Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Perry Mason 50th Anniversary Edition; Solomon's Final Rant: Good Times Not a Spin-Off of Maude

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini-DVD review and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up, is the mini-DVD review. Today we take a look at CBS DVD's Perry Mason - 50th Anniversary Edition. Perry Mason of course is the very popular law series. The series stars the great Raymond Burr. See skees53's mini-DVD review of Perry Mason - 50th Anniversary Edition:

Perry Mason - 50th Anniversary Edition (CBS DVD, $49.98) brings you some of the best episodes of one of the most popular courtroom dramas on television along with plenty of special features on a four-disc set. The series premiered in 1957 on CBS and ran through 1966, making it one of the most successful series of its time. The "meat of the set" so to speak would be the episodes, and on this set, we have the twelve "best" episodes of the series (as chosen by the producers of the DVDs), beginning with the 1960 episode "The Case of The Wary Wildcater," where a woman accuses an oil entrepreneur of killer her sister, and then she is in turn accused of killing him when he is murdered. A clump of fake hair could solve the mystery in "The Case of the Treacherous Toupee," where Robert Redford guest stars. Before he was Batman, Adam West guest stars in "The Case of the Barefaced Witness."
A man may have gone crazy in "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank," but is he crazy enough to commit murder? Leonard Nimoy guest stars in "The Case of the Shoplifter's Shoe." Can Perry prove that a woman that has already been convicted is actually innocent? Find out in "The Case of the Deadly Verdict."
Did you know that Perry Mason was in color? Well it was... but only for one episode... in "The Case of the Twice Told Twist." In "The Case of the Dead Ringer," Raymond Burr plays the bad guy AND Perry Mason in the same episode. The set ends with the final episode, "The Case of the Final Fadeout," where Dick Clark guest stars.
The set comes in a very nice package with two double slimcases, with four discs. As has been the case on previous Perry Mason releases, the video and audio are preserved nearly to perfection, with virtually no flaws to be found... even the one color episode looks amazing! Closed-captioning is also available.
While there aren't any episode commentaries, there ARE video introductions from Barbara Hale on each and every episode... and much, much more. In fact, Disc 4 is nothing BUT special features. It begins with the 1985 movie Perry Mason Returns, which was the first (in a long line of MANY) Perry Mason TV movies of the week. Did you ever want to see what the cast was like when trying out for their roles? Find out in the Talent Tests. In fact, you even get to see actors from the show try out for parts they didn't even get. In "The Case of Erle Stanley Gardner," we get to find out about the history behind the creator of the series.
There are two interviews of Raymond Burr by Charlie Rose from the 1980s, as well a much older "Person to Person" interview. There are brand new interviews on the set from Barbara Hale, Arthur Marks, and Anne Nelson. You can see the entire cast play n the game show "Stump the Stars" on one of the special features. William Talman, while dying of lung cancer, gives a special anti-smoking message (that was taped just before he died) on another feature. And finally, there are some syndication promos and a photo gallery. Oh, and did I mention that except for the last two, all of these special features have an introduction by Barbara Hale?
I think that the verdict is very clear on this set... you'll want it. Normally I'm not a big fan of "best of" sets, but normally such sets don't include this many (and such great) special features. Now CBS DVD needs to get moving on more season sets... and perhaps give us some special features like these on one of those! This is better than those!
-- Reviewed by skees53
(5/5 stars)

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After launching June 2, 2007, Solomon's Weekly Rant is coming to an end after today's column. No, the rant is not canceled, but Solomon wants to go out on top. We enjoyed the rant each Saturday for the last 10 months and he is welcome to come back to do special features for us on the blog whenever we have some time. He of course will still remain an active members on our message boards, so you can still speak to him there. He will leave us today with his final rant that will feature some great thoughts and insight on why Good Times was not a spin-off of Maude. He has constantly said this on our message boards but this will be the first time he has actually written up something officially on this. You'll want to read this...because dare I say it, he could be right!

Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, April 19, 2008
"Why Good Times is NOT a Spin-Off of Maude"
By Solomon Davis

I have said this many times but now I'm actually writing it up for the whole world to see. Good Times is not a spin-off of Maude, damnit. You may think I'm crazy but I have some hard facts to prove this. First, isn't it obvious that the name of Florida's husband is different on both shows? On Maude his name is Henry and on Good Times it changed to James. So if Good Times was a spin-off why wouldn't they have kept the same name for the husband? And it was also obvious that the wife's name was supposed to be changed on Good Times since her husband had a different name on the show. So someone screwed up the naming the characters for Good Times and that's one reason that it can't be a spinoff... all about the names.

