Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: Wait Till Your Father Gets Home - The Complete First Season (June 5); Solomon's Weekly Rant: ESPN

Welcome to another edition of mini-DVD reviews and our inaugural edition of Solomon's Weekly Rant. This week we take a look at Warner Home Video's Wait Till Your Father Gets Home - The Complete First Season. Wait Till Your Father Gets Home is the first-run syndicated animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera that ran from 1972-1974. It featured the voices of sitcom actors Tom Bosley (Happy Days), Kristina Holland (The Courtship of Eddie's Father) and Willie Aames (Charles in Charge). This 4-disc set contains all 24 episodes from the first season and several special features. See my mini-DVD review of Wait Till Your Father - The Complete First Season:

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home - The Complete First Season

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home - The Complete First Season (Warner Home Video, $44.98)

Confronting the Era's Issues - One Laugh at a Time

The Age of Aquarius dawned. Harry Boyle forgot to set his alarm. From the era of the live-action All in the Family comes the animated generation-gap comedy Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. Tom Bosley provides the voice of Harry, an affable, 40-something Everyman and suburban father of three whose daily routine is anything but when he faces the burning questions of the make-love-not-war era. Women's lib, civil rights, hippies, sexuality, communes, music and the Cold War are some of the hot-button petals in the series' flower-powered laughfest. They're all part of Harry's world, where a man's home is his hassle. In Season One, the Boyles (Harry, Irma and kids Chet, Alice and Jamie) have adventures Andy Hardy's family never dreamed of. Like the time Alice joins the commune. Or when Irma makes the astounding decision to get a job. Or the day Harry is mugged and his kids are overcome with sympathy.

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home premiered in first-run syndication in the fall of 1972. It had first appeared as an one-time segment on Love, American Style called "Love and the Old-Fashioned-Father" on February 11, 1972. Lending their voices to the series were Tom Bosley as Harry Boyle, Joan Gerber as Irma Boyle, Kristina Holland as Alice Boyle, David Hayward as Chet Boyle, Jackie Haley as Jamie Boyle (episodes 1-11), Willie Aames as Jamie Boyle (episodes 12-48) and Jack Burns as Ralph. The second season featured celebrities including Don Knotts, Phyllis Diller, Don Adams, Rich Little, Jonathan Winters and Monty Hall. A total of 48 episodes (plus the pilot) were produced over two seasons.

The cover art features a cast photo of the Boyle family. The show logo is at the top of the box. A wood panel type background is used. On the back of the box, there is an additional cast photo and four other photos from the episodes. A synopsis of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD specs are given. The main Digipak slides out from the right of the box. It features the same cast photo as the cover art. The episode titles are listd by disc on the inside panels. An orange and flower background is used. It would have been nice to have some type of episode guide included. The discs feature a different character and colored background on each one. Disc 1 has episodes 1-6, Disc 2 has 7-12. Disc 3 has 13-18. Disc 4 has 19-24.

The main menus feature a photo of the cast in a circle. There is a wood panel background, so the photo looks like a picture that you would hang on the wall. The catchy opening theme song is played in the background. There are options for Play (Play All) and Episodes on each main menu. When you select Episodes, it takes you to a sub-menu where there are different photos of the characters. Unfortunately, there are no chapter stops available within the episodes. You can't use the "next" button on the remote either. You can only fast forward through the episodes.

For being over 30 years old, these episodes look quite good. They probably have been remastered for the best picture quality possible. The colors are generally bright and vibrant. There is some dirt and debris present, but it's not overwhelming. I did notice that one episode (#15 "The Prowler") looked to have a picture that was much darker than the rest of the episodes. I'm not sure what happened there. All episodes appear to be unedited, running around 23 1/2 minutes in length. The total running time of the set is 589 minutes. The audio track is your basic Dolby Digital Mono track. The dialogue is at a good level and easy to understand. You'll notice that they used a laugh track on the episodes like a typical live-action sitcom. Closed-captioning is available on all of the episodes but not the bonus material. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is orange and black logo for A Hanna-Barbera Productions - A Division of Taft Broadcasting Company.

