CBS All Access’ New ‘Star Trek’ Series Fails In Its First Season

Courtesy: CBS Television Studios/Paramount

In a little more than a month, CBS All Access’ latest entry into the Star Trek universe – Star Trek: Discovery — returns for its second season.  While audiences count the days until the fledgling series returns, they have its debut season to take in on DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of CBS Television Studios and Paramount Home Entertainment.  Released in stores Nov. 13 on separate DVD and Blu-ray sets, Season One’s home release offers both pros and cons to note, beginning with the series’ very writing.  It will be discussed shortly.  The set’s bonus content is its own positive, and will be discussed a little later.  The set’s average price point is also important to discuss, and will be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of the season’s presentation.  All things considered, the debut season of Star Trek: Discovery proves to be a new start for the Star Trek universe that is worth at least one watch, but sadly not much more.

The debut season of CBS All Access’ new Star Trek offering, Star Trek: Discovery is a rough new start for the Star Trek universe’s latest offering.  It is not the franchise’s worst entry, but definitely is not the franchise’s best entry, either.  That is due in part to the writing, which like Paramount’s 2009 big screen Star Trek reboot, is little more than just another revisiting of the Star Trek universe’s past.  It takes audiences into the past, attempting to show what led to the never-ending tensions between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.  The result is a presentation that conjures thoughts more of SyFy Channel’s most recent Battlestar Galactica reboot than any Star Trek entry, either on the big or small screen.  This is just the beginning of the problems with the writing, because the set-off is actually somewhat ambiguous.  Were the Klingons already planning to rise up before the incident with Michael Bernham and the Klingon warrior, or did it only happen after that incident?  Audiences know that said incident played at least in part to the conflict, but because of the dialogue featured throughout the early episodes of Season One, audiences will be left scratching their heads to a point as to that setup.

As season one progresses, it resurrects some ST story elements that are all too familiar to longtime ST fans.  One of those elements is a time loop arc. Another is the alternate universe story arc.  The time loop has been done already in Star Trek: The Next Generation while the alternate universe arc was used in Star Trek: TOS.  This series’ writers try to freshen up the time loop arc by setting it off through a character that fans of TOS will recognize, and while it does work to a point, the story starts to plod along after a while, getting lost in itself along the way.  The alternate universe arc proves even more problematic not only because it’s already been done, but also because it creates its own share of plot holes.  Not to give away too much for the sake of those who haven’t yet seen Season One, but if the alternate universe has the evil twins of the Discovery “prime” universe – the term “prime” is actually used by Berham in this arc – then where is the “good” twin of Capt. Lorca and the “evil” twin of Bernham?  Bernham’s doppelganger is mentioned by the “evil” Phillipa, but the writers never address where she is in a bigger sense.  Nor is it mentioned where the “good” Capt. Lorca is or if there even is a “good Capt. Lorca.  The writers try to explain it away in an early scene in the arc between Discovery’s Bernham and Lorca, but it is still ultimately left up in the air.  Even Paul Stamets’ double is introduced as he sits in a coma.  This is its own problem as one can’t help but make comparison to so many soap operas, as every major soap opera has done the coma “dream sequence” way too many times.  Getting back on track, even as Discovery gets back to its own universe, the whereabouts of the “evil” Discovery ship is not addressed, either.  Where is it?  Did it go back to its universe when Discovery jumped back to its universe?  Again, here audiences have a plot hole that is left wide open even as the writers struggle to address the situation in the story arc’s finale.

Another plot hole that is left wide open involves Bernham’s adoptive father, (who also proves to be the father of another even more well-known Star Trek character) Sarek.  Again, not to give away too much, but Sarek is rescued after his ship is sabotaged (in a moment that makes one think of something from Iron Man 3), but after his rescue, his character is ignored until the season’s final two episodes.  Audiences don’t hear from him after Bernham leaves him laying in sick bay, recovering from his wounds.  Next time he’s seen, he’s in full health.  This is problematic as it doesn’t take long after that instance for the problems to start again for Discovery.  Was Sarek still on the ship at that point?  When did he leave the ship?  Again, this is a plot hole that simply cannot be ignored.  It proves the writing that much more problematic.  This still is not the last of the issues raised through an examination of the writing.  The introduction of Lt. Tyler creates its own issue.

