Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series Is Loads Of Fun And Laughs

Courtesy:  MPI Home Video/Lucille Ball Productions, Inc./gab entertainment

Courtesy: MPI Home Video/Lucille Ball Productions, Inc./gab entertainment

The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) used to be one of the greatest networks on television.  Classic dramas and sitcoms such as: Route 66, Star Trek, Gilligan’s Island, and I Love Lucy among so many other greats.  Compared to the glut of crime and medical procedurals that clutter CBS’ weekly programming schedule, as well as the largely boring sitcoms—save for perhaps Big Bang Theory—it is increasingly clear that CBS’ best days are sadly behind it.  Of course those that would argue against this are likely also the same audiences that are fans of the cookie cutter programming currently filling CBS’ weekly schedule.  Thankfully MPI Home Video has given fans of CBS’ golden era yet another piece of that era in the form of Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series.  The six-season box set was released on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014.  And it is a box set that is fully worth the $100+ price tag.  The primary reason for this is the show’s writing.  Audiences will notice a brand of comedy very similar to that of the comedy from I Love Lucy.  Yet despite this, they writers managed to keep from simply recycling episodes of I Love Lucy in this series.  Another reason that audiences will appreciate this set is the bonus material included throughout each season.  And last but not least, audiences will especially appreciate the box’s packaging.  Each of these factors by themselves carry their own weight in the series’ success.  Together, they make Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series a must have for anyone that is looking for an escape from all of the oversexed, overly violent programming currently dominating the broadcast and cable ranks.

Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series is a welcome breath of fresh air from all of the oversexed and overly violent programming currently dominating so much of the broadcast and cable ranks today.  The main reason for this is the series’ writing.  The writing used throughout the series is quite similar to the writing that made I Love Lucy such a hit and keeps it a fan favorite today.  The physical comedy is there.  So are the wacky situations into which Lucy gets herself.  From losing an envelope full of money given to her by her boss and brother-in-law, and thinking her teenage daughter was going to get married to playing landlord and more, the scripts crafted for this show’s six season make for way more than their share of laughs.  Even more interesting about the writing is the fact that Lucy’s character, Lucille Carter, was a divorced, single mother.  It was a reflection of sorts of Lucy’s own personal life.  She and Desi had gotten divorced by the time that Here’s Lucy came on the air.  Even without Desi in the picture, the writers were able to find a fitting replacement for him in the part of Gale Gordon (Dennis The Menace).  Gale played Lucille Carter’s brother-in-law (and boss) Henry. So taking all of this into consideration, the writers behind Here’s Lucy clearly did their homework. The proverbial icing on the cake that is the series’ writing is the fact that the writers didn’t allow the series to become a serial. Lucy’s daily life working for Henry and her life at home are both chronicled throughout the series. But at no point do the writers allow the series to become a serial. In an era today when almost every series on television is a serial requiring people to watch every week, having such a stand-alone series is a breath of fresh air.

The solid and fully entertaining writing that went into Here’s Lucy is by itself plenty of reason for audiences to pick up the recently released six-season box set. It isn’t the only reason that audiences will want to check out this standout series. The set’s bonus features make the set even more enjoyable for audiences, whether they may be new to the series or not. All six seasons include brand new video introductions by Lucy’s children, Lucie and Desi, Jr. There are also introductions by other well-known starts who made guest appearances throughout the seasons. And they aren’t just introductions, either. There are also extra shared in the introductions. One example comes in the introduction to “Lucy Visits Jack Benny.” Lucy’s daughter Lucile shares with audiences the friendship that Lucy had with Jack Benny and other little extras. There is much more shared in the introduction of each episode. And audiences will get just as much entertainment from the introductions as the episodes themselves.

Also included throughout each season set in the box are segments from Lucy’s radio show, “Let’s Talk To Lucy.” The show was an interview style program in which Lucy interviewed not some of the biggest stars of the day. The segments included throughout all six seasons focus primarily on Lucy’s co-stars from the series. Along with these bonuses, there are also slide shows, original syndication promos for the show and much more added as bonus material. The noted bonus material is just the tip of the iceberg and the most important. It makes the overall viewing experience all the more enjoyable and the box set all the more worth picking up by anyone that is a fan of true classic and family friendly programming.

