Saturday, August 20, 2011

Digital Digest: Parenthood - Season Two DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest, your weekly home for news of all things digital! It's another slow news week, but this week we begin getting into our very busy period of reviews of the upcoming DVD/Blu-ray sets of the 2010-2011 TV season! We have our very first review of the previous TV season this week with our review of Parenthood - Season Two. Let's get rolling.


DIGITAL NEWS

As we are talking about the 2010-2011 TV season, there is one series for which we hadn't heard anything about a DVD release, but now there is some news for 30 Rock! On November 29, just before the season premiere (the series will begin midseason for the upcoming season), 30 Rock - Season Five will debut on DVD. However, no Blu-ray release is in the works for the time being (there haven't been any for 30 Rock).

Hulu has consistently been a great source for fans of vintage TV to watch some of their favorite shows, and starting Monday, you can go back to the 60s for a rarely seen series hosted by Joan Rivers! That Show, which aired in the late 60s and early 70s on NBC, was one of Rivers' first ventures into television, and starting Monday, you'll be able to see the first 65 episodes of the series on Hulu, remastered from the original sources.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (August 23) begins the "awakening" of the 2010-2011 season (OK, I'll admit, I'm overdramatizing this), but is still a light day for releases. For Tuesday, we have Brothers & Sisters - The Complete Fifth and Final Season and Off the Map - The Complete Series. We are currently awaiting review copies of these sets and hope to have reviews soon.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Family dramas are a long-standing and time-tested genre in television, and the Braverman family is no exception. The current NBC series, Parenthood, is a second attempt (after a poorly received sitcom in the early 90s) at recreating the very popular movie from producer Ron Howard. Following the Braverman family through different generations and the good and the bad, here is our review of Parenthood - Season Two.

DVD Review - Parenthood - Season Two
by skees53

Parenthood - Season Two (Universal, $59.98) collects all 22 episodes from the second season of the NBC family drama in a five disc collection. The series, based loosely upon the 1989 film starring Steve Martin, follows the trials and tribulations of different generations of the Braverman family, through the good and the bad.

The second season begins with "I Hear You, I See You," where Crosby tries to cope with his long-distance relationship with his son Jabbar. Crosby is asked to pick up Jabbar in "Date Night," but all might not go so well as Crosby has just had a work party where he has had a little too much to drink. Max decides to face his Halloween fears in "Orange Alert." Adam has difficulty when he is forced to fire seven employees in "Seven Names." In "If This Boat Is a Rockin'," somebody calls Max "retarded," and it isn't sitting too well for Adam, at all.

In "Happy Thanksgiving," Sarah invites her new boss to Thanksgiving dinner, which wouldn't be a huge deal, except did we mention that he is Adam's boss? In "Meet the New Boss," Adam has a new boss, who just happens to be a 20-something stoner. Haddie has had enough with her parents and moves out in "A House Divided." In "Do Not Sleep with Your Autistic Nephew's Therapist," Crosby's one night stand has consequences that rock the entire household. Adam and Kristina struggle to explain Max's Asperger's to him in "Qualities and Difficulties." In "New Plan," everybody is planning for the next stage in life, but how will Amber explain to her mom that she didn't get in to college? Amber's life spirals out of control in "Slipping Away." The season ends with a surprise that'll blow everyone away in "Hard Times Come Again No More."

The episodes on the set appear to be mostly as they aired on NBC, but there is one very obvious change in the DVD version that was seen in the previous set: the theme song has been changed due to music rights reasons. Not to worry too much, however, because the replacement theme is the same one seen in international airings and online, and fits the series very well. It isn't a cheap replacement theme as we see in some DVD sets, but works very well for the series. Runtimes for the episodes are as follows.

Disc 1:
1. "I Hear You, I See You" (42:02)
2. "No Good Deed" (43:08)
3. "I'm Cooler Than You Think" (42:29)
4. "Date Night" (42:28)

Disc 2:
5. "The Booth Job" (43:05)
6. "Orange Alert" (42:54)
7. "Seven Names" (43:03)
8. "If This Boat Is a Rockin'" (43:09)
9. "Put Yourself Out There" (43:08)

Disc 3:
10. "Happy Thanksgiving" (42:51)
11. "Damage Control" (43:08)
12. "Meet the New Boss" (43:06)
13. "Opening Night" (42:24)
14. "A House Divided" (43:07)

Disc 4:
15. "Just Go Home" (42:52)
16. "Amazing Andy and His Wonderful World of Bugs" (43:04)
17. "Do Not Sleep with Your Autistic Nephew's Therapist" (43:01)
18. "Qualities and Difficulties" (43:04)

Disc 5:
19. "Taking the Leap" (42:50)
20. "New Plan" (43:06)
21. "Slipping Away" (42:36)
22. "Hard Times Come Again No More" (43:10)

Like many Universal DVD sets (and unlike many other studios these days), the set comes packaged in a digipak. On the cover, we have four photos of each of Zeek and Camille's children's family, with a green color scheme in the background. On the back, there are a few more snapshots, along with one giant photo of the entire family. Inside, we have the digipak, which has three panels (there are two discs in each of the first two panels and one in the third panel). Behind the discs, there is one large panoramic photo of the whole family in one of those bounce houses (which was actually originally supposed to be featured as the cover art). On the other side of the digipak, there is a listing of all of the episodes with descriptions. Discs 1, 4, and 5 contain four episodes each, while Discs 2 and 3 contain five episodes each. As for the disc artwork, it is simply the series logo on a silver background for each disc.

