Saturday, September 10, 2011

Digital Digest: Private Practice - The Complete Fourth Season DVD Review; Hawaii Five-O - The Eleventh Season DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest, your source for all things digital for your favorite TV series! The fall season is starting to come in like those dark clouds before a thunderstorm, so of course, right now is the time to get caught up on the previous seasons of your favorite TV shows! There are plenty rolling out on DVD in the upcoming weeks, including a very busy release day this coming Tuesday. And to get our ball rolling here, we have reviews of Private Practice - The Complete Fourth Season and Hawaii Five-O - The Eleventh Season. Let's get going!


DIGITAL NEWS

It hasn't been a busy week at all for news, but there are a few items to share. The first is of a re-release of a series that was previously released by Anchor Bay (as it seems that most of their TV series seem to be falling into the hands of other studios lately). This time, it is the series Sledge Hammer!, and it will be released by Image this time around. You can look for the new release on December 13. There is no word on what differences there will be with this set (if any), but you can read our reviews of Anchor Bay's Season 1 and Season 2 releases if you are interested in those sets (which still seem to be readily available).

We told you about the upcoming release of The Honeymooners Lost Episodes: The Complete Restored Series several weeks ago, but now we have some official information about it, thanks to TVShowsOnDVD.com. Although it seems that not much has changed from the preliminary information that we had, the set will include 107 sketches (including many that haven't been seen since the original broadcast) and include a special commemorative booklet. The set is to be released on October 4. We can't wait to see this set!


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (September 13) is a very busy day for releases, including some re-releases and some releases of episodes new to DVD. As for new releases of sitcoms on Tuesday, The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Fourth Season comes to both DVD and Blu-ray, and we'll also see Universal's release of Outsourced - The Complete Series. You can read our review of Outsourced here. If you are looking for medical dramas, we have Grey's Anatomy - The Complete Seventh Season and Private Practice - The Complete Fourth Season in the IV. And there are a ton of Carsey-Werner sitcoms being released by Mill Creek, including Roseanne (Season 1/Season 2/10 Fan Favorite Episodes), 3rd Rock From the Sun (Season 1/Season 2), Grounded for Life (Season 1/Season 2) and That '70s Show (Season 1/Season 2/Biggest Hits). And there are plenty of other releases that don't fall within the scope of our website, so Tuesday is a busy day indeed! We are still awaiting review copies of many other releases.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Kate Walsh returns once again as Dr. Montgomery in the fourth season of the ABC medical drama, Private Practice. The series, a spinoff of the popular Grey's Anatomy, stars Walsh as she has moved on from the hospital to a private practice in Los Angeles. The series follows an ensemble cast through the trials and tribulations of a private practice, and proves that it isn't always as easy as the hospital. Here is our review of Private Practice - The Complete Fourth Season.

DVD Review: Private Practice - The Complete Fourth Season
by Pavan

Private Practice - The Complete Fourth Season (ABC Studios, $39.99) brings the fourth season of the Grey's Anatomy spin-off starring Kate Walsh on DVD with all 22 episodes! I cannot believe we are already finished with season four. Time sure flies! Join the Oceanside Wellness Group family as they try to balance work, friendship and love while they lean on each other for the help and support they need. As Pete and Violet prepare for their wedding day, disagreements at the clinic put a strain on Addison and Sam's relationship. Meanwhile, Charlotte and Cooper struggle in the aftermath of a traumatic personal event, and Derek's sister, Amelia, returns from Seattle with a destructive secret.

The series will once again return to its Thursdays at 10PM timeslot on ABC this coming season, starting Sept. 29, following Grey's Anatomy. The series stars Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery (Obstetrics & Gynecology, Genetic Counseling), Tim Daly as Dr. Pete Wilder (Complementary Medicine), Audra McDonald as Dr. Naomi Bennett (Endocrinology & Fertility), Paul Adelstein as Dr. Cooper Freedman (Pediatrics), KaDee Strickland as Dr. Charlotte King (Urology & Sexology, Chief of Staff at the nearby hospital), Caterina Scorsone as Amelia Shepherd (Neurosurgery), Brian Benben as Dr. Sheldon Wallace (Psychiatry), with Taye Diggs as Dr. Sam Bennett (Internal Medicine/Cardiothoracic Surgery), and Amy Brenneman as Dr. Violet Turner (Psychiatry).
Among the recurring stars are Nicholas Brendon, Hailey Sole, Michael Patrick Thornton, Cristián de la Fuente. Among the special guests this year are JoBeth Williams, Stephen Collins, Ann Cusack, Amanda Foreman, Justine Bateman, Kyle Secor, Louise Fletcher, Chandra West, Tess Harper, Joshua Malina and Benjamin Bratt.

