‘Star Trek Picard: Season 2’ Struggles To Survive

Courtesy: Paramount/CBS DVD

Hardcore fans of the seemingly ever-expanding Star Trek universe got some good news this year when it was announced that Star Trek Picard, which focuses on legendary Federation Captain turned Admiral Jean Luc Picard, would get a third season run.  The wait for the series’ third and final season will not be too long for said audiences, either, as it is currently planned to stream on Paramount+ from Feb. 16 to April 20, 2023 over 10 episodes.  While audiences wait for the series’ final season, they can take in the series’ second season on DVD and Blu-ray now in a new three-disc set released through CBS DVD.  Of course, this latest installment in the series sadly has little to applaud, save for a couple of high points.  The most notable of the high points is the fact that it relies far less on the foul language and blood and gore of the first season.  This will be discussed shortly.  On the other hand, though, there is a lot to dislike about the season’s story and the packaging for the season’s home release.  This will be examined a little later. The only other positive to this season is the surprise season finale, which will be discussed but not given away here.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the season’s presentation.  All things considered they make the second season of Picard an intriguing presentation that is worth watching at least once regardless of audiences’ devotion to the Star Trek universe.

Star Trek Picard: Season 2 is an intriguing continuation of the series, which focuses on the one and only Jean Luc Picard.  That is because of its overall mixed presentation.  One of the few positives to this season is that it relies so much less on the violence and foul language that was incorporated into the series’ debut season.  The writers relied far too much on that content in Season One, almost as if they knew that otherwise Season One would not work.  Yes, there are some moments of foul language peppered throughout the season, but its presence is so much less in this case than in Season One.  The worst of the bloodshed comes late in the season’s run this time as Seven is run through by the Queen Borg/Agnes (not to give away too much for those who have yet to see this season).  Rios gets injured by one of the borg drones that Dr. Soong uses, but even in that case, the writers kept the bloodshed to a minimum.  It is a nice change of stylistic approach that while still could have been minimalized even more, was still a welcome change in comparison to the level of violence in Season 1.

While the clearly decreased level of violence and foul language incorporated into the second season of Picard makes it more worth watching, this season still fails in so many ways, not the least of which is its story.  The story in question finds Q (John De Lancie) sending Jean Luc and his friends back in time to the 21st century, apparently out of his own bizarre sense of something.  He admits in the end that he just wanted Jean Luc to learn a lesson about forgiving himself (once again, not to give away too much), but he does this at the risk of history being changed forever.  Yes, there is even an alternate timeline bit tied into the season.  What’s more, there is even an indirect reference to none other than Quantum Leap as part of the story.  That really is what audiences get here.  Picard and company go back in time and have to ensure history’s safety, this time all because Q has some quirky fascination with Jean Luc even as he (Q) is dying. 

Complicating matters even more is that Picard and his rogue’s gallery of friends have to ensure that the borg queen, who essentially possesses Agnes, does not manage to take over 21st century Earth and turn it into a borg planet.  Adding even more to the complication is Dr. Soong and his role in everything.  He lets his selfish desire for fame and immortality (literal and figurative) blind him and makes things even more difficult for Jean Luc and company.  Considering that Jean Luc already had to battle the Borg in Star Trek First Contact in order to preserve history, this whole story arc becomes all the less original.  The only difference is that instead of making sure that first contact is made, he has to ensure that his ancestor precedes that moment and joins the flight to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.

As if all of this was not problematic enough, the writers incorporate a completely cheesy and unnecessary romance subplot between Rios and a young, single mother who runs her own clinic in Los Angeles.  Obviously, Rios’ own future is set early on and audiences know what will happen here.

The fact that the writers drag out this season’s story as much as they do over 10 episodes, ensuring that Jean Luc keeps getting into so many tough spots, using so much exposition as he recalls his childhood that led him to become the stoic person her became known as during his life, makes for even more problem.  It makes the season feel so much longer than it really is.  To that end, if Season One failed to live up to expectations, then all of this together makes this season fail to live up to expectations even more so because of its overall

The writing is just one of the very problematic issues that Season Two faces.  The season’s packaging proves problematic in its own way.  The three discs over which the season’s 10 episodes are spread are poorly packaged for starters.  Disc One sits on its own spot inside the Blu-ray case while Disc two sits atop Disc three with nothing to protect Disc two from getting marred by Disc 3.  This greatly decreases the potential longevity of at least one of the discs if not both, depending on which one ends up sitting atop the other from one point to another.

