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

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.

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.

Shout! Factory Finishes Off Another Classic Comedy Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Last year, Shout! Factory released another important piece of television history when it released Mr. Ed: The Complete Series to the masses. Now on the heels of its release, Shout! Factory has announced that it will finish off the series’ stand-alone season sets next month when it releases Mr. Ed: The Final Season.

Shout! Factory will release Mr. Ed: The Final Season on DVD on Tuesday, May 12th. Mr. Ed: The Final Season, or Season Six more simply put, is made up of thirteen episodes spread across two discs. From getting into an argument over a TV with Wilbur to trying to get married (yes, married) to even working as a secret agent and more, everybody’s favorite talking horse and his human pal offer up plenty of laughs this season. There are even a couple of familiar faces as The Beverly Hillbillies stars Irene Ryan and Raymond Bailey make a special appearance in a special Beverly Hillbillies crossover this season in one episode. Mr. Ed: The Final Season will be available on DVD on Tuesday, May 12th in stores and online. It will retail for MSRP of $16.97 but can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store for a reduced price of $14.97 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 at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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.

PBS Bringing British Murder Mystery To American Audiences This Spring

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

This spring, PBS distribution will release a gripping new miniseries for all the mystery lovers out there.

Dancing on the Edge will be release on DVD an Blu-ray on Tuesday, May 5th. The story focuses on a group of black jazz musicians living and performing in London in the 1930s. The group, known as The Louis Lester Band is becoming increasingly popular all around London, even being asked to perform for the royal family. Along the way, American businessman Walter Masterson and his employee Julian catch the group and become very interested in it. It seems that everything is coming up roses for The Louis Lester Band. But then tragedy strikes. A series of challenges follows that threatens to end the group’s rise to stardom. The story was written by famed writer and director Stephen Poliakoff (The Lost Prince). It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, American Gangster, Children of Men), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc., Monsters U, Argo) Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game, Watchmen, The Good Wife), Jacqueline Bisset (Bullitt, Murder on the Orient Express, The Deep), Tom Hughes (Page Eight, About Time, Cemetery Junction), Angel Coulby (Merlin, Imagine Me and You, Magicians), Wummi Mosaku (Philomena, Citadel, I Am Slave) and many others.

The mini-series’ six episodes bring its total run-time to roughly seven hours. Those episodes are spread across three discs both in its DVD and Blu-ray presentation. Audiences can check out a trailer for the mini-series online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcqnCz5chXs. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray for $39.99.
The Blu-ray can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647396&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search#AdditionalInfo.

The DVD can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647376&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search.

More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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.

Shout! Factory Unearths Another Shining TV Gem In Pee-wee’s Playhouse Seasons 3, 4, & 5

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

When Pee-wee’s Playhouse first debuted on CBS’ Saturday morning children’s programming lineup way back in 1986, there was nothing like it on television at the time. Fast forward nearly three decades since its premiere and roughly twenty-five years since it ended its original run and still there has been nothing like it since. In the years since it ended its run the zany, one-of-a-kind children’s series has seen various VHS releases. But it had never received a proper DVD or even Blu-ray release. That is until 2014 when its complete five-season run was released on Blu-ray via Shout! Factory. Shout! Factory also released the series’ first two seasons in their own stand-alone DVD box set alongside the full series Blu-ray box set. And last Tuesday, Shout! Factory finished off it’s release of this modern classic when it released on a separate stand-alone box set, the series’ third through fifth season. Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5–Special Edition is another great addition to the collection of anyone that grew up with this series. Much as with the series’ first two seasons, the show’s writing continues here to make it stand out among other children’s offerings of the day. The writers continue here to exhibit such talent, crafting stories that both teach important lessons and concepts and entertain all at the same time. On a more subtle note, the continued inclusion of classic cartoons in various episodes adds to the enjoyment. the cartoons include more well-known pieces pulled from the Warner Brothers vaults and lesser known pieces, which is in itself important to the whole. that will be discussed later. Moving on for now, the bonus cast and crew interviews coupled with the audio commentary on the series’ special Christmas episode rounds out the reasons for audiences to pick up this box set. The interviews offer an extensive look behind the scenes of the show and its production. In its own right, the audio commentary included in the series’ Christmas episode offers its own insight into the show even if only on that one episode. But that commentary plays its own important role in the presentation’s whole when partnered with the set’s aforementioned positives. All three elements together show exactly why any kid and kid at heart will appreciate this final release from what is the most intriguing children’s series in television’s history. So many positives along with the fact that Shout! Factory would take on the series once more shows yet again, too why Shout! Factory remains the leading name in home entertainment to this day.

