Saturday, May 26, 2012

Digital Digest: Harry O and Spenser: For Hire DVDs Potentially in the Works; Rookie Blue - The Complete Second Season DVD Review


Happy Memorial Day weekend, and welcome to Digital Digest! You could spend your weekend having a cookout in the sweltering heat or watching a bunch of cars going in circles a couple hundred times, but whether or not you do, you can start here, where we have all of your regular features (including a LOT of news, it has been an incredibly busy week), along with a review of Rookie Blue - The Complete Second Season (DVD/Blu-ray). Let's get going.


DIGITAL NEWS

As we've mentioned before, Warner Archive maintains a Facebook page where they regularly keep fans updated on everything that is "in the works." In the past week, a fan asked about the series Harry O, a classic crime drama starring David Janssen which aired on ABC for two seasons between 1974 and 1976, to which Warner Archive proudly responded with the following:
"We're working on Season One of HARRY O right now. Hopefully we should have it ready in the next few months. Season Two will follow shortly thereafter."
So there you have it! Not only is the first season of the classic series in the works, but in fact, both seasons appear to be on the way! It is also interesting to note that this classic series also featured Farrah Fawcett-Majors as the title character's next-door neighbor and on-again/off-again girlfriend, and the series was actually cancelled in 1976 by Fred Silverman in favor of a little series called Charlie's Angels, which (again) featured Farrah Fawcett-Majors.

Interestingly enough, in the same post, the same person asked about the classic '80s series Spenser: For Hire, which was one of many crime/detective series starring Robert Urich (and let's not forget, even when he was on Soap, he was heavily involved in a case of crime/detective work!). As it turns out, this series is not in the works for Warner Archive, but the reasoning behind that is even better news for fans:
"SPENSER is being considered for mass-merchant release, but if that doesn't pan out, we'll be happy to take up the cause for his liberation."
So, it looks as if the series may not only be coming to DVD, but it may even be coming out as a mass-merchant release! And if it doesn't pan out, it sounds like Warner Archive will potentially take over. However, given the interest in '80s detective series, this one feels like one which would really work as a general retail release, so we're hoping to see some movement in this direction for this series. We'll let you know when we know more.

Mill Creek also maintains a Facebook page where they give some solid hints of "coming attractions." While they haven't been giving quite as solid hints lately, some of their latest information has hinted that more Heathcliff DVDs are coming, but it'll be a while, perhaps in early 2013. We hope to have more information to follow up on this in the near future.

A poster on the website Home Theater Forum brought out some details of some upcoming releases from Timeless Media Group (which was recently acquired by Shout! Factory), and it appears that TMG has a LOT coming up from MGM's vast library of series... though sadly none are sitcoms, and most are (as is common for TMG) westerns. The series included in the deal, per the information provided by the poster (and remember, this is not confirmed news, although the particular poster has developed a reputation for providing only reputable information) are:
  • Bearcats!
  • Tombstone Territory
  • West Point
  • Harbor Command
  • Science Fiction Theatre
  • Stoney Burke
  • MacKenzie's Raiders
  • Lee Marvin Presents The Lawbreakers
  • Target
Hopefully, we'll learn more about these acquisitions (and get some further confirmation) in the near future. We'll let you know when we do.

A few weeks ago, Cagney & Lacey series creator Barney Rosenzweig finally released details of the upcoming release of the series on DVD. It appears that the truly complete series will only be made available in a limited run of 3000 sets. By truly complete, this means that this particular set will include every episode of the series from every season, along with all of the special features. These sets will even be autographed by Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly, and will be available sometime this summer. Later in the fall, a general release will be available, at a lower price. However, this set will not contain the first season, which was much different than the rest of the series (in fact, Sharon Gless' role of Cagney was played by Meg Foster in the first season).