The introduction of Lt. Tyler is a direct comparison to Battlestar Galactica.  This critic will attempt to not give away too much information here, but the revelation about who and what Tyler is makes that comparison far too easy.  The recent reboot of Battlestar Galactica saw the Cylons infiltrate the humans’ ranks by making them look like the humans.  This in itself was a lifting from Terminator 2 (if not other previous movies and TV shows).  What the writers did here with Tyler is very similar, but instead of making him a robot, they made him something else.  Audiences who have yet to see this season will be left to make that discovery themselves, but it goes without saying that it has been done before.  In this case, it is the same thing, just altered slightly and in more gory fashion.

As if the general story elements, the plot holes and that they create, and the rehashing of another element are not enough, the smaller items of the writing prove just as problematic for this presentation.  There is lots of overt bloodshed, gore, sexual content and foul language.  Given, maybe her and there, there has been some mildly suggestive material in previous Star Trek incarnations, but never was it to the point that it is here.  There are flashes of a sex scene between one of the lead Klingon characters and another character late in the season’s run.  There is also enough bloodshed and overt violence to appease the most bloodthirsty person.  It’s a disappointment because none of the Star Trek universe’s other series’ needed any of that in order to be even mildly entertaining.  So, why did the writers think it was needed here?  Have audiences really become that dependent on violence and sexuality?  If so, then that is in itself is a troubling statement.

While the writing exhibited in the debut season of Star Trek: Discovery does a lot to detract from its presentation, the set is not a total loss.  That is thanks to the bonus content featured throughout the set.  Throughout the set, audiences are treated to featurettes, which focus on the series’ sets, costumes, makeup and even the philosophical aspects of the storylines as well as other items.  The discussions on the stories’ deeper ruminations are interesting, and do create at least a little bit of appreciation for the work that the writers put in.  After all, this is not the only Star Trek entry that has striverd to use its stories to create dialogues on certain deep topics.  However, it sadly is not enough to make up for the bigger problems posed through the writing.  The discussions on the sets and costumes make for fun glances behind the cameras,  Audiences will be interested to see how the costume and makeup departments used modern 3D printing technology alongside more traditional methodology to create the look of the Klingons.  In the same vein, the thought and effort put into the sets is just as interesting.  This feature will appeal just as much to theater production specialists as it will to general audiences.

As the season comes to an end, audiences are treated to another, different type of feature in the season retrospective, “The Journey of Season 1.”  This roughly 20-minute featurette features discussions from the show’s cast and creative heads about their favorite episodes and the importance of those episodes to the season’s overall presentation.  This brings everything full circle in regards to the bonuses.  It brings back those discussions on the season’s philosophical elements while also letting more people offer their own perspective on those themes.  Of course it is just one more of the bonus features worth watching.  The bonuses, including deleted scenes (at least one of which gives a hint about Season 2), are spread throughout the season’s discs.  This is important in that it shows Paramount and CBS Television Studios did not try to just cram a bunch of random featuerettes onto the last disc, unlike what so many other studios do.  It shows the companies wanted to give audiences the biggest bang for their buck.  They succeeded at that, too.

Speaking of bang for the buck, the set’s average price point is respectable.  The average price point for the season’s Blu-ray presentation – using prices listed at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million – comes to $39.86.  In other words it comes in at just under $40.  The DVD set’s average price – using those same outlets – comes to $32.14.  Both sets feature the same bonus content and the same episodes.  There is no real difference between the two platforms in terms of content.  Considering this, the pricing here is on part with other DVD and Blu-ray sets for other TV series, so there is that to appreciate.  Considering the entertainment that the bonus material (and to a slightly lesser degree, the primary content) offers, that makes both platforms’ average pricing respectable.  When this is considered alongside the noted bonus and primary content, the whole of Discovery: Season One proves worth at least one watch, but sadly, no more.

