Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Perry Mason - Season 4, Volume 2 (12/8)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the blog DVD review! Today we take a look at CBS DVD's Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 2. Perry Mason of course is the very popular law series. The series stars the great Raymond Burr. See skees53's blog DVD review of Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 1:

The verdict is in for Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 2 (CBS DVD, $39.98) puts a true meaning into the phrase "innocent until proven guilty," as defense attorney Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) successfully takes on twelve more cases and proves that those who appear to be guilty and headed for a life in prison (or worse) are in fact not guilty of the serious crimes that they are accused of committing. The defendants appear to have no hope of proving their innocence, but for the right price, Perry Mason can take on the woefully incompetent district attorney, Hamilton Burger (William Talman), and prove any defendant to be not guilty. It is classic courtroom drama that has an all-too-predictable ending for each and every episode.

Season 4, Volume 2 brings the final twelve episodes of the fourth season together in a three-disc set, beginning with the February 18, 1961 episode, "The Case of the Wintry Wife," where a woman maliciously destroys an invention that could make her husband millions, then mysteriously ends up dead. And you know who the top suspect is going to be. In "The Case of the Angry Dead Man," a man almost dies, but later realizes how lucrative the life insurance payout would be if he really does die. In an ironic twist of fate, he really DOES die, so who will be suspect number one? A jewel thief goes horribly wrong when the perfectly planned scheme ends with the thief getting murdered himself in "The Case of the Blind Man's Bluff." A contractor is furious when he finds he has been swindled in "The Case of the Difficult Detour," and when the man who cheated him ends up dead, the contractor finds he has one big problem: he had a motive. In "The Case of the Cowardly Lion," some bizarre happenings at the San Diego Zoo may just help Perry defend a client.

In "The Case of the Violent Vest," a man is killed after paying off his wife's debts when he agrees to do so in order to leave town with a more attractive woman, and the circumstances of the murder are definitely a little bizarre. Perry has to prove that he has what it takes to defend an old war buddy in a court-martial proceeding at an Air Force base in "The Case of the Misguided Missile." A daughter fleeing the scene where her own father was murdered makes the daughter a prime suspect, as we learn in "The Case of the Duplicate Daughter." A man gets involved in the affairs of a female in "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather," and it proves to be a bad choice when he is accused of murdering her estranged husband. The season ends with "The Case of the Guilty Clients," where a pilot in a test aircraft dies and it just so happens to be that the ex-wife of the designer of the aircraft is also the new girlfriend of the pilot. It sounds like we have a suspect.

The set is packaged in a standard DVD case much like every other CBS DVD releases, and really does not add much to be excited about. It is just too standard and basic. The front of the case has a picture of Perry Mason on an orange background with several color courtroom photos at the top of the cover. Inside, there is a listing of all of the episodes, and a listing of where each episode can be found on each disc. There is a brief synopsis as well as the original airdate for each episode. There are three discs in the set, all having the basic gray CBS DVD artwork (with the series logo on each disc), and each disc contains exactly four episodes. The menus, similarly, are rather dull and much like other CBS DVD releases, simply listing each episode and giving a Play All option. Each episode contains chapters at all of the appropriate places.

The video and audio quality on the set is, to say the least, superb. I have never found any problems at all regarding video and audio on any of these sets, and it really goes to show that a series can be very well preserved nearly fifty years after originally airing. The picture is a clean, crisp black-and-white picture with very minimal grain and debris, and the mono audio is very loud and clear. Each episode is closed-captioned. The episodes are all unedited, running at 52 minutes each, and the set doesn't even have the standard CBS DVD disclaimer warning of potentially edited episodes. That is very nice to not have glaring at you on the packaging. Unfortunately, there are no special features on the set.

It is difficult to complain about these sets, with the great video and audio quality, but it really would be nice to see some special features and a move to full season releases. I think that is the only real issue that I even have with the set. It is clear that fans are really enjoying this series, as this is the eighth release of the series (ninth if you include the special 50th anniversary release) on DVD, and it appears that CBS DVD will continue with the series. But with a series with a fan base like this, CBS DVD really should give fans more to appreciate on DVD. Still, I think the verdict on this set is pretty clear, and it didn't even need the services of the Honorable Mr. Mason to prove it: not guilty!

-- Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
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Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, December 18

Kevin Can Wait - "The Might've Before Christmas" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
While Vanessa and the Gable family gather around the Christmas tree, Vanessa and Kevin reminisce about their first patrol together.

Man with a Plan - "Adam Gets Neighborly" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Adam and Andi try to get back in their neighbors’ good graces after no one shows up to their potluck. Sherri Shepherd and Tim Meadows guest star as Joy and Rudy Randall, the Burns’ new neighbors.

Superior Donuts - "Electile Dysfunction" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Arthur suddenly decides to run against Fawz in a local election, his campaign manager, Franco, tries to help his boss bring home a win. Also, Tush and Randy realize they crossed paths long before the donut shop, and the encounter was hardly sweet.

9JKL - "It Happened One Night" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Josh and Nick coach their friend Luke (Tone Bell) on how to amicably break up with his girlfriend, Sydney (Ginger Gonzaga), so that it won’t jeopardize Josh’s spot in her coveted spin class. Also, Judy and Harry invite their rivals, Dick (Fred Willard) and Lenore (Christina Pickles) Stevenson, over to play bridge, and Andrew and Eve celebrate their anniversary with their own gift-giving tradition.

Tarantula - "Pajattery" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Echo discovers Paja's secret and decides to share it with the rest of the Tarantula residents, with unforeseen consequences.

Tarantula - "Frog Flog" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
A rift develops in their friendship when Echo and Booty build their own hot springs.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 18)

Monday, December 18

  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Watch Jim on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jenny Slate (Married/Parks and Recreation) - Jenny appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Laura Dern (F Is for Family/Enlightened) - Laura is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Patti performs the holiday classic Don't Save It All For Christmas Day on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Monty/Out of Practice) - Henry drops by Access Hollywood Live and Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Leslie Odom Jr. (Big Day) - Leslie is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Jenifer Lewis (black-ish) - Jenifer chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy/American Dad!/The Cleveland Show) - Seth appears on the BUILD Series at 5pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December)

The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
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