Grown-Ups Got Plenty Of TV To Enjoy In 2020

Courtesy: itv/PBS Distribution/PBS

Families nationwide got a lot of worthwhile ways to spend time together during the COVID-19 pandemic this year, thanks to all of the new DVDs, Blu-rays and box sets.  Of course while families got plenty to watch together, grown-ups also needed something of their own to enjoy.  Thankfully this year produced just as much for grown-ups to enjoy as children.  That is why Phil’s Picks is taking a look at what were among the best of this year’s new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for grown-ups.  This year saw a bunch of new content from Warner Brothers and DC, some better than others (E.g. the new Swamp Thing reboot and new seasons of Black LightningBlack Lightning proved better this year than Swamp Thing, but the latter still proved worth watching at least once.  Itv and PBS presented a rather intriguing new season of itv’s crime drama Endeavour.  The season was okay but left something to be wanted.  The short-lived deep comedy The Good Place finally met its end this year and also received its only full-series release on Blu-ray thanks to the folks at Shout! Factory.  In an even more surprising move, ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family got a full series release this month exclusively through Target.  While not inexpensive, it is a presentation that devotees will appreciate.  It is just one more entry in Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New DVD & Blu-ray Box Sets For Grown-ups category. 

As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 titles in the category along with five honorable mentions for a total of 15 titles.  Without further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 new DVD & Blu-ray Box Sets for Grown-Ups.


  1. Endeavour: Season Seven
  2. The Good Place: The Complete Series
  3. Modern Family: The Complete Series
  4. Doctor Who: Season 12
  5. The Expanse: Season 4
  6. Black Lightning: The Complete Second Season
  7. Black Lightning: The Complete Third Season
  8. Stargirl: The Complete First Season
  9. Mission: Impossible: The Complete Series
  10. Gunsmoke: The Complete Series 65th Anniversary Set
  11. Gunsmoke: The Movies
  12. Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Season 1
  13. Swamp Thing: The Complete Series
  14. Star Trek Picard: Season 1
  15. The Twilight Zone: Season 1

One more list is up to finish up this year’s lists.  That list is the year’s top new re-issues.  Stay tuned for that.

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Corinth Films Resurrecting Einstein Documentary

Courtesy: Corinth Films

Independent movie studio Corinth Films is set to release a vintage documentary about legendary physicist Albert Einstein next month.

Einsteins Universe is scheduled for release Aug. 25 on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and digital.  It marks the first time that the vintage documentary, based on author Nigel Caulder’s biography by the same name, has received a home release on any platform.

It originally premiered on television on March 14, 1979 in celebration of what would have been Einstein’s 100th birthday.  The broadcast was made possible through a partnership between the BBC and WGBH (America’s leading public television network).

Peter Ustinov — SpartacusLogan‘s RunDeath on the Nile — narrated the original broadcast.  As part of the documentary, Ustinov visited the University of Texas-Austin McDonald Observatory in his quest to learn about Einstein and the significance of his work.  He learns about topics, such as Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the “Doppler Effect,” and how the universe was formed.

The documentary’s run time is 118 minutes.  A trailer for the documentary is streaming here.

More information on this and other titles from Corinth Films is available at:






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‘Doctor Who: Season 12’ Available Now On DVD, BD

Courtesy: BBC/BBC America

The wait is over for the home release of Doctor WhoSeason 12.

The 12th season of the long-running science fiction series is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.  Season 12 is the second for star Jodie Whittaker, who plays the 13th doctor.Joining her on her travels are Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole), Yasmin “Yaz” Khan (Mandip Gill) and Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh).

Also making appearances this season are stars, such as Stephen Fry (The Hitchhicker’s Guide to the GalaxyA Bit of Fry and Laurie), Sir Lenny Henry CBE (BroadchurchHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Goran Višnjić (ER, Timeless), Sacha Dhawan (Marvel’s Iron Fist, An Adventure in Space and Time), and Robert Glenister (Paranoid, Law and Order: UK).

Season 12 proves to be a pivotal turning point in the legacy of Doctor Who, as it brought everything in the franchise’s history full circle in its finale.

Along with all of its episodes full of action, humor and heart, Season 12 also comes with a handful of bonuses for audiences.  The home release of the franchise’s 12th season features three feature-length audio commentaries, 10 behind-the-scenes featurettes ad a preview of Season 12 for audiences to watch ahead of taking in this season.

Doctor WhoSeason 12 will retail for MSRP of $59.99 (DVD) and $64.99 (Blu-ray).

