Saturday, June 16, 2012
Digital Digest: Season Six of Night Court Coming Very Soon; Scandal - The Complete First Season DVD Review; Rocko's Modern Life - Season Three DVD Review
Speaking of Warner Archive, if you buy those Alice DVDs any time in the very near future (and you should, it is a nice collection of episodes), you'll be in for a pleasant surprise once you receive the set. Although it has not exactly been fully acknowledged by Warner Archive, one thing that we noticed in our review copy of the set is that the DVDs definitely did not look like DVD-R media, but rather regular pressed DVDs (i.e. the same type of DVDs available at retailers). It wasn't mentioned in the review, because we weren't really sure about it, but Friday morning, there was a bit of discussion on Home Theater Forum about this same issue. So, last night, after somebody brought the discussion over to the Warner Archive Facebook page, they addressed this matter (though not fully answering exactly why this is happening, but acknowledging that it is indeed happening), stating:
"Your comment earlier today on HTF was fairly accurate. Your wisdom is commendable."In other words, Warner Archive is now doing a limited run on some of their multi-disc sets as pressed DVDs, which are highly preferred over the standard DVD-R media typically used for MOD offerings! We can confirm that both Alice and the soon-to-be-released Night Court are using pressed discs (for now, at least), and although we did not review the set, apparently Without a Trace - The Complete Third Season is also using pressed DVDs for early orders. Warner Archive has not really addressed why they are doing this, but considering that they are doing this primarily for multi-disc releases, it is likely due to the fact that releases receive the most publicity when they are first announced, and having a supply of pressed DVDs ready to be shipped is preferable (and likely more economically feasible) to burning multiple copies as they are ordered. In any event, we hope that Warner Archive keeps this up, and we would love to see them try to continue this model beyond just the earliest batches!
Believe it or not, we're not completely finished with our Warner Archive news for this week... although our last piece of news falls a bit more under the category of "rumor from those with inside knowledge," and it relates to a release that may come from the regular retail division of Warner Home Video. This week, somebody asked Warner Archive on Facebook if they have any plans for the sitcom Chico and the Man. The short version of their response was that there are no plans for a release, but the longer version... well, just read for yourself:
"This is under consideration for mass-market release, pending resolution of outstanding clearance matters."Now, we certainly encourage readers to be cautious with that bit of information, because it suggests that the DVDs are most likely not in the physical production phase right now, and a lot can happen between now and an actual release. But the great news here is that the series is under serious consideration, and if it makes it to DVD, it could actually be available from regular retail outlets. Of course, we don't expect an announcement on this any time very soon (and just to be clear, we may never hear an announcement on it if clearance issues are too challenging to clear), but it is great to know that the series is at least on the radar.
Finally last week, we discussed the Sony MOD title Emily's Reasons Why Not - The Complete Series potentially missing an entire episode. It had appeared that a seventh episode existed, "Why Not to Look in Bridal Magazines," which appeared to have aired in some countries... but this episode is not included in the set. However, the online information regarding international airings of this episode were completely incorrect. Upon posting our review, we found out some information relayed directly to an author of an upcoming book of episode guides of short lived series, from series producer Alicia Kirk regarding this "missing episode." Kirk informed the author that the episode was never produced. So, clearly it is very important to not always trust all of the information that you find online... but we hope that you'll trust this information!
BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
As is the case with most Nicktoons, the series usually aired in two separate segments in a half hour block (although occasionally, there would be a "two-part" episode which covered both halves of the episode). So, most of the "episodes" that we talk about are actually just 12 minute segments (although there is one in this set which is a full 25 minute episode). The set begins with "Bye, Bye, Birdie," where Rocko and Heffer have to bird sit with Filburt's bird Turdy when Filburt is sick, but just as his name suggests, Turdy is not a particularly pleasant bird. Rocko has some plumbing trouble (thanks to Heffer) in "Belch of Destiny." In "Schnit-Heads" (a very interesting episode title for a Nickelodeon series), Heffer becomes a member of a "sausage club," so hopefully they won't send him any beef sausage. Filburt tries to come out of his shell for Halloween in "Sugar Frosted Frights." Rocko suspects foul play from the Bigheads when he thinks that Bev murdered Ed in "Ed is Dead: A Thriller!" Heffer and Filburt make a bit of an X-rated video when they videotape Rocko sleepwalking naked in "Camera Shy." In "Old Fogey Froggy," Ed has a midlife crisis, and tries to recapture his youth by hanging out with Heffer, Rocko, and Filburt. Ed's bug problem becomes Rocko's bug problem in "Rocko's Happy Vermin." In "I See London, I See France," Rocko and Heffer go all the way to France... but experience absolutely nothing that they wouldn't experience at home.
