Hey Dude Season 4 Offers Thirteen More Episodes Of Laughs And Lessons

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Saddle up, fans!  Hey Dude has returned once again thanks to the good people at Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory.  Now in its fourth season, this classic kid friendly sitcom is just as enjoyable as its previous three seasons.  Sure, by today’s standards, much of the writing is corny to say the least.  But much of it is also very serious.  The combination makes for a wonderful sense of nostalgia among those that grew up with this ingenious precursor to so much of the lesser material currently airing on Nickelodeon and its sister stations (Nicktoons, TeenNick, etc.).

Hey Dude Season Four is comprised of thirteen more episodes on two discs packaged quite well.  Among this season’s thirteen episodes are plenty more laughs and life lessons that will take any original viewer back.  They will also serve as a reminder both for said viewers and their own children of what once made television great.  Among the best of the best this time are the episodes, “Magnum Ernst”, “Do The Right Thing”, and “Dudesbury.”  The latter pair of the trio both feature Danny, the ranch’s Native American hand as the main character.  And while both teach important lessons, audiences will appreciate the different feel of each episode.  “Dudesbury” is more lighthearted in its lesson about respecting others’ feelings, while the other—“Do The Right Thing”–is more serious and just as important to society to this day.  This episode sees Danny facing off against an archaeologist who wants to dig up an ancient Native American burial ground near the Bar None Ranch and put the artifacts and bones on display.  He makes an interesting argument when he asks Mr. Ernst if he would want someone digging up one of his family members and putting them on display for people to gawk at.  At another point, the archaeologist makes a rather harsh comment about the land on which the burial ground sits was not Native American land, thus justifying his actions.  While this episode was filmed back in the early 1990’s, this is an issue that the Native American community still deals with to this day.  So in hindsight, it makes this episode on more worth checking out in Season Four.  While the episodes featuring Danny offer their own entertainment and insight, “Magnum Ernst” is nothing but good old fashioned slapstick comedy.  It will entertain both kids and adults.  Older audiences will appreciate this episode in that it directly pays tribute to the much more classic sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show.  Mr. Ernst does quite the job of mirroring the buffoonery of one Deputy Barney Fife.  Given Don Knotts can never be beaten in what he did.  Many have tried.  But actor David Brisbin made for his own share of laughs in his attempt.

The episodes noted comprise just a part of everything that the show has to offer, content-wise in its penultimate season.  All thirteen episodes contained in this set’s two discs offer entertainment and life lessons that still ring true for audiences of all ages today.  Speaking of the set’s dual disc setting, the set’s packaging is another of its positives.  Each of the set’s two discs is placed securely on either side of the case in its own space.  This protects the discs from being scratched up and likely helps cut back on the set’s overall cost to consumers.  This maintains the integrity of each disc for much longer than perhaps other lesser packaged multi-disc sets from other companies.  Together with the set’s enjoyable episodes, it all comes together to make Hey Dude Season Four one more great set for any fan of Nickelodeon’s greatest era.  It’s available in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/216702.

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Dick Van Dyke Show Blu-Ray Set A Welcome Re-Issue

Courtesy: Image Entertainment

The newly re-issued Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Series is one of the most welcome box sets of 2012.  This fifteen disc box set brings together the show’s full five-season run from 1961 to 1966.  At a time when so much programming on television today is anything but family friendly, this re-issued set resurrects one of television’s greatest programs for a whole new generation of audiences.

This new Blu-ray release isn’t the first time that the Dick Van Dyke show has been released to the public.  But it’s a welcome return for one of television’s most revered names and sitcoms.  From funny episodes such as ‘All About Eavesdropping’ and ‘Never Bathe on Saturday’ to the hilarious ‘Coast to Coast Bigmouth’, the show had more than its share of laughs throughout its run on CBS.  The show’s episodes have never looked better.  What’s makes it even more of a joy to watch is that it is a relic of a bygone era in television.  Add in a bevy of special features, and any true classic television buff will find this a welcome gift under the Christmas tree this year.

The Dick Van Dyke Show is one of the most respected and revered sitcoms in television history first and foremost for its writing.  Unlike so much of today’s programming, this is a classic sitcom in which every episode was a stand-alone episode.  Viewers didn’t have to worry about missing an episode or another to be able to enjoy the show.  Every show was a different episode all in itself.  In comparison to so much of what is on television today, being able to enjoy each episode without having to know what happened in the previous episode is a breath of fresh air.  It’s something which today’s generation knows next to nothing about as so many network programmers have leaned more in favor of serials.  With any luck, the resurgence of shows such as this and The Carol Burnett Show among others will prove to those programmers the value and importance of this style programming.

