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 (July/August)

Family Matters - The Complete Seventh Season Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete First Season Maude - The Complete Final (Sixth) Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Three Superstore - Season One

07/08 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/12 - Grady - The Best of Grady
07/20 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 5th Season
07/26 - Family Matters - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/26 - Where's Huddles? - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
08/02 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
08/09 - Maude - The Complete Final (Sixth) Season
08/23 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Three
08/23 - Superstore - Season One
08/23 - The Wonder Years - Complete Series (New Slipcase Version)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, August 25

The Big Bang Theory - "The Line Substitution Solution" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon hires Stuart to spend the day with Amy when he’d rather go to a movie screening. Also, Leonard’s mother, Beverly (Christine Baranski), comes to town and Penny struggles to make a connection with her.

Life in Pieces - "Prank Assistant Gum Puppy" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Feeling threatened by Jen’s very handsome new assistant, Jake (Gregg Sulkin), Greg tries to appear more masculine. Also, Heather and Tim pull a prank on Tyler’s school, Joan secretly lets Sophia chew gum even though Heather forbids it, and John takes his new puppy on a date with Colleen and her dog, Princess.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll - "Rolling in the Deep" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Someone from the band's past shows up as tension reaches an all time high.

Bunk'd - "Zuri Had a Little Lamb" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The boys find that Gladys has been hiding a secret in the woods; Lou assigns Emma and Zuri to barn duty.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 22)

Thursday, August 25

  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) - Catch Alec on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also talks about Chelsea on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and the AOL Build Show at 12pm.
  • David Krumholtz (Partners/The Trouble with Normal/Chicago Sons) - David is a guest on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Jane Lynch (Angel from Hell) - Jane appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • George Lopez (Lopez/Saint George/George Lopez) - George chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jason Ritter (Another Period/The Class) - Jason is a guest on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel guest co-hosts a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Zachary Levi (Less Than Perfect) - Zachary appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12:07am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Miriam Shor (Younger/Big Day/Inside Schwartz) - Miriam is a guest on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • John Krasinksi (The Office) - John talks about The Hollars on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/United States of Tara) - John dishes on his comedy-drama series Northern Exposure on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Reid Scott (Veep/My Boys) - Reid is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Tika Sumpter (The Game) - Tika discusses Southside with You on the AOL Build Show at 3pm and on Essence Live at 4pm.