Saturday, July 10, 2010

Digital Digest: Hunter - The Complete Series DVD Review (7/27)

Welcome to another edition of Digital Digest! Our normal Digital Digest blogger (skees53) will be gone and missed for the next few months, if you didn't know yet. As always, we have the latest news, upcoming releases for Tuesday, and our DVD review this week is of Mill Creek Entertainment's Hunter - The Complete Series. Grab a donut and a cup of coffee and enjoy this week's edition.

DIGITAL NEWS

We have quite a bit of news this week. Sony has announced a 2-disc set for Rules of Engagement - The Complete Third Season. The September 14th release will include all 13 episodes and run 277 minutes. Why does this show never get a full season? Packaging, cost and other specs are available here. Ally McBeal - The Complete Third Season was originally supposed to be released by 20th Century Fox this week (July 13), but that won't be happening and no new date has been announced. Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders for both Ally McBeal - The Complete Fourth Season and Ally McBeal - The Complete Fifth Season. Pricing and packaging art is available here.

20th Century Fox has a press release for The Simpsons - The Complete Thirteen Season. It arrives on in stores on DVD and Blu-ray on August 24 or at Comic-Con in San Diego in July. Shout! Factory has pushed back the release date for The Larry Sanders Show - The Complete Series from September 28th to November 2nd. Fox Home Entertainment will release Family Guy - Partial Terms of Endearment on September 28th. Pricing, specs and special features for this banned-from-tv episode are listed here.

Suit up for the hilarious How I Met Your Mother - The Complete Fifth Season on September 21st. The bonus features and packaging are quite nice. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has a press release for The Mary Tyler Moore Show - The Complete Seventh Season. It will also include the 'Final Curtain Call'. You don't often see these cast's final curtain call on DVD releases, so it's great they are including it. Starz/Anchor Bay will release Party Down - Season 2 on September 28th. Loretta Devine and Steve Guttenburg are among the guest stars.

Shout! Factory is working on a release of Rhoda - Season 4 for sometime later this year. It will be sold via their online store as part of their Shout! Select program, but you can usually find them on eBay or from Amazon.com marketplace sellers. Lionsgate has provided details and box art for their releases of Saturday Night Live - The Best of Adam Sandler and Saturday Night Live - The Best of Eddie Murphy. Universal will release Saturday Night Live - Best of '09/'10 on September 21st. The Cleveland Show - The Complete First Season has a release date of September 28th. Special features and other details are available here. Warner Home Video will release Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales on October 5th. It will also include the Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown? special.

For more information on titles that we won't cover with full or blog DVD reviews, you can head on over to the news section of TVShowsOnDVD.com for all of the latest details.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (July 13) will only have one sitcom release. CBS DVD/Paramount has The Lucy Show - The Official Second Season. It has all 28 color episodes, digitally remastered ion 4 discs and many special features like cast commercials and newly recorded interviews. Look for our review in the next couple of days.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Rick Hunter is a detective who doesn't take crap from anybody, and he proves that once again in Hunter - The Complete Series. He didn't care how he got the job done, just as long as he got it done and appropriate justice was served in the end. Own all seven seasons for the first time on DVD, including never before released seasons (seasons 4-7), of what was at the time (and even still to this day) one of the grittier detective dramas on TV.

DVD Review: Hunter - The Complete Series
by Pavan

Hunter - The Complete Series (Mill Creek, $99.98) brings all 7 seasons of the 80s NBC series to DVD...including the never before released on DVD last four seasons! This special collection includes all 152 episodes of this 3-time Emmy® nominated series on 28 DVDs! Get ready to reload as L.A. homicide detective Rick Hunter (Fred Dryer) and his partner Dee Dee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer) are back on the job! This series aired on NBC from 1984-1991. Seasons 1-3 were previously released by Anchor Bay and Mill Creek Entertainment re-released seasons 1-2, but now they are releasing them all.

