Saturday, September 01, 2012
Digital Digest: The Donna Reed Show Season 5 DVD News; The Streets of San Francisco - Season 4 (Volume 1 and Volume 2) DVD Review; Kojak - Season Five DVD Review
We've stumbled upon a very slow news week this week, but there has been one major highlight for fans one of the "original" classic sitcoms. This week, Mary Owen announced on the We Love The Donna Reed Show Facebook page that the fifth season of The Donna Reed Show is scheduled to be released on December 4. Of course, Owen is certainly "in the know" on these issues... after all, she is the daughter of Donna Reed and she is also the one who licensed the DVD rights to MPI! Still, we must stress that while we have no doubt that this set will likely be released soon, MPI has been known to slightly delay some DVD releases, and the December 4 date may not be set in stone yet. But we'll let you know more when we know more!
New content has been added to Amazon Prime, and this time, it includes recent episodes of popular NBC series! This week, it was announced that Parks and Recreation, Parenthood, and Friday Night Lights, and more would be added to the service... and they're already available! If you subscribe to the service, which costs about $80 a year (or half that amount if you have a college/university e-mail address), you can watch unlimited streaming episodes of these series.
Fans of the classic sitcom Family Ties are waiting to get the final two seasons on DVD, and although we'd like to say that we have good news to report on this, we don't... but you can buy digital copies of the episodes on iTunes! This actually appeared on the service a few weeks ago, but you can finish out your collection with episodes to keep through iTunes. Of course, if you want a streaming option, the episodes are also still available on Netflix.
Now onto the old! Most of it comes from Mill Creek and their releases from the Carsey-Werner library. These releases include Roseanne - The Complete Fifth Season, Roseanne - The Complete Sixth Season, That '70s Show - The Complete Fifth Season, That '70s Show - The Complete Sixth Season, and Grounded for Life - The Complete Series
We will have reviews for most (if not all) of these sets in the next few days.
As we've done with many other recent DVD season sets split into volumes (with both released on the same day), we're combining both volumes into one review. The sets are pretty similar, and we'll be careful to make any distinctions between each volume.
Volume 1 begins with "Poisoned Snow," where a narcotics officer has had too much and puts some cocaine out on the street laced with cyanide. Mark Hamill guest stars. A sniper targets a high-rise building and agrees to stop, for a price, in "The Glass Dart Board." In "No Place to Hide," drug smugglers in a maximum security prison are working to get the wives of the inmates to do their dirty work... or else. In "Men Will Die," the head of a rape survivor organization is out for revenge, and it could be deadly. Vera Miles guest stars. Robert Hegyes and Maurice Evans guest star in "School of Fear," where a former teacher (Evans) realizes he has had enough of delinquent students after an ex-colleague is murdered by one, and decides to take delinquent students hostage in his a school of his own. Meredith Baxter and Gerald McRaney guest star in "Deadly Silence," where Stone's life is at risk after he kills a robber.
In "Murder by Proxy," Stone and Keller investigate what a shady land developer may have to do with a neighborhood besieged by robbery and murder. John Ritter and Sorrell Booke guest star. A jewelry store owner is killed by a group of sailors in "Trail of Terror." A jewel heist that resulted in the death of a cop is complicated when a pathological liar who claims to have witnessed the crime in "Web of Lies." Stone and Killer believe that a radio show host (Larry Hagman) killed is pregnant girlfriend in "Dead Air." A missing crate of guns intensifies an investigation of a deadly gang rivalry in "Merchants of Death." In "The Cat's Paw," Stone's latest case mixes too much business with pleasure.
Volume 2 begins with "Spooks for Sale," where Stone and Keller are put in the middle of a burglary case involving high-tech espionage and rival businessmen. Tom Selleck guest stars. Stone and Keller investigate the murder of a teacher in "Most Likely to Succeed." In "Police Buff," a wannabe cop with a police scanner becomes a vigilante... with deadly results. Robert Reed guest stars in "The Honorable Profession," where a doctor treats a mortally wounded cop... except he is an imposture and Stone's only witness. A bishop is shot in "Requiem for Murder," but the case is complicated when he protects the shooter. A cop goes undercover as a bookie after his gambler brother is killed by a hitman in "Underground."
In "Judgement Day," a string of murdered judges leads to the son of a disbarred lawyer. Stone's investigation of retired circus brothers turns him into a clown in "Clown of Death." In "Superstar," a tough New York City cop comes to San Francisco to pursue his partner's killer. An undocumented immigrant is suspected of killing an immigration officer in "Alien Country." The season ends with "Runaway," where a hunt for a criminal is impeded by the fugitive's teen daughter, who is also searching for her long-lost father.
