Saturday, August 28, 2010

Digital Digest: Brothers and Sisters - The Complete Fourth Season DVD Review (8/31)

Welcome to another edition of Digital Digest! Our normal Digital Digest blogger (skees53) as you know is off for the summer and is missed. As always, we have the latest news, upcoming releases for Tuesday, and our DVD review this week is of a ABC Studio's Brothers and Sisters - The Complete Fourth Season. Invite all of your family to today's Digital Digest!

DIGITAL NEWS

It was another slow week for sitcoms. Warner Bros. announced to us that they will release Night Court - The Complete Fourth Season on their website WBShop.com in mid-September. It will be the first time the series will be a Warner exclusive. Stay tuned for further details. Warner will also release The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete Fourth Season on WBShop.com around Christmas. This will be the second time in a row the series will be a Warner exclusive. Also, the drama Falcon Crest - The Complete Second Season will also be a Warner exclusive on WBShop.com coming out this Tuesday (Aug. 31).

CBS DVD announced Christmas Treats coming out Nov. 2 featuring holiday episodes of Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, The Odd Couple, The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, The Lucy Show and Cheers. View the nice packaging and more info. Shout! Factory will release Rhoda - Season Four via Shout! Select, meaning on their website, on Sept. 21. It is now official, so check out the details and packaging. Shout! Factory has also given a bit more info on Designing Women - The Complete Fourth Season which is out on Sept. 21. Shout! View the new details on the full press release.

Drama wise, Mill Creek Entertainment will release The Commish - The The Complete Series on Oct. 12 at a $69.98 MSRP with all five seasons. Seasons 3-5 have never been released on DVD. Stay tuned for pre-ordering info.

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 (August 31) will have only one sitcom release. Warner Home Video is releasing The Middle - The Complete First Season, and you can read our review of this nice set here. Drama wise, ABC Studios is releasing Brothers and Sisters - The Complete Fourth Season and you can read our review of that below on this very digital digest! And finally other dramas out on this day are FLASHFORWARD - The Complete Series and Parenthood - Season 1. We will try and have review of these very soon.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

DVD Review: Brothers and Sisters - The Complete Fourth Season
by Pavan

Brothers and Sisters - The Complete Fourth Season (ABC Studios, $59.99) brings all 24 emotional, heartwarming & funny episodes of the fourth season of the hit family drama on DVD! Welcome the Walkers back into your home with the emotional fourth season of the warm and witty drama that explores the triumphs and tragedies of the American family. Featuring one of the most celebrated casts on television, including Sally Field, Calista Flockhart, Rob Lowe, and Patricia Wettig, ABC's Brothers And Sisters is "instantaneously seductive," raves the Wall Street Journal.
No matter how much life changes, family stays the same. As new challenges arise for the Walkers, they learn to rely on one another more than ever before. Kitty's personal revelation devastates the entire family, Nora begins a relationship with a younger man and Justin and Rebecca's Malibu wedding doesn't quite go as planned. Relive all the drama and every touching moment of Season Four, complete with never-before-seen bonus features available only on DVD!
The series airs Sundays at 10PM on ABC and stars Calista Flockhart as Kitty Walker, Sally Field as Nora Walker, Rachel Griffiths as Sarah Walker Whedon, Ron Rifkin as Uncle Saul Holden, Matthew Rhys as Kevin Walker, Dave Annabale as Justin Walker, Emily VanCamp as Rebecca Harper, Luke Macfarlane as Scotty, Luke Grimes as Ryan Lafferty, with Rob Lowe as Senator Robert McCallister, and Patrica Wettig as Holly Harper. Recurring are Balthazar Getty as Tommy Walker, Kerris Dorsey as Paige Whedon, Maxwell Perry Cotton as Cooper Whedon, Ken Olin as David, Sarah Jane Morris as Julia Walker and Gilles Marini as Luc Laurent. With special guest star Tom Skeritt as William Walker. Other guest stars include Marion Ross, Denis O'Hare, Amy Aquino, Peter Gerety, Joe Morton Roxy Olin, Jon Tenney, Cheryl Hines, Matt Letscher, Marguerite Moreau, and Nigel Havers.

