Time Life To Re-Issue ‘The Wonder Years: The Complete Series’ This Summer

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista

There is good news for fans of ABC’s classic family drama The Wonder Years.

Time Life Entertainment has announced that it will re-issue the series in a complete series box set next month.  It is currently slated to be released Tuesday, August 23rd and will retail for MSRP of $119.95.  The new re-issue will feature all 115 episodes of the six-season series spread across 22 discs and 12 hours of new bonus material.  Those bonus features include: highlights from the cast’s first reunion in 16 years, a farewell set tour, Exclusive interviews and more.  It also features all of the songs originally used in the series’ 5 year, six season run including: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, and many others.  The series’ soundtrack in total comes to 300 songs.

Over the course of its six seasons on the air, The Wonder Years was one of television’s most popular series.  It earned a spot on Neilsen’s Top 30 in four of those seasons.  It earned an Emmy® for “Best Comedy Series,” and at age 13 lead actor Fred Savage became the youngest actor ever nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actor For A Comedy Series.”  The series would eventually go on to earn a total of 24 awards and be nominate for 70 more.  Those nominations and wins included: Emmy® Awards, A Golden Globe®, and in 1989 a Peabody® Award for pushing the boundaries of the sitcom format and using what were then new methods of storytelling.  Even after the show ended its run, its impact was still being felt.  In 1997 “My Father’s Office” was ranked #29 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.  The series’ pilot episode was ranked #43 on that same list.

The Wonder Years: The Complete Series will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, August 23rd via Time Life Entertainment.  It will retail for MSRP of $119.95.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

 

 

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Time Life Takes Audiences Back To The Wonder Years Once More This Spring

 

Courtesy: Time Life/ABC

Courtesy: Time Life/ABC

This spring, ABC’s classic drama The Wonder Years returns for its fifth season courtesy of Time Life.

Time Life will release The Wonder Years: The Complete Fifth Season on Tuesday, May 24th.  Even more changes are in store for everyone throughout this season’s twenty-four total episodes.  Kevin, Paul, and Winnie are headed to high school.  Wayne and Wart decide to join the Army.  There are also love triangles, a controversial English teacher, a double date that no fan will forget, Driver’s Ed, and much more ahead for everyone this season.  As if that isn’t enough, all of the music that helped make The Wonder Years so great in its original run is here once again, too.  There are songs from Van Morrison, Percy Sedge, The Rivingtons, The Archies, Mel Torme, Patsy Cline, and many others.  The complete list of songs and acts featured in Season Five is noted below.

 

SONGS BY EPISODE

 

 “The Lake”
  • Happy Together-The Turtles
  • I Fought the Law-Bobby Fuller Four
  • Mannish Boy-Muddy Waters
  • Jamaica Say You Will-Jackson Browne
“Day One”
  • Eight Miles High-The Byrds
“The Hardware Store”
  • Takin’ Care of Business-Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  • Pennies from Heaven-Hal Kemp & His Orchestra 
“Frank and Denise”
  • Only You (And You Alone)-The Platters
  • If I Were a Carpenter-Tim Hardin
“Full Moon Rising”
  • G.T.O.-Ronny & the Daytonas
  • Fanfare For The Common ManInstrumental
“Triangle”
  • I Got You Babe-Sonny & Cher
  • If-Bread
  • Green River-Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • I Shall Be Released-The Band
“Soccer”
  • Get Up Offa That Thing-James Brown 
“Dinner Out”
  • Happy Birthday to You-Grady Martin and the Slew Foot Five 
“Christmas Party”
  • Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree-Brenda Lee
  • White Christmas-Andy Williams
  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo-Billy May and His Orchestra
  • Sleigh Ride-Leroy Anderson & His “Pops” Concert Orchestra
  • The Christmas Song-Mel Torme
  • Frosty The Snowman-Instrumental
“Pfeiffers’ Pfortune”
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)-Harpers Bizarre
  • Fragrance-Palm Court Theatre Orchestra
“Road Test”
  • Poursuite-Instrumental
“Grandpa’s Car”
  • Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)-Benny Goodman & His Orchestra
  • Crazy-Patsy Cline 
“Kodachrome”
  • Both Sides Now-Joni Mitchell 
“Private Butthead”
  • Forever Young-Joan Baez 
“Double Double Date”
  • You Are Everything-The Stylistics
  • Wild Thing-Instrumental
  • Run Run Run-Jo Jo Gunne
  • Sugar, Sugar-The Archies
  • When a Man Loves a Woman-Percy Sledge
“Hero”
  • Fanfare For The Common ManInstrumental
“Lunch Stories”
  • Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow-The Rivingtons
“Carnal Knowledge”
  • Walk Like a Man-The 4 Seasons 
“The Lost Weekend”
  • March from the River Kwai and Colonel Bogey-Mitch Miller & His Orchestra and Chorus
  • I Want to Take You Higher-Sly & the Family Stone
  • Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)-John Fred & His Playboy Band
“Stormy Weather”
  • Desperado-Linda Ronstadt
“The Wedding”
  • Wedding Song (There Is Love)-Paul Stookey
  • You Can All Join In-Traffic
“Back to the Lake”
  • Pressure Drop-Toots & the Maytals
  • Venus-Frankie Avalon
  • On the Road Again-Canned Heat
  • Home-Karla Bonoff 
“Broken Hearts and Burgers”
  • You’re Sixteen-Ringo Starr
  • Somewhere-Instrumental
  • Brown Eyed Girl-Van Morrison
  • Wild Heart of the Young-Karla Bonoff