CBS All Access’ latest journey into the Star Trek universe, Star Trek: DiscoverySeason 1 is a presentation that is nothing like its predecessors.  More akin to Syfy’s most recent Battlestar Galactica reboot and Disney’s most recent Star Wars movies, this latest revisiting of the Star Trek universe history’s past (it has already been done in 2009 with Paramount’s big screen Star Trek reboot) suffers severely from writing problems, such as lagging story arcs that are often times overflowing with plot holes and general lack of creativity.  Additionally, the overall cinematic nature of the season, and the knowledge that the series is a serial (unlike its predecessors) makes this season feel more like one big movie than a general TV series.  Some people will like it, but others – like this critic – will very much dislike these aspects.  The bonus content spread across the set’s discs does at least a little bit to make up for the problems posed by the writing.  The average price point for the set’s separate DVD and Blu-ray platforms lets audiences know that their money spent was not entirely wasted.  Despite that affordable price point and the positives in the bonus material, the problems posed by the writing are just too much to overcome.  In general, the positives of the pricing and secondary content makes this set worth at least one watch, but sadly no more than that.  Star Trek: DiscoverySeason 1 is available now in stores and online.  More information on Star Trek: Discovery is available online now at:










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‘The Carol Burnett Show’ Deserved So Much More Than It Got From CBS On Its 50th Anniversary

Courtesy: Time Life

Over the course of 11 seasons, CBS’ The Carol Burnett Show was one of the biggest hits for the one-time powerhouse network.  Its mostly family-friendly brand of sketch comedy was the type of programming that sadly has been so lost today.  Thankfully Time Life has, over the past four to five years, released so much material from that timeless series, for the show’s original fans to enjoy along with a whole new generation of fans.  Late last year, CBS paid tribute (or so it would seem) to the legacy of The Carol Burnett Show with what was marketed as a 50th Anniversary celebration that was broadcast nationwide.  That broadcast was released on DVD Sept. 18 via Time Life and while it is worth at least one watch, it sadly falls short of being a true tribute to The Carol Burnett Show and its namesake.  One of the items that makes the presentation worth at least one watch is its clips of the classic variety show.  This will be discussed shortly.  Where the clips succeed, the celebrity interview segments sadly fall very short.  They collectively do more harm than good for the show’s presentation.  This will be discussed a little later.  The bonus material thankfully makes up – at least a little bit – for the damage done by the live segments.  Together with the clips of the series’ classic moments, that combination does just enough to make this presentation worth at least one watch, although it clearly falls short of expectations.

CBS’ attempt at a 50th Anniversary tribute to The Carol Burnett Show and its namesake host is a presentation that is worth at least one watch, but sadly not much more than that.  Rather, it falls quite short as a tribute, especially to what was and is one of the most important programs in CBS’ history and the history of television.  The clips of the program’s most notable moments are, collectively, among the only reasons to watch this home release of the special broadcast.  From the famed Gone With The Wind spoof to the clips of Tim Conway’s greatest moments (including the famous firefighter skit and the dry cleaners skit) to the now infamous “The Family” skit, which saw Conway tell his story about the Siamese elephants to Bernadette Peters’ performance of ‘All That Jazz’ and more, the clips presented in this special are the crown jewel of the special.  At least in watching the clips, audiences of all ages will be entertained, and maybe even be influenced to pick up any or all of the far more worthwhile Carol Burnett Show compilations that have been released ahead of this presentation.  As much as the clips do to make the DVD worth the watch, the interview segments counter the benefits of the clips.

The interview segments, which feature Carol Burnett talking to celebrities, such as Jay Leno, Jim Carey, Kaley Cuoco, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Jane Lynch and Steve Martin (just to name a handful) are honestly painful to watch.  That is because it is clear from the introductions to the interviews themselves that every moment has been rehearsed multiple times.  Even the baner, that is supposed to come across as natural, is anything but.  This is especially obvious through each figure’s body language in each segment.  From the clear camera turns (some of which were jumps ahead of the cues) to the obvious reading of the prompter time and again, to the way the groups even acted, none of the interview segments felt natural.  The problem with this is that it can so easily lead one to feel like the celebs tapped to take part were just going through the motions and did not fully want to be there.  Even the approaches to various topics and the tosses to the clips felt forced throughout.  Keeping all of this in mind, the live segments that are meant to be the central point of this “tribute” are clearly not a tribute, but more just an excuse for a celebrity showcase.  That is really sad, especially considering that this program was billed as a tribute to Burnett and her show.  Of course as much damage as those live segments do to this presentation, the bonus material included in its home release couples with the show’s bevy of classic clips to give audiences a little bit more to appreciate.

