Shout! Factory Welcomes Audiences Back To Pee-wee’s Playhouse March 10th

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory shocked a lot of people last year when it announced it was going to release CBS’ classic Saturday morning children’s series Pee-wee’s Playhouse onto DVD and blu-ray. The full series was released on Blu-ray while the series’ first two seasons were released together in their own stand-alone, multi-disc box set. Now Shout! Factory will finish off this iconic series next month when it releases Pee-wee’s Playhouse Seasons 3, 4, and 5: Special Edition on DVD.

Pee-wee’s Playhouse Seasons 3, 4, and 5: Special Edition will be released on DVD Tuesday, March 1oth alongside the new box sets from Quincy, M.E., Hey Dude, and Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. The set will spread the series’ final twenty-three episodes across four discs. Among the most notable of the episodes included in this set is the memorable Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special. It also boasts five exclusive featurettes pulled from all-new interviews with the series’ cast and crew.

Pee-wee’s Playhouse Seasons 3, 4, and 5: Special Edition will be available Tuesday, March 10th. It will retail for $29.93 and can be pre-ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store now https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-comedy/pee-wee-s-playhouse-seasons-three-four-five-special-edition for a reduced price of $24.93. 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 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.

Audiences Of All Ages Will “Love” Shout! Factory Kids’ New Pound Puppies DVD

Courtesy:  Shout! Kids/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Kids/Shout! Factory

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner yet again.  For many that means the annual barrage of candy, flowers, and cards.  For children, it means the annual “holiday” parties if they still have them.  Regardless of whether or not schools still hold the parties in question, Shout! Factory Kids has a new DVD on the way next Tuesday that the whole family will *ahem* love to watch together to celebrate the big day.  Pound Puppies: Puppy Love will be released next Tuesday, February 3rd on DVD.  The compilation, the sixth from the hit Discovery Family series, offers plenty for audiences to enjoy beginning with the writing behind the episodes.  The Pound Puppies face some of their biggest challenges in this compilation.  From having to get the most puppies adopted ever in one episode to facing off against a megalomaniacal dog catcher voiced by Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and having to navigate a nasty dispute between two neighbors in order to unite a puppy with its perfect child, the writing in each episode is more than enough reason for audiences to pick up this collection.  As if those challenges aren’t enough, love is also in the air for Niblet and Lucky.  Twice over, Lucky and Cookie have to admit their feelings for one another.  And in another episode, Niblet has to face a big decision when he meets a female sheep dog.  Collectively, the writing in the episodes culled for this DVD more than makes it worth adding to any family’s home library.  As impressive as the writing is, the work of the voice actors adds even more enjoyment to the presentation.  This includes the extensive list of guest stars that make appearances.  Last worth noting of this new compilation that makes it so enjoyable is its bonus printable valentine.  The DVD’s box art is used for the dual-sided card.  And audiences need only have Adobe Reader to open the card and print it out.  After printing it out, young audiences can give the card to their favorite pet or to their own parents or even a friend.  Regardless of who receives the bonus printable card, it proves to be one more reason for any family to add Pound Puppies: Puppy Love to their own home library.  Together with the work of the voice actors and of the show’s writers, it proves to be another great new release from Shout! Factory Kids.

Shout! Factory Kids’ latest collection of episodes from the hit Discovery Family series Pound Puppies is a welcome addition to any family’s home library.  This is the case whether on Valentine’s Day or any time of the year.  The central reason for its enjoyment is the writing behind its episodes.  The episodes culled for this compilation see the Pound Puppies face some of their biggest challenges yet.  The simply titled episode “The General” presents just one of those challenges.  This episode sees the Pound Puppies facing the massive challenge of getting some sixty-seven puppies adopted.  Of course it just so happens that McLeish is forced to hold an adoption fair by the mayor.  Even with the perfect opportunity there, things don’t exactly go fully as planned when Cookie decides to start acting like The General.  The central story is enjoyable within itself because of the challenge facing the Pound Puppies.  The underlying message sent to young viewers about being proud of who they are makes the episode even more enjoyable.  It is a message that viewers of all ages will appreciate.

