Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blog DVD Review: FLASHFORWARD - Season One, Part One (2/23)

Welcome to another edition of blog DVD reviews. This week we take a look at ABC Studios' FLASHFORWARD - Season One, Part One. ABC launched FLASHFORWARD last fall and thus far 10 episodes have aired and we get these first 10 episodes here on this DVD. The series is about when the whole world blacked out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds on October 6, 2009. See my blog DVD review of FLASHFORWARD - Season One, Part One:

FLASHFORWARD - Season One, Part One (ABC Studios, $29.99) brings the first 10 episodes from the first season of the riveting new ABC drama! The series premiered on ABC on September 24, 2009. It is loosely based on the 1999 novel Flashforward by Canadian science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer. In the series, a mysterious event causes nearly everyone on the planet to simultaneously lose consciousness for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, during which people see what appear to be visions of their lives approximately six months in the future (on April 29, 2010) --a global "flashforward." A team of Los Angeles FBI agents begin the process of determining what happened, why, and whether it will happen again.
The series stars Joseph Fiennes as FBI Special Agent Mark Benford, John Cho as FBI Special Agent Demetri Noh, Jack Davenport as Dr. Lloyd Simcoe, Zachary Knighton as Dr. Bryce Varley, Peyton List as Nicole Kirby, Dominic Monaghan as Dr. Simon Campos, BrĂ­an F. O'Byrne as Aaron Stark, Courtney B. Vance as FBI Assistant Director Stanford Wedeck, Sonya Walger as Dr. Olivia Benford, and Christine Woods as FBI Special Agent Janis Hawk. Recurring are Gabrielle Union as Zoey Andata, Lee Thompson Young as FBI Special Agent Al Gough, Barry Shabaka Henley as FBI Special Agent Vreede, Ryan Wynott as Dylan Simcoe, Lennon Wynn as Charlie Benford, and Genevieve Cortese as Tracy Stark.

We get the first 10 episodes of the series on this 2-disc set. We are waiting for the return on ABC on March 18 for the second half (12 episodes) of the season. I cannot wait for the return! But before the return, I'll let you know the memorable episodes of the first 10 episodes. You need to watch them all in order of course, but of course some episodes are better than others. In the premiere episode "No More Good Days," the series opens on a seemingly ordinary day, which soon becomes extraordinary as everyone in Los Angeles blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds--in one of the best pilots on television since the premiere of LOST in 2004. In "137 Sekunden," Mark and Janis travel to Munich, Germany to speak with an imprisoned Nazi who claims to have knowledge about why the blackout lasted exactly 137 seconds, and an anonymous tip leads Demetri to believe his deepest fears about his future. In "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps," Mark, Demetri, and Wedeck try to find a connection between Janis' attack and a separate attack made on them, meanwhile as Halloween approaches, Olivia confronts Mark about his alleged drinking in his flashforward. In a character-driven episode "Believe," Bryce travels to Japan to search for the woman he saw in his flashforward, meanwhile Aaron becomes concerned over Tracy's odd behavior and excessive drinking since her return from Afghanistan, while his friendship with Mark hits a snag when Mark attempts to track down the person responsible for texting Olivia about how he was drunk in his flashforward. And in the fall finale, "A561984," against Wedeck's orders, Mark and Demetri travel to Hong Kong in search of the woman claiming to know details of Demetri's fate and he learns that his killer-to-be is a lot closer to home than he could ever have imagined, while Demetri's fiancee discovers the true meaning of her flashforward; meanwhile Lloyd tries to come clean about his and Simon's involvement in the global blackout -- against Simon's better judgment and Olivia is involved in a shocking incident as Lloyd's son is discharged from the hospital.
Guest starring are Gina Torres, Peter Coyote, and Shohreh Aghdashloo as the mysterious woman.