Since we get all 152 episodes on this set, it is hard to cover memorable episodes from each season. However, the first three seasons have already come out on DVD and we have reviews of that, but seasons four through seven never came out on DVD, so we'll focus a bit more on that. Read our previous reviews: Season 1 (Anchor Bay) / Season 1 (Mill Creek) / Season 2 (Anchor Bay) / Season 2 (Mill Creek) / Season 3 (Anchor Bay)
Some memorable episodes include the season three two-part episode, "Hot Pursuit," where McCall and an informant are shot after the informant gives her information regarding a prostitution ring being run along truck routes and then Hunter is accused of murder when he travels to Mexico to meet with the pimp. On a season four episode, "Night on Bald Mountain," Hunter and McCall are stuck in an old house in a remote location with the victim's relatives during a storm. In the three-part season four episode, "City of Passion," Hunter and McCall investigate a series of homicides that appear to be committed as part of a Satanic Cult rite. Another three-part episode was done in season five titled "City Under Siege," when a police task force is established to assist in crime control, McCall goes undercover as a teacher when one is murdered. In the emotional season six finale, "Street Wise," McCall leaves the police force after rekindling a romance with an old flame and Hunter investigates a thief who is terrorizing homeless veterans. This was the last episode for Stepfanie Kramer. In the two-part season seven premiere, "Deadly Encounters," two Romanian immigrants are murdered in a robbery and an international killer is after the family of robbers who committed the crime. In the last episode "Little Man With a Big Reputation," a crook choses Captain Devane as his best man when he is being pressured by former jailmates to commit a crime.

Guest stars over the span of seven seasons include George Clooney, Eric Estrada, Jesse Ventura, Dennis Franz, Brian Dennehy, Ed O'Neill, Bruce Davison, Garrett Morris, Jerry Orbach, Lauren Lane, Isaac Hayes, Robert Vaughn, Robert Reed, Richard Kline, Sammy Davis Jr. and hundreds more!

It looks like the music within the episodes has been replaced but the episodes are largely unedited it seems, although some seems suspicious, running below 47:00 (really seems edited are marked in *). Seasons 3-6 have a :30 preview of each episode at the start of each episode. Seasons 5 and 6 actually have a voiceover saying "Next on Hunter" or "Tonight on Hunter" with the show logo. Runtimes are as follows for seasons 3-7 (since we covered seasons 1-2 in the Mill Creek reviews):

Season 3 (1986-1987)
Disc 1
1. "Overnight Sensation" (48:27)
2. Change Partners and Dance" (47:36)
3. "Crime of Passion" (48:49)
4. "The Castro Connection" (47:22)
5. "High Noon in L.A." (48:34)
6. "From San Francisco with Love" (48:40)
Disc 2
7. "True Confessions" (48:23)
8. "Love, Hate, and Sporty James" (47:29)
9. "The Contract" (48:23)
10. "The Cradle Will Rock" (41:00)*
11. "Bad Company" (47:26)
12. "Down and Under" (48:45)
Disc 3
13. "Straight to the Heart" (47:51)
14. "Requiem for Sergeant McCall" (48:55)
15. "Double Exposure" (48:21)
16. "The Girl Next Door" (47:19)
17. "Any Second Now" (47:10)
Disc 4
18. "A Child Is Born" (48:45)
19. "Crossfire" (48:35)
20. "Hot Pursuit: Part 1" (48:57, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
21. "Hot Pursuit: Part 2" (47:12, part 1 recap after opening credits)
22. "Shades" (48:38)

Season 4 (1987-1988)
Disc 1
1. "Not Just Another John Doe" (48:11)
2. "Playing God" (48:16)
3. "The Jade Woman" (47:34)
4. "Flashpoint" (47:44)
5. "Night on Bald Mountain" (48:35)
6. "City of Passion: Part 1" (48:52, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
Disc 2
7. "City of Passion: Part 2" (48:09, part 1 recap after opening credits, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
8. "City of Passion: Part 3" (49:13, parts 1 and 2 recap after opening credits)
9. "Turning Point" (48:38)
10. "Hot Prowl" (48:34)
11. "Allegra" (47:36)
12. "Renegade" (48:37)
Disc 3
13. "The Black Dahlia" (48:34)
14. "Naked Justice: Part 1" (47:50, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
15. "Naked Justice: Part 2" (47:52, part 1 recap after opening credits)
16. "Girl on the Beach" (47:45)
17. "Bogota's Million" (47:55)
Disc 4
18. "Death Signs" (47:34)
19. "Boomerang" (46:58)
20. "The Fourth Man" (48:36)
21. "Murder He Wrote" (48:35)
22. "Silver Bullet" (48:27)

