Everybody Loves Raymond-Complete Second Season (1997)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Ray Romano And Phil Rosenthal, Episode 11 And 19
|Year Of Production||1997|
|Running Time||570:38 (Case: 550)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (5)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Warner Home Video
Michael Z. Gordon
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.29:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.29:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, sometimes...|
This second season of Everybody Loves Raymond is just as good as the first and possibly even a little better in terms of episode quality. My review of the first season can be found here.
Everybody Loves Raymond is a domestic sitcom, set around the titular character, Ray Barone (Ray Romano) and his family. The title is meant to be sarcastic and comes from Ray's older brother constantly being jealous of his success, family and popularity. This second series first aired in the US in 1997/8 and rated at #30 in the Nielsen ratings, its first appearance in the Top 30. It is now the highest rating comedy on US television and consistently rates well here. The show is currently in its last season in the US. Most of the cast have won numerous awards for their work in this show including many Emmys but not for this season. Their first Emmy nominations came in 1999.
The main characters are:
Most of the comedy stems from the difficult and sometimes painful interactions between these characters, and interestingly a lot of the situations and even character traits come from the actual families of Ray Romano and Phil Rosenthal. One of the highlights of the show over the different seasons has been that each season has had its own opening credit sequence. This series has an anti-gravity credit sequence where each of the major characters (with the exception of Robert) fly into frame with Raymond sitting in a chair getting rid of them by various methods such as fly swats. Not all of the episodes include this credit sequence. Sometimes it is left out because they need the time for the story.
This series includes 25 episodes, all of just under 23 minutes duration.
In detail, the episodes included are:
1.Ray's on TV - This episode is probably the weakest of the whole second series, which makes it a strange choice to start the second series. Ray gets invited by his friend Kevin (Played by Kevin James, later the star of The King of Queens) to appear on a sports television show as a guest. During the show he mispronounces a few words which his family pick him up on.
2.Father Knows Least - After the disappointing first episode comes this, one of the funniest and best. Ally is becoming rebellious and defies her parents. Ray, not sure how to control her, tells her she can't have television for a week, which upsets Debra. She decides they need to attend parenting classes.
3.Brother - Another excellent episode. It is the second anniversary of Robert's divorce and he is depressed. Marie talks Ray into taking Robert out for an evening to get his mind off things, however Ray is uncomfortable getting closer emotionally to Robert.
4.Mozart - Marie has been teaching Ally piano but she wants to stop taking lessons. Debra convinces Ray to take lessons from his mother again in order to keep Ally interested. A good but not great episode.
5.Golf - Kevin and Ray trick Debra into letting Ray play golf. His guilt makes him feel unwell and the Doctor says he needs to relax by playing more golf. There is a great running joke about Robert's feet. Excellent episode.
6. Anniversary - It is Frank and Marie's 40th wedding anniversary and Debra organises something to prevent Ray and Robert choosing the menu. During the party a number of family secrets are revealed. Excellent episode.
7.Working Late Again - Ray is working late regularly and Marie makes some unkind suggestions as to why. When Debra turns up at Ray's office she finds him just hanging around having fun with the guys. A good but not great episode.
8.The Children's Book - Debra decides to try her hand at writing a children's book and asks Ray to help. His help it not necessarily what she was after and it becomes a competition between them. Another good but not great episode.
9. The Gift - Frank's 65th birthday and initially he does not buy a gift. Things aren't going too badly until he actually does buy a present. This episode also brings up the infamous Fruit of the Month club. An excellent episode, very funny stuff.
10.High School - Ray is invited to his 20 year high school reunion but does not want to attend. Debra talks him into going and she realises why he didn't want to go. Another quality episode without really reaching the heights of the best episodes.
11. The Letter - Debra hosts a Tupperware party and despite not being invited Marie turns up and spoils the whole thing. Debra decides to write her a letter explaining how Marie's action make her feel. This idea of course scares the life out of Ray and Robert. Amy features in this episode. This is a classic episode.
12. All I Want For Christmas - This is vaguely a Christmas episode but the main storyline involves Ray and Debra making an appointment for sex which Debra cancels. Ray then tries to work out how to get her in the mood. An excellent episode.
13. Civil War - Debra wants Ray to attend a baby shower with her but he decides to attend a Civil War re-enactment with Frank and Robert instead. A good but not great episode.
14. Mia Famiglia - Ally needs to interview her oldest living relative so she writes to Aunt Serena who lives in Italy. When Aunt Serena turns up for a visit things get interesting. Another good but not great episode.
15. Marie's Meatballs - Ray chooses his mother's meatballs over Debra's lemon chicken and Marie offers to teach Debra how to make them. A very funny and excellent episode.
16. The Checkbook - Another excellent episode in which Ray takes over the family finances from Debra but makes a complete mess of it. The scene outside the bank is very funny. Features Nemo's, the local pizzeria.
