Saturday, July 20, 2013

Digital Digest: More Complete Series from Sony; Dynasty - The Seventh Season DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest! This week, we have news of some new complete series sets (of old releases) on the way from Sony, a few updates on releases of 2012-2013 seasons of your favorites series, and finally, a review of Dynasty - The Seventh Season. Let's get going!


Sony, a studio that we haven't heard a whole lot from on the classic TV front in recent years, announced several complete series sets of classic TV series in value-priced re-releases this week. Among those are Bewitched - The Complete Series, I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series, and The Partridge Family - The Complete Series. Of course, all of these have had all of their individual seasons released, but if you want all of them at a value price, you'll have that chance when these are released on October 15. Our guess is that these will be those typical "black spindle" releases.

Sony isn't the only one with complete series releases, though. Universal (which, by the way, has been known to use more traditional packaging for their complete series sets) announced one that we're honestly surprised wasn't released long ago: Magnum, P.I. - The Complete Series. It is unclear, though, if this set will be exactly like the previous season sets. In particular, a Simon & Simon crossover episode was originally included on one of the season sets, but when that season was re-released as a single-sided release, the Simon & Simon crossover was nixed. In any event, that entire series has been released anyway, but Magnum will be coming on October 1.

Finally, has confirmed release dates for some releases of a few current fan favorites. First, for September 24, Modern Family returns with Modern Family - The Complete Fourth Season (DVD/Blu-ray). Then, on October 1, we'll see the release of New Girl - Season 2. We'll have much more on these as the release dates approach.


Tuesday (July 23) only has one release of note to us, with Shout! Factory's release of The Jack Benny Program - The Lost Episodes (review).


Blog DVD Review: Dynasty - The Seventh Season, Volumes 1 and 2 (CBS DVD, $36.98 each)
by Pavan

After another year-long wait, it's back on DVD! The addictive, primetime soap opera that quickly became a 1980s hit and lives on in popular cult status returns to DVD with Dynasty: The Seventh Season, Volume One & Volume Two. Each volume includes episodes of all the over-the-top glamour and drama from the series' seventh season. Explore the conflicts, passions, drives, and tensions of the Carringtons, a rich and powerful oil family, as they struggle to maintain their status of wealth and influence. This two-volume set brings all 28 episodes of season seven in two volumes, and like seasons five & six, they come out on the same date so we don't have to wait for the second half later on! Still, they are actually two different volumes, that you could buy separately, but there is a two-pack available if you want that instead! We get all 28 episodes on seven discs (down from the eight in season six).
John Forsythe, Linda Evans, and Joan Collins star and we leave off where the sixth season left off -- the fire. This is the season where ratings started to decline and for the first time since season two, it was out of the top 10. Seasons 3-6 all were in the time of the height of the popularity, with season five hitting being the peak. The series lasted 9 seasons on ABC, from 1981-89. We get the the entire seventh season (1986-87) on this two-pack set. I'm just glad we don't have to wait for the conclusion of the seventh season, but they are still splitting the seasons in half. For the last few releases, it's just that they are out on the same day! Anyway, the drama in Denver continues whether it is at the mansion or the LaMirage hotel.

