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!


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.

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 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)

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Perry Mason on


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 (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, October 27

The Big Bang Theory - "The Fetal Kick Catalyst" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Penny is surprised to learn she has fans of her performance in “Serial Ape-ist” when she attends Van Nuys Comic Con with Leonard. Also, Amy hosts a Sheldon-style brunch at Penny’s apartment, and Wolowitz makes an impulsive purchase when he starts stressing out about the baby on the way.

The Great Indoors - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Joel McHale stars as Jack, a renowned adventure reporter for an outdoor magazine who must adapt to the times when he becomes the new desk-bound boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of the publication.

Mom - "High-Tops and Brown Jacket" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie and Adam’s relationship is tested when he moves in with her and Christy for a few weeks. Also, Christy learns the hard way that it may be a mistake to try and meet men with Jill.

Life in Pieces - "Annulled Roommate Pill Shower" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Heather and Tim enlist Clementine’s unusual parents, Mary-Lynn (Megan Mullally) and Spencer (Nick Offerman), to help convince Clementine and Tyler to annul their unexpected marriage. Also, Tommy moves in with Colleen, to the chagrin of her roommate, Dougie (Fortune Feimster); John and Joan run into “complications” after John takes the wrong dose of his daily pill; and Jen and Greg keep a secret from the family.

Superstore - "Halloween Theft" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Dina (Lauren Ash) throws a wrench in everyone's Halloween plans when something goes missing from the store and declares that no employee can leave until someone confesses to stealing. Amy (America Ferrera) is determined to find out who is responsible because she doesn't want to miss trick-or-treating with her daughter and Mateo (Nico Santos) prepares for his secret date with Jeff (recurring guest star Michael Bunin). Meanwhile, Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) struggle to bond until they discover they have more in common than they thought. Garrett (Colton Dunn) has a difficult time defending himself during the store-wide investigation.

The Good Place - "Most Improved Player" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Michael (Ted Danson) has a private meeting with Eleanor (Kristen Bell). Meanwhile, Chidi (William Jackson Harper), who has been harboring a secret, contemplates what to do.

Better Things - "Scary Fun" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam makes a point.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Thursday, October 27

  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Catch Martin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) - Mary-Louise visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • January Jones (The Last Man on Earth) - January appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Lauren Lapkus (Clipped/Are You There, Chelsea?) - Lauren is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on Chelsea on Netflix. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm.
  • Nathan Lane (Modern Family/Charlie Lawrence/Encore! Encore!), John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) and John Slattery (Maggie) - They talk about Broadway's The Front Page on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Miley is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Eva Longoria (Telenovela) - Eva appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angelique Cabral (Life in Pieces/Enlisted) - Angelique talks about Life in Pieces on the AOL Build Show at 11am.