Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: The Bronx is Burning: World Championship Limited Edition; Solomon's Weekly Rant: Drew Carey Show, Celebrity Apprentice, Bryant Gumbel

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up of course is the mini-DVD review. This week we take a look at ESPN Home Entertainment's The Bronx is Burning. Yes, we did a review on this a few months ago, but now just in time for the holidays ESPN is releasing a World Championship Limited Edition set that has two extra discs filled with extras! The Bronx is Burning is the eight episode mini-series that aired on ESPN this summer focusing on the 1977 season of the Yankees and what was going on at that time that summer. This show is well acted and got better with each episode. See my mini-DVD review of The Bronx is Burning:

The Bronx is Burning: World Championship Limited Edition (ESPN, $59.95) brings the mini-series on DVD once again, but with more extras and cool stuff! Bronx is Burning in a nutshell...New York City was in a crisis that summer of '77, they were paralyzed by a blackout, political strife, and the Son of Sam killing spree, so the Big Apple was burning. Rising out of this, came the New York Yankees...they signed Reggie Jackson and the trouble and turmoil started, but in the end they won a world championship. This is a true story of how the New York Yankees single-handedly helped to raise the spirits of a city in a time of darkness and uncertainty. Based on the best-selling novel by Jonathan Mahler, this historic 8-part dramatic mini-series captures the summer of 1977 like never before. John Turturro stars as Yankees Manager Billy Martin, Oliver Platt as demanding owner of the Yankees George Steinbrenner, and Daniel Sanjata plays the slugger Reggie Jackson.
This set is nearly the same as original set that came out in September, except for the huge box, two discs worth of extras, 1977 championship photo, and a 1977 championship cap! So we won't cover anything that was covered before, so please refer to our past review for our review on the first three discs and the original packaging.
Packaging on this limited edition set has a huge outer box that holds the digipak case and the cap inside. In the original packaging we had an outer box but it was thin and similar to the case...and the case a snap case rather than digipak. The 1977 cap inside the box is very cool...it has the Yankee logo with 1977 Champions in red. Also the ESPN logo is on one of the sides. When we open the digipak, we see an insert for other ESPN products and also a very thin 1977 World Series Championship photo of the Yankee team. It isn't really anything major and it like a piece of paper, rather than a high quality photograph. Oh well, better than nothing. As for the digipak, it has three sections...the first section all the way on the left holds disc one, discs two & three are in the middle section, and discs four & five are on the right section. Same artwork for the first three discs are used from the original set...same contents of course, too. Discs four and five are new and both have artwork of pinstripes and a white color scheme.
I will only talk about discs four and five. The menu screen design and navigation is the same as the first three discs, which is very high class and cool. Now if you all remember, on the original set we already had a lot of extras...now we get two full discs more of them!
On disc four we have something sports fans will love...actual highlights and a game from the past. We get highlights for each game of the 1977 World Series. All 6 games feature long highlights from the original ABC broadcast featuring Keith Jackson, Howard Cossell, and Tom Seaver. In addition, we get to relive the entire original game 6 broadcast from ABC which the Yankees clinched the 1977 championship as Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs! 2 great hours worth of a classic game!
Finally, on disc five we get more interviews and back stories. First up is "The Bronx is Burning Anecdotes," these are 38:47 worth of interviews from the actual people from that era. ESPN interviewed stars like Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Lou Piniella, Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles, Fran Healy and more! These are in like 33 short interview clips each last like 1-2 minutes each. Next up we have classic news features titled, "Archival News Features." The first one is about Reggie Jackson Signing with the Yankees...that runs 1:35. The next one is about the Reggie Jackson Handshake Controversy...that runs 2:56. The final one is a sad one, the Therman Munson Tragedy...that runs 10:42. The final piece of extras are under the "More Stories of '77" title. We had some of these on disc three, but now we get more! The stories features are: Mr. October (6:25), Son of Sam (15:37), The Mayoral Race (6:56), and The Blackout (6:12).
I highly recommend this mini-series and DVD. If you have the original set, then you might want to get this one, too...for the extras and cap. If you're a Yankee fan, then this is a must, otherwise you can just keep the original set. If you have not bought the original set, then try and get this one, as it has more goodies. The Yankees overcame a lot in '77 and so did the city of New York. While this is entertaining, it was also a true story. I urge you all to watch this, especially if you are a fan of sports. Reg-gie! Reg-gie! Reg-gie!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
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Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, December 29, 2007
"Special Treatment for Drew Carey on ION; Celebrity Apprentice?; Terrible Bryant Gumbel"
By Solomon Davis