Packaging has an outer box holding a case inside. The cover art for both the box and case are the same -- we have eleven headshots of the stars surrounding a globe where we see a vision of everyone in the world's flashforward. The globe looks like a disco ball, though. The packaging also states "The First 10 Episodes," along with Season One Part One." There is also four stars on the top from the NY Daily News. The color scheme is purple I guess. The back cover for both the box and case has tons of information on the series & set and a list of bonus features, along with a few episodic photos. Inside the case we go, disc one is on a black plastic holder that we can turn like a page on a book. Disc two is placed on the right panel itself. There is no artwork on the inside of the case, so it is plain black. We also have an insert saying how we can save $15 on the complete first season DVD coming to DVD/Blu-ray in August 2010. Download your coupon at FlashForward-DVD.com. It is unfortunate we do not get a nice disc-by-disc breakdown of episodes on the packaging or a booklet. I hope we do get that when the full first season DVD comes out in August. Disc one holds episodes 1-5 and disc two holds episodes 6-10 and the the special features. The artwork for both discs is the same -- the show logo, season 1, disc number, and episode numbers with a shot of the sea in a sunset.

The menu screen is very cool. It is LOST-like. We can hear lines from the show, while the clips play on the left side. On the right side, we see the show logo and the menu options in a slanted form. The menu options are Setup, Episode Selection, Bonus Features, Play All. Bonus Features option is on disc two only. Everything else is on each disc. Setup gives us the option to register your DVD and to turn on subtitles in English, French or Espanol. Episode Selection menu has a list of episodes with episode number and title. Each of these submenus have background music from the series playing in the background of these menus. Auto previews are playing before the menu comes on disc one such as for the Prince of Persia, LOST S5 and Everybody's Fine.

The video and audio is superb, as it should be since it is a series that is airing this season. The video is in widescreen and for those DVD players that upconvert it to 1080i, it is just like watching it on ABC HD! It looks so clear and crisp! The audio is perfect as well. Honestly, any current series should have no problem in video and audio. It is expected to be like this. Each episode runs approx. 43 minutes, of course unedited. The second episode has about 4 minutes of more material. See the runtimes below. There are about 7-9 chapter stops per episode, but in weird spots and different positions each time. The second episode has the "Previously on ABC's FLASHFORWARD" recap and every episode after that has the more familiar "On October 6, the whole world blacked-out..."

Disc One
1. No More Good Days (42:57)
2. White to Play (47:04)
3. 137 Sekunden (43:00)
4. Black Swan (43:40)
5. Gimme Some Truth (42:55)

Disc Two
6. Scary Monsters and Super Creeps (43:03)
7. The Gift (42:55)
8. Playing Cards with Coyote (42:45)
9. Believe (43:06)
10. A561984 (42:06)

Moving on to the bonus features, I'm surprised we have some. The bonus features are all on disc two. Since this is really just a half-season set, I was not expecting any at all, but the quantity is low compared to other ABC sets, which is understandable. I bet they will unload so many extras on the complete first season set in August. Anyway, for the first bonus we get "Creating Catastrophe: The Effects of a Global Blackout" (7:05). This is a nice featurette from the crew showing us how the opening action scene were done in the first episode. It is really cool to see! The magic of Hollywood! Commenting here are David Goyer (co-creator/executive producer/writer/director), Danny Weselis (stunt coordinator), Brannon Braga (co-creator/executive producer/writer), Jessika Borsiczky (executive producer), Allen Hale (special effects supervisor), Michelle Lathan (location manager), Kevin Blank (visual effects supervisor), Ken Niederbaumer (special makeup effects) and Todd Masters (special makeup effects).
The next bonus material is "FLASHFORWARD: A Look Ahead," and it looks at the next episode with a few scenes from episode 11. We get 4:47 worth of scenes from the next episode. I cannot wait to see the episode! It airs March 18 at 8/7 central on ABC! Be there!
And finally the last bonus feature is a promo titled "Could." It is narrated by Dominic Monaghan and you've seen this promo on ABC for the return on March 18, but this is longer as it runs 90 seconds.

I of course highly do recommend everyone to pick up this set. And if you never have watched the show, now is your chance to get started because we have less than a month remaining before the series returns for the second half of its season. And if you missed an episode or two, get this set and catch up and watch the show LIVE on Thursday, March 18. If you love the show, then please support it by watching it on TV...or you are not helping the show at all. I was hooked from the start after watching the pilot episode and I am anxiously waiting for the return. This and the series V were clearly the best two new dramas of the season, and both return to ABC in March. The complete first season DVD is out in August, so if you've seen every episode and will watch on TV starting March 18, then you really don't need this DVD unless you want a refresher. If not, then wait for the first season DVD in August. If you've never seen this show...get this DVD NOW! And catch up in time for the return on March 18 and watch it on TV. Because six months from now, I can see the entire world watching this show instead of blacking out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds! My flashforward says this show will get better and better! So keep watching!

