Saturday, January 12, 2013

Digital Digest: New Offerings on Online Streaming Sites; Perry Mason - Season 8, Volume 2 DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest! This week, we've got a review of the latest release of Perry Mason - Season 8, Volume 2, as well as all of our regular features. Let's get going!


This week, we don't have a lot of DVD news, but we do have several items about new offerings on online streaming sites. We start with Hulu, which has slowly been adding some of their new material from the CBS library. Among their more recent editions, you can now watch every episode of series such as Family Ties, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Twilight Zone, MacGyver, and more for absolutely free! Also, they have added The Game and Frasier, but unlike the other series, these require a subscription to Hulu+.

Meanwhile, Netflix and Warner Bros. recently made an agreement, which already brought the series The West Wing to the service not too long ago. But more is to come, mostly in the form of dramas, as the service adds series including Revolution, Chuck, The Following, Longmire, Political Animals, 666 Park Avenue and Fringe. Hopefully, they'll eventually add some sitcoms from the Warner library... we know we'd sure love to see some!

Of course, if standard sitcoms and dramas don't interest you, there is also the option of watching some of the "unscripted" (that is a little debatable, of course) series from A&E Networks... and even though these recently disappeared from Netflix, a new deal is in place with Amazon Prime. New additions in this deal include Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and Dance Moms.

We do have one piece of DVD news this week, courtesy of According to them, the MOD release of Rob - The DVD Edition will begin shipping on Tuesday. However, there is not a whole lot of other information known about this release just yet.


Tuesday (January 15) has has no sitcom releases, but there are two releases of note. First, CBS has Perry Mason - Season 8, Volume 2. We have a review of this set today in Digital Digest. Additionally, Shout! Factory has the final season of an '80s detective drama with Simon & Simon - The Final (Eighth) Season. We hope to have a review of this set soon.


Blog DVD Review: Perry Mason - Season 8, Volume 2 (CBS DVD, $49.99)
by skees53 

Perry Mason is back to bring order to the court room 15 more times in Perry Mason - Season 8, Volume 2. The latest release from CBS brings the final 15 episodes of the 1964-1965 season to DVD in a four disc set. And of course, just like all of the previous releases, you'll once again see Perry Mason take on some of the worst looking cases, where there is absolutely no hope of a defendant being found not guilty on their charges... but you can always count on Mason to come through and prove it.

A con man is in trouble after trying to swindle his wealthy aunts out of their fortune in "The Case of the Thermal Thief." In "The Case of the Golden Venom," Perry loses a case, and must now rush to save his client from being executed. A man may have gotten away with the perfect crime... may have, at least... in "The Case of the Telltale Tap." In "The Case of the Feather Cloak," Perry is embroiled in a case involving fraud, gold, and (of course) murder. Perry gets involved in a murder case involving a prep school in "The Case of the Lover's Gamble." In "The Case of the Fatal Fetish," Perry takes on a murder that results from art fraud. A door to door saleswoman is accused of doing more than selling goods door to door in "The Case of the Sad Sicilian." When a woman goes searching for her late grandfather's missing stash of stolen diamonds, she ends up becoming a murder suspect in "The Case of the Murderous Mermaid."

An attorney ends up dead when the reading of a will doesn't go the way the family hopes in "The Case of the Careless Kitten." In "The Case of the Deadly Debt," an innocent (well, as innocent as it gets compared to murder) liquor store robbery becomes much more for a troubled youth when it takes a fatal turn. A real estate swindle turns to murder in "The Case of the Gambling Lady." In "The Case of the Duplicate Case," a fight over a family business leaves one brother being accused of stabbing the other in the back. Literally. A woman tries to protect her husband who is released from parole in "The Case of the Grinning Gorilla," but how much can she do when he is accused of a new crime? A man suspects his boss of embezzlement in "The Case of the Wrongful Writ," but of course, when his boss turns up dead, who is going to be accused? The season ends with "The Case of the Mischievous Doll," where a fashion model is accused of shooting a photographer who had been blackmailing her sister.

The episodes appear to be unedited. Runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "The Case of the Thermal Thief" (51:33)
2. "The Case of the Golden Venom" (51:36)
3. "The Case of the Telltale Tap" (51:28)
4. "The Case of the Feather Cloak" (51:37)

Disc 2:
5. "The Case of the Lover's Gamble" (51:33)
6. "The Case of the Fatal Fetish" (51:34)
7. "The Case of the Sad Sicilian" (51:33)
8. "The Case of a Place Murderous Mermaid" (51:36)

Disc 3:
9. "The Case of the Careless Kitten" (51:35)
10. "The Case of the Deadly Debt" (51:35)
11. "The Case of the Gambling Lady" (51:41)
12. "The Case of the Duplicate Case" (51:36)

Disc 4:
13. "The Case of the Grinning Gorilla" (51:03)
14. "The Case of the Wrongful Writ" (51:38)
15. "The Case of the Mischievous Doll" (51:34)

The packaging for this set doesn't deviate from previous releases, with a large photo of Perry on the cover (who else?), and some color still photos of other cast members above him. On the back, there are some black and white cast photos, along with a brief series description. Inside the case, you'll find episode titles, descriptions, and airdates for each episode. Of course, you'll also find the four discs, each of which has the logo printed on the silver background (the CBS standard). Episode titles are also printed on each disc.