Season 5 (1988-1989)
Disc 1
1. "Heir of Neglect" (46:49)
2. "The Baby Game" (45:52)*
3. "Dead on Target: Part 1" (48:07, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
4. "Dead on Target: Part 2" (45:39, part 1 recap after opening credits)*
5. "Presumed Guilty" (47:00)
6. "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" (45:31)*
Disc 2
7. "Honorable Profession" (45:35)*
8. "Payback" (47:55)
9. "Partners" (45:53)*
10. "The Pit" (46:15)
11. "City Under Siege: Part 1" (48:24, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
12. "City Under Siege: Part 2" (47:46, part 1 recap after opening credits, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
Disc 3
13. "City Under Siege: Part 3" (47:19, parts 1 and 2 recap after opening credits)
14. "Me, Myself & Die" (47:10)
15. "Informant" (46:40)
16. "Blood Line" (46:03)
17. "Shoot to Kill" (46:36)
Disc 4
18. "Code 3" (46:45)
19. "Ring of Honor" (46:28)
20. "Teen Dreams" (45:42)*
21. "Last Run" (48:27)
22. "Return of White Cloud" (47:29)

Season 6 (1989-1990)
Disc 1
1. "On Air" (47:53)
2. "Shallalagh" (46:28)
3. "Investment in Death" (46:22)
4. "A Girl Named Hunter" (46:57)
5. "The Legion: Part 1" (46:50, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
6. "The Legion: Part 2" (48:04, part 1 recap after opening credits)
Disc 2
7. "Yesterday's Child" (48:04)
8. "Shield of Honor" (46:27)
9. "The Fifth Victim" (47:48)
10. "Brotherly Love" (46:26)
11. "The Nightmare" (46:04)
12. "Broken Dreams" (46:38)
Disc 3
13. "Son and Heir" (46:28)
14. "Unacceptable Loss" (47:11)
15. "Unfinished Business" (49:06)
16. "Lullaby" (46:55)
17. "Final Confession" (47:10)
Disc 4
18. "Blind Ambition" (47:44)
19. "Sudden Withdrawal" (46:39)
20. "Second Sight" (47:19)
21. "Street Wise: Part 1" (46:48, no :30 preview, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
22. "Street Wise: Part 2" (48:40, part 1 recap after opening credits)

Season 7 (1990-1991)
Disc 1
1. "Deadly Encounters: Part 1" (46:00, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
2. "Deadly Encounters: Part 2" (48:09, part 1 recap after opening credits)
3. "Where Echoes End" (42:38)*
4. "Kill Zone" (46:12)
5. "The Incident" (48:25)
6. "A Snitch'll Break Your Heart" (47:48)
Disc 2
7. "Oh, the Shark Bites!" (46:46)
8. "The Usual Suspects" (46:40)
9. "This Is My Gun" (47:53)
10. "La Familia" (47:48)
11. "Acapulco Holiday" (46:47)
12. "Fatal Obsession: Part 1" (46:49, to be continued tag at the end of episode)
Disc 3
13. "Fatal Obsession: Part 2" (48:05, no part 1 recap)
14. "Under Suspicion" (48:04)
15. "The Reporter" (45:56)*
16. "Room Service" (48:56)
17. "Shadows of the Past" (48:15)
Disc 4
18. "The Grab" (46:16)
19. "All That Glitters" (46:29)
20. "Cries of Silence" (48:21)
21. "Ex Marks the Spot" (48:16)
22. "Little Man with a Big Reputation" (46:14)

Like the previous Mill Creek sets (Seasons 1 and 2), the menus are very basic, but also nicely done, with the theme song playing on the main menu and options of Play All and Episode Select. The main menu has video clips playing on the top, with the show logo and gun below, then the menu options. When you go to Episode Select, it takes you to a menu that lists all of the episode numbers and titles, where the theme song continues to play. There are no scene selection menus, but chapters are placed appropriately throughout each episode. However, we only get 3 chapter stops per episode once again. Not enough!

