Saturday, August 04, 2012

Digital Digest: '50s TV Classics from Film Chest; Amazon Prime iPad App; Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - Season 1, Volume 1 DVD Review; Vega$ - The Third Season, Volume 2 DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest! This week, we've got reviews of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - Season 1, Volume 1 and Vega$ - The Third Season - Volume 2. Let's get going!


Film Chest has a special DVD set with some classic treasures coming August 28 with '50s TV Classics. The three disc set will allow viewers to "(e)xperience the best of the “golden age of television" with this collection of shows including more than eight hours of comedy, music, variety, game shows and drama." Among the stars featured in this collection are Bob Hope, Ed Sullivan, Milton Berle, Red Skelton, Dinah Shore, Lawrence Welk, Art Carney, Paul Winchell, Jerry Mahoney, and Ed Wynn. Episodes will be included from The Bob Hope Show, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Ed Wynn Show, The Paul Winchell & Jerry Mahoney Show, Death Valley Days, The Lawrence Welk Show, The Milton Berle Show, Beat the Clock, Do You Trust Your Wife?, Name That Tune and The Red Skelton Show. Despite the rapidly approaching release date, the set is NOT available yet... but we'll let you know when it is!

We've known for a few weeks that Charlie's Angels - The Complete Series would be coming to DVD on September 25, which made many fans wonder "what about season five?" Fortunately, found out the answer to that this week, and fans who bought the first four seasons independently may not be out of luck. Apparently, Sony is planning to release it individually at some point in time... but few other details are known right now. When we know more, we'll let you know.

Last November, eOne released It Takes a Thief - The Complete Series (review), an excellent collection containing every episode of the classic Robert Wagner series. But if you just want a little bit less (and just let me be straightforward and say that the release from last November is worth the cost), eOne is releasing just the first season on October 2 with It Takes a Thief - The Complete First Season.

We've come across two releases this week slated for release this month which have been postponed indefinitely, which is certainly not the most positive news for fans. Inception Media Group was slated to have an upcoming release of The Real McCoys - The Complete Series, but that release seems to have been taken off of the schedule and can no longer be preordered from Another release with the same fate is eOne's release of The Carol Burnett Primetime Specials, also scheduled for later this month. It is important to note, though, that this release is not connected to the upcoming Time-Life release of The Carol Burnett Show - The Ultimate Collection, which is still slated to be released this month... but while we are on the topic, we should note that the release date has been delayed by yet another week, now set to begin shipping on August 13.

Another release which has been delayed (but not indefinitely!) is Image's release of The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray). It is now scheduled for release on November 13 at a $349.98 MSRP.

If you use the Amazon Prime instant streaming service and you own an iPad, there is an exciting new improvement to the service this week: you can now watch your Prime videos on your iPad! This week, introduced a new app to allow iPad users to enjoy unlimited streaming of the TV series and movies already available for Prime customers without being tied to their desktop computer. Of course, this has been available on Amazon's own Kindle Fire for quite some time, but the new iPad app brings portable viewing of Prime streaming video to a much larger consumer base. There are still some limitations to the app, such as the inability to purchase videos not included in Prime from the app, but for the purpose of unlimited streaming of Prime videos, it will do the job. You can download the new app here.

Finally, Television Without Pity is giving fans the opportunity to vote on everything that they loved... and hated... about the 2011-2012 TV season in their 9th Annual Tubey Awards. It isn't only about the "best actor in a comedy" or "best guest appearance in a drama" here at all, though. Instead, you can vote in categories such as "most ludicrous plotline" or "worst reality show host or judge" (but the traditional categories are included as well). Each week from July 30 - September 9, a batch of fresh categories will be unveiled and voters will have one week to cast their support for their favorite nominees. At the end of the 6-week voting period, 80 award winners will be announced in mid-September, a few days prior to the Primetime Emmy Awards. There are thirteen categories which you can vote on now, so head on over there and vote early and vote often!


Tuesday (August 7) brings more of the classic sitcom Dennis the Menace to DVD at a low price with Dennis the Menace - 20 Timeless Episodes. Also from Shout!, we have a continuation of a classic Aaron Spelling police drama with The Rookies - The Complete Second Season (review). Universal has the third season of the current series Parenthood with Parenthood - Season 3. Finally, Fox goes back to the beginning of the Star Wars trilogy of Family Guy with their release of Family Guy - Blue Harvest (Blu-ray). This isn't exactly a new release, though, as it has already been released as part of Family Guy - Laugh it Up Fuzzball Trilogy (Blu-ray) (review). Of course, the DVD version (review) has been out for some time.