The menus on the set are relatively simple, with different photos of the family and options of Play All, Episode Index, Bonus, and Setup. The closing theme plays in the background of the main menu, and loops forever--it actually gets annoying after a while. Episode Index takes you to a menu that shows all of the episodes, along with a snapshot from the episode. You can also select any commentaries or deleted scenes from here. The episode plays immediately upon selecting it, and there are chapters within the episodes. Bonus allows you to select the special features contained on that disc. And finally, Setup is just a place to turn on English subtitles (I wonder why they don't just call it that?).

The video and audio quality of the set is about what you would come to expect from a series that just aired months ago on TV--essentially flawless. The video is crisp and doesn't seem to suffer from any real issues, and the series has a rather nice Dolby Digital 5.1 sound that is loud and clear. Each episode contains English subtitles.

The set isn't exactly loaded with special features, but there are several included on here. First, there are three episodes with commentaries. These include "If This Boat Is a Rockin'" (Peter Krause and Allison Liddi-Brown), "Just Go Home" (Lauren Graham and Lawrence Trilling), and "Do Not Sleep With Your Autistic Nephew's Therapist" (Executive Producer Jason Katims). There are also a few deleted scenes from some episodes, including "The Booth Job" (1:42), "A House Divided" (1:55), "Do Not Sleep With Your Autistic Nephew's Therapist" (2:07), "New Plan" (1:11), and "Hard Times Come Again No More" (1:30). Finally, the special feature "From Page to Screen" (14:30) is a behind-the-scenes look with the cast and crew of taking the series from the script phase to actually producing the episode.

When the series premiered on NBC, it was hoped to be something like NBC's "white knight," but it hasn't really lived up to those expectations. Still, it has earned it's place on NBC, and is actually one of the few good family dramas that I've seen in recent years. The series doesn't really go for the outrageous or extreme, but is a very down to earth series that blends comedy and family drama rather well. This DVD set is another great set (even with the replaced theme song, which really isn't a huge deal with this series), and I'm only more anxious to see what the third season of the series holds now.

(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

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


CLICK OF THE WEEK

The Simpsons Archive (www.snpp.org) - Like we said last week, when we talked about the website Bundyology, we only like to include series specific websites when they stand out above the rest. And The Simpsons Archive is another shining example of a website for a TV series. On the main page, the website claims to be "the Internet's clearinghouse of Simpsons guides, news, and information," and they aren't kidding at all when they say this. You can truly find everything that you want to find about the series here, from the basics to the nitty gritty details.

The site, of course, gives you all of the basic information about all of the episodes, tells you about upcoming episodes, and gives news about the series, but that isn't even scratching into the heart of what you can find on the site. Want to know what couch gag was used on a specific episode? You can find it there. Looking for information about Simpsons games, CDs, DVDs, and virtually all other merchandise relating to the series? It's there. How about a complete listing of every song included in every single episode? It's there. Chalkboard gags? Prank calls to Moe? Thorough reviews of every episode? Quotes from every episode? It's all there. And so much more is there, too. It is hard to list everything that you can find on this website, so you should head on over there yourself to check it out!

That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, September 25

Son of a Critch - "Particip-action" (The CW, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mark is forced to participate in the school's Sports Day; Fox fights for her mother's attention and attempts to break the school record for gold medals.

Run the Burbs - "Li Xi" (The CW, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As they celebrate Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Andrew worries about his parents' relationship; Camille pitches her business to Andrew's mother; the kids get into trouble with their business startup.

Children Ruin Everything - "Dignity" (The CW, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Following embarrassing run-ins with her boss and co-workers, Astrid feels on the back foot and disconnected from her younger co-workers; Astrid realizes her best move might be to attend a drink night with the rest of her team.

American Dad! - "Productive Panic" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Francine becomes an overnight sensation when a famous art dealer discovers her homemade pottery.