The episodes appear to be unedited, with runtimes as follows:
1. "Poisoned Snow" (50:03)
2. "The Glass Dart Board" (50:05)
3. "No Place to Hide" (50:05)
4. "Men Will Die" (50:02)
5. "School of Fear" (50:04)
6. "Deadly Silence" (50:36)
7. "Murder by Proxy" (50:35)
8. "Trail of Terror" (50:37)
9. "Web of Lies" (50:34)
10. "Dead Air" (50:31)
11. "Merchants of Death" (50:03)
12. "The Cat's Paw" (50:36)
1. "Spooks for Sale" (50:35)
2. "Most Likely to Succeed" (50:35)
3. "Police Buff" (50:35)
4. "Honorable Profession" (50:23)
5. "Requiem for Murder" (50:32)
6. "Underground" (50:34)
7. "Judgment Day" (50:33)
8. "Clown of Death" (50:35)
9. "Superstar" (50:37)
10. "Alien Country" (50:35)
11. "Runaway" (50:34)
We've got a Viva case for the sets once again (which I'm sure will continue for the final season when that one is released in a few weeks), with each set featuring a different photo of Stone and Keller on the cover. Volume 1 uses a red color scheme for the background behind the series title, while Volume 2 uses a blue color scheme. The back of each case describes the episodes on each volume, and gives a few episode snapshots. Inside each case, you'll find the three discs, which have no artwork other than the series logo on a gray background. Episode titles, descriptions, and airdates are printed inside the case, as is typical for CBS releases.
The menus on the set are like the previous releases. The main menu on both volumes has Stone and Keller on them, with videos playing in the background along with the theme song. Options from the main menu include Play All, Episodes, and Subtitles. Once you select Episodes, you get an animated transition to the list of episodes, which has an episode snapshot in the background. Chapters are placed throughout each episode at all of the appropriate places.
Once again, I feel that CBS has hit audio and video perfection (or close to it) with these episodes. While the episodes aren't perfect (what is?), they do look really good and I don't think that there is really anything to complain about. Of course, the entire series has been remastered in HD, and these episodes really show that. The mono audio is very loud and clear, without any real issues. And each episode contains English subtitles.
We don't have any special features yet again for the series.
Once again, we have two more decent releases of a season of the series, but of course, we're still without special features. But it is great to see that they have truly cleaned up these episodes to as close to perfection as is likely even possible. We're only a few weeks away from the fifth (and final) season of the series, so it won't be long until we'll have the entire series on DVD. The fifth season has already been remastered into HD, so I don't believe that there will be any problem with quality on that set either. That there were some reunion movies for this series well after the final season, so hopefully we'll see those somewhere along the way as well. If you're a fan of '70s police dramas, you're certain to enjoy this set.
To purchase The Streets of San Francisco - Season Four (both volumes), click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
To purchase The Streets of San Francisco - Season Four, Volume 1, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
To purchase The Streets of San Francisco - Season Four, Volume 2, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Kojak is back one last time, for Kojak - Season Five! The final season of the classic detective drama starring Telly Savalas as he tries to solve all of the major crimes and murders on the streets of New York City. Created by Abby Mann, the series ran from 1973-1978 on CBS and created a legacy that lasted with TV movies going into the '80s and '90s.
The season begins with "The Queen of Hearts is Wild," where a witness in the murder of a police officer could help Kojak a lot... if her boyfriend didn't hate him. A psychotic killer thinks he is getting messages to kill from a talk show host in "A Strange Kind of Love." In "Laid Off," a laid-off police officer takes a bribe to support his sick wife. It's all out gang war in "Cry for the Kids." In "Once More From Birdland," a singer is determined to prove that father who has been in prison for 14 years is innocent. Kojak is out to find a missing $6 million. A model receives anonymous messages warning of a murder in "Letters of Death." In "Tears for All Who Loved Her," Crocker gets involved in romance while investigating a murder.
In the two-part episode "The Summer of '69," Kojak goes back in time eight years to when he killed a suspect in a murder case... but now he realizes that he may have killed the wrong guy. Kojak poses as a murdered private detective to find out why the man was killed in "Case Without a File." A detective is up against his wife's divorce lawyer after an arsonist destroys his boat in "I Could Kill My Wife's Lawyer." Kojak considers leaving the police department to become a private investigator for a law firm in "Justice For All." A surgeon may be performing unnecessary surgeries to pay off gambling debts in "Mouse." In "Chain of Custody," Kojak's reaction to an incompetent prosecutor gets him suspended from the force. Kojak tries to protect Captain McNeil's widowed sister-in-law from big-time gamblers in "The Captain's Brother's Wife."
Kojak helps a jealous police officer search for a professional hit man in "No License to Kill." In "The Halls of Terror," Kojak goes undercover in a hospital in an attempt to solve a string of murders. A retired police officer is injured after attempting to prevent the theft of a race horse in "May the Horse Be With You." In "Photo Must Credit Joe Paxton," a photographer becomes the prime suspect in a phony kidnapping and jewel theft. Crocker is taken hostage while transporting a prisoner back to New York in "60 Miles to Hell." The season ends with "In Full Command," where a disgruntled inspector (played by Danny Thomas) is willing to do anything to boost his career... no matter how awful.
