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 (September)
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Thursday, September 3
The Big Bang Theory - "The Skywalker Incursion" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Leonard and Sheldon are invited to speak at UC Berkeley, they take a detour to try to meet an idol. Also, when Bernadette and Howard battle over the fate of his Dr. Who TARDIS, Raj and Amy offer to settle the dispute with a game of ping pong.
Mom - "Patient Zero and the Chocolate Fountain" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Christy and Bonnie’s contentious relationship makes them unwelcome guests wherever they go.
Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll - "Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Johnny sets Gigi up with a boy her own age. Bam and Rehab come up with a new music genre.
Married - "Mother's Day" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Lina bails on her Mother's Day brunch.
Thursday, September 3
- Jason Sudeikis (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Catch Jason on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Liz Gillies (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/Victorious) - Liz visits Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
- Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A.) and Joshua Malina (Sports Night) - Scott, Joshua and the cast of Scandal are guests on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Kevin Nealon (Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
- Dennis Haysbert (Off the Rack/Just the Ten of Us) - Dennis will be on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
- Avan Jogia (Victorious) - Avan appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
- Jillian Rose Reed (Awkward) - Jillian drops by Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Paul Scheer (The League/Fresh Off the Boat/The Hotwives) and Rob Huebel (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) - Paul and Rob are guests on People Chatter.