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 (Friday, April 18)

Last Man Standing - "April, Come She Will" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Vanessa’s mooching sister April comes to visit, Mike suspects it’s because she needs money. Sure enough, April explains that she’s decided to have a baby but doesn’t have the funds for a donor egg. While Vanessa and Mike aren’t on board, Mandy comes up with a solution. Meanwhile at Outdoor Man, Mike tries pulling a prank on Chuck Larabee that gives him some new perspective.

Last Man Standing - "Tasers" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A large bouquet of roses is delivered anonymously to the Baxter’s house on Valentine’s Day. Vanessa knows they’re not for her because Mike doesn’t believe in the frivolity of flowers on a Hallmark holiday. As an expression of his love though, Mike buys Vanessa a Taser, which only adds to her disappointment. Meanwhile, Kristin suspects her boss, John Baker (guest star Jonathan Taylor Thomas), may be the secret admirer, while Mandy assumes the flowers are from Kyle.

The Rickey Smiley Show - "The Bachelor" (TV One, 9:00PM ET/PT)
A Bachelor type promotion on the radio station.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 14) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Friday, April 18

  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Watch Bryan on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl/I Hate My Teenage Daughter) - Jaime is a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel) - Kenan stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tichina Arnold (Martin/Everybody Hates Chris/Happily Divorced) - Tichina and the cast of the new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. She also appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo chats about the new film Heaven is for Real on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy is a guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He also talks getting animated for Rio 2 on 106 & Park at 6pm on BET.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin is challenged to a hilarious round of charades on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George appears on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Albert Tsai (Trophy Wife) - Albert is a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Chris Messina (The Mindy Project) - Chris will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York at 9:40am. She can also be heard on WGN Radio in Chicago with host Dean Richards on Sunday.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) - Sofia is a guest on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.