The writing that went into each episode of Here’s Lucy and the bonus features included in this recently released box set are both of equal importance in the set’s overall enjoyment. There is one last factor to consider in the set that viewers will agree seals the deal for the entire package. That final factor is the set’s packaging. While the set seems a bit bulky on the surface having all six seasons contained in one box, audiences will change their minds in looking at the packaging of each season. Each of the series’ six seasons received their own four-disc boxes. The discs themselves are separated from one another inside the cases on their own plastic inserts. They are placed on either side of the inserts with one disc on the top of one side and the other on the bottom of that same insert’s other side. While this is typically the standard for multi-disc sets nowadays, there are still companies out there that do not follow this rather wise ergonomic packaging model. It protects the discs from scratching each other. The end result is that it maintains the discs’ quality and in turn preserves the show for potentially a whole new generation to enjoy years down the road. Keeping this in mind, it makes this final factor in Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series just as important as those already noted. And alongside those previously noted features, the trio together makes this box set a must see for every family and every fan of classic television.

Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series is available in stores and online now. It can be ordered direct from MPI Home Video’s online store at http://www.mpihomevideo.com/Store/Detail.asp?ProdID=11176. More information on this and other releases from MPI Home Video is available online now at http://www.mpihomevideo.com, http://www.mpimedia.com, and http://www.facebook.com/pages/MPI-Home-Video/58189629179. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Grizzly Adams Easter Special Is Wholesome, Family Friendly Holiday Fare

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Grizzly Adams: The Renewal originally debuted on television on March 22nd, 1978.  Nearly thirty-five years after it made its original television debut, Shout! Factory and Timeless Media partnered to re-issue the holiday special on DVD.  The special, which was a spinoff of sorts from the original series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, was released March 4, 2014.  Audiences that remember both the original series that spawned this special and the special itself will appreciate that it has seen the light of day once again.  Audiences will note in watching the re-issue that it looks and sounds exactly as it did in its original broadcast nearly thirty-five years ago.  That’s just one noteworthy factor in this re-issue.  Just as noteworthy is its cinematography.  And last but not least, audiences will appreciate the themes incorporated into the story.  Whether they were intentionally included, the themes incorporated into the movie will impress viewers, too.  These three factors together make the re-issue of Grizzly Adams: The Renewal a re-issue that any fan of the original Grizzly Adams series will appreciate.

The very first thing that viewers will notice about Grizzly Adams: The Renewal is that Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have presented the special exactly as it was presented in its original broadcast over three decades ago. The sound and audio have been left virtually the same as they were in the original broadcast of the special. That’s obvious from the scratchy audio and grainy footage. Some might call this a bad thing. But those looking for a little nostalgia will appreciate that it is being presented in such form. It’s like listening to a record on vinyl versus downloading it via MP3. Those that grew up with the original will always want that vintage presentation. And vintage is exactly what those same viewers get on this new re-issue. It’s even in the same 4:3 visual format in which it was presented rather than having been re-mastered in letterbox. That only serves to heighten that sense of nostalgia among viewers that recall the special from their own personal younger days.   And those that perhaps are seeing it for the first time will see just how far production values and technology have come in the near thirty-five years since this special first aired on television.

That Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have presented Grizzly Adams: The Renewal exactly as it was presented in its original broadcast nearly thirty-five years ago is but one reason that audiences will appreciate its recent re-issue. The cinematography that went into bringing the special to life, many will agree, is quite impressive. In comparison to today’s over-the-top special effects laden movies, it’s nice to see that the special was actually filmed on site rather than against a green screen. The soaring wide-angle shots of the mountains are like video postcards to viewers. And even the specific scenes that were shot throughout the special are important to the movie. There were no special effects or backdrops. The scenes in question were shot on site. It more than makes up for the sometimes “hammy” acting on the part of the special’s lead cast. In making up for that acting, it also serves to make suspension of disbelief all the easier for viewers. In turn this serves to keep viewers engaged throughout the nearly eighty-minute presentation.

