Courtesy: Shout! Factory
Television today is not what it once was. In its golden era, television offered program on three networks—NBC, CBS, and ABC. Thanks to the advances of cable, satellite, and even streaming video, audiences have more options than ever when it comes to what to watch. The problem with having so many options is that considering all of the said options, there really aren’t many options. The comedies and dramas are overly laden with sex and violence. And their scripts are largely cookie cutter across the board. The reality series that are just as prevalent are just as soulless. Thankfully those that yearn for something better will receive just that next week when Shout! Factory, the leading name in home entertainment, releases the eighth and final season of the classic series Quincy, M.E. Filled out by a total of twenty-four episodes, this final collection from one of television’s greatest classic series will impress audiences regardless of their familiarity with the show. The most obvious reason that reason the viewers will enjoy this season so much is the work of the show’s writers. The level of sex and violence that has become so commonplace among today’s TV shows is not there in any of these episodes just as with the episodes that made up the series’ previous seven seasons. The social issues that were often put at the center of the show’s episodes in its previous seasons are here, too. There is even an interesting development in Quincy’s own life as he develops a new romantic relationship that leads to a wedding near the season’s end. There’s much more that could be noted including the writers possibly poking fun at themselves early on in this season’s run, and some semi –fantastical stories to balance things out along the way. In the same vein, the cast’s interpretation of the scripts (its acting) is just as solid eight seasons in as in the series’ debut season. Unlike the acting on the part of casts from so many other shows of the time, this cast shows no sign of over-the-top hamming it up or over acting. Considering the show’s long run, that says a lot. Rounding out the reasons that Quincy, M.E.’s eighth season is a success is the look and sound of the footage. A little more than thirty years has passed since Quincy, M.E. ended its run. Considering that, the footage presented in the show’s looks and sounds just as impressive as that presented in the series’ previous season sets. It is the last factor to consider in examining what makes Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season one more welcome addition to the library of anyone looking for an escape from the heartless, soulless shows that currently dominate television’s ranks today. They also show collectively why this set is an early candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences.
Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season is, as noted, an early candidate for any critic’s list of this year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences. That is because the standards that were established within the show throughout the course of its previous seven seasons are carried on throughout the course of this season’s twenty-four total episodes. One of those standards is the series’ solid writing. Unlike so many of today’s crime dramas and medical procedurals, Quincy, M.E. maintained itself as more than just another one of those shows right from its debut season. Now in its final season, that standard was held as strong as ever. The show’s writers continued to tackle important social issues that are just as relevant today as they were so long ago in the show’s original run. They do also incorporate some slightly more fantastical story lines to balance out that social awareness that is so obvious throughout the series now in its final run. Right from the season’s premiere, the writers show that they haven’t let up by tackling the issues of gang violence and racial bias all in one without letting either topic step on the other. The writers also take on the issues of alcoholism, medical malpractice, and government influence on the drug industry. These are some pretty heavy topics for a show such as Quincy, M.E. to tackle. but the show’s writers handle each topic with the utmost professionalism and believeability. Even more intriguing is that all of these topics are raised in the first of the set’s six discs. Throughout the rest of the season’s runs, the issues of teen suicide, problems within the foster care system and much more. Those wanting something a little less provocative are given the growing romance and eventual marriage (yes, marriage) between Dr. Quincy and the newly introduced psychiatrist Dr. Emily Hanover (Anita Gillette) throughout Season 8. Her introduction serves to show a different side of Quincy than audiences familiar with the series are used to seeing. Audiences get to see more of his more emotionally vulnerable side instead of the strong, steadfast resolve shown throughout the series’ previous seasons. It’s just one more welcome addition to this season’s run that along with the other, deeper episodes, makes Season 8 truly enjoyable and a valid candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences.
The writing that went into Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season goes a long way toward making it another welcome addition to the library of any fan of this hit series. The same can be said of the acting on the part of the series’ cast. While shows from the 1970s and 1980s weren’t overly laden with sex and violence, far too many of them were marred by acting that was awful to say the least. The acting on the part of Quincy, M.E.’s cast eight seasons in is the polar opposite of that from those series. As a matter of fact, star Jack Klugman and his co-stars show the utmost professionalism and seriousness from season premiere to series finale. It would have been so easy for the cast to just dial it in especially as long as the show had been on television by the time this season aired. But not one member of the cast let up. the end result is acting that makes suspension of disbelief so easy. And coupled with the solid work of the show’s writers, both elements will keep audiences new and old alike enthralled in every episode. Yet again, it proves to be another way in which Quincy, M.E. shows itself a valid, early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences by year’s end.
The work of Quincy, M.E.’s writers and cast members collectively shows without a doubt why Quincy, M.E. was such a popular season for so long. And it is no doubt with the upcoming release of its eighth season it will regain even more that popularity that it boasted in its original broadcast. Much the same can be said once more of the look and sound of each episode’s footage. Considering that over three decades have passed since Quincy, M.E. went off the air and almost forty years have passed since it first premiered on NBC in 1976, the look and sound of the show’s footage is surprisingly impressive. Yet again, it is a tribute to the work of those charged with bringing the series back to life for both its original audiences and a whole ew generation of fans. And it is one more tribute to Shout! Factory’s dedication to excellence for audiences, proving yet again why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment. It is also more reason for any critic to include Quincy, M.E.:The Final Season on his or her list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences come December.
Whether for the work of the show’s writers, its cast members, or the overall production values presented here, Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season boasts plenty of positives. By themselves, each of the noted positives plays its own important role in the enjoyment and success of this final season of Quincy, M.E. Collectively, they make Season 8 a must have for any fan of Quincy, M.E. and any fan of classic television in general. Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season will be available on DVD next Tuesday, March 10th in stores and online for retail price of $39.97. It can be pre-ordered online now for a reduced price of $34.98 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/crime/quincy-m-e-the-final-season. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:
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