Time Life’s Latest Hee Haw Collection Is Another “Time”-less Treasure

Courtesy:  Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment

CBS was at time the single greatest network on television.  It was home to so many great shows from every genre of programming.  Sadly today it has become little more than a pale shell of its former self.  Thankfully though, Time Life Entertainment has over recent years has been bringing many of those classics back to life on DVD.  One of the most notable of those series to be resurrected by Time Life Entertainment is CBS’ answer to NBC’s Laugh In, Hee Haw.  Time Life Entertainment has already released a number of Hee Haw collections over the years.  And now it will release one more collection next month in the form of a triple-disc set simply titled The Hee Haw Collection.  The main reason that this collection stands out for audiences is its inclusion of five episodes from the series.  While their inclusion is not the first time that they have been featured in one of Time Life’s Hee Haw collections, it does mark the first time that they have all been featured together in one setting.  Even the five-disc collection released in 2007 doesn’t feature the episodes included in this set together.  And up until now it had been the most extensive Hee Haw collection released to date.  The content contained within the episodes is just as important to note as the episodes themselves.  Between the deep fried jokes and the outstanding classic country performances, audiences of all ages and types.  The set’s production values round out the package.  Considering that at least two of the episodes featured here have been included in previous Hee Haw collections it goes without saying that they look and sound quite good.  The others look and sound just as impressive.  That being the case, it is safe to say that audiences will enjoy each episode and even the bonus material even more.  In enjoying the set so much, it will leave audiences hoping just as much as this critic that sooner rather than later Time Life Entertainment will start releasing Hee Haw’s complete season sets rather than teasing them with so many compilations.  Regardless of whether or not that happens, at least viewers will have this latest collection that they will love to watch time and again.

Time Life Entertainment’s latest collection of episodes from CBS’ classic comic variety series Hee Haw is yet another great piece for anyone that grew up watching this series.  It is just as much a piece that even those audiences today looking to escape all of the dramas and serials will enjoy.  That is because it is one more example of everything that once made television (and more directly CBS) great.  It presents five timeless episodes of the classic series on three discs; five episodes that will have audiences slapping their knees and laughing so hard that they cry tears of joy.  Of the five episodes featured in this set, it can be said with certainty that at least two of the episodes have been previously presented in other Hee Haw compilations.  Even with that in mind, it is not necessarily a bad thing.  That is because of the overall difficulty of finding any of the episodes featured in this collection.  Even if the other episodes have been previously featured in other Hee Haw sets the same argument still applies with them.  That being the case, all five episodes included in this latest collection, together with its bonus interviews and comedy reels, go a long way toward making The Hee Haw Collection well worth the purchase and the watch.  This is the case regardless of whether or not audiences already own other Hee Haw compilations.

The episodes and bonus material that has been jammed into The Hee Haw Collection’s new three-disc collection are more than enough reason for any viewer to add this set to their personal home DVD library.  That is the case regardless of whether or not they already own any of Time Life’s previous Hee Haw collections.  Looking at the set more closely, the material that makes up this collection is just as important as the episodes and bonus material.  The material in question is largely the type of material of which viewers such as this critic can only dream today.  It is composed of jokes that are largely family friendly alongside musical numbers from guest performers that are themselves the polar opposite of today’s big budget TV performances.  The set for the performers is simple.  The songs are simple.  Even the performers’ attire is simple.  There are no splashy, over the top outfits that leave nothing to the imagination either from the men or women.  The jokes include favorites such as the patient in the doctor’s office, telling the doctor of an ailment to which the doctor replies: “Don’t do that!” and even playful impersonations of different people and animals.  Even some of the musical performances themselves include little jokes for good measure.  Many of those moments in question come from Buck Owens and Roy Clark.  And they will have audiences laughing just as much as the show’s skits.  Whether for the laughs from those skits or for the entertainment offered by the classic performances by country’s biggest and most respected names, all of the content contained in The Hee Haw Collection is material that the whole family will enjoy and can enjoy alone or even better, together.  That is the best note of all.  The whole family can enjoy every bit of the set’s content.  That is nearly impossible to say of today’s programming.  For that reason alone both this set and Time Life Entertainment deserve two huge thumbs up.  One can only hope that for all of the Hee Haw collections that Time Life has released over the years, it will make even more available in the not too distant future not just as standalone sets but as entire season sets.  There’s a huge, not so subtle hint to the people at Time Life should they read this review.