Adding to the problems of the packaging is the fact that there is no hint of an episode guide anywhere in the packaging.  The episode titles are printed on the discs, but that is the extent of what audiences get here.  The result is that audiences who have not yet seen Season Two will just have to sit and wait to find out what happens from one episode to the next.  What’s more, even those who are familiar with the series might forget each episode specifically, so even they might end up having to go through just to remember which episode has what aspect of the story.  This greatly diminishes the general effect of Season Two along with the massive writing problems that plague this season.

Keeping all of this in mind, there is at least one aspect of the story that does work.  That aspect is the season’s surprising finale, which actually ties (at least indirectly) back to the story element from Season One involving the Borg.  Audiences who have seen Season One will recall that Jean Luc made the revelation that the Borg were more victims than the monsters that they were made out to be for so much time.  That realization likely led to Picard to ultimately make the decision to give talks with the Borg the chance to talk in the first place in the season premiere (and finale).  The revelation that is made at season’s end is sure to play into the coming third and final season.  It makes all of the slow boil buildup to that point at least somewhat bearable.  Keeping that in mind, this final aspect of the season works with the lessened violence and foul language to make the season worth watching at least once.

The second season of Star Trek Picard is hardly the presentation that it clearly could have been.  It could have done so much right, but sadly did so much else.  That is not to say that it is a total failure.  It succeeds in that it uses far less foul language and overt violence (including bloodshed) than was used in Season One.  The surprise finale to Season Two makes for its own interest, too.  It is certain to shock plenty of longtime Star Trek fans.  These two elements make up at least somewhat for all of the failures that are so prevalent throughout Season Two’s writing and packaging, which are so problematic in themselves and collectively.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the second season of Picard.  All things considered they make Star Trek Picard: Season 2 come up even shorter than the series’ first season.

Star Trek Picard: Season 2 is available now on DVD and Blu-ray. More information on Star TrekPicard is available along with all of CBS All Access’ latest news at:

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MPI Media Group Announces Release Date For New Munsters Collection

Courtesy: mpi Media Group

Rocker/director Rob Zombie’s “prequel” origin story of The Munsters is scheduled for release this week on digital and Blu-ray, but for those looking for something more along the lines of the original show, mpi Media Group has something on the way next month.

mpi Media Group announced Monday, it is scheduled to release Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Show Cast & More Lost Treasures Oct. 4. The classic presentation is scheduled for release exclusively on DVD. The forthcoming special marks the first time ever that the 1965 TV special will have seen the light of day on DVD.

Along with the title special, the collection also includes a 1966 full-color The Munsters themed “episode” featuring star Fred Gwynne in costume and character as the beloved bumbling head of the Munster household, Herman on The Danny Kaye Show. There are also some rare and vintage segments from other talk shows and a new featurette titled “Munster Memories.” The special presentation features Butch Patrick (who played Eddie Munster in the original series).

In addition, guest appearances by Edie Adams and Joey Bishop, as well as music from New Christy Minstrels.

Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Show Cast & More Lost Treasures will retail for MSRP of $19.98. Its run time is listed as two hours.

More information on this and other titles from mpi Media Group is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Website: https://mpihomevideo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mpimediagrp

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Season 2 of ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Sees Noted Improvement From The Series’ Debut Season

Courtesy: Paramount/Paramount+/CBSDVD

Paramount+’s animated Star Trek series, Lower Decks is set to make its streaming debut Aug. 25.  That means that fans of the series will not have to wait but so long to find out what happened to Capt. Freeman after her arrest by the Federation.  While audiences wait, they can take in the series’ second season now on DVD and Blu-ray, after it was released July 12 on both platforms.  The show’s second season is an improvement on its debut season in terms of its writing.  This will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content that accompanies Season 2 in its home release is engaging in its own way and will be examined a little later.  The packaging for the standalone presentation rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the presentation.  All things considered they make the second season of Star Trek: Lower Decks an overall success.

The second season of Paramount+’s Star Trek: Lower Decks is an impressive new addition to the animated series.  The season’s success comes in large part through its writing.  That is because the writing seems to have more heart in each of its 10 total episodes.  Right from the season premiere, “Strange Energies,” the writing improves on what was offered in Season 1.  The episode finds a…well…strange energy impacting everyone on board the Cerritos after Mariner “cleans off” a structure on a planet that the Cerritos visits.  Commander Ransom becomes an all-powerful interstellar being, leading Capt. Freeman to have to learn to be much nicer to her second-in-command.  Along the way, the bridge crew and the lower decks crew alike learn some valuable lessons about friendship and respect for others.  Whether that secondary theme was put there intentionally is anyone’s guess, but it is there, and it adds even more to the story.

