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)

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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!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, April 25

The Big Bang Theory - "The Decision Reverberation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Koothrappali is worried people won’t take him seriously in his own field after publishing a paper that suggests he may have discovered alien life. Also, Leonard wants to be the principal investigator on a plasma physics study.

Young Sheldon - "A Political Campaign and a Candy Land Cheater" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Unhappy that school funds are going towards football rather than academics, Sheldon decides to run for class president.

Mom - "Triple Dip and an Overhand Grip" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie and Tammy revisit childhood memories on a trip to their old foster home. Also, Christy and Jill regret accepting a date with two guys from their AA meeting.

Life in Pieces - "Misery Turd Name Pills" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
While Joan is bedridden recovering from surgery, she persuades Sophia to spend time with her, which she quickly regrets. Also, Jen and Greg select a name for their new baby only to learn that Matt and Colleen chose the same one; Colleen and Matt invite the family over to get to know Morgan (Joey King); and Heather has a new business idea.

Superstore - "QuinceaƱera" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jonah (Ben Feldman) struggles to find his place at Amy’s (America Ferrera) daughter Emma’s quinceaƱera, while Dina (Lauren Ash) proves very popular with some teenage boys. Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) and Mateo (Nico Santos) are obsessed with seeing Amy cry.

A.P. Bio - "Sweet Low Road" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When budget cuts threaten to gut Whitlock and put his job in jeopardy, Jack recruits Mary, Stef, and Michelle to take down the Superintendent. Durbin plans an appeal to the heart, while the students plan an appeal to the soul.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Tickling Clocks" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
In an episode that takes place in real time, Jake and the squad must track down a hacker who has infiltrated the Nine-Nine's servers. Rosa deals with relationship issues. Hitchcock and Scully attempt to cook the perfect lasagna.

Abby's - "Mail Bin" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Abby finds a letter from her estranged father in a pile of unopened mail and opens up to the group about their fraught relationship.

Better Things - "The Unknown" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam gets theatrical.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 22)

Thursday, April 25

  • Paul Rudd (Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later/Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp/Wild Oats) - Catch Paul on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Susan Kelechi Watson (Louie) - Susan is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lake Bell (Bless This Mess/Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp/How to Make It in America) - Lake visits E!'s Busy Tonight at 11pm.
  • Steve Lemme and Kevin Heffernan (Tacoma PD) - Steve and Kevin are guests on E!'s Busy Tonight at 11pm.
  • Bradley Cooper (Kitchen Confidential) - Bradley stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Diedrich Bader (American Housewife/Veep/The Drew Carey Show) - Diedrich visits The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James talks about Life in Pieces on People Now at 12pm.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Laurie Metcalf (The Conners/The McCarthys/Getting On/Roseanne) - Laurie talks about Hillary & Clinton on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on the BUILD SERIES at 3pm.
  • Ali Wentworth (Nightcap) - Ali is a guest on ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) - Billy and Ben talk about Standing Up, Falling Down on the BUILD Series at 1pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April)

Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season

02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
04/02 - Archer: Danger Island - The Complete Season Nine
04/09 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fifth Season
04/12 - Evening Shade - The Complete Collection
04/16 - The Big C - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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