In another episode, “McLeish Unleashed,” the Pound Puppies have and equally big challenge as they have to face off against the megalomaniacal Milton Feltwaddle (Jim Parsons—The Big Bang Theory) and get McLeish back as the head of Shelter 17.  Milton takes over Shelter 17 when McLeish is promoted to a management position in the city’s wastewater management department.  Any viewer familiar with the classic sitcom Hogan’s Heroes will love the direct tribute to that series as Feltwaddle turns Shelter 17 into a virtual concentration camp.  It the most direct throwback to Hogan’s Heroes yet with Feltwaddle even donning a military uniform, looking almost like Colonel Klink.  Of course the Pound Puppies end up defeating Feltwaddle.  The catch is that they have to rely on some unlikely help.  Fellow veteran voice actor Frank Welker makes an appearance, too albeit in a bit role.  Even in a bit role, Welker shows such expertise and respect for his cast mates.  Of course that will be discussed at more length later.  Whether for the direct throwback to Hogan’s Heroes or for the story itself, it proves to be one more great addition to the compilation, showing even more its value in any family’s home library.

One more major challenge that the Pound Puppies face comes in the form of “Rebound’s First Symphony.”  Veteran Actress Betty White joins comedienne Margaret Cho and veteran voice actresses Cree Summer (Clifford The Big Red Dog, Codename: Kids Next Door, Tiny Toon Adventures) and Grey DeLisle (Clifford The Big Red Dog, Curious George, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy) in this episode that sees the Pound Puppies trying to unite a musically gifted puppy named Yo Yo with a girl named Sumalee.  Sumalee is a gifted violinist.  But pressure from her mom is making her not enjoy playing her violin.  What’s worse, Agatha’s (Betty White—Hot in Cleveland, The Golden Girls) dog Rebound (Brooke Goldner—Pound Puppies, Littlest Pet Shop) enjoys Sumalee’s playing, too.  Her love for Sumalee’s talents is so much that it leads to a growing fight between Agatha and Sumalee’s mother Mrs. Wattana (Margaret Cho).  The fight in question doesn’t make the Pound Puppies mission to unite Sumalee and Yo Yo any easier.  But they do bring them together.  The fight between Agatha and Mrs. Wattana is pretty funny in itself.  It will have audiences of all ages laughing.  And the story that sees the Pound Puppies’ mounting challenge makes this episode even more enjoyable.  The secondary message about the pressure placed on young people is something to which so many viewers will be able to relate.  It makes the episode even more welcome an addition to this compilation, thus making even more reason for any family to add the DVD to their home library.

The challenges faced by the Pound Puppies in their latest group of adventures make for more than their share of reason for audiences to check out Pound Puppies: Puppy Love.  Being a Valentine’s Day-themed compilation, there are a couple episodes that see love in the air.  Cookie and Lucky finally have to admit to their feelings for each other not once but twice in this collection in “The General” and “When Niblet Met Giblet.”  The latter of the two episodes also sees Niblet falling for a female sheep dog named Giblet (Ashley Johnson—Ben 10: Omniverse, Teen Titans Go!, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien).  This episode presents something of a bittersweet story Niblet ends up having to make a very difficult decision. As bittersweet as the story proves to be in the end, it still reminds viewers that love is possible.  Cookie has to admit her feelings for Lucky in the prior of the pair when the General, who turns out to be a female dog, calls on the Pound Puppies.  These two episodes in conjunction with the others already noted show once and for all just why the writing in the episodes more than makes Pound Puppies: Puppy Love worth adding to any family’s home library.

