Fans of this show almost have all the pieces of it's comedic, seasonal puzzle.
At about this point in Roseanne the show was still solid but it seemed to be lacking some of the pizzaz that had made it so special in the seasons before it. The family was as intact as it could be but with Roseanne (Laurie Metcalf) having problems in her marriage with Fred (Michael O'Keefe), and Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and her boyfriend David (Johnny Galecki) living in the Connor Home things seemed ripe for the classic Connor comedy. Roseanne and Dan (John Goodman) seem to take everything in stride, though it's apparent that (at least Dan) would like their house to stop resembling Grand Central. There's also the matter of the Gilligan's Island-inflected Season Finale...
Roseanne: The Complete Seventh Season continued to broach such subjects as racism, abortion and drugs, but it also seemed to wink at the audience a bit by including such subplots as wacky neighbors, naughty dreams and whatever else it seemed like Roseanne and Co. felt like throwing in the stew. If you have been collecting this show you definitely need it in your collection. If you are a casual fan or own no other seasons in this collection, I would recommend going with one of the earlier DVD offerings.
No Extras came with this DVD release.
Full Screen - 1.33:1. This show looked solid. Anchor Bay has been faithfully doling these out and they have always made these episodes look well above par. The colors don't bleed across the screen, the transitions are highly fluid, and it never seems like any portions of the screen get over-compressed in a noticeable way. What I liked the most was how the DVD compression seems like it has hardened the images. These shows play on [email protected] and I think the quality on this DVD is certainly better. It isn't night and day but it is noticeable.
Dolby Digital Stereo. The audio on these discs was good. I had to turn up the sound a little less than halfway on my player. It stayed the same over all 4 discs that make up this set so that certainly is a good thing. I didn't hear any audio problems that really caught my attention. The soundtrack for this DVD set is composed in such a way that it doesn't get in the way of what people are saying. Sure, there is some ambient music and the show's theme song, but for the most part everything is in service of the dialogue the characters are saying.
Roseanne and Dan seem photoshopped together on this orange inflected front slipcase cover. Below them are some images from the show, all of which appear to be taken from various episodes. The back cover only gives us a few more pictures, it serves up a description of Roseanne: The Complete Seventh Season, as well as some system specs. The 4 discs are again stored in two slim cases both of which list out the episodes, their descriptions and other information on the back covers. Anchor Bay has again kept things lean and economical and we applaud them for that.
There's a lot more good than that there is bad in Roseanne: The Complete Seventh Season. How the relationship between Darlene and David is handled is quite well done. The obligatory Halloween episode is right up there with what Roseanne has always offered. However, it seems like Dan Connor has sadly had to take a backseat to Roseanne's real life rising star and because of this it almost seems like it compromises this show a little bit. Part of the reason why people liked this show so much is because it neatly balanced the Connor Family dynamic with humor and very serious situations. I hate to say it but this seems to be first season where that feels compromised. Things just got a little too zany and never really got back to the core of what I think this show is about (in this season).
I am still a huge fan of Roseanne and I am very happy to own Roseanne: The Complete Seventh Season, but I feel like I have crossed a line with this show where I now know it's limitation. That said, it is only a TV show, right?