The Drew Carey Show has been added to ION Television for 2008 and for some reason it will get very special treatment on December 31. It will get treatment that other shows like Alice and Who's the Boss? never received which is confusing because I thought all shows added to the schedule would get the same treatment. Instead, ION will air a marathon of The Drew Carey Show on New Year's Eve and they never did this in 2007 for Alice or Who's the Boss. So I guess those programmers at ION are HUGE fans of The Drew Carey Show. But it is really not surprising at all that the "Incredibly Odd Network" would end the year of 2007 on such an "odd note."

NBC has completely destroyed The Apprentice this season with this new celebrity crap. Why change it into a Celebrity Apprentice when the appeal of the show was seeing young professionals working hard to get hired by Mr. Trump? So what will be the fun part of The Apprentice now since it's all celebrities? If Trump fires a celebrity it won't be the same because that person will still be famous. So what is NBC trying to accomplish with this stupid idea? I will tell you that the one thing they accomplished was losing me as a fan because I no longer have the desire to watch this new garbage NBC has thrown together. NBC has put the nail on the coffin for this series. The show would have just been better off in the same pile with the other 2007 TV show failures.

Bryant Gumbel's style of play-by-play announcing on the NFL Network sounds like he is reading from a script. He is extra dry, dull, and doesn't have a excitable bone in his body. He should only be allowed to do play by play if PBS started airing NFL games next season. I am going to barf tonight when he announces the Patriots/Giants game, in which the Pats will go for the 16-0 record. Please Gumbel go back to morning TV shows like The Early Show and leave sports announcing to the real professionals...even your brother Greg Gumbel is better.

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 (October/November/December)

2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Hot in Cleveland - Season Five Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show - The Complete Series
Family Ties - The Complete Series Happy Days - The Sixth Season The Jeffersons - The Complete Series Mister Ed - The Complete Series Mork & Mindy - The Complete Series

10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/04 - The Exes - Seasons 1 & 2
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/06 - Kenan & Kel - The Best of Seasons 3 & 4
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dharma & Greg - The Complete Season 2
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Broad City - Season 1
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/02 - The Simpsons - The Seventeenth Season (Blu-ray)
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - Family Guy - Volume 13
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, December 18

The Big Bang Theory - "The First Pitch Insuffiency" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Wolowitz is nervous after NASA asks him to throw out the first pitch at a Los Angeles Angels game. Meanwhile, Leonard and Penny try to prove Sheldon wrong after he says that he and Amy are a “superior couple.">

Mom - "Free Therapy and a Dead Lady's Yard Sale" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Family secrets come out when Christy and Bonnie are asked to join Violet's therapy session.

Two and a Half Men - "Clockwise in Back Hole Until Tight" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
alden and Alan are determined to convince Louis that Santa Claus is real.

The McCarthys - "Red Sox Swap" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Pam, the McCarthys’ upstairs tenant, is heartbroken over a recent breakup, Marjorie invites her to celebrate Christmas with the family and watch them play their extremely competitive annual gift exchange game. Alyson Hannigan guest stars as Pam, the upstairs tenant; Gilles Marini guest stars as Maurice, Ronny’s date.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 15) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, December 18

  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Catch Nick on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Christine Baranski (Cybill/Welcome to New York) - Christine is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim drops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Rosie O'Donnell (Gimme a Break!) - Rosie appears on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Chris Rock (Everybody Hates Chris) - Chris visits Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm. Charlie Rose interviews Chris on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Margaret Cho (All-American Girl) - Margaret is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew will be on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • John C. McGinley (Ground Floor/Scrubs) - John stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rockmond Dunbar (The Game/Girlfriends) - Rockmond is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Pauly Shore (Pauly) - Pauly stops by SportsNation at 3pm on ESPN2.
  • Willie Garson (Sex and the City/Mr. Belvedere) - Willie discusses what to expect in the final season of White Collar on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie talks about Annie on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Jennifer's new breakout role of playing a character battling chronic pain who is addicted to prescription painkillers will be featured on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri talks about Top Five and her Gotham Comedy Club appearance on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.