Saturday, April 13, 2013

Digital Digest: Facts of Life on Netflix in Canada; Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - Season 2, Volume 1 DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest! It is a slow news week, but we've got all of your regular features, along with a review of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - Season 2, Volume 1. Let's get started!


DIGITAL NEWS

News for new DVD releases has been slow for sitcom fans this week, but for cartoon fans, not all is lost. First up is Tom and Jerry. This week, Warner Home Video announced a pair of new releases for the classic cat and mouse series, heading to DVD on June 11. Tom and Jerry in Space and Tom and Jerry - Magical Adventures. Second, for fans of Peanuts, Warner Home Video has 4 Kid Favorites: Happiness is Peanuts on March 4, which will contain four of five previously released Peanuts titles.

Fans of Night Court should know by now that Warner Archive has been pretty consistent in trying to complete the series, but there is still one season to be released. While we don't have any definitive information on any dates, Warner Archive has indicated that it is already in the works (and anytime that they say that, we're usually only weeks away from a release). We'll let you know once we know anything new on this!

This week, there is good news for our fans north of the border, as Netflix recently added the entire run of the series The Facts of Life... but to be clear, this new offering is only available in Canada. However, there is no indication that this series will be available anytime in the near future (if at all) on Netflix in the United States, but if this changes, we'll let you know!


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (April 16) is the first of a two week "dry spell" for sitcom releases, but Tuesday does include the release of In the Heat of the Night - The Complete Eighth Season. For those who are curious, full season releases of seasons two through seven have not yet been released.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW


Blog DVD Review: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - Season 2, Volume 1 (Shout! Factory, $19.93)
by Pavan

Again, it's Morphin Time! Following its debut in 1993 (hence why the MSRP is $19.93!), Saban's iconic live-action pop culture series, Power Rangers quickly became the most watched children's television program in North America and Shout! Factory is releasing each season in two volumes each on DVD. We are now into season two and we have the first 26 episodes from that season. Unfortunately we never received the second volume for season one, so any comparisons we make will be from the first volume of season one.
In season two, tired of Rita Repulsa's failure to dominate the Earth her boss Lord Zedd steps in to take matters into his own hands. Determined to rid the universe of the Power Rangers once and for all Zedd has at his disposal an entire arsenal of monsters created with his own personal touch and inspired by Earthly plants and animals. To battle this new villain who is twice the evil tyrant Rita was the Power Rangers are imbued with new and greater powers along with new Zords modeled after mythological creatures - the Thunderzords. The Power Rangers are joined by new friends and new Rangers including the powerful White Ranger a ferocious hero armed with Saba the talking sword and the mighty White Tigerzord.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season Two, Volume Two 3-DVD set is slated to arrive on store shelves on May 28, 2013. Featuring the subsequent 26 original episodes of the 52-episode second season, this DVD set continues more action-packed adventures of these five teens! And if that's not all, season three is slated to release on July 2, 2013 and that won't be released in two volumes, since the episode count was much less in season three.

Starring Austin St. John as Jason the Red Ranger, Walter Emanuel Jones as Zack the Black Ranger, Amy Jo Johnson as Kimberly the Pink Ranger, Thuy Trang as Trini the Yellow Ranger, David Yost as Billy the Blue Ranger and Jason David Frank as Tommy the Green Ranger. Midway through the second season, Rocky DeSantos (Cardenas), Aisha Campbell (Ashley), and Adam Park (Bosch) join the cast replacing Austin St. John, Walter Emanuel Jones and Thuy Trang. We'll have more on that in volume two. Among the most memorable episodes from the first half of the second season include the three-part premiere, "The Mutiny," where a motor bike rally is interrupted by news of a incoming threat, while angered by Rita's failure to destroy the Rangers, Lord Zedd arrives to accomplish what she could not: destroy the Power Rangers and banishes her to deep space as punishment, as the Rangers find their Dinozords are no match for the powerful new enemy as his first monster Pirantishead freezes them solid. In "The Bloom of Doom," Lord Zedd puts a spell on Kimberly turning her against best friend Trini and he then sends the Bloom of Doom to uproot the Power Rangers. In "The Song of Guitardo," as Kimberly tries her hand at song-writing, Zedd decides to create a rock-and-roll nightmare and he calls forth Guitardo, a super cicada with a hypnotic sound. In the two-part episode "Green No More," after receiving news that Tommy's next battle will be his last for the Green Ranger, Lord Zedd creates Turbanshell to rid himself of the sixth ranger once an for all. In "Beauty and the Beast," when Kimberly goes to a fortune teller to help her with her Tommy woes she is kidnapped by Goldar with the intention to make her into Zedd's new queen. In another two-part episode, "White Light," Kimberly announces exciting news...Tommy's coming back and the Rangers are happy, but their joy is cut short when Lord Zedd creates the Scarlet Sentinel which overpowers them and to make matters worse, Zordon and Alpha 5 disappear without a word! And finally, in the three-part episode "The Ninja Encounter," the kids enjoy a day at the park and make some new friends: Rocky, Aisha, and Adam. And, everyone's excited about the upcoming ninja competition at Angel Grove High School, but Zedd has plans of his own for the ninja competitors.