The bonus material is limited in this DVD, but is still at least somewhat entertaining.  The “Red Carpet Love” segment takes audiences to the red carpet ahead of the special, showing some actually natural moments that are also light hearted in the process.  This segment even features actual comments from the celebs themselves offering their well wishes and congratulations to Burnett.  It is nice to see, considering how forced their on-stage moments feel.  The commercial break interview segments are okay at best.  Burnett’s talk with now former Dancing With The Stars host Tom Bergeron is another moment that feels entirely forced.  There is also a discussion with what turns out to be some former dancers from The Carol Burnett Show who attended the show’s taping as audience members.  Between those two moments and the celeb interview segments, the whole thing just seems even more forced.  However, there was one funny and seemingly natural moment in which Carol Burnett Show designer Bob Mackie offers a rather witty joke about the shows costumes, which will not be repeated here for those who haven’t yet watched this presentation.  Keeping in mind all of this, the bonus material included in the home release of The Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special adds a little bit to the program’s enjoyment, albeit very little.  Luckily, it offers just enough that when coupled with the classic clips featured throughout the program, the whole of those elements makes for just enough to make the special worth at least one watch, but sadly not more.

CBS’ classic variety series The Carol Burnett Show is one of the greatest series to ever grace the airwaves.  It is also one of the elite series that made CBS a powerhouse in the network’s heyday.  Considering this, one would have thought that when the 50th anniversary of the series’ debut rolled around last year, the series would have gotten a huge tribute.  What was presented in its place was anything but entertaining.  Rather, as the recently released DVD presentation shows that it was little more than an opportunity for a celebrity showcase.  At least the program offers plenty of entertaining clips and a little bit of entertainment from the bonus material included in the DVD.  Considering all of this, the home release of The Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special proves to be worth at least one watch, but hardly a fitting tribute for a landmark series that deserved far more from CBS.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life is available online now at:










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‘The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Fifth Season’ Is Another Welcome Addition To Fans’ Collections

Courtesy: Paramount/CBS/CBS Home Entertainment

The 1960s is one of the greatest eras of the television industry.  It was during this great age that American audiences were treated to what has since become some of the most memorable television series of all time over just three networks.  ABC had Bewitched, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Batman.  NBC had Star Trek, Bonanza and Get Smart.  CBS meanwhile was the real powerhouse, turning out The Andy Griffith Show, Gilligan’s Island, The Beverly Hillbillies and so many other major hit series.  Thanks to a partnership between Paramount and CBS Home Video, many of those classic series have recently been released and re-issued on DVD and Blu-ray, either in part or in whole in recent years.  Nearly 40 years after the series was canceled as part of what has since become known as “the rural purge,” fans of The Beverly Hillbillies finally started getting proper, official releases of that award-winning series with the release of the series’ second season.  Almost five months after its release, Season Three got its first-ever official release.  Seasons Four and One would follow in 2014 and 16 respectively, and now on Oct. 2, Season Five finally will make its DVD debut thanks to that partnership between CBS and Paramount.  The fifth season of The Beverly Hillbillies is another enjoyable offering for audiences.  That is due in part to the work of the series’ writers.  This will be discussed shortly.  The work of the series’ cast is just as notable as that of the show’s writers, and will be discussed a little bit later.  The set’s average price rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the set’s presentation, as will be pointed out here.  All things considered, they make The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Fifth Season another welcome addition to the home library of any of this classic series’ fans.

