Saturday, May 11, 2013

Digital Digest: Family Ties Season 7 Coming Soon; The Roman Holidays - The Complete Series DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest! Today, we've got all of your regular features, as well as a review of the Hanna-Barbera series about an animated family living in ancient Rome in The Roman Holidays - The Complete Series. Let's get started!


DIGITAL NEWS

CBS has had a trend of wrapping up series that once seemed abandoned on DVD, and this week, a listing showed up on amazon.com that suggests that we'll be seeing the last season of a popular sitcom on DVD very soon. No release date is given just yet, but Family Ties - The Seventh Season is now available to order before it is released. Of course, we'll have more on this release once we have more information.

Fox is serving up some more burgers with this week's surprise release of Bob's Burgers - The Complete 2nd Season on DVD. But don't look for this release in stores. Fox has decided to go the manufacture on demand route with this one, and it is available exclusively as a CreateSpace title on the website for the time being.

Several months ago, we mentioned that Shout! Factory had obtained the rights to the series Fridays, and would be releasing it on DVD. At the time, though, there was no word on exact plans... but now there is a confirmed release for the series! On August 6, Shout! will release The Best of Fridays, a five disc collection that will include 16 episodes of the series.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (May 14) is a big day for releases, but they're all re-releases (although a bit better than the original releases), and all come from the same studio: Mill Creek. First up, Roseanne is completed (again) with Roseanne - The Complete Ninth Season and Roseanne - The Complete Series. That '70s Show gets another complete series release with That '70s Show - The Complete Series. And finally, 3rd Rock from the Sun gets the complete series treatment with 3rd Rock from the Sun - The Complete Series. That completes the run for all of the Carsey-Werner sitcoms that Mill Creek had the rights to release! If you're interested in something other than sitcoms, though, Mill Creek starts another series, with their release of Highway to Heaven - The Complete First Season, which will feature unedited episodes (previous releases of the series from another studio included edited episodes).


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW


Blog DVD Review: The Roman Holidays - The Complete Series (Warner Archive, $24.95)
by skees53

Somewhere between the pre-hysterical Stone Age of The Flintstones and the fantastic future of The Jetsons lie The Roman Holidays. In the early '70s, the animation team of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera dominated the TV cartoon industry, and while they had many hits, some of them didn't quite work out. One of those ones that didn't work out was the NBC Saturday morning series The Roman Holidays, a series about a "typical family" living life in 63 A.D. It was a premise similar to that of The Flintstones, but at a much later time. Father Gus Holiday (Dave Willock) and mom Laurie (Shirley Mitchell) are the heads of the Holiday family, keeping an eye on teenage son Happius (Stanley Livingston) and daughter Precocia (Pamelyn Ferdin). Living at the Venus de Milo Arm, they face constant threats from landlord Mr. Evictus (Dom DeLuise) and trouble from Gus' boss Mr. Tycoonius (Hal Smith). And of course, like all animated families, they have a pet... and this one is a lion named Brutus (Daws Butler).

The series begins with "Double Date," where Gus heads to the prom (in disguise of a teenager). Somebody in the house is being a bit of a mooch in "The Lion's Share." The family goes to a concert in "Star for a Day," but what they see on stage may not be quite what they expected. Gus and Laurie are forced to do a bit of cross-dressing to save Gus' job in "Switch is Which?" The family takes a little vacation in "Hectic Holiday." In "The Big Split-Up," Hap faces an upset in his romantic life when she thinks that he is dating a beautiful lion (except she doesn't know it is a lion). Gus has to decide whether to go to a bowling tournament or attend his daughter's drum recital on the same night in "Double Dilemma," but his ultimate plan is the set up for the typical disaster in these situations. The family could be losing their freeloading laugh lion in "That's Show Biz." In "Father of the Year," there is a lot at stake when Gus and Mr. Evictus compete against each other for a coveted award. The series ends with a take on the classic Cyrano de Bergerac tale (even though he didn't live until about 1600 years later...) in "Cyrano de Happius."

Disc 1:
1. "Double Date" (22:18)
2. "The Lion's Share" (22:18)
3. "Star for a Day" (22:13)
4. "Hero-Sandwiched" (22:14)
5. "Switch is Which?" (22:12)
6. "Hectic Holiday" (22:07)
7. "The Big Split-Up" (22:08)
8. "Buried Treasure" (22:09)
9. "Double Dilemma" (22:10)

Disc 2:
10. "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Chariot Wash" (22:02)
11. "That's Show Biz" (22:11)
12. "Father of the Year" (22:15)
13. "Cyrano de Happius" (22:10)

The packaging for this set is in a standard Amaray case, with an extra tray inside to hold the extra disc. On the cover, there is a picture of the entire family in a Chariot (being driven by Brutus), and on the back, there is a photo of the family at the zoo. Inside, the two discs have the same photo of the family as seen on the cover. Also, it is important to note that these are true MOD (DVD-R) discs, and not pressed DVDs.