Along with its engaging writing and its equally entertaining songs, The Wonder Years’ fifth season also comes complete with a handful of bonus features including the featurette “Will You Love Me Tomorrow: The Wonder Years’ Love Stories,” interviews with Olivia d’Abo (Karen Arnold) and David Schwimmer (Michael), and more.  The complete list of bonus material included in this season is noted below.

 

BONUS FEATURES
  • That’s A Wrap! Mark B. Perry’s Farewell Set Tour Season 5
  • Featurette: Will You Love Me Tomorrow: The Wonder Years’ Love Stories
  • Interviews with: Olivia d’Abo (Karen Arnold), David Schwimmer (Michael)

 

The Wonder Years: The Complete Fifth Season will be available Tuesday, May 24th in stores and online.  It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $39.95.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life is available online now at:

 

Website: http://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.

The Wonder Years’ Fourth Season Is 2016’s First Great Box Set For Grown-Ups

Courtesy:  Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment

Time Life Entertainment has made quite the name for itself in recent years. That is thanks to the release of box sets from some of television’s greatest classic series. Those series include the likes of China Beach, The Carol Burnett Show, The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts and a number of others. The release of said series is in itself just part of what has made the two companies quite the surprise in the home entertainment market. The overall presentation of said programs is really what has served to make Time Life such a surprising contender in that market.  Every one of the box sets released by the companies has offered not just the classic series in one capacity or another but a number of wonderful bonuses and smart packaging, too.  The series noted above are just some of the examples in which this has held true time and again. The companies’ release of ABC’s classic drama The Wonder Years in both its current standalone sets and its full series set are no exception to that rule, either. That can now also be said of the series’ upcoming fourth season DVD set.  There is so much more that could be noted of this set (just as with the series previous standalone season sets) than time and space allow. The stories that were crafted for Season Four are a good starting point, though.  Even as the stories were set against the backdrop of the then 1970s by that season, the experiences that Kevin, his family and friends go through in these episodes still remain as relevant today as they were to audiences in the show’s original broadcast.  The work of the show’s cast in interpreting the show’s scripts should be noted by relation.  From Fred Savage’s portrayal of the then awkward teenage Kevin Arnold to Josh Saviano’s portrayal of Paul as he matures to Dan Lauria’s continued impressive take on Kevin’s dad Jack, the cast’s work in whole is really what makes the stories so believable and in turn so entertaining. Looking at this new box set from another angle the episodes themselves are only a portion of what makes it another must have for fans of The Wonder Years. The companion booklet that is included in Season Four’s standalone set is yet another impressive addition to the show’s overall viewing experience. It offers extra tidbits on the season’s episodes from the music to behind-the-scenes extras, to even a recipe for a Mousse au Chocolat among so many other extras.  Collectively, the extras that are once again included in the companion booklet make it more than just a companion booklet but a bonus in every sense of the word.  Of course it is hardly the last element that could be presented in an examination of The Wonder Years’ fourth season.  There are also bonus interviews with the cast included in the set’s fourth disc that add even more insight into this season’s run.  One could even note the episode listings both within the set’s companion booklet and on the discs as a positive. Again, there is so much more here (as with previous standalone season sets of The Wonder Years) than could be tackled in a single setting.  Considering this, it can be said of The Wonder Years: Season 4 that this brand new box set from Time Life Entertainment is 2016’s first great box set for grown-ups.

