STUDIO: CBS/Paramount
MSRP: $49.99
RUNNING TIME: 971 min.

•    It eventually ends.

The Pitch

The Camden clan experiences growing pains.

The Humans

Regulars: Stephen Collins, Catherine Hicks, Jessica Biel, Barry Watson, Beverley Mitchell, David Gallagher, Mackenzie Rosman

Special Guests: James Remar, Edie McClurg, Ed Begley, Jr., Alan Thicke, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen

The Nutshell

What kind of trouble does the family get into this season? Lucy befriends Mike, a suicide survivor (no word if the young man was influenced by the music of John Michael Osbourne), and through him meets Jeremy, who eventually becomes her fiancé. Mommy Annie goes back to school and has to juggle that with her familial responsibilities. Simon deals his freshman year of high school, learning something new every day. Matt has troubles with the ladies. Ruthie goes to a private school and continues to pry into everybody’s private affairs. Mary spirals further downward. She can’t hold a job. She gets in over her head financially. She has a beer. Someone offers her a joint and she thinks about smoking it. Before she can hit the bottom, Eric and Annie decide to ship her off to live her grand pappy in Buffalo. Eric doesn’t have any plotlines to himself, but his thumb is in all the other pies.

“For Show & Tell, I’ve brought a special surprise.  It’s going to take me a minute to remove it from my pants.”

The Lowdown

I’ve learned countless lessons by watching the fifth season of 7th Heaven. My life was in shambles. I didn’t vote. I bought stuff on credit. I associated with the wrong people; people who drink alcohol and take drugs. I worked a dead-end job instead of going to college. Actually, I’d already graduated from college. And I’m still working a dead-end job. That lesson didn’t stick apparently. Anyway, if it hadn’t been for a chance encounter with this television series, I would still be living as a heathen.

Before immersing myself in the lives of the Camdens, I would go around making judgments about situations of which I had no real knowledge. Once word gets out that one of the teachers at her school is maybe getting fired, Ruthie gets everybody in the family to sign a petition in protest. The teacher is black.  The principal is white. So obviously the principal is racist. It’s clear as mud, people. What other explanation could there possibly be? As it turns out, the teacher has breast cancer and wanted to quietly step away from teaching to take care of it. If everybody hadn’t jumped to the conclusions, dozens of eggs could have been saved. Much like the time I walked in on my roommates being intimate during naked breakfast.  I threw the french toast batter on Gerald and ran out of the house screaming “rape”. I made a snap judgment rather than learning all the facts and that was a mistake.

Ed Begley, Jr. is very disappointed with you. 

Did you know rap music is misogynistic? That it causes you to disrespect women? And it also affects proper grammar usage and fashion sense? Simon befriends some hip-hop loving cats from school. The S-H-I-T really hits the fan when the ringleader calls Lucy a B-I-T-C-H. At least that’s what everyone thinks he calls her. He doesn’t outright say it. Alludes to it mostly. Possibly. I believe he said, “You look like you could use a man”.  My Idaho-raised ears are obviously not as finely tuned as the big city folks’, and I can’t hear between the lines. In any case, I have learned the same lesson as Simon. Before, I would recite the verse of Too Short to the little old ladies at the grocery store. They would blush, giggle, and wave me away. Flaunting my knowledge of all things Eazy-E inspired young women in business attire to give me the open palm of respect. Never again shall I humiliate women like that again. As soon as I’m through here, I’m going to burn all of my Native Tongues albums.

Mary made the most of her time in Buffalo with the Colonel, so I was motivated to find one of my own.  Unsuccessful in my attempts to obtain the remains of Tom Parker, Harland Sanders, and Robert Ridgely, I ended up at the home of Martin Mull. He was gracious enough to allow me entry, but I can’t say he had much in the way of advice. He offered me wine and unbuttoned his shirt slowly. The mood was broken when the doorbell rang. Mr. Mull answered the door and returned with a grimace. Rather with a person wearing a suit of Grimace. The glass of wine was taken from my hand and given to Grimace, after which I was not so kindly shown the door. I stood out there in the rain for a good hour, just staring forlorn at my lost chance at true salvation. Salvation may not have been granted to me that night, but I’m still standing.  I’m still strong.

The show may have changed my life, but I have to wonder if it was worth the torture of the last three episodes. The show started out innocuous enough. There were even moments where I was entertained. By the end of the run, the sermonizing and pigheaded nature of some of the characters finally wore me down.  I’m just happy to have survived.

“It’s been four months, but I’m still not used to the Reverend’s special robe-free sermons.”

The Package

I wish I had saved the Raising Arizona reference. Describing this feature-less DVD as a barren place would have been appropriate given Eric and Annie’s apparent love of fucking.  Ah well.

2 out of 10