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.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August)

The Jeffersons - Season Eight Maude - The Complete Second Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Mike & Molly - The Complete Fifth Season Welcome Back, Kotter - The Final (Fourth) Season

08/04 - The Comeback - The Complete Series
08/04 - I Love Lucy - Ultimate Season 2 (Blu-ray)
08/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - Season Three
08/11 - The Jeffersons - Season Eight
08/11 - Maude - The Complete Second Season
08/11 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fourth Season
08/11 - The Jeff Foxworthy Show - The COmplete Series (Mill Creek)
08/18 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Fifth Season
08/18 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Final (Fourth) Season
08/25 - King of the Hill - The Complete 11th Season
08/25 - The Mindy Project - Season Three
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, August 5


The Middle - "Operation Infiltration" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Frankie accompanies Brick on a school field trip and attempts to help her socially inept son make friends with a couple of boys. Meanwhile, when Devin scolds Axl for being mean to his sister, he tries to make it look like they are the best of friends when Sue spends the weekend at his house; and while trying to thin out some of their hoarding father’s massive stockpile of junk, Mike gets a sinking feeling that he may have bullied his brother Rusty (Norm Macdonald) a bit too much as kids and turned him into the hapless man that he is today.

The Goldbergs - "Dance Party USA" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Thinking Pop’s luck can rub off on him, Adam gambles at school and loses his toys as a result. Beverly replaces them but Adam knows better. He also learns something new about Pops that allows Adam to accept his grandfather for who he is. Meanwhile, Erica dreams to dance on a popular TV dance show, but her dream quickly turns into a nightmare when Barry gives her pink eye and she’s not in a condition to be on television.

Modern Family - "Grill, Interrupted" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jay’s birthday brings everyone together and Phil is beside himself over the super cool gift he got Jay, a high-tech outdoor grill. Claire and Mitch decide they will “offer” to pay back the money Jay loaned them ages ago as their gift not really thinking he will take them up on it, and Gloria teaches Manny and Luke a lesson about drinking, while Andy gets real awkward with Haley when she brings over her new doctor boyfriend.

black-ish - "Sex, Lies and Vasectomies" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bow learns from her colleague that Dre never had the vasectomy a few years back that he was supposedly scheduled, so she decides to see if he’ll come clean and tell the truth.


Mr. Robinson - "Pilot" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Series Premiere)
After a chance encounter, musician Craig (Craig Robinson) decides take a substitute music teacher gig to win over his high-school sweetheart, Victoria (guest star Meagan Good). Things don't go exactly as planned with Victoria, but he connects with the students and colorful faculty. Inspired by Craig's real-life experiences as a music teacher, the series also stars Peri Gilpin, Ben Koldyke, Amandla Stenberg, Brandon T. Jackson, Spencer Grammer and Tim Bagley. Asif Ali, Dante Brown, Ethan Lee, Francesca Maia, Lamonica Garrett, Aidan Cullen, Alvin Cowan and Gillian Shure also guest star. Read our review.

Mr. Robinson - "Flesh for Fantasy" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When rock legend Neville Rex (guest star Gary Cole) teases Nasty Delicious with a possible record contract, Craig (Craig Robinson) invites Neville to speak to his class in hopes of sealing the deal. But when Neville shows up at school, Craig learns that Principal Taylor (Peri Gilpin) used to date him. And when she falls into her old groupie habits, the faculty is forced to take action. Meanwhile, Victoria (guest star Meagan Good) advises the other teachers on a good investment, but their spending habits get out of control.


Melissa & Joey - "Double Happiness" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Shocking news arrives just as Mel's senate campaign begins; Ryder receives his orders from the Navy.

Baby Daddy - "It's a Nice Day for a Wheeler Wedding" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Tucker learns that Bonnie's friend is trying to sabotage her wedding; Ben gives an inspiring speech.


The Jim Gaffigan Show - "In the Name of the Father" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Jim and Jeannie agree to have dinner with Daniel and his father Art to serve as buffers in their tense father/son relationship. After finishing dinner Dave joins the group for their wild night.

Impastor - "Thou Shalt Not Steal" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
To pay off another gambling loss, Buddy steals a ruby necklace from a woman in a coffin. Dora and Alexa have a falling out over a church fashion show and Schmidt becomes smitten with a mystery woman.


Born Again Virgin - "No New Friends" / "Go Hard or Go Home" (TV One, 10:00PM ET/PT) (Series Premiere)
"No New Friends" - Jenna looks for support and joins a Modern Day Virgin group; Tara tests her acting skills; Kelly learns to get along with a new employee.

"Go Hard or Go Home" - Kelly lands a big client for the firm; Jenna's works on her blog; Tara tries to create her own reality show.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 3) (All times ET unless noted)

Wednesday, August 5

  • Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) - Watch Jason on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Adam Pally (The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) - Adam appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent/Arrested Development/The Larry Sanders Show) - Jeffrey visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Louis C.K. (Louie) - Louis stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Jim is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/CafĂ© Americain/One Day at a Time) - Valerie stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Nick talks about discovered at 6-years-old, the craziest thing a fan has ever done and what feature he finds most attractive in the opposite sex on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • John O'Hurley (Seinfeld/The Mullets) - John talks about playing the infamous Mr. Peterman character, turning 60, fatherhood and more on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (The Soul Man/Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jordan Hinson (Kevin from Work) - Jordan gives a peek at her new series Kevin from Work on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Dania Ramirez (Entourage) - Dania appears on a repeat of Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Craig Robinson (Mr. Robinson/The Office) - Craig talks about Mr. Robinson on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET..
  • Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show) - Jerrod talks about The Carmichael Show on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Ed Helms (The Office) - Ed is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Peri Gilpin (Mr. Robinson/Frasier) - Peri appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.