The work that went into the writing in each of this disc’s episodes is more than enough reason for audiences to make it the latest addition to their home libraries. As impressive as the writing proves to be, the work of the show’s voice cast is also worth noting. Whether it be the series’ main cast or the extensive list of guest actors enlisted for these episodes everyone involved in bring the episodes to life is well deserving of their applause. Jim Parsons’ portrayal of the megalomaniacal Milton Feltwaddle is hilarious. Any viewer that is familiar with Parsons’ portrayal of Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory will love seeing that same character style expressed in this setting. Parsons shows not once but twice in this set why he is one of the most respected comedic actors out there today in his role as Feltwaddle. Betty White’s Agatha is a recurring character in Pound Puppies. White’s work with famed comedienne Margaret Cho in “Rebound’s First Symphony” is just as entertaining. It’s obvious that White and Cho had fun working together on this episode as their characters’ conflict increases. There is something about the pair’s back and forth as the conflict escalates that shows how much fun the women had making the episode. It is just as obvious when Mrs. Wattana is forced to rely on Agatha in order to get her daughter. On another note, veteran voice actor Frank Welker appears in a bit role as a young girl’s father in “McLeish Unleashed.” Even in a bit role, he is still entertaining. He doesn’t try to ham up his few lines, instead letting his cast mates hold the spotlight. Considering that Welker (Curious George, Scooby-Doo Where Are You, The Real Ghostbusters) has spent most of his career voicing central roles, his control in this episode shows his professionalism. In turn, it makes it even greater to see and hear him at work in this setting. Lauren Tom (Futurama, Friends, The Joy Luck Club) makes an appearance in one episode, too. And it goes without saying that she is just as entertaining in her role. Her acting and that of the rest of the voice cast in these episodes adds to the episodes’ overall enjoyment. Together with the work of the show’s writers, both the writing and acting make for plenty of enjoyment in these episodes and even more proof of why this new DVD is a welcome addition to any family’s home library.

The work put in by the voice cast and the writers in the episodes culled for Pound Puppies: Puppy Love collectively makes for plenty of reason for any family to add this DVD to their home library. For all of the enjoyment that they garner, they still are not all that make it worth the purchase. The DVD’s bonus printable valentine rounds out the entire package. The double-sided card uses the DVD’s box art for its artwork. And the message that “you’re top dog, Valentine” will put a smile on anybody’s face whether it be another child or a parent. All a person needs to print out the valentine is Adobe Reader. It’s that easy. All a person has to do to get there is open the disc from “My Computer” and open it manually to get to the valentine. The valentine comes complete with specific folding instructions to make things even easier. Parents can help children fold the card once it’s printed out. Or if parents think their children are old enough, kids can print out the card and fold it themselves before giving it to a friend or to their parents. It’s the finishing touch on a DVD that even without it would still have been a great valentine from any parent to any child. The addition of the valentine just makes it that much more enjoyable. Together with the work of the show’s writers and the voice actors, it is the last part of the whole proving why any family will want to add the DVD to their home library this Valentine’s Day.

Whether for the work of the show’s writers or that of the voice cast, the work of both shine in their own way in every episode culled for Pound Puppies: Puppy Love. The addition of a bonus printable valentine adds an extra touch to the presentation in whole. It is an extra touch that will allow parents and their children to spent even more time together and could even bring them together emotionally too after the valentine is printed out and assembled. The combination of all of these elements makes Pound Puppies: Puppy Love yet another solid release from Shout! Factory Kids. They show without a bit of doubt why Pound Puppies: Puppy Love is one more welcome addition to any family’s home library. It will be available on DVD next Tuesday, February 3rd. It can be pre-ordered now direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/pound-puppies-puppy-love. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory Kids is available online 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.

Phil’s Picks Is Giving Away Two Great Grammy-Nominated Albums For The Whole Family

The 2015 awards season is officially underway. The Golden Globes has come and gone and so has the annual People’s Choice Awards show. Next up is the biggest night of the year for the music industry–Grammy night. The Grammys will be broadcast live Sunday, February 8th on CBS. Obviously there are varying opinions on the legitimacy of the annual awards show. That is mainly because it focuses mainly on the mainstream acts that everyone knows about. Sadly, that leaves out the acts that really deserve some coverage, including artists and bands in the realm of children’s music. This year, a number of the bands and artists in the children’s music genre that have been nominated are also acts whose releases this critic personally reviewed throughout 2014. And in honor of their nominations, Phil’s Picks is giving away CDs from two of this year’s nominees in the Children’s music genre. Those acts are The Okee Dokee Brothers, and The Pop Ups. Both acts released albums that in their own way have proven to be anything but albums solely for children. If anything, both The Okee Dokee Brothers’ Through The Woods and The Pop Ups’ Appetite For Construction prove to be albums that are just as much for children as for their parents. And now two lucky families will get a chance to win one of those CDs courtesy of Phil’s Picks. For those that haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing either of them, a short overview of both albums follows.