The episodes contained within Time Life’s new Hee Haw Collection and the content therein are both key to the set’s overall success and enjoyment.  Of course if not for the work of those charged with restoring the vintage footage none of the material presented in this set would be worth even one watch.  Thankfully though, their efforts paid off in spades.  All five episodes are presented in their original 4:3 aspect ratio as are the bonus comedy bits and interviews.  What’s more every bit of the material maintains its original standard definition look.  Even when played on hi-def televisions, that original look doesn’t hold it back.  Believe it or not, there are those classic TV shows that when played back on a hi-def television look absolutely horrid.  They will remain nameless here.  Audiences know the shows.  That being said, the video portion of the episodes and bonus material looks surprisingly impressive even with some of it having been presented previously.  The same can be said of the audio, too.  Considering that all five episodes were lifted from very early in the series’ run (The episodes were pulled from the years between 1969 – 1973), it is incredible to hear such clean audio even all these years later.  Together with the equally impressive video mix, the overall production values presented in Time Life’s new Hee Haw Collection make the set in whole that much more worth the watch regardless of audiences’ familiarity with this classic and timeless series.  Together with the episodes presented here and their material therein, the set in whole proves to be one that anyone looking for real television and real worthwhile television will enjoy.  With any luck it will be just the latest stepping stone to Time Life finally releasing the series in whole or at least in its much needed (and deserved) full season standalone sets.  Regardless of whether or not that happens, it still stands on its own merits as a collection that audiences of all ages will welcome in their home DVD libraries.

Time Life Entertainment’s new Hee Haw Collection is yet another wonderful piece of television history.  It is a collection that both the series’ original fans and those within this generation looking to escape the monotony of television’s current offerings will equally appreciate.  That is evident in the set’s collective episodes and bonus material and the actual material presented within each.  The material is the kind of thing that is almost unheard of today.  Simply put it is material that the entire family can and should enjoy together.  The overall look and sound of the vintage footage rounds the whole thing out, making every bit of the footage and each of the episodes in question completely worth the watch and in turn the set in whole yet another welcome addition to any classic TV fan’s home DVD library.  The Hee Haw Collection will be available in stores and online Tuesday, September 8th. More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://timelife.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

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Shout! Factory To Begin Releasing The Nanny’s Standalone Season Sets Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/CBS

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/CBS

Late this spring Shout! Factory ended a long wait for fans of CBS’ modern classic sitcom The Nanny when it released the series in its entirety in the form of The Nanny: The Complete Series. For fans that might not have been lucky enough to get their hands on that set, Shout! Factory has announced that it will begin releasing the series’ standalone season sets next month beginning with the series’ fourth season.

Shout! Factory will release The Nanny: Season Four on Tuesday, September 22nd. The twenty-six-episode run includes plenty of laughs and just as many big-name guest stars including: Bette Midler, Donald Trump, Pamela Anderson, Celine Dion, Jon Stewart, Jason Alexander, and Joan Collins among many others. One of those guest stars–Jason Alexander (Seinfeld)–appears in the season premiere “The Tart With A Heart.” Alexander plays a blind man named Jack in this episode. Fran picks up Jack at a singles bar after tensions rise between herself, Mawell, and C.C. The tensions in question rise from the revelation that Maxwell in fact hired Fran only for her looks. Of course things don’t go quite as Fran planned with Jack in the long run leading to an interesting outcome between Fran and Maxwell. There’s an equally classic story line later in the season in “Kissing Cousins” in which guest star Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) plays Frans cousin. The catch is that Fran doesn’t realize that Stewart’s character is in fact her cousin. This leads to plenty of laughs thanks to a battle of the sexes of sorts between Fran and Maxwell. In “You Bette Your Life” famed singer/actress Bette Midler appears as herself when Maxwell decides to assemble a charity auction. The auction leads to Fran becoming the babysitter for a talented young 10-year old piano player. Things don’t exactly go as planned for Fran and Maxwell in this episode as the sight of an elderly person dying while he performed at a nursing home puts a multi-million dollar deal from the boy’s father in jeopardy. There are plenty more laughs for fans throughout the season’s twenty-six total episodes. And audiences will get to enjoy them for themselves when The Nanny: Season Four is released next month.  Season Four’s complete episode listing is noted below.

