Saturday, March 23, 2013

Digital Digest: New George Lopez Show DVDs; Mill Creek Wrapping Up Carsey Werner Series; I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later DVD Review

Welcome to the very first Digital Digest of this (so far) winter-like spring! This week, we've got news of even more series being completed on DVD, some "abandoned" series being revived, and a review of I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later. Let's get rolling!


DIGITAL NEWS

It doesn't seem to happen too often, but every now and then, we hear of a series that was once abandoned on DVD suddenly being continued. This week, there is news of a continuation of a series that was last released six years ago. On July 16, Warner Home Video will finally release The George Lopez Show - The Complete Third Season. The four disc set will come at a $29.98 MSRP.

Meanwhile, Mill Creek is picking up an abandoned series as well, although they're restarting the series by releasing the first season... and as often happens with Mill Creek, they'll be doing it in style with uncut episodes. On May 14, the studio will be releasing Highway to Heaven - The Complete First Season. A&E Home Video previously released the first few seasons in edited fashion, before abandoning it at least. But now, the plans are to get the entire series released, and also in unedited form, which is sure to please fans.

Now onto some series coming to completion... and before we go on, we should just say that May 14 will be a busy day for Mill Creek! First up, they'll be releasing the final season of Roseanne with Roseanne - The Complete Ninth Season. But for fans who would rather have it all in one box set, the other option is Roseanne - The Complete Series, also scheduled to be released on the same day. They just wrapped up the series That '70s Show last week, but now they'll be making that one even bigger with their release of That '70s Show - The Complete Series, which again, is being released on May 14. But that still isn't all! On the same day, yet another complete series comes with 3rd Rock from the Sun - The Complete Series. All of these complete series sets come at a low MSRP (the first two are around $70, and the last one at about $45), and furthermore, they complete every series that Mill Creek acquired from the Carsey-Werner library... now if only they could pick up some more series from that library and get those started!

Our last story on "finishing up" series is actually not quite a finish, but it is very close. On June 11, CBS will release Perry Mason - The Final Season: Season 9, Volume 1. It has been a long journey for these releases (this will mark the 19th release of this series!), but it appears that we'll finally be approaching the end of the series.

Finally, Comcast Xfinity subscribers have something big coming next week with the first ever Watchathon Week. Next week only, subscribers can enjoy 3,542 episodes of some of the latest series airing on broadcast, cable, and premium cable... for free! A small list of the series included is as follows: Girls, The Mindy Project, Go On, Veep, House of Lies, Legit, Tosh.0, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty and Psych. The full list, which is MUCH longer, can be seen here.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (March 26) is a bit light on releases, but it does bring us MADtv - The Complete Second Season (review) and Men at Work - The Complete First Season. We hope to have a review of Men at Work soon.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW


Blog DVD Review: I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later (Sony Choice Collection, $20.95)
by skees53

I Dream of Jeannie had a nice five year run in the '60s on NBC, and even after it was canceled, it was one of those shows that fans still enjoyed and wanted to see more of. So, in 1985, NBC decided to bring back that magic of Jeannie one more time in a special reunion movie, set to air and take place in a time where NBC was airing series such as The A-Team, Night Court, Gimme a Break, The Cosby Show, Miami Vice, The Golden Girls, and 227 (with the last two, in fact, debuting only about a month before the movie aired). So it wasn't that NBC was desperate to do something to get ratings. They already had the top-rated series on TV, and airing this movie was just a little something extra.

Unfortunately, before the movie could even begin, there was already a problem. Barbara Eden, of course, was ready and willing to play the role of Jeannie (not initially, but was eventually coaxed into doing it, and says that she has no regrets), but Larry Hagman was a little busy with something else in the '80s: he was playing J.R. Ewing on one of the biggest series of the decade (and in the scope of his career, bigger than I Dream of Jeannie), Dallas. So producers were forced to come up with another actor to play the role of Major Nelson. The only logical choice was to pick Wayne Rogers, an actor who looked nothing like the real Tony Nelson (OK, so maybe that was a bit sarcastic), and was best known at the time for playing in the first three seasons of M*A*S*H. Meanwhile, it only made sense that Jeannie would be a mother by now... so enter Mackenzie Astin as son T.J. Nelson. The movie wasn't completely without some of the original supporting cast, though. Bill Daily did return to play his role of Roger Healy, and there is even a brief appearance of Hayden Rorke as Dr. Bellows.

