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

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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.

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Slash Scheduled to Appear On CBS’ Morning Show This Morning

World on Fire Cover Art: Ron English

World on Fire Cover Art: Ron English

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Legendary guitarist Slash will be on CBS this morning.

Slash will be on CBS This Morning today, May 7th, for an interview and very special announcement. He will be on CBS This Morning at 8:30am ET. PT airing will be tape delayed. There is no exact word on what the announcement will be. However, being that the band is currently in the midst of a U.S. headlining tour and that it will release its new live recording Live at the Roxy next month fans have plenty of reason to speculate what the announcement could be. The group’s current tour is in support of its latest full-length studio effort World on Fire, which was released in April of 2014. Audiences can check out the video for World on Fire’s online now via Vevo at http://www.vevo.com/watch/slash/World-On-Fire-%28Lyric-Video%29-%28Explicit%29/US9T51400038?syndicationid=bb8a16ab-1279-4f17-969b-1dba5eb60eda&shortlink=AhjCPt&country=US.

Audiences not near a TV during Slash’s interview can still catch it online via CBS News’ streaming site http://cbsn.cbsnews.com. More information on Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators is available online now at:

Website: http://www.slashonline.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/slash

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Mister Ed: The Final Season Is A Fitting Final Release For One Of TV’s Greatest Sitcoms

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

For six seasons from 1961 to 1966 Allan Lane, Alan Young, Connie Hines, and animal actor Bamboo Harvester brought joy and laughter into homes across this country in the hit sitcom Mr. Ed. The beloved buddy comedy originally ran in syndication from January to July of 1961 before being brought to CBS in October 1961. It would remain on CBS until early 1966 at which time it would end up being canceled due to decisions from higher ups. Even after being canceled, Mr. Ed has since remained one of the most beloved sitcoms in television history even now into the 21st century. That is proven in the fact that it has seen five of its six seasons released in their own stand-alone box sets via home entertainment company Shout! Factory alongside a complete series box set. Now next week, the series’ sixth and final season will finally see the light of day again courtesy of Shout! Factory. It is yet another welcome release from Shout! Factory, too. Season Six boasts some of the series’ most outrageous writing. The on-screen chemistry between Alan Young and Allan Lane is just as strong as ever. Rounding out the presentation is the look and sound of these episodes. Audiences will be pleased to discover that this collection of episodes looks and sounds just as clean as the footage in the series’ previous five seasons. It is once again a tribute to the work of those charged with restoring the footage for its presentation. When taken into consideration with the work of the series’ whole cast and the work of the writers, the sixth and final season of Mr. Ed proves to be another fitting finale for another wonderful classic series and another example of why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment.

Mr. Ed’s sixth season may be the series’ last. But it most certainly is not the series’ worst. As a matter of fact, it should be noted that there really is no season of this classic sitcom that can rightfully be called bad or unworthy of watching. That is thanks to the work of the series’ writers. Speaking of that work, the writers have crafted in this season thirteen more episodes that will have both the series’ original fans and a whole new generation of fans laughing nonstop. It’s the central reason that this season is just as enjoyable as any of the series’ previous seasons. This season sees Wilbur and Mr. Ed getting into just as much trouble as ever especially with the temporary introduction of Wilbur’s father-in-law. That within itself is something rather interesting to note. Typically, sitcoms from that era tended to make jokes about the mother-in-law more so than the father-in-law. Both The Flintstones and The Jetsons, which were themselves inspired by equally beloved live action sitcoms, went after the mother-in-law figure as did other live action sitcoms. Those sitcoms in question just did so more subtly. That the writers would go the opposite direction, and introduce the father-in-law as the point of contention is definitely original and makes for its own share of laughs. It makes for so many laughs because rather than create the typical comic element that had been used by so many other series at the time, audiences got to see a battle for the alpha male position. And it was done with quite the comic twist, too. It’s just one way that the writing continues to make Mr. Ed just as funny this season as in its previous seasons. Along with making Wilbur and Mr. Ed deal with Wilbur’s father-in-law, the writers also put the duo into a number of rather precarious yet hilarious situations. Right from the season’s outset, Wilbur and Mr. Ed are thrust into a world of international espionage in a multi-part story arc that takes up the first four episodes of the season. Later in the season, Mr. Ed tries to get Wilbur to help him get married to a well-known filly with absolutely riotous results in “Ed The Bridegroom.” There’s even a slight conflict between the two friends when Mr. Ed wins a brand new TV in “TV or not TV.” These are just a few examples of why the writing behind the sixth season of Mr. Ed makes this season just as enjoyable as that of the series’ previous seasons. There are plenty of other episodes that could be cited such as “Ed and the Motorcycle,” “Don’t Skin That Bear” and “Ed Goes To College” as examples of what makes the writing so impressive. Simply put every episode included in this season exhibits why the writing makes this season so enjoyable. And it’s just one part of the whole that makes Season Six so enjoyable, too. The work of the series’ cast also plays a part in the season’s enjoyment.

