Saturday, July 04, 2009

2009 4th of July TV Marathons; Blog DVD Review: Matlock - The Third Season

As America celebrates its 233rd birthday, you can celebrate by watching television marathons of course! If you are not doing anything outdoors, what better way to celebrate? Among the marathons of course is the launch of Sister, Sister on BET, as we previously mentioned. The fun starts at 9am and runs all the way to 4am! TV Land will spend the day with classic marathons of Leave it to Beaver and Andy Griffith Show before its feuds and fireworks event with Roseanne for the night capper from 8pm-6am. TV One celebrates the holiday with Martin until 8pm. The N has over a 70-hour Degrassi marathon then continues today and tomorrow. So far all of these we have already announced in the past in our news reports. Hallmark Channel will celebrate with the Love's movie franchise all day today and tomorrow they will have Little House on the Prairie. On Friday they had M*A*S*H.
Elsewhere, what 4th of July would it be without The Twilight Zone on Sci-Fi? It started yesterday and will air all-day today until 6am Sunday morning! Reality is the way to go otherwise with Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel and The Revolution on History. Movie lovers might like the James Bond movie marathon on USA Network, and the movies on ABC Family, Lifetime, FX, and TNT.
It's not as many marathons as usual since the holiday is on a Saturday this year it seems.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog programming:

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the blog DVD review! Today we take a look at CBS DVD's Matlock: The Third Season. Matlock of course is the very popular courtroom drama starring Andy Griffith that is often mentioned on The Simpsons as Grandpa Simpson's favorite show. See skees53's blog DVD review of Matlock: The Third Season:

Matlock: The Third Season (CBS DVD, $49.99) serves 20 episodes of justice to fans in a five disc DVD set. When you've been charged with a serious crime in Atlanta and you know you are innocent, you need the best. You need somebody that will play rough and dirty with the prosecutor. You need somebody that isn't afraid to go there. You need a man in a gray suit. You need Atlanta's finest, Ben Matlock (Andy Griffith).

The Third Season of Matlock is the season where we are introduced to a new neighbor and friend of Matlock, Les "Ace" Calhoun (Don Knotts). Knotts, of course, worked with Andy Griffith in the 1960s on the classic TV hit The Andy Griffith Show, and this reunion of Griffith and Knotts brings back a lot of the old chemistry that they had working together on that series. Knotts would make many appearances on the series in this recurring role for several seasons, until the series moved to ABC in the early 1990s. As for the rest of the cast, we still have Matlock's partner in his firm, Michelle Thomas (Nancy Stafford) and his private investigator, Tyler Hudson (Kene Holliday), who always seems to have to do the rough and dirty work on behalf of the law firm. Prosecutor Julie March (Julie Sommars) is there as Matlock's opponent, and although she simply can't win against the ruthless defense techniques of Ben Matlock, she isn't nearly as incompetent as the character of Hamilton Burger on the TV series Perry Mason. But Matlock is in it to win it, and you can't go wrong with him on your side.

We are introduced to Les Calhoun in the third season premiere, "The Lemon," when he buys a used car from a shady used car dealer (he buys a DeLorean, the same car used on the Back to the Future movies). But like every DeLorean, he ends up with a lemon and gets angry with the car dealer, and not long thereafter, the car dealer ends up murdered. It's Matlock to the rescue! Matlock must go to New York City to defend a British ambassador accused of murder in the two-part episode "The Ambassador." Matlock (reluctantly) agrees to take the case of a shock jock accused of murdering his competition in "The D.J." Matlock must take on a vigilante police captain in "The Captain." The entire office (sans Matlock) is being held hostage in "The Vendetta," but why are they being held hostage? And why isn't Matlock there to save the day?
Matlock has a client that is accused of a political assassination in Chicago in the two-part episode "The Mayor," but he simply can't find the evidence to acquit him. In "The Black Widow," a man is wrongly accused of murder after his wife fakes her own death, but after he serves his sentence and released she actually is murdered. Can Matlock exonerate him? The first runner-up in a beauty contest will never be called upon to fulfill her duties in "The Starlet" after she is murdered, but did the winner murder her? A psychic predicts a murder in "The Psychic," but was this truly an accurate prediction or did she have worldly knowledge?
Everything is complicated in the two-part episode "The Thief," where a coin shop owner is accused of killing one of his employees, and one of Matlock's suspects kidnaps the daughter of the female detective that he put on the case. A mentally challenged man is accused of murder in "The Thoroughbred," and Matlock has to do his best to defend him based upon his innocence. Matlock is determined to not give up on his client after being hit by a car in "The Model." In "The Cult," a man is accused of killing the cult-leader that brainwashed his son, and Tyler has to join the cult in order to do some undercover work to prove his innocence. The season ends with "The Priest," where a priest is murdered... or is he?