This fourth season is good. Maybe not as good as the previous seasons, but still a solid show with great drama and comedic moments. As always, when the Walkers get together for a family dinner or any event all together it makes for great television. There is no other family on television like the Walkers! Some classic episodes include the season premiere "The Road Ahead," Kitty harbors a devastating secret that will rock the Walker family, while Ida Holden, Nora and Saul's mother, returns and Nora and Holly begrudgingly team up to throw an elaborate engagement party for Justin and Rebecca, Tommy continues his personal spiritual journey in Mexico, and Sarah searches for new business prospects in France. In "From France with Love," having just returned from France, Sarah distracts Kitty through chemo treatments with tales of her intense romance with a French artist (Gilles Marini as Luc Laurent). In "The Wig Party," Kitty is devastated when she is faced with the visible ramifications of her cancer treatment, while Nora makes a surprising friend with benefits, and Rebecca discovers that she is pregnant and Scotty takes stock when his father delivers some shocking news about his marriage. In "The Wine Festival," when Ojai's newest wine is submitted at a local festival, the family holds their breath as they wait to see if the company can be saved, while Justin and Rebecca harbor life-changing secrets from one another, Nora has a secret crush on a younger man (Jon Tenney as Simon), and Sarah and Luc discover that they may not be as compatible as they had hoped. In "Nearlyweds," Justin and Rebecca's beachside wedding has the Walker family stunned. Tommy risks everything to have his daughter beside him. In the conclusion, "A Bone to Pick," Kitty's collapse at the beach was caused by a clot in her lung, however medicine has cleared it, but there's still the issue of her tumor so her best option is a bone marrow transplant but they just have to find a marrow match. In the two-part movie event, "Time After Time, in an effort to get to the root of the secret that William's nemesis, Dennis York, holds over their heads, the Walkers recall their memories, both good and horrifying, of their family's days at Ojai Foods in 1986. In "Lights Out," the Walkers are heartbroken as they prepare to shut the doors of Ojai Foods for good, but new opportunities and secret alliances develop as a result of the family's loss. And in the heartbreaking season finale "On the Road Again," as the Walkers try to cope with the sadness and financial ruin that lingers as a result of the closure of Ojai Foods, they discover a small ray of hope in one of William Walker's many secret investments and later, Robert's health and the safety of his family are compromised when he finds himself in way over his head in a subversive business deal. Those episodes really stand out, but they are all very good I think and make for a great TV drama.

The episodes run usually in the 42-43 minute range (with a few at 42 or under 42 a bit)...unedited of course. There are about 7 chapter stops per episode. See the runtimes for each episode below:

Disc one
1. "The Road Ahead" 43:04
2. "Breaking the News" 42:33
3. "Almost Normal" 42:33
4. "From France with Love" 42:39

Disc two
5. "Last Tango in Pasadena" 43:02
6. "Zen and the Art of Making Mole" 42:27
7. "The Wig Party" 43:08
8. "The Wine Festival" 43:08

Disc three
9. "Pregnant Pause" 43:08
10. "Nearlyweds" 43:01
11. "A Bone to Pick" 42:18
12. "The Science Fair" 43:10

Disc four
13. "Run Baby Run" 42:55
14. "The Pasadena Primary" 41:46
15. "A Valued Family" 42:39
16. "Leap of Faith" 43:10

Disc five
17. "FreeLuc.com" 41:15
18. "Time After Time, Part 1" 42:33
19. "Time After Time, Part 1" 42:03
20. "If You Bake It He Will Come" 41:20

Disc six
21. "Where There's Smoke..." 42:45
22. "Love All" 42:22
23. "Lights Out" 43:09
24. "On the Road Again" 43:09

Packaging has a nice light purple/peach outer box with a main cast photo with them sitting at the wine orchard on the front cover...the back cover has information on the series & set and has four episodic photos. There is also a section detailing the special features in a darker purple box with technical specifications also. Inside the box is the case. The front of the case has the same artwork as the outer box, and the same goes true for the back of the case. Opening the case once, we get a few inserts on the left side and also a disc-by-disc breakdown and a cast photo that are on both panels. We don't get an episode booklet since the episodes are listed on the panels. This time we have a keep case instead of a digipak, so disc one is on the left panel, and discs two and three are in a little plastic holder that you can flip like a page on a book. Disc two is on the front and disc three is on the back. The same goes true for discs four and five. Disc six is on the right panel itself. The discs do NOT overlap, so good job by ABC Studios in fixing this from previous sets! Each disc is in the light purple/peach tyle color like the color scheme of the set and has artwork of two characters per disc. Disc one has episodes 1-4 with artwork of Kitty & Robert. Disc two has episodes 5-8 and has artwork of Saul & Nora. Disc three has episodes 9-12 and has artwork of lovers Luc & Sarah. Disc four has episodes 13-16 and has artwork of the couple Scotty & Kevin. Disc five holds episodes 17-20 with artwork of the young couple Rebecca & Justin. And finally disc six holds episodes 21-24 plus the bonus features and has artwork of David & Holly. After you remove the discs, you see the nice cast photo on the panels itself like I mentioned...very cool.

The menu screen starts by showing us a nice green tree then little moving images are moving around inside leaves. Background music from the show is playing in the background. It is really neat once again. On disc one only, before the main menu we have auto trailers for DVDs of ABC on DVD, Grey's Anatomy, Castle and Desperate Housewives. The options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, Bonus Features, Set Up, and Sneak Peeks. Sneak Peeks is just on disc six and has trailers for LOST, Cougar Town, Scrubs, Private Practice, FLASHFORWARD, Legend of the Seeker, Ugly Betty DVDs and ABC: Great Stories promo. Set Up section has the option of subtitles in English, French, Spanish or Chinese and how to register your DVD. Bonus Features are on each disc because there are deleted scenes on each disc, while disc six has the actual bonus features. The Episodes option gives us the episode number and title to choose along with a screenshot from the episode.