Blog DVD Review: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - Season 1, Volume 1 (Shout! Factory, $19.93)
by Pavan

It’s Morphin Time! Following its debut in 1993 (hence why the MSRP is $19.93!), Saban's iconic live-action pop culture series, Power Rangers quickly became the most watched children's television program in North America. Emphasizing the importance of teamwork, responsibility and helping others by following the adventures of a group of ordinary young people who "morphed" into superheroes, this long-running series has been seen in more than 60 countries, translated into numerous languages, and remains a mainstay in children's programming blocks. For 19 years, the highly entertaining saga and fan favorite characters from Power Rangers have captivated children and adults alike and are beloved by legions of fans worldwide.
Shout! Factory is releasing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season One, Volume One with the first 30 episodes of the 60-episode first season on a 3-disc set! After 10,000 years of imprisonment, the evil sorceress Rita Repulsa and her loyal minions are freed when astronauts on a routine mission in space accidentally open her dumpster prison on the Moon. Filled with rage, Rita decides to conquer the nearest planet: Earth. But her arch-nemesis -- the heroic sage Zordon -- has been patiently waiting in preparation for this day. With the assistance of his wisecracking robotic sidekick Alpha 5, Zordon recruits a team of "five teenagers with attitude" from nearby Angel Grove -- Jason, Zack, Kimberly, Billy and Trini -- to receive superpowers beyond their wildest dreams so they can defend the Earth as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Aided by giant robotic vehicles modeled after dinosaurs called Zords, the Power Rangers fight back against the evil alien hordes of Rita Repulsa.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season One, Volume Two 3-DVD set is slated to arrive on store shelves Fall 2012. Featuring the subsequent 30 original episodes of the 60 episode first season, this DVD set continues more action-packed adventures of five teens, who quickly learn the full impact and awesome responsibility of their new powers and weapons. The evil villain, Rita Repulsa and her henchmen prove to be very worthy adversaries for the young super heroes, and they are challenged at every turn.

Starring Austin St. John as Jason the Red Ranger, Walter Emanuel Jones as Zack the Black Ranger, Amy Jo Johnson as Kimberly the Pink Ranger, Thuy Trang as Trini the Yellow Ranger, David Yost as Billy the Blue Ranger and Jason David Frank as Tommy the Green Ranger. Among the most memorable episodes from the first half of the first season include the premiere, "Day of the Dumpster," where following the accidental release of long-imprisoned evil space-sorceress Rita Repulsa, a benevolent sage known as Zordon drafts a group of five teenagers to help protect the planet as dino-powered warriors of goodness. In "Happy Birthday, Zack," the Ranger teens & Ernie plan a surprise party at the Juice Bar for Zack and the secrecy leads him to believe they've all forgotten about his birthday, while Rita shows she cares, by sending down a special treat, a vicious black knight monster known as Nasty Knight. In "Foul Play in the Sky," Kimberly goes for flying lessons with her pilot uncle Steve, with Bulk & Skull tagging along, while Rita's henchman Squatt spikes Steve's drink with a sleeping potion, which kicks into effect while in the skies over Angel Grove and Kimberly nervously takes over flying the four-seater plane, but even with a little guidance from Alpha 5, can she land safely? In "Switching Places," Billy's brain switching machine goes haywire (with a little help from Squatt & Baboo), causing his & Kimberly's minds to swap bodies and hilarity ensues when Billy as Kimberly, and Kimberly as Billy, spend a few days in each other's shoes... literally! In the five-part mini-series "Green With Evil," Tommy, a new kid in town with martial arts skills that rival even Jason's, catches the eye of not just Kimberly, but also Rita and after she kidnaps him, Rita places a spell over Tommy, turning him into her evil Green Ranger! Using his own Power Coin, Tommy infiltrates the Command Center, infects Alpha 5 with a virus, trashes the computers, and cuts Zordon off from communicating with our dimension! In "The Spit Flower," Kimberly is given the task of designing a flower float for the big Angel Grove parade, but Putties drop by the Juice Bar, and trash it before she can turn the design in, so Kimberly frets over losing it, and soon has to face the evil flesh-eating-blossom-spewing Spit Flower monster -- a monster with such thick hide, the power zords are of no effect. In "Gung Ho," Jason & Tommy team-up for an upcoming Team Ninja competition at the Youth Center and they have trouble working together, as both are used to sparring one-on-one, while the other Rangers fight the nigh-invincible Super Putties, Zordon sends Jason & Tommy off to retrieve new weapons and they face a strange metal creature known as Titanus, and must learn teamwork in the face of adversity... or perish!

