Saturday, June 09, 2007

Mini DVD Review: Picket Fences - Season One (June 19); Solomon's Weekly Rant: TV Land

Welcome to another edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we take a look at Fox Home Entertainment's Picket Fences: Season 1. Picket Fences of course follows the lives of the residents of the small town of Rome, Wisconsin, where weird things happen, including cows giving birth to human babies, transgender teachers, and a spate of people turning up dead in freezers. The series stars Tom Skeritt and aired from 1992-06 on CBS. See skees53's mini-DVD review of Picket Fences: Season 1:

Picket Fences: Season One (Fox, $59.98) takes you to the quaint town of Rome, Wisconsin... a small town in a Midwestern state that is calm and serene at all times. Yeah right! Rome may just be one of the most screwed up small towns in all of America, as is seen in this series. In how many other small towns will you find a hand in a jar, a police chase involving an elephant and a dwarf, drunken cows, murderous nuns, transsexual elementary school teachers (that want to play the Virgin Mary in a school play on top of that!), and a man keeping a dead wife on life support in his home? And that isn't even half of what happens in the first season of this dysfunctional town!
For those unfamiliar with the series, it stars Tom Skerritt and Kathy Baker as Jimmy and Jill Brock. Jimmy is the town sheriff and Jill is a doctor. They have two sons together, and Jimmy also has a daughter from a previous marriage. The unusual events that occur in Rome almost
never involve the Brock family directly, but in almost every case, they somehow manage to get involved in almost every case and often times on opposing sides. The series is mostly a drama, but that isn't to say that it isn't a comedy either--the series has many funny moments involving the nutty people of Rome, particularly with one of the attorneys in Rome, Douglas Wambaugh (played by Fyvush Finkel, who later played Harvey Lipschultz on Boston Public). The series was created by David E. Kelley, and those that are familiar with his television work (which includes many popular television series, including the current series Boston Legal) know that to him, a drama always has comedic moments.
The presentation of the episodes is generally pretty good, with all episodes appearing to be unedited and having great audio and video quality, but the set becomes really disappointing on the special features front. Basically, there is a featurette called "All Roads Lead to Rome," which sounds promising as it is advertised to be an all-new featurette featuring interviews from the cast and crew members. And the best part is that they DID get many of the living cast and crew members to participate in this featurette. But the featurette is only 10 minutes long and didn't get into too many specifics! It would have been better if the DVD producers had just skipped this featurette and done commentaries, as those probably would have provided more insight into the series. Still, this is a great show, and for those that may have been so unfortunate as to miss this when it aired on CBS or in syndication, you'll definitely want to consider this set, particularly if you are a fan of David E. Kelley's unique style of comedic drama.
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4.5/5 stars)

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Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, June 9, 2007
"TV Land Taking the 'C' Out of Classic TV"
By Solomon Davis

This week I want to rant about the once great cable channel, TV Land, which has in the past five years turned into the Diverse TV Network since we are given all types of TV programs. First, this channel made viewers appreciate classic television. Now..."DTVN" is adding anything but classic TV to their programming schedule. Instead we are given wonderful Friday Night Movies that makes me want to run home from work every week and be home by 9PM. Doesn't DTVN know that we can turn to channels like HBO or Cinemax if we are in a movie watching mood? I have never seen Cinemax air I Love Lucy and do you know why? Because it's a MOVIE CHANNEL not a network figuring out its identity in the cable world. So is DTVN thinking of competing with Cinemax for the best movies on Friday nights? Which makes me wonder if there was another network that aired classic TV would DTVN compete with that network by adding more Classic TV shows? Guess we will never know.
DTVN has also made another groundbreaking decision for its viewers by picking up Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which will air Tuesdays at 11PM starting in August and now we can watch someone's house be made over and over until our eyeballs fall out of our head. I think this network needs an 'Extreme Makeover: The Cable Edition.' And expect more surprises in the upcoming months which will disappoint 80% of the viewing public since DTVN loves taking the C out of Classic TV. In 2008 we probably will be treated to Sunday Night Game Shows like Deal or No Deal or Saturday Morning Cartoons like Pokemon, why should this network stop now? Just give all kinds of programming and make us forget classic TV ever existed. It makes me so giddy to wait for DTVN's
next big programming decision because I know whatever it is, it will make me almost break down my front door so DTVN can be the first channel I turn to as soon as I get in from work!

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New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, September 1


Fresh Off the Boat - "Home Sweet Home-School" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Louis and Jessica clash over how to raise the kids and how to run the restaurant. When the boys get straight A’s in school, Jessica decides that their school must be too easy and takes it upon herself to give them more homework and tutor them after class. She takes the same strict approach at the restaurant (no extra croutons for anyone!), so it’s up to Louis to get her to lighten up on everyone.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Fajita Man" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Eddie is so desperate for a new video game named after his idol, Shaq, he goes to work at the restaurant. He expects special treatment since he’s the boss’s son, but is in for a surprise when Louis is determined to make him work hard for the money. Meanwhile, Jessica decides to look for a job of her own.

Fresh Off the Boat - "License to Sell" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jessica puts off taking the exam for her real estate license because she fears she isn’t good enough to compete with Orlando’s top realtor. Eddie looks to Louis for advice on how to win over older girl Nicole (guest star Luna Blaise), but puts his own spin on his dad’s suggestions.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Success Perm" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Family rivalry spirals out of control when Jessica’s sister, Connie, and her far more affluent husband come to visit. The Huangs try to convince everyone they’re doing great financially, when nothing could be further from the truth. Meanwhile, Eddie is excited to be reunited with his cousin Justin, who introduced him to hip hop, until he learns the kid has moved on to grunge.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Mole" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
There’s a mole in the precinct and Holt and Jake need to find out who it is before Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch (guest star Kyra Sedgwick) gets wind of it. Meanwhile, Terry and Rosa visit a “silent” disco to uncover new leads for their new drug task force.

The Last Man on Earth - "She Drives Me Crazy" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Phil is flabbergasted as Todd and Melissa’s relationship continues to develop right in front of him.


Playing House - "Kimmewah Kup" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Maggie and Emma's girls weekend is interrupted by an unexpected visitor; the women battle their old nemeses.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 31) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, September 1

  • Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/30 Rock) - Catch Tituss on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Steve Byrne (Sullivan & Son) - Steve is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tyler Labine (Animal Practice/Mad Love/Sons of Tucson) - Tyler will be on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ming-Na Wen (The Single Guy) - Ming-Na Wen appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo is a guest on People Chatter.
  • Lake Bell (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp/How to Make It in America) - Lake is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Tate Donovan (Partners) - Tate is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Ashley Tisdale (Clipped/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) - Ashley joins the Chew Crew on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa will be on KTLA Morning News on KTLA in Los Angeles in the 9am hour.