Saturday, June 08, 2013

Digital Digest: 2012-2013 Season of CBS Sitcoms on DVD; Perry Mason - The Final (Ninth) Season, Volume 1 DVD Review


Welcome to Digital Digest! We're here with all of your regular weekly features, including a review of Perry Mason - The Final (Ninth) Season, Volume 1. Let's get going!

DIGITAL NEWS

The 2012-2013 seasons of several CBS sitcoms were announced on DVD this week... specifically, the ones that are released by Warner Home Video. Among these are Mike & Molly - The Complete Third Season (August 20), 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Second Season (September 24), and Two and a Half Men - The Complete Tenth Season (September 24). Since we're talking about all of these CBS sitcoms, that does leave a few more questions, such as when we'll see The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Sixth Season (DVD, Blu-ray) . Well, we don't have an answer for that yet, but it goes without saying that it will definitely be coming, and probably in September... but you can go ahead and pre-order it now if you just can't wait.

Of course, not every sitcom in the 2012-2013 season was a hit... but that doesn't mean that there is no hope of seeing the series on DVD. Universal will be releasing the NBC flop Guys with Kids as a MOD title in Guys with Kids - The Complete Series. No word if any of the other NBC "strugglers" from the past season will come as well.

Finally, while we're on the topic of MOD releases, CBS has one coming up on Tuesday that is worthy of being mentioned here: Becker - The Fifth Season. This leaves only one season of the series left to be released.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW
Tuesday (June 11) has The Dick Van Dyke - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray), which has already been seen through the complete series release of the series on Blu-ray. Meanwhile, CBS has their release of Perry Mason - The Final (Ninth) Season, Volume 1, which we have a review of today, and CBS also has their MOD release of Becker - The Fifth Season.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
 


Blog DVD Review: Perry Mason - The Final (Ninth) Season, Volume 1 (CBS, $45.98)
by skees53

Perry Mason is getting close to resting his case once and for all in Perry Mason - The Final (Ninth) Season, but not quite yet! It has been a long journey of half season releases, but we're finally on the last season of the series on DVD. We're pretty sure that everybody is familiar with who Perry Mason is and what the series is about, but just to briefly recap, the series stars Raymond Burr as Perry Mason, the defense attorney who takes the most difficult cases imaginable, cases that simply cannot be won... and turns them into winning cases against all odds. It was a rather formulaic approach to a series (one that worked very well when the series aired in the 50s and 60s), and the series has gone on to become the de facto standard as the classic legal drama. This four disc set contains the first fifteen episodes of the final season.

This season begins with "The Case of the Laughing Lady," where a woman is accused of murder... but a cackling laugh that she hears may point to the real killer. A successful business woman accepts a marriage proposal from her boss in "The Case of the Fatal Fortune," but he won't be around too long anyway. In "The Case of the Candy Queen," an owner of a company selling low-calorie sweets is accused of murder. A graduate student is accused of murdering an unpopular professor in "The Case of the Cheating Chancellor." Perry gets involved in a crime (inadvertently) in "The Case of the Impetuous Imp." In "The Case of the Carefree Coronary," Perry goes to work for an insurance company to investigate some fraud. A computer dating service leads to marriage in "The Case of the Hasty Honeymooner," but the marriage ends in murder, of course. A train fire leads to murder in "The Case of the 12th Bobcat."

In "The Case of the Wrathful Wraith," a widow tends to receive messages from beyond the grave. A race car driver is accused of murdering his business partner in "The Case of the Runaway Racer." In "The Case of the Silent Six," Lt. Drumm asks Perry to defend a cop accused of shooting a man in an act of vengeance. Perry goes abroad to help an expatriate German scientist in "The Case of the Fugitive Fraulein." In "The Case of the Baffling Bug," an espionage investigation uncovers murder. A beautiful hitchhiker knows secrets that could save the partner of a murdered mogul of a men's nightclub empire in "The Case of the Golden Girls" (no, not those Golden Girls). The set ends with "The Case of the Bogus Buccanneers," where door-to-door cosmetic salesmen are all dressed like a TV pirate pitchman... and only one of those pirates knows the secret behind a murder.