Diahann Carroll and Heather Locklear are also back this season, while Ted McGinley is now a regular. The seventh season begins with "The Victory," as the sixth season cliffhanger is revealed as Michael Culhane returns to the fold to rescue Amanda from the La Mirage fire, but tragically Claudia dies in it, while Alexis immediately begins another plot to destroy Blake even further. In "Focus," Krystle is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after a limo crash, while Dominique offers financial help to Blake and Alexis puts pressure on the district attorney to charge Blake with arson. In "The Letter," a dying Emily Fallmont gives Blake a letter that will clear his name and expose Alexis and Ben of all their schemes, but after Alexis makes threats to expose him, Michael confesses and finds himself out of favor with Blake, as upon leaving Denver, Caress makes peace with Alexis and warns her about the sinister Ben. In the two-part episode "A Love Remembered," at the last second, Ben decides to save his brother, but at the hospital, Alexis decides to take advantage of Blake's memory loss by feigning a picture of them as a happily married couple. In the conclusion, Krystle and Dex arrive in Hong Kong to search for Blake, Alexis & Ben, while back in Denver, Sammy Jo and Steven grow closer over their troubling situations, as Alexis exposes her own deceitfulness to Blake at the hospital and reunites him with Krystle. In "The Mothers," Krystle extends an invite to Leslie to move into the mansion and she accepts and Ben sees this as a chance to reconcile with his daughter, while Blake and Krystle desperately search for a donor for Krystina, Dex and Dominique offer a sliver of hope. In "The Sublet," a kidnapped Krystina is terrified while being held captive by an unstable Sarah, who has convinced herself that Krystina is her own deceased daughter, Kathy, while Dominique receives a marriage proposal from Nick and Adam self-destructs. In "The Affair," Jackie returns to Denver with plans of reuniting her parents, Dominique and Garrett and she confronts Nick and tells him to stay away from Dominique, while Krystle continues to help Sarah through the grieving process and plans for Adam and Dana's wedding go back into full swing. And finally on the season finale, "Shadow Play," Krystle senses danger on the eve of Adam and Dana's wedding, both Clay Fallmont and Ben Carrington decide to leave Denver, amid scandal about Clay's paternity, while the festivities of the wedding make Alexis emotionally vulnerable, and her car goes into a river. Krystle's premonition of danger is realized when the entire Carrington family is held hostage at the mansion by a face from the past: Matthew Blaisdel.

Each episode on this set is just around 46-47 minutes on average, though some lower, which could be suspicious. Nearly every CBS DVD has a disclaimer on the back of the box saying, "Some episodes maybe be edited from their original network versions." So there is a chance something could be edited, but I didn't see anything, but some runtimes in the 44-45 minute range are suspicious.  Runtimes are as follows:

Volume 1

Disc 1:
1. "The Victory" (45:49)
2. "Sideswiped" (46:44)
3. "Focus" (46:39)
4. "Reward" (46:38)

Disc 2:
5. "The Arraignment" (46:44)
6. "Romance" (46:24)
7. "The Mission" (46:45)
8. "The Choice" (46:02)

Disc 3:
9. "The Secret" (45:50)
10. "The Letter" (46:49)
11. "The Ball" (46:38)
12. "Fear" (46:33)

Disc 4:
13. "The Rig" (46:25)
14. "A Love Remembered - Part 1" (46:44)
15. "A Love Remembered - Part 2" (46:39)
16. "The Portrait" (46:30)

Volume 2

Disc 1:
1. "The Birthday" (45:50)
2. "The Test" (46:02)
3. "The Mothers" (46:49)
4. "The Surgery" (46:19)

Disc 2:
5. "The Garage" (46:12)
6. "The Shower" (46:26)
7. "The Dress" (46:53)
8. "Valez" (45:25)

Disc 3:
9. "The Sublet" (46:01)
10. "The Confession" (46:40)
11. "The Affair" (45:54)
12. "Shadow Play" (45:57)

Packaging for both volumes once again is a snap case holding the discs inside, similar to previous sets. Again the discs don't overlap each other, which is great. We have two plastic holders on the first volume. Discs one and two are in the first plastic holder, while discs three and four are in the second plastic holder. That little holder is cheap, but I guess it works. The second volume only has one plastic holder, holding discs one and two, while disc three is on the right panel itself. The cover art of the first volume has Blake, Krystal Alexis with the Dynasty logo below them. Volume two's cover art has Blake and the men in similar style. The color schemes are red for both volumes. The back of the case's on both volumes has a synopsis of the show, the set, and technical information. We also have four episodic photos and a promotional cast photo. Back inside the cases, there is a disc-by-disc breakdown on the left and right panel for every episode on this set. We get episode titles and a synopsis of each episode. Like the last few seasons, it seems like they removed the original airdates for some reason...anyway, don't be reading it before watching the episode now! Artwork on the discs is just plain again. It is plain silver for each one. Dynasty logo and whatever disc number it is on the disc, and episode titles are listed on the disc. Disc-by-disc breakdown is available above in episode runtimes, but basically we have 4 episodes on each disc (4 episodes X 7 discs = 28 episodes). There is nothing different about the packaging here, except volume two has three discs, rather than four. This section is always consistent, it seems...and that is a good thing, I guess. We know what to expect.