That fans can enjoy The Dick Van Dyke Show without worrying about each episode’s storyline from one to the next is one of the most important values of this show.  It isn’t the show’s only value, though.  The show’s writing also goes into its general content, too.  Again, in comparison to so much of today’s programming, this show is one of those breaths of fresh air in that it’s something which the entire family can enjoy together.  It mixes great physical comedy with family friendly jokes that will get the entire family laughing from one episode to the next.  The proof is in the pudding.  The show’s episode, ‘Never Bathe on Saturday’ earned the show a Primetime Emmy in the “Outstanding Comedy Series.”  That’s just one of its accolades.  For those who have never seen this classic episode, Rob and Laura go to a hotel for a romantic honeymoon.  But when Laura goes into the bathroom of the couple’s hotel room to try out the tub, she gets her toe stuck in the tub’s faucet.  The resulting jokes and comedy are proof of why the show won its Emmy for this episode.  Like so many other episodes from this classic sitcom, it’s a simple story with a simple and family friendly story that is still one of the show’s most beloved episodes to this very day.  And it’s just one tiny piece of evidence of what makes this show so timeless.  Thanks to Image Entertainment, families and fans can enjoy every episode and find their own favorite with every watch.

The show’s writing exhibits both intrinsically and extrinsically, the show’s value.  The writing makes all the difference in the show’s continued success nearly five decades after it ended.  Now on its new Blu-ray release, the writing continues to play a major role in the show’s continued success.  The show looked great on its original multi-disc DVD set.  Now on its new Blu-ray re-issue, the footage has never looked better.  It looks even sharper than ever.  It is crystal clear.  Given, the older grainy footage of the older DVD release is great for creating an extra sense of nostalgia.  But seeing it cleaned up so precisely without losing any quality from the original masters is incredible in its own right.  There are those who will and have had their own say about how the footage has been cleaned up.  But the very fact that there are those who want to preserve the show should make those critics change their minds.  Keeping in mind the outstanding quality of this show’s transfers to HD, its overall writing, and the equally interesting bonus features that have been carried over from the previous DVD release, The Dick Van Dyke Show on Blu-ray will be a great addition under the tree for any classic television buff this holiday season.

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Modern Family Season Three Keeps The “Fun” in Dysfunctional

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment/20th Century Fox Television

ABC’s Modern Family is one of the funniest shows on television today.  At a time when so much programming has leaned more toward serials, this laugh riot sitcom doesn’t require audiences to watch every single episode in order to enjoy it.  And now with the release of the show’s third full season to DVD and Blu-ray, audiences can watch even more episodes of this outrageously hilarious comedy any time they want.  Whether one is new to the show or an old hand, Modern Family Season Three continues to keep audiences laughing.  This season’s episodes are just a piece of the puzzle that makes Season Three so enjoyable.  From the episodes themselves to the set’s packaging, to something as minute as the episode menus, so much has gone into this set to make it a must have for any Modern Family fan in any family. 

Season three kicks off as the entire Pritchett and Dunphy family takes a trip to Wyoming.  The family ends up in yet another bizarre situation after a marriage proposal doesn’t exactly go as planned.  At the same time, Gloria has to fend off guest star Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother Where Art Thou?) as the cowboy Hank.  There are also the storylines involving Cam and Mitch revealing that they want to adopt a little boy, so Mitchell tries to essentially train himself in the ways of boys in order to prepare for being a father to a boy.  And of course, there is another romance, this one between young Alex and a boy named Jimmy.  What’s so amazing about this episode is that it’s one more example of the show’s ability to interweave its separate storylines without getting bogged down in itself.  This is just as much the case in the episode, ‘Express Christmas.’

 

‘Express Christmas’ sees the families get together for an early Christmas after finding out that they won’t be able to spend the big day together.  From troubles at the tree lot (including having a Christmas tree run over) to general family discord, this is one more episode that will leave audiences in tears from laughing so hard.

And what better time to release Season Three than during election season?  Season Three sees Claire Dunphy running for city council.  Both the Dunphy family and the Pritchett family do their part.  Cam and Mitchell have even decked out a car in its campaign finest.  There’s just one problem.  What started out as an attempt to help campaign for Claire turns into a power trip for the pair after Cam tells a litterbug to pick up his trash.  On the other side, Claire’s husband faces his own odds when he tries to take an elderly voter to the polls in hopes of having him vote for Claire.  Everything that goes on in this episode is a breath of fresh air, especially in a year when politics has become so divisive.  It’s nice to see something that makes light of how politicians and their constituents operate.  It helps audiences to vote in a time when politicians and voters alike have constantly been at one another’s necks, even after the election has ended.

The writing throughout Season Three is just a part of what makes this season so successful.  The menus in Season Three are just as impressive as the episodes themselves.  The menus offer viewers a quick synopsis with each episode.  It’s just enough to get audiences interested on the surface.  On a deeper level, it’s a way to save money.  Instead of having to print up an episode guide, audiences get just enough of a synopsis on screen, allowing just as much choice of episodes.  This combined with the set’s slim-line packaging makes Season Three ergonomically sound.  All three discs in the Blu-ray set have their own spot inside the case, allowing the case to be smaller.  It also protects the discs from rubbing and scratching against one another.  This in turn makes the discs viewable much longer, too.  Add that in to the outstanding writing and equally impressive cinematography and audiences get another full season of laughs from a show that truly does put the “Fun” in dysfunctional.  Modern Family Season Three is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered direct via the 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment online store at http://www.foxconnect.com/modern-family-season-3-blu-ray.html.

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