Saturday, January 22, 2011

Digital Digest: Matlock - The Sixth Season DVD Review

Welcome to your weekly dose of news and reviews in Digital Digest! We've got a light week for you this week, but we are here nonetheless with your news, a preview of what is coming out on Tuesday, and a review of Matlock - The Sixth Season. Let's get going!


DIGITAL NEWS

We've been giving you quite a few updates on Dennis the Menace - Season One, and now we've got some information on the special features that will be included on the set. The official press release indicates that the set will include both on-screen and radio interviews of Jeannie Russell (Margaret) and Gloria Henry (Alice), as well as original promos, and the episode of The Donna Reed Show that we had previously mentioned. It looks like it is shaping up to be a great set, so we can't wait to see it!

A few weeks ago, we announced that the next release of the series Dynasty would be coming in a few months, but, as it turns out, it isn't on the schedule, at least not yet. According to information on the CBS Home Entertainment Facebook page, a date for the set has not yet been finalized, but it should be announced sometime in the near future.

Our final piece of news for this week is about South Park. It should come as no surprise that the fourteenth season is coming soon to DVD (as well as Blu-ray Disc), and this article has given us some information that is a little more firm: it is coming to both formats on April 26. Of course, we'll have a review of this set when the time comes.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (January 25) has just two releases worth noting here, beginning with the long anticipated release of Webster - Season One. The three disc set contains every episode from the first season, along with a trivia game as a special feature. You can read our review of this set here. Also on Tuesday is Matlock - The Sixth Season, where Ben Matlock (Andy Griffith) goes to bat for some clients to prove their innocence in the court of law. You can read our review of this set today in Digital Digest.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Ben Matlock (Andy Griffith) is back again to defend murderers with spunk and a little southern charm in Matlock - The Sixth Season. Much like Raymond Burr's title character in Perry Mason decades earlier, Matlock is headed some of the most difficult cases imaginable for those who seem to have no alibi at all, yet he manages to clear the name of his clients through careful detective work and sometimes the most ruthless tactics. Here is our review of this DVD set.

DVD Review - Matlock - The Sixth Season
by skees53

Matlock - The Sixth Season (CBS, $49.99) brings all 18 episodes of the 1991-1992 season of the legal drama to DVD in a six disc set. The sixth season, the last one to air on NBC before the series moved to ABC, is consistent with all of the previous seasons in the crimes that occur (invariably murder) and Matlock not only proving his client not guilty, but being able to point out the real criminal in the courtroom.

The sixth season begins with "The Witness Killings," where Ben returns to his hometown for the first time in decades for a family reunion, but naturally, crime and murder never takes a rest and he ends up defending a client (and making himself unpopular back home in the process). Matlock's life may be at stake in "The Strangler," but not until his reputation is ruined first. Matlock gets a bump on the head and ends up having a dream about having to defend Conrad in "The Nightmare." In "The Marriage Counselor," a marriage counselor who just so happened to be sleeping with the wives he was supposed to be treating ends up dead. Matlock goes back to the past in "The Dame." Michelle has to defend a father charged with killing his child's drug dealer in "The Suspect." Matlock has to defend a teen accused of killing his own father in "The Defense." A game show producer is found murdered (and Michelle goes undercover as a contestant) in "The Game Show." Who's your caddy? Hopefully not a dead man, as is the case with Ben's latest client in "The Foursome."
Ben reluctantly agrees to help his cousin in the two-part episode "The Picture." In "The Outcast," Matlock decides he is ready to retire, but undoubtedly, something will stop him. Michelle helps an investigator prove that a man killed his wealthy wife to collect insurance money in "The Big Payoff." Michelle is in some deep trouble with mobsters in "The Abduction." Could a comic book artist get Matlock's latest client off the hook? Possibly, in "Mr. Awesome." A disgruntled ex-journalist is the prime suspect in a murder in the two-part episode "The Evening News." The season ends with a father-daughter clash in "The Assassination."

