Saturday, May 28, 2011

Digital Digest: What About Used DVDs?

Happy Memorial Day weekend, and welcome to Digital Digest, your weekly place for all things digital in the world of sitcoms! We have another slow news week again, but in addition to our regular news and preview of Tuesday's DVD releases, we have somewhat of a follow-up to a story that we brought you a few weeks ago about Home Media on a Budget, where this week, we'll talk exclusively about used DVDs. Let's get going!


DIGITAL NEWS

The series I Love Lucy is about to have another milestone anniversary, as it approaches 60 years with the 60th anniversary coming up, but that anniversary isn't going unnoticed. Just in time for the anniversary, on June 21, CBS Home Entertainment will be releasing The Best of I Love Lucy, a two-disc collection of fourteen classic and memorable episodes of the series. But it won't be receiving a wide retail release, at least not for now. It'll be available exclusively atTarget for the time being. If a larger retail release is announced at a later date, we'll let you know, of course.

We found this interesting piece of news from TVShowsOnDVD.com. It looks as if Shout! Factory is on the acquisition trail once again, this time with acquiring the rights to release the Universal series Kojak! They say to look for the second season later this year. We'll update you when we know more information.

We told you a while back that The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, the crossover cartoon movie based upon two classic animated sitcoms, would be coming to DVD soon from Warner Archive. Well, now we have a release date for it, and it is coming very soon. Look for it to be released on June 14 at a $14.95 MSRP. Of course, it is a MOD release only available from Warner Archive.

The website MemoryLane.com has announced some new video-on-demand offerings, including memorable clips from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. You can also watch classic commercials on the website--there are over 1000 available! It appears that the content is available without a subscription for the time being, though that could change in the future. The website was formerly Classmates.com.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (May 31) has no sitcom releases other than The Abbott and Costello Show - Hit the Road. Other releases include The Red Green Show - The Midlife Crisis Years (you can read our review here) and Rookie Blue - The Complete First Season. We hope to have a review of Rookie Blue soon in Digital Digest.

BLOG FEATURE STORY

What About Used DVDs?

A few weeks ago, we talked about Home Media on a Budget, where we told you about how you can build your collection of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs without breaking your budget. We talked a little bit about used DVDs, but this week, we'll go a bit more in-depth.

When I first started my DVD collection about eight years ago with one DVD set (literally, I only had one lone Family Guy DVD set to start out), I always insisted upon keeping all of my DVDs in pristine condition, which also meant only purchasing brand new DVDs. But as my collection eventually started growing to the nearly 1000 DVD sets that I own today, I realized that buying new DVDs may not be so cost-effective, and began looking into the idea of buying used DVDs.

I was rather reluctant at first. I know how some people treat their DVDs. Some people just take the DVDs out of the package and literally throw the boxes away, and leave the discs sitting on a dusty bookshelf somewhere. When I took my first gamble on a used DVD, I had no idea what to expect, and truly did expect the worst. But, I found that by doing some careful shopping, you can often find used DVDs that look just as good as new.

When you are shopping in a store that specializes in used DVDs, you can often be alleviated of many of your fears before you leave the store. Often times, these stores will leave the boxes items sitting on the shelves, where you can check out the condition of the packaging. You'll often find that, with a few exceptions, most of the items will have packaging that is close to perfect quality, if not perfect. But in many of these stores, the DVDs will not be in the packaging on the shelf, as a security measurement. Instead, the actual discs are often stored behind the cash register, in plastic sleeves. Many times, these stores will actually buff and polish the DVDs before they sell them to you. In fact, I've seen some stores do that as they are checking you out at the register so that they can prove right before your eyes that they are doing their best to give you good quality DVDs. And I've noticed that in many cases, these DVDs look as good, if not better, than many of the ones that I have in my own collection. To top it off, many of these places have return policies that will allow you to return anything that you buy if there is a problem with the set or even if you decide that you just don't like the show, although many will only give in-store credit.

So, while that takes care of the bricks-and-mortar retailers, what about buying used DVDs online? Well, when you shop online, you are taking a little bit more of a risk. You usually don't see any photos of the sets other than a basic stock photograph, and can't get much of an idea of the quality of the set. Sometimes sellers will describe things as being in one condition, when it is actually much worse (although sometimes the opposite occurs). Even worse, some of the larger sellers don't even have time to describe every detail of every set that they sell, so you are essentially in for a crapshoot. This has happened to me before with a large online retailer when I purchased a used DVD set. With no guidance on condition, I bought a DVD set, expecting something decent, and what I ended up getting was a bunch of DVDs inside of Blockbuster rental cases with no original artwork and scratches all over the disc (the retailer was nice enough to give me a refund without even asking me to return the item, however). On the other hand, from the same retailer, I have purchased used DVDs, and ended up receiving DVDs that were still sealed in their original packaging. It is difficult to offer guidance here, as the online retailers will usually be cheaper, but you are in for a big mystery as to what you'll get.