On another note, the ship’s crew overall learns a valuable lesson about understanding and respecting what the other does in ‘I Excretus.’  A Starfleet trainer is sent to the Cerritos to make the crew take part in some holodeck style training to determine if the ship and its crew should even be in commission.  Boimler is the only member of the crew who succeeds in the training, and his neurotic desire for perfection along the way ends up being the saving grace for the ship and its crew, unexpectedly.  It is another surprisingly enjoyable story and further exhibits what makes this season’s writing so enjoyable.

‘First First Contact,’ Season 2’s finale, is yet another example of the strength of this season’s writing.  That is because it has all of the heart and action of a classic TSO and even TNG episode.  This as the Cerritos is forced to save another ship after an asteroid is destroyed by a solar flare.  The ship’s crew has to remove all of the Cerritos’ outer hull in order to navigate through the debris field left by the destruction, and to save its fellow Federation ship.  What happens following the brave rescue makes for an even bigger surprise.  Viewers will find out what happens as a result of the surprise when Season 3 debuts later in August.  Between this episode’s story, the stories in the other episodes examined here, and those in the rest of the season’s offerings, the whole makes clear why the writing this season proves so strong this time out.  It is just one part of what makes Season 2 so engaging and entertaining.  The bonus content that accompanies this season’s home release adds to that engagement.

The bonus content that accompanies Season 2’s home release is notable because of the background that it offers.  The “Lower Decktionary” special feature for instance is an in-depth near episode-by-episode examination of this season.  The show’s creative heads talk about many of the season’s episodes, explaining the time and thought that went into making each episode warmer and more accessible to audiences.  Some of the cast also talk about recording their lines for certain episodes remotely because of the pandemic.  In listening to them talk about each story, it is clear that much more time and thought went into bringing this season to life than the stories in the series’ debut season.  The discussion on the attempt to tell the stories of the bridge crew just as much as the lower decks crew while also paying homage to fans of Star Trek: TOS and Star Trek: TNG (as well as even those of Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise) with certain elements shows that the show’s creative heads better understood the need to connect with as many viewers as possible.

The secondary bonus feature, “A Sound Foundation” is interesting in its own way, too.  In this equally in-depth presentation, audiences are presented discussions on the work that went into all of the sound throughout the series’ second season.  This seems something minor on the surface, but when audiences listen to the discussion, it is clear that just as much time and work went into making the series’ sounds just as connecting to other Star Trek series as the stories.  Taking that into account along with the background offered through this season’s “Lower Decktionary” featurette and even with some of the episode-length audio commentaries, the overall bonus content adds plenty of appeal for the season and enhances the viewing experience even more.  That overall bonus content is just one more part of what makes the season’s presentation appealing.  Its packaging rounds out its most important content.

This season’s packaging is important to address for a pair of reasons.  First and foremost, it ergonomic.  The two discs on which the season’s 10 episodes are contained are each placed on their own plate inside the case.  This protects the discs from one another, thus increasing their longevity.  At the same time, the case itself is the size of a case holding a single disc, so it will save space on any viewer’s DVD/BD rack. 

On another note, the episode listing is printed inside the case.  Some of the brief but concise episode summaries are a little difficult to read because of their placement, but otherwise are not too problematic.  Those brief but concise introductions make it easier for audiences to decide which episode(s) they want to watch.  The result is even more positive general effect for the viewing experience since audience do not have to otherwise search through the episodes one by one on the discs.  That positive impact of the episode summaries being listed in the case and the season’s space-saving presentation makes fully clear, the positive impact of the packaging overall.  When this is considered along with the impact of the season’s writing and its bonus content, the whole makes this season of Star Trek: Lower Decks quite the improvement from the series’ debut season and gives hope for the show’s third season.

The second season of Paramount+’s Star Trek: Lower Decks is a step up from the series’ debut season.  That is proven in large part through the writing in its episodes.  The writing gives each episode so much more heart and depth than that of the episodes in the series’ debut season.  The bonus content that accompanies that writing makes for even more engagement.  That is because it allows the series’ creative heads to talk about the work and thought that went into the writing (and the sound engineering and editing).  The season’s packaging rounds out its most important elements and puts the finishing touch to the set’s presentation.  That is because of the space-saving nature of the packaging and the presentation of the brief but concise episode summaries presented inside the case.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of this season’s set.  All things considered they make the presentation a welcome improvement overall from the debut season of Star Trek: Lower Decks.

Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 2 is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.  More information on this and other titles from CBS DVD and Paramount+ is available at:

Website: https://paramountplus.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ParamountPlus

Twitter: https://twitter.com/paramountplus

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PBS Kids Prime Video Channel Adds Episodes Of ‘Alma’s Way,’ ‘Let’s Go Luna,’ ‘Pinkalicious & Peterrific’

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

More episodes of the PBS Kids series Alma’s Way, Let’s Go Luna, and Pinkalicious & Peterrific are now streaming through the PBS Kids Prime Video channel through Amazon.

