the packaging itself. A more flattering photo of Bea Arthur could have been chosen for the front cover, but that aside, the refined look of this DVD set is fitting for the final chapter of such a beloved series.

There are only four sneak peeks on the DVD and they all play at the beginning of Disc 1 or can be accessed from Disc 1's main menu. They are: "Scrubs": The Complete Fifth Season, The Queen, "Dinosaurs": The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons, and ABC's hit new show, "Ugly Betty". Surprisingly, there is also an insert inside the case for a series of Lifetime network specials, which are also available on iTunes.

The girls look back on the past. The Golden Girls say goodbye. And, one last time, thank you for being a friend!

CLOSING THOUGHTS

A large part of each "Golden Girls" episode is spent at the kitchen table, where the fourth chair is never seen or used, as that spot is reserved for the audience. That intimacy with the characters is a large part of what propelled the series' success and its brilliant humor made it one of the greatest television shows of all time. Like the four ladies at its core, the series moved into old age with grace and charm. The seventh season shows a few wrinkles but is nearly as strong as ever. The DVD release exhibits some slight framing problems but also the best video quality the series has seen yet. The bonus feature, an all-new featurette, is a winner too. I can't recommend any series more whole-heartedly than "The Golden Girls" and while the first season is the best place to start, the Complete Seventh and Final Season is a must-have for every fan of the show. As the book closes on this series, one can only hope that Disney will see fit to issue "The Golden Palace" in quick succession. Until then, fans can celebrate the newfound opportunity to own "The Golden Girls" in its entirety at long last.

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Season 7 Guest Stars:
Edie McClurg: Cars Higglytown Heroes: Heroes on the Move | Ken Berry: Herbie Rides Again The Cat from Outer Space
Leslie Nielsen: Walt Disney Treasures: The Swamp Fox - Legendary Heroes | Lee Garlington: Stick It
Alex Trebek and Steve Gilborn: Ellen: The Complete Season Two

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The Golden Girls on DVD: Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7


Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

Reviewed February 15, 2007.