Anyone that grew up with the original series that was The Life & Times of Grizzly Adams will appreciate this special for its overall presentation and its cinematography. The special is presented exactly as it aired in its re-issues. And the cinematography acts as a virtual postcard as well as a backdrop for the special. There is one more factor linked into the special that makes it especially impressive for its key audience base. That factor is the special’s collective themes of religious tolerance and acceptance, and cultural diversity. Both themes tie together through the special’s central story, which sees Adams having to help his Native American friends in their own Spring festival while he and his own friends celebrate Easter. Adams doesn’t criticize his Native American friends for their religious beliefs. And nor do they in turn criticize those of Adams and his friends. Adams (Dan Haggerty) is even given the opportunity to explain the religious meaning behind Easter. This is something that can’t be done on network television today thanks to the ironically close-mindedness of those thinking they’re promoting religious diversity by preventing it from being shown. So the very fact that this had been allowed on television then versus now makes the presentation all the more important if only as a piece of cultural and media history. By direct connection, the acceptance of one another’s religious beliefs ties into the theme of cultural diversity. It is difficult to see many television programs or even specials that promote cultural diversity in today’s media climate. That makes this special all the more important. Probably the only place that a special such as this would be seen on television today is the likes of the INSP network. Those family friendly themes come together with the special’s cinematography and the overall original presentation of the special to make it a good addition to the home library of anyone looking for good, family friendly holiday fare today.

Grizzly Adams: The Renewal is available now in stores and online.   It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Life-Times-Grizzly-Adams-Renewal-Haggerty/dp/B00GSTHCSU/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1400359558&sr=1-1&keywords=the+life+and+times+of+grizzly+adams+the+renewal. More information on this and other releases from Timeless Media Group is available online at http://www.timelessvideo.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

StarVista, Time Life To Release Latest Carol Burnet Box Set Next Month

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life

StarVista Entertainment will release the latest in a continuing series of DVD sets from the Carol Burnett Show next month.

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups will be released by StarVista Entertainment Tuesday, April 15th.  The new set features seventeen more episodes of The Carol Burnett Show on six discs.  Each episode presented in this new box set was hand-picked by Carol Burnett.  Fans of CBS’ hit sitcom Mama’s Family will be pleased to know that “The Family”, the skit that led to Mama’s Family, will be featured throughout the set’s seventeen total episodes.  Also included among the set’s sic discs are more installments of the beloved skits, “Carol & Sis”, “Alice Portnoy”, “The Charwoman” and “The Old Folks” just to name a handful.  There are also guest appearances from Carl Reiner, Charo, Roddy McDowall, Ruth Buzzi, Andy Griffith and lots more.

The classic resurrected skits featured throughout all six of this set’s discs are only part of what audiences can expect from Carol’s Crack Ups.  StarVista has sweetened the deal for fans by adding bonus cast interviews and commentary, bonus sketches, and two previously unavailable featurettes in: “Tim Conway: Chief Cracker Upper” and “Tim On The Street.”

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups retails for $59.95.  More information on this latest release and the complete 22-disc collection of Carol’s Crack Ups is available online at http://timelife.com and http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS, and http://twitter.com/timeLifeUS.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Cyrus, Warwick To Perform New Single Today On CBS’ The Talk

billyraycyrus_hopeisjustahead_cover_smallCountry musician Billy Ray Cyrus will appear today on CBS’ The Talk.

Cyrus will perform his new single, ‘Hope Is Just Ahead’ on the networks’ afternoon talk show.  Audiences can catch The Talk live on their local CBS station.  Viewers can check their local listings for broadcast times online at http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_talk.  He is expected to be joined by fellow veteran singer Dionne Warwick, with whom he also recorded the song.  The song has jumped to #60 and is most added on the A/C Chart in just its second week at radio.  The video for the new single can be viewed online now at http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2014/01/30/billy-ray-cyrus-dionne-warwick-premiere-new-duet/5044913/?AID=10709313&PID=6154686&SID=2f4szw8nt2dh and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyQfyMIH5Uk.

