Saturday, October 20, 2012
Digital Digest: Perry Mason Moving Closer to Completion on DVD; Fantasy Island - The Complete Third Season DVD Review, Happiness Is Peanuts - Go Snoopy Go! DVD Review
I Love Lucy is something that seems to be "said and done" on DVD, but about two weeks ago, we found out that wasn't exactly the case as CBS re-released most of the seasons (with the remaining ones coming next month, although technically Target is offering every season right now as a Target exclusive) in new packaging. For the most part, these re-releases come in packages with new "cartoon" artwork, a standard Viva case, and the disc artwork is replaced with the CBS "series logo on a gray background" standard... in other words, they are more like the other releases that CBS has out there. But it is worth noting one release in particular, and that is I Love Lucy - The Complete First Season. When CBS released this set, TV on DVD was just beginning, so this ended up being a rather large set, but the big problem was that the episodes had not been remastered as the episodes were for the remaining seasons. These issues were rectified with I Love Lucy - The Complete Series, but there wasn't any way of getting just the "better" season one release by itself... but now, with this re-release, we can happily report that all issues have been fixed to match the other releases.
Last week, VEI supposedly released Cagney & Lacey - The Complete Series on DVD... but we have to put emphasis on supposedly. While we don't exactly know what is going on, it appears that there is some sort of delay keeping it out of the hands of fans for now. We can't find any website actually shipping the set (US or Canada), and a post on the official series blog seems to indicate uncertainty even from the series producer as to when fans will actually be able to order the limited edition release. We don't doubt that this set is on the way... after all, it is really pretty rare for a VEI release to actually show up on the anticipated release date... but we don't think it is available just yet, and we'll let you know when it actually is available.
On a related note, McMillan & Wife - The Complete Series was slated for a release by VEI this coming Tuesday. That release has similarly been delayed until November (and, for all we know, this date may not be final either). We'll let you know more when we know more.
DVD Review: Fantasy Island - The Complete Third Season (Shout!, $39.97)
Smiles, everyone, smiles! Fantasy Island returns to DVD with 23 more episodes from the third season. The classic ABC series follows Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalbán) and his sidekick Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize) as they fulfill the fantasies of everybody who comes to the island (oh, and many of them just so happen to be well-known TV stars from other series) for a price... and shows them that they must be careful what they wish for.
A man sees a hit man eliminating him as the way for his family to get rich off of his insurance in "Hit Man." Tattoo has a fantasy that is too much for him to handle in "Tattoo: The Love God." Tattoo decides to adopt a baby boy in "Baby." In "The Boss," a woman's struggle for power puts her on the top where she'd like to be, but it won't be a smooth ride. A 50-year-old woman wants young romance in her life in "Young at Heart." In "The Wedding," Mr. Roarke's fantasy is shattered when his bride-to-be has an untimely death. An overweight woman wants to get thin for revenge in "Class of '69." A man wants to spend the weekend with a movie star in "Marooned," but his fantasy is not at all like the reality.
1. "The Swimmer/The Hit Man" (48:16) - Gail Fisher, Peter Graves, Eve Plumb, David Doyle, Kaye Ballard, Eddie Mekka
2. "Stuntman/Goose for the Gander" (48:20) - Grant Goodeve, Abe Vigoda, Doris Roberts, Vito Scotti
3. "Tattoo: The Love God/Magnolia Blossoms" (47:52) - Lisa Hartman
4. "Marathon/Baby" (48:34) - Dick Martin, Paul Peterson
5. "The Boss/The Chain Gang" (48:38) - Roddy McDowell, Donna Milles
6. "The Red Baron/Young at Heart" (48:58) - Don Adams, Diana Canova, Dave Madden
7. "The Wedding" (48:20) - Joseph Cotten
8. "The Handyman/Tattoo's Romance" (49:14) - Sonny Bono, Shelley Fabares, Carolyn Jones
9. "Nobody's There/The Dancer" (49:18) - Max Baer Jr., Stepfanie Kramer, Dick Sargent, Howard Morton
10. "The Class of '69/The Pug" (49:18) - Gary Collins, Fred Grandy, Sugar Ray Robinson
11. "The Victim/The Mermaid" (49:17) - Yvonne De Carlo, Mary Ann Mobley
12. "The Cheerleaders/Marooned" (48:09) - Georgia Engel, Vic Tayback
13. "The Inventor/On The Other Side" (49:16) - Marcia Wallace, John Laroquette
14. "Lookalikes/The Winemaker" (49:10) - Ken Berry
15. "Unholy Wedlock/Elizabeth" (49:19) - David Cassidy, Eddie Mekka, Tina Louise
16. "Stark Terror/Rogues and Riches"(49:16) - Michael Constantine, Elinor Donahue, Alan Hale Jr., Gunilla Hutton
17. "Playgirl/Smith's Valhalla" (49:11) - Fabian, Leslie Nielsen
18. "Aphrodite/Dr. Jekyll and Miss Hyde" (49:08) - George Maharis, Belinda Montgomery, Maureen McCormick
19. "The Swinger/Terrors of the Mind" (49:14) - Anne Francis, Frankie Avalon, Lisa Hartman
20. "Nona/One Million B.C." (49:13) - Edd Byrnes, Phyllis Davis, Peter Graves, Joann Pflug
21. "Mary Ann and Miss Sophisticate/Jungle Man" (49:11) - Dick Butkus, Annette Funicello
22. "My Fair Pharaoh/The Power" (49:17) - Joan Collins, Ron Ely
23. "Engleman/The Children of Mentu" (48:54) - Jim Backus, Bob Denver, Larry Storch
The set comes packaged in a Viva case. The cover has a photo of Mr. Roarke and Tattoo with the island in the background. On the back, there are several episode snapshots, a description of the series, and a list of some of the more well-known guest stars. Inside the case, you'll find a list of episodes, but instead of episode descriptions, there is a list of guest stars by episode... but these lists aren't really that great, because they seem to randomly list guest stars and miss some of the bigger names in the episodes. The set contains six discs, each which has artwork identical to the cover art.