Episodes

EPISODE EPISODE TITLE
1 The Nanny: The Tart With Heart
2 The Nanny: The Cradle Robbers
3 The Nanny: The Bird’s Nest
4 The Nanny: The Rosie Show
5 The Nanny: Freida Needa Man
6 The Nanny: Me And Mrs. Joan
7 The Nanny: The Taxman Cometh
8 The Nanny: An Affair To Dismember
9 The Nanny: Tattoo
10 The Nanny: The Car Show
11 The Nanny: Hurricane Fran
12 The Nanny: Danny’s Dead And Who’s Got The Will?
13 The Nanny: Kissing Cousins
14 The Nanny: The Fifth Wheel
15 The Nanny: The Nose Knows
16 The Nanny: The Bank Robbery
17 The Nanny: Samson, He Denied Her
18 The Nanny: The Facts Of Lice
19 The Nanny: Fran’s Roots
20 The Nanny: The Nanny And The Hunk Producer
21 The Nanny: The Passed-Over Story
22 The Nanny: No Muse Is Good Muse
23 The Nanny: You Bette Your Life
24 The Nanny: The Heather Biblow Story
25 The Nanny: The Boca Story
26 The Nanny: Fran’s Gotta Have It

The Nanny: Season Four will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, September 22nd. It will retail for MSRP of $34.99. It can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $29.99 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/the-nanny-season-four. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two More Than Lives Up To Its Title

Courtesy:  Paramount/CBS DVD

Courtesy: Paramount/CBS DVD

Next Tuesday, Paramount and CBS DVD will release the second season of CBS’ classic sitcom I Love Lucy on Blu-ray. It comes a little more than a year after the release of the series’ first season on Blu-ray. Its release marks the first time ever that Season Two has been released in this format. Now, it is easy to question the importance of the show’s fans having this collection in their home collections considering the number of networks on which it currently airs–TV Land, Hallmark Channel, Me-TV, and possibly others. That is a lot of coverage. However, not everybody out there has access to each of the noted networks for one reason or another. That being the case and that it’s not always that easy to find the DVD box sets at the likes of Wal-Mart or Target (one has to be lucky enough to find them at either retail outlet), it increases the importance of this latest collection by quite a bit. It is just one element worth noting in regards to why audiences will appreciate this latest release even despite the one major issue of its price. The writing behind each of the set’s thirty-one episodes is one more reason and by relation the work of the series’ cast within each episode. Last but most definitely not least worth noting to the set’s positives is the massive amount of bonus material included throughout the five-disc set. From the episode-specific commentaries to the multiple viewing options of the set’s timeless season premiere “Switching Jobs” to the multiple viewing options of each episode overall, these bonuses and many more complete the positive viewing experience of I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two. Each element in its own makes this collection well worth the addition to any I Love Lucy fan’s home collection. Collectively, they make it an ultimate tribute to a series and the series’ fans even despite its rather high price tag.

Paramount and CBS DVD’s upcoming release of I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two marks the first time ever that the series’ second season has seen the light of day on Blu-ray (say that two times fast). Being that the series has already been released both in a full-series set and in its own standalone season sets, one can’t help but wonder why one would want to add this new standalone season set to one’s home collection. The answer is simple. It is the first of a number of reasons that it is worth the purchase even despite the relatively high price tag. While the noted DVD sets are currently available for purchase, one must get lucky to find any of the sets in question in any retail outlet. This means that it is easier for audiences to purchase said sets online. Here’s the problem with that. Not everybody shops online. Whether it be for concerns of security, which are fully justified especially in this day and age, or simply for lack of internet access, shopping online is not for everybody. The next argument is one of the show’s coverage on television today. Currently, I Love Lucy runs on no fewer than three networks–Hallmark Channel, TV Land, and Me-TV–on television. That could be argued to be plenty of reason for audiences to not pick up this set. The rebuttal here is that as with the online shopping option, not everybody has access to one or more of said networks. In some regions, issues with certain carriers has eliminated access to Viacom’s networks, thus eliminating TV Land. In others, a network such as Hallmark Channel is considered a premium channel available only via a digital tier. And in regards to Me-TV, it is growing every day in its reach. However still not every household in America has access to Me-TV. Considering all of this, it makes the presentation of Season Two in its complete all the more important for fans of all ages. Add in the fact that not everybody shops online and its upcoming release in stores makes it all the more important while it is available. These issues are in themselves strong arguments in favor of adding I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two to fans’ collections. It is hardly the only argument in favor of the brand new box set. The work of the series’ writers in Season Two adds even more fire to the argument in its favor.

