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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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 (April/May/June)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, June 25

Bob's Burgers - "Thelma & Louise Except Thelma Is Linda" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Louise gets in trouble at school, Linda is forced to meet with Mr. Frond (guest voice David Herman) and potentially could lose her hard-earned position as the Wagstaff bake sale leader. When she finds out that her daughter was actually trying to help another student, Linda is torn between following school policy or her own moral code. Don’t miss a dose of mother-daughter drama.

The Last Man on Earth - "If You're Happy and You Know It" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Carol is bummed about Gail’s absence, so Tandy tries to cheer her up with the honeymoon vacation they never had. Meanwhile, Lewis finds new success with his pursuits in aviation and Melissa is contained.

The Simpsons - "Caper Chase" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Disappointed in Yale, Mr. Burns decides to start his own for-profit university and Homer is hired.

Family Guy - "Gronkowsbees" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Rob Gronkowski, of the New England Patriots, moves into the house behind the Griffins, and the guys enjoy partying with him until his antics become overwhelming. Meanwhile, Stewie begins beekeeping and gives his bees steroids to produce more honey, but instead they become aggressive.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 19)

Friday, June 23

  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Watch Kevin on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ali Wentworth (Nightcap) - Ali is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • John Mulaney (Mulaney) - John appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Laura Prepon (Are You There, Chelsea?/That '70s Show) - Laura appears on a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael plays Pyramid on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Zoe Perry and Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon) - Zoe and Iain talk about their upcoming CBS sitcom Young Sheldon on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Melora Hardin (The Office/Wedding Band) - Melora talks about Freeform's The Bold Type on the AOL Build Show at 1pm and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso guest co-hosts Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Maggie Lawson (Angel from Hell/Back in the Game/Crumbs/It's All Relative/Inside Schwartz) - Maggie talks about Hallmark Channel's original movie My Favorite Wedding on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Rhys Darby (Wrecked/Flight of the Conchords) - Rhys talks about Wrecked on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Damon Wayans, Jr. (New Girl/Happy Endings) - Damon will be on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:50am.