The menus are pretty much the same as the previous release. The main menu has a photo of Mr. Roarke and Tattoo (same one from the cover art), and video clips from the episodes on the disc play in the right-hand corner of the screen. The theme song plays in the background. Options on the main menu include Play All and Episodes. Once you select Play Episodes, you get a listing of the episodes while some transitional music plays in the background. Each episode contains chapters placed at each commercial break.
The episodes on the set generally look and sound good. There are some defects, such as debris and low audio levels, but none of it is anything to really be worried about. Honestly, the episodes look better than one would expect. Each episode is closed-captioned.
Once again, Shout! has put together a great set for this series, and I'm hoping that we'll see more of this series from them in the future. Sony seems to be releasing this series too as MOD releases, but they are running behind Shout! (at least for now), and pressed DVDs are definitely preferable to MOD releases. I have a feeling we'll never see any special features on these releases, which is a shame, but at least we are getting the episodes in an unedited and high quality form. This DVD set truly is a fantasy come true... but without the consequences!
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BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
DVD Review: Happiness Is...Peanuts - Go Snoopy Go! (Warner, $14.97)
America's favorite pastime only gets better when Peanuts hits the field in the TV special It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown. Baseball season's first game is coming up, but Charlie Brown's team doesn't even have uniforms. Can their new player, little Leland, help them reach a big victory? Then, the antics continue in five adventures from The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show. Snoopy swoops in on the gang when he thinks he's a winged predator in "Vulture," Linus tries to break a habit in Blanket, school means trouble for "Peppermint Patty," the back of a bicycle is the road to excitement in "Rerun" and Charlie Brown tries to rouse spirits in "Rainy Day." Bring home the latest Peanuts DVD collection as there's no stopping the fun when Snoopy is on the go!
It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown is from 1992 and the 35th primetime special that Peanuts had. It never aired on CBS in 1992 though for some reason, so it was not released until 1996 when it made it on home video. It is a perfect time to bring it to DVD for the very first time as the MLB Playoffs are going on. That's better than spring training, Charlie Brown! On this set we also have an episode from the 1983-85 series The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. It is episode #13 and titled "It's that Team Spirit, Charlie Brown" and we get four short episodes in this episode.
Let's take a look at the runtimes and number of chapter stops for each special:
1. It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown (23:02, 5 chapters)
2. The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show Episode #13 (22:27, 6 chapters)
Let's now move on to the packaging. It's the same as all the previous sets like these. We get a very thin keep case, that is movie style. The cover art is in blue and has a artwork of Snoopy tipping his red cap as Woodstock is above the cap. The title of the set is on top and we have different Peanuts characters in the blue background. The bottom has a Snoopy Peanuts logo. To the back we go, we get a nice shot of Charlie Brown running with Snoopy & Woodstock. The back also has details on the two specials. When we open the case, there is no artwork inside, so it is just plain black, like usual. We have an insert for a coupon for a jar of Peanut Butter & Co. Save $1! The disc is on the right panel and is in a grey color with blue shading. It has artwork of Snoopy about to jump in a tub with Woodstock.
The menu screen has options of Features, Trailers, and Languages. We get that blue background again along with the same artwork style as the cover art, with the theme song playing in the background. For Languages, we have options for English, Chinese, Espanol, Portuguese, and Thai. For subtitles we have English, French, Chinese, Espanol, Portuguese, and Thai. The Features section have the two specials listed by title, we can also select Play All to play them consecutively. Finally, Trailers has previews of Peanuts Holiday Collection, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Peanuts Halloween/Elected. There is also an auto-trailers before the main menu for Tom & Jerry sets.