The issues with the access to I Love Lucy’s DVD box sets both in stores and online make a solid argument in favor of adding I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two to audiences’ personal home libraries. Those issues are only the tip of the iceberg in the argument in favor of the brand new box set. The work of the series’ writers this season and by correlation the series’ cast adds even more strength to that argument. Season Two sees some of the most memorable episodes of the series’ entire six-season run including the beloved, timeless season premiere “Job Switching” and the multi-part story arc that follows Lucy’s pregnancy. “Job Switching” is one of the most beloved of I Love Lucy’s one hundred and eighty episodes if not its single-most beloved and timeless episodes. It is a clear example of why the work of the show’s writers is just as pivotal in Season Two as any of the series’ other seasons. This classic battle-of-the-sexes episode sees Ricky and Fred change places with Lucy and Ethel. The prior become the stay-at-home figures while the latter go out to find work. While Lucy and Ethel’s scenes trying their hands as candy makers are the episode’s most memorable of the episode, they are just part of what makes this episode such a laugh riot. The writers’ ability to make Ricky and Fred into just as much a pair of bumblers keeps the men and women on the same level. Audiences will be left in stitches as they see Fred completely char a cake he was trying to bake and Ricky completely losing track and control of a pot of rice. In the same vein, Ricky trying to clean the chickens (yes, he actually tries to clean them) makes for just as many laughs. On the other side of the proverbial coin, watching Lucy and Ethel sitting at the employment agency, trying to get a job in the first place is well worth its share of laughs, too. On another level, the manner in which the writers switched up the couples’ gender roles even before everything unravels (both literally and figuratively) will have viewers laughing just as uproariously. Fred and Ricky both sporting frilly aprons is hilarious in itself. Lucy reading the paper, drinking her coffee and ignoring Ricky is even funnier. And then there is Fred’s comment about Ethel not kissing him goodbye as she and Lucy leave. This is yet another great moment. The commentary about this moment and so many others throughout the episode show even more why the efforts of the show’s writers make this episode such a laugh riot. Said commentary will be discussed later. Getting back on topic, this episode is just one, rich example of how the work of the show’s writers makes this season of I Love Lucy well worth the watch. The multi-part story arc following Lucy’s real life pregnancy is another pivotal example of the importance of the writers’ work.

“Job Switching” is in itself a clear example of why the work of I Love Lucy’s writers is so important to the show’s overall success and enjoyment. It is just one example of why their work is so important, too. The multi-part story arc that follows Lucy’s pregnancy is another prime example of the importance of their work. Lucy’s real life pregnancy marked the first time ever that a TV series’ heads had allowed an actress’ pregnancy to be played out on television. Discussing pregnancy in general at the time was considered a major taboo for TV. Men and women at the time couldn’t even sleep in the same bed on television thanks to the censors. So to have her pregnancy directly addressed and even tied into the series is in itself is hugely important. The manner in which the writers handled her pregnancy makes these episodes even more key. Audiences will find themselves laughing just as much in the arc’s lead episode “Lucy Is Enceinte” as they will any of the arc’s others. There is a lot of truth even today in “Pregnant Women Are Unpredictable.” Lucy gets mad at Ricky here because she thinks he loves their baby more than her only to turn and get mad at the episode’s end because he had made no mention of the baby. The setting in which this moment happens makes for its own share of laughs even today. Men and women both will laugh because, again, they know that there is a lot of truth here. Even more to the positive is the fact that the writers handled the issue with such tact and playfulness. Much as with “Job Switching” the writers poked fun at both the mood swings that many women experience in pregnancy and the general inability of men to comprehend or even handle them. It is yet another example of everything that was once great about comic writing, proving again why the work of the show’s writers is so important to the overall enjoyment and success of I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two. It is not the last example of the importance of their work, either. “Lucy Becomes A Sculptress” is yet another example of what makes Season Two such a hit.

“Lucy Becomes A Sculptress” is another prime example of the importance of the work of I Love Lucy’s writers for not just one reason but two. The first reason is that it is actually a two-part episode in itself. It is part of that multi-part story arc that followed Lucy’s pregnancy. But it is also its own standalone episode that put Lucy into one of so many outrageous situations. In the case of this episode, Lucy decides to try her hand at sculpting art and even goes so far as to get an art critic to come in and judge her *ahem* work. As any fan knows, she becomes her work, leading to what is one of the all-time greatest episodes in the history of both “I Love Lucy” and of television in whole. Lucy’s initial attempts at creating art are in themselves worthy of more than their share of laughs, again putting the talents of the series’ writers on full display. It is just one more of so many ways throughout Season Two’s thirty-one total episodes in which the writers’ talents are put on full display. All thirty-one episodes considered together, they show with the fullest clarity why the writing behind the second season of I Love Lucy is so important to its general effect. Even with all of the laughs that the writing brings in each episode, the work of the writers is just one element that is worth noting. The work of the show’s cast is just as worth noting.