This fourth season was once again excellent and filled with lots of drama. Perhaps the best episode of the series is in this season with "Did You Hear What Happened To Charlotte King." The season was very well written once again, but that episode and story arc stands out. The fifth season premieres on Sept. 29 and we cannot wait for that. Anyway, as for season four, some memorable episodes include the season premiere, "Take Two," where Pete and Violet prepare for their wedding day. In "Playing God," the news of Addison's new romance is not well-received. And in the emotional and Emmy-worthy episode "Did You Hear What Happened To Charlotte King," Pete finds Charlotte bloodied and bruised in the halls of the hospital. On the next episode, "What Happens Next," Charlotte suffers in silence after the assault. On the fall finale, "Just Lose It," Cooper gets bad news about Charlotte's sexual assault case. In "If You Don't Know Me By Now," Addison's mom demands she do whatever it takes to keep her partner alive. In "Blind Love," Charlotte's attacker arrives at the hospital in need of urgent care.
In "Two Steps Back," Cooper and Charlotte try to forgive each other after revealing secrets. On the second to last episode of the season, "God Bless the Child," Naomi makes a life-changing decision. And on the season finale, "To Change The Things I Can," a new admirer (Benjamin Bratt) offers Addison a tempting proposition, while the season ends in a cliff-hanger for Pete.

The episodes run usually close to 43 minutes, unedited of course with all the great music intact. There are about 7 chapter stops per episode. View the episode runtimes:

Disc 1
1. "Take Two" 42:59
2. "Short Cuts" 42:57
3. "Playing God" 42:59
4. "A Better Place To Be" 43:01
5. "In Or Out" 43:00

Disc 2
6. "All in the Family" 42:54
7. "Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?" 42:57
8. "What Happens Next" 43:00
9. "Can't Find My Way Back Home " 43:01
10. "Just Lose It" 42:59

Disc 3
11. "If You Don't Know Me By Now" 42:57
12. "Heaven Can Wait" 43:01
13. "Blind Love" 43:01
14. "Home Again" 42:59
15. "Two Steps Back" 42:59

Disc 4
16. "Love and Lies" 43:01
17. "A Step Too Far" 42:35
18. "The Hardest Part" 42:00
19. "What We Have Here..." 43:00

Disc 5
20. "Something Old, Something New" 42:29
21. "God Bless The Child" 43:00
22. "To Change The Things I Can" 43:01

Like last season, packaging has an outer box that you can remove from the top or bottom then you'll see the keep case inside. For seasons one and two, we had a digipak, but ABC Studios changed it to a keep case starting with season three. Both the outer box and keep case have the same cover, a cast photo of them sitting on a couch with the beach in the background. The show logo is on the top in white wording in a purple background. The back of the box and keep case has that purple background with information on the set and has some episodic head shots from episodes that feature all nine of our stars. There is also a section detailing the bonus features box with technical specifications also. Opening the case, on the left panel there are two inserts and on the left and right panels itself we have a disc-by-disc breakdown with episode titles and bonus features and nice episodic photos. As for those inserts, they are for other ABC Studios products and an insert for Blu-ray. We have two little plastic holders, that we can flip like a page on a book. The first holder holds disc one in the front, and disc two in the back. The second holder holds disc three in the front, and disc four in the back. Disc five is on the right panel itself. Each disc matches the set's color scheme, that purple background with a yellow background that has nice character artwork. Disc one has episodes 1-5 with artwork of Addison & Sam. Disc two has episodes 6-10 and has artwork of Cooper & Charlotte. Disc three has episodes 11-15 and has artwork of Pete & Violet. Disc four has episodes 16-19 and has artwork of Amelia & Sheldon. Disc five has episodes 20-22 plus bonus features and has artwork of Naomi.

The menu screen has clips in the background with background music from the series playing in the background audio wise, similar to previous sets. The options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, Bonus Features (disc five), and Sneak Peeks (disc five). But before the main menu screen comes on disc one, we get some auto sneak peeks: ABC on DVD,The Lion King and African Cats. Sneak Peeks option is only found on disc five on the main menu and has previews of the new ABC Fall 2011 season, Castle, The Chew, Prep & Landing, Real Steel and Pirates of the Caribbean. Set Up section has the option of subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese or Thai and how you can register your DVD. The Episodes option gives us the episode number, title and a screenshot. Bonus Features option is only on disc five and it has all the extras listed. All of the sub-menus have different background music once again.

