Everybody Loves Raymond - The Complete Ninth Season
HBO // Unrated // $44.98 // September 18, 2007
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted September 23, 2007
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The Ninth & Final Season

Everybody Loves Raymond is based on the work of stand-up comedian Raymond Romano. The series itself is basically about an oddly arranged family, which makes for a great sitcom. Romano plays Ray Barone, a not-so-typical sports writer, husband, and father of three. Ray and his wife Debra live across the street from his neurotic parents Frank and Marie, weird brother Robert and his wife Amy. The comedy revolves around the entire family acting goofy and turning some rather common situations into a riot. The actors and actresses deliver dialogue with talent and also incorporate physical comedy into the show with ease, which only adds to the hilarity. For more details about this series please refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one, season two, season three, season four, season five, season six, season seven, season eight, and series finale.

Season nine is the last for the series and has a shorter episode billet than past seasons. It is made up of sixteen episodes and they are hilarious. As I as watching season nine and coming upon the series finale, I felt sad knowing the last episode was soon. The good news is that the series outputted two-hundred and ten episodes, and they are all available on DVD... so, I (and you) can relive the moments whenever.

The season begins "The Home", which moves the show in a great and hilarious direction. Frank and Marie come back from visiting friends in New Jersey and decide that it is time for them to move on. They sell the house to Robert and Amy (for an insanely cheap price) to live in a luxurious retirement community. At first, Debra, Ray, Robert, and Amy react to the news with open arms. The idea of having eight-five minutes (plus traffic) between them is a godsend.

The following episode "Not So Fast" follows up with a new, yet expected development. Frank and Marie are loving life in their new community, but no one in the community shares their sentiments. They are kicked out and forced back into their old house. Unfortunately, Robert and Amy end up sharing the house with the parents. Then it is back to business as usual.

After season nine's strong start with "The Home" and "Not So Fast", the hilarity does not stop. The season continues with one great episode after the other, dealing with common Barone family issues, with both Debra and Amy's parents in the mix. There are some also general fun episodes with Ray and Debra going at it with everyone caught in the middle.

"Debra's Parents" is a fun Thanksgiving episode. Debra accidentally invites both of her divorced parents, Warren and Lois, for Thanksgiving. She fears there will be uneasy tension between them. As it happens, tension is that the last thing Debra has to be concerned about; Ray catches them having sex. It is a great episode with a crazy chain of events in the aftermath.

"Pat's Secret" is an episode with Amy's parents at the fore. When Hank and Pat visit the Barones, Robert discovers Pat smoking. It is a secret she has kept hidden for twenty-seven years. Robert decides to share a smoke with Pat, as a way to get closer to her. Afterwards, he is caught smelling like smoke. The reaction he gets from Amy and Marie is classic. Marie treats him as if she had caught her teenage son smoking. Hank also weighs in his opinion, as both a middle school vice principal and health education teacher. The other great development deals with Hank and Pat's perfect Protestant Christian family facade breaking, with other secrets coming out.

"A Date For Peter" sees the return of guest star Chris Elliot as Amy's comic-loving brother Peter. Debra and Amy find out Peter's life is pretty depressing and womanless. They take matters into their own hands to get him fixed up with a nice girl. The girls force Ray to invite Peter to a party with single women. The party's turnout is slim pickings, but fortunately Debra invited Ray's arch-nemesis Peggy. As it turns out, Peter and Peggy have a lot in common and they hit it off. Ray does everything in his power to ruin it, as the thought of being related to the woman who beat him up leaves him unnerved. Robert's ex-girlfriend Stefania also makes an appearance, albeit brief. Nevertheless, it is a really fun episode with the supporting characters doing a fine job with Ray.

Other fun episodes include "Ally's F", Ray and Debra butt heads over who's fault it is that Ally is failing math, "The Faux Pas", Ray makes a stupid comment to a boy whose father is a custodian and tries to make it right with the father; only to make it worse--the rest of the Barones don't help with the situation either, "The Power Of No", Ray tries to gain power in the relationship by denying Debra sex, and "Boys' Therapy", the Barone boys fake going to therapy to be on their wives' good sides.

Overall, Everybody Loves Raymond's ninth and final season is another great season. While it has a short billet with sixteen episodes, it is nonstop laughter from start to finish. I was sad to see the series end, but happy that there were over two-hundred fun-filled episodes (all now available on DVD). For fans of the series and everyone else, this season set is a must.