Each episode on this set is just around 20 minutes on average, which seems on the short side but this is how it was originally. However, there are no "Today on Power Rangers" 30-second previews before each episode. So it is missing that, but everything else is unedited and there (not much to edit, if anything, since the episodes are already 20 minutes). Runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "The Mutiny, Part 1" (20:19)
2. "The Mutiny, Part 2" (19:59)
3. "The Mutiny, Part 3" (20:20)
4. "The Wanna-Be Ranger" (20:17)
5. "Putty on the Brain" (20:18)
6. "Bloom of Doom" (20:19)
7. "The Green Dream" (20:17)
8. "The Power Stealer" (20:16)
9. "The Beetle Invasion" (20:16)

Disc 2:
10. "Welcome to Venus Island" (20:23)
11. "The Song of Guitardo" (20:21)
12. "Green No More, Part I" (20:16)
13. "Green No More, Part II" (20:06)
14. "Missing Green" (20:07)
15. "Orchestral Maneuvers in the Park" (20:06)
16. "Beauty and the Beast" (19:45)
17. "White Light, Part I" (20:15)
18. "White Light, Part II" (19:55)

Disc 3:
19. "Two for One" (19:46)
20. "Opposites Attract" (20:15)
21. "Zedd's Monster Mash" (20:14)
22. "The Nina Encounter, Part 1" (19:55)
23. "The Nina Encounter, Part 2" (20:14)
24. "The Nina Encounter, Part 3" (19:45)
25. "A Monster of Global Proportions" (20:14)
26. "Zedd Waves" (19:56)

Packaging is a snap case holding the discs inside, similar to the previous releases. The cover art of this first volume has all of the Power Rangers (Black, Yellow, Red, Pink, Blue and...White) with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers logo above them. The color scheme is pink. The back of the case has a synopsis of the show, the set, and technical information. We also have a shot of Lord Zedd and another one of the White & Pink Rangers. Inside the case, there is a disc-by-disc breakdown on the left panel, listing every episode on this set. We just get episode titles, though. The discs don't overlap each other, which is great. We have a plastic holder in the middle. Discs one and two are on that plastic holder, while disc three is on the right panel. Artwork on the discs is in that pink color scheme, with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers logo and whatever disc number it is on the disc. This is all similar to previous releases. The disc-by-disc breakdown is available in the above section in episode runtimes, but basically we have about 8-9 episodes on each disc. That might be a lot per disc, but I feel they should have released all 52 second season episodes on one set on a six-disc set, since they are cramming about 9 episodes on each disc.

As for the menus, the main menu is very cool and similarly designed to the season one sets. We have the addicting theme song playing in the background, and we have the logo then we enter the Command Center! Instead of where we see Zordon, we have clips playing in the background! Very cool! The main menu options are: Play All and Select Episode. No subtitles, but the DVD is closed-captioned. When we select the Select Episode option, we have a cool transition into that submenu with the alarm sound for the command center playing in the background. The episode number and titles are listed inside that option. Pretty easy to navigate and nicely designed, I think. It's basic but cool.

The video quality is decent and on par with the first season sets. It's not great, but not terrible either. It is certainly better than VHS and any episode you might have recorded originally on Fox Kids or in reruns. The audio quality is also good, that is crisp and clear. No problems here at all once again. The series had to be pretty cheap to produce as it looks very cheap, but hey, everyone loved watching it! There are once again 6 chapter stops for every episode, counting the opening and closing credits stops. All of the multiple part episodes have the "To Be Continued" line at the end of each episode, but we don't have any of those "Previously on Power Rangers" recap at the start of the next episode, just like we don't have the "Today on Power Rangers" preview on every other episode. I always liked those, so I'm disappointed. Also of note, this first half of season two has three different opening themes...the first 2 episodes have the same one as season one. But from the third episode to after "White Light" 2-part episode we have a big change. And after that "White Light" 2-part episode, we get another theme, with a little change made.

We have zero special features once again. The complete seasons 1-3 release has special features from Time Life. I hope we get them eventually on the individual releases that Shout! releases, too. But so far, we haven't gotten any from Shout! On the complete set, as mentioned before, we get new interviews with the cast, casting director, fans, plus all the direct to video specials that were released. I don't think the original pilot episodes is included, which is a shame. In 1999, Fox Kids aired an original unaired pilot episode hosted by Austin St. John (Jason the Red Ranger) and Walter Emanuel Jones (Zack the Black Ranger). It is on YouTube even, as we mentioned last time. This pilot had a different yellow ranger and some other plot changes. We also had another unaired pilot episode but it has never been seen, so that would have been nice, too.

