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 (May)

Mad About You - The Complete Series The Jim Gaffigan Show Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season The Wonder Years - Season Five

05/03 - Mad About You - The Complete Series
05/03 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season One
05/10 - Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season
05/17 - Angie Tribeca - The Complete First Season
05/17 - The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season
05/24 - The Wonder Years - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, May 4

The Middle - "Not Mother's Day" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After enduring year after year of botched Mother’s Days, Frankie declares that the family gets to take a pass on doing anything at all for her this year. But after a man offers to buy Frankie’s groceries at the market when she discovers that she forgot her wallet – and tells her to pay the kindly gesture forward – she decides to have the family pull each other’s names out of a hat and do something nice for that person, which doesn’t go as smoothly as planned.

The Goldbergs - "Smother's Day" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Barry and Erica forget to get Beverly a Mother’s Day gift and make last minute “Mom Coupons” instead.  Beverly is understandably hurt, and decides to get revenge by cashing in every coupon they have made.  Meanwhile, Adam tries to get Murray to let him go to space camp and accuses him of being as dream crushing as Pop-Pop.

Modern Family - "Promposal" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
With Closet-Con right around the corner, Claire is on high alert and convinced there is a mole in the company. Meanwhile, Phil goes vigilante when he and Gloria confront Auntie Alice for stealing her hot sauce recipe. Jay tries to teach Joe how to do some manly handy work, and with prom coming up, Mitch helps Luke with his “promposal” while Cam helps with Manny’s, but Cam goes a little overboard, revealing that there maybe something deeper going on.

black-ish - "Super Rich Kids" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Dre has always felt his older son was never like him, but when he finally meets Junior’s cool friends, Dre is all in and happy that his son may have the opportunity for an actual social life.  Meanwhile, Bow is dealing with Ruby, Zoey, Jack and Diane not confessing to things breaking around the house and decides to handle it her own way after some judgment from Vivian.

Lopez - "George Hosts a Golf Tournament" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
George hosts a celebrity golf tournament to bolster his Vegas residency credentials in the midst of personal chaos with his AWOL daughter.

The Soul Man - "Soul Train" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
When Lolli gets kicked off a wine train, she forces Boyce to have her back, even though he knows she’s in the wrong. Stamps helps Alicia relieve her campaign stress.

Schitt's Creek - "Moira's Nudes" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Moira is worried that racy photos from her past will jeopardize the campaign; Johnny asks for financial help; Alexis gets a job.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 2)

Wednesday, May 4

  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Watch Julie on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Rob Reiner (All in the Family) - Rob is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Being Charlie on NBC's Today in the 9am hour, on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT and on the AOL Build Show at 2pm.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Bradley Whitford (Happyish/Trophy Wife) - Bradley appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tom Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) - Tom is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Ron Funches (Undateable) - Ron appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) - Tituss stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie sings for his supper and helps Rachael cook up Chicken Milanese on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • CCH Pounder (Brothers/Women in Prison) - CCH is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse talks about his Broadway show Fully Committed on People Now.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Garry Marshall (Creator of Happy Days/Laverne & Shirley/Mork & Mindy) - Garry is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.