The first-ever release of The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Fifth Season is a welcome addition to the home library of any of the classic series’ fans.  That is even with the release being a bare-bones set lacking any bonus features.  Even with that lack, it still proves a success overall.  That is due in no small part to the work of the series’ writers, as is evidenced throughout the season’s 30-episode run.  Right from the season’s outset, audiences get a nonstop laugh riot as Jethro tries to install a party line for Granny, so that she can be nosy.  It’s obvious in watching this episode, that it played a distinct influence in so many telephone jokes used in another of series creator Paul Henning’s series, Green Acres.  What makes this episode so entertaining is that it is still just as relevant today as it was way back in its debut on Sept. 14, 1966.  Every neighborhood, whether rich or not, has that one person who is a busybody and thinks that he or she just has to be all up in everybody’s business except for their own.  The result offers plenty of laughs.  The season’s Christmas episode, “The Christmas Present” is another wonderful example of why the writers’ work is still deserving of kudos to this day.  The Clampetts turn Christmas on its ear this time as they end up selling Mrs. Drysdale’s clothes; clothes that she was going to donate.  Of course, the Clampetts don’t know that she was going to donate the clothes.  Their whole purpose is to use the money to buy a present for her, so obviously, the comedy of errors (of sorts) that happens as a result offers its own share of laughs.  “Super Hawg,” which comes late in the season’s run, is yet another fun, original offering from the series’ writers this season.  This time out, the Clampetts discover a hippo for the first time and mistake it for a giant pig.  Of course, it just so happens that it’s in the Drysdales’ back yard because they are using it for another of Mr. Drysdale’s many schemes.  On a side note, one can’t help but think many of the same people who wrote for The Beverly Hillbillies must have written for Bewitched considering that Darrin’s boss, Larry Tate always had some scheme up his sleeve, and was very much like Mr. Drysdale in terms of his personality.  Getting back on track, the episodes noted here are just a few examples of what makes this season’s writing so enjoyable.  Even among the seemingly endless stream of stories centered on Granny trying to marry off Ellie May, Jethro trying to get a girl, and Jed having to play peacemaker in it all, there is still some originality this time.  One could cite the laugh riot episodes, “The Flying Saucer,” (which played on the B-movies of the time, and was also very similar to a certain episode of another hit CBS show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.) “Jed in Politics” and “Granny Retires” as three more examples of that continued originality.  When all of the episodes noted here are coupled with the rest of the season’s episodes, it becomes clear why the writers behind The Beverly Hillbillies deserve their own share of credit in this season.  Of course their work is only some of the work that deserves praise.  The cast’s work on screen deserves its own share of credit, too.

The cast’s work on camera, even despite some of the recurring story lines, shows why the series continued to be a leader on television even five seasons in.  Case in point here is Buddy Ebsen’s handling of Jed in ‘The Indians Are Coming.’  This episode, which came about halfway through Season Five, is one that clearly was so politically incorrect that there’s no way it would ever be on television today.  The episode sees Granny concerned that Native Americans want to take over the Clampett’s land back in the Ozarks, when in reality the issue is just a minor land dispute.  Jed, always having to play peace keeper, has to try to convince Granny that there is nothing to be concerned about.  His straight-man persona, set against Granny’s manic, close-minded character, makes for one of those classic odd-couple performances that makes classic television in general so beloved.  As the episode progresses, Mr. Drysdale, in his own uneducated mindset, dresses up as a Native American Chief to greet the two Native Americans who have come to Beverly Hills to discuss the land boundary issue.  Raymond Bailey (Vertigo, Tarantula, Picnic) does a spectacular job here displaying how close-minded and uneducated Americans of European descent were about Native Americans and their culture.  Sadly, many Americans are still somewhat uneducated and close-minded about Native Americans to this day.  To that end, Drysdale’s presence in this moment is another of those moments that is just as relevant today as it was in its original presentation.