The episodes appear to be unedited (although as has been the case with the previous sets, the preview of the upcoming episode is missing for all episodes), with runtimes as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "The Witness Killings" (1:32:57)
2. "The Strangler" (46:58)
3. "The Nightmare" (47:27)

Disc 2:
4. "The Marriage Counselor" (46:59)
5. "The Dame" (46:59)
6. "The Suspect" (1:33:52)

Disc 3:
7. "The Defense" (47:24)
8. "The Game Show" (46:20)
9. "The Foursome" (47:25)

Disc 4:
10. "The Picture (Part 1)" (47:28)
11. "The Picture (Part 2)" (45:56)
12. "The Outcast" (1:31:47)

Disc 5:
13. "The Big Payoff" (47:25)
14. "The Abduction" (47:25)
15. "Mr. Awesome" (47:26)

Disc 6:
16. "The Evening News (Part 1)" (47:24)
17. "The Evening News (Part 2)" (45:54)
18. "The Assassination" (1:32:51)

The set is packaged just like all of the previous sets, in a standard Viva-pack, with the cover art having a photo of Matlock, Michelle, and Conrad, with Matlock playing his trademark banjo. The back gives a little info about the season, along with a single snapshot of Matlock. Inside, there is a listing of all episodes with a description and original airdate. The discs have fairly standard artwork (just a gray background and the series logo), with each disc containing exactly three episodes.

We have very standard menus on the set, with the main menu of each disc giving options of Play All, a list of episodes, and a Set Up option. Set Up takes you to a menu to turn on the English subtitles. The menus all have a few cast snapshots, and no background audio or anything. Chapters are placed appropriately throughout each episode.

The episodes on the set look and sound great, without any major problems of concern. The picture is a little soft throughout the set, but it isn't a big deal. The audio is presented in English Surround Sound, with English subtitles available on the episodes.

Unfortunately, there are no special features again on this set. It would be nice to see some of the cast members (particularly Andy Griffith) to do some kind of interview for one of these sets at least once. Even the episode previews would be nice as a special feature.

This is basically another standard barebones set (we've become used to that with this series), but I think it is good enough for most fans. This is one of those series that really did stay consistent throughout the entire run, and this season is no better or no worse than any other season, just solid and consistent entertainment. The series found a formula that worked and never had much trouble deviating from that formula, and even with a cast of supporting characters that at times seemed like a revolving door, it maintained consistency. Something has to be said for a series that can pull that off. Perhaps that is why the series, unlike any other legal drama from the same era, continues to air every single day all across the country. Now we just need to wait for the final three seasons to come along.

(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
Matlock on TV.com


LOOKING AHEAD

We'll be back next week with a lot more "bull" with our very special review of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends - The Complete Series and a review of Airwolf - Season Four. Until then, keep it digital!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, January 20

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXIX" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer wins an oyster-eating contest against the mythical Cthulhu; Springfield is overrun by plant body-snatchers; Lisa finally snaps; Mr. Burns opens a retirement home with some Jurassic upgrades.

Bob's Burgers - "Live and Let Fly" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The kids seek revenge on their school guidance counselor; they get entangled in sibling rivalry between two pilots; Linda and Bob put their game faces on when Teddy invites them to a paper airplane contest.

Family Guy - "Send in Stewie, Please" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Stewie gets sent to see his school's child psychologist for a surprising session, he reveals major secrets about himself.

The Cool Kids - "Hank the Cradle Robber" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Hank starts dating a much younger woman, the gang suspects she may be taking advantage of him.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 14)

Friday, January 18

  • Maura Tierney (NewsRadio) - Watch Maura on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Elizabeth Banks (Scrubs) - Elizabeth visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She talks about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andy appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Lily and Jane are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Molly Ringwald (Townies/The Facts of Life) - Molly talks about All These Small Moments on People Now at 12pm.
  • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Don talks about Black Monday on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Dave talks about If Beale Street Could Talk on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Adam Pally (Champaign ILL/Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) and Sam Richardson (Champaign ILL/Detroiters/Veep) - Adam and Sam talk about Champaign ILL on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

Step by Step - The Complete Third Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series

11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
11/28 - The Great Indoors - Season 1 (The Complete Series)
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest