Saturday, September 25, 2010

Digital Digest: C.S.I. - The Tenth Season DVD Review; EXCLUSIVE "Community 101 Pop Quiz"

Fall has arrived, and while that certainly does mean that the temperatures are cooling down and the trees are starting to lose their leaves, it also means that the new fall season has officially started on all of the major networks. We've got some more news for you this week (though the news is still slow on the home media front, as it has been for the past few months) and a review of C.S.I. - The Tenth Season this week. But wait! We also have a very special treat for you in this week's Digital Digest! School is back in full swing too for the fall, and today we will be taking you back to school for an exclusive "Community 101 Pop Quiz," where we will give you a brief multiple-choice quiz where you'll be quizzed over the NBC series Community. Answer all of the questions correctly and email them to us by Monday morning at midnight EDT (details will be explained a bit later in this edition of Digital Digest) and you will be entered into a drawing where one lucky winner will receive a copy of Community - The Complete First Season!


DIGITAL NEWS


The fall season may have just started, but some pre-order links are already showing up on amazon.com for some of the most popular TV series that have already returned! Of interest to sitcom fans are the pre-order listings for Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eighth Season and The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Fourth Season (and Blu-ray as well)! Of course, no details are known about either of these sets right now, and it seems very strange to us that they would even list these titles already!

Lucille Ball fans will be pleased to know that the third season of The Lucy Show is going to hit shelves before Christmas. According to TVShowsOnDVD.com, The Lucy Show - The Official Third Season should be released on November 30. No other details are known at this time.

As we mentioned a few months ago, MPI is planning a release of The Honeymooners Christmas Special, and now it is on the schedule for December 14. It will come at a $14.98 MSRP and will include an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette. On an unrelated sidenote, MPI is releasing the fourth season of the British comedy hit that almost made it to America on NBC (but didn't), The IT Crowd, on the same day at a $24.98 MSRP.

Going outside of the sitcom realm, we have some news about the classic TV series Ironside. According to their weekly newsletter, Shout! Factory is preparing season 4 as a Shout! Select title with a date to be determined. It is good to see that this show hasn't been abandoned as many fans believed it was!

We conclude our news this week with some formative rumors and gossip from Shout! Factory's Brian Ward. Of course, as we all know, he is a producer for many of their DVDs and the hints and information that he drops is always accurate, just not set in stone, so we have no idea what will actually happen. Earlier this week, he hinted on his Twitter feed that he is working on a complete series set that will be announced in a few weeks! Of course, that is very ambiguous, and it could be literally anything, so we won't speculate on what exactly it could be. Brian Ward has also mentioned that the quality of the Father Knows Best reunion movies is being reviewed for the release of the sixth (and final) season of the series, so it is possible that we could see that released sometime in the future. But bear in mind, this is all speculative at this time, and no release is scheduled YET, but it appears that something will be coming eventually.

UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (September 28) brings us the final chapter for Scrubs, with both Scrubs - The Complete Ninth Season and Scrubs - The Complete Series on DVD. Unfortunately, the ninth season isn't being released on Blu-ray yet, so hopefully a release of that is forthcoming so that both of the seasons that aired in high-definition will be on Blu-ray.

Fox will be releasing The Cleveland Show - Season One on Tuesday, as well a separate single episode Family Guy release of the banned-from-air episode "Partial Terms of Endearment." Also on the animation front, we have Comedy Central DVD's South Park - A Little Box of Butters, featuring 13 of the best episodes of one of the funniest characters on the series.

Finally, Shout! Factory is releasing single disc "best-of" releases of Rhoda and Designing Women. If you already own the season sets of either of these shows, then you probably won't be interested in these releases, but if you are a casual fan and want just a few episodes, then these releases are perfect for you.

Unfortunately, we don't have reviews of any of these yet (the studios have been slacking on getting releases to us on time lately), but when we do, they will be on Digital Digest or on our reviews page!

COMMUNITY 101 POP QUIZ CONTEST

Community - The Complete First Season

As we mentioned earlier in today's Digital Digest, we have a special contest this week! We have five multiple choice questions for you about Community, and if you get all of the answers correct, then you could win your own copy of Community - The Complete First Season, now available on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment!

All you have to do to enter is to email us at communitydvd@sitcomsonline.com with the letters that correspond to the correct answer (no Scantron forms!) by midnight on September 27, 2010. You must have all answers correct in order to have a chance to win. Be sure to check out our complete rules at the end of the quiz.