We've talked about international DVDs here several times, as sometimes you can obtain releases of series from the US which have never even been released, which you can watch if you import them to the US and have a region-free DVD player (note, most DVDs which you buy off the shelf at the store are NOT region-free, at least not straight out of the box). It has been almost a decade since Fox released Malcolm in the Middle - The Complete First Season, and there is little to no hope that we'll ever see future seasons in the United States. Fox stated shortly after the release that it was in fact a successful release, but music rights issues prohibited future releases (and considering that the series is not quite as popular now as it was when it was still airing new episodes, Fox perhaps shot themselves in the foot by missing that golden opportunity). However, in the United Kingdom, the releases are actually about to finally START, as Fabulous Films is set to release a region 2 version of the first season on June 4. That isn't a huge deal for Americans right now, as the region 1 version is still apparently in print and readily available, but this indicates that the studio has some commitment to the series, and there is hope that we may even see some future releases of the series, even if it does come from the UK.

We mentioned a few weeks ago that Inception Media Group would be The Real McCoys - Season One in July, but apparently, we really missed out on the details of the deal that Inception Media Group made with distributor SFM and publicly announced nearly a year ago, news that even posters on our own message boards mentioned (but we failed to notice). The deal includes several SFM properties, including The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (which they have already released the first volume of), and of course, The Real McCoys. There is no word on what other series may be included, but SFM has an interesting array of some of the more "rare" series from the '50s and '60s.

Finally, we have news of new additions to the online service Hulu. The service has recently added the first season of the classic series My Favorite Martian to the online streaming service, and it is available to watch for free! We haven't seen much in regards to new additions of classic series lately, so this is a very welcome addition to the service.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (May 29) is another day without any sitcom releases, but there are a few releases of interest to us, including Rookie Blue - The Complete Second Season (DVD/Blu-ray). We have a review of the DVD version of Rookie Blue today in Digital Digest. Additionally, Warner debuts a classic western series (a much anticipated one) with Maverick - The Complete First Season.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW



Blog DVD Review: Rookie Blue - The Complete Second Season (Entertainment One, $44.98)
by Pavan

The hit ABC summer primetime cop show Rookie Blue returns for another season on DVD and Blu-ray with the complete second season! We're reviewing the DVD, like we did for the first season. After seven months on the beat, these five rookies have kicked in doors, taken down criminals, kept people safe, and saved each other in the process. Now they'll do it all over again in season two...only better. The drama is produced in Canada and is a Canadian production and also airs on Global in Canada.

Serve, Protect. Don't Screw Up. And this show doesn't screw up at all. Not since NYPD Blue has there been a cop drama like this (OK maybe Detroit 1-8-7 was gritty like that show). It has a twist of danger, sex and high-stakes drama. The Division 15 at Metropolitan Police are good at their job from the rookies, the officers, detectives and the sergeant. The series stars Missy Peregrym as Andy McNally, Enuka Okuma as Traci Nash, Gregory Smith as Dov Epstein, Travis Milne as Chris Diaz, Charlotte Sullivan as Gail Peck, Eric Johnson as Luke Callaghan, Matt Gordon as Oliver Shaw, Noam Jenkins as Jerry Barber, Melanie Nicholls-King as Noelle Williams, Lyriq Bent as Sergeant Frank Best, and Ben Bass as Sam Swarek. Camille Sullivan recurs as Detective Jo Rosat.

The second season has 13 episodes, like the first season. We get all 13 of those season two episodes on this DVD! Among the memorable episodes is the season premiere "Butterflies," where Andy's world explodes by a seemingly senseless act of violence during a concert shooting and when she sets out to unravel the details, she comes into direct conflict with Luke's former partner, Detective Jo Rosati, a new detective with Division 15. In "Might Have Been," Andy and Gail participate in a drug bust by going undercover as cocktail waitresses but things don't go smoothly. In "Stung," Division 15 sets up a sting operation to catch suspects with outstanding warrants. The last three episodes of the season are must see. In "A Little Faith," Andy, Dov and Traci participate in an undercover training exercise which results in some unplanned situations and choices, as Andy and Traci run into Swarek and almost blow their covers to save a girl's life. In "On The Double," while undercover, Swarek finds himself in a life threatening situation when he and Andy can't stay apart. In "God's Good Grace," Swarek's gone missing and Andy tries to find clues that will help her and the rookies locate him before it's too late, while investigating this case will implicate one officer and threaten Andy's job. We get all 13 unedited episodes on this DVD. Runtimes for each episode follow:

Disc One
1. Butterflies (41:50)
2. Might Have Been (41:49)
3. Bad Mood Rising (43:00)
4. Heart and Sparks (41:02)

Disc Two
5. Stung (42:20)
6. In Plain View (42:22)
7. The One That Got Away (41:15)
8. Monster (43:01)

Disc Three
9. Brotherhood (40:22)
10. Best Laid Plans (42:59)
11. A Little Faith (42:55)
12. On the Double (41:29)

Disc Four
13. God's Good Grace (42:59)

The DVD comes in a case held by an outer thin box. The thin outer box is in blue (fitting!) and has the series logo on top, followed by a cast photo of the five rookies and the complete second season mention. The back of the thin outer box has info on the set and series, with a nice quote from the L.A. Times. We have a nice cast photo of the rookies as well, along with five episodic images (one includes Andy in a cocktail dress!). There is a little box showcasing the bonus features as well. When we remove the outer box, we get to the case. The case has the same artwork as the thin box, so everything is the exact same, unlike last time for season one. Inside the case we have nice artwork of a Metropolitan Police badge on the panels itself. There is also a disc-by-disc breakdown on the right panel listing episode episode title per disc and bonus features. The discs themselves are on two little plastic holders that you can flip like a page in a book, similar to the first season. Each disc is in the blue design with the series logo and the Metropolitan Police badge in the background. Disc one holds episodes 1-4, disc two holds episodes 5-8, disc three holds episodes 9-12 and disc four has episode 13 and all the bonus features. There is also an Entertainment One booklet showcasing other DVDs, and it is placed on the left panel. Most of this section is very similar to the first season DVD.

The menu design is great and has moving video clips playing in the background while we listen to the closing music from the show. The series logo is also placed on the main menu, with episode numbers/titles listed right on the main menu below the video clip that is playing. The only sub-menu is for Set-up, where we can choose either English 5.1 Digital Dolby audio or 2.0 Stereo. English SDH subtitles can also be turned on. Special Features option is on disc four only. Auto trailer appear on disc one before the main menu for series like Haven, Sanctuary, Hell on Wheels, Titanic.

Video and audio quality are both outstanding once again. This is a DVD review, so I'm sure the Blu-ray version looks even better. This set is superb. You can turn on the 5.1 surround sound and watch the series in great audio quality as well. Each episode has 7 chapter stops, so it is easy to jump through an episode if you are looking for something in particular like McNally in the cocktail dress in the second episode of the season or the steamy scenes between McNally and Swarek during the last two episodes of the season.

There are some special features on this set as well! They are all on disc four and are decently produced again. However, we don't have as much as we did last time. All of the special features on this set are seven making-of featurettes. These are all done while they are filming the episodes. I think that is very cool, as we get reactions right away. First up, we have "Season 2: Every Day Is Still A First" (3:48). These are not actual sit-down interviews, so this makes it more spontaneous having it done right on the set when filming. The rest of them are: "Shots Fired: Inside the Season Premiere" (3:48), "Horsing Around" (3:28), "Cops on Coffee" (3:13), "Travis Talk" (3:13), "Disorderly Conduct" (1:41) and "Split Screen Behind-the-Scenes Footage" (12:30). The latter is actually showing us the way it looks on the set compared to what we really see in the finished product. Wow, that finished product looks really good compared to what it actually looks. That was a very unique special feature!

I think Entertainment One did a good job with this set again. The episodes just get better and better. The last three episodes of the season are a must-see. The menus, packaging and bonus features are all good as well. I just think the special features were dropped in quantity this time. But what we had here was certainly unique. This is a summer series, so we only have 13 episodes each season. Wish it was more, but quality over quantity, right? ABC/Global will air 13 more episodes this summer, as the third season premiere was this past Thursday at 10/9 central. Watch every Thursday all summer-long! But if you need to catch-up, start or just to have this in your collection, then click the order link below! Don't screw up!

