Saturday, January 21, 2012

Digital Digest: Mannix - The Sixth Season DVD Review


It just wouldn't be Saturday if there wasn't a Digital Digest, and this week is no exception... so welcome to Digital Digest! This week, we've got all of our regular weekly features, of course, and we have a review of CBS Home Entertainment's upcoming release of Mannix - The Sixth Season. Let's get going!


DIGITAL NEWS

We all know that Mill Creek licensed several Carsey-Werner series not too long ago, and that they have started releasing many of these series. Among those series, we heard of That '70s Show - Season One (Blu-ray) debuting on Blu-ray, but there had been some delays along the way. Now, it seems that Mill Creek is ready to get this set rolling, with a scheduled release date of March 20 for the set. The four-disc set (yes, that is one more disc than the DVD release from Mill Creek contained, which is unusual given that Blu-ray Disc sets typically contain less discs) will contain the entire first season, along with the original special features, a new green screen feature, and even some episodes from the second season, in high-definition format. As a side note, this marks the very first time that a sitcom from the '90s will appear on Blu-ray. In fact, unless we are forgetting a series (speaking strictly of sitcoms; The Twilight Zone obviously is not a sitcom), this will also be the oldest sitcom to make it to the format so far.

This week, TVShowsOnDVD.com brought some new information to light about a DVD set that has been "in the works" for almost a year now that finally appears to be coming to light. Bob's Burgers - Season One is finally making it in to the "ready to be announced" phase of DVD production, rather than just being mentioned as a "Coming Soon" released in several Fox DVD releases. In other words, the studio finally officially announced it, and set a release date of April 17. You can read more about this release, and the bonus features to be included on the set, by visiting TVShowsOnDVD.com.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (January 24) is a good day if you are a fan of crime dramas, with the release of another season of a classic crime drama and a collection of movies from another classic crime drama. From CBS Home Entertainment comes Mannix - The Sixth Season, a six-disc set containing every episode of the 1972-1973 season of the series. We have a review of this DVD set in today's Digital Digest. Additionally, Shout! Factory is releasing Kojak - The Complete Movie Collection, an excellent collection of eight (the original pilot and seven post-series) movies featuring the iconic detective. We reviewed this set last weekend in Digital Digest. Finally, there is one sitcom release for Tuesday, with Lionsgate's Meet the Browns - Season 4. You can read our review of this set here.

BLOG FEATURE REVIEW


Blog DVD Review: Mannix - The Sixth Season (CBS DVD, $49.99)

One of America's classic private eyes from the '70s returns to DVD once again with Mannix - The Sixth Season. The six disc set contains all 24 episodes from the 1972-1973 of the action-packed, crime-solving series starring Mike Conners as Joe Mannix, and Gail Fisher as his secretary Peggy Fair, in a six-disc set.

The sixth season begins with "The Open Web," where Mannix leads the manhunt for a gang leader after he escapes from police custody. Mannix is out to investigate who killed an attorney's high-profile client in "The Crimson Halo." A pilot doesn't live to see the presentation of an experimental plane in "Portrait of a Hero." In "To Kill a Memory," an amnesiac soldier believed to be dead suddenly returns. A child's prize winning stamp collection could be motivation for murder in "The Upside Down Penny." In "One Step to Midnight," the granddaughter of an exiled mob boss is being stalked by one of her grandfather's dangerous friends. Crop dusters are missing in "Harvest of Death." Mannix investigates the death of a fellow private eye in "A Puzzle for One," and ends up taking on one of his cases in the meantime.

Mannix has to clear the name of the son of one of Peggy's friends after clues lead to him being the perpetrator of a fatal mugging in "See No Evil." In "A Game of Shadows," Mannix searches for a wanted killer with no identity. A hit-and-run leads to murder accusations for a man in "A Matter of Principle." Peggy goes undercover as a hooker to break up a drug ring in "Out of the Night." In "The Faces of Murder," Mannix must sift through a family of lies after a brother and sister confess to the same crime. A bum's patchwork coat makes him a murder target in "To Quote a Dead Man." The season concludes with "The Danford File," where political blackmail takes an eerie turn when all clues point to the blackmailer being dead.

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

Disc 1:
1. "The Open Web" (50:44)
2. "Cry Silence" (50:45)
3. "The Crimson Halo" (50:46)
4. "Broken Mirror" (50:43)

Disc 2:
5. "Portrait of a Hero" (50:45)
6. "The Inside Man" (50:44)
7. "To Kill a Memory" (50:43)
8. "The Upside Down Penny" (50:44)

Disc 3:
9. "One Step to Midnight" (50:42)
10. "Harvest of Death" (50:42)
11. "A Puzzle For One" (50:44)
12. "Lost Sunday" (50:42)

Disc 4:
13. "See No Evil" (50:46)
14. "Light and Shadow" (50:44)
15. "A Game of Shadows" (50:41)
16. "The Man Who Wasn't There" (50:18)

Disc 5:
17. "A Matter of Principle" (50:30)
18. "Out of the Night" (50:32)
19. "Carol Lockwood, Past Tense" (50:25)
20. "The Faces of Murder" (50:25)

Disc 6:
21. "Search for a Whisper" (50:21)
22. "To Quote a Dead Man" (50:25)
23. "A Problem of Innocence" (50:27)
24. "The Danford File" (50:25)

The packaging for this set is just like the previous releases, employing the usual Viva-case. On the cover, we have a large photo of Joe Mannix, along with the set title, and like the previous sets, there are six "bullets" shown on the cover to indicate the sixth season. On the back, there are several episode snapshots, along with a very generic description of the series. Inside, you'll find the six discs, all of which have gray artwork with the series logo on them. Each disc contains exactly four episodes. Also, inside the case, you'll find a listing of all of the episodes, along with descriptions and original airdates.

