Saturday, June 08, 2013

Digital Digest: 2012-2013 Season of CBS Sitcoms on DVD; Perry Mason - The Final (Ninth) Season, Volume 1 DVD Review


Welcome to Digital Digest! We're here with all of your regular weekly features, including a review of Perry Mason - The Final (Ninth) Season, Volume 1. Let's get going!

DIGITAL NEWS

The 2012-2013 seasons of several CBS sitcoms were announced on DVD this week... specifically, the ones that are released by Warner Home Video. Among these are Mike & Molly - The Complete Third Season (August 20), 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Second Season (September 24), and Two and a Half Men - The Complete Tenth Season (September 24). Since we're talking about all of these CBS sitcoms, that does leave a few more questions, such as when we'll see The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Sixth Season (DVD, Blu-ray) . Well, we don't have an answer for that yet, but it goes without saying that it will definitely be coming, and probably in September... but you can go ahead and pre-order it now if you just can't wait.

Of course, not every sitcom in the 2012-2013 season was a hit... but that doesn't mean that there is no hope of seeing the series on DVD. Universal will be releasing the NBC flop Guys with Kids as a MOD title in Guys with Kids - The Complete Series. No word if any of the other NBC "strugglers" from the past season will come as well.

Finally, while we're on the topic of MOD releases, CBS has one coming up on Tuesday that is worthy of being mentioned here: Becker - The Fifth Season. This leaves only one season of the series left to be released.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW
Tuesday (June 11) has The Dick Van Dyke - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray), which has already been seen through the complete series release of the series on Blu-ray. Meanwhile, CBS has their release of Perry Mason - The Final (Ninth) Season, Volume 1, which we have a review of today, and CBS also has their MOD release of Becker - The Fifth Season.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
 


Blog DVD Review: Perry Mason - The Final (Ninth) Season, Volume 1 (CBS, $45.98)
by skees53

Perry Mason is getting close to resting his case once and for all in Perry Mason - The Final (Ninth) Season, but not quite yet! It has been a long journey of half season releases, but we're finally on the last season of the series on DVD. We're pretty sure that everybody is familiar with who Perry Mason is and what the series is about, but just to briefly recap, the series stars Raymond Burr as Perry Mason, the defense attorney who takes the most difficult cases imaginable, cases that simply cannot be won... and turns them into winning cases against all odds. It was a rather formulaic approach to a series (one that worked very well when the series aired in the 50s and 60s), and the series has gone on to become the de facto standard as the classic legal drama. This four disc set contains the first fifteen episodes of the final season.

This season begins with "The Case of the Laughing Lady," where a woman is accused of murder... but a cackling laugh that she hears may point to the real killer. A successful business woman accepts a marriage proposal from her boss in "The Case of the Fatal Fortune," but he won't be around too long anyway. In "The Case of the Candy Queen," an owner of a company selling low-calorie sweets is accused of murder. A graduate student is accused of murdering an unpopular professor in "The Case of the Cheating Chancellor." Perry gets involved in a crime (inadvertently) in "The Case of the Impetuous Imp." In "The Case of the Carefree Coronary," Perry goes to work for an insurance company to investigate some fraud. A computer dating service leads to marriage in "The Case of the Hasty Honeymooner," but the marriage ends in murder, of course. A train fire leads to murder in "The Case of the 12th Bobcat."

In "The Case of the Wrathful Wraith," a widow tends to receive messages from beyond the grave. A race car driver is accused of murdering his business partner in "The Case of the Runaway Racer." In "The Case of the Silent Six," Lt. Drumm asks Perry to defend a cop accused of shooting a man in an act of vengeance. Perry goes abroad to help an expatriate German scientist in "The Case of the Fugitive Fraulein." In "The Case of the Baffling Bug," an espionage investigation uncovers murder. A beautiful hitchhiker knows secrets that could save the partner of a murdered mogul of a men's nightclub empire in "The Case of the Golden Girls" (no, not those Golden Girls). The set ends with "The Case of the Bogus Buccanneers," where door-to-door cosmetic salesmen are all dressed like a TV pirate pitchman... and only one of those pirates knows the secret behind a murder.

1. "The Case of the Laughing Lady" (50:56)
2. "The Case of the Fatal Fortune" (51:57)
3. "The Case of the Candy Queen" (51:57)
4. "The Case of the Cheating Chancellor" (51:55)

5. "The Case of the Impetuous Imp" (51:46)
6. "The Case of the Carefree Coronary" (51:56)
7. "The Case of the Hasty Honeymooner" (51:43)
8. "The Case of the 12th Wildcat" (51:55)
 
9. "The Case of the Wrathful Wraith" (51:48)
10. "The Case of the Runaway Racer" (51:51)
11. "The Case of the Silent Six" (51:46)
12. "The Case of the Fugitive Fraulein" (51:57)

13. "The Case of the Baffling Bug" (51:54)
14. "The Case of the Golden Girls" (51:58)
15. "The Case of the Bogus Buccaneers" (51:55)

The set is packaged in the typical Viva case, with artwork that is very similar to all of the previous sixteen releases. There is a large color photo of Perry on the cover, and a few snapshots on the back. The four discs inside, of course, have the standard series title on gray artwork. Episode titles, descriptions, and airdates are all printed inside the case.

Just as the packaging is the same as the previous releases, it goes without saying that the menus are identical as well. The main menu lists all of the episodes on the disc, along with a Play All option and a Subtitles option. Once you select the episode, it plays immediately. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.
 
