Ever since the inaugural season of "Everybody Loves Raymond" found its way to DVD in September 2004, the company releasing the seasons settled on a "3-per-year" plan--one in September, December, and May--until all 9 seasons were out. Loyal fans were shocked and nervous to find no Season 8 in stores in its due month--December 2006--but with the set slated for delivery in May, all of the worrying is offically over! :)
Just about everyone who loves this series is familiar with its remarkable success on television. Many TV shows are lucky to just get some noteworthy material in its later years, but "Raymond" is an incredible exception--it has always characterized fresh writing, hysterically funny storylines, and priceless banter between the Barone characters we have grown to love.
With soulmates Robert and Amy finally married and savoring the "newlywed" life together, Season 8 opens with a hilarious bang. What will Marie do to hound her new daughter-in-law the second she and Robert return from their honeymoon--and how far will Debra go to make an ally out of Amy so that together, they may overthrow Marie's meddlesome ways for good? If that sounds like good old "Raymond" material to you, then you're absolutely right--and it is sure to keep you laughing all the way through.
Beyond the classic episode entitled "Thank You Notes," the entire year sparkles with plenty of great moments. Because Amy is now an official member of the family, so are her kooky-as-heck parents and brother--and for the Barone clan, that means unannounced visitors on the couch, Thanksgiving celebrations that are even more dysfunctional than usual, and poor Robert's perpetual fight to earn the respect of his wife's tightly-wound parents. Meanwhile, Debra starts spending time with Frank's buddies at the lodge; Ray receives a special writing honor (cap and gown and all!) and forgets to mention Debra in his lengthy acceptance speech; husband and wife get into arguments (wow, who would have guessed?) and Robert becomes the target of further scrutiny when the family attempts to break him of his trademark chin habit. The Barone kids, too, are growing up quickly and keeping their parents on their toes. One of the twins suddenly takes to staying home from school on a regular basis, much to Ray's annoyance (especially when he ends up having to stay home with the kid). Teenager Ally is invited to her best friend's 13th birthday bash.....with a $250 dress code.....and a woman by the name of "Peggy, the Cookie Lady" organizing the whole thing. Let's see, how in the world will Raymond react to that one?
Bottom line, if you adore this show as much as I do, you'll want to pick this season up as soon as it comes out. The typical bloopers, deleted scenes, and commentaries--which have managed to please everyone quite nicely in the past--will be among the special features included. The final Season 9 can't be too far behind now, and as for me, I look forward to officially topping off my DVD collection of the greatest TV show of all time! (Well, in my opinion anyway)