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 (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.