The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! I have a DVD player that upconverts to HD, so who needs a Blu-ray player? Ha. The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from the 2009-10 season, so it has to be good. The two-hour movie is presented as two separate episodes as part one and two, which is fine, just like the movie from season three. We get to hear the nice closing theme, as on ABC there are promos at the end of the episode.

Moving on to the bonus features. Each disc has deleted scenes for episodes from that disc like the previous set. I like that instead of having them all on one disc. Disc one has four deleted scenes running 0:44, 0:23, 1:45 and 1:47. Disc two has six deleted scenes running 0:57, 1:46, 0:41, 1:43, 0:58, and 0:39. Disc three has three deleted scenes running 0:33, 0:31 and 0:56. Disc four has two deleted scenes running 1:02 and 2:46. Disc five has three more deleted scenes running 1:19, 2:34 and 0:07. And finally disc six has four more deleted scenes running 0:30, 0:24, 0:40, and 0:52. Wow, so that is a total of 22 deleted scenes! Up from the 19 that were on the previous set.

As far as featurettes, disc six has "The Red Carpet." This runs 8:10 and has cast and crew interviews at the season four premiere party. Dave Annable's assistant Scott Scherick hosts and conducts these interviews. The cast and crew that were were speaking to him were Johnny Foam (costume supervisor), Marion Ross, Linda "Sparky" Hawes (co-producer), Diana Menjia (2nd assistant accountant), Ray Garcia (set dresser), Ellis James (best boy grip), Michael Morris (co-executive producer), Danny Vieria (stand-in), Leanne Bantkowski (stand-in), John Kazlayskas (writers' assistant), Annette Hobday (Second 2nd AD), Margery Kimbrough (script supervisor), Emily VanCamp, Ron Rifkin, Ken Olin, Denny Dugally (production designer), Luke MacFarlane, Matthew Rhys, Rachel Griffiths, Balthazar Getty, Suzanne C. Geiger (co-producer), Dave Annable and Calista Flockhart. This was pretty fun! Next we have a featurette called "Off the Clock." This runs 11:08 and we get to see what the cast and crew do off camera and out of the work environment. They are still a family even outside of the show! We see them at the show's weekly softball game, the show's art gallery, and at the Malibu Triathlon. Interviewed are Sparky Hawes (co-producer), Judy Tale Torres (craft service), Jonathan Deiner (production coordinator), Scott Scherick (Annable's assistant), Dave Annable, Matthew Rhys, Jason Wilborn (executive story editor), John Kazlayskas (writers' assistant), David Marshall Grant (executive producer), and Luke MacFarlane.
We finally have 2:12 worth of Bloopers & Outtakes. Very fun to watch always and but shorter than last year.

I highly recommend this series and set. It is such a well written and acted show. Sally Field and Rachel Griffiths have been nominated for Emmy's already, but Rob Lowe and Calista Flockhart really deserved nominations this year. I look forward to it every Sunday on ABC and can't wait until the fifth season starts on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 10/9c&m. Also, the series heads to local broadcast syndication this fall, with it airing here in NY on Saturday nights after college football/local news on WABC-7. See the Walkers from the beginning! The set is good, but I think the bonus features were reduced in quantity from the previous set. But at least we get features! I like how they fixed the packaging gripe I had. Everything else is similar to the previous sets, which s a good thing. Don't go all the way to Ojai or Narrow Lake to buy this DVD because you can just click below to order and you can gather your family and watch the Walker family on your TVs! Your family can't be filled with this much drama I hope? Go Walkers!

(4.5/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Official Website
Brothers and Sisters TV.com Page


LOOKING AHEAD

Come on back right here next week for more news and reviews. Next week we will have another good blog review for you. And don't forget to read our full DVD reviews, as many sitcoms will be coming fast very soon as we near September. So please stay with us! Keep it in the family and of course 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

Friday, December 9

Last Man Standing - "Help Wanted" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Since losing her teaching job, Vanessa has been spending her time hovering over the family, and it’s driving everyone nuts. Over at Kristin and Ryan’s house, Ryan and Kyle are wrapped-up in a zombie face-off to determine who knows the most about zombies and how to survive an apocalypse. Unable to land a new gig, Vanessa becomes discouraged, but Mike does everything he can to get her back doing what she loves.

Dr. Ken - "Ken's Apology" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Ken wants to apologize to a patient for missing an important medical detail, Pat advises against it, and the situation gets out of hand. Meanwhile, D.K. shakes things up at Dave’s parent/teacher conference.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 5)

Friday, December 9

  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Watch Olivia on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tom Papa (Come to Papa) - Tom is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones) - Sarah whips up a delicious treat on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Richard Kind (Spin City/Mad About You) - Richard is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Jennifer appears on Chelsea on Netflix.