The menus are very plain, but functional. The main menu has a large photo of Perry on it, along with a listing of episodes on the disc, a Play All Option, and Subtitles option. There are no other menus on the set, at all. Each episode has chapters placed in all of the appropriate places.

There is absolutely no problem with the video and audio quality on this set, and that is no surprise. We've had perfection through all of the previous sets, and we have it again. Of course, there is some grain and debris here and there, but you would expect that for a series this old. Each episode contains English subtitles.
After releasing 15 volumes of releases with no special features at all, they finally included one this time! Unfortunately, it isn't much. On Disc 4, there is a "Law Day promo" (0:34), where Raymond Burr does a commercial for Law Day. In case you don't know what that is... and I know that I sure didn't... it is a day (May 1) that Dwight D. Eisenhower declared to celebrate laws and rights. Apparently, it is a day that pretty much only attorneys and others in the legal system are even aware of.

I have to wonder how many fans out there have actually gotten through all of the first 230 episodes already and are ready for this set... that is an awful lot to watch, and this CBS is releasing these so fast that it would be hard for anybody to keep up! Even so, it is almost sad to see that we're getting closer and closer to the end of this series. We've just got two more sets to go (both season nine), and it seems likely that we'll see the rest this year. But the funny thing is that these sets are consistently great... great episodes, great video quality, great audio quality, etc. And if this keeps up, Perry Mason may be one of the few series to be released all the way through without flaws.

(4/5 stars)

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Perry Mason on


Who to Follow: B.J. Novak (Twitter), "One time Larry David was seated at a table behind me at a restaurant"
Claim to Fame: Benjamin Joseph Novak, or "B.J." as his fans know him, is best known for being a writer, director, executive producer, and an actor playing Ryan Howard on the NBC series The Office... at least until the end of last season. These days, he is taking a little breather from all of that... but that doesn't change the fact that he has already made a name for himself.
Why You Should Follow Him: Sometimes, when we think of Twitter, we think of stereotypical pretentious hipsters. And I think that we can all agree that Novak's character of Ryan was just that... well, at least in the later seasons of the series. While we won't stereotype Novak in that way, his Twitter feed is a fun one to follow. Much like his fellow cast members from The Office, he maintains a Twitter feed where he just tries to be himself, and isn't always out there constantly hyping how great he is or reminding people to watch such and such (although he does at times). Instead, what you'll find is a very down-to-earth Harvard graduate who just so happened to make it to fame keeping a fun and often funny Twitter feed.
Pick of the Tweets: "Numbers are our friends. For example, Six from Blossom" (September 12, 2012)

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

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

Wednesday, October 26

The Goldbergs - "Stefan King" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Adam’s love of Stephen King inspires him to try his hand at horror writing. After learning the monster in Adam’s story is based off Beverly, she forces Adam to stay in on Halloween and rewrite it, hoping he depicts her as a better mother.  Meanwhile, Erica is desperate to find a date to the costume dance and forces Barry go with her.

Speechless - "H-A-L-- HALLOWEEN" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jimmy is upset the kids no longer want to participate in the family tradition of dressing up for Halloween. Maya tries to cheer up Jimmy by allowing him to do things he loves by taking things off the family “Dead to Me” list. Meanwhile, Ray recruits Dylan to help work the school’s haunted mansion while Kenneth is scared of losing his job when JJ gets drunk at a party.  Even though Maya is furious, she is thrilled to see JJ having a “normal” life.

Modern Family - "Halloween 4: The Revenge of Rod Skyhook" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Luke’s Halloween party isn’t the monster bash he dreamed of and is at risk of having the worst party of the year. Sensing trouble, the rest of the Dunphy’s realize all his party needs is a visit from Rod Skyhook, a little promotion and some adult supervision to get it started. Meanwhile at the Tucker-Pritchett home, Cam faces off with his Halloween nemesis while Lily and Mitchell try to save the day and work to keep him from going to the darkside. Finally, when Jay finds out that Manny is going to a party at the home of an old enemy, he enlists him to deliver a trick he will never forget.

black-ish - "The Purge" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After Junior embarrasses Dre during a basketball game, Dre decides to remind Junior of his master pranking skills so he’ll never challenge him again. Meanwhile, the neighborhood participates in a “mischief night” during Halloween where petty crimes become legal, and Ruby takes it too far with the kids.

Younger - "P Is for Pancake" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Kelsey dates a seemingly perfect guy, but Liza and Lauren think it’s too soon. At a party of doctors, Josh puts his relationship with Liza under the microscope.

Impastor - "Sins of the Past-or Part 2" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Dora’s and Alexa’s lives are both in jeopardy and Buddy must choose which one to save. Russell and Dora have a falling out. Schmidt is robbed.

You're the Worst - "The Seventh Layer" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Vernon and Paul take a road trip.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Wednesday, October 26

  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Watch Joel on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Colin Hanks (Life in Pieces) - Colin appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Colton Dunn (Superstore), Lauren Ash (Superstore/Super Fun Night and Nico Santos (Superstore) - Colton, Lauren and Nico are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Donald Glover (Atlanta/Community) - Donald appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - See what happens when Dr. Oz visits the set of Dr. Ken on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John talks about The Crown on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) - Boris joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Issa Rae (Insecure) - Issa is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Colin Hanks (Life in Pieces) - Colin talks about Life in Pieces on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Marisa Tomei (A Different World) - Marisa appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • Betsy Brandt (Life in Pieces/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Betsy talks about Life in PieceS on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.