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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Married... with Children: The Complete Ninth Season
Married... with Children: The Complete Ninth Season
Sony Pictures // Unrated // August 19, 2008
List Price: $39.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted August 28, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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The Ninth Season

Married with Children is a risque television series takes a slapstick approach to comedy about a man whose life couldn't be any worse. Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill) is a former high school football star turned women's shoe salesman. After his glorious high school days, nothing has really gone in the right way for Bundy. He's such a loser that you can't help but laugh. Al's wife Peggy (Katey Sagal) was his high school sweetheart and the major cause of his headaches. They also have two kids: Kelly (Christina Applegate) and Bud (David Faustino). Next door are their neurotic neighbors Marcy (Amanda Bearse) and Jefferson (Ted McGinley). Together, the Bundys and the D'Arcys get into outrageous and comical situations. For additional information about the series, please refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one, season two, season three, season four, season five, season six, season seven, and season eight.

Season nine is an absolute riot. It is wild and crazy with nonstop laughs. Between the Bundys and the D'arcys, the neurotic families get into one goofy situation after the other. Some of the highlights include Al and Jefferson selling vintage shoes, Bud getting a job at the department of motor vehicles, Al and NO MA'AM fighting for men's rights on numerous occasions, Al and friends taking their wives to the nudie bar, Peggy taking the other adults on a cruise they will never forget, and more. Overall, it is an entertaining season. I had a blast with it and believe fans will enjoy it too.

The season begins with a fantastic episode entitled "Shoeway to Heaven". In it, Al finds a cache of vintage shoes he hid in the '70s. Al teams up with Jefferson to sell the shoes at outrageous prices to older women trying to relive their past. They make a fortune until the Bundy curse catches up to them. It is a fun and silly way to start the season. The good news is that this momentum continues throughout the season. The next solid episode is "Driving Mr. Boondy". In this hilarious episode, the axiom of power shifts in the Bundy household. After Al finds out he has been delinquent in renewing his driver's license, he goes through the painful renewal process at the local department of motor vehicles. To his dismay, his driving test instructor is none other than Bud Bundy. Bud has a gripe with dad and makes Al's driving test as painful as possible.

The two-part episode "Business Sucks" and "Business Still Sucks" is the first of many fun episodes with National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood (NO MA'AM) fighting to preserve the rights of men. After a woman breastfeeds at the shoe store, Al kicks her out. Marcy comes at him with a vengeance, leading to a protest. Al responds in force with NO MA'AM backing him up. The manner that Al and his buddies react to the situation makes this episode priceless. "I Want My Psycho Dad" is another strong two-part episode with NO MA'AM. Al's favorite television show is cancelled by Marcy's women's group. Al takes his case to Washington, D.C. and briefs the House of the Senate to put the show back on the air. NO MA'AM also appears in "A Man For No Seasons" and "And Bingo Was Her Game-O".

"The Naked and the Dead, But Mostly the Naked" is probably one of the season's best. Al and his friends are forced to take their wives to the local nudie bar. The wives are convinced the husbands are up to no good. However, Al proves to the women that they are sophisticated enough to just enjoy the "friendly" atmosphere without acting like animals. How Al and friends carry themselves make this episode priceless. In the two-part episode "Ship Happens", Peggy wins a first class ticket on a cruise. She wants to take Al and downgrades her first class ticket to two decent class tickets. After speaking with Marcy, she trades in her two decent tickets for four low class tickets. They are all disappointment with the poor accommodations and even more so with the fact it is a diet cruise. As if things couldn't get even worse, the ship sinks and they are lost at sea. Gilbert Gottfried guest stars.

As for the rest of the season, the episodes are all very fun. There are some great and hilarious situations with Al and family. The highlights include Bud running a virgin hotline, Kelly trying to get her acting career off the ground, a television show based on the Bundys and D'arcys, Al and Peggy (sort of) celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary, Kelly having a young and wealthy secret admirer, Bud's relationship with Marcy's niece Amber, and more. Overall, it is a very fun season. The episodes capture the great cast dynamic with over-the-top and goofy content. Fans of the series will not want to miss out on a single minute of season nine.

