Saturday, December 03, 2011

Digital Digest: Community to Hulu; A Flintstone Christmas Collection DVD Review

It is another Saturday, and that can only mean one thing: welcome to the Digital Digest! It's a slow early December week here, but we've got a little bit of news, a preview of Tuesday's releases, and a review of the Warner Archive release of A Flintstone Christmas Collection. Let's get going!


There is always new online streaming news, it seems, and now, it is Hulu once again! Hulu recently added the current NBC series Community to their roster of series. Of course, recent episodes were always available to stream online, but now, you can view any of the episodes from the first two seasons on the website.

The only new DVD news this week comes from Lionsgate, with their announcements of releases of the most recent seasons of two Showtime series. On February 21, we'll see releases of Weeds - Season Seven (DVD and Blu-ray), as well as Nurse Jackie - Season Three (DVD and Blu-ray). We'll have reviews of both of these sets as the release date approaches for them.


Tuesday (December 6) is a relatively busy day for releases for many series. For traditional sitcoms, we've got The Lucy Show - The Official Fifth Season (our review) and Designing Women - The Complete Fifth Season (our review). Additionally, a DVD of a very rare series is being released with I'm Dickens, He's Fenster - Volume 1, which is only available to purchase from the official DVD website. We hope to have a review of this set soon. We've also got a new release of the series The Game, with The Game - The Fourth Season. We'll have a review of this set posted soon. Fans of The Simpsons will be pleased to know that another season of that series is coming on Tuesday, with The Simpsons - The Fourteenth Season, on both DVD and Blu-ray. Our review copy of this release has not yet arrived, but hopefully will arrive soon. Finally, Warner Archive has The Growing Pains Movie and Growing Pains - Return of the Seavers. We will have a review of these movies next week in Digital Digest.

A Flintstone Christmas Collection

Blog DVD Review - A Flintstone Christmas Collection (Warner Archive, $19.95)

Celebrate the solstice in Stone Age style with two animated holiday classics, starring America's favorite pre-historic family--The Flintstones. Your first course of holiday cheer from Fred and company is 1977's A Flintstone Christmas, in which Fred and Barney must save Christmas when Santa sprains his ankle. There's one big problem, though - Fred promised Mr. Slate that he will play Santa at the Children's holiday party. Can Fred and Barney deliver all the toys and still make it back to the party in time? And your second course is 1993's Emmy® nominated A Flintstone Family Christmas, which gives viewers a glimpse into the later life of the Rubbles and the Flintstones. Awaiting the return of Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm (now married with children of their own), Fred and Barney encounter a criminally inclined "caveless" youth. Fred and Wilma attempt to instill values in the boy, only to find themselves with a most unexpected Christmas gift.

These two Christmas specials are now on DVD for the very first time, which surprised me. You would think the 1977 classic would have been on DVD already, but it wasn't. This set gives us the other two Flintstone Christmas specials, as in 2007 Warner Home Video released the TV movie A Flintstone Christmas Carol and the original series Christmas episode (which was on the season sets already). Now Warner Archive Collection has continued and given us the other two Christmas specials. Usually the 1993 A Flintstone Family Christmas is always forgotten, so we're glad this is now on DVD, too. I barely remember watching this one, so it was a treat to watch it again! A Flintstone Christmas (1977) runs 48:16 and has 8 chapter stops. A Flintstone Family Christmas (1993) runs 23:14 and has 5 chapter stops. Both are unedited!

The packaging for this set is pretty standard. On the cover, we have an image from the 1977 special with Fred dressed as Santa and the rest of the gang are outside with him in the snow. On the bottom there is a mention of the two titles on this Christmas Collection set. On the back, there is a nice photo of Fred in a sleigh, along with a description of the two specials. Inside the case, it is pretty bland. There is no artwork on the panels. There is one disc and it is on the right panel. The disc artwork is the same artwork as the cover art with the franchise logo imprinted on it.

The main menu isn't very exciting, but it is perfectly functional. The main menu has the same artwork as the cover art, with no music playing in the background. Some holiday cheer would have been nice? The special titles are listed right on the main menu and you select from there. There are no options for anything else, so it is simple. As mentioned, we have chapter stops on both specials and they have the correct placements.

The video and audio quality of this set looks fine, for the most part. The 1993 special looks a bit better but maybe because it is newer. There are no real major problems both specials, so don't worry about it. As for the audio quality, it is clear and crisp. Unfortunately there are no subtitles or closed-captioning. The 1993 special originally aired on ABC, while the 1977 special aired on NBC originally. Nothing much else to say, it is simple and it works.

