Saturday, June 13, 2009
The verdict is in for Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 1 (CBS DVD, $49.99), and the verdict is: a great DVD set! Perry Mason, of course, is the classic 1950s/1960s TV series that starred Raymond Burr as a defense attorney that would take virtually any case that you would look at and say "nobody could win that case," yet he got a victory in all but one episode. The series was one of the first prominent law dramas to ever air on TV (and the oldest one that we even recognize these days) and aired for nine seasons on CBS. This DVD set presents the first 16 episodes of the 1960-1961 season in a four disc set.
Robert Redford guest stars in "The Case of the Treacherous Toupee," where a hairpiece may help clear a suspected murderer. A woman and her new lover (her husband's nephew) get involved in an extortion scheme gone wrong in "The Case of the Ill-Fated Faker." In "The Case of The Lavender Lipstick," Perry must defend a woman that is accused of killing her boss--and she was to be the heir of his fortune. A clown discovers that his wife is a bigamist in "The Case of the Clumsy Clown," and soon after, she turns up dead. Who else can prove him not guilty?
A girl's family is lost in "The Case of the Nine Dolls," but her family being lost may be the least of her worries. In "The Case of the Loquacious Liar," a man is threatened by his stepfather, but his stepfather is the one that turns up dead. John Hoyt guest stars in "The Case of the Resolute Reformer," where a land purchase deal ends in murder. In "The Case of the Fickle Fortune," a man hires Perry after it is discovered that another man that stole a large amount of money from him has been murdered.
The packaging on the case is the typical cheap CBS DVD movie style case that we all have a love-hate relationship with. They are nice, thin, and seem to "standardize" our collections, but they also scream "cheap" at the same time. As far as disc artwork, there really isn't any aside from the standard gray CBS DVD background with the show logo on each disc. Each disc contains exactly four episodes.
The menus on the set are very, well, basic. The main menu on each disc has a picture of Perry with a listing of episodes next to him, as well as a Play All option. You can't get simpler than that. Chapters are placed in all of the appropriate places.
As the case has been with previous sets, the video and audio quality on this set is excellent. The picture is crystal clear with very little grain (you can't even notice what is there unless you are paying VERY close attention) and the video is presented in pristine black and white. The audio is perfectly fine too, being presented in glorious mono (hey, it was the early 60s) with closed-captioning available for those that require it. The episodes appear to be unedited, as each one runs at almost exactly 52 minutes. That is further backed up by the fact that the set surprisingly does not have the standard CBS DVD disclaimer about episodes being edited. How often does a CBS DVD not have that?
Sadly, despite the fact that these sets always have great video and audio quality, and are always unedited, this set once again lacks in special features. CBS DVD did release a special anniversary set about a year ago that had some very nice special features, but it would be nice to have those on the season sets too. There has to be some old footage with Raymond Burr that they could include somewhere!
CBS DVD is keeping these sets very basic, but I'm still impressed with the quality of the episodes, and the fact that (as far as I can tell) they have yet to put out any truly inferior sets. The only thing that is frustrating about these sets is the half season model. With this model, it'll take 11 more releases to get the entire series out on DVD! But it has been popular with fans everywhere, and I'm sure that fans will support any number of releases. But there is no need to take CBS DVD to trial over this, because this is a set that fans of one of America's greatest defense attorneys (let us not forget about our good friend Matlock, of course) are sure to appreciate.
-- Reviewed by skees53
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New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)
12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One / Review
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two / Review
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
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Tuesday, January 24
The Middle - "A Tough Pill to Swallow" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When a devastated Sue discovers that she has been kicked out of college because she forgot to renew her financial aid, Mike tries to come to her rescue and convince a tough college bursar to reinstate her. Meanwhile, having only taken oral liquid medication all of his life, a frustrated Frankie does everything in her power to teach Brick how to swallow a pill when he gets an ear infection; and Hutch becomes angry with Axl after he keeps driving the Winnebago without permission to Orson to visit new girlfriend April – leaving Hutch without any means of transportation to get to class.
American Housewife - "Art Show" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Anna-Kat draws a super plus-sized portrait of Katie for the school art show, Katie sets out to retrieve it by any means necessary. Meanwhile, with Katie away, Doris is left in charge of Oliver and Taylor. She’s determined to whip them into shape with her Tiger Mom skills, but she may have met her match.
Fresh Off the Boat - "Coming From America" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Louis flies the entire family to Taiwan in an effort to make things right with Gene (Ken Jeong). Upon meeting Gene’s beautiful fiancé, Margaret, and seeing the wonderful life he has built for himself, Louis questions whether his life in Orlando is just as great as it could be in Taiwan. Meanwhile, Jessica takes Eddie, Emery and Evan to her favorite childhood locales, including Dihua Street and Shilin Night Market.
The Real O'Neals - "The Real Match" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Jimmy recruits a reluctant Kenny to join his wrestling team for a one-time match, a surprise victory gives him the confidence to join the team full time to become the first, openly gay athlete at St. Barklays. Kenny’s newfound stardom makes Jimmy feel a bit replaced, but when an opponent refuses to wrestle his brother, Jimmy puts his feelings aside and rallies the team around Kenny. Meanwhile, Pat injures his back trying to help Eileen prepare for a weekend getaway, but things only get worse when she tries to be the perfect caregiver to impress VP Murray but fails miserably.
New Girl - "The Hike" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
While on a day hike, Jess and Robby (guest star Nelson Franklin) discover something unexpected about their relationship. Also, Winston throws a surprise welcome home party for Aly (guest star Nasim Pedrad). Meanwhile, Schmidt and Cece fail to impress their new neighbors.
The Mick - "The Master" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
All hell breaks loose, as the kids fight over who will take the master bedroom. Also, Mickey pursues a wealthy businessman who quickly discovers that she is not the prize he thought she was.
Teachers - "Stranger Danger" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
There’s a trespasser at Fillmore and a new security guard is hired. Ms. Snap and Ms. Bennigan hold a “Women Empowering Women” workshop, Mrs. Adler takes stranger danger too far, and Ms. Watson purchases a male safety dummy.
Tuesday, January 24
- Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Catch Retta on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
- Claudia O'Doherty (Love) - Claudia is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John talks about Patriots Day on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette visits Harry, so check your local listings.
- Jennifer Esposito (Samantha Who?/Spin City) - Jennifer appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
- Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) - Justina talks about the new Netflix series One Day at a Time on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.