1. "The Case of the Laughing Lady" (50:56)
2. "The Case of the Fatal Fortune" (51:57)
3. "The Case of the Candy Queen" (51:57)
4. "The Case of the Cheating Chancellor" (51:55)

5. "The Case of the Impetuous Imp" (51:46)
6. "The Case of the Carefree Coronary" (51:56)
7. "The Case of the Hasty Honeymooner" (51:43)
8. "The Case of the 12th Wildcat" (51:55)
 
9. "The Case of the Wrathful Wraith" (51:48)
10. "The Case of the Runaway Racer" (51:51)
11. "The Case of the Silent Six" (51:46)
12. "The Case of the Fugitive Fraulein" (51:57)

13. "The Case of the Baffling Bug" (51:54)
14. "The Case of the Golden Girls" (51:58)
15. "The Case of the Bogus Buccaneers" (51:55)

The set is packaged in the typical Viva case, with artwork that is very similar to all of the previous sixteen releases. There is a large color photo of Perry on the cover, and a few snapshots on the back. The four discs inside, of course, have the standard series title on gray artwork. Episode titles, descriptions, and airdates are all printed inside the case.

Just as the packaging is the same as the previous releases, it goes without saying that the menus are identical as well. The main menu lists all of the episodes on the disc, along with a Play All option and a Subtitles option. Once you select the episode, it plays immediately. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.
 
Once again, the video and audio quality on the set is essentially perfect. CBS has done a great job of cleaning this series up, and aside from some very minimal grain and debris, this series almost looks like it could have been filmed just a few years ago (if they were filming in black and white, anyway). The audio is loud and clear, and there are English subtitles for each episode.

After a few brief special features on one of the eighth season releases, we're back to no special features this time.

It has been a long journey of half-season releases to get to this point, and to tell the truth, I never thought that we'd get here. I know that this is a popular series, but this particular set marks the seventeenth "volume" release of the series on DVD... seventeen releases! To put this into perspective, The Simpsons was first released on DVD in season sets (equivalent to the volumes here) twelve years ago, and they have so far only gotten sixteen seasons of that released. What is even better is that the final volume of the series is scheduled for just two months from now, so we'll get to see the series wrap up once and for all and be able to own all 271 episodes... not to mention that these DVDs have been nothing short of perfection in quality. Now, we only have to wait to see if all of the made-for-TV movies from the late 80s and early 90s make it to DVD. There were 26 of these, plus four more made with the Perry Mason title (but without Raymond Burr). These could be potentially released in two or three sets.

By now, you've either been buying the series on DVD or you haven't. If you are a fan of classic legal dramas, then you must have seen this by now. But if for some strange reason you haven't, this is just as good as any other place to start watching the series. The series stayed consistent throughout the seasons and never jumped the shark at all. Perhaps the formulaic nature of the series is why it stayed so consistent, but it is fun to watch all of these episodes 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
Perry Mason on TV.com


FOLLOW ME

Who to Follow: Karyn Parsons (Twitter/Facebook), "Mama/Writer/Actress/Producer."
Claim to Fame: Parsons is best known (and, perhaps to many, it is the only thing for which she is known) as the ever so obnoxious Hilary Banks on the NBC series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She has also appeared in a few short-lived series, but her current project is Sweet Blackberry, which is a production studio behind producing animated films about some of the lesser known heroes in black history.
Why You Should Follow Her: I loved discovering the "true Hilary Banks" on Twitter. She is a character that we all loved and remembered, but we somewhat forget about the actress who played that role. When you get to know her on Twitter, you begin to discover that Karyn Parsons is about the complete opposite of Hilary Banks. She is much more intelligent and has a very good grasp upon reality, which is perhaps what made her portrayal of that role even better. What is even more great is how close she is to most of her "family" from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air even to this day, and is proud of her character from that series. By the way, she is a probably a bit more interesting to follow on Facebook than Twitter... even though the feeds are the same, she posts a lot of links and videos, which tend to get lost as a bunch of URLs on many of her Twitter postings.
Pick of the Tweets: " Happy Birthday, to my dear baby bro, Alfonso! I love you!!! " (September 12, 2012)

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.