Saturday, March 12, 2011

Digital Digest: The Red Green Show - The Delinquent Years DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest, the one place every week where you don't have to worry about any mentions of Charlie Sheen (except of course in this introduction where I mentioned his name). Sadly, the slowdown in the world of home entertainment continues this week (as it has been for several months), and we have yet another slow news week, but we do have a special review for you of the Canadian (also airing on PBS in the United States) series The Red Green Show - The Delinquent Years. Let's get going!


I feel like we say this every week, but it is true every week--this is our slowest news week ever. However, there is one non-sitcom bright spot to report this week from Shout! Factory. On June 21, they will be releasing the first season of the 90s animated Nickelodeon series Rocko's Modern Life on DVD for the very first time. Although two "best of" sets have been available as manufacture-on-demand titles on for quite a while, this marks the first time that the series has been released as a traditional title. It comes at a $19.93 MSRP.

Acorn Media is releasing The Red Green Show - The Delinquent Years on Tuesday, but they're already looking ahead with The Red Green Show - The Midlife Crisis Years! Scheduled to be released on May 31, the $79.99 set will contain every episode from the 2000-2002 seasons of the Canadian series.

We do have one contest announcement that you may have been on the blog earlier in the week. Last week, in Digital Digest, we reviewed the PBS series Pioneers of Television - Season 2. Well now, if you want to own a copy of it, you just might be able to with our contest! You can win by posting your comments on your favorite episode of the series from either season 1 or 2 under our comments on our Facebook page. Be sure to read our rules and regulations for the contest before entering.


Tuesday (March 15) brings us Universal's release of Coach - The Fourth Season. Unfortunately, we did not receive a review copy of this set. Additionally, we have Acorn Media's release of the Canadian series (which also aired on PBS) The Red Green Show - The Delinquent Years, which contains every episodes from the 1997-1999 seasons of the comedy series. We have a review of this set today in Digital Digest.


"All it takes is a little imagination, some mechanical ability, and neighbors who mind their own business" is the motto of the Possum Lodge, where Red Green and his gang of Canadian friends come up with more mayhem, half-baked ideas, and crazy contraptions. The comedy series The Red Green Show ran for an astonishing fifteen seasons on CBC in Canada (as well as on PBS in the United States) and featured a hilarious style of comedy that isn't normally seen on television. It managed to become a cult classic without a whole lot of fanfare, and fans have many great memories of the show. Now, Acorn Media is re-releasing seasons 7-9 in a single box set in The Red Green Show - The Delinquent Years.

DVD Review - The Red Green Show - The Delinquent Years
by skees53

The Red Green Show - The Delinquent Years (Acorn Media, $79.99) compiles the middle three seasons--or the "delinquent years"--of the classic Canadian series The Red Green Show on DVD in a nine disc set. The comedy series, which was inspired by an earlier Canadian sketch comedy series Smith & Smith, where Steve Smith started the character of Red Green. Red Green is the host of a local home-improvement and outdoor series where he proves that virtually any problem, invention, or home repair that comes up can be solved using duct tape, the "universal adapter." Along with the cast of characters, the one playing the largest role is Harold Green (Patrick McKenna), Red's nerdy and somewhat flamboyant nephew, who serves as the director and the producer of the fictitious series.

Season 7 begins with "Running of the Bulls," where the guys stage a race that is sure to ensue disaster. The show is sold to the Swiss (and goes all European) in "Swiss it Up." What'll happen when the lodge adopts a stretch of highway? Find out in "Adopt-a-Highway." The forest ranger, Ranger Gord, goes missing in "The Stranger Ranger." Every great TV show seems to inevitably become a movie, and that is just what Red and Harold attempt to do in "The Movie." The wives are coming to the cabins (is that a good idea?) in "Let My Count the Ways." Red's leadership is challenged by the other guys in "The Splinter Lodge." Red's latest money-making scheme involves turning to religion (so that the lodge can get bingo) in "Bingo Was His Name."