2. "A Strange Kind of Love" (49:28)
3. "Laid Off" (49:14)
4. "Cry for the Kids" (49:26)
6. "Caper on a Quiet Street" (49:27)
7. "Letters of Death" (49:25)
8. "Tears for All Who Loved Her" (49:24)
10. "The Summer of '69 (Part 2)" (47:53)
11. "Case Without a File" (49:27)
12. "I Could Kill My Wife's Lawyer" (49:22)
14. "Mouse" (49:26)
15. "Chain of Custody" (49:27)
16. "The Captain's Brother's Wife" (49:26)
18. "The Halls of Terror" (49:28)
19. "May the Horse Be With You" (49:23)
21. "60 Miles to Hell" (49:27)
22. "In Full Command" (49:27)
Once again, the set is packaged in a standard Viva-case. The cover art shows Kojak in front of the New York City skyline, while the back has several cast photos and gives a brief description of the season. Inside the case, you'll find the six discs, which just have the series logo and a grayscale photo of the Brooklyn Bridge on them. The episode titles, descriptions, and airdates are printed inside the case.
The menus for this set have evolved a bit with the new opening credits used for this season. The menu starts like the opening credits of the series with the flashing letters of the series title and the opening theme song playing in the background. The main menu gives options of Play All, along with a list of the episodes, with a head shot of Kojak to the right of the episodes. Chapters are placed at all of the commercial breaks.
There really aren't any concerns with the video and audio quality, but it isn't perfect. It looks about like any filmed series from the '70s would look on DVD without a whole lot of remastering. There is a little bit of grain and debris, but it isn't out of control. The mono audio is fine for the most part. Unfortunately, there are no subtitles or closed-captions.
Who to Follow: Matthew Perry (Twitter), star of NBC's Go On (premieres September 11)
Claim to Fame: Chandler Bing in the NBC series Friends, and starred on series which were much less successful such as Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Mr. Sunshine
Tweets/Status Topics: Like many currently active celebrities, he likes to talk about the current happenings in his career and the daily life along the way. Lately he has been mostly discussing Go On, leading into the debut in just a few weeks. He does Tweet personal things about his life and family not related to his career, though, and also tends to get really active with his Tweets around Stanley Cup time.
Pick of the Tweets: "Sitting down to watch my first episode of Downton Abbey. Will everyone kindly get off my back about it now please?!?" (May 1, 2012)
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Thursday, July 31
The Big Bang Theory - "The Hesitation Ramification" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Penny’s big acting break on NCIS is a bust, Leonard struggles to help her, which results in Penny asking Leonard a bold relationship question. Meanwhile, Sheldon tries to learn how to be funny and Raj tries to work on his “game” before talking to girls.
The Millers - "Walk-n-Wave" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Worried that his mother has made him feel like he’s better than other people, Nathan befriends a hopeless co-worker, Doug, who turns out to be a social outcast and more than Nathan knows how to handle. Meanwhile, Tom and Adam argue about who’s smarter and take an online test to find out. Andy Richter guest stars as Doug, Nathan’s co-worker. Roseanne Barr guest stars as Darla, Doug’s mother.
Welcome to Sweden - "Get a Job/Farthinder" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Feeling uncomfortable that he is being supported by Emma (Josephine Bornebusch), and hearing about it from from Emma’s mom Viveka (Lena Olin), Bruce (Greg Poehler) looks for work in Sweden and lands a job that doesn’t quite match with his skill set. Meanwhile, he starts to feel left out when Emma begins to make plans without him. Elsewhere, Hassan (guest star Basim Sabah Albasim) helps teach Bruce to drive, while one of Bruce’s former clients, Gene Simmons (guest starring as himself), tracks him down in an effort to clear problems he is having with the IRS.
Working the Engels - "Picture Night" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jenna (Kacey Rohl) is approached by a former client from her old firm, billionaire software genius Sam Taylor (guest star Jacob Tierney), to handle a merger on his behalf. However, it’s the worst time for such a high profile client as Ceil (Andrea Martin), has infected all the office computers with a virus. In addition, Jenna must also help Jimmy (Benjamin Arthur) calm down Sandy (Azura Skye), who has just been served divorce papers.
Married - "The Getaway" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Russ and Lina go on a romantic getaway. Jess gets in trouble for sexting her neighbor.
You're the Worst - "Keys Open Doors" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Gretchen inadvertently asks Jimmy for a key to his house.
Love That Girl - "Gullible Is as Gullible Does (TV One, 10:00PM ET/PT)
After being taken advantage of several times Jasmine attends Suckers Anonymous, a support group for the gullible. Meanwhile, when the bullying at school gets to be too much, Cordell gets a gun to take care of the bully himself. Delroy has to convince Cordell that violence is not the right answer.
Thursday, July 31
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Seinfeld) - Catch Julia on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- Ron Funches (Undateable) - Ron visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse appears on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
- Carl (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Rob Reiner (All in the Family) - Carl and Rob are guests on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
- Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) - Aubrey is a guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
- Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
- Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. He will also be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Martin Lawrence (Partners/Martin) - Martin talks about his new FX series Partners on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
- George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
- David Alan Grier (Bad Teacher/Less Than Perfect/DAG) - David appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
- Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided and Nat Faxon (Married/Ben Kate) - The stars of FX's Married are guests on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.