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 (May)

Mister Ed - The Final (Sixth) Season C.P.O. Sharkey - The Complete Season 1 The Nanny - The Complete Series Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Third Season The Wonder Years - Season Three

05/05 - Cheers - The Complete Series
05/12 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete Fourth Season
05/12 - The Hotwives of Orlando - The Complete First Season
05/12 - Mister Ed - The Final (Sixth) Season (Shout! Factory)
05/19 - American Dad - Volume 10
05/19 - C.P.O. Sharkey - The Complete Season 1
05/19 - The Larry Sanders Show - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Season Nine (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Season Ten (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Seasons Nine and Ten (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Seasons Nine and Ten (Mill Creek)
05/19 - NewsRadio - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Welcome to Sweden - The Complete First Season
05/26 - Hello Ladies - Season 1
05/26 - The Nanny - The Complete Series
05/26 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Third Season
05/26 - The Wonder Years - Season Three
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The Organization assigns top spy, Brett Willis, to go undercover as K.C.'s boyfriend for a mission; Craig and Kira find out their old rival, Zane, is back.

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Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 25) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, May 29

  • Courteney Cox (Cougar Town/Friends) - Watch Courteney on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Joel McHale (Community) - Joel appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Chelsea is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jeremy Piven (Entourage/Ellen) - Jeremy talks about his new film Entourage on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Carla Gugino (Spin City) - Carla is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Mario Cantone (Sex and the City) - Mario chats about the hottest celebrity beauty treatments and if they could be right for you on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kelsey Grammer (Partners/Frasier/Cheers) and David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) - Kelsey and David reunite after years to talk about their latest Broadway shows, Finding Neverland and It Shoulda Been You and fondly relive their former Frasier characters with a trivia game called "Who Said That?" on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings. Kelsey previews his new Broadway musical Finding Neverland on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Raven-SymonĂ© (That's So Raven/Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/The Cosby Show) - Raven-SymonĂ© guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on Morning Joe on MSNBC sometime between 6-9am.