Through The Woods

Courtesy:  Okee Dokee Music

Courtesy: Okee Dokee Music

Through The Woods is a wonderful album not just for children but for adults, too. That’s first and foremost because of its music. It is clear that it isn’t aimed just at children. In the same vein, older audiences will recognize the likes of David Holt, Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, and Hubby Jenkins of the Carolina Chocolate Drops on this record. The inclusion of older musicians, music, and lyrical themes that are aimed more at general audiences than specifically at children goes even farther to prove just how enjoyable this record is for listeners of all ages. It serves to show that Lansing and Mailander are perhaps branching out of their niche realm without alienating the parents and children that they entertained early on. It’s even more reason to applaud this album.

The music and special guest appearances on the album’s songs collectively create a solid foundation for Through The Woods. That foundation having been established, Lansing and Mailander make their latest album even more enjoyable for audiences thanks to the inclusion of a bonus companion DVD that comes with the CD. The album’s bonus DVD documents the journey undertaken by Lansing and Mailander. Along the course of their trip, the men interview a number of individuals who share the history of Appalachian/Mountain Music in their given region. As noted previously, well-known North Carolina musician David Holt is one of those individuals. He makes the interesting statement that he prefers to call Appalachian music “Mountain Music.” That’s because as he puts it, it encompasses the music of every region along the Appalachian Trail. It makes sense. The other interviews featured through the pair’s journey are just as interesting as they come from ordinary people who live along the trail. Audiences will be able to relate to these average, every day figures. And because of that ability to relate, audiences will enjoy the presentation even more.

The documentary following the Okee Dokee Brothers included on the album’s bonus DVD is a wonderful addition to the disc. It’s not all that the bonus DVD offers audiences. The Okee Dokee Brothers sweeten the deal even more by including their album in its entirety on the DVD, too. So not only do listeners get to hear Through The Woods on CD, they also get to hear it on DVD. It makes the bonus DVD that much more of a true bonus and welcome companion to the album. It seals the deal for this album that has justifiably earned itself a spot on the list of this year’s nominees for “Best Children’s Album.”

Appetite For Construction

Courtesy:  Pop Up City Records

Courtesy: Pop Up City Records

Appetite for Construction, the latest new release from kindie-pop rock band The Pop-Ups is an interesting work. The twelve-track album from the Brooklyn, NY based band will take parents all the way back to the 1970s and 80s with its mix of sounds all while celebrating the joys of childhood with its lyrical side. That lyrical side will also entertain parents as it will take them back to their own childhoods with songs such as ‘Craft Night,’ ‘Costume Party,’ and ‘All These Shapes.’ That these songs and those not mentioned could reach audiences of so many ages and entertain them at the same time proves once more why children’s music can be and often is just as good as anything crafted specifically for grown-ups.

In ‘Craft Night’ The Pop Ups—Jason Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein—sing about the fun of creating a picture collage. The duo sings about sitting at a table, taking those old tubes of glue, and gluing pictures to sheets of construction paper. Any grown-up that ever did this as a kid will understand and appreciate this song just as much as any child today provided schools still teach children about making collages. Any parent that ever took part in such craft making as children will be taken back in time thanks to the song’s vivid imagery provided via its lyrical content. And any children that actually still take part in such activities in schools today—apparently there are children that focus more on computer-based learning than on arts and crafts—will relate to it just as much. The addition of an old school 1970s/80s sound will entertain parents just as much. The end result is a song that as already noted, is just one prime example of what makes ‘Craft Night’ one of so many examples of the joy offered on this record.

Sitting down and making arts and crafts has been a time-honored tradition for children for generations. Hopefully it hasn’t become an entirely extinct tradition considering the increased emphasis being placed on computer-based learning in schools across the country. Just as much of a time-honored tradition among children is that of the costume party. Boys and girls alike dress up all the time. And their parents did, too. Such a tradition crossing generations, it makes for another great topic for a children’s song. Thus the aptly titled ‘Costume Party’ in which the duo sings of getting dressed up in different outfits. It’s one that both boys and girls will enjoy. That’s because there’s mention of girls getting dressed up in princess dresses and of boys getting dressed in a relative’s clothes. That set against the song’s 80s pop vibe will help the song to connect both with kids and their parents. Speaking of 80s pop, parents that grew up in the 80s will also appreciate the equally creative ‘All These Shapes.’ That song is one more piece from this album that serves as a solid example of what audiences have to expect from this record.

