Saturday, December 17, 2011
Welcome back to one of the last editions of Digital Digest for 2011! Don't worry, we still have two more for this year, and we'll be back every Saturday next year, so we aren't going anywhere! In these last few weeks of the year, news and releases are really starting to drop off, but we do have some news for you, as well as a review of the separate releases Growing Pains: The Movie and Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers from Warner Archive. Let's get going!
MPI is pushing forward with another release of Here's Lucy, as was speculated a few weeks ago. Now, the release date of February 28 for Here's Lucy - Season Five. The set comes at a $29.98 MSRP and can be ordered now.
In Growing Pains: The Movie, we begin as Jason Seaver begins to catch fans up with what has happened in the past eight years while he is writing his latest book. At the same time, he is also preparing a big surprise for his 30th wedding anniversary, by reuniting the entire Seaver family, which doesn't seem to happen as often as the family has grown up. But in the midst of all of this, Maggie gets a very nasty surprise as she is fired as a staffer for the Congressman in the Seaver's district in Long Island. Unsure of where to head in life now, one of Mike and Kate's kids (they are now married, by the way) makes a suggestion that she run for Congress against the man who just fired her. The entire family works together for nearly a year to put together a campaign and see that she becomes Congresswoman Maggie Malone (using her maiden name, as she often did in the series). The runtime of this movie is 1:27:00.
Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers picks up four years after the original reunion movie, and is set in 2004. In this movie, everybody has gotten older, but in particular, Jason and Maggie have aged and are ready to retire. Part of the problem is trying to decide exactly what to do with their retirement, as Jason and Maggie have completely opposite ideas as to what they want. The situation only gets further complicated with the fact that they plan to sell their home, something that Mike and Carol are completely against. On top of all of that, all of the kids seem to be having problems that they can only turn to their parents to solve. The runtime of this movie is 1:29:00.
Both DVDs come in very standard packaging, but the artwork on the packaging is very professional, and even matches up with the artwork used on the season sets that Warner has released in the past. On the cover of each case, we have the title and a cast snapshot, along with a brief description of the movie and another cast snapshot on the back. Inside, all you will find is the disc, which has artwork similar to the cover artwork.
Both DVDs have incredibly bland and generic menus. The menus have nothing at all to do with the movies, and all we have is a picture of the Warner Bros. Studios water tower and an option of Play. There is nothing else, at all. As for chapters, they are placed every ten minutes throughout each DVD, which means that they do not necessarily correspond with the scene changes.
While neither of the movies were remastered for these DVDs, it really wasn't necessary to begin with. Both of them looked fine when they originally aired, and still look great now. It seems, though, that these were both done JUST BEFORE the beginning of the high-definition era, so they are in full-screen as opposed to widescreen. I'm pretty sure that is how they both originally aired on ABC. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo. And, while these were originally closed-captioned on ABC, they are not on these DVDs, which is unfortunate. The process for closed-captioning something for broadcast is different than it is for doing it for a DVD release, but those broadcast closed-captions would have in fact been available, and it is a shame that they couldn't find a way to use those.
There aren't any special features on the DVDs at all. What would have been nice to see would have been some behind-the-scenes footage about the production of the movies. I recall seeing plenty of this material on entertainment tabloid series such as Entertainment Tonight and Extra while they were producing the movies in Vancouver.
It is great to see both of these movies on DVD, particularly considering that I didn't think either one would ever make it to DVD. Aside from the fact that the DVDs were obviously very rushed and not a whole lot of effort was placed into them, both of these DVDs are perfectly adequate for fans. It would have been nicer if they had put both movies into one single set instead of creating two separate DVDs, though. While these reunion movies are not nearly as great as the original series was, it is still great to see them on DVD. Hopefully, these releases will spark more interest in the original series and we'll see more seasons of that released... in other words, hopefully, the "best is ready to begin!"
To purchase Growing Pains: The Movie, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
To purchase Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
CLICK OF THE WEEK
The website isn't necessarily an all-inclusive website, and definitely needs more additions to the database, but that is part of the reason why we have included this as the Click of the Week. The website is not created and run by one person or a small few, but this is a website much like Wikipedia where fans can update the database to make the website better and more detailed. The basic information that is provided on the site is very good, but the open interface allows it to infinitely expand to a greater website. As an example of what the website could be with more complete information, check out the page for The Office. It certainly isn't an all-inclusive page like individual websites dedicated to a series would have, but it provides a lot of the good "essentials" in a simple, elegant, and not over-bloated fashion. Hopefully, this site will become even more complete as time goes on, and become an excellent resource for TV fans needing to find basic information quickly.
That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!
New on DVD/Blu-ray (May)
05/03 - Mad About You - The Complete Series
05/03 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season One
05/10 - Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season
05/17 - Angie Tribeca - The Complete First Season
05/17 - The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season
05/24 - The Wonder Years - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Thursday, May 5
The Big Bang Theory - "The Line Substitution Solution" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon hires Stuart to spend the day with Amy when he’d rather go to a movie screening. Also, Leonard’s mother, Beverly (Christine Baranski), comes to town and Penny struggles to make a connection with her.
The Odd Couple - "An Oscar Named Desire" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Oscar and Charlotte hit a speed bump when they hesitate to take their relationship to the next level. Also, Felix attempts to overcome his fear of dogs with Teddy’s help when Emily regains custody of Biscuit.
Mom - "Pure Evil and a Free Piece of Cheesecake" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Christy learns she made the Dean’s List at school, she is disappointed by Bonnie’s lackluster response. Richard Schiff guest stars as Robert, Bonnie’s fantasy co-worker.
2 Broke Girls - "And the Ten Inches" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Max and Caroline need more space for their renovated dessert bar, they’re willing to do just about anything to convince Angie (Lisa Lampanelli), the brash owner of the pizza place next door, to rent them her back office.
Thursday, May 5
- Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Catch Rob on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Dana appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also talks about First Impressions on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and in the 9am hour.
- Zach Woods (Silicon Valley/Playing House/The Office) - Zach is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Louis C.K. (Louie) - Louis stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Mary Elizabeth Ellis (The Grinder/Perfect Couples/It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) - Mary appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Geena Davis (The Geena Davis Show/Buffalo Bill) - Geena gives highlights of this year's Bentonville Film Festival on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The New Class) - Mario chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
- Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Eric appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET and on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
- Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.