Once again, the video and audio quality on the set is essentially perfect. CBS has done a great job of cleaning this series up, and aside from some very minimal grain and debris, this series almost looks like it could have been filmed just a few years ago (if they were filming in black and white, anyway). The audio is loud and clear, and there are English subtitles for each episode.

After a few brief special features on one of the eighth season releases, we're back to no special features this time.

It has been a long journey of half-season releases to get to this point, and to tell the truth, I never thought that we'd get here. I know that this is a popular series, but this particular set marks the seventeenth "volume" release of the series on DVD... seventeen releases! To put this into perspective, The Simpsons was first released on DVD in season sets (equivalent to the volumes here) twelve years ago, and they have so far only gotten sixteen seasons of that released. What is even better is that the final volume of the series is scheduled for just two months from now, so we'll get to see the series wrap up once and for all and be able to own all 271 episodes... not to mention that these DVDs have been nothing short of perfection in quality. Now, we only have to wait to see if all of the made-for-TV movies from the late 80s and early 90s make it to DVD. There were 26 of these, plus four more made with the Perry Mason title (but without Raymond Burr). These could be potentially released in two or three sets.

By now, you've either been buying the series on DVD or you haven't. If you are a fan of classic legal dramas, then you must have seen this by now. But if for some strange reason you haven't, this is just as good as any other place to start watching the series. The series stayed consistent throughout the seasons and never jumped the shark at all. Perhaps the formulaic nature of the series is why it stayed so consistent, but it is fun to watch all of these episodes on DVD.

(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
Perry Mason on TV.com


FOLLOW ME

Who to Follow: Karyn Parsons (Twitter/Facebook), "Mama/Writer/Actress/Producer."
Claim to Fame: Parsons is best known (and, perhaps to many, it is the only thing for which she is known) as the ever so obnoxious Hilary Banks on the NBC series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She has also appeared in a few short-lived series, but her current project is Sweet Blackberry, which is a production studio behind producing animated films about some of the lesser known heroes in black history.
Why You Should Follow Her: I loved discovering the "true Hilary Banks" on Twitter. She is a character that we all loved and remembered, but we somewhat forget about the actress who played that role. When you get to know her on Twitter, you begin to discover that Karyn Parsons is about the complete opposite of Hilary Banks. She is much more intelligent and has a very good grasp upon reality, which is perhaps what made her portrayal of that role even better. What is even more great is how close she is to most of her "family" from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air even to this day, and is proud of her character from that series. By the way, she is a probably a bit more interesting to follow on Facebook than Twitter... even though the feeds are the same, she posts a lot of links and videos, which tend to get lost as a bunch of URLs on many of her Twitter postings.
Pick of the Tweets: " Happy Birthday, to my dear baby bro, Alfonso! I love you!!! " (September 12, 2012)

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


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, September 18

The Goldbergs - "Breakin'" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Adam unintentionally lets it slip that Barry never completed his community service requirement, the brothers join together to throw the greatest breakdancing battle in the history of William Penn. Geoff’s stress levels are at an all-time high, so Erica makes an adult decision and plans for them to follow the Grateful Dead all summer. Finally, it’s the end of an era when the JTP graduates from high school.

Schooled - "Dr. Barry" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After initially trying to sabotage him, CB works with Barry and the JTP to help him win back Lainey’s heart. Meanwhile, Glascott faces removal as principal after a prank damages William Penn Academy.

Modern Family - "A Year of Birthdays" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
As the birth of Haley and Dylan’s twins approaches, we take a look back at how each family member celebrated their birthdays this past year.

Single Parents - "Ketchup" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After learning that Angie’s ex Derek (played by Adam Brody) lives near Space Camp, Will convinces Angie to confront him about leaving her when she was pregnant, which results in a rowdy and awkward encounter between the three of them. Meanwhile, Poppy internally struggles with who she truly has romantic feelings.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 16)

Wednesday, September 18

  • Zach Galifianakis (Baskets) - Watch Zach on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Lake Bell (Bless This Mess/Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp/How to Make It in America) - Lake drops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Billy visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Sara Gilbert (The Conners/Roseanne/Bad Teacher/Twins) - Sara is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also talks about The Conners on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9m, on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan (check your listings), on the BUILD Series at 11:15am and on ABC's Strahan, Sara & Keke at 1pm.
  • Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish/Girlfriends) - Tracee stops by A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC. She will also be on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) and Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever) - Jim and Fred are panelists on Lights Out with David Spade at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
  • Billy Gardell (Bob Hearts Abishola/Mike & Molly) and Folake Olowofoyeku (Bob Hearts Abishola) - Billy and Folake are guests on People Now at 12pm.
  • Sophia Bush (Partners) - Sophia talks about the and especially you podcast on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love) - Jamie Lee and the cast of Knives Out are guests on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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

Life in Pieces - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Third Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Six Young Sheldon - The Complete Second Season Modern Family - The Complete Tenth Season

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
08/27 - Baskets - The Complete Season Four
08/27 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Thirteenth Season
09/03 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 9th Season
09/03 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fifth Season
09/03 - The Goldbergs - The Complete Sixth Season
09/03 - Single Parents - The Complete Season One
09/03 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Second Season
09/04 - What We Do in the Shadows - The Complete First Season
09/10 - American Dad! - Volume 14
09/10 - The Jetsons - The Complete Original Series (Blu-ray) (WBShop.com)
09/11 - My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume One
09/11 - My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume Two
09/17 - Friends - The Complete Series (25th Anniversary)
09/17 - Modern Family - The Complete Tenth Season
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