Cyrus explained in a recent interview how the meaning behind his new single has changed since it was originally written.  He explained that  was inspired by a school shooting, and that it has now done what it was meant to do.  “I initially started writing ‘Hope Is Just Ahead’ the day after the Columbine shootings with Don Von Tress,” he noted.  “I feel like ‘Hope Is Just Ahead’ has now found its purpose.  Cyrus will donate a portion of sales of the single to the “Do The Write Thing-National Campaign to Stop Violence.”  The group was developed to create awareness and stop violence among young people in schools before it has a chance to develop.

Cyrus discussed the “Do The Write Thing-National Campaign To Stop Violence” in his comments.  ‘Do The Write Thing is one of the few ideas I have seen in front of us as a society in America that can actually make an immediate and positive impact, a real difference in stopping violence in schools before it happens,” he said.  “If this concept can save one life, if the thought of early detection means one less Sandy Hook, VA Tech or movie theater massacre, then it needs our support.  He went on to add that “Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,’ so let’s no longer just stand back and say ‘I saw this coming, but did nothing.We have to try something, standing here debating and procrastinating, just ain’t working.”  More information on “Do The Write Thing-National Campaign To Stop Violence” is available online at http://www.dtwt.org/about-dtwt.

More information on Billy Ray Cyrus is available online at http://www.billyraycyrus.com and http://www.facebook.com/BillyRayCyrus.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Band Perry Receives Two ACM Award Nominations

Photo Credit: Mickey Brown

Photo Credit: Mickey Brown

Good news for The Band Perry.  The superstar country music trio has been nominated for two ACM Awards.

The announcement was made this week that the band has been nominated for “Vocal Group of the Year” and “Music Video of the Year.”  The second of the nominations from the Academy of Country Music is for the video for the band’s #1 single, ‘Better Dig Two.’  That song was also the lead single from the band’s latest album, Pioneer.  This year marks the third consecutive year that The Band Perry has been nominated for “Vocal Group of the Year.”  It is the fourth consecutive year that the trio has received nominations from the Academy of Country Music.  The band’s biggest year to date was 2011.  It was that year that the band received five total ACM nominations.  It won the award that year for “New Artist of the Year.”

Reid Perry spoke on behalf of the band after the announcement.  He expressed the band’s excitement of being nominated again, and getting to come to Las Vegas again.  Las Vegas is the home of the ACM Awards, which will be broadcast on CBS April 6th on CBS.  “It’s such an honor to find out about our two ACM Award nominations,” he said.  “We love the theatrics that happen in Vegas, and remember, what happens in Vegas … gets broadcast on live TV.”

The announcement of the band’s latest nominations comes at a high time for the band as it is scheduled to perform live on Fox as part of the network’s Super Bowl pre-game party.  The band will perform alongside American Idol Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips.  Reid’s brother and fellow band mate Neil jokingly discussed the band’s anticipation of playing the pre-game show and being back in temperatures above zero.  “We’re all huge football fans, and there’s nothing more exciting than to be a part of football’s biggest day,” he said. “We’ve been up in Canada on our We Are Pioneers World Tour for the past month, so we’re just glad it will be above zero degrees in New York!”

The band won’t be slowing down any time soon after its performance this weekend on Fox.  That performance is just part of its ongoing North American tour in support of Pioneer.  It will be in Independence, MO next Thursday, February 6th.  The band also has a planned performance later this Spring in North Carolina.  It is scheduled to perform live in Cherokee, North Carolina on Friday, April 25th at the Harrah’s Cherokee.  The band’s latest schedule of performances is listed below.

 

 