The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from the 2010-11 season, so it had better be good and it is. Crystal clear. Kate Walsh did a crossover episode on Grey's Anatomy but you'll have to get that DVD to see that episode ("Song Beneath The Song," aka The Grey's Anatomy Music Event).

Moving on the bonus features. All of the extras are on disc five! We have a featurette titled "An Inside Look: The Violation of Charlotte King" (13:12). This is a very good extra that gives an in-depth look at the episode in which Charlotte (KaDee Strickland), is raped by a mental patient (Nicholas Brendon), in which she discusses her research and preparation for the shoot, as well as her work with RAINN. It is very well-done, just like the story arc itself. Interviewed are KaDee Strickland, Shonda Rhimes & Betsy Beers (showrunner/exec producers), Paul Adelstein, Gail Abarband (Director of LCW), Katherine Hull (VP of Communications, RAINN), Allison Liddi-Brown (director), Caterina Scorsone, Amy Brenneman, Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs, Brian Benben, Audra McDonald and Tim Daly.
Then we have "Deleted Scenes" listed with episode titles so you know where they are from! Once again, we do NOT have optional audio commentary on these deleted scenes from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers like we did on season two. Too bad. If my counting skills are correct, we have about 13 deleted scenes, just like the previous season. "Blind Love" (1:04 and 1:05), "All in the Family" (0:52), "What Happens Next" (0:38 and 1:07), "If You Don't Know Me By Now" (0:50), "Blind Love" (1:26 and 1:14), "Home Again" (1:10), "What We Have Here..." (0:59), and "Something Old, Something New" (1:00 and 2:08). Finally, we have some "Bloopers" (2:15)...yes, always great to see bloopers! See all the goofs and play on the set! The timing is down about two minutes from the last set, so that isn't cool. Oh well.

Once again, I recommend this series and set...it is an ABC Studios DVD, so it is good and filled with special features. We have the same amount of extras as last time, I think. Not as much as season two, but still good. The packaging is good and the overlapping discs are not present again. This season was great and it had the series' best episode to date I think. If you haven't see that episode, you really should. It is a nice arc that continues into the season, too, so you'll want to know what happens to Charlotte next. And tune in for sure on Sept. 29 for the fifth season premiere, but you need to refresh yourself, catch up with these 22 season four episodes first! Charlotte may have been violated, but she remains strong, just like this series! Buy today!

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
Private Practice on TV.com


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

It's time for a little more surfing, tanning, and, oh yeah, murder in the state of Hawaii! Hawaii Five-O, the classic series that ran for over 10 years on CBS, starts Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett, the crime fighter who will stop at nothing to make the islands a safer place for everybody. It is a series that became an icon of popular culture and successfully transcended multiple generations of series in the crime genre (beginning in the era of series such as Dragnet and ending in the era of series such as Charlie's Angels). And of course, it helped spawn a current CBS series with a similar theme and almost identical title, Hawaii Five-0. Here is our review of season 11 of the classic series.

Hawaii Five-O - The Tenth Season
by skees53


Hawaii Five-O - The Eleventh Season (CBS Home Entertainment, $49.99) brings us 21 more episodes of the classic CBS series in a six disc set. Once again, Steve McGarrett, aided by his well-equipped team, are on the hunt for the thieves, thugs, sociopaths, and murderers that pollute the waters of the island paradise, and will stop at nothing until they have their man or woman.

Steve Kanaly guest stars in the season premiere, "The Sleeper," where a government agent is murdered. An astrologer informs McGarrett of a murder in "Horoscope for Murder." In "The Case Against Philip Christie," McGarrett shows that he is ethical when he has jury duty and believes that the defendant is innocent. A neo-Nazi group is out for murder in "A Distant Thunder." In "The Pagoda Factor," McGarrett is convinced that he knows how to stop a crime, but first, he must help another small-time criminal escape from prison! Danno's former girlfriend becomes linked to a murder in "A Long Time Ago." James Sikking guest stars in "The Miracle Man," where McGarrett and crew discover what may be a dangerous cult.
Is it wise to make a deal with the mob to prevent a murder? That is the question in the two-part episode "Number One With a Bullet." Robert Reed guest stars in "The Meighan Conspiracy," where a bank robbery appears to be an inside job. Sandra Kerns guest stars in "Stringer," where a photographer takes a photograph of a politician meeting with a mobster. In "The Execution Files," McGarrett pursues a former cop who may be taking vigilante justice a little too far. McGarrett decides to investigate a doctor who may be killing his patients (and not accidentally) with prescriptions in "A Very Personal Matter." The season ends with "The Year of the Horse," where the governor is implicated in a heroin smuggling ring. Victoria Principal guest stars.