The work of I Love Lucy’s writers in the show’s second season led to what are considered today to be largely some of the series’ best episodes and some of the most timeless episodes in television’s history in whole. Of course, as impressive as the writing proves to be , it would have been nothing without the work of the show’s cast yet again. The work of the cast–Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley–is perfect from the season’s premiere to its finale. That is obvious in the season premiere when Lucy and Ethel struggle to keep the chocolates from getting past them on the conveyor belt. It is just as evident in this episode when Lucy and Ricky switch their household gender roles. Lucy is spot on as she sits at the table reading the paper and drinking her coffee, not paying any attention to Ricky as he talks. There is a lot of truth to that scene even today some six decades plus later. The truth is on both sides. The back and forth between Ball and Vance as Lucy and Ethel vie for head of the Wednesday Afternoon Fine Arts League is another example of the importance of the cast’s work. The lengths that the pair reaches in its attempts to obtain that elusive leadership position is so hilarious not so much because it is this pair in question but because it is a situation that could apply both to women and men alike. It just so happened that in the case of this episode it was Lucy and Ethel that went toe to toe over the group’s position of leadership. Another example of the importance of the cast’s work this season comes early on in Lucy’s pregnancy as Lucy wants to initially tell Ricky that they are going to be parents. His reaction after learning he has to sing a song to an expecting couple is wonderful. He goes from table to table, singing happy birthday, becoming increasingly nervous as he tries to find out who the lucky couple is. The ultimate reveal that it is in fact him and Lucy will put a smile on any viewer’s face both from joy and the laughter at his reaction as he tries to solve the riddle so to speak. It is one more way that the work of the show’s cast throughout this season makes the season so enjoyable and a must have for any of the series’ fans.

Everything noted already in regards to I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two makes a solid argument why fans of this timeless sitcom should have the brand new Season Two standalone box set in their own home libraries. For all of the importance of each already noted element, there is still one more element worth noting in regards to this set. That final element is the massive amount of bonus material included with the set. As with the previously released Season One box set, Season Two includes among its bonus features: multiple episode-specific commentaries for starters. One of the commentaries in question centers on the season premiere. Audiences will be interested to learn in this episode that Ricky’s bumbling around in the kitchen was just an act. He was, as is revealed, in fact quite the accomplished chef. Just as interesting is the scene in which Lucy and Ethel prepare to leave and look for a job. Fred tells Ethel that she forgot to kiss him goodbye here. It is a great switching of gender roles. Even more interesting is the revelation in the commentary is that this moment was actually wiped from the episode. According to the commentary, it was not the censors that had it eliminated. Rather it is inferred that it might have been Vivian Vance herself who had it removed. If in fact it was her who had it removed, one can’t help but wonder why. Perhaps there was tension off camera between her and co-star William Frawley. It’s anyone’s guess. Regardless, it is definitely an intriguing tidbit to learn. These are just a couple of extras that make the work of the series’ writers so enjoyable this season. It is just one more reason that the commentary included in this episode proves to be a bonus in every sense of the word. It is not the only episode that receives the bonus commentary treatment, either. There are others throughout the season’s run that get their own commentary, too. The commentaries are only the tip of the iceberg in regards to the bonus material included in this box set. Audiences get to see “Job Switching” both in their own standalone black-and-white presentation and color presentation. There is also an option to watch the episode with its own French-Canadian presentation, which included its own special opening and closing graphics, and French-Canadian audio track. This is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the set’s bonus material. There is far more to discuss including other episode viewing options.

The multiple viewing options offered for Season Two’s premiere are bonuses in their own right and fully deserving of being called bonuses. They are however anything but the only bonuses included in this set. Audiences are also treated to the option of watching every episode with or without their original opening and closing sponsor segments from Phillip Morris. The Phillip Morris segments even include a clear disclaimer noting the now known dangers of smoking and that neither Paramount nor CBS DVD advocate smoking in any form. Both companies are to be highly commended for taking this measure along with giving viewers the season’s run in its original presentation. On the same note, audiences can watch each episode with or without their original “heart” openings. As if all of this isn’t enough, Paramount and CBS DVD have also included with this set, the entire story arc involving Lucy’s pregnancy in the special Lucy movie I Love Lucy: The Movie as well as even more installments of the beloved radio series My Favorite Husband. Audiences will note in the select commentaries included throughout this season that it was My Favorite Husband that led to many of its episodes as well as episodes from other seasons of I Love Lucy. There is much more to note, including a sketch from the Red Skelton Show, guest profiles, an episode guide printed on the indie front and back of the set’s case, and so much more. But to go into each one would take far more time and space than is available. Considering that and everything already noted, it is safe to say that the bonus material included in I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two more than lives up to its title and in turn shows yet again why this season in whole also lives up to its name even despite its rather high price tag.