THE BAND PERRY FULL LIST OF TOUR DATES

JANUARY

31st

Bangor, ME

Cross Insurance Center

FEBRUARY

6th

Independence, MO

Independence Events Center

7th

Brookings, SD

Swifter Center

8th

Bemidji, MN

The Sanford Center

9th

Grand Forks, ND

Ralph Englestad Arena

13th

Dubuque, IA

Five Flags Center

14th

Kearney, NE

Viareo Event Center

15th

Rapid City, SD

Rushmore Plaza Civic Center

16th

Billings, MT

Rimrock Auto Arena @MetraPark

20th

Rockford, IL

BMO Harris Bank Center

21st

Cape Girardeau, MO

Show Me Center

22nd

Corbin, KY

The Corbin Arena

23rd

Saginaw, MI

Dow Events Center

27th

Green Bay, WI

Resch Center

28th

Mankato, MN

Verizon Wireless Center

MARCH

1st

Duluth, MN

Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Arena

2nd

Cedar Rapids, IA

U.S. Cellular Center

7th

Savannah, GA

Savannah Civic Center

8th

West Palm Beach, FL

Cruzan Amphitheater – WIRK Rib Roundup

9th

Plant City, FL

Florida Strawberry Festival

15th

Dublin, IE

Country to Country 2014: O2 Dublin

16th

London, UK

Country to Country 2014: O2

21st

Melbourne, FL

Runaway Country: Wickham Park

22nd

Houston, TX

Rodeo Houston

APRIL

11th

Florence, AZ

Country Thunder USA

25th

Cherokee, NC

Harrah’s Cherokee

26th

Dothan, AL

Toad Lick Festival

MAY

16th

Gardendale, TX

Texas Thunder

30th

Virginia Beach, VA

Patriotic Festival

JUNE

21st

Dallas, TX

Gexa Energy Pavilion *

27th

Dauphin, MB

Dauphin’s CountryFest

JULY

20th

Cincinnati, OH

Buckle-Up Music Festival

AUGUST

8th

Detroit Lake, MN

WE Fest

SEPTEMBER

5th

Phoenix, AZ

Ak-Chin Pavilion *

6th

San Diego, CA

Sleep Train Amphitheater *

12th

Sacramento, CA

Sleep Train Amphitheater *

13th

Mountain View, CA

Shoreline Amphitheater *

* Blake Shelton Tour

More information on The Band Perry’s tour, album and latest news is available online at http://www.facebook.com/thebandperry and http://www.thebandperry.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

StarVista, Time Life Announce Release Date, Details For Mama’s Family Season Three

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life

Thelma Harper returns this winter!  StarVista Entertainment and Time Life have announced that they will release the third season of the hit sitcom Mama’s Family on February 25th, 2014.  There are changes for the Harper family in the series’ third season.  The most noticeable of those changes is the departure of Vint’s kids, Buzz and Sonja.  The pair was replaced in Season Three by a new character named Bubba Higgins.  Bubba was the child of Ed and Thelma’s daughter Eunice.  He was played by Allan Kayser.  His sudden appearance is explained by his having been previously incarcerated in juvenile hall.  It is explained that he decided to move in at Thelma’s because Ed and Eunice had moved to Florida.  It’s not the only change that viewers see this season.  Ellen (Betty White—Golden Girls) goes under the knife, and Thelma’s sister Fran (Rue McClanahan—Golden Girls) dies.  Of course, Thelma doesn’t let it remain a somber occasion.  She harps on Ellen for how she did her hair for the funeral.  There are plenty more laughs from this, the penultimate season of Mama’s Family in its original run.  The upcoming box set’s release’s bonus features and guest appearances will impress, too.

Mama’s Family Season Three comes packed with its own share of bonus features.  Fans of The Carol Burnett Show that weren’t lucky enough to get their hands on any of the stand-alone box sets or the complete series set get yet another classic “The Family” skit taken from said show as a bonus in this set.  Also included is a profile of Bubba Higgins, an interview with Allan Kayser, and a Mama’s Family cast reunion.  If the bonus features aren’t enough for viewers, maybe the guest star lineup will.  Golden Girls star Betty White returns again.  Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Dr. Joyce Brothers, Jack Dodson (The Andy Griffith Show), and Lewis Arquette (Best in Show) all make appearances, too.

All twenty-five episodes of Season Three are included across four discs.  The set is listed at an MSRP of $29.95.  More information on Mama’s Family Season Three and other releases from StarVista Entertainment and Time Life is available online at http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS and http://www.timelife.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Danny Phantom Complete Series Set Is Loads Of Ghostly Fun For All