A couple of short but interesting and informative special features are found on the fourth disc. Animation for the Nation (10:03) features interviews with Governor Gray Davis (Ret.), cultural historian Mary F. Conrey, author Michael Mallory ("Hanna-Barbera Cartoons), pop music icon Leif Garrett and actor Gary Owens. This featurette focuses more on the 1970's in general than the show itself. There is some stock footage of various historic events. They talk about the writing of the pilot, hippies, the characters on the show, the sexual revolution, women's liberation and the neighbor on the show, Ralph. Illustrating the Times (6:34) features interviews with production designer Iwao Takamoto, Michael Mallory and character designer Marty Murphy. They talk about the general history of the show and the style of chracters. This show was done with a low budget and a lack of a lot of action. They often omitted the floors, so it would look like the characters were floating on the screen. Various storyboards and sketches of the characters are shown. This featurette was dedicated to the memory of legengendary artist Iwao Takamoto who passed away on January 8, 2007. Three trailers are available for Popeye the Sailor 1933-1938 Vol. 1, Classic Cartoons from the Vault, and Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain Vol. 3.

Wait Till Your Father isn't terribly dated, and it's fun to hear all the pop culture references of the era. It was quite a groundbreaking series. Although a bit controversial at the time, it would be considered pretty tame by today's standards. It paved the way for other primetime animated sitcoms like The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad. If you like those types of shows and All in the Family, you'll probably enjoy this series. If you have never seen the show before, you can watch it on Boomerang or AOL's In2TV Service. Warner Home Video has done a very good job with the first season release. Unfortunately, the pilot episode was on Love, American Style, so the rights for that are owned by CBS DVD/Paramount. Maybe we'll see that on a "Best of" Love, American Style set in the future. Let's hope the second and final season is released to complete the series. This set would make a nice Father's Day gift for the dad in your family.

-- Reviewed by Todd
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Wait Till Your Father Gets Home Toon Tracker Page
Wait Till Your Father Gets Home TV.com Page
Wait Till Your Father Gets Home Internet Movie Database Page
Wait Till Your Father Gets Home Wikipedia Page



As we announced yesterday, one of the most popular members of our message boards, Solomon Davis, will be getting his own spot on the blog every Saturday after the Mini-DVD Review. Now the rest of the world who don't visit the message boards can see a taste of this person who is famous for his rants! In his first weekly rant, Solomon will talk about ESPN. In the coming weeks you will see him rant about TV Land, ION, among other topics sitcom related and non-sitcom related even. Remember what he says is not the voice of SitcomsOnline, it is his own opinion. In fact for his first rant, I don't agree with 1/2 of the stuff he says, but it is still interesting to read. So anyway let's get right into his rant:

Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, June 2, 2007
"ESPN Needs an Extreme Change"
By Solomon Davis