Alma’s Way
‘Do The Waltzango,’ one of the newly added episodes of Alma’s Way features Alma and Becka teaching young viewers about compromise and working together at one point when the friends can’t agree on what kind of dance to do. In another episode, ‘Checkers Champ,’ Andre has to overcome his nerves as he takes part in a Checkers tournament. Luckily Alma is there to help Andre. ‘Chaco’s Day Out,’ yet another of the new episodes, sees Alma and Junior taking Chaco to the playground. In one more of the new episodes, ‘Steggie Rescue,’ Alma, Eddie, and Junior play a light-night game with Steggie.

Let’s Go Luna
Four episodes of Let’s Go Luna are now streaming. ‘Give Me A Sign’ is one of those episodes. Andy finds a new friend and helps the boy bring out his creative side by helping him paint a new barber shop sign for his father. ‘What A T-Wreck!’ is another of the series’ newly added episodes. In the case of this story, Andy helps a paleontologist assemble a dinosaur skeleton in Argentina, but things get rocky along the way. ‘Beetlemania,’ yet another of the newly added episodes, finds Andy helping a lost pet find its owner in Tokyo, Japan. In ‘Fabuloso’s New Clothes,’ Andy accidentally destroys Senor Fabuloso’s suit and has to set thing’s right.

Pinkalicious & Peterrific
While episodes of Alma’s Way and Let’s Go Luna are streaming now, the new episodes of Pinkalicious & Peterrific are scheduled to start streaming May 20. In one episode, ‘Fishtastic,’ Pinkalicious and Peter go on a fishing trip and learn a valuable lesson about being good at what they do. ‘Photographer Peter’ finds Peter becoming a bit of a shutterbug after borrowing his dad’s camera. ‘Robotta’s Singing Delivery Service’ tells a story of Pinkalicious and Peter creating their own unique delivery service when Robotta responds to a command involving singing. Captain Toothy McSquint returns in ‘Pirate Dreamboat’ as Pinkalicious and Peter find the captain’s long lost ship.

More information on all of this new content is available along with all of the latest PBS Kids news at:

Website: https://www.pbskids.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PBSKIDS

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘All Creatures Great & Small’ Remains One Of TV’s Top Series In Its Second Season

Courtesy: Channel 5/PBS/PBS Distribution

Fans of the reboot of the classic television series All Creatures Great & Small have had a lot to be happy about this year in regards to the series. The series’ second season was met with acclaim from audiences and critics alike on both sides of the Atlantic. For those who don’t know, the series originally airs on the British television network Channel 5 before being imported by PBS after its European run. As Season 2 ran its course here in the U.S., the announcement came in January that the series has already been renewed for two more seasons, so lots more stories from the town of Darrowby are certain to come in the next couple of years, thankfully. While audiences await those many new stories, they can enjoy the series’ second season on DVD and Blu-ray thanks to PBS Distribution, having been released to both platforms March 8. For those who have yet to watch Season Two, it offers much to appreciate, not the least of which being its writing. That will be addressed shortly. The cast’s work is just as admirable as the writing and will be discussed a little later. The collective cinematography, make-up and costuming is also once again notable in its own right and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of Season 2’s presentation. All things considered, they make the second season of the All Creatures Great & Small reboot series another presentation that the show’s fans will agree is so enjoyable.

The second season of Channel 5 and PBS’ All Creatures Great & Small reboot is another fully enjoyable presentation. It continues to make the series a rare rebooted series that is actually well worth watching. That is due in large part to the series’ writing. The writing presented in Season 2 is noteworthy because as in the series’ first season, it balances so many aspects so well. On one level, the writing shines because each episode is its own story. While there is a bit of a serial aspect here as romance starts to flourish for everyone at the veterinary office, the overall approach is anything but serial. Each episode overall is its own story. That means that audiences once again will not feel forced to binge the series and know what’s going on in one episode to the next in order to enjoy the show. What’s more, audiences do not even have to feel committed to going back to Season 1 if they have not yet seen that season in order to enjoy this season. That is because the writing does so well to catch viewers up with the first season’s events.

