Saturday, June 09, 2007
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
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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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The Middle - "The Christmas Tree" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Axl comes home from college for Christmas vacation but would rather spend time with his friends over family, he and Frankie must come up with a time management agreement that will satisfy both of them, Meanwhile, Sue's severe allergic reaction to the Christmas tree threatens to ruin her holiday, and after it’s discovered that Brick lied to the school about his Christmas wrapping paper sales, he finds himself running a mini Ponzi scheme in an attempt to pay back the debt.
Back in the Game - "I'll Slide Home for Christmas" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Terry tries to plan a special family Christmas, The Cannon opts to spend the holiday with his old war buddies, causing a major divide in the household. Meanwhile, Danny rallies the Angles to help him give his mom the best Christmas gift ever – The Angles first win. Elliot Gould (“MASH”) guest stars.
Modern Family - "The Old Man & the Tree" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jay takes Manny out to cut down their own Christmas tree, and Gloria is on edge with mom in town, but changes her tune when she sees her bonding with Claire. Elsewhere, Mitchell is forced to do last minute shopping when they didn’t get Lily the right gift, and Cameron takes Lily to a charity event where they experience the true meaning of Christmas. Emmy Award Winner Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) directs, and Elizabeth Peña (“La Bamba”) returns as a guest star.
Super Fun Night - "Merry Super Fun Christmas" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Richard reluctantly drives Kimmie, Marika and Helen-Alice to a remote cut-your-own Xmas tree lot upstate, but the trip over the river and through the woods goes terribly wrong when Marika gets them lost and they run out of gas… on Christmas Eve. They think they’re saved when they find a beautiful cabin miraculously stocked with a holiday feast... until the cranky old man who lives there (guest star Paul Dooley) shows up. Meanwhile, Kendall goes it alone with her frosty parents (guest stars Alan Ruck and Mo Gaffney).
Melissa & Joey - "A New Kind of Christmas" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mel's sister Meredith gets a furlough from prison and drops by to spend Christmas with Mel and the children.
Baby Daddy - "Emma's First Christmas" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Ben's quest to procure Emma the hottest toy of the Christmas season creates ill will; Tucker and Riley help Bonnie with holiday decorating.
Kirstie - "Arlo's Birthday" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Maddie is impressed with her son's karaoke abilities, and decides to make him a star.
The Exes - "True Lies" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Eden shares a secret about herself and Phil with Holly, who blabs to Stuart and Haskell, testing boundaries within the group.
Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Sleep Talking" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Angela believes Marcus is having an affair after she hears him talking about another woman in his sleep.
Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Stalked" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Joseph displays a bit of erratic behavior when he feels Leslie's life is in danger.
Wednesday, December 11
- Ken Jeong (Community) - Watch Ken on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
- Bradley Whitford (Trophy Wife) - Bradley stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
- Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown) - Candice is a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
- Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) and Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Kathy and Whitney are part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
- Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom continues to make the rounds on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Kirstie Alley (Kirstie/Veronica's Closet/Cheers) - Kirstie talks about her return to television in Kirstie on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
- Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Tune in to see Alyssa on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
- J.B. Smoove (The Millers/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - J.B. is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.