Episode Guide

1. The Home: Frank and Marie announce that they are moving to a retirement community in New Jersey, much to the delight of everyone else, until it comes time for them to actually go.
2. Not So Fast: Ray and Debra travel to New Jersey to visit Frank and Marie at the retirement community, but their happy visit takes an unexpected, unpleasant turn.
3. Angry Sex: Debra gets so angry at Marie that she lets off steam by heating things up in the bedroom with Ray. It's all to Ray's liking, of course, so he tries to keep Debra angry so he can help her let off more steam.
4. P.T. & A. : Debra is shocked to learn that some members of the PTA believe she dresses too sexy.
5. Ally's F: Ally comes home with an F in math on her report card.
6. Boys' Therapy: Ray and Frank, with some pressure from their wives, agree to go with Robert to one of his therapy sessions. The guys really bond, but not in the way the women had envisioned.
7. Debra's Parents: Debra's divorced parents and Amy's mom and dad are all invited for Thanksgiving dinner with the Barone family.
8. A Job For Robert: Ray becomes jealous when Marie starts treating Robert like he is her favorite instead of him, until Raymond figures out why she is acting so strangely.
9. A Date For Peter: Amy's parents ask Ray to give their son, Peter, some tips on dating. Later, Debra throws a cocktail party and invites some single women to meet Peter, but Ray isn't thrilled with the guest list.
10. Favors: Debra and Marie confront Ray about his habit of never picking up after himself.
11. The Faux Pas: Ray accidentally insults the twins' new friend and the faux pas quickly spirals out of control when he repeats it to the boy's dad.
12. Tasteless Frank: Marie believes she is losing her ability to cook after Frank puts salt on her lasagna.
13. Sister-In-Law: Ray tells Robert that Amy talks too much after she chats with Ray for over an hour while he tries to watch a basketball game on TV. Of course, Robert tells Amy, which leads to a heated confrontation between "Lady Chatterly" and her insensitive brother-in-law.
14. The Power Of No: Ray tries to control Debra by continually turning down her advances in the bedroom. It's a strategy that works---until she discovers what he's doing.
15. Pat's Secret: Robert learns a surprising secret about his mother-in-law, Pat (Georgia Engel), when Amy's parents visit to celebrate their daughter's birthday.
16. Finale: As the series concludes, Ray has a close call during outpatient surgery and Debra is determined not to tell him or Marie. Of course, there is no such thing as a secret in the Barone family.

The DVD

Video:
Seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond prior to season four have come in full frame color. Since season four filming was shot for high-definition television and as such the video is given in anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen color. The picture quality is quite good and looks much better than previous season sets. There are minor traces of grain and slight hints of edge enhancement. There is also some minor aliasing (not a lot, but still a few scenes with it). In general colors look right on. Overall it's a good looking picture.

Audio:
The audio comes in the standard 2-channel Dolby digital stereo sound track with language options in English, Spanish, and French. The sound quality is good with distinct and clear dialogue. The track typically sounds a little flat, but that's expected with dialogue driven tracks. There is also little advantage of taken of the stereo setup, with little distinction between channels. This release also comes with subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.

Extras:
Everybody Loves Raymond: The Complete Ninth Season box set include seven audio commentaries, twenty-three deleted scenes, a blooper's reel, and a featurette that aired with the finale. Here is the breakdown of the extras:

  • Audio Commentaries: are included for episodes "The Home" with Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, Tucker Cawley, and Jeremy Stevens, "Not So Fast" with Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, Tom Caltabiano, and Mike Royce, "Debra's Parents" with Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, Katherine Helmond, and Robert Culp, "A Date For Peter" with Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, and Chris Elliott, "The Faux Pas" with Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, Tucker Cawley, Lew Schneider, and Jeremy Stevens, "Pat's Secret" with Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, Georgia Engle Tom Caltabiano, and Mike Royce, and "Finale" with Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, Tom Caltabiano, Mike Royce, Aaron Shure, and Steve Skrovan.
  • Deleted Scenes: are included for 13/16 season nine episodes. There are a total of twenty-three deleted scenes. Here is the breakdown:
    • "The Home" (1:37) Marie distributes some cooking gifts to the family
    • "The Home" (0:42) Marie and Frank en route to the condo
    • "Not So Fast" (3:16) Robert must come to grips with some changes around his house
    • "P.T. & A." (1:30) Robert approves of some new additions to Amy's wardrobe
    • "Ally's F" (0:49) Ray and Debra discuss Ally's schoolwork
    • "Ally's F" (0:38) Ray gets a bad vibe from Ally's classroom
    • "Boys' Therapy" (0:37) Robert gives some horse racing tips
    • "Boys' Therapy" (0:33) Debra gives Marie an uncharacteristic ribbing about her cooking
    • "Debra's Parents" (0:48) The family shares some opposing views about art
    • "Debra's Parents" (1:03) Ray tries to get comfortable in bed
    • "A Job For Robert" (1:27) Debra and Amy have a heart-to-heart about Marie
    • "A Date For Peter" (0:50) Ray snacks on some pretzels
    • "A Date For Peter" (1:01) Ray gives Peter some dating advice
    • "The Faux Pas" (1:38) Ray shares an embarrassing anecdote about Debra
    • "The Faux Pas" (1:35) The family debates the definition of "faux pas."
    • "Sister-In-Law" (0:54) Robert and Amy have a date night with Marie and Frank
    • "Sister-In-Law" (0:55) Marie shares some embarrassing stories from Ray's past
    • "The Power Of No" (0:48) Ray and Robert kid with each other
    • "The Power Of No" (1:20) Ray and Debra compare notes in bed
    • "Pat's Secret" (0:19) The family awaits the arrival of Amy's parents
    • "Pat's Secret " (0:58) Robert and Pat share a smoke
    • "Finale" (1:09) There might be something wrong with Ray's adenoids
    • "Finale" (0:52) The family bickers in the waiting room of the hospital
  • Bloopers (1:49): is a short clip of outtakes and bloopers from season nine.
  • The Last Laugh (43:54): is a special featurette that aired on television in conjunction with the series finale. It follows the show in filming the final episode, complete with interviews with cast, crew, and network executives and a behind-the-scenes look at the finale, as well as some comments about the series. There is also an optional audio commentary with Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, Tom Caltabiano, Tucker Cawley, Mike Royce, Aaron Shure, Steve Skrovan, and Jeremy Stevens.

Final Thoughts:
Everybody Loves Raymond's ninth season is the show's last. The season has short billet of sixteen episodes, which are all quite fun. Season nine begins with a smashing development and continues with nonstop hilarity, all the way to the dramatic season finale. The show's cast, both primary and supporting, offer great performances, coupled with topnotch writing, to deliver fun-filled content for everyone to enjoy. This season is one that should not be missed. It comes highly recommended.



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