On another note, the writing here is impressive because the writers never let the growing romance aspect of the show overpower the bigger story. Rather they balance that respectfully into the bigger picture of each character’s continued development. Viewers will enjoy watching the continued sibling rivalry between Tristan (Callum Woodhouse)  and Siegfried (Samuel West) as Tristan starts to come into his own. James (Nicholas Ralph) and Mrs. Hall (Anna Madeley) each develop even more in their own right. James comes into his own as he also learns to stand up to Siegfried and establish his place at the practice. Additionally, he starts maturing even more as he deals with the residents of Darrowby and their personal biases. Meanwhile, Mrs. Hall gets even more of her own time as she has to manage the practice as a sort of house mother while also finding and accepting love. On yet another angle, the dynamic between Helen (Rachel Shenton) and James even develops more in a way that will make it fully relatable to audiences. The whole story will not be given away out of respect for those who have yet to see Season, 2, but the couple does have something of a happy ending, albeit very realistic. That in itself is yet another example of the power of the season’s writing. Between all of this and the fact that audiences one again will not feel like they have to intensely devote themselves to the show, the writing clearly offers audiences plenty to appreciate. It makes for a solid foundation for the series’ second season. It is just one of the items that makes Season 2 successful. The cast’s work is of its own applause.

The cast’s work is of note in examining Season 2’s presentation because it does just as much to engage audiences as the writing. One of the most memorable moments in which this is exhibited comes late in the season as Tristan realizes that Siegfried and Mrs. Hall had lied to him about his exam grades. He sits at the table, nursing a bottle and fighting back tears as he confronts Mrs. Hall about what she knew. It would have been so easy for Woodhouse to go over the top and just milk the moment. Thankfully he did not go that route. The control that he exercised in handling the moment made it all the more powerful and engaging. On the opposite side, the varied moments when he brings out Tristan’s normally cocky attitude makes for its own share of laughs. This shows in its own right, Woodhouse’s talent and its impact on the show. On yet another note, his work opposite West is so believable. Anyone with a sibling will fully relate to the pair’s squabbling will love those moments.

In looking at Madeley’s performance, her balance of counselor, confidant, and general semi-boss standing makes her just as enjoyable to watch. She has lost nothing along the way. Those softer moments as she handles Tristan and Siegfried’s relationship and the more personal moments as she listens to broadcasts about the coming war show a wide range of emotions and talent. That she can make Mrs. Hall so believably coy as she deals with her own feelings towards her own romantic interest and her friend’s attempt to counsel her in the matter is just as enjoyable to watch. It all feels so real. There is no over the top drama even in this aspect. It does just as much as Woodhouse’s work to make the acting so rich.

The dynamic between Shenton and Ralph as Helen and James is just as enjoyable. The tension between the pair early in the season actually does well to leave audiences wonder if the couple would end up together. That is a tribute to the duo’s work interpreting the story this season. Even in the season finale, there is a discussion between the pair that leaves one wondering if the honeymoon period ended before it even began. Once again, this is the duo acting so well. It is a moment to which any ordinary person will relate because every couple goes through the discussion that Helen and James had. The total outcome will be left for audiences to learn for themselves even as audiences wait to see where Helen and James’ relationship will go in Season 3. Between this work and that of the rest of the cast examined here, it goes without saying that the cast’s work in Season 2 makes for just as much engagement and entertainment as the season’s writing. The two items together make for even more reason for audiences to take in Season 2. They are just part of what makes Season 2 enjoyable. The collective cinematography, makeup and costuming round out the season’s positives.

The cinematography featured in Season 2 is just as stunning as that in the rebooted series’ debut season. The lush, green meadows and the quaint town streets (captured in and around Yorkshire) are so stunning, especially under the bright, blue skies. The ability of those behind the cameras to just as effectively set the stage in the vet office and even in the farmers’ homes and land is just as admirable even in its minutiae. It makes the stories all the more engaging. The same can be said of the work put in to ensure the season looks time period accurate. From the vehicles to the costumes and the hair dos and more, it is clear that a lot of time and effort went into making sure as much as possible was done to make everything right and believable. So just as much credit is due to those behind the cameras in this angle as those behind the cameras and capturing the acting. When all of this is considered along with the work of the show’s writers and cast, the whole makes for even more enjoyment in the second season of All Creatures Great & Small. It makes the second season a complete success and one more of the year’s top new DVD and BLu-ray box sets for grown-up audiences.

The second season of All Creatures Great & Small‘s reboot is a joy of a presentation. That is due in part to the season’s writing, which balances so many story aspects so expertly from one episode to the next. The writing once again avoids any serial aspects, which in this day and age is so welcome. It also makes the separate stories so engaging and entertaining in their own right. The cast’s work interpreting the writers’ work is just as enjoyable. The cast’s work is fully believable from one story to the next and makes the season all the more immersive. The collective cinematography, costuming and makeup make the season’s aesthetic impact just as enjoyable as the writing and acting. Each item examined here is important in its own right to the whole of the season’s presentation. All things considered, they make the season another welcome presentation for the rebooted series and another positive addition to this year’s field of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for grown-up audiences.