More information on the 12th season of Doctor Who is available along with all of the series’ latest news at:






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‘Good Omens’ Is Its Own Good Omen For The Future Of Television, Streaming Programming

Courtesy: BBC Studios

Salvation comes in strange and unexpected fashions.  Author Neil Gaiman spoke those words in one of the bonus features included in the recently released home release of Amazon Studios and BBC’s Good Omens.  It is also the central theme of the mini-series, adapted from the novel of the same name, which was co-written by Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett.  The mini-series created quite a stir among audiences when it made its streaming debut through Amazon in May.  Some loved it while others alleged it promoted something other than Christian beliefs and values.  Those who claimed it promoted anti-Christian beliefs clearly did not watch the six-hour mini-series.  Had those naysayers watched the program, they would have seen that if anything, it in fact presents some very positive messages, some of which are actually very pro-Christian.  Those noted messages incorporated into the story, go a long way toward making the program well worth watching. They will be discussed a little later.  The story at the center of the program forms the program’s foundation.  The noted bonus content that is featured with the program’s home release adds to the set’s presentation slightly.  The cast’s on-camera work also adds a certain element of enjoyment to the program.  When it is considered alongside the program’s primary content and messages, the whole of those elements makes Good Omens a presentation that is one of this year’s top new box sets for grown-ups.

Amazon Studios and BBC’s recent small-screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchatt’s novel Good Omens is one of the most surprisingly enjoyable television offerings to come along so far this year.  While perhaps not necessarily memorable long timer, it is still quite the enjoyable program to watch at least once.  That is due in part to the program’s primary content – its story and related messages.  The story in question follows the angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley as the duo partners to prevent Armageddon from happening.  The angel and his fallen angel friend are not the only ones trying to stop an 11 year-old antichrist.  Anathema Device (Adrai Arjona – True Detective, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Life of the Party) also wants to stop the antichrist.  Not to give away too much for those who have yet to watch the series, but it isn’t the group that stops Armageddon from happening, but rather a much more unexpected group.  That group will be left for the noted audiences to discover for themselves.  Getting back on topic, the idea of the good guys and bad guys teaming up to stop the ultimate evil is anything but new in the literary, cinematic and television realm.  It is an oft-used trope that spans the entertainment spectrum.  Even with that in mind, the way in which the topic was approached in this case is still original, giving audiences reason enough to watch the program.

The story itself gives audiences reason to watch, clearly.  Looking deeper within the story, it actually boasts its own share of interesting content to add to its presentation.  Right from the start of the story, Adam and Eve are dark-skinned rather than white.  It is good to see someone buck the trend of white-washing everything, instead opting for something more realistic.  At another point, Aziraphale tells Crowley that the flood was actually localized, rather than global.  It is a subtle statement, but one that is certain to create its own share of discussion since it, in its own way, argues that we should not take the bible verbatim.  On another level, Adam’s admonishment of both sides that they want to have their war just to see who is better, at the cost of mankind, is sure to generate even more discussion among viewers.  These and other plot elements tied into the story make the story in whole well worth the watch.  They are just a portion of what makes it so intriguing.  The messages that are tied into the story add their own interest to the mini-series’ presentation.

One of the most notable of the series’ messages is raised through Crowley’s personal growth.  Crowley is a fallen angel, but over time, he realizes that he is not as evil as he would like to think he is.  He, like Aziraphale, starts to think more for himself, rather than just giving in blindly to “the infallible plan.”  He proves that even those who are bad likely are actually good deep down.  This certainly doesn’t sound like something evil.  Rather, it is the exact opposite, proving again that the mini-series’ naysayers clearly did not watch the program.  It is just one of the key messages incorporated into the six-hour run of Good Omens.  The program presents plenty of other positive messages that audiences will appreciate.

One of the other notable messages incorporated into the whole of Good Omens is that of looking past our differences and accepting others.  Crowley and Aziraphale are polar opposites.  Crowley is a demon and Aziraphale is an angel.  On a deeper level though, both figures are still angels.  One of the duo is just a fallen angel, so in reality the two are still more alike than they are unalike.  The pair realizes this over the eons and learns to look past the differences, in turn becoming longtime friends.

