Saturday, June 05, 2010

Digital Digest: The A-Team - The Complete Series DVD Review

Welcome to another edition of Digital Digest! Our normal Digital Digest blogger (skees53) is on vacation this week, so I (Pavan) will be doing the entire Digest this week! We have the latest news, upcoming releases for Tuesday, and our review of The A-Team - The Complete Series. It's another light news week, but what we do have is all positive.

DIGITAL NEWS

The first week of June was also a very slow week in terms of news releases. It was even slower than the previous week. Most of the items this week are about current series. There haven't been any "surprise announcements" again, but we did get a few release dates and some additional information. Universal Home Video officially announced The Office - Season Six (September 7), on both DVD ($59.98 MSRP) and Blu-ray ($69.98 MSRP). Bonus material and package art were also revealed, so check that out. Universal Home Video also officially announced Heroes - Season 4 (August 3), on both DVD ($59.98 MSRP) and Blu-ray ($79.98 MSRP). Bonus material and package art were also revealed, so check that out. This is the last season for the series, as NBC canceled it in May.

We also got the official package art for Grey's Anatomy - The Complete Sixth Season - More Is Better (Sept. 14, $59.98 MSRP) from ABC/Disney. View the package art. Warner Bros. officially announced The Vampire Diaries - The Complete First Season (August 31), on both DVD ($59.98 MSRP) and Blu-ray ($69.98 MSRP). Bonus material much more were also revealed, so check that out.

Last week, we gave you some info on NBC's newest series, Parenthood, now we have the package art. Stay tuned for pre-ordering information and the official announcement.

All of the other news items were not concrete information or didn't really fit our website. Hopefully next week brings us more news--especially in sitcoms!


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (June 8) has quite a few releases in store, but again a very few that are of interest to us. In fact, only two interest us. The one of the most interest to us is Family Matters - The Complete First Season from Warner Home Video. Check out our review of this DVD, if you haven't already. Also, though not a sitcom, we have The A-Team - The Complete Series. We have a review of this set in today's Digital Digest below. And finally we have items like Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete 7th Season, Ghostwriter - Season 1, and Nip/Tuck - The Complete 6th and Final Season.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

"Ten years ago, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire The A-Team."
This means The A-Team the complete series arrives on DVD in an action-packed, 25-disc set. The A-Team - The Complete Series brings us every single episode in a new packaged box set.

DVD Review: The A-Team - The Complete Series
by Pavan

The A-Team - The Complete Series (Universal, $149.98) brings us all 5 seasons on DVD once again but this time on one set! We previously got all five seasons released separately, but now we are getting them in all one set with all-new packaging! We'll cover the packaging in detail shortly. All 98 episodes are here and "I pity the fool" who doesn't watch this show. The series aired on NBC from 1983-87 and was an adrenaline-pumping adventure with Hannibal (George Peppard), Face (Dirk Benedict), Murdock (Dwight Schultz) and B.A. (Mr. T). Now that the theatrical movie is coming out next week, Universal is giving us all five seasons again--but together.

All 98 episodes are on this set. So I suggest you read our individual reviews for each season. The DVDs were released between 2004-2006 and sold very well. Some memorable episodes from each season include the premiere "Mexican Slayride," where desperate, but ambitious newspaper reporter, Amy Allen, wants to prove the existence of the A-Team, four ex-GIs that help people in need and when she finds them she hires them, because her co-worker Al Massey is missing in Mexico. The season two episode "Recipe for Heavy Bread," where Face runs into an old friend from the POW camp the A-Team used to be in and the friend was the cook there who helped them to flee and now needs their help, when he gets involved in a drug deal of former camp members, especially the former Vietnamese commander. The season three two-hour episode, "Bend in the River," where Tawnia asks the A-Team to find her fiancé, an archaeologist last seen on an Amazon expedition that was attacked by a pirate, but she doesn't tell the A-Team that they are searching her fiancé, but more importantly the A-Team has to get new Malaria drugs before they can fly to the Brazilian rain forests. The season four episode "Wheel of Fortune," where Murdock's fortunes rise and fall as he uses Face's system to win big on Wheel of Fortune and he wins a trip to Hawaii, but then is kidnapped by people who claim to be CIA, but turn out to be criminals. And finally the season five episode, "Without Reservation," the final episode, where Frankie and Face visit Murdock (strangely completely sane) at his job in a restaurant, and all three become hostages of mobsters out to kill a patron, the US Attorney General, Hannibal and B.A. have to save the others, but things heat up when Face is shot and needs immediate medical attention.
Now these are just five episodes out of 98, read our full reviews of each season from the individual releases for more:
Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4 / Season 5

