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!


DIGITAL NEWS

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 amazon.com 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.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

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.


BLOG DVD REVIEW

"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)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
The Red Green Show on TV.com


LOOKING AHEAD

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!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, April 25

The Big Bang Theory - "The Decision Reverberation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Koothrappali is worried people won’t take him seriously in his own field after publishing a paper that suggests he may have discovered alien life. Also, Leonard wants to be the principal investigator on a plasma physics study.

Young Sheldon - "A Political Campaign and a Candy Land Cheater" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Unhappy that school funds are going towards football rather than academics, Sheldon decides to run for class president.

Mom - "Triple Dip and an Overhand Grip" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie and Tammy revisit childhood memories on a trip to their old foster home. Also, Christy and Jill regret accepting a date with two guys from their AA meeting.

Life in Pieces - "Misery Turd Name Pills" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
While Joan is bedridden recovering from surgery, she persuades Sophia to spend time with her, which she quickly regrets. Also, Jen and Greg select a name for their new baby only to learn that Matt and Colleen chose the same one; Colleen and Matt invite the family over to get to know Morgan (Joey King); and Heather has a new business idea.

Superstore - "QuinceaƱera" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jonah (Ben Feldman) struggles to find his place at Amy’s (America Ferrera) daughter Emma’s quinceaƱera, while Dina (Lauren Ash) proves very popular with some teenage boys. Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) and Mateo (Nico Santos) are obsessed with seeing Amy cry.

A.P. Bio - "Sweet Low Road" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When budget cuts threaten to gut Whitlock and put his job in jeopardy, Jack recruits Mary, Stef, and Michelle to take down the Superintendent. Durbin plans an appeal to the heart, while the students plan an appeal to the soul.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Tickling Clocks" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
In an episode that takes place in real time, Jake and the squad must track down a hacker who has infiltrated the Nine-Nine's servers. Rosa deals with relationship issues. Hitchcock and Scully attempt to cook the perfect lasagna.

Abby's - "Mail Bin" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Abby finds a letter from her estranged father in a pile of unopened mail and opens up to the group about their fraught relationship.

Better Things - "The Unknown" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam gets theatrical.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 22)

Thursday, April 25

  • Paul Rudd (Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later/Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp/Wild Oats) - Catch Paul on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Susan Kelechi Watson (Louie) - Susan is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lake Bell (Bless This Mess/Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp/How to Make It in America) - Lake visits E!'s Busy Tonight at 11pm.
  • Steve Lemme and Kevin Heffernan (Tacoma PD) - Steve and Kevin are guests on E!'s Busy Tonight at 11pm.
  • Bradley Cooper (Kitchen Confidential) - Bradley stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Diedrich Bader (American Housewife/Veep/The Drew Carey Show) - Diedrich visits The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James talks about Life in Pieces on People Now at 12pm.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Laurie Metcalf (The Conners/The McCarthys/Getting On/Roseanne) - Laurie talks about Hillary & Clinton on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on the BUILD SERIES at 3pm.
  • Ali Wentworth (Nightcap) - Ali is a guest on ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) - Billy and Ben talk about Standing Up, Falling Down on the BUILD Series at 1pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April)

Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season

02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
04/02 - Archer: Danger Island - The Complete Season Nine
04/09 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fifth Season
04/12 - Evening Shade - The Complete Collection
04/16 - The Big C - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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