Oh, and before we get started on the quiz, we want this to feel like a real community college quiz, so we're even going to give you a free cheat sheet to help you with this quiz, so that you can cheat your way through college just like Jeff Winger! Here we go with the quiz!

1. In "Spanish 101," which classmate does Jeff get paired with for the Spanish project?
a. Britta
b. Shirley
c. Pierce
d. Annie

2. What is the name of Troy's comic book?
a. Kickpuncher
b. Britta the Warrior
c. Justice Fighter
d. Women of Troy

3. Which food item was there a shortage of at Greendale Community College?
a. pizza
b. chicken fingers
c. hot dogs
d. tacos

4. What subject did the instructor who was found to not have his college degree teach?
a. religious studies
b. statistics
c. Spanish
d. home economics

5. Which of the following is a real member of the study group?
a. Monique
b. Abed
c. Amanda
d. Cara

Contest Rules:
  1. Limit only "one" entry per e-mail address and household. All entries must be submitted to communitydvd@sitcomsonline.com.
  2. US and Canadian residents only.
  3. The contest begins Saturday, September 25th and ends at 12:00 AM EDT on Monday, September 27th (Sunday night/Monday morning).
  4. No purchase necessary.
  5. One entry will be selected at random and the entrant will be notified by e-mail if they have answered the questions correctly; otherwise another entry will be selected at random until an entry with all correct answers has been chosen. Winners must respond within 48 hours of being notified with their mailing address or another winner will be contacted. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  6. Employees of SitcomsOnline.com (that includes the DVD Review Team - Moderators can enter the contest), its parents, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotional agencies and the immediate family members of said employees are not eligible.

BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Tenth Season

DVD Review: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Tenth Season (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video, $79.99)
by Todd Fuller

In CSI's exciting, must-own Season 10, Dr. Ray Langston (Tony winner, Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne) uncovers clues in a conspiracy so vast, it takes him to New York. This segment of the CSI Trilogy crossover event is just one reason to savor this superb collection, which features new episodes guest-starring Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle. The team, which also stars Emmy winner Marg Helgenberger and George Eads, digs into the seamy underbelly of Las Vegas to solve murders of a rising ingenue and two beautiful scam artists. Meanwhile, a menacing new serial killer known only as Dr. Jekyll shows his sadistic side, while the specter of the team's old nemesis, Paul Millander, arises anew. In this landmark tenth season of the Emmy and People's Choice Award-winning series, the legendary forensics unit proves once again that there's no shortage of sin in Sin City.

This 7-disc set contains all 23 episodes (plus 2 crossover CSI: Miami and CSI: NY episodes) from the tenth (2009-10) season of the long-running crime drama. The episodes are presented in anamorphic widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Stereo audio (Spanish Stereo is also available). It has a total running time of approximately 16 hours, 47 minutes. The attractive packaging has photos of Marg Helgenberger, Laurence Fishburne and George Eads on the front cover, with the Las Vegas skyline in the background. There is an embossed CSI: Crime Scene Investigation logo at the top of the box. After using Digipak packaging for the previous seasons, they've switched to a cardboard box that holds a snapcase. Marg Helgenberger, George Eads, Eric Szmanda, Laurence Fisburne, Robert David Hall and Paul Guilfoyle are pictured on the back of the box. A short synopsis of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD specs are given. There is a clear plastic snapcase that slides out from the right of the outer cardboard box. The snapcase has the same cover art, photos and information as the cardboard box. Opening up the snapcase, there is a content locator which lists the episodes and the special features on the inside cover. Discs 1-6 are held back-to-back in plastic trays, while Disc 7 is an embedded holder in the back of the case. The discs have a portion of a casino sign and list the episodes and special features. Unfortunately, they didn't include the Crime Scene: Do Not Cross tape around the packaging this time around.

The menus are stylish and easy to navigate. There is a series of previews for some other CBS DVD/Paramount TV DVD releases and the CSI: Fatal Conspiracy game which you can play or skip. The main menu opens with some aerial views of Las Vegas that lead to a montage of video clips from the show. A great instrumental cue by composer John M. Keane plays in the background and then the sequence loops. Options are available for Episode Selection, Set Up, Previews (only on Disc 1) and the various special features by disc. You can choose either English 5.1 Surround or
EspaƱol audio on the Set Up Menu. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes, but some of the special features are not rated any may not be closed captioned. As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. They do a lot of nighttime shooting and make the show look dark and like a theatrical film. There is no disclaimer on the back of the box about any of the episodes possibly being edited. Episodes are presented in their original broadcast order and numbered by the production number, which was the same order for this season. Running times are between 42-44 minutes in length. It doesn't appear that they are releasing the tenth season on Blu-ray at this time.

Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the runtimes:

Disc 1
Episode 1001 "Family Affair" (44:22)
Episode 1002 "Ghost Town" (44:13)
Episode 1003 "Working Stiffs" (44:13)

Disc 2
Episode 1004 "Coupe De Grace" (43:52)
Episode 1005 "Bloodsport" (44:12)
Episode 1006 "Death and the Maiden" (43:53)

Disc 3
CSI: Miami 807 "Bone Voyage" (43:51)
CSI: NY 607 "Hammer Down" (41:44)
Episode 1008 "The Lost Girls" (44:13)
Episode 1007 "Lover's Lane" (44:03)

Disc 4
Episode 1009 "Appendictement" (44:22)
Episode 1010 "Better Off Dead" (42:02)
Episode 1011 "Sin City Blue" (44:13)
Episode 1012 "Long Ball" (43:12)

Disc 5
Episode 1013 "Internal Combustion" (42:43)
Episode 1014 "Unshockable" (44:23)
Episode 1015 "Neverland" (43:02)
Episode 1016 "The Panty Sniffer" (44:22)

Disc 6
Episode 1017 "Irradiator" (44:22)
Episode 1018 "Field Mice" (44:22)
Episode 1019 "World's End" (43:51)
Episode 1020 "Take My Life, Please!" (43:52)

Disc 7
Episode 1021 "Lost & Found" (42:32)
Episode 1022 "Doctor Who" (42:21)
Episode 1023 "Meat Jekyll" (44:01)

A decent number of special features are spread out over the 7 discs. Once again, there are only 2 audio commentaries on this set like last season. They have really cut back on the number of them from previous seasons for all of the CSI franchise shows. No deleted scenes are included on this release. The 5 features run about 90 minutes total in length. Here is the breakdown by disc:

Disc 1
Frozen in Time: CSI's Season Opener (12:21) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Director/Supervising Producer Kenneth Fink, Co-Producer Brad Tannebaum, Jorja Fox, Robert David Hall, Director of Photography Christian Sebaldt, Visual Effects Supervisor/Zoic Studios Rik Shorten,
They discuss in detail the motion control shooting and the digital effects for the season premiere. It took them 2 months to complete the scene.

Disc 3
Leaving Las Vegas: Langston Heads East (23:28) - This featurette details the triple crossover event. It started out in Miami, moved to New York and finished in Las Vegas. Inteviews include Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Executive Producer (CSI: NY) Peter M. Lenkov, Laurence Fishburne, Co-Executive Producer (CSI: Miami) Mark Dube, Director/Producer (CSI: Miami) Sam Hill, David Caruso, Omar Benson Miller, Executive Producer (CSI: Miami) Barry O'Brien, Christian Clemenson, Emily Procter, Executive Producer (CSI: NY) Pam Veasey, Melina Kanakaredes and Gary Sinise.

Disc 4
Audio Commentary by George Eads, Eric Szmanda, Wallace Langham & Jon Wellner on "Appendicitement"

Disc 5
Audio Commentary Rascal Flatts (Jay DeMarcus, JoeDon Rooney and Gary LeVox) , Writer Michael Frost Beckner and Executive Producer/Director Kenneth Fink

Disc 6
Lab Rats: The Saga Continues (15:31) - This featurette chronicles the 4th annual Lab Rats episode. Liz Vassey and Wallace Langham helped write this episode. Unfortunately, they didn't include an audio commentary to supplement this featurette. Interviews include Liz Vassey, Wallace Langham, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Paul Guilfoyle, David Berman, Robert David Hall, Director Bran Tanenbaum, Sheeri Rappaport and Jon Wellner.

Disc 7
CSI: The Experience (15:38) - Eric Szmanda profiles and gives a tour of the CSI: The Experience traveling interactive exhibit. Clips of Gil Grissom, Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Catherine Willows, and Al Robbins speaking to the visitors are shown. Creator and Executive Producer Anthony E. Zuiker, Ron Rohovit, Firearm and Toolmark Examiner Jamie Becker, and Arthur Eisenberg, Ph.D. are interviewed.