In "Dear John," Rocko's kitchen suffers a bit of a setback from a government satellite collapse. Rocko and Heffer get into a big fight, and find themselves trying to resolve it on tabloid TV talk circuit in "Speaking Terms." In the double-length episode"Wacky Delly," Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt make it big into show business. Filburt finds the woman of his dreams (or so he thinks) in "The Big Question," which results in wedding chaos in "The Big Answer." In "Scrubbin' Down Under," Rocko's hygeine becomes a big deal (nationwide) after his "spinach tooth" is revealed. An exciting (and extravagant) recycling program comes to O-Town in "Zanzibar." The season ends with "Fatal Contraption," where Rocko buys a food processor which ends up processing him more than it processes food.
The episodes on the set all seem to be unedited (as far as I can tell), and the runtimes of the episodes are actually a bit longer than I expected, with each episode running close to 25 minutes. In fact, one comes close to 26 minutes, which is very odd for a program which only aired just a little over a decade ago. Runtimes are as follows:
1. "Bye, Bye, Birdie"/"Belch of Destiny" (24:51)
2. "The Emperor's New Joe"/"Schnit-Heads" (25:25)
3. "Sugar Frosted Frights"/"Ed is Dead: A Thriller!" (24:29)
4. "Fish-n-Chumps"/"Camera Shy" (25:23)
5. "Nothing to Sneeze At"/"Old Fogey Froggy" (25:46)
6. "Manic Mechanic"/"Rocko's Happy Vermin" (25:06)
7. "I See London, I See France"/"The Fat Lands" (25:44)
8. "Fortune Cookie"/"Dear John" (25:14)
9. "Speaking Terms"/"Tooth & Nail" (23:50)
10. "Wacky Delly" (25:05)
11. "The Big Question"/"The Big Answer" (24:58)
12. "An Elk for Heffer"/"Scrubbin' Down Under" (24:38)
13. "Zanzibar"/"Fatal Contraption" (25:05)
The menus on the set are very basic, with a listing of all of the episodes (along with a photo of Rocko and Heffer) on the main menu. Both segments for each episode are listed on the menu, so you can start the episode from the middle segment if you wish. There is also a Play All option on the main menu. The closing theme music plays in the background of the menu. Chapters are placed appropriately throughout each episode.
There really aren't any issues of concern with the video or audio quality of the episodes. Some of the contrast levels are a little off every now and then (sometimes too dark, sometimes too light), but it isn't too bad. In general, the episodes look just as they did on Nickelodeon. The stereo audio track doesn't really use many special effects, obviously, but it is very loud and clear. Each episode contains closed-captioning.
This is another decent release of the series, and it is great to see more contributions from Joe Murray on here. His insights on this set really were much more, well, "insightful" on this set, and were even better than the previous ones. It is difficult to really come up with a plethora of special features for this set, so I think what is included really does do the job. It is hard to believe that this series is only one season away from completion, and I'm hopeful that we will see a release of that season soon, maybe even with a few surprise special features on it. But for now, you can enjoy the thrills of "modern life" with these thirteen episodes.
There is also a brief episode guide (to replace that, well, non-existent episode guide not included in the DVD!), a brief synopsis of each season, an overview of the movie which was the inspiration for the series, an overview of the spinoff Flo, and even a few episode scripts which you can read on the website. There is aslo a place to find some memorable quotes and some audio clips from the series. It certainly isn't a website which is all inclusive of everything you'd ever want to know about Alice, but it is a very nice and professional looking site which will get you cued in on all of the essential information which you need to know about the series... and perhaps, with the release of the DVDs, the site will gain more interest from fans and become bigger over time. Of course, if you want to see the first season after (or maybe even before), you can always find it on Warner Archive. And since this is our Click of the Week, you may find that things will work out and that you'll stay a while!
New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)
10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Friday, December 9
Last Man Standing - "Help Wanted" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Since losing her teaching job, Vanessa has been spending her time hovering over the family, and it’s driving everyone nuts. Over at Kristin and Ryan’s house, Ryan and Kyle are wrapped-up in a zombie face-off to determine who knows the most about zombies and how to survive an apocalypse. Unable to land a new gig, Vanessa becomes discouraged, but Mike does everything he can to get her back doing what she loves.
Dr. Ken - "Ken's Apology" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Ken wants to apologize to a patient for missing an important medical detail, Pat advises against it, and the situation gets out of hand. Meanwhile, D.K. shakes things up at Dave’s parent/teacher conference.
Friday, December 9
- Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Watch Olivia on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Tom Papa (Come to Papa) - Tom is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones) - Sarah whips up a delicious treat on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Richard Kind (Spin City/Mad About You) - Richard is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Jennifer appears on Chelsea on Netflix.