Fine you may think the producers might have messed up on the first argument I mentioned. But secondly, the location of Good Times along with the situation of the family lets you know it's not a spinoff. On Maude, the husband had a stable job as a fireman in upstate New York and on Good Times he was working at a car wash and living in the projects section of Chicago. On the last episode ("Florida's Goodbye") they appeared on Maude, they said Henry got a job promotion...so from a fireman to working at a car wash is a promotion? And the last time I checked Chicago is no where near upstate New York which means that Good Times is its own show and not a spinoff. Plus how could a family have moved from upstate New York and then be living in the projects in Chicago? Not a spinoff of Maude, that's why.

Third, the executive producer of Good Times, Allan Manings, stated in a 1974 issue of Ebony Magazine that it's not really a spin-off because Florida Evans was one character on Maude and that character was changed & re-developed for the NEW SHOW called Good Times. If anyone would know, it would be the executive producer of the show that knows whether it was a spinoff or not. The early scripts from Good Times are not connected at all to the final scripts of Maude. Once again, no spinoff.

And my last point, which will really show that Good Times was not a spinoff, is the airdate for the debut of Good Times in 1974. In some markets, CBS aired Good Times on February 1, 1974 and the last episode with the characters on Maude was aired on February 5, 1974. Did they move to Chicago and go back to upstate New York in a week? So if Good Times was supposed to be connected to the last episode of Maude then why would some CBS affiliates air the debut episode of Good Times before the last episode of Maude? And I know some CBS stations aired the launch of Good Times on February 8, 1974 but for the ones that didn't, made it obvious for the last time, that Good Times was never ever a spinoff of the show Maude. The characters were BASED on Maude but not the same exact ones! I hope everyone hears that lound and clear! I don't want to hear that on TV anymore that Good Times was a spin-off of Maude! You hear that E! True Hollywood Story, Entertainment Tonight, Biography, TV Land, and most of all Norman Lear? I hope you all see this!


Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, May 22

The Simpsons - "The Sound of Bleeding Gums" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Lisa meets the son of the late musician Bleeding Gums Murphy -- and attempts to improve his life.

Duncanville - "Plumbdog Millionaire" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
Jack and Duncan want to increase their wealth and status, so they make a local plumbing commercial.

The Simpsons - "Poorhouse Rock" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After Bart humiliates him at church, Homer finally teaches his son to admire his dad -- until a visit from a magical, singing janitor changes everything.

The Great North - "Papa Don't Fiend Adventure" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The Tobins spend Father's Day weekend at an RV park and uncover the identity of the Fiend of Family Land; Moon meets a skunk; Judy thinks she's found a new love.

Bob's Burgers - "Some Like It Bot Part 2: Judge-bot Day" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Tina's family read her erotic friend fiction, they find out what she's up to and try to stop her.

Family Guy - "Jersey Bore" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Peter attends a business conference in Atlantic City with Preston; Stewie helps Chris prepare for his role in Adam West High School's rendition of "Romeo and Juliet."

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 16)

Friday, May 20

  • Glen Powell (Scream Queens) - Watch Glen on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Fred Armisen (Schmigadoon!/Los Espookys/Forever) - Fred appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Bob Odenkirk (The Larry Sanders Show) - Bob is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Bobby Moynihan (Mr. Mayor/Me, Myself & I) - Bobby appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Josh Gad (Central Park/Avenue 5/The Comedians/1600 Penn/Back to You) - Josh talks about the animated series Central Park on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Vanessa Lachey (Truth Be Told/Dads) - Vanessa guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Watching Ellie/Seinfeld/Day by Day) - Julia appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Rapaport (Atypical/The War at Home) - Michael guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zoey will be on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Britt Lower (Man Seeking Woman/Big Lake) - Britt is a guest on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (In the House/The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso appears on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February-May)

ALT= Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (2022 Release) Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)

02/08 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Ninth Season
02/22 - Everybody Hates Chris - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
02/22 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Eight
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/15 - Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season
03/15 - The Proud Family - The Complete Original Series - Anniversary Collection
03/22 - The Honeymooners Specials - The Complete Collection
03/29 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/29 - Young Rock - Season One
04/05 - Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/26 - The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season
04/26 - Jackie Gleason TV Treasures - 70th Anniversary Collection (including Honeymooners Rarities)
05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
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