Yet another key message incorporated into Good Omens is that we are the masters of our own fates.  Adam might have been prophesied to have been the catalyst for Armageddon, but he ends up making his own choice, leading to the story’s unexpected ending.  Whether this message (like the others noted) was intended is anyone’s guess.  That is because nowhere in any of the bonus commentary is this discussed.  This will be addressed a little later.  Either way, the message is there.  Just because someone says that we are this or we are that does not mean we have to abide by what they say.  We make our own choices about our lives.  It is up to us what we do in our lives. Between this message, that of thinking for ourselves rather than blindly following, and that of overlooking cultural differences, the messages that are incorporated into the story of Good Omens, the obvious allegorical nature of the novel (and its TV adaptation) makes for more than enough reason to watch this mini-series.  When the messages noted here are considered with the show’s overall story and its plot elements, the whole of that content makes even clearer why this program is worth the watch.  They are just a part of what makes the set worth viewing.  The bonus content featured with the set adds its own touch to the mini-series’ presentation.

The bonus content spread across Good Omens’ two discs is worth noting because of the background that it adds to the show’s presentation.  The feature-length commentary featured with each of the show’s six episodes features discussions on topics, such as the program’s set and costume design, its adaptation from its literary source material and its symbolism.  Viewers learn through the commentary in the show’s fourth episode, that star Michael Sheen was very particular about his character’s attire and that the wings on the delivery man’s uniform were related not just to angels, but to a certain mythological figure.  There is also a discussion in Episode Four’s commentary about the use of Adam’s friends as their own “four horsemen.”  Of course even without that note, it was obvious in watching the episode that they were representative of the horsemen in their own  right.

In the commentary for Episode Three, viewers learn that the half-hour opening segment used for the episode was not actually included in Gaiman and Pratchett’s novel.  Speaking of sequences, viewers learn from Gaiman himself that the mini-series’ very opening sequence, which features Frances McDormand as the voice of God, was a direct transfer from the novel, but almost ended up in a different portion of the episode than where it ended up.  Late in the mini-series’ final episode, there is mention of a possible second season, but Gaiman never does confirm if a second season was even in the planning.  Considering that there were protests by some groups against this program, those protests apparently did not succeed, taking Gaiman’s statements into consideration.  It sounds like odds are there was little to no chance of a second season for the show.

The feature-length audio commentaries featured with each of the show’s episodes add their own share of engagement and entertainment for viewers, as noted here.  The items discussed here are but a portion of the content featured in the commentaries.  Each commentary included in this mini-series features far more than what is shown here, but for all that they offer, none of the commentaries features discussion on theology or anything related to it.  The closest that any discussion comes is in the first episode’s commentary in which a brief comment is made about Adam and Eve being dark-skinned.  Other than that, there is barely any talk by anyone involved, about the show’s religious roots.  It would have been nice to have received some discussion on that item.  It doesn’t make the commentaries unwatchable, but does detract from their enjoyment.  Of course, considering the messages and plot elements tied in to the story, viewers are sure to create their own discussions anyway.  To that end, the lack of any talks on theology doesn’t detract from the program too much.

The commentaries featured with each of Good Omens’ add their own touch to the whole of the mini-series’ presentation, and are just a portion of the key bonus content featured with the show’s home release.  The “Page To Screen” bonus, which is essentially just a “making of” featurette features interviews with Sheen and co-star David Tenant, along with appearances by Jon Hamm and others.  Audiences learn from Hamm that he worked to make Gabriel unlikeable, just for comedy’s sake. He jokes about making Gabriel that workplace boss figure that everyone hates.  He does an outstanding job of his performance, too.  Tenant and Sheen offer their own insights into working on the program.  Each actor’s commentary on that aspect adds its own share of appreciation for the show.  When it is considered along with Hamm’s discussions and those of the show’s other cast members, the whole of everything here makes this yet another key addition to Good Omens’ presentation.  All of that bonus content, considered with the show’s story, plot elements and messages, makes the program in whole that much more entertaining and engaging for everyone.  They make Good Omens in whole one of the year’s most surprising new shows and most surprisingly entertaining.

BBC and Amazon Studios’ Good Omens is a presentation that viewers looking for an alternative to everything on broadcast television will appreciate.  That is due in part to its story, which is original in a variety of ways.  The plot elements and messages that are tied into the story add even more engagement and entertainment for viewers.  The bonus content adds its own touch to the mini-series in its home release.  That is despite a clear lack of any talks on theology, that could and would have added even more to the whole of the show’s home release.  Even with that in mind, the whole of the items discussed here makes Good Omens its own good omen for the future of television.  More information on this and other titles from BBC is available online at:










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PBS, BBC’s New Apollo 11 Program Is Better Than Any “Based On Actual Events” Flick That Hollywood Could Ever Create

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Eat your heart out, Hollywood. Your over-the-top, overly-embellished movies that are based on actual events have officially been put to shame thanks to PBS and BBC.  The agencies released last month, their own presentation based on an actual event – the Apollo 11 mission in the form of 8 Days: To The Moon and Back, and it is everything that a production within the “based on actual events” genre should be.  That is proven in part through the program’s story, which will be discussed shortly.  The combined special effects and actual vintage footage plays into its presentation just as much as its story.  This will be addressed a little later.  Considering the positives of all of this noted content, the presentation’s average price range proves to be money well spent and will be addressed a little later, too.  When it is considered along with the content, all three elements combine to make 8 Days: To The Moon and Back easily one of this year’s top new documentaries and an example of how to do movies based on actual events the right way.