Breeders - "No Matter What: Part Two" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Jackie's health is continuing to worsen; Paul helps out a distressed Luke but finds himself in more conflict with Ally; at Baby Jay's naming party, Ava declares her love, and Paul makes an offer that will take him and Ally back in time.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 25)

Monday, September 25

  • Eddie Murphy (The PJs) - Watch Eddie on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place/Barry) - D'Arcy is a guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Idris Elba (Turn Up Charlie) - Idris appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) - Aubrey is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) - Wilmer appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Woody Harrelson (Cheers) - Woody is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jon Lovitz (Mr. Box Office/NewsRadio/Foley Square) - Jon is a guest on a repeat of Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen on CBS between 12:37-1:37am.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) and Mark Consuelos (Alpha House/Hope & Faith) - E! News has interviews with Kelly and Mark at 11pm on E!.
  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Guys with Kids/Entourage) - Jamie-Lynn appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 3:30am on Bravo.
  • Kerry Washington (Unprisoned) - Kerry talks about her new book Thicker than Water: A Memoir on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Punkie Johnson (After Life) - Punkie talks about her podcast Love Thang with Punkie Johnson on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
  • Keke Palmer (Scream Queens/True Jackson, VP) - Keke talks about her Big Boss album and tour on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June-October)

Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete Series Night Court (1984-1992) - The Complete Series Family Matters - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Series ALF - The Complete Series (Deluxe Edition)

06/13 - Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete Series
06/13 - Night Court (1984-1992) - The Complete Series
07/18 - South Park - Seasons 21-25 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
07/25 - The Neighborhood - Season Five
07/25 - Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin - Season One
07/25 - Superstore - The Complete Series
08/22 - Back to Life - Season 1 / Season 2
08/29 - Smiling Friends - Season 1 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/05 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Sixth Season
09/12 - Abbott Elementary - The Complete Second Season
09/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-6 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/26 - Family Matters - The Complete Series
09/26 - Step by Step - The Complete Series
10/10 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Thirteen / The Complete Season Fourteen
10/17 - ALF - The Complete Series (Deluxe Edition) (Shout! Factory Special Offers)
10/17 - Night Court (2023) - The Complete First Season
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

09/25 - Laff Fall 2023 Schedule with Last Man Standing and Man with a Plan; Upload Returns October 20
09/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 25, 2023)
09/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: An End on the Horizon for WGA Strike?; Hallmark Ready for Christmas
09/22 - The Santa Clauses Season 2 Launches November 8; CBS Alters Fall Schedule
09/21 - Penn & Teller: Fool Us Gets New Return Date; Netflix's Unicorn Academy Premieres November 2
09/20 - Paramount+ Announces Colin from Accounts; The Really Loud House Gets Halloween Movie
09/19 - The Simpsons Season 34 Streams October 11 on Disney+; Good Burger 2 Set for Holiday Season
09/18 - Hulu's Huluween and Disney+'s Hallowstream Line-Up; Shining Vale Returns October 13 on STARZ
09/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 18, 2023)
09/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: ABC Cancels Wonder Years Reboot; Byron Allen Makes $10 Billion Offer to Buy ABC
09/15 - Antenna TV's Bewitched Halloween Marathon; Rewind TV's Sabrina the Teenage Witch-O-Ween Marathon
09/14 - Dancing with the Stars Season 32 Cast; BUZZR Celebrates 40 Years of Press Your Luck
09/13 - TBS Acquires Modern Family; The Frasier Awards on COZI TV
09/12 - Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen Gets CBS Late Night Run; Unsolved Mysteries: Behind the Legacy Special
09/11 - Matt Rife Gets Netflix Special; Star Trek Day and Kid Cudi Join Forces
09/10 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 11, 2023)
09/09 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Warner Bros. Television Suspends Deals with Top Creators; Fran Drescher Re-Elected President of SAG-AFTRA
09/08 - CBS Announces Hosts of Game Show; New Goosebumps Premieres Friday the 13th This October on Disney+ and Hulu
09/07 - MeTV Presents Svengoolie's Halloween BOOnanza!; The CW Moving Fall Comedies to Thursdays
09/06 - CBS to Air NCIS: Sydney This Fall; Fox Makes Fall Change
09/05 - TBS and TNT September Stunts Include Big Bang Theory Batman Day Marathon; Netflix UK Produced Series Updates
09/04 - TV Marathons on Labor Day 2023 Include Three's Company
09/03 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 4, 2023)
09/02 - SitcomsOnline Digest: No Third Season for How I Met Your Father; Spectrum Dispute with Disney Could Spell End of Cable
09/01 - September Is Anniversary Month on Hulu; Freeform's 31 Nights of Halloween Returns for Its 25th Anniversary
08/31 - Max's Original Comedy Series Starstruck Season 3 and Our Flag Means Death Season 2 Premiere Dates; AXS TV Announces Fall Programming Lineup
08/30 - The Partridge Family Coming to AXS TV Starting Oct. 2; CBS to Air A Tribute to Bob Barker Special Aug. 31, Marathon of Match Game Episodes to Air Sept. 2 on Game Show Network
08/29 - Once Upon a Time Coming to Hulu; Young Love Launches on Max in September
08/28 - Remembering TV Legend Bob Barker; Wolf Like Me Returns in October on Peacock
08/27 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 28, 2023)
08/26 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Frasier Reboot Date Set, With CBS Also Airing First Two Episodes; Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. Cancelled
08/25 - Rick and Morty Returns October 15; Switch New Season Begins September 18 on Game Show Network