17. The Ride-along - Ray gives Robert a hard time about his job and says he doesn't think it's very dangerous. Robert takes him along on one shift which shows Ray what it's really like. Features Nemo's.
18. The Family Bed - Ray gets sick of Ally constantly sleeping in their bed and tries a tough love approach to getting her to stay in her own room. Excellent episode.
19. Good Girls - Probably the best episode of this series. The story is about how Marie prefers Amy to Debra because Amy is a 'good girl'. The episode includes many family revelations.
20. T-Ball - Ally is playing T-Ball and Ray and Debra are rostered to bring snacks. Unfortunately, their snacks are not deemed good enough by the bossy guy who sets the roster. Good but not great episode.
21. Traffic School - Robert teaches Traffic School as part of his job but gets very bad feedback from students. He decides to trial his teaching methods on the family. The is an excellent Robert-focused episode.
22. Six Feet Under - Ray works out that he is no longer six feet tall and starts to feel his own mortality. Accordingly he makes a list of things he wants to do before he dies. The episode contains some extremely funny one liners. Excellent stuff. Features Kevin.
23. The Garage Sale - Frank decides to have a yard sale and Debra wants to sell the baby equipment but Ray objects. Another excellent episode.
24. The Wedding Part 1 - In keeping with the pattern established in Season 1, this is a flashback episode but this time it is split into two parts. These episodes, unlike most, were actually written by Ray Romano and Phil Rosenthal. The episode covers Ray's proposal to Debra and the wedding preparations. Includes Debra's parents played by Robert Culp and Katherine Helmond.
25. The Wedding Part 2 - This episode covers Ray and Debra's meeting with the priest, the build-up and the actual wedding ceremony. Very funny stuff and a fitting end to the second season.
This is a very funny TV series and definitely one of the best US comedy series in recent years. To my mind this series has great replay value as I still enjoyed them very much despite having seen all of these episodes before. I am really looking forward to Series 3. Highly Recommended.
The video quality is good but a step back from Series 1. The big problem here is the amount of aliasing which was not present in Series 1.
The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio and is not 16x9 enhanced.
The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. It does not have the clarity of film but this is to be expected. There was some very light grain throughout. The shadow detail was very good and is needed quite often for night time scenes in Ray and Debra's bedroom.
The colour was fine but could not be described as overly vibrant. I did notice some mild chroma noise occasionally in the background.
From an artefacts perspective there was some mild edge enhancement and significant aliasing. The aliasing was very bad at the beginning of the series but calmed down somewhat as the series went on. One of the worst offenders was the table in Frank and Marie's kitchen, which obviously is seen quite regularly. There was also aliasing on various items of clothing, Venetian blinds, wallpaper, picture frames, the radio on Debra's fridge, the dishwasher, stacks of plates and more.
There are subtitles in 13 languages including English and English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read and very close to the spoken word.
The layer changes occur between episodes or are very well hidden.
The audio quality is perfectly suited to the material.
This DVD contains three audio options, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s and the same in French and Hungarian.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync. Obviously, in a comedy show this is the most important audio item and it comes through here with flying colours.
The score of this series by Rick Marotta features the theme tune and some other incidental music. It does its job without standing out particularly.
The surround speakers added some mild atmosphere when played with Dolby ProLogic II.
The subwoofer added some bass to the theme tune but this is a function of my amplifier's bass management rather than the soundtrack.
|Surround Channel Use|
The extras are located on Discs 3,4 and 5.
The menu included scenes from the shows, stills of the actors, the ability to select each episode, and a plot synopsis of each episode.
Each disc includes an index of all episodes showing which disc they appear on.
A commentary is available for this episode from Ray Romano and creator Phil Rosenthal. Another good quality commentary from these guys with Phil providing most of the information and Ray most of the jokes. They consider this to be their first classic episode and I tend to agree, it's a great episode. They talk about differences between this and other sitcoms, such as the length and number of scenes, and also about the storyline. They also tell some good anecdotes. Worth a listen.
Again this commentary is by Ray Romano and creator Phil Rosenthal. Another good commentary which includes discussion of where they found the writer of this episode, some technical information about making the episode, some anecdotes and discussion of some letters they received. Again, well worth a listen.
A good selection of deleted scenes from various episodes, which certainly include some funny material and are well worth a watch. Included are extra scenes from Ray's on TV, Brother, Golf, The Gift, All I Want For Christmas, Good Girls, Traffic School, Six Feet Under, Garage Sale and four extra scenes from the wedding double episode.
Unlike most blooper reels, these ones are actually funny and worth watching. All of the major actors are featured and the last three minutes is actually footage of the crew, which is less interesting although there is a funny bit right at the end.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The sets released in each region are identical except for PAL/NTSC differences and that the Region 1 has a Spanish soundtrack instead of the Hungarian. Let's call it a tie.
The video quality is good but not as good as Season 1.
The audio quality is fine, doing everything this show requires.
The set has a good selection of extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Bose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)|