Honestly, I can say that I don't regret my habit of turning to used DVDs in recent years. I've had a few duds here and there, but when that has happened, I've never had trouble getting refunds or store credit for the bad items. It is a much cheaper way to build up a large collection if that is what you are going for, and for those environmentalists out there, it is undoubtedly more Earth-friendly.


LOOKING AHEAD

We'll be back next week for more Digital Digest. We hope to have our review of Rookie Blue - The Complete First Season next week, but that depends upon whether or not we receive a review copy of the set by then. 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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, May 6

The Middle - "Mother's Day Reservations" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Tired of getting lousy Mother’s Day gifts year-after-year, Frankie informs Mike that she wants him to take her out for a proper afternoon tea. But Mike’s ineptness at setting up reservations online could end in disaster. Meanwhile, Mike orders Axl, Sue and Brick to put some effort into choosing a great Mother’s Day gift for Frankie; and Frankie doesn’t get the answers she was expecting when she asks each of the kids what things they would do differently than her when they become parents.

The Goldbergs - "Bill/Murray" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As Erica works on her application to Julliard, Adam and Beverly think she needs to do something big to stand out, so they decide to create a music video starring Erica. However, the music video does not go as Adam planned. Meanwhile, Murray ends up bonding with Lainey’s dad Bill, and Murray learns what it means to be a real friend.

Modern Family - "Patriot Games" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Alex’s worst nightmare is realized when she gets news that she has to share the Valedictorian title with her number one competitor, Sunjay! Both sets of parents get equally caught up in the rivalry and convince Principal Brown to let them break the tie via a gym grade they both have not completed – a one mile run. Elsewhere, Gloria is studying for her upcoming U.S. citizenship test and a visit from Javier (guest star Benjamin Bratt) throws her off her game, and Mitch and Cam blindly agree to join a protest against a local restaurant that they are actually secretly excited about.

black-ish - "Please Don't Ask, Please Don't Tell" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Dre’s sister, Rhonda (guest star Raven-Symone), is in town for Mother’s Day and although she hasn’t come out to the family, everyone knows she’s gay – except Ruby (guest star Jenifer Lewis) — and Bow thinks Dre should tell her the truth. Meanwhile, Zoey tries to help Junior have better ‘gaydar,’ and Diane and Jack compete to see who will have the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

Young & Hungry - "Young & Ferris Wheel" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Gabi creates an awkward situation for Josh when she comes up with a creative gift idea for Shauna.

Hot in Cleveland - "All About Elka" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Victoria directs her mother and son in a musical. Elka auditions for a part. Joy and Melanie try to fire a touchy-feely waiter.

The Soul Man - "Wife of a Preacherman" (TV Land, 11:00PM ET/PT)
In Boyce and Barton’s absence, Lolli must deliver a last-minute sermon. The congregation responds positively and much to Boyce’s chagrin, Lolli gets the preaching bug. Meanwhile, Stamps wants to date a single mom.

Schitt's Creek - "Town for Sale" (Pop, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Johnny finds a potential buyer for the town; David and Alexis realize they have become attached to Schitt's Creek.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 4) (All times ET unless noted)

Wednesday, May 6

  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Watch Martin on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Dana visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Helen Hunt (Mad About You/It Takes Two) - Helen appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS. She will also be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Alan Thicke (Unusally Thicke/Growing Pains) - Alan talks about the new season of his POP show Unusually Thicke on NBC's Today in the 9am hour, on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations, and on HuffPost Live at 2pm.
  • Jennie Garth (Mystery Girls/What I Like About You) - Jennie opens up about her recent engagement, her plans for the summer and more on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry co-hosts Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Suzanne Somers (Three's Company/She's the Sheriff/Step by Step) - Suzanne teaches us about hidden toxins in our daily lives and discusses her new book on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Kathryn Hahn (Happyish/Free Agents) - Kathryn talks about her role in the new comedy She's Funny That Way and shares details on starring in the Showtime series Happyish on HuffPost Live at 2:30pm and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • 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.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Brad Garrett ('Til Death/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Brad will be on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Titus Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Scmmidht) - Titus talks about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Full House) - Candace talks about her Hallmark Channel original movie Just the Way You Are, which premieres May 9 at 9pm/8c, on Fox & Friends at 7:30am on Fox News Channel.