As for the packaging, it is still cheap like it was on the individual seasons one and two sets. We have an outer box that holds a double thick keep-case with 28 black paper sleeves inside. This is TERRIBLE and cheap once again! The cover art has a shot of Hunter in sunglasses holding his gun and you see some buildings in the background. The color scheme is blue. The back of the case has basic series information along with a background of Hunter's face. We also have four screenshots of guest stars on the bottom. The disc artwork is the same on each disc with a shot of Hunter and McCall (though season seven doesn't have McCall but has her replacement, Novak), but each season the wording is in different color. Season one's wording is in white, season two's wording is in blue, season three's wording is in purple, season four's wording is in orange, season five's wording is in red, season six's wording is in beige, and season seven's wording is in a shade of blue. Each disc has the episode titles contained on the disc printed on the disc in the seasons's coloring. But again, there are no other episode lists contained within the set.

The video and audio is good. There is nothing to complain about. It "works for me!" It is about as good as it gets for a series that aired from 1984-1991. Obviously, the later seasons look a bit better because they are newer. View the runtimes above and some tidbits on the multiple part episodes. Once again, the first six seasons on this set does have a 30 second preview of the episode, with clips from the episode. I guess season seven didn't have that originally?

One again, there are no special features on the set. Mill Creek could have licensed those bonus features from Anchor Bay's versions of seasons one and two. Original promos would be nice, but I guess the :30 preview of each episode makes up for that. Maybe new interviews or those episodes of the short-lived revival series from 2002? Or even that TV movie from 1995! Something would be nice, even if Mill Creek didn't have to produce it!

There are once again the same problems with this set as with the previous Mill Creek sets, but we finally have the complete series on DVD. We didn't even have to wait for seasons 4-7 to be individually released. For die-hard fans, even though I don't think this set works, you should get it because we get every single episode of this series on DVD. It is too bad the packaging is cheap and the episodes don't have original music (with some episodes for sure edited). I have always liked this show, and I am glad Mill Creek continued the series after Anchor Bay dropped it after three seasons. For that, I'll say this set "works for me" (insert the catchy Hunter theme, preferably from season 5, here)!

(3/5 stars)

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



LOOKING AHEAD

Come on back right here next week for more news and reviews. We hope to have our review of Dragnet up next week. And don't forget to read our full DVD reviews, as we will put up reviews for Gimme A Break! - The Complete Series and My Boys - The Complete Second and Third Seasons. Until next time, stay cool and keep it digital!


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

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, August 17

The Big Bang Theory - "The Allowance Evaporation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon and Amy have their first fight since moving in together, and Koothrappali is shocked at the realities of financial independence when he stops receiving support from his father.

Kevin Can Wait - "Kenny Can Wait" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kevin strikes up an unlikely friendship with Harry Connick Jr., but gets caught in a web of lies trying to impress his new friend. Harry Connick Jr. guest stars as himself.

Great News - "Snowmageddon of the Century" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After organizing a poorly attended staff karaoke night, Carol (Andrea Martin) is convinced that everyone at "The Breakdown" needs some office bonding time. When Greg (Adam Campbell) refuses to help, Carol enlists the help of God, causing a huge snowstorm to trap everyone in the building overnight. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) takes an interest in working with Katie (Briga Heelan), which Portia (Nicole Richie) convinces Katie is romantic.

The Guest Book - "Story Four" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Christy heads up to the mountains to try and bond with her new boyfriend Paul and his 8-year-old daughter, but she self-medicates because of her anxiety and ends up revealing some skeletons in her closet.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 14)

Thursday, August 17

  • Jay Ellis (Insecure/The Game) - Catch Jay on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Rami Malek (The War at Home) - Rami appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent) - Kathryn is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Michael Rapaport (Atypical/The War at Home) - Michael stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Seinfeld) - Julia visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) - Ray drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Fred Savage (The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect) - Sherri is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Yara Shahidi (black-ish) - Yara shares her thoughts on the Emmy nominations and her new ‘girl power’ campaign on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Marlon Wayans (Marlon/The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon discusses his new Netflix show Naked on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Christopher Meloni (Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later/Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) - Aziz makes his Chew debut and cooks with Mario Batali on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagmenet/Reno 911!) - Wendi teams up with Clinton Kelly for a delicious bite on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 9:15am.
  • Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) - Drake performs on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) - Ellie talks about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Tasha Smith (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse/The Tom Show/Boston Common) - Tasha talks about TV One's When Love Kills on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.