And the consistency continues again for the menus. CBS DVD is terrible in menus, as you all probably know. Each menu has different artwork but it is so plain again. The episodes are listed right on the main menu once again. Subtitles option is also available below the list of episodes, but it is only English again. Main menu artwork has three shots of the same image. For volume one, disc one's main menu has three shots of Blake, disc two has three shots of Alexis, disc three has three shots of Krystal and disc four has three shots of Blake & Alexis together. For volume two, disc one's main menu has three shots of Steven, disc two has three shots of Sammy Jo, and disc three has three shots Dominique. It is very similar to the previous sets. No theme music or any music in the background once again. Before the main menu on both disc one's, there is an option for previews...we get previews such as The Good Wife S2 DVD and Melrose Place S3 DVD...yet AGAIN. But you can skip to the main menu if you wish.

The video is on par with the previous season and it looks good. Like previous sets, just some debris here and there in the opening credits, like flashing black dots, but it is still good quality. It isn't in widescreen, obviously. The audio is decent, a nice sounding mono...that is crisp and clear. No problems here at all. It seems the video and audio get better as the seasons go on, which makes sense. There are 6 chapter stops once again each for every episode, counting the opening and closing credits stops. This is all consistent again from previous sets. We don't have a two-hour episode on this set, like last season. We only have a two-part episode and it is in 2-parts, like it originally was.

We have zero special features, like the last set. On season five, volume two we got one special feature actually. As a recap, the second season had a little family tree thing, which was something at least and the first season was done by 20th Century Fox, and they did a decent job with some featurettes and commentaries, but CBS DVD has done basically nothing...which is typical. But on the second volume of season five we did get something archival! It was a clip from Entertainment Tonight in 1985 as Leeza Gibbons interviews guest star Rock Hudson and we also have Linda Evans talking about Rock. I wish they cleared more archival stuff like this for season seven, instead we are getting nothing here like on season six. Disappointing, but expected.

Season seven is a wrap and all in one day, just like the fifth & sixth season releases, and no waiting for months to continue! We just have to wait a year in between releases it seems. I highly do recommend any fan of the show to pick-up these two volumes (in a two-pack set!), because the episodes are so good and addictive and you'll want to see the conclusion of La Mirage cliffhanger from season six. We have great episodes on this set, and yet another cliffhanger on the seventh season finale. I cannot stop watching whenever I put the DVD in. This is the mother of all primetime soaps (sorry never was big into Dallas, but the new TNT series is great)! If you have the first six seasons, then you have to get this to continue your collection of course because it wouldn't make sense if you didn't continue. If you haven't gotten those yet, what are you waiting for? It won't make sense buying these two volumes for your first buy of this series, as the episodes are heavily serialized and you'll be VERY lost. I hope CBS reconsiders and gives us the ENTIRE eight season instead in one volume instead of splitting it up into two volumes. Season 8 only has 22 episodes, so it would make sense for them to give us one set in like six or seven discs. It's just expensive to get two volumes, as the MSPR is $72.99 sold together. That's a lot for 28 episodes and no special features. Still, I urge fans to buy it so we finish this series on DVD. CBS DVD is at least consistent with their sets. They are very predictable as the sets are nearly identical to each other (it makes the reviews boring). But like I said last time (and the time before that), complain to CBS DVD for the lack of extras and splitting the seasons in half. Anyway, you're going to get glued in this seventh season and you'll want to see the season premiere to see what happens after the wedding on the season finale! I'm not giving away what the cliffhanger is, so watch! The war between the Carringtons and Colbys continue!