A little earlier in the season’s run, a marketing scheme from Mr. Drysdale in “The Flying Saucer” leads to another outstanding performance from the series’ cast.  This time, Drysdale has hired a group of height-challenged (is that the correct term to use?) Italians to pose as aliens for yet another of his marketing schemes to promote his band.  Of course, being that the scheme is under wraps, Granny and Jethro (Irene Ryan – The Woman on the Beach, Petticoat Junction, Will You Stop! and Max Baer, Jr. – Macon County Line, The Wild McCullochs, Ode To Billy Joe) believe that the trio really is from another world.  Baer’s reaction, taking his suitcase out to the front of the Clampett mansion, waiting to be “picked up” is another of those classic moments because he really believes that other aliens are on the way to Earth.  Ryan’s take on Daisy/Grandma is equally entertaining as she is rather scared.  Again, there is that contrast of personalities.  The juxtaposition of Jethro and Granny’s reactions ensures audiences’ engagement, and again shows the continued talent of the series’ cast, give seasons into the show’s run.  It’s just one more example of the cast’s talent this season.  “Jed in Politics” is yet another example of that continued talent, as is “The Soup Contest” and “The Dahlia Feud.”  Between all of these noted episodes and those not noted here, it is clear from the season’s premiere to its finale, that the cast offers audiences just as much to appreciate as the show’s writers.  When the two elements are coupled, they form a solid foundation for The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Fifth Season.  When one takes into consideration this season’s average price point, it proves to be money well-spent.

Using prices from Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Amazon, the set’s average price point comes to $21.48.  The most affordable price seems (at the time of this posting) to be from Amazon, at $20.59.  Considering that the set is a bare-bones presentation that lacks any bonus features, one might think that even $21.48 is a little expensive.  But taking into consideration the enjoyment that all 30 episodes offer audiences, that lack of bonus material can actually be overlooked.  What’s more, the very fact that audiences are presented with 30 episodes (instead of the current standard of 12-13 episodes presented in today’s shows), that leads to nearly 12 hours of enjoyment for audiences of all ages.  That enjoyment will lead audiences to agree that even without any bonus material to compliment the episodes, that noted average price of almost $22 is in fact actually quite affordable and worth paying in the end.  Keeping all of this in mind, that affordable price point, set alongside the entertaining writing and acting, makes The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Fifth Season another enjoyable addition to the home library of any of this classic series’ fans.  More information on this and other titles from CBS Home Entertainment is available online now at:






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Adelitas Way Signs New Management Deal With FM Music Management

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Veteran rock band Adelitas Way has signed a new management deal.

The band signed a new deal this week with FM Music Management.  The artist management company’s roster includes other big names such as Nonpoint (whose new album X is scheduled to be released this Friday, August 24 via Spinefarm Records), Kataklysm, Through Fire, Royal Bliss, Deadset Society, Keith Wallen, Spoken and others.

FMM Partner/Manager Dino Kourelis talked about the band’s addition to the agency’s roster in a recent interview.  He said he was glad to have the band as part of the agency’s roster.

“We are excited to bring Adelitas Way in to the FM Management family,” Kourelis said.  “Adelitas Way continues to evolve and push the envelope in rock, and and Rick’s [DeJesus — Adelitas Way front man] passion and work ethic is unrivaled.  We look forward to helping them continue to climb.”

DeJesus shared Kourelis’ thoughts.

“My vision for Adelitas Way is clear and the mission is clear,” DeJesus said.  “We are going to continue to master our craft and grow to a point that is part of setting an example for all artists who see our story!  That takes a great team.  I’m excited for Fuel Music/the Vegas Syn to combine powers with an innovative, forward thinking company with my friend Frank Mastalerz leading the way with FM Music Management.  He has built an amazing team of music peers I’ve been working with for many years, and I’m looking forward to more exciting opportunities to grow.  Let’s do what we do best.”

Adelitas Way originally formed in 2006 and released its debut self-titled album in 2009 via Virgin Records.  That record was followed up in 2011 with its sophomore album Home School Valedictorian, which was released, also via Virgin Records.  Stuck, the band’s third album, was released in 2014, and would be its last for Virgin Records.

Its fourth album, 2016’s Getaway, was its first for The Vegas Syn/Fuel Music.  Notorious followed more than a year later in October 2017.  It was also released via the Vegas Syn/Fuel Music.

Adelitas Way’s music has been featured on television in various ways throughout its career.  That includes being featured in various WWE programs (and even in at least one WWE video game) and NFL programs on ESPN and FOX.  It has even been featured in an episode of CBS’ CSIMiami.