The work of the writers in Mr. Ed’s final season more than lived up to expectations with the scripts featured in the series’ sixth and final season. By itself it is more than enough reason for audiences to add this final installment of Mr. Ed to their home collections. It’s not the only reason that this double-disc set shines, either. The work of the cast serves as just as much reason that audiences will enjoy these episodes. Allan Lane and Alan Young are especially to be noted here, being the stars of the show. Lane and Young are completely believable as they toss barbs and jokes back and forth at one another from one episode to the next. The juxtaposition of Wilbur–the straight man–to Mr. Ed’s more comedic, scheming style makes for a classic odd couple style comedy. It really is a brand of comedy that has sadly been lost since the passing of television’s golden era. Wilbur is a laugh riot as he tries to figure out how to get his equine pal married. His attempt to convince Mr. Ed to come back after Ed thinks Wilbur has traded him in for a motorcycle is just as funny. And of course when the pair is enlisted to help stop a group of international spies early in the season’s run, their antics show to be some of the greatest acting of its time on camera through the show’s run. Lane does an outstanding job giving Mr. Ed such a serious attitude toward being a spy yet not entirely being serious as he requests just a bunch of carrots for payment. It is one of those moments that is so funny that audiences can’t help but laugh. And there’s just something about Lane’s delivery of his lines that makes the situation not just funny but believable, too. More simply put, at no point does it feel like Lane or Young are hamming it up for the camera. Both men handle their roles with the utmost professionalism. And because of that, these moments and others throughout this season will have audiences of all ages laughing uproariously, proving once again exactly why true comedy lovers and classic TV buffs will want to add this set to their own home libraries.

Both the work of the writers behind Mr. Ed and of the cast–more specifically the work of Allan Lane and Alan Young–together make for just as many laughs in the series’ sixth season as its previous seasons if not more. As important as both elements are to the whole of Mr. Ed: The Final Season, they would not be worth the watch without the continued efforts of those charged with bringing the season’s footage back to life. Luckily, their efforts paid off once more. The footage looks and sounds just as great as that of the series’ previous seasons. Even being black and white, it looks clear but still has that certain something about it that creates that welcome, familiar feeling of nostalgia among viewers familiar with the series. That welcome, familiar feeling brought on by the expert re-mastering of the footage rounds out the reasons that the sixth and final season of Mr. Ed is such an entertaining finale for one of the greatest sitcoms in television history. Together with the work of both the series’ writers and its lead cast, all three elements prove this final set of episodes to be a fine final offering from Shout! Factory and one more great new release for fans of Mr. Ed.