PBS and BBC’s new docu-movie 8 Days: To The Moon and Back is an important new release from the two companies.  That is because it proves that it is possible to create a presentation based on actual events without a bunch of over-the-top special effects and unnecessary embellishments that clearly were not part of the original story.  The story in question is that of the Apollo 11 mission, which led to the very first human stepping foot on the moon. Presented here is that story from beginning to end without any extra, unnecessary drama.  There are no underlying romance subplots, no unnecessary drama points from when the program alerts happen and no added over-the-top speeches at any point throughout the story.  In place of those unnecessary elements are the actual comments from the crew of the Apollo 11 and from the late great Walter Kronkite coupled with actual footage of the mission control staff interacting by radio with the Apollo 11 crew.  They all join to make in whole, one complete story that provides just as much drama as any other movie that is based on actual events.  It shows that such presentations really do not need extra embellishments to make them enjoyable.  Now if only the officials at Hollywood’s “Big Six” would let that sink in.  Sadly, that likely won’t happen anytime soon.  That is okay, though.  It just means that PBS and/or BBC can continue making the true based on actual events presentations and meanwhile let Hollywood’s take on history continue to fade into history.

The story portion of 8 Days: To The Moon and Back is key in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  It is just one of the program’s most important elements.  The aforementioned vintage footage used to help tell the story is just as important to the program’s whole as the story itself.  That is especially the case when it joins with the special effects that are incorporated into the story.  The special effects are clearly computer generated, but are still worthy of their own applause.  They are not the multi-million-dollar, over-the-top blockbuster special effects that one might see in one of Hollywood’s action flicks, but are still impressive in their own right.  From the shots aboard the rocket during its separations to the moments when the Apollo 11 crew looks out of its windows and sees the stars and the sun peeking out from behind the moon to the very moments inside the spacecraft, the special effects utilized in the presentation prove just as good as anything viewers might see on the big screen.  When those special effects are set alongside the vintage footage of the Apollo rocket launching, the mission control staff hard at work keeping the crew safe and even the news footage, the whole of that combination makes the program’s secondary content just as impressive in its own right, as the program’s primary content and worthy of applause.  Once again, it shows that it is possible to make an entertaining, engaging program without the need for lots of explosions, lasers and other standard science fare.  To that end, the combined footage and special effects joins with the story itself to make this presentation a work that outshines any other space-based flick that Hollywood has ever churned out across the board and is well worth the price.

Speaking of the program’s price, that figure is just as important to note as the program’s content.  The average price point of $18.59 for this almost hour-long program is clearly affordable.  That price was obtained by averaging price listings at PBS’ store, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  PBS’ listing of $19.99 is neither the most nor the least expensive listing for the DVD.  The most expensive listing comes in at $24.99 at Books-A-Million.  Amazon and Walmart list the least expensive price at $15.82.  Target’s price listing of $15.86 is only four cents more expensive than the noted listings while Best Buy and Barnes & Noble Booksellers list the DVD at $17.99 and $19.61 respectively.  Regardless of which retailer one chooses, PBS and BBC will still benefit from the sales of this DVD, and it is a work that is worth the money regardless of retailer, as has been pointed out here.  While the one noted price does exceed the average, the others are below that number.  To that point, the listings – average and separate – are affordable and worth spending for this program whose primary and secondary content more than delivers everything for which viewers can hope.  Keeping that in mind, the content and price comes together here to make 8 Days: To The Moon and Back a program that viewers will enjoy 365 days.

PBS and BBC’s recently released docu-movie 8 Days: To The Moon and Back is a standout presentation that history buffs, space history buffs and space science aficionados alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to its story, which completely ignores any unnecessary speeches, drama and other similar items.  Rather, it presents just the facts, but does so in a fashion that still makes the program wholly engaging and entertaining from start to finish. The combined special effects, which themselves avoid being over-the-top, and the vintage footage combine to enrich the program even more.  Taking into consideration that overall content, the DVD’s average price point of less than $20 – and separate listings that are mostly below that price, too – is appealing in its own way, considering how much engagement and entertainment this presentation offers audiences.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, they make 8 Days: To The Moon and Back a widely appealing work that is one of this year’s top new documentaries and new DVDs/BDs in general.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:










More information on this and other titles from the BBC is available online now at:










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BBC Studios Announces Release Date For ‘Good Omens’

Courtesy: BBC Studios

BBC Studios — Americas is bringing the much talked about series Good Omens to DVD and Blu-ray.