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group/Seek&Strike/Spinefarm Records

Adelitas Way will join Fozzy on the road starting this Saturday, August 25 in Birmingham, Alabama for the latest leg of Fozzy’s tour in support of its most recent album Judas (2017).  Also joining the band as suppor for Fozzy are The Stir and Stone Broken, which will be touring in support of its latest album Ain’t Always Easy (released April 13 via Spinefarm Records).

More information on Adelitas Way is available online now at:






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‘Zoo: Season 3’ Release Date Announced

Courtesy: CBS Home Entertainment

The third and final season of CBS’ hit drama Zoo is coming home.

Zoo: Season Three is currently scheduled to be released Tuesday, Dec. 12 in stores and online. Season three originally aired on CBS between June 29 and Sept. 21, 2017 and featured 13 episodes.

This season sees a number of stories including the revelation about who might have created the killer animals in “Welcome To The Terra Dome” and the revelation that Jackson can communicate with the hybrids in “Stakes on a Plane” along with the continuing the hunt for The Shepherds’ leader and much more.

Zoo: Season Three will retail for MSRP of $29.99 and can be pre-ordered online now. Its total run time is nine hours, 15 minutes. More information on this and other titles from CBS Home Entertainment is available online now at:




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‘Green Acres: The Complete Series’ Is A Must Have For Any Classic TV Fan

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is going “Green” next month.  That is because for the first time ever, the renowned home entertainment company will release to the masses Green Acres: The Complete Series.  The six-season set is currently expected to be released in stores and online Tuesday, Oct. 17.  Those fans who have waited for so long for its release will be happy to know that with this forthcoming release, the wait was well worth it.  That is due in no small part to the episodes.  This will be discussed shortly.  The set’s packaging is another important part of its presentation that cannot and should not be ignored, and will be discussed later.  The bonus material included in this package rounds out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own right to the set’s presentation.  All things considered, the first-ever run of Green Acres: The Complete Series proves, again, to have been well worth the wait and one that is easily one of this year’s best new box sets for grown-ups.

Shout! Factory’s forthcoming release of Green Acres: The Complete Series is a set that fans of the classic sitcom will find was well worth the wait.  That is especially the case considering that its release next month will mark the first time that the show has ever received a full-series treatment.  That is due in part to the episodes presented here.  From start to finish, audiences get all 170 episodes of the classic series, including the series’ rare pilot episode, which even has its own audio commentary track featuring thoughts from pop culture historian Russell Dyball.  That commentary is just one of the bonuses included in the set that will be discussed later.  Getting back on the subject, this set marks the first time that all 170 episodes of the largely family friendly series have ever been released together or otherwise.  What’s more, each episode looks and sounds just as good as they did in their original broadcasts if not better.  This is a real tribute to the series’ fans on the part of Shout! Factory and MGM, and both companies are to be commended for those efforts.  That is just one of the reasons that both companies should be commended here.  The set’s packaging is deserving of just as much praise as the episodes and their presentation.

The packaging used for Green Acres: The Complete Series is once more everything that audiences have come to expect from box sets released via Shout! Factory.  All six seasons of the classic sitcom are set in their own cases with the discs themselves being placed on their own plates inside the boxes.  Even with four discs being placed inside each case (for a total of 24 discs), the cases are still standard single-disc DVD size cases, showing once again how much thought was obviously put into the set’s packaging.  While separating the seasons out into separate cases might have expanded the set’s overall packaging, it is a sacrifice worth having to make in order to preserve the discs, and in turn, the series.  What’s more, even while this method might expand the packaging, it still in essence doesn’t expand it too much.

The physical aspect of the set’s packaging is only one part of what makes this element stand out.  Once again, Shout! Factory has included inside each season’s case, a chronological episode listing for audiences that includes a short but concise summary for each episode, the episode’s original air date and title.  The result here is two-fold.  One on level, the episode title and summary helps audiences decide which episode(s) they want to watch at one point or another.  On another level, the air date serves as its own starting point for perhaps a history lesson on the episode and even the series.  In other words, the set’s packaging is pleasing not just for its physical aspect but for its aesthetic aspect, too.  Keeping all of this in mind, it becomes clear why this collection’s packaging is just as important as its episodes, if not more important.  Of course it is not the last of the set’s most important elements.  The set’s bonus material forms the set’s cornerstone.

