Judge Patrick Naugle often travels the highway to heaven.
Our reviews of Touched By An Angel: The Complete First Season (published February 23rd, 2005), Touched By An Angel: The Complete Second Season (published July 20th, 2005), Touched By An Angel: The Third Season, Volume 1 (published March 15th, 2006), Touched by an Angel: The Complete Seventh Season (published May 19th, 2013), Touched by an Angel: The Eighth Season (published August 11th, 2013), and Touched by an Angel: The Sixth Season (published December 9th, 2012) are also available.
From God's lips to your television!
Those rascally angelic ladies of the Lord are up to a lot of good in the final season of Touched by an Angel! Angelic caseworkers Monica (Roma Downey, The Bible) and Tess (Della Reese, Harlem Nights) continue to do Heaven's bidding by helping those who are less fortunate or struggling with life's roughest problems. Along the way they are helped by the Andrew the Angel of Death (the late John Dye) and a semi-new recruit, the lovely Gloria (Valerie Bertinelli, Hot in Cleveland). From a young couple struggling with facial disfigurement to a callous funeral director, the angels are on a quest to help give hope to the hopeless and faith to those who doubt. Amen.
Here we are: the final season of Touched by An Angel, a show that lasted almost an entire decade and gave people faith, love, and a reason to believe that you too can be saved by the power of a hot Irish lady with wings. Yeah, it was that kind of show. Families could feel good about watching the adventures of Tess and Monica with their children, and if you made it through all nine seasons of the show, you were automatically admitted into heaven (just kidding…maybe). If Billy Graham has a favorite TV show, I'll be shocked and appalled if it isn't Touched by an Angel.
Season Nine features more good-natured shenanigans from Tess and Monica, as well as Andrew (AKA The Angel of Death) and the new kid on the block, cute-as-a-button Gloria. If you've been watching since the first season, you know exactly what to expect: the angels are here to help out our fellow man! Sometimes they butt into people's lives with the blunt force of a sledgehammer, and other times it's with the subtlety of a snake (no, not that snake). The final season grapples with much of the same problems as previous seasons (think of the angels as the Life Alert to human's screaming, "help, my life has fallen apart and I can't get up!"). As we draw to a close, Tess and Monica find inner turmoil. Tess discovers that she has Alzheimer's disease, eventually leading to her spending much of the show inside of a nursing home.
It's hard to critique this final season of Touched by an Angel; it's not my personal cup of heavenly cocoa, but I can see why fans were drawn to the stories. There is hardly a moment that could be considered offensive, and the characters have a gentle way about them, endearing even. Since I've seen watched and reviewed the last few seasons, I'll admit to having a slight affinity for Roma Downey and Della Reese; as actors they may not collect many Emmys, but their easygoing charm and personalities work for this kind of show. TV and movie fans will also delight in a slew of familiar faces popping up in episodic cameos and supporting roles including country singer Randy Travis, Murphy Brown star Robert Pastorelli, Tootsie's Charles Durning, Mike Hammer's Stacey Keach, The Shawshank Redemption's Bob Gunton, and future Modern Family star Sarah Hyland.
Each of the 22 episodes of Touched by an Angel: The Ninth and Final Season is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfers for each season look very good with vibrant colors and dark black levels. For a standard DVD issue, I was impressed with how good these episodes looked. The soundtracks are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo in English. Each audio mix is very front heavy without much in the way of surround sounds or directional effects (save for the title theme song, sung by Della Reese). Also included on this set are English subtitles.
Like previous seasons, this one doesn't include any bonus materials.
As Touched by an Angel: The Ninth and Final Season wraps up, wouldn't you know it, Jesus and Satan put in an appearance because how could they not? It's a show about angels! Not having Christ and Beelzebub around would be like making another National Lampoon's Vacation movie without at least a cameo by Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo! The final moments of the show are clearly meant to pull on viewer's heartstrings, and I suspect if you've been a devout fan of the show you'll need a hankie or two for your blubbering face. The ending isn't revelatory or twistingly brilliant, but it does provide a solid curtain call for Tess, Monica, and the rest of the cast.
Fans of the show won't want to pass this one up.
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