The program (based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) is scheduled for release Nov. 5 on DVD and Blu-ray.  It can be purchased through BBC Shop and Amazon.  The series follows an angel and a demon — Aziraphale Michael Sheen — Masters of Sex, Midnight in Paris, The Queen) and Crowley (David Tennant — Dr. Who, Duck Tales, Fright Night) respectively — who are forced to team up to avert the apocalypse.

Sheen and Tennant are joined by an all-star cast made up of celebrities, such as Jon Hamm (Mad MenBaby DriverMillion Dollar Arm), Micheal McKean (This Is Spinal TapA Mighty WindClue) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Star TrekInto DarknessIn Search OfSherlock) for the series.Miranda Richardson (The Crying GameSleepy HollowThe Hours), Jack Whitehall (Fresh MeatBad EducationMother’s Day) and Adria Arjona (Pacific RimUprisingTrue DetectiveLife of the Party) are also included in the program’s cast list.

The six episodes that make up the miniseries’ six-hour run are spread across two discs.  They are accompanied by a variety of bonuses that are exclusive to the series’ DVD and Blu-ray platforms.  They include items, such as a variety of galleries, feature-length commentaries for all six episodes and a page-to-screen comparison of the series and its source material.

More information on this and other titles from BBC Studios is available online now at:






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Benedict Cumberbatch Returns Sunday In New ‘Masterpiece’ Movie

Famed actor Benedict Cumberbactch (SherlockStar TrekInto DarknessThe Imitation Game) returns to PBS’ Masterpiece this Sunday night, but not in his familiar role as the world’s most beloved detective.

Cumberbatch stars as author Stephen Lewis, opposite Kelly MacDonald (BraveThe Decoy BrideGosford Park) in this thriller, which sees Lewis on a desperate search for his daughter Kate after she mysteriously disappears.  Things only get worse when Kate’s disappearance and the search for the little girl ends Stephen’s marriage with Julie (played here by MacDonald).

His three-year-long search for Kate is only one of his problems.  He also has to deal with his best friend Charles Dark, who has resigned from his cabinet position and gone to live with his wife Thelma.  It is that situation that leads to the story’s climax, which is then followed by another surprise.

Courtesy: BBC/PBS

The Child in Time airs Sunday night on PBS at 9/8c.  More information on this and other Masterpiece programs is available online now at:






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Eagle Rock Entertainment Proves ‘Pet Sounds’ Classic Status In Recently Released Doc

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The Beach Boys is one of the most iconic acts in American popular music.  That goes without saying.  Through the group’s ups and downs in its career, the group has continued to entertain fans around the world with now 29 full-length studio recordings under its collective belt and shows in every corner of the globe.  In 2016, fans marked an important moment in the group’s history – the 50th anniversary of the release of its 1966 album Pet Sounds.  That album remains today one of the group’s most influential records both for audiences and the mainstream music industry.  Eagle Rock Entertainment joined in the celebration with the release of a documentary focused on Pet Sounds in the form of Classic Albums: Pet Sounds.  The “rock-umentary” is the latest addition to Eagle Rock Entertainment’s award-winning music documentary series.  Whether one is a casual listener or a more devout fan, audiences who haven’t yet seen this presentation will find it has plenty to appreciate beginning with its main feature.  This will be discussed shortly.  The program’s bonus material is just as important to note here as the discussed songs.  The information that is provided through both the main feature and bonus material rounds out the most important of the program’s most important elements.  Each element plays its own part in this program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make it a music documentary that audiophiles and devout Beach Boys fans will appreciate.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recently released Beach Boys “rock-umentary” Classic Albums: Pet Sounds is a work that audiophiles and devout Beach Boys fans alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to the program’s main feature.  The main feature presents the original 94-minute broadcast version of the program in its entirety.  That means those who might not have been lucky enough to see it when it originally aired on the British Broadcasting Corporation last year finally get to see it any time that they want in this new home release on DVD and Blu-ray.  The main feature includes discussions on a handful of the songs featured on the band’s now landmark 1966 album as well as personal accounts from the band’s members. The discussion on the information shared through those discussions will be touched on later.  Getting back on the subject at hand, this program aired originally overseas, so its release via Eagle Rock Entertainment late last year marks the first time that American audiences got the chance to see it for themselves.  Its availability on separate DVD and Blu-ray platforms adds even more reason for audiophiles and the band’s more devout fans to see it at least once.  It is just one part of what makes this program such a worthwhile watch for said audiences.  The bonus material that is included in the program’s recent home release makes it even more worth the watch.