(4/5 stars)

To purchase Dynasty - The Seventh Season, Volume 1, click below and help support

To purchase Dynasty - The Seventh Season, Volume 2, click below and help support

To purchase Dynasty - The Seventh Season, Volumes 1 and 2, click below and help support

Related links: DVD Reviews Page
Dynasty on


Who to Follow: Joan Collins (Twitter), "Actress, Writer, Producer, Wife, Mother, Grandmother. Much travelled. Exhausted"
Claim to Fame: While Collins has had a very distinguished career, she became best known to American audiences in her role as Alexis Colby (along with several other last names) on the prime time soap opera Dynasty.
Why You Should Follow Her: Despite what Charlotte Rae would want you to believe (Google that one...), Joan Collins is actually not a whole lot like her character on Dynasty, and seems to be much more personable in real life. She still seems to be a very privileged person (after all, she does carry the title OBE on her name), no doubt, but she is humble about it and seems to love her fans so much. In fact, she even has a tendency to retweet things at the request of her fans. You'll find that her Twitter feed is very much British-centric, as that is where much of her success has been, but she loves all of her fans worldwide.
Pick of the Tweets: "Maid didn't show up again so did some light housework --Miracles do happen!" (May 20, 2013)

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

Tuesday, October 25

The Middle - "Halloween VIII: The Heckoning" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Halloween approaches, Frankie is taken aback when she discovers that, if the circumstances ever arose where she and Mike got divorced, the kids would all choose to live with Mike. Meanwhile, Sue tries everything in her power to get her room back from Brick, and having to be so nice around girlfriend April all of the time leads Axl to lash out at his family.

American Housewife - "Westport Zombies" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie, jealous of Taylor’s friendship with neighbor Viv (Leslie Bibb), reluctantly competes in the Westport Halloween “Zombie Run” after she finds out they’ll both be running. Meanwhile, Greg and Anna-Kat get a little too much in character for the “zombie” part of the run’s obstacle course.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Louisween" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Louis’ favorite holiday, and he makes every attempt to scare Jessica into the Halloween spirit, but she is buried in her word processor, drafting her first horror novel. Meanwhile, Emery and Evan debate costume choices, and Eddie and his crew are excited to party with high schoolers at Nicole’s house.

The Real O'Neals - "The Real Halloween" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Halloween arrives, or what Kenny refers to as “the gay Super Bowl,” he plans to go to Boystown to watch the festive costume parade. In an effort to prevent Kenny from attending, Eileen agrees to let him throw his own Halloween party at home. Eileen’s tolerance is ultimately tested when Kenny recruits Stuart and his gay friends to join the big party, and he makes a BIG costume change. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Shannon plan to pull off an epic Halloween prank.

Atlanta - "Junteenth" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Why my Auntie trying to make me go to one of these bougie Junteenth parties again? I don't like them sadity people and I'm gonna miss my shows. Le sigh.

Family Time - "Head of House" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When the Stallworths have an unexpected visitor, they learn of a vicious crime that took place in their home years ago.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Tuesday, October 25

  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Catch Will on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Skylar Astin (Ground Floor) - Skylar is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman/Veronica's Closet/The Larry Sanders Show) and David Koechner (Another Period/Hank/The Office) - Mary and David are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love) - Jamie Lee is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Erinn Hayes (Kevin Can Wait/Guys with Kids/Worst Week) - Erinn plays a celeb guessing game with Rach, who’s serving up no-fail make-your-own takeout, on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Cheryl Hines (Son of Zorn/Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on the AOL Build Show 4pm.
  • Don Rickles (C.P.O. Sharkey/Daddy Dearest) - Don is a guest on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.