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
FLASHFORWARD TV.com Page
Official Website


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 14

Fresh Off the Boat - "Cousin Eddie" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The battle begins between mother and son when Eddie informs Jessica that he wants to spend Christmas with friend Nicole in New York. But Jessica insists that tradition prevails and he needs to spend the holiday with the family, so he does everything within his power to try and get her to crack and allow him to go. Meanwhile, Louis and Evan do their best to try and help an overwhelmed Emery decide on which one of his numerous friends to invite to the family’s Christmas Eve dinner.

Speechless - "J-I-- JINGLE T-H-- THON" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
A Christmas tree fire leads Maya to tell a small lie with big consequences. Meanwhile, Ray struggles to live in Pepper’s shadow as Dylan twists the knife, and JJ encourages Kenneth to stand up to his sisters (guest stars Niecy Nash and Lisa Leslie).

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Pioneer Women.” Both were colorized with a nod to the 1950s period in which they were filmed. The main titles and end credits are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet, and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS on Christmas Eve, 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Long thought to be lost, the program was rediscovered by CBS in 1989.

In “Pioneer Women,” Lucy and Ethel’s hopes of joining the posh Society Matrons’ League leads to a bet with their husbands over which sex – the men or the women – had it harder living in a bygone era. They select the turn of the last century, and as Lucy and Ethel start to bake their own bread and churn their own butter, the men become acquainted with straight-blade shaving and riding home from work on horseback. They all have some “‘splainin’” to do when two ladies from the Society Matrons’ League stop by for an unexpected visit.

“Pioneer Women” was originally broadcast on March 31, 1952, and became an immediate viewer favorite.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - "The Dick Van Dyke Show -- Now in Living Color!" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The special features the season one episode “Where Did I Come From,” written by Carl Reiner, and the season four episode “Never Bathe on Saturday,” also written by Reiner. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set – at the beginning and end of the hour – with no interruption between the episodes.

The Emmy Award-winning series starred Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as television comedy writer Rob and his wife, Laura Petrie; Larry Matthews as their son, Ritchie; Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie as Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rogers, co-writers on the fictional “The Alan Brady Show”; Carl Reiner as Alan Brady; Richard Deacon as Mel Cooley; Jerry Paris as Dr. Jerry Helper; and Ann Morgan Guilbert as Millie Krumbermacher Helper.

In “Where Did I Come From,” 6-year-old Ritchie asks his parents the inevitable “where did I come from?” question, and they recall the days before his birth. The episode was first presented on Jan. 3, 1961 during the series’ first season.

In “Never Bathe on Saturday,” the Petries’ romantic second honeymoon becomes a disaster when Laura’s toe gets caught in a bath spout. The episode was first presented on March 31, 1965, during season four.

Last Man Standing - "The Gift of the Mike Guy" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa helps the family realize the importance of its long-standing holiday family traditions.

The Cool Kids - "Margaret Dates the Zodiac Killer" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Margaret begins dating Karl, a fellow resident who may or may not be the "Zodiac Killer."

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Friday, December 14

  • Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Watch Karen on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She talks about The Party's Just Beginning on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Tony Shalhoub (Wings/We Are Men) - Watch Tony on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle, Laura Linney (The Big C) and Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Bryan, Laura and Nick make special guest appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bill Burr (F Is for Family/Townies) - Bill is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Romany Malco (Weeds/Blunt Talk) - Romany is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn talks about the film Private Life on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Minnie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (The Office/Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Hotwives of Orlando) - Angela and her husband Joshua Snyder serve up monkey bread and chocolate peppermint cupcakes on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa talks about Second Act on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Elliott (Schitt's Creek/Get a Life) - Chris talks about Clara's Ghost on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Tia Mowry (Instant Mom/The Game/Sister, Sister) - Tia talks about Hallmark Channel's A Gingerbread Romance on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings/Step by Step) - Christine is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.


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

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
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