Each episode on this set is just around 19-20 minutes on average, which seems on the short side but this is how it was originally. However, there are no "Today on Power Rangers" 30-second previews before each episode. So it is missing that, but everything else is unedited and there (not much to edit, if anything, since the episodes are already 20 minutes). Runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "Day of the Dumpster" (20:44)
2. "High Five" (19:57)
3. "Teamwork" (19:32)
4. "A Pressing Engagement" (20:13)
5. "Different Drum" (20:07)
6. "Food Fight" (20:11)
7. "Big Sisters" (18:54)
8. "I, Eye Guy" (19:14)
9. "For Whom the Bell Trolls" (20:14)
10. "Happy Birthday, Zack" (20:14)

Disc 2:
11. "No Clowning Around" (20:14)
12. "Power Ranger Punks" (20:14)
13. "Peace, Love and Woe" (20:04)
14. "Foul Play in the Sky" (20:14)
15. "Dark Warrior" (19:14)
16. "Switching Places" (20:15)
17. "Green with Evil Part I: Out of Control" (20:05)
18. "Green with Evil, Part II: Jason's Battle" (20:17)
19. "Green with Evil, Part III: The Rescue" (19:06)
20. "Green with Evil, Part IV: Eclipsing Megazord" (20:16)

Disc 3:
21. "Green with Evil, Part V: Breaking the Spell" (19:05)
22. "The Trouble with Shellshock" (19:25)
23. "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (20:14)
24. "The Spit Flower" (19:55)
25. "Life's a Masquerade" (20:14)
26. "Gung Ho!" (19:59)
27. "Wheel of Misfortune" (19:29)
28. "Island of Illusion, Part I" (20:17)
29. "Island of Illusion, Part II" (19:45)
30. "The Rockstar" (19:38)

Packaging is a snap case holding the discs inside, similar to previous Shout! Factory releases. The cover art of this first volume has all of the Power Rangers (Black, Yellow, Red, Pink, Blue and Green) with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers logo above them. The color scheme is red. The back of the case has a synopsis of the show, the set, and technical information. We also have a shot of Alpha 5 the robot and an episodic photo. Inside the case, there is a disc-by-disc breakdown on the left panel, listing every episode on this set. We just get episode titles, though. The discs don't overlap each other, which is great. We have a plastic holder in the middle. Discs one and two are on that plastic holder, while disc three is on the right panel. Artwork on the discs is in that red color scheme, with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers logo and whatever disc number it is on the disc. The disc-by-disc breakdown is available in the above section in episode runtimes, but basically we either have 10 episodes on each disc. That might be a lot per disc, but I feel they should have released all 60 first season episodes on one set on a six-disc set, since they are cramming 10 episodes on each disc.

As for the menus, the main menu is very cool. We have the addicting theme song playing in the background, and we have the logo then we enter the Command Center! Instead of where we see Zordon, we have clips playing in the background! Very cool! The main menu options are: Play All and Select Episode. No subtitles, but the DVD is closed-captioned. When we select the Select Episode option, we have a cool transition into that. The episode number and titles are listed inside that option. Pretty easy to navigate and nicely designed, I think. It's basic but cool.

The video quality is decent. It's not great, but not terrible either. It is certainly better than VHS and any episode you might have recorded originally on Fox Kids or in reruns. The audio quality is also good, that is crisp and clear. No problems here at all. The series had to be pretty cheap to produce as it looks very cheap, but hey, everyone loved watching it! I just can't believe it took this long for this show to come to DVD! There are 6 chapter stops for every episode, counting the opening and closing credits stops. All of the multiple part episodes have the "To Be Continued" line at the end of each episode, but we don't have any of those "Previously on Power Rangers" recap at the start of the next episode, just like we don't have the "Today on Power Rangers" preview on every other episode. I always liked those, so I'm disappointed.