All Creatures Great & Small: Season 2 is available now. More information on the series and other shows from Channel 5 is available online at:

Websitehttps://channel5.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/channel5uk

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/channel5_tv

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Mercury Studios Announces Details For Another Live Show From The Rolling Stones

Courtesy: Mercury Studios

Mercury Studios is reaching into The Rolling Stones’ live vault once again.

The company, formerly Eagle Rock Entertainment, announced Wednesday, it is scheduled to release Licked Live in NYC June 10. A trailer for the recording is streaming here.

The concert presented in the package was held January 18, 2003 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden for an HBO special. It was the second of two dates that the band performed at the venue that month, with the first date having been held two days prior on Jan. 16.

Mercury Studios will release the concert on DVD/2CD and SD Blu-ray/2CD combo packs, as well as 2CD and 3 LP standalone sets. It features performances of many of the band’s greats hits, such as ‘Brown Sugar,’ ‘Gimme Shelter,’ and ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’ Additionally, Sheryl Crow made a guest appearance on the band’s performance of ‘Honky Tonk Women.’

As an added bonus, the package’s DVD and BD packages will feature the band’s rehearsal footage and three extra performances not featured in the original HBO performance. Also, the SD Blu-ray package will feature the 51-minute documentary, “Tip of the Tongue,” which follows the band as it prepares for the tour.

The full concert set list is noted below for each of its platforms.

Track listing:
Screen Shot 2022-04-12 at 12.35.30 PM
Courtesy: Mercury Studios

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available at:

Website: https://mercurystudios.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MercuryStudiosCo

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/mercurystudios

More information on Licked Live in NYC is available along with all of its latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.rollingstones.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/therollingstones

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/RollingStones

To keep up with the latest news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

MPI Home Video’s New ‘Honeymooners’ Collection Is Loaded With Laughs, Insight

Courtesy: mpi home video

The Honeymooners is one of the most iconic and important series in the history of television. Given, it only lasted for 39 episodes over the course of less than a year (October 1955-September 1956), but in the course of that time and in the years since it ended, the impact that it has had remains fully evident. It is well-known that it is the source material for The Flintstones, and there is no denying it had to have had at least some influence in the creation of All In The Family. It has also been spoofed by countless other TV series since its end, and even remained so popular that it apparently has a new reboot in the works, with famed actor Damon Wayans Jr. executive producing.

As if all of that is not enough to show its place in America’s (and the world’s) television pantheon, the show remained so popular following its short run in the late 50s that the cast was brought back in the late 70s for four live specials recorded at a studio in Miami Beach, Florida. Those specials — Second Honeymoon, Valentine Special, Christmas Special, and A Christmas Carol — have each seen their own standalone releases over the years, but have not been collected into one set. That is until last month. MPI Home Video, which also has released the original series in full on DVD, released those four specials on DVD March 22 in a two-disc collection. The set is another win for any devotee of The Honeymooners. That is due in no small part to the stories featured in each special. This will be discussed shortly. The bonus content that accompanies the collection makes for its own positive and will be discussed a little later. The set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of The Honeymooners Specials: The Complete Collection. All things considered, they make the collection a must for any fully devoted fan of The Honeymooners and even any casual fan of the iconic series.

MPI Home Video’s recently released DVD collection, The Honeymooners Specials: The Complete Collection is an impressive presentation that will appeal just as much to the most devoted fan of The Honeymooners as it will to the series’ more casual fans. The set’s success comes in part through its featured stories. Second Honeymoon is funny in its own right as Ralph (played then by a much older Jackie Gleason) thinks Alice (played by a much older Audrey Meadows) is pregnant when he finds a knitted warmer for his bowling ball and a pair of knitted mitts that Alice had made. Ralph is not smart enough to realize that the holes in the ball warmer are for the holes in his bowling ball. The rest of the time, Ralph leans how to put a diaper on a baby, even thinking a list titled “Mother’s Diet” is a list of what Alice is eating for herself and the baby that does not exist. Gleason’s acting chops are just as sharp throughout the episode as are those of his longtime partner, Art Carney, and their female counterparts. Watching this hilarious story unfold and climax at a meeting of Ralph and Ed’s lodge meeting makes for so many laughs from beginning to end. It is a story that itself has been spoofed so many times by so many other shows, including The Flintstones and other sitcoms.

