Saturday, November 29, 2008
Perry Mason: The Third Season, Volume 2 (CBS DVD, $49.99) presents the final 14 episodes of the third season of the classic courtroom drama on a four-disc DVD set. Mason is the attorney that everybody defendant calls upon when they are innocent, but find that proving their innocence will be virtually impossible. But nothing is too difficult for Mason, and he can take on (and win) even the toughest cases, particularly those accused of murder and theft. Can he win them all? When you know the law like Perry Mason does, you most certainly can!
Virtually all of the episodes (all but one) in this set are about murder cases, as this was a common crime that was frequently part of the series. In "The Case of the Prudent Prosecutor," Hamilton Burger's friend is accused of murder, so who will take the case? Mason, of course! In "The Case of the Gallant Grafter," a man is accused of embezzling money from his company, but that isn't his only problem when his accountant turns up dead. A novelist may have been a murderer in "The Case of the Mythical Monkeys," but her assistant is the one that is on trial. A cigarette girl is threatened by gamblers in "The Case of the Singing Skirt," but where will she go when she is accused of murdering the wife of one of the gamblers that she loves? In "The Case of the Madcap Modiste," a dress designer makes a fool of her husband on national TV, but when she is suddenly poisoned, who will defend the fool that is accused of poisoning her? In "The Case of the Ominous Outcast," a man shows up in a small town and looks exactly like a bank robber--and goes down for his appearance Who will defend him?
The packaging is the standard CBS DVD packaging that we have all become accustomed to by now, with a standard DVD case. Inside the case, you'll find the four discs, each of which has no artwork other than the series logo on a gray background. Episode titles, descriptions, and airdates can be found inside the case. The menus on the set are very basic, with the main menu presenting just a list of all of the episodes and a Play All option.
As has been the case with all of these Perry Mason sets, the video and audio quality seem to be impressive, particularly considering the age of the series. There are minor issues here and there, but generally speaking, we have a crystal clear picture and loud and clear audio. It is always great to see that this is done right. Closed-captioning can be found on all of the episodes for those that need it. Also, just as in Season 3, Volume 1, some of the sponsorship logos are left intact on the closing credits, which is very nice to see. These can be found on roughly half of the episodes. There is one MINOR area of concern about this set, though. This set has finally succumbed to having the standard CBS DVD disclaimer about episodes potentially being edited and having changed music. The good news, though, is that I couldn't find any obvious edits or changes, but the bad news is that saying that doesn't necessarily mean much, as I have no clue what every single line of dialog should be or what music should be in each episode. I would imagine that edits, if any, could not be too severe, as these older series very rarely made use of copyrighted materials. On the bright side, each episode comes in at either 51:20 or 52:40 (usually 52:40 for the ones that contain the sponsorship logos in the closing credits).
Unfortunately, special features are once again not to be found on this set. For a series this popular, you would think that they would load the set with special features, but that wasn't meant to be. Of course, fans can always turn to the 50th Anniversary collection for some nice bonus features.
All in all, it can be said that this is a great set of episodes, although if CBS DVD insists on continuing to do half seasons of the series, they really need to beef up on special features! These sets carry a hefty price tag, and at MSRP, it would cost fans at least $900 to own every single release of the series, assuming each one is released as a half season. The worst part is that a lot of this money is probably padding the pockets of the DVD producers, as I would imagine that there aren't quite as many people making money off of this series as there are many other series. Fans of Perry Mason, or even fans of any courtroom drama, are certain to love and appreciate these episodes. They'll definitely want to add this DVD to their collection.
-- Reviewed by skees53
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Monday, December 5
- Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Watch Will on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Steve visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Gael García Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle) - Gael is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Steve appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- The Cast of Fuller House - The cast of Fuller House are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia stops by Harry, so check your local listings.
- Miss Piggy (The Muppets) - Miss Piggy and Harry perform Deck the Halls on Harry, so check your local listings.
- Meredith Hagner (Search Party/Men at Work) - Meredith is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
- Lauren Graham (The Odd Couple/Conrad Bloom/Townies) - Lauren appears on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - T.J. talks about Office Christmas Party on the AOL Build Show at 3pm. He will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 9:50am.
- Bradley Whitford (Happyish/Trophy Wife) - Bradley is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Josh McDermitt (Retired at 35) - Josh can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 10:45am.
- Erinn Hayes (Kevin Can Wait/Guys with Kids/Worst Week) - Erinn talks about Kevin Can Wait on the AOL Build Show at 4pm.