Posted in: Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on December 14th, 2010
7th heaven reaches its 11th and final season of rampant political correctness and lessons of family togetherness through Christian love. Yes, that was a mildly passive aggressive summary of this show, but I feel sometimes one strong bias deserves another to challenge it. This show, the story of a very large family lead by a Minister (and don’t deny it, he leads them) as they convey their socially and politically conservative Protestant Christian point of view of “real-life” situations.
To be a fair reviewer, I shall put aside my personal objections to critique how the show works just as a family drama for a moment. The 11th season is quite hard to get into as there are countless references and relationships that have been building up for a very long time. I’m not asking it to be like a Law and Order brand of storytelling, where a viewer can jump in at any episode to enjoy a fully encapsulated story, but this show becomes an undeniable challenge to watch if you are seeing it without any background knowledge of the characters and their previous stories.
To make matters even more difficult, the performances by the lead cast were nowhere near strong enough to pull me into their issues and I could care less about how they felt. The overacting during more “intense” moments is cringe-worthy (or simply par for the course as far as the WB is concerned) and the stories are not very engrossing so I could not be bothered to care with whether the Camden family finds a positive ending to it all.
From the few times I experienced this show before reviewing this season the show has always been lose/lose. Either they were perpetuating the idea that being a success in life means having a very large family and following a striated path of all-consuming rules, or they were simply wallowing in amateurish performances of uninteresting scripts. I know this show has its fans, as it did become the longest running Family Drama in history, but as I said before, sometimes one bias should be counter-pointed by another. I have nothing against this show having fans, but I stand by saying that neither this show’s message nor lack of talent driving it will ever win me over.
Fullscreen 4:3. In my experience with their releases, CBS DVD have been consistent with presenting a fine qulaity picture for TV shows. They really shine when it comes to restoring older shows, but still make good on modern ones. This show rarely goes to night scenes so the picture tends to be extremely bright. As much as I’d love to take another jab at this show, there are no notable or major flaws in the picture quality.
English Stereo. Nothing glamorous about the sound ion this show, and thereby, nothing major going on with the presentation on the DVD. The shrill voices of Camden’s whinier kids are plenty shrill, the score is warm and without distortion, and all in all things are decent. Not great, but decent. Could have used a nice Dolby polish though.
I only perked up when Keith David showed up in the very last scene…and his cameo made no sense to me, leaving me to assume that I’d need to trek through several season to understand its deep significance…to me, a moving finale should be able to resonate with a viewer whether they have been along for the whole ride or not.
I can tell that their method of drama really meant something to people, and was seen as different. I’m all for difference and am willing to chalk much of it up to taste, but I stand by my objections. To each their own.