I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two shows in so many ways why it lives up to its title. Its very availability versus that of the series’ previous DVD releases lies at the heart of the ways in which it lives up to its name. The collective work of the show’s writers and cast once again makes for so many laughs and even heartfelt moments from beginning to end. The material included in the set as bonuses more than lives up to its title, too. The end result of all of these factors together is a box set that is in fact the ultimate Season Two experience for any fan of I Love Lucy. I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two will be available in stores and online Tuesday, August 4th. More information on this and other titles from Paramount and CBS DVD is available online now at:

CBS HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Website: http://www.cbshomeentertainment.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cbshomeentertainment

PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Website: http://www.ParamountMovies.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ParamountMovies

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Shout! Factory Starts Releasing Maude’s Single Season Sets Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Earlier this year, Shout! Factory released CBS’ classic sitcom Maude in its entirety on DVD. Next month the leading name in home entertainment will follow-up the show’s complete series collection with the release of Maude: The Complete Second Season.

Shout! Factory will release Maude: The Complete Second Season in stores and online on Tuesday, August 11th. It will be released only on DVD and will retail for $24.97. Season Two opens with a powerful two-part episode that addresses the issue of alcoholism when Walter (played here by Bill Murray—Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters 2, What About Bob) is accused of having a drinking problem. The problem is raised when it is revealed that Walter had been making crank calls to Maude’s mother. Upon being confronted by Maude and Carol about his problem he proceeds to get so drunk that he ruins Phillip’s birthday cake and gets into an altercation with Maude that becomes physical. The fallout from the events of the episode’s first half will move every viewer.

In another of Season Two’s key moments, Maude’s housekeeper Florida leaves the show. “Florida’s Goodbye” sees actress Esther Rolle leave the show as she would go on to star in the equally beloved sitcom Good Times shortly after her departure. It is in this episode that Florida’s husband Henry receives a job promotion leading Florida to make the decision to stay at home and be a housewife. In her denial over Florida’s departure, Maude turns down every applicant for Florida’s replacement, hoping beyond hope that Florida would return.

Audiences also see in this season Maude go through a big change of her own as she decides to get a facelift in the two-part episode “Maude’s Facelift.” This episode sees Maude decide to get a facelift after Vivian gets one. Maude’s jealousy toward Vivian for the facelift leads her to make the decision to get one herself. Of course, the end result leads to problems with Walter in the long term.

The episodes noted here are just a few examples of what audiences have to look forward to from the second season of Maude. Maude: The Complete Second Season will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, August 11th. It will retail for MSRP of $24.97. However, it can be pre-ordered online now for a discounted price of $19.97 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/maude-season-two. Audiences can also check out Season Two’s complete episode list at the noted website. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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The Sixties Is A Must See For Any Real History Buff

Courtesy: CNN/PBS/Fremantle Media International/Herzog & Co./Playtone

Courtesy: CNN/PBS/Fremantle Media International/Herzog & Co./Playtone

Earlier this year, PBS and CNN teamed up to release CNN’s 2014 documentary The Sixties on DVD. This latest trip back in time is not the first time that PBS has taken viewers back to America’s most tumultuous and transformative era. It is however the most in-depth look at the era that PBS’ viewers have gotten to date. That depth lies at the center of the series’ success and its overall enjoyment. The depth in question is provided by the interviews and general material covered within each segment. Making this presentation just as enjoyable is that segmentation. Rather than just trying to jam everything into one continuous stream of consciousness sort of presentation as many other outlets do, CNN has shortened the whole of the program, thus shortening it into ten roughly forty-five to fifty minute segments. This better ensures audiences’ engagement from beginning to end. That coupled with each segment’s pacing ensures even more that audiences will remain engaged from one segment to the next and might even lead viewers to want to remain engaged. Whether for the material covered, for the segmentation of the series in whole or for the pacing of each segment, the whole of these elements together shows The Sixties to be one more of this year’s best new documentaries.