It's great Shout! is releasing these seasons quickly. The second season was very cool with a lot of changes and can't wait to see the second half soon, which will have even more changes. I think I like the second season episodes the best, especially this first half. I highly do recommend any fan of the show to pick-up this set, because the episodes are so good and addictive. It's cheesy fun. If you've never watched it, then please do try it, especially if you watch the new series. The only thing missing are the previews before each episode, but that's not a big deal. Everything else is pretty well done on this set. My only other gripe again was no bonus features, but that is probably exclusive for the complete series set from Time Life. I hope we do get those on a regular season volume later on. Anyway, it's Morphin Time with some changes...and no need for us to go to the Command Center and buy this DVD because we have a link below for you to order. Hurry before Lord Zedd chokes you so hard that you'll go from green to white!

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers on TV.com


FOLLOW ME 


Who to Follow: Candace Cameron Bure (Twitter), "Loves Jesus, being a wife & mommy, philanthropy & doing that acting thing."
Claim to Fame: Most of us remember her before she was Bure, when a young Candace Cameron was introduced to Americans as the brother of Kirk Cameron. By 1985, Kirk Cameron had become a well-known household name with the debut of Growing Pains, and two years later, Candace Cameron began her role of DJ Tanner on Full House. Since that series was canceled, she has had plenty of guest roles and made-for-TV movie appearances, including an upcoming Hallmark Channel movie that she is filming with Alan Thicke (who, of course, played her brother's father on Growing Pains).
Why You Should Follow Her: Candace Cameron Bure is one of those Twitter busybodies who is always Tweeting about anything and everything. She maintains a busy life as she continues to act, is a wife, is a mother to three children, and even is a partner (along with her husband) in a California winery called Bure Family Wines. Outside of all of this, she still finds plenty of time to Tweet about everything from her past career and present life, and seems to enjoy it all along the way.
Pick of the Tweets: "I love this new generation, loving Full House. I think I need to start a D.J. clothing line since you're so inspired! ;)" (January 3, 2013)

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


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 2

Last Man Standing - "Precious Snowflakes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mandy chooses local-celebrity Mike as the speaker for her business school’s graduation. After learning that the school requires his speech to be PC and micro-agression free, Mike decides whether or not to play by the rules. Meanwhile, Eve’s friend Cammy (Sarah Gilman) is home from college, bragging about how fantastic her new life has been, leaving Eve feeling slightly fruitless and discouraged.

Dr. Ken - "D.K's New Girlfriend" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When D.K. overhears Allison complain about him overstaying his welcome, he decides to move in with his girlfriend of three weeks. Meanwhile, Pat wants Dave to pretend he’s his adopted son; and Allison is convinced Molly wants to talk about something when she suggests they do a spa day, but the tables turn when Molly is the one doling out the advice.

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures.” Both were colorized with a vintage look, a nod to the 1950s period in which the shows were filmed. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS in December 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Thought to be lost, CBS rediscovered the episode in 1989.

In the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures,” Lucy’s lifelong dream of appearing in a motion picture seems to have come true when Ricky arranges for her to play a showgirl in a new musical. Unfortunately, the enormous feathered headdress she is expected to wear as she descends a staircase proves to be too cumbersome. After numerous mishaps on the stairs, the musical’s frustrated director (Lou Krugman) decides to make a change.

“Lucy Gets in Pictures” was originally broadcast Feb. 21, 1955, and was an immediate favorite not only of viewers, but of Lucille Ball herself. She restaged the famous headdress scene, again with Krugman, in the 1962 CBS special, “Opening Night,” and in 1965 in a slightly modified form, this time with actor Danny Thomas, in her second CBS series, “The Lucy Show.”

Liv and Maddie: Cali Style - "Cali Christmas-a-Rooney" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Maddie gets upset that she can't be in Wisconsin for Christmas, so Liv helps cheer her up.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets a Christmas Maya" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As Christmas approaches, Riley gets excited to celebrate her favorite holiday, but for Maya, the holidays only bring back unhappy memories from her childhood.

Bunk'd - "How the Griff Stole Christmas" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The holidays arrive at Camp Kikiwaka with everyone in good spirits -- except for Griff.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 28)

Friday, December 2

  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Watch Chelsea on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Andrew Rannells (Girls/The New Normal) - Andrew is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men/The Powers That Be/Bosom Buddies) - Holland chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall stops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Scott Patterson (Aliens in America) - Scott is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Quinn (Bunk'd) - Kevin appears on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Miss Piggy (The Muppets) - NBC's Today catches up with Miss Piggy in the 10am hour.
  • Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent/Someone Like Me) - Gaby appears on Chelsea on Netflix.