As has been the case in the previous releases, the menus on this set are actually very nicely done. The main menu on each disc begins with a video sequence similar to the opening credits, while the theme song plays in the background. After a few seconds, you get to the menu, which lists the episodes, along with Play All and Subtitles, on the bottom of the screen, and plays video clips from the episodes on the top of the screen. Once you select an episode, it plays right away. Chapters are placed throughout each episode at all of the appropriate places.

The video and audio quality on this set is excellent. Like most other CBS DVD releases, considerable effort was taken to remaster the episodes to bring them up to current standards as best as possible. There really don't seem to be any major defects in the video or audio, and even grain and debris seems to be kept to a minimum. The black levels on the video seem to be a tiny bit off, but it isn't too bad. The audio is presented in mono, and is mostly loud and clear. Every episode on the set contains English subtitles.

There are no special features on this set at all. It would have been nice to have seen some original promos or something along those lines. Apparently, there is an on-going legal dispute between Mike Connors and CBS regarding royalties on these sets, so I wouldn't expect to see him taking part in any new special features on these sets.

Despite being a barebones set, this is still another great set for the series. I have a feeling that we will certainly see the final two seasons in the upcoming year or so, but they'll likely be barebones sets, just as this one and most of the previous ones have been. It is really too bad, considering that this series is a fan favorite. But it is really nice to see that this series has been coming along rather nicely on DVD. Fans of the series will definitely want to own this release, and if you've never seen the series, you may enjoy it if you are a fan of '70s crime drama. This series is definitely one of the "classics" and has rightfully earned that spot.

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
Mannix on TV.com


CLICK OF THE WEEK

Retroality.tv (www.retroality.tv) - Like last week, we're going more into pop-culture territory again this week than we normally do for our Click of the Week, but it is for a good pop-culture television website. Retroality.tv will certainly appear at first glance to be another blog, just from the perspective of a different person. However, the "different person" who runs this particular blog is Chris Mann, a name that many of our blog readers know. And if you don't know who he is, we'll just tell you who he says he is, described in his own word: "A TV tell-all author and producer, Chris has covered celebrities, controversy, pop culture and health as a freelance writer for the LA Times, TV Guide, emmy, Radar and lifestyle magazines." In other words, he is no bedroom blogger, but he goes out to get the stories, interviews, and covers the celebrities--the good, the bad, and the ugly--as a career. Given that, it should be no surprise what this website is all about.

For the most part, you'll find most of Mann's recent articles from various publications on this website, and a lot of them are about the television stars that we all know and love. You'll also find some original pieces on this website, complete with Mann's ability to uncover parts of the story that we haven't heard before. And just this past October, one of the newest features of the website debuted, the "Retroality.TV Presents Reimagine That! with Chris Mann" podcast, which makes appearances with new episodes roughly once a month. You'll find many interviews and scoops here, and considering that it is still a relatively new feature, there are still a lot of possibilities for the feature as time goes on. So we'd like to suggest that you head on over to Retroality.TV, our Click of the Week.

That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Saturday, April 19)

Mike & Molly - "Molly Unleashed" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Molly finds herself at a crossroads with her career, she makes a huge decision. Brian Baumgartner guest stars as Molly’s union rep, James.

The Millers - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Nathan and his sister, Debbie, are upset when their parents announce they’re divorcing after 43 years of marriage. However, that’s nothing compared to the panic they feel when Carol, their intrusive mother, announces that she’s moving in with Nathan, while Tom, their easily distracted father, is moving in with Debbie.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 21) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Monday, April 21

  • Courteney Cox (Cougar Town/Friends) - Watch Courteney The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jimmie "J.J." Walker (Good Times) - Jimmie appears on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hears Afire) - Billy Bob is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher) - Ari visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon is a guest on @midnight at midnight on Comedy Central.
  • Bob Saget (How I Met Your Mother/Full House) - Bob is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Joseph appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Community) - Tune in to see Gillian on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Paul Scheer (The League) - Paul is a guest on a repeat of The Pete Holmes Show at midnight on TBS.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Brooklyn Decker, Majandra Delfino and Zoe Lister-Jones (Friends with Better Lives) - The women of Friends with Better Lives are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. Zoe will also be on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andre will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Kirstie Alley (Kirstie/Veronica's Closet/Cheers) - Kirstie throws down a figure-friendly chicken dinner on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Ted Lange (The Love Boat) - Ted is a guest on a repeat of The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Brittany Daniel (The Game/That '80s Show) - Brittany shares her story of triumph over non-Hodgkins lymphoma on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Beau Bridges (The Millers) - Beau appears on The Queen Latifah Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Toni Colette (United States of Tara) - Toni will be on HuffPost Live.
  • Thomas Haden Church (Wings) - Thomas is a guest on HuffPost Live.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia visits ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
  • James Van Der Beek (Friends with Better Lives/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly hosts the Plugged In panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.