The set does not have any fancy packaging, which should be expected from a CBS DVD set. It is just the standard CBS DVD plastic case, containing five discs. The cover art has a very basic cast photo shot, and inside the case, we have a listing of all of the episodes, along with original airdates and brief descriptions. There are exactly four episodes on each disc. Of course, as this is a CBS DVD product, the menus are the same as every other CBS DVD set as well, with nothing more than a main menu that has a listing of all of the episodes on the disc, as well as a Play All option.

Once again, the episodes appear to be unedited, although it is important to note that the set DOES contain a disclaimer saying that some episodes may be edited from their original network versions. I did not notice anything significant. However, as was the case with the previous season, all of the episode previews have been removed from the episodes. This isn't significant, as these merely preview what is going to be on the upcoming episode, but if the producers saw it appropriate to include them on the TV broadcast, I can't understand why they should remove them on the DVD set. Still, they are not an integral part of the episode. Each episode runs around 48 minutes. Every episode is closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired. There are no special features at all on this set. It would have been nice to have seen something from the original cast, such as a cast reunion.

This set is a very basic set that isn't fancy or flashy, but then again, Matlock is a very basic series that isn't fancy or flashy. This is a great show to watch, even if it is unrealistic to think that there may actually be a defense attorney in the world that is as effective as Ben Matlock. My only hope is that future sets include something--anything really--along the lines of special features! The Second Season did include alternate endings to one episode, but other than that, we have seen nothing on these sets. This is a cult favorite (even if that cult consists of a lot of senior citizens, although the series is popular among younger people as well), and the fans want something extra on these sets! Still, it is nice to see that CBS DVD is releasing (what appears to be) unedited episodes with mostly decent video and audio quality. I will now rest my defense of this sufficient set of this excellent series and hope that you judge this DVD set the same way.

-- Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

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Related links: Full DVD Reviews Page
Matlock Page

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, October 27

The Big Bang Theory - "The Fetal Kick Catalyst" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Penny is surprised to learn she has fans of her performance in “Serial Ape-ist” when she attends Van Nuys Comic Con with Leonard. Also, Amy hosts a Sheldon-style brunch at Penny’s apartment, and Wolowitz makes an impulsive purchase when he starts stressing out about the baby on the way.

The Great Indoors - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Joel McHale stars as Jack, a renowned adventure reporter for an outdoor magazine who must adapt to the times when he becomes the new desk-bound boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of the publication.

Mom - "High-Tops and Brown Jacket" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie and Adam’s relationship is tested when he moves in with her and Christy for a few weeks. Also, Christy learns the hard way that it may be a mistake to try and meet men with Jill.

Life in Pieces - "Annulled Roommate Pill Shower" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Heather and Tim enlist Clementine’s unusual parents, Mary-Lynn (Megan Mullally) and Spencer (Nick Offerman), to help convince Clementine and Tyler to annul their unexpected marriage. Also, Tommy moves in with Colleen, to the chagrin of her roommate, Dougie (Fortune Feimster); John and Joan run into “complications” after John takes the wrong dose of his daily pill; and Jen and Greg keep a secret from the family.

Superstore - "Halloween Theft" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Dina (Lauren Ash) throws a wrench in everyone's Halloween plans when something goes missing from the store and declares that no employee can leave until someone confesses to stealing. Amy (America Ferrera) is determined to find out who is responsible because she doesn't want to miss trick-or-treating with her daughter and Mateo (Nico Santos) prepares for his secret date with Jeff (recurring guest star Michael Bunin). Meanwhile, Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) struggle to bond until they discover they have more in common than they thought. Garrett (Colton Dunn) has a difficult time defending himself during the store-wide investigation.

The Good Place - "Most Improved Player" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Michael (Ted Danson) has a private meeting with Eleanor (Kristen Bell). Meanwhile, Chidi (William Jackson Harper), who has been harboring a secret, contemplates what to do.

Better Things - "Scary Fun" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam makes a point.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Thursday, October 27

  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Catch Martin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) - Mary-Louise visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • January Jones (The Last Man on Earth) - January appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Lauren Lapkus (Clipped/Are You There, Chelsea?) - Lauren is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on Chelsea on Netflix. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm.
  • Nathan Lane (Modern Family/Charlie Lawrence/Encore! Encore!), John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) and John Slattery (Maggie) - They talk about Broadway's The Front Page on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Miley is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Eva Longoria (Telenovela) - Eva appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angelique Cabral (Life in Pieces/Enlisted) - Angelique talks about Life in Pieces on the AOL Build Show at 11am.