There are no special features obviously on this set since it is just two specials. Perhaps maybe some promos or other archival items for these two would have been nice to have, but I didn't expect it.

Christmas is near and these two specials will get you excited for the holiday even more! It is a perfect item to buy this holiday season for yourself or as a gift. I'm sure everyone has seen the 1977 special at least once, as it airs every season on television (scheduled on ABC Family). However, the 1993 one is not as seen as much, so fans will want to own this on DVD! Other than my minor nitpicks, this set works. It is simple and is just two specials, so not much was expected. For die-hard fans, you would be pleased, I think. And for casual fans or first-time watchers, you'll like what you see on these two specials. So please click the link below and buy it from the Warner Archive Collection! Fred Flintstone maybe not be your ordinary Santa, but he sure is loveable and that is always a good quality to have, especially during the holiday season. Ho-ho-ho and yabba dabba doo!

(4/5 stars)

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Everything Lucy ( - With next week's release of The Lucy Show - The Official Fifth Season, I was reminded of a website that I frequently refer to anytime that I review any series with Lucille Ball in it, a website that contains a treasure trove of everything Lucy. In fact, it is called just that, Everything Lucy. And while no website contains absolutely everything that exists in the world about any person or thing, this website does get pretty darn close.

What will be of the most interest to sitcom fans are the pages about all of her individual series. You can find complete information, along with episode guides, guest cast, and video clips from all of the series on the website. There is even complete information about all of the TV specials that she produced over the years. But it doesn't end there, because as everybody knows, Lucy wasn't just a TV star. There is complete biographical information about her life, information about her fame in the radio days, and complete info on all of the movies that she starred in over the years. In short, if there is anything that you ever need to know about anything Lucy, this is definitely where you'll want to start--and more than likely, you'll be able to finish here, as well.

That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, March 21

The Goldbergs - "The Scrunchie Rule" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Beverly gets a glimpse into a soon-to-be empty nest, she replaces her kids with the Mellor brothers, nursing Coach Mellor back to health after falling off the rope climb. Meanwhile, Erica and her college roommate get on each other’s nerves in their dorm room, especially when Valley Erica puts a scrunchie on the door and kicks Erica out.

Speechless - "N-O-- NOMINEE" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
JJ travels to a film festival where he’s been nominated for an award but is upset when he learns the real reason he’s being honored. Jimmy stays home and struggles to protect Dylan from the truth about an impending eviction. And Ray takes an unlikely and painful route to basketball stardom in hopes of winning back Taylor.

Modern Family - "Wine Weekend" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The family goes on a wine tasting trip and stays in Haley’s new boss’ country house where the only rule is: Don’t touch the tiara! Meanwhile, Gloria and Mitch are invited to a party at Oprah’s house but can’t bring anyone else.

American Housewife - "It's Hard to Say Goodbye" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Katie and Greg struggle to help the kids accept loss as a family friend suddenly passes away and as their pet pig, Hans Gruber, must be returned to his natural habitat.

Schitt's Creek - "The Gesture" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
David looks for a way to reconcile with Patrick after spending time away from him; Moira pitches the idea of a singles week event.

grown-ish - "Crew Love" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The crew prepares for Freshman Formal; Jazz revels in a new relationship.

Alone Together - "Property Management" (Freeform, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Benji and Esther get swept up in the allure of retirement life.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Wednesday, March 21

  • Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/Luis) - Watch Charlie on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Monty/Out of Practice/Arrested Development) - Henry appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World) - Sabrina is a musical guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Keri Russell (Running Wilde) - Keri visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kim Matula (LA to Vegas) - Kim stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Krysten appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Mila Kunis (That '70s Show/Family Guy) - Mila appears The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jenna Fischer (Splitting Up Together/The Office) and Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement) - Jenna and Oliver are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie visits The Wendy Williams Show and Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Jones and Natalie Zea (The Detour) - Jason and Natalie are guests on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Eric Christian Olsen (The Loop) - Eric appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/The Louie Show/Life with Louie) - Louie opens up about his alcoholic father's rough childhood – and why he doesn't hold anything against him today on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jason George (Eve) - Jason talks about Station 19 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and the BUILD Series at 1pm.
  • Kyle MacLachlan (Sex and the City) - Kyle talks about Portlandia on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove talks about Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the BUILD Series at 12pm.
  • Liv Hewson (Santa Clarita Diet) - Liv talks about Santa Clarita Diet on the BUILD Series at 4pm.