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"7th Heaven" 8th Season Review

By Shawn McKenzie 09/15/2003

I have tried to follow most big TV phenomenons, but one of the biggest ones out there, the WB’s “7th Heaven,” has always escaped me.  When it premiered in 1996, it didn’t appeal to me.  When it became the little show that wouldn’t go away, I gave it a shot, but it didn’t impress me.  I thought it was a little hammy and stupid.  Still, the show wouldn’t, and hasn’t, gone away.  I see fans talking about it all the time on TV sites, so I know that there is something there.  It is the highest rated show on the network, something that it continues to do without a huge amount of press.  It is also the longest running show in the network’s history.  The network was kind enough to send me an advance tape of the show’s eighth season premiere, titled “The Long Bad Summer-Part 1,” but requested that I not reveal the plot twists in it.  I will honor that request, and instead, I will examine the show and ask some questions to find out what the appeal of the Camden family is exactly.


For those of you who do watch the show, let me remind you where it left off.  I have to apologize to the hardcore fans first, because my ignorance might shine through.  I had to gather this information through fan sites and my girlfriend, who is a big fan, and gets frustrated when I make fun of the show.  Mary (Jessica Biel) has told Lucy (Beverley Mitchell) that she got married, and she wants their preacher dad Eric (Stephen Collins) to help annul it without getting mad.  Eric still doesn’t know about Mary’s marriage, nor does anyone else yet except Lucy.  Lucy took a pregnancy test, and she might be pregnant by her cop husband Kevin (George Stults.)  Simon (David Gallagher) had been dating an ice-skating hooker named Christina (Tara Lipinski), but now isn’t, and was last seen heading for a pool hall to celebrate a family event.  That family event was Ruthie’s (MacKenzie Rosman) entrance into womanhood, because she had her period.  She had hidden it from her family because she didn’t want them to make a big deal out of it like they had for Mary and Lucy (they ended up making a big deal out of it anyway.)  Eric’s assistant preacher Chandler (Jeremy London) had just dealt with his dad (Dan Lauria) dying, and was reexamining his relationship with Roxanne (Rachel Blanchard.)  The mom Annie (Catherine Hicks) I guess continued to overact and be tired, and the two twins, Sam (Lorenzo Brino) and David (Nikolas Brino), continued to be creepy.  The episode ended with Eric receiving news that a tragic event had occurred.


I think I might understand why I never got into this show.  It is like “The Brady Bunch,” only it has dramatic elements and is an hour long.  I mean the dialogue is cheesy, and the acting is so ho-hum.  Eric talks to God more in one episode than Michael Landon would in a whole season of “Highway to Heaven.”  How does Eric afford such a nice house and support all those kids on a preacher’s salary?  Does any other Camden family member have a job?  Is Kevin’s salary so bad that he and Lucy have to live in the garage above her parents’ house?  Actually, on that last question, my girlfriend explained to me that they could move, but Lucy is too close to her family.  She also said Kevin hasn’t objected.  Huh?  I love my family, but I wouldn’t want to live with them, especially if I was a newlywed.  Last time I attempted to watch this show, I think Sam and David were babies, but if this show was an outrageous nighttime soap, I bet they would be speaking in tongues today and Eric would have to perform an exorcism (that might actually be interesting...)


How was the season premiere?  It was fun for me because I got some weird pleasure out of making fun of it and driving my girlfriend crazy.  I think real fans of the show will like it (my girlfriend did.)  The show answers all the questions brought up by last season’s finale while setting up storylines for the rest of the season.

I think I will at least watch the second episode this season of “7th Heaven” because I don’t like to be left hanging (the opener is a two-parter), but overall, I’m still not sure why this show is the number one show on the WB.  The network houses my current favorite show on TV, “The Gilmore Girls” (now that “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is gone), so I know that it isn’t a network thing.  I realize that there is little on TV for families to watch together, but I’m still not sure that this show is it.  The ratings have proven me wrong though, so…on with the adventures of the Camdens!


Are you a fan of “7th Heaven?”  Do do disagree with my review of the show?  Please go to the Home Page and post your opinion on the Entertain Your Brain Message Board or Email me at shawn@entertainyourbrain.com!

Get the official “7th Heaven” scrapbook:

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Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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