The Sixties is one of this year’s best new documentaries hands down. It is not the first time that PBS has delved into what was one of America’s most tumultuous and transformative eras. But it is the most in-depth look at that era that the network’s viewers have gotten yet, even with the documentary being originally aired on CNN last year. It is that depth that lies at the center of the series’ success. The depth in question is provided by a variety of interviews and vintage footage that was originally recorded during the course of the presented events. Even more specifically, the interviewees featured within each segment are not just random celebrities and academics. They were people who were directly linked to the events in question. For instance, the series’ final segment “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘N’ Roll” features commentary from Jefferson Airplane member Grace Slick, Graham Nash of CSN, and famed music critic David Wild among others to discuss the cultural changes of the 60s and how they were being reflected within the music industry and back out amongst those subcultures that were linked to the changes (I.E. hippies, etc). There is also vintage footage of folk legend Joan Baez discussing politics and Jerry Garcia discussing the role of the Grateful Dead (in his younger days) in the world in comparison to the other bands and artists at the time. In “The Space Race,” audiences hear from Glynn Lunney, who was at the time head of the Gemini and Apollo missions, NASA administrator Charles Bolden, and NASA astronaut Mike Massimino among others. Their knowledge and experience within the U.S.’ space program throughout its history makes this segment all the richer and engrossing. They talk about the role that American pride played in the space race, President Johnson’s role in the space race and much more with the end result being yet another example of the series’ content playing an integral role in its success and enjoyment. Audiences even hear in the series’ opening segment “Television Comes of Age” from famed television personality Dick Cavett, Everybody Loves Raymond executive producer Phil Rosenthal, and veteran actress Sally Field among many other notable figures on the role of television in the 1960s from the good to the bad and the downright ugly. It’s interesting to really discover the tight connection that television had on America at the time and vice versa. This is especially the case when examining the role of television in America today. The material presented here is just as in-depth as the series’ other segments and shows just as much why once again the presented material is so important to the overall success and enjoyment of The Sixties. Whether for these segments, the segment centered on The Vietnam War, which reveals that the impact of the war weighed heavily on Johnson during his one term in office, or for the series’ other segments, the material presented throughout each segment via interviews and vintage footage presents The Sixties as one of the most in-depth and insightful pieces ever composed about America’s most influential eras.

The material that is presented through each of The Sixties’ segments proves it to be in the long run one of the most in-depth and insightful pieces crafted yet on what is one of the most important eras in America’s history. That is thanks to interviews with those directly linked to each segment and vintage footage that ties everything together. Of course as important as that element is to the whole of the presentation, it is only one part of what makes The Sixties worth the watch. The fact that it has been separated out into ten standalone segments adds to its success and enjoyment. This seems elementary. But the reality of the matter is that there are some specials and documentaries out there that try to cram everything into one long stream of consciousness sort of presentation, expecting to keep viewers’ attention along the way. CNN didn’t do that here. Each of the series’ ten segments clocks in at roughly fifty-one minutes each. That is about the same length of time as most episodes of PBS’ hit series. What’s more each segment even includes the bumps used to go to and come back from commercial breaks. This helps keep viewers engaged as it breaks up each segment within themselves, thus allowing viewers to take a quick mental break rather than feeling like they have to constantly keep up with everything being discussed. Having those quick breaks and relatively standard run times within each segment, audiences will be more inclined to remain engaged from one segment to the next. Being more inclined to remain engaged, audiences will in turn find themselves taking in the breadth of material presented within each segment and in turn experience for themselves the importance of said material in the whole of The Sixties as well as the segmentation of each segment.

The amount of information provided across the ten episodes that make up The Sixties and the separation of the episodes together makes this documentary a presentation that any and every history buff will appreciate. By themselves, both elements easily make the argument for this documentary series’ place on any critic’s list of the year’s best new documentaries. While both elements play their own important role in the success and enjoyment of The Sixties, the pacing of each segment should also be noted. Given that each segment runs roughly fifty-one minutes in length that offers plenty of room for lots of information. It also makes for plenty of room to add too much information. Luckily for audiences, those behind this series didn’t go that route. Each segment is expertly timed out, spending just enough time on each subject that makes up each segment. Viewers won’t be left feeling like they have to go back and watch one segment or another over again. The end result here is a greater understanding and in turn appreciation for the material presented throughout the course of the series. That understanding and appreciation will lead viewers to agree that The Sixties is well-deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new documentaries.