The video and audio is good. These aren't new specials really, but they look good. All of these specials are all so good ever since they started the Remastered Collection sets. However, I don't see that wording on this set for some reason. So maybe it isn't? Still, I am very impressed yet again. Warner continues to do a great job on this remastering of all these classic specials. Even though The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show episode isn't a special, the It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown is. That special looks much better than the former on here. It is newer, but that doesn't mean anything as the '60s/'70s specials even looked better. And also the main thing is that all of the specials are unedited! These sets are must buys for the video quality alone, as it is a major improvement over the VHS versions or anything you taped from TV in the last two decades.
As for special features, we get nothing here at all. That is a disappointment since we usually get at least one featurette on a set.
I once again highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. Continue your collection, because we get another special that we never had on DVD before and we even get an episode of the The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. I wonder when that series will be released completely, as episodes only get released on these Happiness Is...Peanuts DVDs. 5 of the 18 episodes have come out that way. And let's hope they continue to release more Peanuts specials and eventually we get them all remastered in our personal libraries! It's runaway fun with Peanuts
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Claim to Fame: Child actress who played Alicia "Al" Lambert from the '90s sitcom Step By Step, has gone on to find success and adult actress, and (no doubt) a friend of our website!
Why You Should Follow Her: We've talked about Christine Lakin a lot here, and we've even interviewed her on this blog... twice, in fact! While many young actresses leave the entertainment business for different reasons as they get older (some are unable to find work, and others just want to go back to being an "ordinary person"), Lakin didn't throw in the towel, and has found success as an adult. Currently, among other gigs, she voices Channel 5 anchorwoman Joyce Kinney on Family Guy and has her own web series Lovin' Lakin on Hulu. On Twitter, she talks about virtually everything going on in her life, and believe it or not, part of her "life" doesn't exclude her former Step by Step co-stars. And above all else, she is clearly one of the few actresses out there who just seems to want to enjoy life.
Pick of the Tweets: "Snoop Dogg has found religion and is now Snoop Lion. First 100 patrons at church on Sunday get free blunts. " (August 2, 2012)
New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)
09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Tuesday, October 25
The Middle - "Halloween VIII: The Heckoning" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Halloween approaches, Frankie is taken aback when she discovers that, if the circumstances ever arose where she and Mike got divorced, the kids would all choose to live with Mike. Meanwhile, Sue tries everything in her power to get her room back from Brick, and having to be so nice around girlfriend April all of the time leads Axl to lash out at his family.
American Housewife - "Westport Zombies" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie, jealous of Taylor’s friendship with neighbor Viv (Leslie Bibb), reluctantly competes in the Westport Halloween “Zombie Run” after she finds out they’ll both be running. Meanwhile, Greg and Anna-Kat get a little too much in character for the “zombie” part of the run’s obstacle course.
Fresh Off the Boat - "Louisween" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Louis’ favorite holiday, and he makes every attempt to scare Jessica into the Halloween spirit, but she is buried in her word processor, drafting her first horror novel. Meanwhile, Emery and Evan debate costume choices, and Eddie and his crew are excited to party with high schoolers at Nicole’s house.
The Real O'Neals - "The Real Halloween" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Halloween arrives, or what Kenny refers to as “the gay Super Bowl,” he plans to go to Boystown to watch the festive costume parade. In an effort to prevent Kenny from attending, Eileen agrees to let him throw his own Halloween party at home. Eileen’s tolerance is ultimately tested when Kenny recruits Stuart and his gay friends to join the big party, and he makes a BIG costume change. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Shannon plan to pull off an epic Halloween prank.
Atlanta - "Junteenth" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Why my Auntie trying to make me go to one of these bougie Junteenth parties again? I don't like them sadity people and I'm gonna miss my shows. Le sigh.
Family Time - "Head of House" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When the Stallworths have an unexpected visitor, they learn of a vicious crime that took place in their home years ago.
Tuesday, October 25
- Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Catch Will on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Skylar Astin (Ground Floor) - Skylar is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman/Veronica's Closet/The Larry Sanders Show) and David Koechner (Another Period/Hank/The Office) - Mary and David are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love) - Jamie Lee is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
- Erinn Hayes (Kevin Can Wait/Guys with Kids/Worst Week) - Erinn plays a celeb guessing game with Rach, who’s serving up no-fail make-your-own takeout, on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
- Cheryl Hines (Son of Zorn/Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on the AOL Build Show 4pm.
- Don Rickles (C.P.O. Sharkey/Daddy Dearest) - Don is a guest on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
- Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.