The bonus material included with Green Acres: The Complete Series offers just as much entertainment as the series’ episodes if not more.  That is because of its quantity and quality.  As previously noted, the series’ pilot episode can be viewed both by itself and with an isolated audio commentary track from pop culture historian Russell Dyball.  Dyball’s commentary both entertains and informs audiences of all ages with his insight.  The Granby’s Green Acres radio broadcasts, which are also briefly discussed in the bonus featurette Green Acres Is The Place To Be.  Audiences get to experience for themselves here just some of the episodes from the short-lived radio broadcast series, which was the foundation for Green Acres.  After taking in those broadcasts and learning about them through the aforementioned bonus discussion with author Stephen Cox, audiences gain a whole new respect and appreciation for the series in both incarnations.  Speaking of Cox’s discussion, his discussion about Green Acres’ radio roots is just one of so many topics that he covers in his featurette. Along with that discussion, he also touches on the series’ connections to I Love Lucy, The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and other series through casting, production and other topics.  That is just the tip of the iceberg, too.  He also goes into depth about the off-screen friendship between the series’ stars, Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor—there was nothing romantic there, so no one should get their hopes up for any gossip—the fact that Albert and Gabor were not the original picks for the show’s leads and why, the series’ animal stars and their training and even the importance of the series’ theme song as a scene setter for the show among so much more.  Between his in-depth discussions and those from Dyball, audiences get more than they could have hoped for in terms of engagement and entertainment.  The radio broadcasts and Merv Griffin Show appearances starring Albert and Gabor collectively add even more entertainment.  From one item to the next, it is clear that the bonus material included with Green Acres: The Complete Series is pivotal to this set’s presentation.  It collectively succeeds, too.  When it is considered alongside the series’ full 170-episode presentation and the continued standard-setting packaging, all three elements join to make this first-time release one that was well worth the wait and the money.  They join to make the set one of the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming release of Green Acres: The Complete Series is definitely one that was well worth the wait.  It is also one of the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups (and maybe even families in whole, which the world needs more of in this day and age).  From the presentation of its full 170-episode run to its continued bar-setting packaging to its equally entertaining and engaging bonus material, it offers plenty for audiences to appreciate.  Considering that, audiences will agree when they experience it for themselves–once more-that it was well worth the wait and the cost.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:










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CBS Sports, Turner Sports Announce More Round One, Round Two Tip-Off Times

Courtesy: Turner Sports

Tip-off times for the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s College Basketball Championship Tournament have been announced.

CBS Sports and Turner Sports have revealed the start times for their coverage of second round games in this year’s tournament.  They include the tip-off times for the last of the Round One games today.

Round One wraps today beginning at 12:15 p.m. ET on CBS as Michigan and Oklahoma State hit the hardwood live from Indianapolis.  Baylor and New Mexico State tip off at 12:45 p.m. ET on truTV live from Tulsa, while Arkansas and Seton Hall face off live from Greenville, SC.  TBS will carry coverage of Oregon and Iona at 2 p.m.

More games are scheduled for each network on the afternoon and evening slate. The networks’ evening Round One coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. as Kansas and UC Davis go toe-to-toe. Round One wraps with a concession game between UCLA and Kent State late tonight.

Round Two coverage begins Saturday at 12:10 on CBS as Notre Dame and West Virginia face off live from Buffalo.  Willanova and Wisconsin follow that game.  CBS will also carry the first of Round Two’s afternoon games as Gonzaga takes on Northwestern live from Salt Lake City.

Turner Sports’ Round Two coverage begins with coverage of Florida State and Xavier beginning at 6:10 p.m. live from Orlando on TNT.  Butler and Middle Tennessee State will play live from Milwaukee beginning at 7:10 p.m. on TBS.  The rest of the night’s games will be spread across CBS and Turner Sports’ networks.


More information on CBS Sports’ coverage of the tournament is available online now along with all of the organization’s news at:








More information on Turner Sports’ coverage of the tournament is available online now along with all of the organization’s news at:









To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at