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:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Matlock TV.com Page


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 19

The Big Bang Theory - "The Solo Oscillation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Sheldon kicks Amy out to work solo, she and Leonard bond during a series of science experiments. Also, Bert the geologist replaces Wolowitz in the band Footprints on the Moon, and Sheldon finds Penny a surprising source of scientific inspiration. Laurie Metcalf returns as Sheldon’s mother, Mary.

Young Sheldon - "Demons, Sunday School, and Prime Numbers" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A worried Mary sends Sheldon to Sunday school after she finds him playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends Tam and Billy. Billy Gardell guest stars as Billy Sparks’ father, Herschel.

Trial & Error: Lady, Killer - "The Suitcase" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Josh Segal and Associates get their first case, defending Lavinia Peck-Foster, the eccentric First Lady of East Peck, who was found with her husband Edgar's corpse in a suitcase in her trunk. Lavinia is surly, entitled, larger than life and, instead of hugs, her currency of connection is a face slap. On the other hand, she is wealthy so she can pay him. Winning this case could be Josh's ticket for his true goal, to be considered a "Pecker." Unfortunately, complications and bodies keep piling up and there are more questions than answers.

Trial & Error: Lady, Killer - "The Timeline" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Judge Kamiltow rules that Lavinia must stand trial for the murder of her husband, Josh and the team try to poke holes in the timeline of the case Carol Anne will present. But when a clock is determined to be the murder weapon, they are forced to seek help from two unlikely sources - the convicted murderer of Lavinia's brother and the host of a popular murder podcast called M-Town.

American Woman - "The Heat Wave" (Paramount Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie invites her co-worker Louise to join her and her friends at her pool; Diana asks for a promotion at work, as she struggles to get along with her overbearing mother.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 16)

Thursday, July 19

  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Catch Jim on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He will also be on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo, Access Live (check your local listings) and on People Now on PeopleTV at 12pm.
  • Amanda Peet (Brockmire/Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Daveed Diggs (black-ish) - Daveed visits Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) and Keegan-Michael Key (Friends from College/Playing House) - Olivia, Keegan-Michael and the cast of The Predator are guests on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Joel McHale (Community/The Great Indoors) - Joel stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. He will also be on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • David Alan Grier (The Cool Kids/The Carmichael Show/Life with Bonnie/DAG) - David visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Constance Zimmer (Entourage/Good Morning, Miami) - Constance drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Steve appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rob Riggle (Rob Riggle's Ski Academy/Golan the Insatiable/Gary Unmarried) - Rob is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Esther Povitsky (Alone Together) - Esther appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Niecy Nash (Getting On/The Soul Man/Reno 911!) - Niecy talks about Claws on People Now on PeopleTV at 12pm.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Trial & Error: Lady, Killer/Sherri/Less Than Perfect - Sherri talks about Trial & Error: Lady, Killer on Chatter on PeopleTV at 8pm.
  • Laura Benanti (The Detour/Go On/Starved) - Laura cooks with Clinton Kelly on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Trial & Error: Lady, Killer/Kristin) - Kristin talks about Trial & Error: Lady, Killer on the BUILD Series at 2pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July)

New Girl - The Complete Seventh Season Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
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