Another great example of the importance of the stories is that featured in Valentine Special. Ralph gets suspicious of Alice when he finds a list of phone calls that she has taken during her time as an operator. Seeing the names, he thinks Alice is cheating on him. The discovery of a life insurance policy, and Ed mentioning how everything was playing out like an episode of Kojack (which was nearing the end of its run when this special was recorded — it ended in 1978) does not ease Ralph’s nerves any more, especially when Alice has Ralph lay on the floor face down in order to measure him for his new surprise Valentine’s Day gift. The whole thing is yet another fully engaging and entertaining comedy of errors that thrives in its physical and verbal comedy. It shows even to this day that it is possible for comedy to be enjoyable without going full blue. When these two episodes are considered with the two Christmas specials that are also featured in the set (the Christmas Carol story, by the way, is clearly the inspiration for the story at the center of A Flintstones Christmas Carol), the whole of the stories makes for plenty of engagement and entertainment.

Going back to the matter of how the stories manage to show that it is possible for comedy to work without going full blue, one of the bonus features included in the collection proves that even more. The bonus in question is an episode of the series’ reboot from 1967 in which Alice is played by Sheila MacRae. The episode’s story centers on women’s liberation. The writing was clearly an attempt by those behind the cameras to try to make the show relevant to the times, but it sadly fell flat. All of the humor was so opposite of the topics and writing on which the original series rested. It is a clear example of the importance of the collection’s bonus content. That is because it allows viewers to see the contrast of the original series to at least one of its reboots.

On a similar note, Jane Keane, who plays Trixie in the featured specials, is featured in a behind the scenes featurette in which she speaks of Gleason’s apparent dislike of working with MacRae because she was so starkly different than Audrey Meadows. Keane mentions specifically as an example, that Gleason did not like that MacRae wanted to make Alice softer than the portrayal made so famous by Meadows throughout her own career. In comparing the two women, Meadows really is better than MacRae. That is just this critic’s own take on that discussion. This bonus is yet another example of the collection’s overall bonus content.

The two skits that spoof The Honeymooners further show the bonus content’s importance because they show how far the show’s impact reached even long after its original end. One of the skits features Ralph and Alice as an interracial couple, Ralph being black and Alice being white. It shows that the show’s influence even reached into the social climate of the time yet was not preachy in that fashion. The other skit, featured in an episode of The Hollywood Palace, features Ray Bolger alongside Meadows as Ralph and Meadows once again as Alice, except in this case, Alice is the bus driver and Ralph as the stay-at-home spouse. It is a subtle social statement even here, but not overly preachy, thankfully. If anything, it makes for its own share of laughs. When this and the other skit are considered along with the other noted bonus content, the whole of the set’s bonus features makes its overall importance clear. It adds its own share of engagement and entertainment to the overall presentation, making the viewing experience that much more enjoyable.

Moving from the bonus content, there is one more item to note in examining this collection’s overall presentation. That item is the set’s packaging. The collection’s two discs each sit inside the standard size DVD case on their own “plates.” This protects the discs from marring one another, and in turn ensures their longevity. Those responsible for this packaging item are to be commended for going that route. In similar fashion, the smart packaging also means the collection will take up the same amount of space on any rack as any DVD case containing just one disc, making for even more aesthetic appeal. When all of this is considered along with the positives of the stories featured in each of the set’s specials, and with the bonus content that accompanies them, the whole makes this collection a fully engaging and entertaining presentation.

MPI Home Video’s newly released The Honeymooners Specials: The Complete Collection is a thoroughly enjoyable presentation. Whether one is an established fan of the series or more casual, there is plenty for viewers on both sides to appreciate, beginning with the specials’s stories (and the cast’s work presenting them live on stage). The stories and the cast’s work presenting them make for so much engagement and entertainment, showing that the show still had some gas left in the proverbial tank, even nearly two decades after it had ended its initial run. The bonus content that accompanies the collection adds to the engagement and entertainment because of the secondary level of content that it brings. It really leads to so much discussion through everything presented. The set’s packaging rounds out its most important items. It is ergonomic, which is appealing for any physical media fan. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of this collection. All things considered, they make the set one of the best of this year’s new DVD/BD box sets for grown-up audiences.

The Honeymooners Specials: The Complete Collection is available now. More information on this and other titles from mpi home video is available at:

Websitehttps://www.mpihomevideo.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/mpimediagrp

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

MPI Media Group Announces ‘The Honeymooners Specials: The Complete Collection” Release Date, Specs

Courtesy: mpi media group

Fans of the classic sitcom The Honeymooners will get a special treat Tuesday courtesy of mpi media group.