Episode Guide

1. Shoeway to Heaven: Al and Jefferson become vintage shoe entrepreneurs.
2. Driving Mr. Boondy: Al must brave the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew his driver's license, but discover that his fate lies in Bud's hands.
3. Kelly Breaks Out: An untimely pimple threatens Kelly's acting career.
4. Naughty But Nice: Bud is distracted by Marcy's sexy niece.
5. Business Sucks: Al refuses to allow breastfeeding in the shoe store.
6. Business Still Sucks: Al's battle against breastfeeding lands him in trouble with the store's owner.
7. Dial B for Virgin: Bud is tapped to run a phone hotline for virgins.
8. Sleepless in Chicago: Al must sleep with Marcy so that Jefferson can cash in her valuable Barbie doll.
9. No Pot to Pease In: The Bundys and D'Arcys discover a new TV show modeled after their lives.
10. Dud Bowl: Al reunites his old high school football team to play the championship game that never was.
11. A Man for No Season: Al and his friends decide to remedy the professional baseball strike themselves.
12. I Want My Psycho Dad, Part 1: Al protests the cancellation of his favorite TV show.
13. I Want My Psycho Dad, Part 2: The "NO MA'AM" men take their Psycho Dad protest to Washington, D.C.
14. The Naked and the Dead, But Mostly the Naked: Al and his friends are forced to take their wives to a strip club.
15. Kelly Takes a Shot: Bud helps Kelly with a commercial audition to prove himself to Marcy's niece.
16. Get the Dodge Out Of Hell: Al's Dodge goes into the car wash, but doesn't come out.
17. Best of Bundy: George Plimpton hosts a retrospective of Bundy bliss.
18. 25 Years and What Have You Got?: Al and Peggy's plans and good intentions for their 25th wedding anniversary are upset.
19. Ship Happens, Part 1: Peg wins a cruise and decides to take Al and the D'Arcys along with her, leaving the kids at home with Wolfman Jack. As always, misfortune follows.
20. Ship Happens, Part 2: After their cruise ship sinks, the Bundys and D'Arcys are left to fend for themselves at sea.
21. Something Larry This Way Comes: Al goes out of his way to help Kelly and meet his TV idol, Larry Storch.
22. And Bingo Was Her Game-O: Peggy is invited to play in a big bingo tournament; Al and his friends set out to choose "NO MA'AM"s new official beer.
23. User Friendly: Bud volunteers for a computer sex experiment.
24. Pump Fiction: Al and Kelly make an award-winning movie about shoes.
25. My Favorite Married: The cast discuss their favorite episodes illustrated through clips.
26. Radio Free Trumaine: Bud's chance at a steady girlfriend is jeopardized by the hosts of a popular college radio show.
27. Shoeless Al: Al's fraudulent lawsuit against the mall is jeopardized by his desire to win a bowling championship.
28. The Undergraduate: Kelly discovers she has a wealthy, but young, secret admirer.

The DVD

Video:
The video format is given in its original aspect ratio 1.33:1 full frame color. The overall quality is acceptable. There are some noticeable of compression artifacts and ghosting during heavy movement. Overall, while not outstanding, the visual representation is still good enough.

Audio:
The audio track in this release is given in English Dolby digital stereo sound. The audio sounds pretty clean and is very flat. It is as basic as TV on DVD releases get. This release also supports closed captioning.

Extras:
For extras, there are two "minisodes" -- short compressed versions of full length television episodes -- for The Facts of Life "Dope" and Sheena "Doing as the Romans".

Final Thoughts:
After hitting a slump in season seven, the series came back with a vengeance in eight -- offering one great episode after the other. Season nine continues the trend and has twenty-six fantastic episodes (and two retrospective specials). The Bundys and D'arcys get into a number of great situations with ruined vacations, NO MA'AM fighting for men's rights, Kelly's acting career, Al's pathetic life, Bud's poor luck with woman, and more. It is fantastic season and will be enjoyed by fans. It comes highly recommended.

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