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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Home Improvement - The Complete Fourth Season

Home Improvement – The Complete Fourth Season


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Episodes: C



By comedy standards, I always thought of Home Improvement as The Red Green Show for those who like safe humor to the point it is not really funny.  I never understood the appeal of Tim Allen, though he does have some talent, but this is the kind of phony TV situation comedy that ruined the sitcom as we know it, with its regressive portrait of family, sexuality, socio-economic class and dialogue that never represented any way people talk in real life.  That it made it to its Complete Fourth Season only confirms that only formula made it a hit simply because there is nothing innovative or clever about this show.


So it was meant for younger and family audiences, but its idea of family and being “happy” is as plastic as a Disneyworld amusement ride.  The chemistry of the cast family was just enough to match the contrivances of the consistently awful teleplays for all 25 terrifyingly bad shows from the 1994 – 1995 season.  It did have some production values and did not totally degrade the audience, reinforcing the “safe” factor.  Only diehard fans should apply for this set.


The 1.33 X 1 image is bad, with digititis and a bad professional NTSC-to-DVD-MPEG 2 video transfer even worse than anything we have seen in sets for The Golden Girls.  I have seen this look better on analog cable TV for the minute it took me to identify a given episode before searching for something good to watch.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has absolutely no surrounds and is poor in range.  The only extra is a bloopers reel, which goes to show that the cast and studio are even bored with the show.  Also amusing is the slipcase that is designed to look like Tim cut it with a buzz saw, something not unlike the Pioneer cover for Tobe Hooper’s original Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974, reviewed elsewhere on this site) that reminds us that the similarities between this family and that one may be closer than many have considered.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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