Let's now move on to the packaging. This is the ONLY new part of this set that differs from the season sets that were already released. It is really neat looking, as we get the famous A-Team black GMC Vandura van with that red stripe. So far so good and we love it when a plan comes together, as Hannibal would say! The roof of the van says "The A-Team The Compete Series" in red and black. We see B.A. in the driver's seat and Hannibal in the passenger's seat. We see two shots of them actually, one on each window and both of them can be seen towards the windshield window. All four wheels say "The A-Team The Complete Series" in white lettering. The bottom of the van has info on the series and set, saying "Pity the Fool That Doesn't Own Every Adventure." Images of each season's packaging is shown along with a box listing the bonus features (which were released on the individual sets).

So how do we get to the cases? Well, we have to pull that red cardboard strip on the roof of the van. But be very careful so you don't rip the cardboard because I did a little! When you pull the red strip, we see five cases inside the van. Lots of cardboard is holding it. It's pretty cheap, but it works. There is nothing else inside the van, just the cases. It would have been cool if there was a button to push that would either play The A-Team theme song or some gunshots being fired. The Knight Rider complete series set had a button when we push would play the theme song. The cases are different from the season sets. The first case holds season one episodes. The cover of the case features B.A. with three squares on the left of the other team members: Hannibal, Face, and Murdock. The back of the case is the same as the back of the box from the original season one set. Disc art is also the same as the original season one set. The discs overlap though inside the case. The second case holds season two episodes. The cover of the case features Face with three squares on the left of the other team members: Murdock, Hannibal, and B.A. The back of the case is the same as the back of the box from the original season two set. Now disc art this time is in lime green, as the original set were double-sided discs. So this is a plus to have single-sided discs! The discs overlap though inside the case. The third case holds season three episodes. The cover of the case features Hannibal with three squares on the left of the other team members: B.A., Murdock, and Face. The back of the case is the same as the back of the box from the original season three set. Now disc art this time is in red, as the original set were double-sided discs. So this is a plus to have single-sided discs! The discs overlap though inside the case. The fourth case holds season four episodes. The cover of the case features Murdock with three squares on the left of the other team members: Face, B.A. and Hannibal The back of the case is the same as the back of the box from the original season four set. Now disc art this time is in blue, as the original set were double-sided discs. So this is a plus to have single-sided discs! The discs overlap though inside the case. And finally, the fifth case holds season five episodes. The cover of the case features shots of all four team members: Murdock, Hannibal, Face and B.A. The back of the case is the same as the back of the box from the original season five set. Disc art is also the same as the original season five set, as the discs were single-sided. Discs two & three overlap though inside the case.

