Saturday, April 14, 2012
Are you trying to buy that Benson - The Complete Second Season DVD set, but not having much luck? It was supposed to be released on April 3, but it still is not shipping from amazon.com, and although it did briefly ship from Warner Archive, it is no longer even listed on that website. Well, our reviewer for this set has not yet received his review copy, but I did receive a personal copy which I purchased from Warner Archive. And even though I did briefly enjoy the episodes, it didn't take me (like the posters on our own message boards did in this thread) long to realize that this particular release is a disaster which was most likely pulled because it is full of defects. The first defect in this release won't be too noticeable if you aren't familiar with the series, but if you are familiar with it, you will notice that the entire first episode of the season was somehow left out. From there, things are generally acceptable for the remainder of the first two discs, but once you hit Disc 3, you'll find episodes which are completely out of order, and for some reason, the first two episodes of the third season at the end of the disc (which wouldn't be a bad thing if it was a special feature, but it is an obvious flaw). Most likely, this release has been pulled due to these issues, but we honestly don't know if that is the reason. We also have no idea if there will be any type of disc replacement program for the small number of people who actually received the set. Finally, we don't know when the release will finally be available (again, in the case of Warner Archive). However, we are going to withhold doing any review for this release for now in hopes that Sony fixes these problems before the set is actually released, and until then, we very strongly advise that nobody, even if you are a huge fan of the series, even consider purchasing this set. Hopefully, we'll be able to change this recommendation when/if there is an improved release.
Timeless Media Group has another very rare vintage police drama from the early '60s coming to DVD in August. On August 7, the studio will release all 30 episodes of the series 87th Precinct, with 87th Precinct - The Complete Series, under license from NBCUniversal. Since this show is so rare that even we don't know much about it, we'll share the information that the studio has provided through their press release:
"Manhattan's 87th Precinct forms the backdrop for this grim and gritty police drama based on the long-running series of novels by Ed McBain. Storylines focus on neighborhood crime, and the tight-knit lives of the officers of the 87th and their families: Steve Carella (Robert Lansing) and his deaf/mute wife, Teddy (Gena Rowlands), rookie Bert Kling (Ron Harper), long-time veteran Roger Havilland (Gregory Walcott) and the wryly philosophical Meyer Meyer (Norman Fell). Each gripping story features performances from the top rung of the acting profession, including Jack Albertson and Beverly Garland (Killer's Payoff), Robert Culp (The Floater), Dennis Hopper (My Friend, My Enemy), Jeanette Nolan (Idol in the Dust), Peter Falk (The Pigeon) and many more!"
Lieutenant Theo Kojak (Telly Savalas) is back in Kojak - Season Four, a six disc set containing 24 more episodes of the classic detective drama, with episodes from the 1976-1977 season. Now charging full-force into the late '70s, the series has evolved into an even edgier and more exciting series than it ad been in the past, and (hopefully) at the end of each day, Kojak will get to the bottom of each and every crime.
In "A Shield for Murder," a wealth political leader is determined to make sure that Kojak doesn't open up a two-year old matricide case, but why? A princess and her servant seek to recover family jewels in "The Pride and the Princess." A private eye who can't seem to stay out of Kojak's way returns in "Black Thorn." Kojak investigates the murder of a construction kingpin in "Where Do You Go When You Have No Place to Go?" In "Dead Again," a woman's pleas for help are going unheard, and perhaps by the time they are heard, it will be too late. Kojak's godson is mixed up in gang activity in "The Godson." In "The Condemned," a boxer is accused of murder, and decides to take church parishioners hostage.
A wealthy ecologist's wife plans the perfect murder in "When You Hear the Beep, Drop Dead." A Puerto Rican cop goes undercover in his old neighborhood in "I Was Happy Where I Was." In "Kojak's Days," what starts out as a simple death investigation becomes very complicated rather quickly. A gambling addiction causes a veteran officer to begin to behave unethically in "Monkey On a String." In "Kiss It All Goodbye," Crocker accidentally shoots a fashion model, putting his career in jeopardy. Kojak has to work with a female detective which he doesn't exactly like in "Lady in the Squad Room." A nun... yes, a nun... is out for revenge in "Sister Maria." The season ends with "Another Gypsy Queen," where a Gypsy woman wants to find and kill the man responsible for the mass murder of her own family.