There is plenty to say to the positive in regards to the sixth and final season of Mr. Ed. The series’ writers will once again have audiences of all ages laughing from one episode to the next. The key phrase here is audiences of all ages. It truly is one more release that the whole family can enjoy together. And in an age when families hardly even see each other anymore, that’s a very good thing. It gives parents an excuse to sit and spend time with their children. The same can be said of the series’ lead actors Allan Lane and Alan Young. While Lane is not necessarily on camera, being the voice of Mr. Ed, he is still technically on screen. That being the case it makes the Lane and Young’s work in front of the camera just as key to the episodes’ entertainment value. Thanks to the work of those charged with restoring the season’s footage, the work of both the writers and actors is made all the more entertaining. Without the expert restoration work presented here, neither other factor would be worth noting by any means. But being that the polar opposite is the case here, all three elements together make this final installment of episodes from Mr. Ed one more great addition to the library of any of the series’ fans. It will be available next Tuesday, May 12th. It can be pre-ordered online now direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-comedy/mister-ed-the-final-season. 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

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Paramount, CBS DVD’s Gomer Pyle Full Series Re-Issue Is One Of 2015’s Best New Box Sets For Families

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount Studios Home Entertainment

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount Studios Home Entertainment

Well surprise, surprise, surprise! Gomer Pyle is back! This past March, CBS DVD resurrected the classic sitcom Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. in its entirety for a whole new generation of audiences and for the show’s original viewers. Last month’s re-issue is only the first time since its original release in 2008 that entire series has been released in one collection. And regardless of one’s familiarity with the series, audiences will instantly be impressed by the set’s packaging. By comparison to the series’ 2008 release, this box set is far more ergonomic than that 2008 release. In other words, the packaging, while slightly bulky, is far less bulky than the series’ 2008 box set. The writing behind the series’ five-season run is just as entertaining today, too as it was in the series’ original run from 1964 – 1969. The material included as bonuses in this set rounds it out. That is not to discount the still impressive look and sound of the series’ footage, either. Even that should be noted. Whether for that element or for any of the others noted here, audiences will agree in watching CBS DVD’s newly re-issued full series set of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. that there is plenty to like in this box set. Audiences will also agree that because there is so much to like, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.: The Complete Series is more than deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s Best New Box Set For Families come December.

Paramount and CBS DVD’s newly re-issued full series set of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. is one of this year’s best new box sets for the whole family hands down. Considering that this classic sitcom’s full series set has already seen release in 2008, the instant question that is likely raised by many is with such a short span of time having passed between its (so far) two releases, what sets this set apart from the sitcom’s previous release? For that matter, what sets it apart from all of the other TV sets released so far this year, too? One answer is the new set’s packaging. In comparison to the packaging of the series’ 2008 release, the packaging is far more ergonomic than that of the 2008 box set. Rather than just placing five stand-alone box sets in a larger box, Paramount and CBS DVD have taken all twenty-four discs that make up the series and placed them into one large box set. Each of the discs is placed on one side or another of twelve separate “plates” inside the box. While the end result is still slightly bulky, it saves far more space on any fan’s DVD rack than the series’ previously released full series set. While many people take packaging for granted, this is one of those times in which packaging shows to be just as important as any other element in a box set. It leaves one wondering how much space could be saved with a Blu-ray release since so much more information can be stored on a BD than on a DVD. Time will tell. But maybe Paramount and CBS DVD will take that subtle suggestion into consideration and perhaps re-issue the full series on Blu-ray in the not too distant future. In the meantime, this set will definitely do if only for its packaging.

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C: The Full Series’ packaging in its new re-issue is a subtle element in considering what makes it such a welcome re-issue. But when compared to the series’ 2008 release, it proves to be far more important than one might think. It’s a rarity for packaging to play such an important role in a box set. But it truly does play an integral role in this case. It’s only one element of this box set that makes it so enjoyable. The work of the show’s writers is just as important to the whole as the packaging if not more important. And so much could be said of the writing, too, beginning with Gomer’s relationship with Sgt. Carter. The relationship in question comes across as almost that of a surrogate father and son with Gomer filling out the role of the son and Sgt. Carter the father. Considering this, one can’t help but root for Gomer as he constantly tries to do the right thing and impress Sgt. Carter just as a son would a father yet stumbling and learning the whole way along. As audiences will see throughout the series, right up to its finale, even Sgt. Carter himself finds himself truly appreciating Gomer in his surrogate father role. It is a really entertaining and at times touching aspect of the series writing that despite its subtlety plays one of the most important roles of all in regards to the series’ writing. On a larger scale, the work of the writers in regards to the episodes should be noted, too. Of the series’ 150 episodes there is not one bad episode. That is evident right from the series’ premiere in which Gomer first arrives at the base and begins his training as a Marine. The gags and jokes that are written for Nabors are just as funny today as they were in the show’s original broadcast on CBS so long ago. Audiences know this especially from that episode’s closing scene just what’s in store for Gomer and Sgt. Carter from that point on. It goes without saying that the show more than lives up to those expectations from there on out. Audiences will love seeing Gomer capture a submarine without even trying during his platoon’s training with its Navy counterparts. This even after he caused so much havoc for Sgt. Carter and the others along the way. Gomer’s trip back home to Mayberry late in the series is one of the series’ best. He discovers that all of his old friends and his cousin are all gone on vacation. His sadness is something to which so many viewers can relate even today whether they are military or just someone coming home from college or even from visiting their old home town after having lived elsewhere for an extended time. Making this episode even more enjoyable is that while all of his old friends are away, Gomer helps Andy’s replacement catch a pair of crooks. If this great episode isn’t enough example of why the series’ writing is so important, there is another episode that sees Gomer encounter “men from Mars” that are actually actors in a movie being filmed near the marine base. Gomer’s reaction to the actors is hilarious as is Sgt. Carter’s reaction to Gomer’s continued assertions. The series’ finale is one more wonderful example of the importance of the series’ writing in the success of this re-issued box set. This episode is that rare moment when both Gomer and Sgt. Carter show the bond formed between them but of which they have never spoken. It is such a moving moment and one of the best of the best from this classic series. And it is one more way that the writing proves to be so important to the enjoyment and success of the set.

The episodes noted here are each great examples of what makes Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. such a hit for audiences of any age. The notation of those episodes is not to take away from any of the series’ other episodes either. Every one of the series’ 150 total episodes could just as easily be used as examples of what makes the series’ writing so impressive. It would take far too long to go into detail about each one, obviously. So moving on, there is one more element of this box set that makes it so enjoyable. That last element is the set’s collective bonus material. Included as bonus material in the set are audio introductions for every one of Season One’s episodes as well as commentaries on specific episodes. Also included is the complete pilot that led to the birth of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. As if that isn’t enough, Paramount and CBS DVD have also included clips of Jim Nabors on The David Frost Show and on his own show, Jim Nabors Hour. Paramount and CBS DVD even went as far as to include a clip from the classic series The Lucy Show. The bonus clips are themselves enjoyable in their own right. But the bonus audio introductions in Season One are the real highlight of the bonus material. The select audio commentaries live up to the title of bonus material, too. It would just have been nice to have even more. In the same vein it would have been wonderful to have the audio introductions throughout all five seasons. Beggars can’t be chooser, though. Perhaps if Paramount and CBS DVD should re-issue the series on Blu-ray in the not too distant future then perhaps that would be a possibility. Even if not, the intros and commentary provided here still does plenty to make the overall viewing experience of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. so much more enjoyable. They help to prove once again exactly why Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. is one of this year’s best new box sets for the whole family.

Whether for the material included in the set, the work of the series’ writers or for the much more ergonomic packaging, it is obvious to see that there is a lot to say to the positive of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.: The Complete Series. One could even note the set’s quality production values (I.E. audio and video). The series looks and sounds just as impressive as it did in its previous full series release. It could even be argued that it looks and sounds as good as it did in its original broadcast on CBS so long ago. Regardless of what element(s) viewers choose to note, every one of the elements that can be noted all lead to the revelation that this set is a great addition to any family’s home DVD collection. It is available in stores and online and can be ordered direct via CBS DVD’s online store at http://cbshe.com/PyleCS. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.