Read our full reviews of each season from the individual releases to read about the original packaging:
Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4 / Season 5

The content inside the discs is exactly the same as the individual season sets. So we have the same menus, audio/video quality, and special features! Once again, I suggest you read our previous reviews to look at the Menu Design and Navigation section, Video and Audio Quality, and Special Features section:
Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4 / Season 5

If you don't have the individual season sets, then you REALLY need to get this set. The packaging is better and won't take as much space on your shelf as the season sets would. I highly do recommend this set for any die-hard A-Team fan just for the A-Team van packaging! But that really is the only thing new here. The special features are all the same as the previous season sets. So basically a Knight Rider season two episode, the season five episode of A-Team "Point of No Return" on the season four set, and an interview with Stephen J. Cannell titled "Rumors of Soldiers of Fortune." I think Universal is releasing this set just to cash in on the theatrical movie coming out Friday starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as B.A. Jessica Biel also stars as Capt. Carissa Sosa along with Gerald McRaney as General Morrison. It would have been cool if there was a free movie ticket with this set, but 20th Century Fox is doing the movie and not Universal. Die-hards get this set for sure and newbies or casual fans who don't have any of the previous DVDs, then get this set. Anyway, if you have a problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them, maybe you can hire: The A-Team.

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com



LOOKING AHEAD

Next week we have a busy slate of reviews coming up both on the blog and on our regular reviews, so you won't want to miss any of those. Regular reviews will include American Dad!, Family Guy, Here's Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, and My Three Sons! We'll have a review of something right here next week, along with a special feature story that we do every now and then on Digital Digest. Until next time, keep it digital!


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

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, December 11

The Simpsons - "The Nightmare After Krustmas" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Krusty tries to impress his daughter as they spend Christmas with the Simpsons. Meanwhile, Reverend Lovejoy seeks converts after church attendance plummets, and Maggie is haunted by a spooky Christmas toy.

Son of Zorn - "The War on Grafelnik" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Torn between Edie’s Christmas and Zorn’s Grafelnik – the Zephyrian holiday of revenge – Alan realizes he can play his parents off each other to get better presents.

Family Guy - "How the Griffin Stole Christmas" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Peter is asked to fill in for the mall Santa, until he gets drunk on the power when he realizes that Santa can get away with anything. Meanwhile, Stewie and Brian crash holiday office parties for the free food, drama and women.

The Last Man on Earth - "If You're Happy and You Know It" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Carol is bummed about Gail’s absence, so Tandy tries to cheer her up with the honeymoon vacation they never had. Meanwhile, Lewis finds new success with his pursuits in aviation and Melissa is contained.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now in Living Color - (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Spread the holiday cheer with “The Dick Van Dyke Show – Now in Living Color!,” a new one-hour special featuring two newly colorized back-to-back classic episodes of the beloved 1960s series, to be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 11 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Series creator and co-star Carl Reiner personally supervised the colorization of the episodes.

The special features the groundbreaking episode “That’s My Boy??” and “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” which ranked #8 on TV Guide’s list of the “100 Greatest TV Episodes of All-Time.” Both episodes were written by Bill Persky & Sam Denoff. 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.

In “That’s My Boy??,” as Rob and Laura host a dinner party with a few friends, Rob recalls the hectic days after their son Ritchie was born, when he was sure the hospital had given him and Laura the wrong baby. The episode, originally broadcast on Sept. 25, 1963, was the third season premiere.

In “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” Laura Petrie blurts out a top secret on a national television quiz show, revealing that comedian Alan Brady wears a toupee. The episode, which was the show’s fifth and final season premiere, was originally broadcast on Sept. 15, 1965. “Coast to Coast Big Mouth” won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1966.

Bizaardvark - "Agh, Humbug" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Bernie gets bummed about not being invited to the Vuuugler-only holiday party, so the gang tries to turn him into an overnight online star so that he can attend, too.

Best Friends Whenever - "Revenge of the Past" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Shelby gets trapped in the 16th century after trying to save Daisy from marriage, so the friends join forces to help rescue her.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 12)

Monday, December 12

  • Jennifer Lawrence (The Bill Engvall Show) - Watch Jennifer Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Bryan is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also chats about the film Why Him? on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Olivia is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. She joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine) - Matthew stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Will talks about Collateral Beauty on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice/Arrested Development) - Henry will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) - Megan is a guest on the AOL Build Show at 4pm.
  • Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) - Kathy appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.