The Sixties is one of this year’s best new documentaries. Audiences that purchase this three-disc box set will agree with that sentiment. They will agree as they will see for themselves the depth of the information provided with in each of the series’ segments. They will agree just as much in noting the clearly defined separation of each segment from the others and each segment’s run time. Last but not least of all, audiences will agree in noting the pacing taken within each of the series’ segments. All things considered, The Sixties is one of the most in-depth documentaries to be released yet on the history of what is one of America’s most pivotal eras. It is available now and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=54994166&cp=&sr=1&kw=the+sixties&origkw=The+Sixties&parentPage=search. More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pbs

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The Laughs Keep Coming This Summer With The Third Season Of Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Dramas and reality shows may currently be dominating both the broadcast and cable spectrums today. But that doesn’t mean that that is all that audiences have to watch. Early next month, Shout! Factory will offer audiences another great escape from all of the programs polluting television’s ranks when it releases the third season of the classic sitcom Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show.

Shout! Factory will release Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show: Season Three on Tuesday, August 4th. Bilko’s constant string of get rich quick schemes continue on for thirty-seven episodes this season. Audiences will laugh uproariously as Bilko loses Colonel Hall’s inheritance in the stock market in “The Colonel’s Inheritance.” The laughs continue just as much as Bilko tries to get rich by starting up a Broadway show in “Sergeant Bilko Presents.” And in one of the season’s funniest moments, Sgt. Bilko creates a scheme to put a “singing” doberman on display. The problem is that his plan obviously doesn’t work out quite as well as he had hoped. The episode harkens back to a classic Looney Tunes cartoon involving one Michigan J. Frog. These are just a few examples of what makes Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show: Season 3 another must have for any classic TV lovers and for those wanting to escape the monotony of today’s television. It will be released Tuesday, August 4th on DVD in stores and online and will retail for MSRP of $34.93. It can be pre-ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store for a discounted price of $29.93 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/sgt-bilko-the-phil-silvers-show-season-three. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

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CBS DVD, Paramount Announce Release Date, Specs For I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two

Courtesy:  Paramount/CBS DVD

Courtesy: Paramount/CBS DVD

America’s favorite redhead will return again this summer when Paramount and CBS DVD release I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two.

Paramount and CBS DVD have announced that I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two will be released on Blu-ray on Tuesday, August 4th. The upcoming re-issue will include many of the features that were also included in the series’ previously released Season One Blu-ray box set. They include all thirty-one Season Two episodes spread across five discs complete with their original sponsor openings and closings. Audiences will have the option of watching each episode with the series’ original “heart” openings and closings without commercial interruption. As if that isn’t enough, audiences will also have the option of watching one of the most famed episodes of I Love Lucy in a variety of formats. The episode in question is the famed “Job Switching” episode in which Lucy and Ethel get a job at a chocolate factory and ends up struggling at a conveyor belt carrying chocolates. Audiences will have the option of watching this timeless episode in its original black-and-white presentation or its newly colorized presentation. It can be viewed with or without commentary. There is even an option to watch the episode in its French Canadian presentation, which included its own special opening and closing graphics and French-Canadian audio track.

“Job Switching” is just one of the most notable episodes featured in I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two. This season also features the equally famed “pregnancy episodes.” The episodes were controversial at the time of their original broadcast because of the view of talking publicly about pregnancy and sex. It made having an actual pregnancy on-air that much more taboo. So it made the “pregnancy episodes” groundbreaking moments in television history. Now audiences will get to see each of the episodes in their entirety along with the more light-hearted “Job Switching.”

AS if all of the noted episodes are not enough for audiences, I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two also includes I Love Lucy: The Movie, which was made up of three episodes from the series’ first season. The episodes in question were spliced together with some extra material to make one seamless storyline. Its presentation here marks the first time ever that I Love Lucy: The Movie has ever seen the light on day on DVD or Blu-ray. Also included among the set’s bonus features are: Scenes from Stars in the Eye–a CBS special that originally aired in November 1952–which featured the cast of I Love Lucy, an original I Lov Lucy sketch original aired on The Red Skelton Show in May 1953, select episode galleries, production notes, radio broadcasts, guest cast profiles and more.

I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two will be available Tuesday, August 4th and will retail for MSRP of $130.00 in the United States and $150.00 in Canada. Every episode will be presented in full 1080p high-definition with subtitles in both English SDH and Latin American. The episodes’ audio will be English Mono Dolby Digital and Spanish 5.0 Dolby Digital.

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