Classic Albums: Pet Sounds’ 94-minute main feature is in itself plenty of reason for audiophiles and The Beach Boys’ more devout fans to watch this program.  That is thanks to the in-depth discussions on the album’s songs and the band’s own personal experiences that are shared throughout the course of that time.  They will be discussed at more length later.  The program’s availability on both DVD and Blu-ray doesn’t hurt its overall presentation, either.  While all of this is important to note to this program’s presentation, it is only a portion of what makes the program worth the watch.  The bonus material included with the program makes it even more worth the watch.  The bonus material in question is half an hour of interviews that were not included in the program’s original BBC broadcast.  In other words, it gives audiences even more information—enhancing the viewing experience even more. Simply put, having that previously unreleased material included here presents audiences with two separate programs in one.  If they want, audiences could also argue they make one whole program split into two parts for a total of two-hours and four minutes.  That’s all sans commercials, too.  Whether audiences consider the combination of the bonus material and main feature one version or two, the combination of the two elements does plenty to make the program all the more enjoyable for audiophiles and the band’s more devout fans.  Of course as important as having the program available in whole is to its presentation, that means nothing without discussions and information to keep viewers entertained and engaged.  Said discussions and information are plentiful to say the very least.

Having Classic Albums: Pet Sounds available both in its original 94-minute broadcast presentation and its full 124-minute presentation in one setting both on DVD and Blu-ray is in itself quite important to this recording’s presentation.  That is because it provides audiences the program in whole and then some.  While this does plenty to make the program worth the watch, the inclusion of discussions and information that will keep audiences thoroughly engaged and entertained adds even more depth to the program’s presentation, too.  The discussions featured in the program’s main feature don’t cover the whole of Pet Sounds’ 13-song body.  Though, they do paint a relatively vivid picture of what makes the now landmark 1966 recording so important.  The songs that are covered include ‘I Know There’s An Answer,’ ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice,’ ‘I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times’ and others. Audiences will be interested to learn of the time that Brian Wilson took arranging the songs so that they wouldn’t be just another group of hot rod and surfing songs.  Wilson explains himself that he wanted to branch out into new territory both lyrically and musically on the album.  It shows, too in the discussions on the songs’ instrumentations and their compositions.  For those who might wonder, the band even touches on the rumor of Wilson’s drug use in the discussion on ‘I Know There’s An Answer.’  It isn’t an in-depth discussion, but the band does touch on the matter.  In terms of the program’s bonus material, audiences will be just as interested to learn of the band members’ desire to have another song included in the album and why they wanted to have it included.  The discussion on said song’s (the song won’t be revealed here for the sake of those who haven’t yet seen this program) instrumentation explains why they wanted it include in the album.  The song includes the standard band instrumentation plus banjo (yes, banjo), electro-theramin, and much more.  The balance of that instrumentation illustrates clearly how much thought went into the song’s creation.  It is just one more of so many discussions and pieces of information that makes this program—both in regards to its main feature and bonus material—such an enjoyable watch.  When the information presented in the program’s main feature and bonus material is included with the very presentation of the program’s 94-minute broadcast and its bonus segments, the whole of the program proves once more why it is a work that audiophiles and the band’s more devout fans alike will appreciate.

Classic Albums: Pet Sounds is a work that audiophiles and The Beach Boys’ more devout fans will appreciate.  That is due in part to the presentation of the program’s original 94-minute BBC broadcast as its main feature.  The inclusion of half an hour of extra material not included in the program’s original broadcast adds to its enjoyment even more.  That is because it provides audiences what is essentially two programs in one (or one program split into two segments).  The information shared in the program’s featured discussions rounds out its most important elements.  The discussions don’t touch on every one of the album’s 13 songs.  But they still paint a rich, vivid picture of why the album is so important both for the band and the music industry in whole even more than half a century after its initial release.  Each element is important in its own right to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Classic Albums: Pet Sounds a program that audiophiles and truly devout Beach Boys fans will appreciate.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:










More information on Classic Albums: Pet Sounds is available online now along with all of The Beach Boys’ latest news and more at:










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Grown-Ups Got Plenty Of Alternatives To Theaters’ Offerings In 2015