(4/5 stars)

To purchase Rookie Blue - The Complete Second Season on DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

To purchase Rookie Blue - The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

Related links:


CLICK OF THE WEEK

The A-Team Resource Page (www.ateamresource.com/) - We continue our theme of '80s action series this week with a site for yet another one of the most memorable series of the era, The A-Team. The A-Team Resource Page sounds like just a page of information, but by no means is it just that. In fact, it is a full-fledged website dedicated to the classic series about a group of Vietnam soldiers gone AWOL after being sent to prison to face charges for a crime they didn't commit, only to spend their AWOL time solving problems for ordinary people back at home in the United States.

The website is, like last week's website, relatively new, and isn't even completely finished yet. However, significant progress towards filling out the content is being made, and the information which is on there has been very detailed. You can find information about the series, such as information about the characters, the vehicles, the weapons, a detailed frequently asked questions section, historical articles, archives of an online newsletter about the series (from 1994!), games (although they are admittedly a bit cheesy), episode transcripts, official (yes, official) fan fiction, and much more. The only thing that this site is missing--and by the way, the one missing thing is what the website creator is actively working on--is a thorough episode guide. But even some of the episodes have had detailed information added to the episode guide, and from what can be seen from what has been included, it appears that the full episode guide is a very lengthy and detailed project which will be worth the wait. 

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


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, August 25

Last Man Standing - "The Courtship of Vanessa's Mother" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Vanessa's mother comes to visit and hits it off with Ed; Mandy and Kyle tutor Boyd, but they may be the ones getting outsmarted.

Last Man Standing - "Dreams vs. Realty" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mandy nearly gives up on her dream of becoming a fashion designer when she is faced with rejection; Vanessa looks back at her own career path, which stirs up regrets; Mike steps in to help the women in his family realize their dreams.

The Simpsons - "Crystal Blue-Haired Persuasion" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Homer's work cuts children's health care benefits, Marge turns to buying healing crystals as a cheaper solution for Bart's ADD; Bart begins to succeed in school, prompting Marge to open her own crystals empire and sell to mothers at school.

What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage - "Neighbor" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Fred struggles to discuss the mysterious cliffhanger from "The Flare" and speak with his guests because of a new noisy neighbor on the stage next door; Eric Stonestreet and Randall Park stop by.

Family Guy - "Trans-Fat" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Peter is mistakenly identified as transgender, which leads to an unexpected event and him learning an important lesson.

What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage - "Elevator" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Fred gets stuck in an elevator and is unable to host the show, Taylor must face her biggest fear: hosting the show alone; Ike Barinholz, Jillian Bell and Taran Killam stop by.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 19)

Sunday, August 25

  • Adam DeVine (Workaholics/Modern Family) - Catch Adam on a repeat of Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

The Brady Bunch - 50th Anniversary The Brady-est TV & Movie Collection Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season Two The Good Place - The Complete Third Season Life in Pieces - The Complete Fourth Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Six

06/04 - The Brady Bunch - 50th Anniversary The Brady-est Brady Bunch TV & Movie Collection
06/18 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season Two (Blu-ray)
07/08 - Man with a Plan - Season Two
07/09 - Broad City - Season 5
07/09 - Broad City - The Complete Series
07/09 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Fourth Season
07/09 - Speechless - The Complete Third Season
07/16 - Eight Is Enough - The Complete First Season
07/17 - The Practice (1976) - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
07/23 - Brockmire - The Complete First Season
07/23 - What I Like About You - The Complete First Season
07/30 - The Good Place - The Complete Third Season
08/06 - Caroline in the City - The Third Season
08/06 - Caroline in the City - The Fourth Season
08/13 - I Love Lucy - Colorized Collection
08/13 - Leave it to Beaver - Seasons One and Two
08/20 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Six
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