We have zero special features. When the complete seasons 1-3 release comes out there are special features on that from Time Life. I hope we get them on the individual releases Shout! will release, too. But so far, there is nothing on this volume. On the complete set, we will get new interviews with the cast, casting director, fans, plus all the direct to video specials that were released. I don't think the original pilot episodes will be included, which is a shame. In 1999, Fox Kids aired an original unaired pilot episode hosted by Austin St. John (Jason the Red Ranger) and Walter Emanuel Jones (Zack the Black Ranger). It is on YouTube even. This pilot had a different yellow ranger and some other plot changes. We also had another unaired pilot episode but it has never been seen, so that would have been nice, too.

It was great watching this series again! The first season was very cool and can't wait to see the second half soon! I highly do recommend any fan of the show to pick-up this set, because the episodes are so good and addictive. It's cheesy fun. If you've never watched it, then please do try it. The series aired on ABC Kids in 2010 as a reboot with new graphics and all, but this set has all of the original graphics. Like I said, the only thing missing are the previews before each episode. Everything else is pretty well done on this set. My only other gripe was no bonus features, but that is probably being saved for the complete series set/ I hope we do get those on a regular season volume later on. Give us the two original pilot episodes as well, Shout! It's fun and interesting to see how different those pilots could be. I've seen the one that aired years later in 1999 on Fox Kids and that is so different from the pilot that they aired in 1993. Anyway, it's Morphin Time...and no need for us to go to the Command Center and buy this DVD because we have a link below for you to order. Zordon commands you to buy this set. If you don't listen, Bulk & Skull will "try" to bully you. So head on to your local Youth Center and Juice Bar (do these even exist?) to watch this DVD on your DVD player/laptop/tablet!

(4/5 stars)

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Power Rangers on


Blog DVD Review: Vega$ - The Third Season, Volume 2 (CBS, $36.99)
by skees53

Dan Tanna (Robert Urich) returns one final time to cruise the strip in Sin City in Vega$ - The Third Season, Volume 2. The three disc set contains the final 11 episodes of the Aaron Spelling series about the charismatic private eye chasing down criminals and cracking cases (not to mention being surrounded by beautiful women), which aired from 1978-1981 on ABC.

The set begins with "Heist," where Dan stages a robbery to test Roth's casino security systems... but not all goes as planned with an accomplice. A man's dates all seem to end with rape and sometimes even murder in "No Way to Treat a Victim." In "Time Bomb," Binzer's past comes back to haunt him when he faces extortion from his past accomplices. Not everything is in plain sight after Dan's investigation ends with Dan being shot and temporarily blinded in "Out of Sight." In "Set Up," a double date for Dan and Lt. Nelson ends with the good lieutenant being framed... for murder!

Dan thinks there is much more to a robbery and shooting in "The Killing." In "Seek and Destroy," a Russian pilot test-flying a new fighter airplane decides to defect and turn the plane over to the American government... but it isn't going to be easy. Wayne Newton guest stars in "Dead Ringer," where he receives a death threat in his own handwriting telling him to leave the country. A trail of an unfaithful wife leads an old friend of Dan's to Vegas in "The French Twist." Dan's life is in danger in "Nightmare Come True," or so says a psychic. The series ends with "Judgement Pronounced," where a deranged man hires a double for Dan to execute his brand of justice... and it involves killing people.

Most episodes on the set run around 49:20 or so, and appear to be unedited. But there is one episode on Disc 3, "Nightmare Come True," which runs about a minute shorter than all the rest. I don't know what is missing, if anything at all, but it is worth pointing out. Runtimes for all episodes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "Heist" (49:20)
2. "No Way to Treat a Victim" (49:23)
3. "Time Bomb" (49:16)

Disc 2:
4. "Out of Sight" (49:23)
5. "Set Up" (49:21)
6. "The Killing" (49:22)
7. "Seek and Destroy" (49:19)

Disc 3:
8. "Dead Ringer" (49:22)
9. "The French Twist" (49:28)
10. "Nightmare Come True" (48:23)
11. "Judgement Pronounced" (49:20)

The DVDs are packaged in a Viva case, just like the previous releases. The cover art has a large photo of Dan with the Vegas strip in the background, and on the back, there are a few episode snapshots and a description of the series. Inside the case, there are descriptions and airdates for each episode, along with guest stars... but as usually, they've foolishly placed the Disc 2 episode listings in the center of the case, where you can't even read the descriptions at all unless you remove the paper from the sleeve! It is very annoying, and this has been the case on all of these sets. The discs are just plain gray discs with the series logo on them. Disc 1 contains three episodes, and Discs 2 and 3 contain four episodes each.