2. "A Summer Madness" (49:40)
3. "Law Dance" (50:14)
4. "Out of the Shadows" (50:15)
6. "An Unfair Trade" (49:38)
7. "A Hair-Trigger Away" (49:38)
8. "My Silence Betrayed" (50:12)
13. "Dead Again" (49:42)
14. "The Godson" (49:40)
15. "The Condemned" (49:28)
17. "I Was Happy Where I Was" (49:42)
18. "Kojak's Days (Part 1)" (49:31)
19. "Kojak's Days (Part 2)" (48:24)
22. "Lady in the Squad Room" (49:32)
The packaging on this release is just a standard Viva-case, which is actually very nice considering how large this set would be otherwise. On the cover, there is a large photo of Kojak, and on the back, there are a series of episode snapshots and a general description of the series. Inside the cast, you'll find the six discs, all of which have the New York City skyline with a greenish tint. Each disc contains four episodes, except for Disc 3 which contains three (one is a double-length episode) and Disc 6 which contains five. And if you are interested in episode titles and descriptions, you'll find them printed inside the cast, along with original airdates.
The site is very user-friendly and easy for even web novices to navigate, and provides ratings and detailed analysis for all of the broadcast. One of the nice features that they have is a renew/cancel index, where they predict the likelihood of a series returning or not based not only upon the actual numbers, but also other factors such as how close the series is to making it to syndication, production costs for the series, and ratings relative to the rest of the lineup on the network or even the specific night which it airs. The cable ratings are very interesting to look at as well, and provide some surprising insights, such as the ratings for the week ending April 8, 2012 where the #5 cable program of the week was, of all things, a Saturday night airing of the Nickelodeon series iCarly. They even provide a daily cable top 100 ratings list, where you'll frequently find virtually daily "champions" including The Big Bang Theory on TBS, Family Guy on Adult Swim, and plenty of awful reality series featuring names which we honestly should never known or heard of such as "Kardashian." Although visiting to the website and leaving comments isn't going to save all three flavors of CSI (or whatever your favorite series is) from being canceled at the end of this season (and by the way, this site is leaning towards one or both of the Miami or NY series being canceled), it is still fun to see what is going on with the networks and where your favorite series stand.
New on DVD/Blu-ray (February)
02/16 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series
02/16 - The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series
02/16 - Girls - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
02/16 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series
02/16 - Togetherness - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Thursday, February 11
The Big Bang Theory - "The Valentine Submergence" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon and Amy host a live Valentine’s Day episode of Fun with Flags, Leonard and Penny grapple with getting older, Howard and Bernadette find a surprise in their hot tub and Raj is torn between Emily and the cute girl he met at the Comic Bookstore.
Life in Pieces - "Tattoo Valentine Guitar Pregnant" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Tyler and Clementine (Hunter King) go to a guitar store, Tyler gets uncomfortable when the attractive salesman, Ian (Josh Groban), repeatedly hits on her. Also, Tim’s tattoo artist, Lois (Kat Von D) makes a spelling error on a tattoo he got as a Valentine’s Day surprise for Heather, Matt’s plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with Colleen doesn’t go as well as he hoped, and Greg and Jen discuss whether they should have another baby.
Mom - "Cinderella and a Drunk MacGyver" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy tries to help Julian, a handsome, newly sober AA member, but her attraction to him complicates things. Meanwhile, Bonnie jumps at the chance to attend a lavish charity gala with Jill. Joe Manganiello guest stars as Julian, a handsome newcomer to AA.
The Big Bang Theory - "The Helium Insufficiency" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In the midst of a nation-wide helium shortage, Sheldon and Leonard take desperate measures to get the supplies they need. Also, Penny and Bernadette download a dating app on Amy's phone to try and find her a new man. Michael Rapaport guest stars Kenny, a black market dealer.
Baskets - "Easter in Bakersfield" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Easter in Bakersfield is not all Neil Diamond sings it to be as Baskets family drama brews over brunch.
Thursday, February 11
- Alison Brie (Community) - Catch Alison on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC and on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Jake Lacy (Better with You/The Office) - Jake appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Mark McKinney (Superstore) - Mark stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Brian Posehn (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Brian is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Tiffani Thiessen (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani talks about the Cooking Channel's Dinner at Tiffani's on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
- Fran Drescher (Happily Divorced/Living with Fran/The Nanny) - Fran talks about the American Heart Associations' Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET
- Bryan Greenberg (How to Make It in America) - Bryan talks about his new movie Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Joe Morton (Grady) - Joe plays the guitar on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Autumn Reeser (Entourage/Complete Savages) - Autumn talks about Hallmark Channel's original movie Valentine Ever After on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) - Dakota is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A./Scrubs) - Scott appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.