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 (Wednesday, April 16)

The Middle - "Vacation Days" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After being forced by his work to take a paid vacation, Mike tries to relax but finds his alone time being invaded by Brick, who wants to cash in and implement all of the personal gift coupons he has given his dad for Father's Day and birthdays over the years. Meanwhile, Frankie is livid when she discovers that Axl has been hanging out at the Donahues for the past few days and didn't let her know that he was even in town, and Sue is horrified when she discovers that someone has given her service at Spudsy Malone’s a bad review online and overreacts in her efforts to better please the customers.

Suburgatory - "Blame it on the Rainstick" (ABC, 8:30PM/ET) (Repeat)
When Noah is released from a court mandated anger management program, George is shocked to find a docile Noah has replaced his former hot-headed friend. Shaken by the change, George decides to put the new Noah to the test. Meanwhile, Tessa ditches “senior tanning” and meets a cool new age band hanging out at the park. The free spirited music group isn’t exactly what they appear.

Modern Family - "The Big Game" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
With a big football game coming up and a record to break, Coach Cam is intensely focused and showing no mercy even when the opposing team is playing with an unexpected disadvantage. Elsewhere, Claire is determined to prove to the staff that she is more than just the boss’s daughter, and Phil tries to teach his kids a lesson about optimism, but the universe just isn’t cooperating.

Mixology - "Jessica & Ron" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jessica regrets sending a naked photo to Ron and sets out to get him to delete it after realizing she barely knows him. Meanwhile, Liv complicates things between Jessica and Ron and Maya hits it off with an attractive guy who gives her an offer she can’t refuse…or can she? And the chance to hook up is in Bruce’s favor when he meets a woman who is into red-heads, but things quickly begin to look grim when a famous red-head also enters the bar.

Melissa & Joey - "Born to Run" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mel's father sends out a racy photograph; Ryder tries to come up with a winning business idea.

Baby Daddy - "Play It Again, Bonnie" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Bonnie asks Tucker for help in reconnecting with her former boyfriend.

Hot in Cleveland - "The Undead" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Elka (Betty White) throws a fake funeral for Victoria so she can join her husband in hiding. Her nemesis, Susan Lucci attends. Simon (Craig Ferguson) and Joy face a dilemma in their relationship.
Guest Stars: Craig Ferguson, Susan Lucci, Matt Iseman, David Cheaney, Laird MacIntosh

The Soul Man - "Oh My Goddy" (TV Land, 11:00PM ET/PT)
Boyce feels the pressure when he's nominated for a big award. So he goes above and beyond to brand himself as the "Second Chance Preacher."

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Reunited" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Joseph and Leslie work on their relationship.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 14) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Wednesday, April 16

  • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Watch Kunal on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Denis Leary (The Job) - Denis appears on a repeat of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) - Adam appears on The Pete Holmes Show at midnight on TBS.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi previews her new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Billy Crystal (Soap) - Billy stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin talks about new animated movie Rio 2 and her upcoming show at Carnegie Hall on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) - Alan talks about his TV and music career, his son Robin and new reality series, Unusually Thicke, on Katie, so check your local listings. He will also be on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am. Finally, he is a guest on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am.
  • Judy Greer (Mad Love/Arrested Development/Miss Guided) - Judy takes us on a trip to her happy place...the drugstore on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Tasha Smith (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse/The Tom Show/Boston Common) and Michael Jai White (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse) - Tasha and Jai are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS. He will also be on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher is a guest on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered (premieres April 20 on Hallmark Channel) on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She is a guest on Howard Stern.
  • Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl/I Hate My Teenage Daughter) - Jaime appears on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Seth Green (Dads/Greg the Bunny) - Seth is a guest on a repeat of @midnight at 12am on Comedy Central.