Home Improvement - The Complete Second Season
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // PG // $49.99 // June 7, 2005
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted June 10, 2005
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
The Second Season

Home Improvement is a fun family-oriented sitcom. The series is based upon the work of stand-up comedian Tim Allen. In this show Tim Allen plays as Tim Taylor. Tim is a family man who makes a living by hosting a home improvement show in Detroit, Michigan called "Tool Time". He is a minor celebrity and more often than not, his ego gets in the way. The show takes a look at the hilarious daily interactions of Tim, at both the home and the workplace. At home we see him with his wife Jill (Patricia Richardson), their kids Mark (Taran Noah Smith), Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), and Brad (Zachery Ty Bryan), and the neighbor Wilson Wilson (Earl Hindman), and at work, Al Borland (Richard Karn) and other coworkers like Lisa (Pamela Anderson). On a few occasions the two groups collide together for some great stories.

A large portion of the show is watching Tim get into hot water with his wife, his kids, and his coworkers. Fortunately, his neighbor Wilson is always there to give him advice, although, Tim never seems to be able to follow Wilson's advice exactly, but things always turn out alright. The show's real strength comes from the cast's great chemistry and how goofy every situation gets. For a more comprehensive introduction to this series, please refer to my season one review. Overall season two is a lot of fun and if you enjoyed season one, then season two will definitely be a riot.

In season two there are a number of episodes devoted to the hilarious interactions between married couples. For instance, despite Tim and Jill have been married for fourteen years, Tim can't remember their anniversary, doesn't understand his wife as a person, and so on. In the season premiere "Read My Hips", Jill prepares a night of romance for Tim. Unfortunately he fails to catch all of her signals and ruins the night by spending it with some friends at a bar. This season also features a few more episodes about Tim and Jill still trying to work out the kinks in their relationship. In "Overactive Glance" Jill gets a little too sensitive when Tim looks at another woman and Tim tries to prove to her he can go an evening without looking at other women. In "Groin Pulls", Tim tries to show Jill what a manly man he is, but at what cost? The episode "You're Driving Me Crazy, You're Driving Me Nuts" is quite funny. Tim tries to convince Jill he doesn't need direction to get their friend's wedding. His internal-radar is all he needs. In "Abandoned Family", Jill goes back to work and leaves Tim in charge of the household duties.

This season also has some fun family issues tackled. In "Rites and Wrongs Of Passage", Brad starts to act like an out of control teenager and Tim isn't quite sure how to handle the situation. In "Bell Bottom Blues", Tim gets in trouble with Brad. He hugged him when he dropped him off at school. Oh, the embarrassment! "Karate Or Not, Here I Come" is about a school bully. Randy gets picked on at school and Tim takes the issue straight to the bully's father, who turns out to be just as bad as his son.

There are also a couple of interesting story arcs in this season. One I really enjoyed is about Brad finding his way with girls. His girlfriend from season one Jennifer returns and their relationship takes a step further in this season. It is fun to watch him slowly venture into the realm of relationships and get teased by his brothers. This story arc setups a few funny episodes. Another great story arc is about a major change for Tim's TV show "Tool Time". The sponsor's daughter Maureen Binford becomes the show's producer. Unfortunately, Tim doesn't take lightly to the change, as he feels he has made the show pretty successful over the last three years. On more than one occasion, she and Tim are in complete disagreement. Their different views on the situation turn into several laughs for us.

Overall I was quite happy with the second season of Home Improvement. Like the first season, it was a lot of fun. The Taylor family, Wilson, and Al all work together like clockwork. The situations they get into are worth a lot of laughs. If you enjoyed season one, then season two should be a blast. However, if season one didn't appeal to you, then season two probably won't either. There is not much different from the two seasons.

Episode Guide
1. Read My Hips
2. Rites & Wrongs Of Passage
3. Overactive Glance
4. Groin Pains
5. Heavy Meddle
6. The Haunting Of Taylor House
7. Roomie For Improvement
8. May The Best Man Win
9. Where There's A Will, There's A Way
10. Let's Did Lunch
11. Abandoned Family
12. I'm Scheming Of A White Christmas
13. Bell Bottom Blues
14. Howards End
15. Love Is A Many Splintered Thing
16. Dances With Tools
17. You're Driving Me Crazy, You're Driving Me Nuts
18. Bye, Bye, Birdie
19. Karate Or Not, Here I Come
20. Shooting Three To Make Tutu
21. Much Ado About Nana
22. Ex Marks The Spot
23. To Build Or Not To Build
24. Birth Of A Hot Rod
25. The Great Race

The DVD

Video:
The video presentation is given in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. Overall, the picture looks good, with a relatively clean feel. There are very minor color distortions and some points where the picture seems a bit too soft. In addition, there is a slight grain in the picture, but it shouldn't ruin viewing pleasure. Despite the minor imperfections in the picture, it is better than what you would expect to see from broadcast or cable television.

Audio:
The audio track in this release is English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The sound quality is fairly good, providing clean and audible dialogue. There are also English subtitles.

Extras:
In this second season DVD release, there are ten themed featurettes called Loose Screws. They are clips from season two which follow various themes. They include "Warning: Kids At Play", "The Joke's On Al", "Marital Bliss", "Masculinity", "Parenting Lessons", "Al Strikes Back", "Just A Minor Technical Difficulty", "Call Of The Wild", "On The Fence", and "Has Anyone Seen The Script?". The total runtime is approximately twenty-five minutes. Overall, it is worth a quick laugh, as they include some of the funnier moments of the episodes.

Final Thoughts:
Like the first season, the second season of Home Improvement is a lot of fun. The series' cast works really well together. This season's stories are also quite funny and outline how the interactions of the Taylor family can be a blast. Overall, I thought this was a good season, but not as great as season one. There weren't many new developments from the first season. Regardless, it was still quite funny. So, if you did enjoy season one, then chances are you are going to enjoy season two.



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