Season 8 kicks off with a very sad (not really) goodbye when Harold goes off to college in "Harold's Leaving," but he won't be going too far away. In "Neither Rain Nor Sleet," Red decides that the postal service could be more efficient if he ran it--so what else can he do but start his own? Visitors from the planet Gorgon visit the show in "The Cult Visit." In "The Mayor Race," Red takes it upon himself to run for mayor of Possum Lake. The guys get a contract for all of the essential services in the city in "Town Services Contract," so how will they handle these big responsibilities?

In season 9, the fish in the lake stop biting in "The Fishing Derby," and the series is going to explore why in the best way that they possibly can. Red attempts to make a hot air balloon in "School Bus Blimp." In "Rent a Wreck," Red's van is used in the best way possible--in a demolition derby! Red decides to go over the falls in a beer barrel in "Roll Out the Barrels." Finally the ninth season ends with "The Battle Call," where it is a battle between the Possum Lodge and Caribou Lodge. A hurricane is coming in "Hurricane Doug." In "Too Much Information," everybody is all about computers, except of course Red.

The episode runtimes vary (starting out near 26 minutes at the very beginning, but going to a consistent 22:37 by season 9), with runtimes as follows:

Season 7:

Disc 1:
1. "Running of the Bulls" (25:56)
2. "Swiss it Up" (25:55)
3. "The Implosion" (25:55)
4. "Adopt-a-Highway" (25:55)
5. "The Stranger Ranger" (25:55)
6. "Big Guy, Little Guy" (23:15)

Disc 2:
7. "The Movie" (23:15)
8. "Expropriation" (23:15)
9. "The Stool Pigeons" (23:15)
10. "Celebrity" (23:15)
11. "Let Me Count the Ways" (23:15)
12. "Pardi Gras" (23:15)

Disc 3:
13. "The Splinter Lodge" (23:15)
14. "The Good Old Hockey Game" (23:15)
15. "Step Outside" (23:15)
16. "The Town Mall" (23:05)
17. "The Winter Carnival" (23:15)

Season 8:

Disc 1:
1. "Harold's Leaving" (22:40)
2. "House Moving" (22:40)
3. "Neither Rain nor Sleet" (22:35)
4. "The Cult Visit" (22:37)
5. "College Life" (22:37)

Disc 2:
6. "The New Monument" (22:40)
7. "Free Apricots" (22:38)
8. "The Mayor Race" (22:36)
9. "Better to Give Than Receive" (22:36)
10. "Town Services Contract" (22:37)

Disc 3:
11. "It's a Wonderful Green Christmas" (22:39)
12. "Life Cycle" (22:36)
13. "Mad About You" (22:36)
14. "Bingo Was His Name" (22:37)

Season 9:

Disc 1:
1. "Harold's Job" (22:37)
2. "The Fishing Derby" (22:37)
3. "Lady in Red" (22:37)
4. "The Bachelor Auction" (22:37)
5. "Angel" (22:37)
6. "School Bus Blimp" (22:37)

Disc 2:
7. "Coup de Grass" (22:37)
8. "Rent a Wreck" (22:37)
9. "Curse of the Mummy" (22:38)
10. "Roll Out the Barrels" (22:37)
11. "No Retreat" (22:37)
12. "The Battle Call" (22:37)

Disc 3:
13. "Hurricane Doug" (22:37)
14. "Guinness World Records" (22:37)
15. "The Auto Club" (22:37)
16. "Too Much Information" (22:37)

The set comes packaged in three standard Viva-packs inside of a large outer box. The cover art on all of the cases and the box features Red inside of one of his invented motorcycle type kludges. Each season contains an episode guide with a brief (one sentence) description for each episode.

The menus on the set are very basic, with a photo of Red Green on the main menu and the theme song playing in the background. You get options of Play All, Episode Selection (Disc 1 of each season only), and Bonus Features (Disc 1 of each season only) on the main menu. To clear any confusion, on Discs 2 and 3 of each season, there is no separate Episode Selection menu, as the episodes are all listed on the main menu. Episode Selection takes you to a text menu that lists all of the episodes on the disc. Chapters are placed throughout the episodes.

The video and audio quality on the set is honestly a little disappointing. That isn't to say that it is bad, but it looks a bit pixelated and the sound isn't incredibly crisp. Still, this series is supposed to be a parody of a really bad outdoor/home-improvement series, so it is probably more appropriate to see it this way. The series just wouldn't look right in high definition. Each episode on the set is closed-captioned.

