What time is it? Thatâ€™s right, Home Improvement fans, itâ€™s once again Tool Time. Unfortunately for the showâ€™s followers, Season 7 would be its next to last outing, and even the most loyal fans seem to agree that the show had lost its edge by now. For me the decline started around the 6th year when the age of the boys created a need to shift stories away from Tim Allenâ€™s routine and become a little bit more serious in tone. Itâ€™s not that situation comedies canâ€™t find a great deal of success mining such a territory. MASH often ventured away from its comedic roots and occasionally brought us dead serious material, and it only improved the quality of an already good show. In the case of Home Improvement, the stories just became awkward as the writers tried to find ways to work in the boysâ€™ increasing age and demands for screen time. True enough, Tim Allen never lost the persona that defined Tool Time, but thereâ€™s little question that it was not fitting in well with the deepening family issues the series began to explore. Suddenly Timâ€™s character was an inappropriate father and husband underneath the clever buffoonery. I will always remember Home Improvement for what it started out as, and these DVDâ€™s just donâ€™t represent that show any longer.
Home Improvement was based on a stand-up routine that made a name for Tim Allen. In his act he would talk about his experiences with power tools and other manly misadventures. He came across as a comedic Bob Vila. Somewhere along the line it was decided this had the makings of a good sitcom for television. It was a rather inspired idea, and for many years it was one of the funnier shows on the tube. I often find myself referring to the show as Tool Time, which in reality is the cable handyman show Tim hosts. The reason for this almost constant confusion is simple. It is the Tool Time bits where the show was always at its best. Timâ€™s rapport with co-host Al Borland (Karn) is always worth a few laughs. Tim lives next door to Wilson (Hindman) who often has long winded words of wisdom when Tim finds himself befuddled by lifeâ€™s complications. As a running gag, we never see Wilsonâ€™s face below the nose. Most of the time the privacy fence they spoke over served to cover these areas, but often other well placed items did the job. Tim had a family. His wife, Jill (Richardson) tolerated Timâ€™s antics, all the while seeing him as an adolescent. The couple had three kids who were quite young as the show began. By season 7 the boys had grown, which demanded more screen and story time. Now their lives have dominated many episodes to the point that Home
Home Improvement is appropriately presented in its original full frame 1.33:1 format. While this is a fairly recent series, it was merely a sitcom. Not to degrade the genre, but the studios donâ€™t put a tremendous amount of production value in that kind of a series. Still, colors are solid. Black levels are average. This is pretty much as good as this kind of programming gets. Better overall than the broadcast versions.
Dialogue is pretty much all you should care about in this Dolby Digital 2.0 track, and it delivers just fine. The showâ€™s trademark sound effects are there just as you remembered with no problems at all.
Yet another bloopers reel.
It may sound on the surface that I just didnâ€™t like the 7th year of Home Improvement. I think thatâ€™s a little harsh, and I certainly would recommend the true fans to get it if only to keep their collections complete. I do like this season because thereâ€™s still plenty of Tool Time to go around to generate the chuckles, but no question this season was more dedicated than ever to the kids and the natural problems that raising three adolescent boys inevitably entails. So go ahead and pick it up, because even a few minutes with Tim, The Toolman, Taylor is worth something. â€œItâ€™s up there with Christmas and Friday.â€