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Nickelodeon’s programming today is comprised largely of live action sitcoms aimed at teen viewers.  However, from the early 1990s up until the mid-2000s, the network was known more for its vast array of cartoons.  It’s “Nicktoons” were its heart and soul.  While Nickelodeon does have some cartoons today, the network’s sole remaining real Nicktoon is Butch Hartman’s hugely successful series Fairly OddparentsFairly Oddparents is a standout series, too.  Interestingly enough, it isn’t his first series to have the honor of being added to Nickelodeon’s list of beloved Nicktoons.  His first notable “Nicktoon” was the short-lived supernatural series Danny Phantom.  Now thanks to Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon, fans of Danny Phantom will be able to own the complete series in one box later this month.  Danny Phantom only ran for three seasons.  In its defense, it could be argued that this was because it was ahead of its time.  That aside, series creator Butch Hartman and his writers crafted a number of enjoyable episodes throughout the show’s short run.  Just as worth noting about this new upcoming box set is that is alleviates some minor problems raised in the box sets containing the series’ second season.  Lastly, those that know their Nicktoons history will appreciate the voice talent that made up the series’ cast.  That who’s who of voice actors combined with the enjoyable stories, and the fact that they are all available together for the first time collectively make this upcoming set well worth picking up for any Danny Phantom fan.

Fans of Danny Phantom: The Complete Series  will appreciate this new complete series set first and foremost because it presents the series’ entire three-season run in one complete box set.  Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory have already released three complete series sets from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern Life, and The Angry Beavers.  Those sets proved to actually take up far less space on DVD racks than the stand-alone season sets that had originally been released.  This set is no different.  All nine discs that make up all three seasons are included in this box.  Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon have sweetened the deal even more for fans in that they have maintained the established wise packaging that was used in the aforementioned complete series sets.  The discs are placed inside the box on either side of their own “insert” with the ninth and final disc being placed in its own spot inside the back of the case.  As with the previously noted box sets, this protects the discs and allows the episodes contained within each one to be enjoyed much longer.  It is the starting point of what audiences will appreciate about Danny Phantom: The Complete Series.

The packaging for Danny Phantom: The Complete Series is a good starting point in discussing everything that makes this box set well worth its price.  The episodes contained across the set’s nine total discs make the presentation as a whole even more enjoyable.  It would be easy to say that because its main characters were high school students, Danny Phantom was just another program aimed at audiences of the same age. To a point, it could be seen how teen audiences would take an interest in the series.  Case in point, one of the series’ story arcs involved a potential inter-racial romance between Danny and black classmate named Valerie Gray (voiced by Cree Summer—The Cosby Show, Clifford The Big Red Dog, Codename: Kids Next Door, etc.).  It really is a sign of the times that the show’s writers would include this without making a big fuss over it, either.  It is a subtle, but nice addition to the series.  There are also the constant struggles to balance trying to be a regular teen with being a superhero. But the jokes that are tossed in each episode aren’t above some younger viewers, either.  So while teens might have been the primary audience, younger viewers would have obviously enjoyed the show, too.  The same applies to today’s teens and pre-teens, too.

The packaging and writing that make up Danny Phantom’s episodes are collectively a big part of what makes the series so enjoyable even for today’s younger audiences.  There is at least one more aspect of the series’ new set that audiences will appreciate in examining the presentation as a whole.  That aspect is the series’ voice cast.  The series’ primary cast reads like a who’s who of voice acting.  It has already been noted that veteran voice actress Cree Summer is part of the primary cast (even though she doesn’t come into play until the second season).  Along with Ms. Summer, Grey DeLisle (The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Clifford The Big Red Dog, Clifford: The Puppy Years, Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends, etc.) Kath Soucie (Futurama, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Beauty and the Beast, etc.), Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, etc.) and a whole slate of others each play roles in the series.  Fans will also recognize the voices of Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, Hellboy & Hellboy II), Martin Mull (Roseanne), and the man who is perhaps the busiest male voice actor in the business, one Frank Welker (Curious George, The Real Ghostbusters, Scooby-Doo Where Are You, etc.)  Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), Taylor Lautner (the Twilight saga), and the late David Carradine even make appearances throughout the series among so many other big names.  If the massive list of A-listers that play roles in Danny Phantom isn’t reason enough to check out the new Danny Phantom: The Complete Series box set, then one need only set that alongside the enjoyable writing and the equally wise packaging to see just how worthwhile this set is for kids and kids at heart.  It will be available in stores and online Tuesday, January 28th.  It can be pre-ordered online now from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/danny-phantom-complete-series.  More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.