This year’s big screen offerings brought big numbers for theaters. The problem is that the majority of those big numbers were the result of Hollywood’s (and audiences’) seemingly insatiable appetite for prequels, sequels, and remakes. It’s a sad statement when one really sits down and thinks about it. And thankfully more audiences are coming to their senses about it each year and staying home instead, taking in the variety of alternatives being offered on television and online. Given, far too many of those alternatives were (and still are) serials, dramas, and some mixture thereof. But for all of the serials and dramas out there, they were just a drop in the bucket in terms of just how much was offered to audiences this year in the way of home entertainment. Shout! Factory released two more volumes of episodes from the cult classic series Mystery Science Theater 3000 this year. It also released the final two seasons of the classic sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, the complete series run of The Saint, and much more. PBS has released all three current seasons of its hit reality/cooking show A Chef’s Life, and partnered once again with itv to release the third season of Mr. Selfridge. Timeless Media Group even gave audiences a good scare this year with the release of A Haunting: Season Seven. And for all of the conspiracy theorists out there, Lionsgate and History channel offered up the seventh season of Ancient Aliens. These are just some of the alternatives offered to audiences this year from the home entertainment realm. And they are all on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s Best New Box Sets for Grown-Ups. That is in comparison to box sets for the whole family. That is a whole other list. That list will be presented tomorrow. In explaining the choices for the list of this year’s top new box sets for grown-ups, the overall packaging of each set was taken into consideration alongside each set’s bonus materials (or lack thereof) and the writing that went into each presentation. The combination of each element in each set went into coming up with this list. Not every set had bonus material such as with Welcome Back, Kotter’s third and fourth season. But the writing behind each season made each season entertaining enough that they each stand quite well on their own merits. The bonus material featured in both volumes of MST3K played a big role in their presentations deserving them their own spots as did the bonus material in Time Life’s new Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts box set and that of Hell on Wheels’ fourth season. That should hopefully give at least some background on why each title was listed where it was listed. Keeping that in mind every title listed here is fully deserving of its spot on this list. So enough rambling. Without any further ado, I offer for your reading pleasure dear readers, the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Box Sets for Grownups. As always, the Top 10 make up the main body of the list while the bottom five each receive special mention as they deserve to be on the list just as much. Here you go!

































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Phil’s Picks Celebrates The Holidays Again With Annual Holiday Giveaway

It’s time once again, everybody.  The holiday season is officially upon us.  And that means that it is time once again for the annual Phil’s Picks holiday giveaway.  Each Friday in December I will be giving away a prize to one lucky reader from the list below.  Here’s the catch:  YOU the reader get to choose the prize instead of me.  I’m going to sweeten the deal for you, the loyal Phil’s Picks fans this year, too.  I am going to bundle together the standalone season sets of Hey Dude, and The Wild Thornberrys.  This is just the current list.  There’s a chance I could throw in even more prizes as the month goes on.  So if you want a chance to win a prize for yourself or someone you know, make sure that you get your name in now!  Good luck and spread the word!


1. The Aviator (Blu-ray + DVD)

2. Believe Me (Blu-ray)

3. Blancanieves (DVD)

4. Born Yesterday (Blu-ray)

5. The Duellists (DVD)

6. Dying of the Light (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

7. Grizzly Adams (DVD)

8. Jimmy P. (DVD)

9. Liberal Arts (Blu-ray)

10. Life’s A Breeze (Blu-ray)

11. Match (DVD)

12. May in the Summer (Blu-ray)

13. Perfect Understanding (Blu-ray)

14. Premature (DVD)

15. Robot Jox (Blu-ray)

16. Ships (DVD)

17. Shout At The Devil (Blu-ray)

18. Speak No Evil (DVD + Digital)

19. Spike Island (DVD)

20. The Sweeney (DVD)

21. Tooken (DVD)

22. The Voices (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

23. While We’re Young (Blu-ray + Digital HD)


1. Beetleborgs Metallix: Season Two Volume Two (DVD)

2. Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season (DVD)

3. The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes (DVD)

4. CPO Sharkey: Season 1 (DVD)

5. CPO Sharkey: Season 2 (DVD)

6. Cook’s Country: Season Five (PBS DVD)

7. Fireball XL5: The Complete Series (DVD)

8. Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

9. The Hee-Haw Collection (DVD)

10. Hey Dude: Season 3 (DVD)

11. Hey Dude: Season 4 (DVD)

12. Hey Dude: The FInal Season (DVD)

13. I Spy: The Complete Series (DVD)

14. Joe 90: The Complete Series (DVD)

15. Mister Ed: The Final Season (DVD)

16. Mr. Warmth: Don Rickles–The Ultimate Collection (DVD)

17. The Red Skelton Show: The Lost Episodes (DVD)

18. The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years: 1951 – 1955 (DVD)

19. Sapphire And Steel: The Complete Series (DVD)

20. Secret Agent (AKA Danger Man): The Complete Series (DVD)

21. Stingray: The Complete Series (DVD)

22. The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series (DVD)

23. The Wild Thornberrys: Season 2 Part 2 (DVD)

24. The Wild thornberrys: Season 2 Part 3 (DVD)

25. The Wild Thornberrys: Season 3 (DVD)


Black Veil Brides (Blu-ray)