ESPN should be renamed the Yankees Network since that team seems to be the very first story every single weekday on the 6pm SportsCenter. I'm so sick of seeing Roger Clemens stories on how he is preparing to make a return or whether or not the Yankees can still catch the Red Sox for the division.
It's freaking June 2 and ESPN is talking about baseball like there is no NBA Playoffs currently going on which makes me want to cancel this channel off my cable service. Watching ESPN makes me feel I'm living in the Philadelphia section of New York City watching the YES Network and I just can't put up with this anymore. I have no more interest in watching SportsCenter at 6pm on the weekdays since ESPN is all Yankees all the time.
ESPN also needs to remove that annoying sports ticker at the bottom of the screen during regular programming. Sometimes I decide not to watch a baseball game until the 4th or 5th inning but find trouble watching other programming because ESPN feels the need to update you on all the baseball games every 5 seconds instead of twice an hour (at :28 and :58). What is going to change in a baseball game from 7:35pm to 7:38pm? I mean the constant updates of what's going on in the baseball world is ridiculous and the dumbest creation the network has ever come up with. What happened to the days when sports networks updated you on games when something actually happened instead of letting you know, "NOTHING HAS CHANGED" in a current baseball game. Maybe we should start calling it the ESPN "Nothing Has Changed" Sports Ticker.
Finally, I stumbled across the very disturbing NBA Finals News in the June 4th Edition of ESPN Magazine. Can you believe that ABC/ESPN is deciding to have Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy call the NBA Finals instead of Hubie Brown and Mike Tirico?? So they are letting The Three Stooges call the Championship round? Mike "Dull" Breen, Mark "Barbershop Voice Tone" Jackson and Jeff "Depressed Looking" Van Gundy? I'm really looking forward to hearing these clowns on June 7 so they can make the game sound so exciting. I feel so fortunate to have a channel like ESPN on my cable service.

Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 31

The Big Bang Theory - "The Hesitation Ramification" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Penny’s big acting break on NCIS is a bust, Leonard struggles to help her, which results in Penny asking Leonard a bold relationship question. Meanwhile, Sheldon tries to learn how to be funny and Raj tries to work on his “game” before talking to girls.

The Millers - "Walk-n-Wave" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Worried that his mother has made him feel like he’s better than other people, Nathan befriends a hopeless co-worker, Doug, who turns out to be a social outcast and more than Nathan knows how to handle. Meanwhile, Tom and Adam argue about who’s smarter and take an online test to find out. Andy Richter guest stars as Doug, Nathan’s co-worker. Roseanne Barr guest stars as Darla, Doug’s mother.

Welcome to Sweden - "Get a Job/Farthinder" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Feeling uncomfortable that he is being supported by Emma (Josephine Bornebusch), and hearing about it from from Emma’s mom Viveka (Lena Olin), Bruce (Greg Poehler) looks for work in Sweden and lands a job that doesn’t quite match with his skill set. Meanwhile, he starts to feel left out when Emma begins to make plans without him. Elsewhere, Hassan (guest star Basim Sabah Albasim) helps teach Bruce to drive, while one of Bruce’s former clients, Gene Simmons (guest starring as himself), tracks him down in an effort to clear problems he is having with the IRS.

Working the Engels - "Picture Night" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jenna (Kacey Rohl) is approached by a former client from her old firm, billionaire software genius Sam Taylor (guest star Jacob Tierney), to handle a merger on his behalf. However, it’s the worst time for such a high profile client as Ceil (Andrea Martin), has infected all the office computers with a virus. In addition, Jenna must also help Jimmy (Benjamin Arthur) calm down Sandy (Azura Skye), who has just been served divorce papers.

Married - "The Getaway" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Russ and Lina go on a romantic getaway. Jess gets in trouble for sexting her neighbor.

You're the Worst - "Keys Open Doors" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Gretchen inadvertently asks Jimmy for a key to his house.

Love That Girl - "Gullible Is as Gullible Does (TV One, 10:00PM ET/PT)
After being taken advantage of several times Jasmine attends Suckers Anonymous, a support group for the gullible. Meanwhile, when the bullying at school gets to be too much, Cordell gets a gun to take care of the bully himself. Delroy has to convince Cordell that violence is not the right answer.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 28) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, July 31

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Seinfeld) - Catch Julia on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Ron Funches (Undateable) - Ron visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse appears on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Carl (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Rob Reiner (All in the Family) - Carl and Rob are guests on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) - Aubrey is a guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. He will also be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Martin Lawrence (Partners/Martin) - Martin talks about his new FX series Partners on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • David Alan Grier (Bad Teacher/Less Than Perfect/DAG) - David appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided and Nat Faxon (Married/Ben Kate) - The stars of FX's Married are guests on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.