Shout! Factory has over the years gone slowly and quietly gone from being a little indie-home entertainment company that could to being the leading name in home entertainment. Partnerships with Nickelodeon, CBS, and other major companies have led to the release of some of the greatest movies and TV shows in the modern history of both mediums. Not only that but the releases themselves have proven far more worth the watch than releases from a bigger name such as Warner Home Video. Its latest release, Pee-wee’s Playhouse Seasons 3, 4, and 5–Special Edition is even more proof of both arguments. The arguments are supported mainly through the show’s writing. Just as with the show’s first two seasons, its writers have once again managed to balance its zany, one-of-a-kind look and feel with content that educates in its own original way. “Fire in the Playhouse” is just one example of the writers’ ability to balance both elements as it subtly teaches about fire safety when Ms. Yvonne brings over some bread to bake. “Front Page Pee-wee” teaches both a simplistic lesson about journalistic integrity and telling the truth alongside a subtle lesson about healthy eating. And “Playhouse For Sale” teaches its own lesson about spreading rumors and jumping to conclusions. The lessons and entertainment offered in these episodes each show in their own way the ability of the show’s writers to balance its educational and one-of-a-kind entertainment content. There are plenty of other episodes that exemplify that ability of the writers to craft such balanced stories. Audiences will see that for themselves when they add this box set to their own DVD library. It is not all that audiences will note that makes the set so entertaining, either. The classic cartoons that are used in various episodes actually play an important role of their own to Seasons 3, 4, and 5. That’s especially the case in an era when real cartoons are extinct for all intents and purposes.

The continued ability of the writers to balance the educational and entertainment content in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th season of Pee-wee’s Playhouse is its own important part of the whole that the show’s original audiences will all appreciate. Said audiences will appreciate that ability and talent in that in its own way, it manages to keep viewers fully engaged. It may even keep today’s younger viewers engaged. While it is obviously an important part of the whole, the cartoons incorporated into the show’s weekly broadcasts were also collectively just as important. The cartoons incorporated into the show’s last three seasons included both the more well-known Looney Tunes cartoons and a number of far more obscure pieces. The cartoons themselves serve as their own lesson on the history of both cartoons and television in general. When viewed as part of the whole of Seasons 3, 4, and 5, the cartoons included in each episode add to the series’ entertainment value, thus making it even more worth the watch. This is especially the case considering the fact that real cartoons have become extinct for all intents and purposes. Taking that into account, it makes the cartoons incorporated into each show all the more important an element of the whole and in turn shows once more why this box set is well worth the purchase by anyone that grew up with Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

The balance of educational and entertainment content within each episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse in its final three seasons by itself makes for plenty of reason for the show’s now grown up original audiences to add this new set to their own DVD library. The entertainment and historical value of the cartoons incorporated into the show makes Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5–Special Edition all the more worth the addition to the library of any of the show’s now grown up audiences. Both noted elements play an integral part in the enjoyment of the set in whole. But they are not all that is worth noting in this set. The bonus interviews with the cast and crew along with the bonus commentary in “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special” collectively round out the reasons that audiences will appreciate the second and last set of episodes from the modern classic series. the bonus interviews with the cast and crew offer quite the insight into the show and its creation. Audiences learn how the show’s main characters were created and some of the cast and crew’s favorite moments in the interviews. The bonus commentary included in the series’ Christmas special is just as enlightening. Audiences will be surprised to learn right from the episode’s outset that the men’s chorus wearing the Marine outfits were not in fact Marines. The reasoning for the show’s heads to proceed with having a “Marine chorus” is just as intriguing to say the least. There is much more that could be noted. That would take far more time and space than is available to this critic. Along with the extensive amount of information shared through the episode’s commentary, audiences actually get two different commentaries. The first of the commentaries comes from Pee-Wee himself, Paul Reubens, and his . The other comes from those behind the cameras. And it is just as in-depth. Both commentaries coupled with the set’s bonus interviews shows just as much in its own right why these elements are just as important to the whole of Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5 as the work of the show’s writers and the cartoons included as part of each season’s episodes. Whether for those cartoons, the writing, or for the bonus material included in the set, all three elements prove key in their own way. Collectively, they show exactly why this final set of episodes from one of television’s most intriguing series is one that any of the series’ original fans should have in his or her own personal library.

Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5 is available in stores and online now at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-comedy/pee-wee-s-playhouse-seasons-three-four-five-special-edition via Shout! Factory’s online store. More information on this and other titles available from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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 reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

StarVista’s New Carol Burnett Set Is A Good First Set For Any Fan’s Collection

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

StarVista Entertainment released its latest collection of classic episodes from The Carol Burnett Show last week in the new single-disc DVD presentation The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again.  The DVD features three classic episodes from what is one of television’s greatest sketch comedy/variety shows.  While the episodes have already been presented in StarVista’s previous Carol Burnett Show box sets, there are those audiences that have not picked up said box sets to this day or have not been able to add those box sets to their own personal collections.  Keeping that in mind, The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again proves to be a good starting point for any viewer regardless of said viewer’s familiarity with The Carol Burnett Show.  While it is for all intents and purposes a re-issue of three previously released episodes the episodes presented on The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again serve as a good starting point for anyone that has yet to start their collection of Carol Burnett Show episodes.  The reason that the episodes included on this disc prove to be a good starting point is the collective work of the show’s writers and its cast.  The largely family-friendly sketches will leave audiences of all ages in stitches at some points and move them deeply at others thanks to the work of all involved.  And the inclusion of a fully in-detail episode guide completes the presentation.  The guide in question has been a standard of every one of StarVista Entertainment’s Carol Burnett Show releases.  They have always been a highly important part of each presentation, too.  That is still the case even in this presentation.     Because it has been included once again here along with so many wonderfully entertaining moments, it is one more part of the whole of The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again that makes this DVD a welcome watch for anyone looking to start their Carol Burnett Show collection.

The episodes that have been collected for StarVista Entertainment’s new Carol Burnett Show compilation are nothing new for many fans of the classic sketch comedy/variety series.  There are those out there that have wasted no time criticizing StarVista for this.  Those same people have not taken into consideration that not every fan of The Carol Burnett Show own any of StarVista’s previous Carol Burnett Show compilations or even the show’s complete series collection.  Anyone that takes this into consideration will hopefully see that even though the episodes on this disc have been previously released, they make for a good start for any Carol Burnett Show fan that has yet to start their collection of episodes.  Because the episodes culled for this compilation have already been presented before, it can obviously be said that they are presented exactly as they were presented in their original broadcasts on CBS back in 1973 and 1978.  And just as in their previous resurrections, all three episodes look and sound just as good as they did in their original broadcasts.  So anyone that has not yet started their collection will understandably be impressed at least by this much.

