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!


DIGITAL NEWS

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 TVShowsOnDVD.com. 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.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

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 FEATURE REVIEW



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)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
Perry Mason on TV.com


FOLLOW ME 


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)
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Thursday, April 24)

The Big Bang Theory - "The Anything Can Happen Recurrence" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Sheldon tries to be spontaneous, it leads to unexpected friction between Penny, Amy and Bernadette. Meanwhile, Raj seeks Howard’s help in preparing for a date with Emily.

The Millers - "Tomlandia" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Nathan pitches a children’s show to his boss, Ed Dolan, based on Tom’s imaginary comic book, Tom has an adverse reaction to the tweaks made to his cherished world. Jeffrey Tambor returns as Ed Dolan, Nathan’s boss.

Two and a Half Men - "Lotta Delis in Little Armenia" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Alan stumbles upon an opportunity to make money. Meanwhile, Walden has to address his co-dependency issues.

Bad Teacher - "Pilot" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Former trophy wife Meredith Davis seeks a return to a life of leisure and luxury by posing as a teacher at an upscale elementary school to meet the students’ rich, single fathers and land one to marry. However, her plan hits a major snag and she faces exposure when her unconventional – and mostly unsuitable – teaching methods raise the suspicions of a fellow faculty member. Read our review.

Surviving Jack - "Something to Talk About" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
During an evening of inopportune timing, Frankie introduces his new girlfriend, Heather (guest star Lili Reinhart), to Joanne, who has just gotten her tubes tied and is still on pain medication. Instead of taking care of Joanne post-surgery, Jack has his hands full policing Frankie and Rachel. Meanwhile, George and Mikey try to retrieve a porn video they disguised in a "Casablanca" VHS case that has been placed into the wrong hands at the Dunlevy house.

Parks and Recreation - "Moving Up" (NBC, 8:00-9:00PM ET/PT)
Leslie (Amy Poehler), Ben (Adam Scott), and Andy (Chris Pratt) head to San Francisco for a National Parks Conference. Tom (Aziz Ansari) opens his restaurant, Ron (Nick Offerman) has another run-in with his ex-wife Tammy 2 (Special Guest Megan Mullally), Andy lives a rock and roll fantasy, and Leslie makes a huge decision about her future.

Saint George - "Hot Blooded" (FX, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Alma sets George up on a date with a Latina doctor, and George discovers the woman is crazy.

Anger Management - "Charlie Spends the Night with Lacey" (FX, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Charlie spends the night with Lacey to keep her from killing her ex-boyfriend.

Sirens - "There's No "I" in Ice Cream" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
The crew remembers a day that followed the full spectrum of excitement; Johnny tries to find out who ate the last doughnut.

Instant Mom
- "Distant Mom" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The kids return from a vacation to Mozambique with their mom, Kim, only to learn the trip was actually a job interview at the embassy. They soon find out they are moving to Africa and away from Stephanie and Charlie. Guest Star: Holly Robinson Peete.

See Dad Run - "See Dad Run Into Marcus' Nephew" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Emily takes Amy's car to a party with Marcus' nephew after she was forbidden from driving at night, and must race back to beat David home. Joe wants more responsibility so asks to babysit Janie. Guest Star: Larramie "Doc" Shaw.

The Rickey Smiley Show - "Roll Pounce" (TV One, 10:00PM ET/PT)
The annual skate off has a surprise entry.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 21) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Thursday, April 24

  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Catch Neil on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah appears on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Jim is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • James Van Der Beek (Friends with Lives/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am.
  • Zoe Lister-Jones (Friends with Better Lives/Whitney) - Zoe visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tom Lennon (Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) - Tom is a guest on @midnight at midnight on Comedy Central.
  • Mary McCormack (Welcome to the Family) - Mary guest co-hosts Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell) - Mario appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Brandy Norwood (The Game/Moesha) - Tune in to see Brandy on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • The Cast of Bad Teacher - Sara Gilbert, Ari Graynor, David Alan Grier and Ryan Hansen are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Candace Cameron-Bure (Full House) - Candace guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Molly Ephraim (Last Man Standing) - Molly shares behind-the-scenes stories from her show on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl/Modern Men) - Max shares his passion for teaching kids the love of reading and the value of giving back on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William chats and performs on The Queen Latifah Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Timothy Simons (Veep) - Timothy will be on HuffPost Live.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Christine Lakin Step by Step) - Christine will be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am all this week.
  • B.J. Novak (The Office) - B.J. is a guest on NBC's Today between 7-9am.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show and Sally Field (Gidget/The Flying Nun) - Jamie, Sally and the rest of the cast The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be on ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.