Saturday, July 04, 2009

2009 4th of July TV Marathons; Blog DVD Review: Matlock - The Third Season

As America celebrates its 233rd birthday, you can celebrate by watching television marathons of course! If you are not doing anything outdoors, what better way to celebrate? Among the marathons of course is the launch of Sister, Sister on BET, as we previously mentioned. The fun starts at 9am and runs all the way to 4am! TV Land will spend the day with classic marathons of Leave it to Beaver and Andy Griffith Show before its feuds and fireworks event with Roseanne for the night capper from 8pm-6am. TV One celebrates the holiday with Martin until 8pm. The N has over a 70-hour Degrassi marathon then continues today and tomorrow. So far all of these we have already announced in the past in our news reports. Hallmark Channel will celebrate with the Love's movie franchise all day today and tomorrow they will have Little House on the Prairie. On Friday they had M*A*S*H.
Elsewhere, what 4th of July would it be without The Twilight Zone on Sci-Fi? It started yesterday and will air all-day today until 6am Sunday morning! Reality is the way to go otherwise with Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel and The Revolution on History. Movie lovers might like the James Bond movie marathon on USA Network, and the movies on ABC Family, Lifetime, FX, and TNT.
It's not as many marathons as usual since the holiday is on a Saturday this year it seems.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog programming:

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the blog DVD review! Today we take a look at CBS DVD's Matlock: The Third Season. Matlock of course is the very popular courtroom drama starring Andy Griffith that is often mentioned on The Simpsons as Grandpa Simpson's favorite show. See skees53's blog DVD review of Matlock: The Third Season:

Matlock: The Third Season (CBS DVD, $49.99) serves 20 episodes of justice to fans in a five disc DVD set. When you've been charged with a serious crime in Atlanta and you know you are innocent, you need the best. You need somebody that will play rough and dirty with the prosecutor. You need somebody that isn't afraid to go there. You need a man in a gray suit. You need Atlanta's finest, Ben Matlock (Andy Griffith).

The Third Season of Matlock is the season where we are introduced to a new neighbor and friend of Matlock, Les "Ace" Calhoun (Don Knotts). Knotts, of course, worked with Andy Griffith in the 1960s on the classic TV hit The Andy Griffith Show, and this reunion of Griffith and Knotts brings back a lot of the old chemistry that they had working together on that series. Knotts would make many appearances on the series in this recurring role for several seasons, until the series moved to ABC in the early 1990s. As for the rest of the cast, we still have Matlock's partner in his firm, Michelle Thomas (Nancy Stafford) and his private investigator, Tyler Hudson (Kene Holliday), who always seems to have to do the rough and dirty work on behalf of the law firm. Prosecutor Julie March (Julie Sommars) is there as Matlock's opponent, and although she simply can't win against the ruthless defense techniques of Ben Matlock, she isn't nearly as incompetent as the character of Hamilton Burger on the TV series Perry Mason. But Matlock is in it to win it, and you can't go wrong with him on your side.

We are introduced to Les Calhoun in the third season premiere, "The Lemon," when he buys a used car from a shady used car dealer (he buys a DeLorean, the same car used on the Back to the Future movies). But like every DeLorean, he ends up with a lemon and gets angry with the car dealer, and not long thereafter, the car dealer ends up murdered. It's Matlock to the rescue! Matlock must go to New York City to defend a British ambassador accused of murder in the two-part episode "The Ambassador." Matlock (reluctantly) agrees to take the case of a shock jock accused of murdering his competition in "The D.J." Matlock must take on a vigilante police captain in "The Captain." The entire office (sans Matlock) is being held hostage in "The Vendetta," but why are they being held hostage? And why isn't Matlock there to save the day?
Matlock has a client that is accused of a political assassination in Chicago in the two-part episode "The Mayor," but he simply can't find the evidence to acquit him. In "The Black Widow," a man is wrongly accused of murder after his wife fakes her own death, but after he serves his sentence and released she actually is murdered. Can Matlock exonerate him? The first runner-up in a beauty contest will never be called upon to fulfill her duties in "The Starlet" after she is murdered, but did the winner murder her? A psychic predicts a murder in "The Psychic," but was this truly an accurate prediction or did she have worldly knowledge?
Everything is complicated in the two-part episode "The Thief," where a coin shop owner is accused of killing one of his employees, and one of Matlock's suspects kidnaps the daughter of the female detective that he put on the case. A mentally challenged man is accused of murder in "The Thoroughbred," and Matlock has to do his best to defend him based upon his innocence. Matlock is determined to not give up on his client after being hit by a car in "The Model." In "The Cult," a man is accused of killing the cult-leader that brainwashed his son, and Tyler has to join the cult in order to do some undercover work to prove his innocence. The season ends with "The Priest," where a priest is murdered... or is he?