The menus on the set are very basic, but at least they look nice. Each menu has the picture of the family at the zoo, with Brutus playing the guitar. All of the episodes are listed, along with a Play All option. Once you select an episode, it plays immediately. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.

The video and audio quality of the series on DVD is actually pretty decent. I was expecting the worst, since this is one of the more "rare" cartoons in the Hanna-Barbera library, but everything looks and sound pretty clear (aside from the choppy animation, which is almost like an artistic trademark of any Hanna-Barbera cartoon). Unfortunately, there are no subtitles or closed-captioning.

Like most Warner Archive releases, there are no special features.

This really is a fun series, and I enjoyed watching it. However, I can understand why it didn't go over too well. The Flintstones took place in the very distant past and The Jetsons took place in the very distant future, and everything on those series made plenty of sense to people... one had to improvise everything, and the other had all of the technology that they needed. This series, however, takes place somewhere around the middle of those, in the days of the ancient Romans, and it almost requires a bit of history knowledge to really understand that. On top of that, this series was targeted towards kids. But it is important to reiterate that this actually is a good show, and it is just another example of the great work of Hanna-Barbera. As for the DVD set itself, Warner Archive did a fine job with everything, and there are no real complaints. I'm just glad that the program exists, because we probably would have never seen this series otherwise.

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
The Roman Holidays on Wikipedia


FOLLOW ME 


Who to Follow: Fran Drescher (Twitter), "Fran Drescher's official Twitter page."
Claim to Fame: Drescher started out with very humble beginnings in acting, with a few movie roles and guest starring roles in series, but she became best known in 1993 when her hit sitcom (co-created by then husband Peter Marc Jacobson) The Nanny premiered on CBS. Once that series left the air in 1999, she went on to a few more movie and guest star roles, until finally landing in the TV Land sitcom Happily Divorced, a sitcom that was co-created with now ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson (and based upon real life).
Why You Should Follow Her: Not everybody is a fan of Fran Drescher's voice, but regardless of what one thinks of her voice, she is a great actress and a great person... and she is somebody that you'll want to follow on Twitter. She keeps up with what her fans want, and she is very good at keeping her fans informed about everything that she is doing, which includes some things that are part of her acting career and some things that are part of her cancer advocacy work, an issue that she cares about deeply. And, if you do like her voice, you can almost hear it in reading her Tweets, which actually makes reading them very fun.
Pick of the Tweets: "This is so gr8! "In order to see the preciousness of all things, we must bring our full attention to life" Gud mornin! Overcast n rainy 2day" (March 3, 2013)

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


New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)

American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, January 18

Fresh Off the Boat - "Clean Slate" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
On the eve of Chinese New Year, Jessica pushes the entire family to settle all debts, disputes and grudges to ensure good fortune for the coming year. Unsure if she can contain her temper for the remainder of the day, Jessica enlists Emery to makes sure she keeps her cool. Meanwhile, Louis and Evan go on a wild goose chase to hunt down some hate mail, and Eddie is forced to entertain his super lame cousin.

Speechless - " S-I-- SICK D-A-- DAY" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Maya gets sick, Jimmy is forced to be the mom of the house, and Dylan becomes Kenneth’s replacement for JJ when Kenneth also gets sick. Jimmy ends up doing well with Maya’s normal duties, but he tries to keep it from her to avoid her feeling bad. Meanwhile, JJ protects Dylan from a boy she’s interested in. And despite its illness, the family bands together and pulls an all-nighter to finish Ray’s school project.

Modern Family - "Halloween 4: The Revenge of Rod Skyhook" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
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 - "Good Dre Hunting" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Bow convinces a begrudging Dre to try therapy, and he learns how to cope with his anger issues. Meanwhile, Johan becomes a life coach to the kids.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "Old Lady House: A Situation Comedy" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Charlie thinks Mac's mom is holding his mom hostage so the gang installs spy cameras in their house to monitor what's going on. What they end up discovering is the moms are quite entertaining once Dennis makes some quick edits and adds a laugh track to the surveillance footage. Dee wants in on the new hit show and Frank becomes obsessed with banging Charlie's mom now that he's seen her on TV.

Man Seeking Woman - "Horse" (FXX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Lucy attempts to forge a relationship with Josh's best friend Mike.

Schitt's Creek - "The Throuple" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
David and Stevie try to come to terms with their new relationship; Alexis and Moira plan a mother/daughter lunch.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 16)

Wednesday, January 18

  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Watch Wendi on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also talks about The Founder on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/Life with Louie/The Louie Show) - Louie appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Woody Harrelson (Cheers) - Woody stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ted Danson (The Good Place/Becker/Cheers) - Ted visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Judah Friedlander (30 Rock) - Judah is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) and B.J. Novak (The Office) - Neil and B.J. are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. Neil can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 10:20am.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry and his wife Rebecca Romijn chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Friends) - Matt appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Patrick Warburton (Crowded/Rules of Engagement/Less Than Perfect) - Patrick is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Kirstie Alley (Cheers/Veronica's Closet/Kirstie) - Kirstie dishes about the new season of Scream Queens and her weight loss with Jenny Craig on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.