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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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.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (May)

Mister Ed - The Final (Sixth) Season C.P.O. Sharkey - The Complete Season 1 The Nanny - The Complete Series Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Third Season The Wonder Years - Season Three

05/05 - Cheers - The Complete Series
05/12 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete Fourth Season
05/12 - The Hotwives of Orlando - The Complete First Season
05/12 - Mister Ed - The Final (Sixth) Season (Shout! Factory)
05/19 - American Dad - Volume 10
05/19 - C.P.O. Sharkey - The Complete Season 1
05/19 - The Larry Sanders Show - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Season Nine (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Season Ten (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Seasons Nine and Ten (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Seasons Nine and Ten (Mill Creek)
05/19 - NewsRadio - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Welcome to Sweden - The Complete First Season
05/26 - Hello Ladies - Season 1
05/26 - The Nanny - The Complete Series
05/26 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Third Season
05/26 - The Wonder Years - Season Three
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, May 28

The Big Bang Theory - "The Space Probe Disintegration" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Wolowitz tries to distract Raj, who is anxiously awaiting data from a space probe he helped launch. Meanwhile, Sheldon and Leonard go dress shopping with Penny and Amy.

The Odd Couple - "The Ghostwriter" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Oscar is hired to ghostwrite the autobiography of a retired baseball player, Felix offers his “help” by advising Murph to go in a different direction, making Oscar’s job more difficult.

Mom - "Figgy Pudding and the Rapture" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy convinces herself that everything is fine even though her family is basically homeless. Surprisingly, Bonnie is the one who tries to bring her back to reality.

Mike & Molly - "To Have and Withhold" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Molly has writer’s block, and she might lose her big advance if she doesn’t cure it fast.

The Comedians - "Charity" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Billy has an awkward interaction with a homeless man, while Josh goes to his crush's "charity" event.

Louie - "The Road: Part 2" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Louie continues his work on the road.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 25) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, May 28

  • Louis C.K. (Louie) - Catch Louis on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) - Peter is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Maz Jobrani (Better Off Ted/The Knights of Prosperity) - Maz appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Chris D'Elia (Undateable/Whitney) - Chris appears on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • The Cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are guests on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kevin Dillon (Entourage) and Kevin Connolly (Entourage/Unhappily Ever After) - They are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Adrian Grenier (Entourage) - Adrian talks about the new film Entourage on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and in the 10am hour. He will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 1am on BET.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on HuffPost Live at 11am..
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • David Duchovny (Californication) - David talks about Aquarius on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Raven-SymonĂ© (That's So Raven/Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/The Cosby Show) - Raven-SymonĂ© guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Simon appears on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Constance Zimmer (Good Morning, Miami) - Constance discusses reprising her role as Dana Gordon in the highly-anticipated Entourage movie, which hits theaters June 3, on HuffPost Live at 2pm.
  • The Cast of Entourage) - Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven are guests on the AOL Build Show.
  • Lori Loughlin (Full House) - Lori will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Grizz Chapman (30 Rock) - Grizz will be a guest on Essence Live.