The menus are pretty simple, with the main menu showcasing the series logo, a photo of a different cast member, and a listing of all of the episodes. Underneath the episodes, there is an option to play all episodic promos and a subtitles option, but as usual, there is no play all episodes option (CBS seems to be abandoning this option for their DVDs). Once you select an episode from the main menu, you get a submenu which has a snapshot from the episode, with options of Play Episode and Play With Episodic Promo. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.

Like most CBS DVD products, the video and audio quality on this set is excellent. There really isn't much to complain about, although there is some grain and debris here and there. The audio is presented in mono, with English subtitles for each episode.

As far as special features, all you will find on this set are episodic promos. There are promos for each episode, running at 34 seconds per episode, which you can watch before the episode or separately from the main menu.

It is a little bittersweet that this series has come to an end on DVD. On one hand, it is great that they did get every episode out on DVD, even if it was six volumes for three seasons (this show really should have been done in full seasons). But the DVDs have been nothing more than just episodes (and of course the previews but those aren't going to "wow" anybody), and this series deserves so much more than that. But all in all, this is a fun series to watch. Before the DVDs, the last time I saw it was well over a decade ago when FX (or fX as they were stylized in those days) aired reruns, so watching these DVDs has been like a new experience. Fans of the classic private eye shows will love this series, particularly Magnum, PI, because Dan Tanna is in many ways a lot like Thomas Magnum. It is just great to have this series come to completion on DVD, though, even if the DVDs have been sort of plain.

(4/5 stars)

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Related links:

CLICK OF THE WEEK - The Ultimate Get Smart Website ( We mentioned last week that we'll be changing our Click of the Week feature soon into something a bit more interactive, but "would you believe" that we haven't actually been able to include all of the great websites that exist out there? Since that is true, we definitely want to bring you a few more of the best websites that you may not know about before we make the transition. This week, we have a website dedicated to a classic sitcom starring Don Adams... no, not the '80s syndicated series Check it Out! (but wouldn't a website dedicated to that be nice?), but rather Get Smart.

The website has just about everything that you'd ever want to know about the classic series, including all of the basics, such as an episode guide, FAQs, and DVD information. Everything is very thorough and detailed, and it never skimps on the details. But it goes a bit further than that. You can find out passwords and codes used on episodes throughout the series, collectibles, comic books (they actually had a comic book series during the original run), interviews, and much more. You really have to visit this website to get a feel for all of the content that it includes... and you may be there for a while!

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

Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Friday, May 17

none scheduled

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 13)

Friday, May 17

  • Chris Perfetti (Abbott Elementary) - Watch Chris on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Neighborhood/The Last O.G./The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan) and Rachael Harris (Surviving Jack/In the Motherhood/Notes from the Underbelly) - Brooke and Rachael are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Will Forte (MacGruber/The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Will talks about his new show Bodkin on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Howie Mandel (Good Grief) - Howie talks about America's Got Talent on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Bailee Madison (Trophy Wife) - Bailee talks about Pretty Little Liars: Summer School on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Jane Seymour (B Positive/Modern Men) - Jane talks about Acorn TV's Harry Wild on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Ilana Glazer (The Afterparty/Broad City), Michelle Buteau (Survival of the Thickest/Bless the Harts/Enlisted) and Pamela Adlon (Better Things/King of the Hill/The Facts of Life) - Ilana, Michelle and Pamela talk about Babes on of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Trevor Jackson (grown-ish) - Trevor discusses his career transformation, from his role in grown-ish to transitioning into a successful solo music career. He is here to perform a medley of two new songs, Heads Up and He Don't Know on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.

New on DVD/Blu-ray

Father Knows Best - The Complete Series Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series

12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)
05/21 - Frasier (2023) - Season One

The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

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