‘All These Shapes’ is another piece that is set against a 1980s era sound for all the grown-up children of the 80s out there. Stein and Rabinowitz sing in this song about all the possible things that could be drawn from the shapes. Parents will appreciate how this song really encourages thinking and creativity. And they will also appreciate that in its own right, that emphasis on creativity makes the song itself creative. It’s just one more piece that shows the extent of creativity and originality that fills this record. There are nine other tracks that display that creativity and originality just as much as this song and those previously noted. Audiences will be able to hear those songs for themselves when Appetite for Construction is released next month.

All three songs are prime examples of what makes Appetite for Construction worth the listen by both children and their parents. And together with the album’s other works the album in whole has also justifiably made a solid case for its nomination to this year’s Grammy category of the Year’s Best New Children’s albums, just as The Okee Dokee Brothers’ Through The Woods. Regardless of who takes this year’s trophy, it can be said that both acts are equally qualified and deserving of the title. They are yet more proof of why children’s music is just as good as music for adults if not more so. For that mater it proves to be just as enjoyable for adults as for children.

Before the Grammys goes live February 8th, Phil’s Picks will give away one copy of each album Friday, January 30th. One family will win a copy of one album while the other will win the other. It is up to the winning families which CD they want when they win. The winning families’ names will be drawn Friday, January 30th at 5pm ET and their names will be announced on the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks. Any family that wants the chance to win one of these CDs need only go to the Phil’s Picks Facebook page, “Like” it and write on the Phil’s Picks FB page, noting that they want to enter for a chance at one of the CDs. It’s that simple. So don’t let this chance to win a Grammy nominated band slip away. Enter now! Spread the word and good luck!

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.

Anchor Bay Reveals Release Date, Specs For TURN The Complete First Season

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Anchor Bay Entertainment announced recently that it will release the first season of its hit AMC series TURN: Washington’s Spies this spring.

TURN: Washington’s SpiesThe Complete First Season will be released Tuesday, March 17th. That is just in time for audiences to catch up with the hit historically-based series before its second season debuts this spring. It will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack. The ten-episode season will be spread across three discs on both sets. It will also include a handful of extras, which are noted below.

Bonus Features:

  • The History Of TURN: WASHINGTON’S SPIES
  • From Art To Image
  • Deleted Scenes

Based on author Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, Turn: Washington’s Spies centers on patriot Abe Woodhull. Woodhull is a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island. He joins with a group of his childhood friends to form what would become known as the Culper Ring in an effort to help then General Washington and his forces defeat the Red Coats in the Revolutionary War. What resulted would go on to be considered the birth of espionage. The series stars Jamie Bell (The Adventures of Tin Tin, Billy Elliot, Flags of Our Fathers), Seth Numrich (Gravity, Private Romeo)m Daniel Henshall (Out of the Blue, These Final Hours, The Babadook), Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire, Sleepy Hollow, Blue Bloods), Kevin R. McNally (Downton Abbey, Pirates of the Caribbean 1 – 4, Supernatural ), Meegan Warner (Portend, The Veil, A Place To Call Home), Burn Gorman (Torchwood, Pacific Rim, The Dark Knight Rises), Angus McFayden (Californication, Chuck, The Pinkertons), JJ Field (The Musketeers, Captain America: The First Avenger, To The Ends of the Earth), and Samuel Roukin (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Bright Star, Happy-Go-Lucky).

TURN: Washington’s SpiesThe Complete First Season will retail for MSRP of $49.98 on DVD and $59.99 on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack. More information on TURN: Washington’s Spies is available online at:

Website: http://www.amctv.com/shows/turn

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

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.

Time Life, StarVista Announce Release Date, Specs For New Carol Burnett Show Compilation

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment will release another new set of episodes from the beloved Carol Burnett Show next month.

The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again will be released Tuesday, February 24th on DVD. The single-disc release will boast three more episodes from the classic variety/sketch comedy series. All three episodes are presented exactly as their aired in their original broadcasts on CBS in 1973 and 1978. This means that all three episodes will be completely uncut. The included episodes in question are Episode #705 (Original airdate: September 29, 2973), Episode #712 (Original Airdate: December 15, 1973), and Episode #1115 (Original Airdate: January 8, 1978). The episodes included in the upcoming DVD feature some of the greatest names from television’s golden era. Those stars include: Roddy McDowell (Cleopatra, Planet of the Apes Series, Fright Night), Ruth Buzzi (Laugh-In, The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts), Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard, The Gloria Swanson Hour), Richard Crenna (Judging Amy, JAG, Rambo series), and Ken Berry (Mama’s Family, F Troop, The Andy Griffith Show).

