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!

Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

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.
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Thursday, April 17)

The Big Bang Theory - "The Itchy Brain Simulation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Leonard tries to keep Sheldon from overreacting when a past mistake comes to light, but Sheldon punishes Leonard by making him walk a mile in his shoes. Meanwhile, Penny confronts Raj’s ex-girlfriend, Lucy.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Scavenger Vortex" (CBS, 8:30PM T/PT) (Repeat)
When the entire gang competes in a scavenger hunt designed by Raj, it brings out the best – and worst – in everyone.

The Crazy Ones - "The Monster" / "The Lighthouse" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
"The Monster" - Simon and the team try an out-of-the-box idea in order to save a library from being shut down, and Gordon literally becomes the unwilling poster boy for the campaign. Brad Garrett returns as Gordon Lewis, Gayle King guest stars as herself and Melody Thomas Scott guest stars as Flora, the librarian.

"The Lighthouse" - When a corporation wants to buy out Lewis, Roberts+Roberts, Gordon calls in the board to vote, and Simon’s ex-wife and Sydney’s mom has the final say. Brad Garrett returns as Gordon Lewis and Marilu Henner guest stars as Simon’s ex-wife and Sydney’s mother.

Surviving Jack - "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
It's homecoming night, but Frankie is bummed that his crush, Heather (guest star Lili Reinhart), is promised to another date and Rachel is protesting the school's "No Grinding" policy. Meanwhile, with the kids out of the house, Jack and Joanne (Rachael Harris) are planning a passionate night to themselves.

Community - "Basic Sandwich" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
The group learns the history of Greendale’s first Dean, Russell Borchert (guest star Chris Elliott, “Eagleheart”), a reclusive, wealthy genius who disappeared amid a personal scandal in the 1970s. Once Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Hickey (Jonathan Banks) locate the school’s blueprints, Annie (Alison Brie) and Abed (Danny Pudi) lead the search for Borchert’s old computer lab, which was sealed off years ago. Subway returns to Greendale with plans to take over the campus for a Subway University and they enlist Chang (Ken Jeong) to secretly keep tabs on the study group. Meanwhile, Jeff (Joel McHale) and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) make a grown-up decision about their futures.

Parks and Recreation - "One in 8,000" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) run a charity auction to raise funds for the unity concert. April (Aubrey Plaza) steps in to manage Andy’s (Chris Pratt) schedule, while Donna (Retta) asks Ron (Nick Offerman) for help with her ex-boyfriend (Special Guest Star KEEGAN MICHAEL-KEY).

Sirens - "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Hank fears spiders; Brian encounters his suicidal doppelganger; Johnny gets payback.

Saint George - "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (FX, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Hit Me with Your Best Shot - George kicks Alma out of his house and discovers he misses fighting with her.

Anger Management - "Charlie Catches Jordan in the Act" (FX, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Charlie goes ballistic when a drunk Jordan makes out with a prisoner.

Instant Mom
- "Buy Any Jeans Necessary" (Nick at Nite, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After Gabby is held for shoplifting for returning a pair of jeans with the sensor still on, Stephanie and Charlie take sides. Meanwhile, James is selling their unopened wedding presents to make extra cash.

See Dad Run - "See Dad Teach Emily to Drive" (Nick at Nite, 8:30PM ET/PT)
David takes Emily out driving, but his "coaching" makes her nervous, and he insists Emily's not ready for the responsibility. Later, Janie discovers Dr. Monkey Chunks was run over in the driveway, and now everyone is a suspect.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 14) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Thursday, April 17

  • Billy Crystal (Soap) - Catch Billy on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony appears on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Brooklyn Decker (Friends with Better Lives) - Brooklyn is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Judy Greer (Mad Love/Arrested Development/Miss Guided) - Judy drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • David Duchovny (Californication) - David talks about the new season of Californication on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl) - Max speaks about the new film About Alex on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea chats on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi talks about her new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) - Edie talks about Nurse Jackie on NBC's Today between 7-9am.
  • Heather Graham (Californication) - Heather talks about Californication on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Jeremy Piven (Entourage/Ellen) - Jeremy is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil discusses his new role on Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Itch on ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
  • Jason Alexander (Seinfeld/Listen Up) - Jason is a guest on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel. She will be on Fox News Radio at 8:45am. She takes a SiriusXM Radio tour with Perri Peltz Shade 45 with SWAY, Morrning Jolt with Larry Flick, Entertainment Weekly Radio between 9:35-11:20am.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Marlo will be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York at 9:20am.
  • Ana Ortiz (A.U.S.A./Kristin) - Ana chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. She also talks about the new season of Devious Maids (premieres April 20 at 10pm on Lifetime) on Arise TV.