KillerTales: Season 10 of CSI (23:17) - This featurette highlights some of the key developments and moments of the tenth season. They talk about the addition of Laurence Fishburne to the cast, Catherine's and Nick's characters this season, the return of of Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle, the characters of Greg Sanders and Jim Brass, the panty sniffer episode, the stakeout of a casino episode, Rascal Flatts, their favorite episode of the season, and the serial killer story arc of Dr. Jekyll. Interviews include Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenbrger, Jorja Fox, George Eads, Robert David Hall, David Berman, Eric Szmanda, Paul Guilfoyle, Director/Co-Executive PRoducer Louis Shaw Milito, Co-Producer Jacqueline Hoyt,

This season started out with a great opening sequence and ended with a thrilling cliffhanger. This was Laurence Fishburn's first full season as Langston and he has fit in the show nicely. They really gave him a chance to shine in the 3-part crossover event. It was also great to see the return of Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle. She has been missed. This is another nicely produced set. A number of entertaining featurettes and a couple of audio commentaries are included. Amazon.com has it priced at $71.99 at the moment. That seems ridiculously high. Hopefully that price will come down. You can probably find it much cheaper at other online retailers and in stores.

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS.com Official Site
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TV.com Page

LOOKING AHEAD

Before I wrap things up this week, I want to say that it is good to be back on the blog this week, and I should be back to doing the Digital Digest regularly from now. Many great features are planned for upcoming blog entries, and we hope that you'll keep checking with us every week, even if things have been very slow on the news front lately! Remember, keep it digital!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 24

The Big Bang Theory - "The Discovery Dissipation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leonard and Amy help Sheldon cope with the shame he’s feeling after his accidental contribution to science is disproved. Meanwhile, Raj must stay with Howard and Bernadette for a week.

The Millers - "Driving Miss Crazy" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Nathan gets frustrated after he’s forced to drive Carol around town for errands once again, he demands that she either learn how to drive or find another chauffeur. But when Debbie volunteers Adam to drive Carol, everyone’s surprised when they form an unexpected bond.

Welcome to Sweden - "Proving Love/Lagenhet" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bruce (Greg Poehler) and Emma (Josephine Bornebusch) move into an apartment in Stockholm and Bruce tries his best to introduce himself to the neighbors. Meanwhile, the couple is forced to prove their relationship at the immigration office, but the interviews don’t go quite as planned. Elsewhere, Emma suspects one of Bruce’s former clients, Aubrey Plaza (guest starring as herself), may be stalking him, while another, Amy Poehler (guest starring as herself), is in desperate need of his professional assistance.

Working the Engels - "Jenna's Friend" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Jimmy (Benjamin Arthur) gives their grandmother’s ring to a stripper, Jenna (Kacey Rohl) is forced to intervene to get it back – and makes an unlikely friend in the process. Meanwhile, Sandy (Azura Skye) wins free mother/daughter hip-hop classes and brings Ceil (Andrea Martin) along, but they quickly realize the class isn't meant for them. Ceil is ready to get out of there, until a former friend makes fun of Sandy, and then Ceil is determined not only that they stay, but that they win the dance competition. Rachel Wilson, Rebecca Dalton and Shawn Byfield guest star.

Married - "The Shower" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
A.J. and Jess hijack Russ and Lina's night out.

You're the Worst - "Insouciance" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Jimmy attempts to take Gretchen on a date.

Love That Girl - "The Hot Seat" (TV One, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Imunique agrees to throw a bachelorette party for DeMiracle's fiance.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 21) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, July 24

  • David Duchovny (Californication) - Catch David on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman) - Mary Lynn stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Mo'Nique (The Parkers) - Mo'Nique appears on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Tune in to see Kristin on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) and Nat Faxon (Married/Ben and Kate) - Judy and Nat talk about their new FX series Married on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. They will also be on HuffPost Live.
  • Adrienne Barbeau (Maude) - Adrienne discusses her role in the Hallmark Movie Channel original movie The Memory Book on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Greg Poehler (Welcome to Sweden) - Greg is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Leah Remini (The King of Queens/Family Tools) - Leah appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig will be on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling (Mystery Girls) - Jennie and Tori are guests on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel at 7:45am. Jennie will also be on HuffPost Live.