The episodes on the set appear to be unedited, with runtimes as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "The Sleeper" (48:59)
2. "Horoscope for Murder" (48:48)
3. "Deadly Courier" (48:49)
4. "The Case Against Philip Christie" (48:59)

Disc 2:
5. "Small Potatoes" (48:49)
6. "A Distant Thunder" (48:50)
7. "Death Mask" (48:48)
8. "The Pagoda Factor" (48:59)

Disc 3:
9. "A Long Time Ago" (48:49)
10. "Why Won't Linda Die?" (48:51)
11. "The Miracle Man" (48:49)

Disc 4:
12. "Number One With a Bullet (Part 1)" (48:36)
13. "Number One With a Bullet (Part 2)" (48:50)
14. "The Meighan Conspiracy" (48:49)
15. "The Spirit is Willie" (48:47)

Disc 5:
16. "The Bark and the Bite" (47:46)
17. "Stringer" (49:23)
18. "The Execution File" (49:21)
19. "A Very Personal Matter" (49:18)

Disc 6:
20. "The Skyline Killer" (49:21)
21. "The Year of the Horse" (1:37:16)

Nothing has truly changed about the packaging this time. We still have the Viva case inside of the cardboard sleeve (both of which have the exact same artwork). Once again, the cover features a large photograph of McGarrett, and smaller photos of other cast members, and we have a few episodes snapshots on the back, along with a brief description of the series in general. Inside the case, you'll find descriptions and original airdates for all of the episodes. The disc artwork is basically just the series logo on a gray background, like all other CBS Home Entertainment releases.

Like most other CBS Home Entertainment products, the menus haven't changed yet again in this season. On the main menu, we have a large photo of Steve McGarrett while the theme song plays in the background, with options of Episodes and Subtitles. Upon selecting episodes, you get a text list of the episodes, but there is no Play All option at all. The subtitles option allows you to turn on the subtitles, if you need them. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.

There were some complaints regarding the video and audio quality of the tenth season when it was released, but honestly, I think the bigger problem is that it was just more of a disappointment compared to the quality of the earlier seasons when they were released. The video and audio quality on the episodes is about what one would expect for a series this old, although there is some grain and debris. I suppose that it could look a little better, but it isn't a huge problem. The episodes are presented in English mono, with English subtitles available for each of the episodes.

Once again, the set has no special features. It is too bad, because this series honestly deserves to have some. How many other series that have lasted this long have made it to their 11th season on DVD? Not many, so clearly, this series has a following.

I only recently began watching this show, and I have become a fan of it almost instantly. It is great to know that we are getting close to completion on this series (although the "banned" second season episode "Bored, She Hung Herself" will apparently not be seen on DVD anytime soon), but it would be even better if they'd step it up on the special features in future seasons. The new revival series on CBS, Hawaii Five-0, should seemingly make interest in the original series (which, by the way, is much better) peak, and fans of the new series should definitely check out the original for comparison. And of course, for fans of the original series, this is definitely another great (but still barebones) set of the classic series.


(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
Hawaii Five-O on TV.com



CLICK OF THE WEEK

Empty Nest Online (www.emptynestonline.net) - Personally, I've really been missing the series Empty Nest since it was abruptly yanked from the Hallmark Channel lineup after airing for just a few short months. The series has seen very few opportunities on air, aside from a relatively lengthy run on WGN in the late 90s, and I still haven't had an opportunity to watch every episode. But despite the fact that the series has gotten so little airplay over the years, Empty Nest Online is a fully dedicated fan site that has existed since 1998, and is frequently updated and full of content for fans of the series.

The website contains all of the basics of a series website, such as a complete episode guide, biographies of the stars, and character profiles, but what makes this site a choice for Digital Click is where it goes beyond those basic standards. You'll find plenty of Laverne's crazy stories on here, episode scripts, vintage articles and magazine clips (including one from MAD Magazine), photos, goofs quizzes, inconsistencies, and more. It's definitely a website that could only be made by a dedicated fan, and it is great to know that there is a fan out there that is this dedicated to a truly under-appreciated sitcom that has faded from the screen way too soon.

That's all for this week. Until next time, 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 - "Quinceañera" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jonah (Ben Feldman) struggles to find his place at Amy’s (America Ferrera) daughter Emma’s quinceañera, 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)
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