The plot of the film focuses on Major Nelson, who is about to finally retire from NASA... the day that Jeannie has been waiting her entire life for. Over the years, Jeannie has morphed into a stereotypical sweater-wearing housewife and wants nothing more than to spend time with her family. But a "last blast" into space before retirement upsets Jeannie quite a bit... so much that she decides to get a separation from Tony, and moves into her own apartment. Unfortunately, things get a lot worse when her evil sister, Jeannie II, decides that this is the perfect scheme to steal Tony for herself, so she teams with Haji (who is now a black guy who owns a fitness center in the US) to break Jeannie and Tony up for good, and when an emergency strikes in space, a little bit of blackmail could mean the end of Jeannie and Tony's relationship forever. The story was written, directed, and produced by some of the "big names" of 60s-80s TV, with director William Asher (Bewitched), producer Barbara Corday (Cagney and Lacey, also president of Columbia Pictures at the time), and teleplay writer Irma Kalish (everything). The runtime of the movie is 1:34:15.

The packaging for this DVD is in line with other Sony Choice Collection titles. On the cover, there is a photo of Jeannie in an elaborate costume (something she didn't really wear too much in the movie), and on the back, there is a snapshot from the movie of Jeannie kissing Major Nelson. There is also a brief description of the movie on the back. Inside, you'll find the one disc, which like all other Choice Collection titles, only has the title of the movie printed on a white background.

There are no menus on the DVD. Instead, it just plays immediately upon inserting the disc.

Considering that this movie has largely been in obscurity since it originally aired, the video and audio quality is surprisingly good. I didn't notice any major flaws in the quality at all, even though it certainly does look a bit dated.
I've been hearing nothing but complaints about how bad this movie is in some of the reviews I've read from other people, but it really isn't that bad. Mediocre, certainly, but it is watchable (stay tuned next week as we review a reunion movie that was less than mediocre!), and does have a small amount of charm that the original series had. I really think that if Larry Hagman had returned, this movie would have had a bit more potential. Wayne Rogers is a great actor, sure, but he isn't Tony Nelson. Will Ferrell, for example, is a great actor too, but we saw how awful he was in the Bewitched movie a few years ago (which wasn't a reunion, but the point is still the same). Also, I think the movie really overdid the costumes for Jeannie II. I get it, it was the '80s, but they put her in every possible costume that anybody could be wearing in the '80s every time she appeared on screen, and it really just got weird. Still, I'm glad that Sony released this, and I hope to see the other reunion movie, I Still Dream of Jeannie, eventually show up on DVD.

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
I Dream of Jeannie on TV.com


FOLLOW ME 


Who to Follow: Rashida Jones (Twitter), "I'm terrified of Twitter. Please be gentle."
Claim to Fame: The daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton grew up in an "all star" family and while growing up, she attended school with the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. Unlike them, however, Jones went on to Harvard, where she graduated in 1997. However, after graduation, she started to make a name for herself in Hollywood. Her earliest TV roles were on Freaks and Geeks and Boston Public, and eventually she landed a recurring role on The Office. Currently, she plays the role of Ann Perkins in the NBC series Parks and Recreation.
Why You Should Follow Her: Jones is a very dynamic actress, and has always managed to woo fans in all of the roles she has played. But what we like about her even more is that she comes from two talented parents, yet has managed to find her own success for actually being a good actress whom fans love for her own abilities. On Twitter, she keeps fans updated on what she is doing in life, and isn't shy when it comes to controversy... including her retweeting of some negative Tweets directed towards her from a few months ago. But above all else, she comes across as a down-to-earth person (even though she is both a celebrity and well-educated) and as a fun person.
Pick of the Tweets: "Too late to throw my hat in the ring for Pope candidate? I look dope in white. Also, I'm Jewish & a woman & biracial &...wait...forget it." (March 1, 2013)

That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May/June)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 20

The Big Bang Theory - "The Brain Bowl Incubation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After a successful experiment combining their genes, Sheldon will stop at nothing to convince Amy they should procreate. Also, Koothrappali is embarrassed to tell the gang what the new woman he’s dating does for a living.

Life in Pieces - "Awkward Bra Automated Ordained" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dinner gets awkward for Jen and Matt when they find themselves alone without Greg and Colleen. Also, Lark accidentally locks out Greg and Jen from the house, prompting Greg to install a complicated home automation system; Heather and Tim try to sneak wine into an ice skating show to get out of paying at the venue; and John and Joan agree to an impromptu wedding after Colleen mentions that she’s an ordained minister.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 17)

Thursday, July 20

  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - Catch T.J on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Abby Elliott (Odd Mom Out) - Abby appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Issa Rae (Insecure) - Issa stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Kate Micucci (Raising Hope/The Big Bang Theory) - Kate is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith (A Different World) - Jada drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Regina Hall (Grandfathered) - Regina guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Tim Daly (Wings) - Tim is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Laura Linney (The Big C) - Laura talks about Netflix's The Big C on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Steve Guttenberg (Ballers) - Steve talks about HBO's Ballers on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Madison Iseman (Still the King) - Madison talks about CMT's Still the King on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.