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!


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.


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.


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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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 (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 25

The Middle - "Halloween VIII: The Heckoning" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Halloween approaches, Frankie is taken aback when she discovers that, if the circumstances ever arose where she and Mike got divorced, the kids would all choose to live with Mike. Meanwhile, Sue tries everything in her power to get her room back from Brick, and having to be so nice around girlfriend April all of the time leads Axl to lash out at his family.

American Housewife - "Westport Zombies" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie, jealous of Taylor’s friendship with neighbor Viv (Leslie Bibb), reluctantly competes in the Westport Halloween “Zombie Run” after she finds out they’ll both be running. Meanwhile, Greg and Anna-Kat get a little too much in character for the “zombie” part of the run’s obstacle course.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Louisween" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Louis’ favorite holiday, and he makes every attempt to scare Jessica into the Halloween spirit, but she is buried in her word processor, drafting her first horror novel. Meanwhile, Emery and Evan debate costume choices, and Eddie and his crew are excited to party with high schoolers at Nicole’s house.

The Real O'Neals - "The Real Halloween" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Halloween arrives, or what Kenny refers to as “the gay Super Bowl,” he plans to go to Boystown to watch the festive costume parade. In an effort to prevent Kenny from attending, Eileen agrees to let him throw his own Halloween party at home. Eileen’s tolerance is ultimately tested when Kenny recruits Stuart and his gay friends to join the big party, and he makes a BIG costume change. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Shannon plan to pull off an epic Halloween prank.

Atlanta - "Junteenth" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Why my Auntie trying to make me go to one of these bougie Junteenth parties again? I don't like them sadity people and I'm gonna miss my shows. Le sigh.

Family Time - "Head of House" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When the Stallworths have an unexpected visitor, they learn of a vicious crime that took place in their home years ago.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Tuesday, October 25

  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Catch Will on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Skylar Astin (Ground Floor) - Skylar is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman/Veronica's Closet/The Larry Sanders Show) and David Koechner (Another Period/Hank/The Office) - Mary and David are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love) - Jamie Lee is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Erinn Hayes (Kevin Can Wait/Guys with Kids/Worst Week) - Erinn plays a celeb guessing game with Rach, who’s serving up no-fail make-your-own takeout, on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Cheryl Hines (Son of Zorn/Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on the AOL Build Show 4pm.
  • Don Rickles (C.P.O. Sharkey/Daddy Dearest) - Don is a guest on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.