The set does not have any fancy packaging, which should be expected from a CBS DVD set. It is just the standard CBS DVD plastic case, containing five discs. The cover art has a very basic cast photo shot, and inside the case, we have a listing of all of the episodes, along with original airdates and brief descriptions. There are exactly four episodes on each disc. Of course, as this is a CBS DVD product, the menus are the same as every other CBS DVD set as well, with nothing more than a main menu that has a listing of all of the episodes on the disc, as well as a Play All option.

Once again, the episodes appear to be unedited, although it is important to note that the set DOES contain a disclaimer saying that some episodes may be edited from their original network versions. I did not notice anything significant. However, as was the case with the previous season, all of the episode previews have been removed from the episodes. This isn't significant, as these merely preview what is going to be on the upcoming episode, but if the producers saw it appropriate to include them on the TV broadcast, I can't understand why they should remove them on the DVD set. Still, they are not an integral part of the episode. Each episode runs around 48 minutes. Every episode is closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired. There are no special features at all on this set. It would have been nice to have seen something from the original cast, such as a cast reunion.

This set is a very basic set that isn't fancy or flashy, but then again, Matlock is a very basic series that isn't fancy or flashy. This is a great show to watch, even if it is unrealistic to think that there may actually be a defense attorney in the world that is as effective as Ben Matlock. My only hope is that future sets include something--anything really--along the lines of special features! The Second Season did include alternate endings to one episode, but other than that, we have seen nothing on these sets. This is a cult favorite (even if that cult consists of a lot of senior citizens, although the series is popular among younger people as well), and the fans want something extra on these sets! Still, it is nice to see that CBS DVD is releasing (what appears to be) unedited episodes with mostly decent video and audio quality. I will now rest my defense of this sufficient set of this excellent series and hope that you judge this DVD set the same way.

-- Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Matlock TV.com Page


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, March 31

The Conners - "The Preemie Monologues" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Harris is forced to confront Darlene about her lifestyle, while Jackie involves herself in other people’s problems to avoid confronting her own. Meanwhile, Becky is overwhelmed by the costs of raising a baby, so her family steps in to help.

Bless This Mess - "The Letter of the Law" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Rio is bummed she can’t afford to go to Iceland for her best friend’s wedding, so the nuptials are moved and brought to the farm. Meanwhile, Rio is forced to take on Deb’s mail route after she quits, and Mike and Jacob help Rudy get over Constance.

mixed-ish - "Let Your Hair Down" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After a teacher tells Rainbow to make sure her hair is “neat” for picture day, she becomes self-conscious and begins a complicated relationship with her hair. Meanwhile, Johan and Santamonica struggle with their own hair identity.

black-ish - "Hair Day" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bow takes Diane to get her hair done at the salon and wants to spend this time together as a bonding opportunity, but Diane isn’t having it. Diane is conflicted about relaxing her hair again and embarks on a hair journey with the help of Bow, Ruby and her hair stylist, Yaya (Jill Scott). Meanwhile, Dre and Junior compete to have the best barbecue.

Schitt's Creek - "Start Spreading the News" (Pop, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Moira receives some unexpected news, and David makes a tough decision about where he wants to live.

One Day at a Time - "Penny Pinching" (Pop, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After a disastrous evening, Penelope realizes she needs to change her relationship to money and do the unthinkable -- buy something new; Elena struggles to make it to an important e-sports match.

Miracle Workers: Dark Ages - "Dark Ages: Moving Out Part 2" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Al and Prince Chauncley face their biggest challenge yet.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 30)

Tuesday, March 31

  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Catch Demi on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. She will also be on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Rob appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Sean Hayes (Will & Grace/The Millers/Sean Saves the World) - Sean is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) - Josh talks about Hunters on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Josh Gad (1600 Penn/Back to You) - Josh appears on a repeat of The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Ron Livingston (Loudermilk) - Ron talks about A Million Little Things on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Matt Fraser (Meet the Frasers) - Matt is a guest on The Doctors, so check your local listings.


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

My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One Martin - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series

01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season (Blu-ray)
01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
02/04 - Martin - The Complete Series
02/11 - Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season (WBShop.com)
02/18 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/25 - Better Things - The Complete Third Season
03/17 - Crashing - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
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