The company is scheduled to release The Honeymooners Specials: The Complete Collection on DVD Tuesday. The collection features all four of The Honeymooners specials: Second Honeymoon, Valentine Special, Christmas Special and Christmas Carol.

Second Honeymoon finds Ralph wanting to celebrate his and Alice’s 25th wedding anniversary by renewing the couple’s vows. When Ralph thinks Alice is pregnant though, Ralph’s old pal, Ed Norton teaches Ralph how to care for a baby.

Valentine Special features Alice secretly trying to buy Ralph a suit for Valentines Day. The thing is that when Ralph finds evidence of Alice’s plans, he thinks she is cheating on him and wants to kill him. Ralph enlists Ed to help him go undercover and find out what Alice is up to.

Christmas Special involves Ralph’s love of gambling as he risks his and Alice’s life savings on the lottery, as well as Ed’s holiday bonus. To make things even more interesting, Ralph’s gamble also puts in jeopardy, the social security check of Alice’s mother.

Christmas Carol finds Ralph leading and starring in his company’s annual holiday fundraiser play. In this case the play happens to be none other than Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Ed ends up directing the play and his inexperience helming such a project leads to plenty of comedy.

More information on this and other titles from mpi media group is available at:

Website: https://www.mpihomevideo.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mpimediagrp

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Families Have Lots Of Viewing Options As They Spend The Holidays Together

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/PBS Kids

It’s hard to believe, but there is officially a little more than a week left in the almost old year. For most of the country, it means winter break is here and kids are out of school, getting excited over Christmas and relaxing. That means lots of parents out there are struggling to find ways to entertain their kids and maybe also keep their brains growing at the same time. Phil’s Picks’ final “best of” list for this year will hopefully help with those efforts.

The last of this year’s “best of” lists focuses on the year’s top new single-disc family friendly DVDs and Blu-rays. It features new releases for families from PBS, Shout! Factory, and Nickelodeon, as well as Turner Broadcasting/Cartoon Network, and even 20th Century Studios. It runs the gamut from the educational to the entertaining, too.

Without any further ado, here is the last of Phil’s Picks’ “best of” lists for 2021, this year’s Top 10 New Family DVDs/BDs.

PHIL’S PICKS’ 2021 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVDs/BDs

  1. Hero Elementary: Sparks’ Crew Animal Rescue
  2. Wild Kratts: Cats and Dogs
  3. Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island
  4. Molly of Denali: Molly & The Great One
  5. Are You Afraid of the Dark?: Curse of the Shadows
  6. Victor & Valentino: Folk Art Foes
  7. Ron’s Gone Wrong
  8. Jungle Cruise
  9. Paw Patrol: The Movie
  10. PBS Kids Christmas Collection
  11. Thomas & Friends All Engines Go!: Time For Teamwork
  12. Sesame Street: Things Elmo Likes
  13. Sesame Street: Wonderful World of Friends
  14. Baby Shark’s Big Show!
  15. PBS Kids 15 Girl Power Adventures

That’s it for this year, folks. Again though, there are lots of new titles already announced and scheduled for 2022, so Phil’s Picks is already looking forward to next year for all the new family DVDs and BDs and so much other content. Stay tuned!

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Kids, Grown-Ups Alike Had Lots To Like From 2021’s New DVD/BD Box Sets

Courtesy: Arrow Video

Between families and grown-ups, plenty of positive content has been released this year on DVD and Blu-ray in the form of newly released box sets. Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s full series presentation of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Arrow Video’s classic creature feature collection, Cold War Creatures, and the latest collection of classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood do well to support the noted statements. Between them and so many others, there is more than enough to create a list of this year’s top new DVD/BD box sets overall. Enter Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New DVD/BD Box Sets.

As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the top 10 titles from this year as well as five honorable mention titles for a total of 15. There’s already some positive news about new releases coming in the new year about new box sets, but in the meantime, the titles on this list will help people pass the time. Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New DVD/BD Box Sets list.

PHIL’S PICKS’ 2021 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD BOX SETS

1.Cold War Creatures

2. The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series

3. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection

4. All Creatures Great & Small: Season 1

5. The Watch

6. How To Train Your Dragon: Ultimate Collection

7. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Tigertastic 50 Pack

8. Jekyll & Hyde

9. Spongebob Squarepants: Season 12

10. Rugrats: The Complete Series

11. Star Trek Discovery: Season 3

12. Doom Patrol: Season 2

13. Josie & The Pussycats In Outer Space: The Complete Series

14. Human: The World Within

15. Thundarr The Barbarian: The Complete Series

Okay that it’s for this list. There is still one more list to go for this year. It will come tomorrow in the form of the year’s top new family friendly DVDs/ Stay tuned!

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.