The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again will be available in stores and online Tuesday, February 24th. It will retail for MSRP of $12.95. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Burnett-Show-Together-Again/dp/B00NUSWZ9I/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1421421317&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Carol+Burnett+Show+Together+Again. More information on this and other releases from StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

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.

Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show: The Complete Series Is A Must Have For Any Lover Of Classic Television

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Television has come a long way since its golden age. That is not necessarily a good thing, either. What once provided hope and reason for family togetherness in some of America’s most difficult times has become a divisive medium filled with oversexed and overly violent comedies, dramas, and reality television series. Audiences today are provided hundreds of channels thanks to cable, satellite, and streaming media. Among all of the options out there today, the only outlets that offer anything of real value in terms of programming are: PBS, PBS Kids, Turner Classic Movies, Me-TV and Antenna TV. Few if any other networks out there today truly have anything of substance or value. Enter home entertainment company Shout! Factory. Shout! Factory and its “sister” company Timeless Media have offered audiences an escape from that mind-numbing programming in recent years with some of the greatest television series of the 20th Century. Thanks to the release of classics such as Dennis The Menace, Mr. Ed, The Jeffersons, and many of Nickelodeon’s classic, beloved Nicktoons over the years, Shout! Factory has more than proven itself one of the leaders in the world of home entertainment. It could even be argued that those and so many of the other classic series released by Shout! Factory have made the company the leading company in that realm. The upcoming release of Maude: The Complete Series and others make that argument even more solid. Audiences have to wait until March to get their hands on Maude: The Complete Series. While they wait for its release, they have yet another great classic television series from Shout! Factory to enjoy in the form of Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show: The Complete Series. Released late last year, there is plenty to like about Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show: The Complete Series beginning with its writing. Regardless of their familiarity with this classic series, audiences will see firsthand a noticeable difference in the writing behind this series and that of the shows on television today. Even with the writing in Sgt. Bilko The Phil Silvers Show being aimed at older audiences, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not suitable for younger viewers. It just means that those viewers wouldn’t get some of the comedy infused into the show. Added to the show’s hilarious writing is a bevy of bonuses. There are commentaries with select episodes, interviews, and other footage including an episode of The New Phil Silvers Show and Phil Silvers on The Dick Cavett Show among much more. Rounding out the most notable of the box’s positives is the show’s footage. The footage looks just as clean as in its original broadcasts on CBS. And it is presented in its original 4:3 format, too adding to the nostalgia. The high quality of the show’s footage completes the set and shows once and for all why this complete series box set is another win both for fans of classic television and for Shout! Factory.

Shout! Factory’s recent release of Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show is a win for any lover of classic television and for Shout! Factory alike. It is especially so in an age when television has become but a pale shadow of its former self. It shows this first and foremost through the writing across all four of its seasons. From its debut season in 1955 to its series-ender in 1959, the show’s writers consistently found fresh, new get-rich-quick schemes for Bilko. To this day, those schemes still provide plenty of laughs, too as audiences will find for themselves when they purchase this set. Right from the series start, audiences will find themselves laughing as Sgt. Bilko tries to con some new recruits out of their money just to get into a poker game. Speaking of poker, Bilko joins the MPs in the Season Three episode “Bilko’s School Days” just so that he and the other officers can get away with playing poker. The original plan to use graham crackers baked with raisins as poker cards is well worth its own share of laughs. As if that isn’t enough for audiences, Season Two sees Bilko having to help a young private get his money back from some other soldiers in “Bilko’s Black Magic.” This episode is one of the series’ best. Bilko makes the soldiers in question believe that the private is practicing black magic and voodoo in this episode. It’s one of those episodes whose writing will reach audiences of almost any age. There’s even a scheme involving a made up pet spa in “Bilko’s Prize Poodle” from Season Three. That episode is another of the series’ best. Of course other viewers will find their own favorites throughout the series’ four seasons. That any of the series’ one hundred plus episodes could be chosen as favorites shows why the writing is at the core of the show’s enjoyment. And it makes clear why the writing earned the series three straight Emmys© for “Best Comedy” in its original run. In the case of this box set, the writing is just part of what makes it a win for both audiences and for Shout! Factory alike. The bonus material that comes with the box plays into its success, too.

