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!
SITCOMS AIRING TONIGHT (May 20)
Raising Hope - "Not Indecent, but Not Quite Decent Enough Proposal" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Chance family meets Sabrina’s mother, Tamara (guest star Melanie Griffith), at the funeral of Sabrina’s grandmother, Nana (guest star Tippi Hedren). Nana’s last will and testament, revealed in a video she recorded before she died, has a big impact on Jimmy and Sabrina’s relationship.
The Goodwin Games - "Pilot" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Series Premiere)
Starring Scott Foley (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”), Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”) and T.J. Miller (“Our Idiot Brother,” “She’s Out Of My League”), the new inventive family comedy features three estranged siblings who return home after the loss of their beloved father (guest star Beau Bridges) and unexpectedly find themselves poised to inherit more than $20 million – if, and only if, they can adhere to their late father’s wishes.
New Girl - "Cabin" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jess invites her divorced Mom and Dad (guest stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner) over for Thanksgiving dinner and enlists Nick and Cece to help her with a “Parent Trap” to reunite them. Meanwhile, Schmidt’s cousin, Big Schmidt (guest star Rob Riggle), visits, and Winston manipulates them into an escalating battle to prove their manhood.
The Mindy Project - "Danny Castellano Is My Gynecologist" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Mindy must find a new gynecologist, she asks Danny to assume the role. Eventually, he accepts – on the grounds that Mindy will feel too uncomfortable to go through with the exam. The two then play a game of chicken to see who will back out of the deal first. Meanwhile, Jeremy tricks Morgan and Betsy into helping him break into Mindy’s apartment to retrieve a valuable item.
2 Broke Girls - "And the Broken Hip" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Max and Caroline pay a high price for attempting to remove a street performer away from the entry to their cupcake shop. Comedian Andy Dick guest stars as J. Petto, a litigious puppeteer.
Rules of Engagement - "100th" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Series Finale)
Brenda goes into labor on Jennifer and Adam’s wedding day. Meanwhile, Russell and Timmy make an attempt at reconciliation and Audrey surprises Jeff, on the 100th episode and the seventh season finale.
The Big Bang Theory - "The Holographic Excitation" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The gang celebrates Halloween at Stuart’s comic book store. Meanwhile, Leonard seduces Penny with science. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin makes a cameo appearance as himself.
Mike & Molly - "Windy City" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
Mike and Carl get stuck working at the Renaissance Faire after their boss, Patrick, gets dumped by Mike’s mother. Later, as a tornado descends on Chicago, Mike and Molly each confess important news to each other. Gerald McRaney guest stars as Police Captain Patrick Murphy, Mike’s boss. Jim Beaver guest stars as Dwight.