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

Tuesday, October 24

The Middle - "Halloween VIII: Orson Murder Mystery" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Halloween approaches, Frankie discovers that a woman had died in the bathtub of the Heck house close to 50 years ago; Frankie and Brick become convinced that she was murdered and, much to Mike’s chagrin, attempt to track down and find the murderer. Meanwhile, Axl and Lexie become frustrated over losing their alone time when Sue insists on hanging out with them wherever they go.

Fresh Off the Boat - "It's a Plastic Pumpkin, Louis Huang" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
On Halloween, Louis is disappointed that Evan doesn’t take his childish delight in the holiday; Eddie and the gang plot to crash a cool older girl’s party; Jessica and Emery are spooked when they hear a strange man’s voice emanating from Grandma’s room, and things get even creepier when a mysterious group of costumed strangers whisk Grandma away, making them suspect the supernatural worst.

black-ish - "Advance to Go (Collect $200)" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Dre brings everyone together for a rowdy family game night and the competition is fierce. The game of choice is Monopoly and as the night progresses, alliances are formed and some are pushed to their limits. Meanwhile, Bow makes it clear how she feels about Junior’s girlfriend.

The Mayor - "City Hall-oween" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
As Halloween approaches, Mayor Courtney Rose and Police Chief Fox (Kristen Johnston) find themselves at odds on how to handle the community’s first annual spook-tacular celebration at City Hall. During the night of the bash, it dawns on Courtney that throwing a party to keep kids safe doesn’t address the bigger issues in Fort Grey and plans to work with Chief Fox going forward. Meanwhile, Dina gets into the spirit by dressing up as Congresswoman Maxine Waters, while Jermaine and T.K. set out to prank Val who has the last laugh when she outsmarts the guys at their own game.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 23)

Tuesday, October 24

  • Ted Danson (The Good Place/Becker/Cheers) - Catch Ted on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World) - Sabrina is a musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Cole Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody/The Suite Life on Deck) - Cole visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Gabourey Sidibe (The Big C) - Gabourey chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Rapaport (Atypical/The War at Home) - Michael drops by The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Yvette Nicole Brown (The Mayor/The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette talks about her LA road rage, her love life and more on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/Café Americain/One Day at a Time) - Valerie is in the kitchen with three super-easy slow cooker dishes – like Sloppy Joes and a Pasta Bake on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - Joanna talks about her show Kevin (Probably) Saves the World – and her friendship with Lea Michele on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Denis Leary (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/The Job) - Denis is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 4pm.
  • J. B. Smoove (The Millers/'Til Death/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - J. B. is a guest on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace) - Debra appears on Daily Pop on E! at 12pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
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