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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DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February)

The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series Togetherness - The Complete First Season

02/16 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series
02/16 - The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series
02/16 - Girls - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
02/16 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series
02/16 - Togetherness - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, February 11

The Big Bang Theory - "The Valentine Submergence" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon and Amy host a live Valentine’s Day episode of Fun with Flags, Leonard and Penny grapple with getting older, Howard and Bernadette find a surprise in their hot tub and Raj is torn between Emily and the cute girl he met at the Comic Bookstore.

Life in Pieces - "Tattoo Valentine Guitar Pregnant" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Tyler and Clementine (Hunter King) go to a guitar store, Tyler gets uncomfortable when the attractive salesman, Ian (Josh Groban), repeatedly hits on her. Also, Tim’s tattoo artist, Lois (Kat Von D) makes a spelling error on a tattoo he got as a Valentine’s Day surprise for Heather, Matt’s plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with Colleen doesn’t go as well as he hoped, and Greg and Jen discuss whether they should have another baby.

Mom - "Cinderella and a Drunk MacGyver" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy tries to help Julian, a handsome, newly sober AA member, but her attraction to him complicates things. Meanwhile, Bonnie jumps at the chance to attend a lavish charity gala with Jill. Joe Manganiello guest stars as Julian, a handsome newcomer to AA.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Helium Insufficiency" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In the midst of a nation-wide helium shortage, Sheldon and Leonard take desperate measures to get the supplies they need. Also, Penny and Bernadette download a dating app on Amy's phone to try and find her a new man. Michael Rapaport guest stars Kenny, a black market dealer.

Baskets - "Easter in Bakersfield" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Easter in Bakersfield is not all Neil Diamond sings it to be as Baskets family drama brews over brunch.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 8)

Thursday, February 11

  • Alison Brie (Community) - Catch Alison on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC and on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jake Lacy (Better with You/The Office) - Jake appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark McKinney (Superstore) - Mark stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Brian Posehn (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Brian is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani talks about the Cooking Channel's Dinner at Tiffani's on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Fran Drescher (Happily Divorced/Living with Fran/The Nanny) - Fran talks about the American Heart Associations' Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET
  • Bryan Greenberg (How to Make It in America) - Bryan talks about his new movie Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Joe Morton (Grady) - Joe plays the guitar on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Autumn Reeser (Entourage/Complete Savages) - Autumn talks about Hallmark Channel's original movie Valentine Ever After on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) - Dakota is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A./Scrubs) - Scott appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.