Ceelo Green: Loberace–Live in Vegas (Blu-ray)

Concert For Ronnie Montrose (DVD)

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer: Live at Montreux 1997 (2 CD)

Jeff Lynne’s ELO: Live in Hyde Park (DVD)

Jon Lord: Concerto For Group and Orchestra (Blu-ray)

Lord of the Dance (DVD)

Marillion: A Sunday Night Above The Rain (2 CD)

Ministry: Enjoy The Quiet–Live at Wacken 2012 (DVD/2 CD)

Ministry: Last Tangle In Paris–Live 2012 (DVD/2 CD)

Neil Sedaka: The Show Goes On–Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Blu-ray)

Peter Gabriel: Live Blood (2 CD)

The Richard Thompson Band: Live at Celtic Connections (Blu-ray)

Saga: Spin It Again!–Live in Munich (2 CD)

Shania Twain: Still The One–Live in Las Vegas (Blu-ray)

Simply Red: Live at Montreux 2003 (Blu-ray)

1. After Newtown: Guns in America (PBS DVD)

2. The Booker (DVD)

3. Heaven Adores You: A Documentary Film About The Life & Music Of Elliott Smith (Blu-ray)

4. How To Survive A Plague (DVD)

5. Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued (Blu-ray)

6. Produced By George Martin (DVD)

7. Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? (DVD)


1. Don Rickles: TV Specials Volume 1

2. Highlights of the 2012 Masters Tournament (DVD)

3. Power Rangers: Trickster Treat (DVD)

4. Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show (DVD)

5. Transformers Prime: Ultimte Decepticons (DVD)


1. All Time Low–“Dirty Work”

2. Anders & Kendall–“Wild Chorus”

3. Beatallica–“Abbey Load”

4. The Blues Magoos–“Psychedelic Resurrection”

5. Bob Schneider–“A Perfect Day”

6. Breathe Carolina–“Hell Is What You Make It”

7. Buzz Cason–“Troubadour Heart”

8. Buzz Cason–“Record Machine”

9. The Dangerous Summer–“War Paint”

10. Daniel Guaqueta–“Saying Is Only Saying So Much” (EP)

11. Darkest Hour–“The Human Romance”

12. Derek Sherinian–“Black Utopia”

13. Device–“Device” (Clean)

14. Divided By Friday–“Prove It”

15. Empresarios–“The Vibes”

16. Eternal Voyager–“The Battle of Eternity”

17. Francesca Blanchard–“Deux Visions”

18. Glasscloud–“The Royal Thousand”

19. High on Fire–“Snakes for the Divine”

20. James Durbin–“Memories of a Beautiful Disaster”

21. Janus–“Nox Aeris”

22. Jefferson Grizzard–Learning How To Lie (X4)

23. Joe Gruschecky–“Somewhere East of Eden”

24. Kittie–“I’ve Failed You”

25. Laura Wilde–“Sold My Woul”

26. Limp Bizkit–“Three Dollar Bill Y’all”

27. Marillion–“Sounds That Can’t Be Made”

28. Marillion–“Sounds That Can’t Be Made (Special Edition)

29. Matt Skiba and the Sekrets–“Babylon”

30. Permanent Ability–“Bring It On”

31. Rebelution–“Count Me In”

32. Red Hot Chili Peppers–“Blood Sugar Sex Magik”

33. Roy Orbison–“Greatest Hits”

34. Saving Abel–“Bringing Down The Giant”

35. Shahidah Omar–“Freedom”

36. Something Unto Nothing–“Something Unto Nothing”

37. Tempt–“Under My Skin” (EP)

38. There For Tomorrow–“The Verge”

39. Throwdown–“Deathless”

40. Throwdown–“Intolerance”

41. Tim Chaisson–“The Other Side”

42. Uh Huh Her–“Future Souls”

43. Unbreakable–“Knock Out”

44. The Wild Beyond–“The Wild Beyond”

45. The Winery Dogs–The Winery Dogs (Special Edition)

46. Yellowcard–“When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes”