Married with Children-Complete First Season (1987)

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Released 24-Oct-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Married...With Children Reunion Special
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1987
Running Time 301:39
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Zane Buzby
Richard Cottrell
Katherine Green
James Eric Hornbeck
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Ed O'Neill
Katey Sagal
Christina Applegate
Amanda Bearse
David Garrison
David Faustino
Ted McGinley
Case ?
RPI $49.95 Music Michael Andreas
Shawn K. Clement
Jonathan Wolff


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
German
Dutch
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Twenty years after its first broadcast, the first season of the classic family sitcom that was undoubtedly the inspiration for many other 30 minute sitcoms based on a "dysfunctional family" for years afterwards is finally available on DVD … only this one is actually funny, whereas many of its predecessors have a tendency to grate on the nerves.

    Originally planned to be titled Not The Cosbys (but the racial references alone there would have had the studio in litigation, that title was eventually dropped), Married ... With Children follows the exploits of failed high school football hero and now ailing shoe salesman Al Bundy (Ed O'Neil), his homecoming queen wife Peggy (Katey Sagal), their "bad girl" daughter Kelly (Christina Applegate), their potentially psychotic son Bud (David Faustino), and their two charming neighbours Marci (Amanda Bearse) and Steve (David Garrison) – who later would be replaced by new husband Jefferson (Ted McGinley).

    Littered with sexual innuendo, and episode long jokes with excellent payoffs in the final scenes, this show is definitely a winner. Better yet, it has stood the test of time, and is just as funny now as it was then - perhaps more so, given the dated backdrops that add an edge of seedy "eighties" to the whole thing.

    This collection has all 13 episodes of the first season split across 2 discs (in production order, not broadcast order). You can find a full episode summary at TV.com. Episodes are all approximately 23 - 24 minutes.

    If you're tired of the banal and uninteresting sitcoms currently polluting our airwaves (a list too long for me to publish here, though I want to throttle some L.A. producers for the drivel they manage to green light), I urge you to pick up a copy of this series and remember why Al, Peggy, Kelly and Bud, were such hot stars back in the day. While there are definitely more intelligent sitcoms out there that deserve equal attention (Arrested Development, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office, Extras), this one is definitely a laugh riot and should not be dismissed as passé despite its age.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented here in 1.33:1, Full Frame, this is the original broadcast aspect ratio of the series.

    Given this has been transferred onto video for broadcast, the DVD transfer is mastered from the broadcast video with all the problems inherent thereto.

    I watched most of this on my 42” rearpro given that when watched on a 100” projection screen the faults were extensive, and this show was never designed to be watched on such a broad canvas, so such an evaluation is unfair.

    Colour is a little dull, with a definite shift to brown. Dirt and graininess are a slight problem. There is some minor cross-colouration. This is not a pristine transfer, but it could have been much worse.

    Subtitles are available in French, German and Dutch, but oddly no English for the Hearing Impaired. Bit of an oversight there.

    Both discs are dual layered, with the layer pause falling between episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
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Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Audio is available in English, French and German in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo encoded at 192Kb/s.

    As an entirely dialogue driven track, this isn’t bad. Audio sync is good, and you can hear what’s being said without a problem (though sometimes the laugh track can get in the way a little).

    There are no directional cues, or any real surround presence. Indeed, it’s hard to distinguish this as an actual stereo track.

    Subwoofer use is nil.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, static and silent.

Featurette: “Married ... With Children – Reunion Special" (42:36)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, this is an amusing “reunion” special.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I do not have an R1 copy for an exact comparison, but from what I can tell the content is largely the same, with one special feature “New comedy sneak peek” available in R1 but not R4, and more language options in R4. Additionally, 6 seasons are already available on DVD in R1. The difference is largely in the NTSC picture format (which could be better, given this was originally mastered for NTSC broadcast) and the region coding. Buy whichever is cheapest.

Summary

    Married ... With Children is hilarious, all these years on. It’s sad to think that we still find the same social foibles amusing. Think The Simpsons aimed at an adult audience but without the non-sequiturs of The Family Guy.

    Well worth the time.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVPNS92, using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-HS60 WXGA 3LCD Cineza Projector (10,000:1 contrast ratio) with 100" Longhom Pro-Series Micro-Textured White Matte PVC 1.78:1 16:9 Fixed Mount Screen with Black Velour Trim. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersJensen QX70 Centre Front, Jensen QX45 Left Front & Right Front, Jensen QX20 Left Rear & Right Rear, Jensen QX-90 Dual 10" 250 Watt Subwoofer

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