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!


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

2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Hot in Cleveland - Season Five Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show - The Complete Series
Family Ties - The Complete Series Happy Days - The Sixth Season The Jeffersons - The Complete Series Mister Ed - The Complete Series Mork & Mindy - The Complete Series

10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, November 20

The Big Bang Theory - "The Champagne Reflection" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon says a tearful goodbye to “Fun with Flags.” Also, Leonard, Howard and Raj look for something significant in a dead professor’s research, and Bernadette is shocked to learn her co-workers’ true feelings from Penny.

Mom - "Forged Resumes and the Recommended Dosage" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
While Christy tries to get to the bottom of Violet's erratic behavior, Bonnie attempts to get a job. Kevin Pollak returns as Alvin.

Two and a Half Men - "Thirty-Eight, Sixty-Two, Thirty-Eight" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Walden and Alan meet a birth mother who’s considering them to adopt her baby. Maggie Lawson guest stars as a social worker helping Walden and Alan adopt a child.

The McCarthys - "Supporting Jackie" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Jackie gets a list from her doctor of the things she can’t do now that she’s pregnant, her family tries to show support and avoid doing them too.

Bad Judge - "The Cat's Out of the Bag" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Rebecca’s (Kate Walsh) rocker ex-husband Keith (guest star Jim Jefferies) re-appears in her life to let her know of the death of an old friend. With Gary’s (Ryan Hansen) help, Rebecca realizes she still carries anger toward her ex and is able to successfully let the past go. Tedward (Tone Bell) sees the courtroom as the perfect way to meet recently single women, but realizes he has gone too far when a convict’s girlfriend thinks he’s “Mr. Right.”

A to Z - "H Is for Hostile Takeover" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Andrew (Ben Feldman) begins to realize his choices are heavily influenced by his friends, specifically Stu (Henry Zebrowski) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti). With Zelda’s encouragement, Andrew confronts Big Bird (Christina Kirk) about his stand on Wallflower’s new business strategy, but his plan backfires when Big Bird promotes a young assistant Jordan (guest star Alex Wyse) in his position. Meanwhile, in an effort to have something all his own, Andrew tries to find a hobby he doesn’t share with his friends.

Instant Mom
- "Drill Team" (Nick at Nite, 8:00PM ET/PT)
In order to help Aaron with his fear of the dentist, Stephanie agrees to get checked out as well, despite being afraid herself. When she discovers their new dentist is someone from her past, she becomes even more scared.

See Dad Run - "See Dad Fire Original Katie...Again" (Nick at Nite, 8:30PM ET/PT)
David's former co-star who he fired from the show becomes Joe's slightly unhinged Spanish tutor. When Joe's grades suffer, David gets her a job on Amy's soap opera, where things go from bad to worse. Guest Star: Daniella Monet.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 17) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, November 20

  • Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies) - Catch Stephen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He talks about Hello Ladies 2 on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Watch Mayim on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback/Friends) - Lisa chats on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Allison Williams (Girls) - Allison visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Allison Janney (Mom) - Allison drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin chats and performs on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She is a guest on HuffPost Live at 3:10pm.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney weighs in on the latest Hot Topics and talks about her upcoming shows at The Venetian in Las Vegas on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Emeril Lagasse (Emeril) - Emeril co-hosts Rachael Ray for their Thanksgiving two-day event, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Urie (Partners) - Michael will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna discusses Pitch Perfect 2 on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Chelsea is a guest on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York between 7-10am.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.