The quality presentation of the episodes chosen for The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again is by itself plenty of reason for the series’ fans to pick up this DVD or order it online.  It’s just part of the reason for fans that are looking to start their collection to purchase this collection.  The work of the writers across all three episodes gives even more reason for fans to pick up this DVD if they haven’t already purchased any of the series’ previous DVD sets.  Even roughly thirty years or so after their original broadcasts, these episodes will still have audiences laughing uproariously at some points, and moved almost to tears at others.  Some of the laughs even come as a result of the writers’ tributes to Hollywood’s golden era as in the set’s final episode “High Hat.”  The skit pays homage to the great films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  It actually takes its name directly from the pair’s 1935 hit film Top Hat.  Ken Berry even provides a surprisingly entertaining tap number and his own singing performances.  Anyone that is a fan of Top Hat or classic song and dance films in general will truly appreciate this sketch for both its historical and its comic value.  The sketch “Raised To Be Rotten” offers just as many laughs as it spoofs all of the trashy soap operas of the day.  Ironically enough, it could even be considered a spoof of many of the soap operas of the past twenty years or more.  That continued relevance and comic value make it yet another prime example of how the work of the writers on this show makes these episodes so entertaining even today and in turn why their work makes this collection so enjoyable for anyone looking to make the first of maybe many additions to their Carol Burnett Show collections.  On the opposite end of that spectrum, Carol’s portrayal of her beloved Charwoman character in Show # 705 is certain to put both a smile on fans’ faces and maybe even a tear in their eyes.  The Charwoman discovers in this episode’s sketch “Silence is Golden” an old seemingly abandoned room loaded with classic silent films and even a projector that magically seems to work.  When turned on, the projector seems to transport the Charwoman into what is supposed to be a classic Charlie Chaplin film.  In this case, actress Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard) plays the part of Chaplin.  And she does so quite convincingly, too.  There’s something about both Swanson and Burnett’s acting here that makes this sketch enjoyable and charming in so many ways.  The Charwoman’s reaction in realizing she might actually have been in the film and her interaction with “Chaplin” in realizing it makes for a truly sweet moment that is sure to have any viewer tearing up at least a little bit.  Whether for that moment and the more lighthearted laughs offered in the sketch, the smiles and laughs brought on by the tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or any of the laughs and smiles brought on throughout the presented episodes, every single episode and every sketch proves in its own inimitable way why the work of the writers behind The Carol Burnett Show makes this compilation just as worth the purchase as any of the show’s previous DVD releases.  This is especially the case for anyone that has yet to start their collection of Carol Burnett Show collections.

The episodes that StarVista chose to include as part of the whole that is The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again, their presentation, and the work of the writers in each episode collectively shows why this new DVD release is a good starting point for anyone looking to take the first step in starting their collection of DVDs from what is one of the greatest series in the modern history of television. While the noted elements each make for so much enjoyment, one more element should be noted of the whole package that adds to its enjoyment. The element in question is the disc’s companion booklet. The booklet included with the DVD is, like the episodes themselves, nothing new for StarVista’s Carol Burnett Show DVD sets. The companion booklet outlines each show in just enough detail to give viewers a relatively vivid idea of each episode and sketch. It outlines the highlights of each show and notes the title and cast of each sketch within the episodes. It even notes each show’s original air date as part of the full outline. All of the details noted of the disc’s companion booklet are also part of the booklets included with each one of StarVista’s previously released Carol Burnett Show collections. This is so significant because it shows once more the careful approach taken by those charged with assembling the episodes and the package in whole. It shows that those people wanted to pay proper respect to the show and its legacy one again as well as to the show’s legions of fans, too. So many television shows’ DVD collections either come with standard, straight-forward episode listings or nothing at all. Those that do include the list include no background or any other extras for fans. That’s not the case for any of StarVista’s Carol Burnett Show DVD sets including this single-disc presentation. And it continues to show in this situation, too. The end result of such lengthy efforts being taken to honor both the legacy of the Carol Burnett Show and the fans of The Carol Burnett Show is one more layer of depth to what on the surface seems a simple DVD yet is a DVD in which audiences and critics alike will find plenty to like.

The fact that those charged with assembling The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again would go to such lengths to continue paying homage to both the legacy of what is one of television’s great modern series and to its fans says plenty about those individuals and of StarVista in whole. The same can be said of all involved merely by examining the episodes included in the set in terms of their writing and their production values. By themselves, each of the noted elements plays an important role in the enjoyment and success of the DVD in whole. Collectively, they prove once and for all why this disc is a wonderful starting point for anyone looking to take that first step in building their Carol Burnett Show collections. The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles available from StarVista Entertainment is available online at:

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