The set is somewhat lacking in variety in the special features department. That isn't to say that there is nothing to be found, but all that we have are on-screen text character biographies and production notes that were written by the series star and creator Steve Smith. However, in all fairness, these are rather detailed and give a lot of insight into the show, but you'd almost expect a show as creative as this one to have more creative special features.

I really like this show, although I'm not sure that it is for everybody. It really requires a somewhat intellectual sense of humor to understand the absurdness of the series, kind of like the sense of humor that it takes to appreciate Benny Hill, for example. I just happened to run across the series on PBS several years ago, and didn't really understand what was going on or what it was about at first, but I found what I was seeing very funny, and it quickly became something that I enjoyed seeing every Saturday evening. If a PBS affiliate in your area airs it, you may want to check it out, and if you find it as hilarious as I do, then you should check out these DVDs.

(4/5 stars)

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With all of these slow news weeks that we've been having lately, it is time for us to take a reality check: is physical home media starting to die out? We'll take a look at this next week in Digital Digest, and hopefully we'll have more. 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

Wednesday, October 26

The Goldbergs - "Stefan King" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Adam’s love of Stephen King inspires him to try his hand at horror writing. After learning the monster in Adam’s story is based off Beverly, she forces Adam to stay in on Halloween and rewrite it, hoping he depicts her as a better mother.  Meanwhile, Erica is desperate to find a date to the costume dance and forces Barry go with her.

Speechless - "H-A-L-- HALLOWEEN" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jimmy is upset the kids no longer want to participate in the family tradition of dressing up for Halloween. Maya tries to cheer up Jimmy by allowing him to do things he loves by taking things off the family “Dead to Me” list. Meanwhile, Ray recruits Dylan to help work the school’s haunted mansion while Kenneth is scared of losing his job when JJ gets drunk at a party.  Even though Maya is furious, she is thrilled to see JJ having a “normal” life.

Modern Family - "Halloween 4: The Revenge of Rod Skyhook" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Luke’s Halloween party isn’t the monster bash he dreamed of and is at risk of having the worst party of the year. Sensing trouble, the rest of the Dunphy’s realize all his party needs is a visit from Rod Skyhook, a little promotion and some adult supervision to get it started. Meanwhile at the Tucker-Pritchett home, Cam faces off with his Halloween nemesis while Lily and Mitchell try to save the day and work to keep him from going to the darkside. Finally, when Jay finds out that Manny is going to a party at the home of an old enemy, he enlists him to deliver a trick he will never forget.

black-ish - "The Purge" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After Junior embarrasses Dre during a basketball game, Dre decides to remind Junior of his master pranking skills so he’ll never challenge him again. Meanwhile, the neighborhood participates in a “mischief night” during Halloween where petty crimes become legal, and Ruby takes it too far with the kids.

Younger - "P Is for Pancake" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Kelsey dates a seemingly perfect guy, but Liza and Lauren think it’s too soon. At a party of doctors, Josh puts his relationship with Liza under the microscope.

Impastor - "Sins of the Past-or Part 2" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Dora’s and Alexa’s lives are both in jeopardy and Buddy must choose which one to save. Russell and Dora have a falling out. Schmidt is robbed.

You're the Worst - "The Seventh Layer" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Vernon and Paul take a road trip.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Wednesday, October 26

  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Watch Joel on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Colin Hanks (Life in Pieces) - Colin appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Colton Dunn (Superstore), Lauren Ash (Superstore/Super Fun Night and Nico Santos (Superstore) - Colton, Lauren and Nico are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Donald Glover (Atlanta/Community) - Donald appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - See what happens when Dr. Oz visits the set of Dr. Ken on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John talks about The Crown on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) - Boris joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Issa Rae (Insecure) - Issa is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Colin Hanks (Life in Pieces) - Colin talks about Life in Pieces on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Marisa Tomei (A Different World) - Marisa appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • Betsy Brandt (Life in Pieces/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Betsy talks about Life in PieceS on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.