It is clear throughout every episode of Sgt. Bilko’s four seasons why the series’ writing is at the center of its success. Every episode reminds audiences of just what used to make sitcoms and television in general great thanks to the laugh-till-you cry jokes and gags. As enjoyable as the writing makes each episode andthe series in whole, it isn’t all that makes this box set so enjoyable. The bonus material included with the box adds even more enjoyment. The bonus material in question includes a number of extras. What is arguably the best of those extras is an interview with Phil Silver’s daughters Nancy and Tracey. The sisters share a number of fond memories of their dad inclyding a funny story about having to meet with famed directour Louis B. Mayer. They talk about how their dad had to sing for Mr. Mayer in relation to a movie he was working on. This is also a little discussion on Silvers’ friendship with fellow acting legend Jack Benny. They note that Benny was their dad’s best friend. And that shows through in another bonus interview featuring both Phil Silvers and Jack Benny on the Dick Cavett Show. Cavett, in the course of the interview, keeps noting both men’s names. He keeps noting Benny’s name before Silvers’. Benny reacts to that by jokingly telling Cavett that he [Cavett] could call off their names in the other order. Silvers’ reaction to that was Silvers stating that he had no problem being second banana to the best. Benny was clearly moved in his reaction. It drives home that the pair really must have been very close friends. It’s one of plenty of moments in that bonus interview that will have audiences laughing. Getting back to the interview with Silvers’ daughters, audiences will be very interested to learn the very history of the Silvers name, their dad’s influence on audiences, Phil Silvers on screen versus Phil Silvers offscreen, and so much more. The interview runs nearly half an hour. And while it obviously isn’t the only worthwhile bonus included with this box set, it is definitely the best of the bonuses. As an addded bonus, Shout! Factory also added in an episode of The New Phil Silvers Show and even what has come to be considered the pilot for Sgt. Bilko in The Lucy Show episode “Lucy and the Efficiency Expert.” There are even commentaries included on select episodes across the set. Whether it be those commentaries, the bonus “pilot” episode of Sgt. Bilko, or the bonus interviews, each one of these bonuses play into the whole that is Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show to show yet again why this box set is well worth the purchase by any lover of classic television.

The mass of bonus material included in Sgt. Blko/The Phil Silvers Show goes a long way toward making this recetly released box set worth adding to any classic television lover’s library. Set alongside the series’ solid writing, the two aspects together make this box set even more of a bright spot in a television world that has become inccreasingly bleak in the twenty-first century. While both factors are of their own importance to Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show: The Complete Series, the quality of the footage is just as important to the presentation. Being that Shout! Factory has more than proven itself the leading company in home entertainment, it goes without saying that the quality of the series’ footage is the best possible. Painstaking efforts were obviously taken with each of the series’ previously released standalone sets. Those that weren’t lucky enough to pick up those sets will be pleasantly surprised to see the end result of those efforts in this set. The footage looks as clean now as it did in its original run some six decades ago. One could even argue that it looks even cleaner. And that it is presented in its original 4:3 format without losing its original quality makes it even better. It is the final piece of the whole that is Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show: The Complete Series that makes this box set such a welcome addition to the home library of any lover of classic television. Together with the bonus material and the show’s writing, it proves to be not just a welcome addition to any classic television lover’s library but a desperately needed addition, too.

Shout! Factory has become, over the years, the leading company in the world of home entertainment. It has even knocked the likes of Warner Home Video and other major names from their spots in the upper echelons of home entertainment. It has done so through the releases of The Jeffersons: The Complete Series, Mr. Ed: The Complete Series, Dennis The Menace in its standalone season sets, and so much more. Now it has done it yet again thanks to the release of Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show. Regardless of audiences’ familiarity with this award-winning classic, audiences of all ages will love the show’s pure, comic writing. They will also love the bonus features included in the set, and the high quality of the show’s footage from series premiere to finale. All three aspects will prove so impressive that any viewer will agree that Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show is a must have for any lover of classic television. 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

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