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, October 20

The Goldbergs - "An Itch Like No Other" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
With Beverly’s encouragement, Mr. Glascott moves in next door to the Goldbergs and slowly goes from friendly neighbor to cluelessly intrusive. Adam and Murray become increasingly disgruntled while Beverly comes up with a plan to occupy Mr. Glascott’s time with a new friend, Mr. Woodburn. Meanwhile, Barry lands in urgent care with a case of poison ivy in a compromising area – his rear end. Erica and Geoff are called to task to take care of Barry and his ridiculous demands – inadvertently testing their parenting skills and patience with one another.

The Wonder Years - "The Lock In" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Dean is reluctant to attend the annual church lock-in until Kim tells him it’s where she got her first kiss. He enlists his friends to help him pair up with Keisa, but his plans are thwarted when he instead gets paired up with the pastor’s daughter, Charlene.

The Conners - "Trucking Live in Front of a Fully Vaccinated Studio Audience -- East Coast" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Lights, Camera, Action: “The Conners” is going live for both the East and West Coast broadcasts of the season four premiere episode. This iconic TV family continues to deal with the current pandemic while navigating breakups and newfound sobriety, all while planning an upcoming wedding.

Home Economics - "Giant Jenga, $120" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Tom spirals when Connor dates a woman who broke his heart at summer camp. Then, family game night becomes an all-or-nothing competition between Marina and Denise.

Superstar - "Robin Williams" (ABC, 10:00PM ET/PT)
The new episode recounts his life through Robin Williams’ own voice, describing “the spark of madness” which defined his life. From his early days in the San Francisco Bay Area comedy scene to his meteoric rise on “Mork & Mindy,” the one-hour special explores the experiences that made Williams into a one-of-a-kind talent and reveals what gave voice to the characters in his mind. It also chronicles the creative force driving critically acclaimed films like “Good Will Hunting” and “Dead Poets Society,” as well as fan favorites such as “Aladdin.” The special explores his personal struggles, including substance abuse and depression, and his battle with Lewy Body Dementia before his tragic death in 2014. “Superstar: Robin Williams” features interviews with famous comedians and actors who knew and admired Williams, including Margaret Cho, Howie Mandel, Lewis Black, Jimmie Walker, Paula Poundstone, Gina Hecht and Pauly Shore, as well as Barry Levinson, director of multiple films starring Williams including “Good Morning, Vietnam.” The program also contains interviews with Williams from the ABC News archives, in which he opens up about his life and the highs and lows of his distinguished career.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 18)

Wednesday, October 20

  • Rami Malek (The War at Home) - Watch Rami on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Issa Rae (Insecure) - Issa appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hearts Afire) - Billy Bob is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jamie Foxx (Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!/The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick is a guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace/Ned & Stacey) - Debra talks about her latest project: how self-care can change the world on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Ron Howard (Arrested Development/Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) and Clint Howard (Gung Ho) - Ron and Clint discuss their new book, The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family, on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Amy Sedaris (No Activity/BoJack Horseman/Strangers with Candy) - It's a TV exclusive with sister and brother duo Amy and David Sedaris appearing together for the first time on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) - Jeremy talks about FBI on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • David Eigenberg (Sex and the City) - David talks about NBC's Chicago Fire on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick talks about Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


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

Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)

06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/07 - No Activity - Season 2
07/13 - The Unicorn - Season 2
07/20 - Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season
07/27 - Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - The Neighborhood - Season Three
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Deluxe Edition (100 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Standard Edition (50 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/24 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season 2
09/07 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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