The Good

This show deals with real issues in a very honest way.

The Bad

No Special Features of any sort.

In this 7th Heaven: The Complete Fourth Season we get to see the 9 person Camden house go through some ups, downs and a lot of in-betweens. Eric and Annie (Stephen Collins and Catherine Hicks) run this family with strict but loving hands. Mary (Jessica Biel) seems to be balancing being an independent woman with being boy crazy. Matt (Barry Watson) opens the season by moving out and Simon (David Gallagher), when he's not being a ladies man, does his best to get over his brother's absence. Lucy (Beverley Mitchell) and Ruthie (Mackenzie Rosman) both have big plans as they hatch schemes and do their best walk the straight and narrow within their wholesome family.

Some of my favorite episodes were "The Tattle Tale Heart" which opens this Fourth season, sees Matt moving out and his father suffers a mild heart attack (the two events are not related). "...And Expiation" was a great episode that saw Mary get put in jail after vandalizing a school. Knowing that Jessica Biel wanted to distance herself from the somewhat milquetoasty values of this show, I think it's interesting what the writers had her character do. "Say A Little Prayer For Me" looks at prayer and the things certain people in the Camden household pray for. Since some of the kids are praying for material things, this episode examines how prayer is both used and even misused.

Features

No Extras came with this release.

Video

Full Screen Format. These episodes were sharp but it appears that Paramount has contained them somewhat. Which makes a lot of sense because there's over sixteen hours of content, so it is understandable that they wouldn't want to over-compress things too much. There isn't anything too special about the way these shows are shot, or how they edited so there aren't too many specs that need to be taken into consideration. While I can't say for sure, I imagine that these look a little a little bit better than when the episodes originally aired on TV.

Audio

Dolby Digital: English Stereo. The audio on this release was good. It didn't stand out that much but I didn't hear anything that got my attention in a negative way. I think with sixteen hours of content that's a pretty impressive feat. I had to turn up the audio about halfway, but I didn't recall needing to adjust my levels over the course of the rest of the six discs.

Package

I love the way that Paramount has made these six disc sets so economical. That they can fit all of these discs in one Aramaic case, without having the discs get jumbled around or scratched is very impressive. The front cover of this release showcases the entire Camden family. The back has four shots which are a mix of production stills and promo shots. There is a description of what this show is about and some technical specs as well. The discs are housed so they take up as much space as possible, but on the inside lining of this full window case is a listing and description of each episode. This packaging job may not win any awards, but I am sure it will please retailers looking for shelf space.

Final Word

I like this show. I know that it is heavy handed and in a lot of ways out of touch with many people's realities, I think that 7th Heaven is a good show because it does deal with universal themes. Maybe what the Camdens are going through not everyone can relate to? Maybe the majority of people in this country don't see themselves in these characters?

This is fine.

What this show does do is deal with things that everyone will deal with at some point in their lives. Moving out. Losing a loved one. Getting in a relationship with someone. The list goes on and on. So while at first it may seem like the Camdens are this lilly white family (and in many ways they are), one shouldn't be so quick to kill the messenger. I found the stories to be well written, acted and executed. Yeah, there are times where the problems seem laughable or overly simplified, but I think that more people than they care to admit can relate to 7th Heaven.

If you want to watch some good TV for the whole family 7th Heaven: The Complete Fourth Season is one of the surest things on the market.

7th Heaven was released .