The Wonder Years: Season 4 is 2016’s first great box set for grown-ups. That is not to say that the material contained within the set is improper for younger audiences. It just means that it will more likely reach older audiences than their younger counterparts because of the depth of the material that is presented. Though, some older youths might actually be able to relate to this series. Regardless, it can be said in going through the fourth season of The Wonder Years in whole, that this season is yet another hit for Time Life Entertainment. The central reason for that is the episodes that were crafted for this season. Right from the season premiere, “Growing Up,” audiences will be locked in as they watch Kevin’s personal growth and the changes that his family is beginning to see amongst itself. This episode sees Kevin beginning to…well…grow up.  His tenuous relationship with his father continues as he tries to get Jack to lighten up en route to the annual company picnic but then go man to man against him in the company softball game.  The tensions that the family has been experiencing have been reaching a boiling point, but still manage to work themselves out by the episode’s end.  While it all seems rather schmaltzy, audiences will be pleased to know that the writers didn’t allow it to take that route.  Rather, there is something about the episode’s writing that kept the episode wholly believable.  They didn’t really have to go to any extra lengths to make audiences suspend their disbelief.  That is because the situations presented in this episode were all so relatable to one extent or another for one audience or another.
“Road Trip,” which comes later in Season Four, is another example of the importance of the stories that were penned for this season.  Much as with the season premiere, it also focuses on Kevin’s relationship with his father.  This time the pair hit the road to purchase anew suit for Kevin.  Of course things don’t go exactly as planned, which leads to even more head butting and eventual reconciliation.  That reconciliation even leads to a certain emotional growth within both characters and between them.  Even now as the twenty-first century plods on, such a story is one to which so many fathers and sons can still relate today.  That is because both parties still face similar hurdles to this day in their personal and collective growth.
Of course the Arnolds aren’t the only cast members that get to take center stage in The Wonder Years’ fourth season. Coach Cutlip takes center stage in “A Very Cutlip Christmas.”  This episode sees Coach Cutlip taking on a second job as a mall Santa during the holidays so as to make ends meet.  In his efforts to keep his secret, Coach Cutlip treats Kevin better than his classmates, which then inadvertently leads to the revelation of Cutlip’s second job.  On the one hand, the boys’ initial reaction to the discovery is something very relatable.  In regards to Cutlip’s attempt to cover up having to take on extra employment, that is all too real especially today. There are some states in this country today that see teachers having to take on extra work over the summers and even weekends so as to make ends meet.  And the stigma that is attached to that process is just as real today as it would have been for a teacher even in the 1970s.  It is just one more way in which the episodes presented in The Wonder Years’ fourth season show themselves to be so important to the season’s overall viewing experience.  They are hardly the only episodes that could be cited in showing the episodes’ importance.  “Graduation” is another episode that could be cited as it sees Kevin, Paul and Winnie graduating from junior high and taking that first big step into the next stage of their lives.  It is a situation that still happens with middle school students to this day.  And for people of that age, it is a very difficult situation because it really is the first time that young people face such uncertainty.  It can be very trying for some.  “Who’s Aunt Rose?” is perhaps the season’s most powerful episode as Kevin and Wayne have to learn a very hard lesson about the importance of family, even distant family after the death of Grandpa Arnold’s cousin Aunt Rose.  It is yet another way in which the episodes prove to be so important to the whole of the season’s presentation.  Together with each of the season’s other episodes, all twenty-three episodes present a viewing experience that will move audiences to laughter and to tears from one episode to the next and even within the course of one episode or another.  The end result of this experience is twenty-three episodes that will keep audiences engaged from beginning to end and agreeing, once more, why this season’s episodes are so important to the season’s overall presentation on DVD.  The episodes that were crafted for the fourth season of The Wonder Years are in themselves more than enough reason for audiences to pick up this new box set when it becomes available next Tuesday, January 12th.  That is because the situations presented within each of the season’s twenty-three episodes are wholly believable.  They are situations that families encounter in one way or another even to this day.  The writers didn’t even have to get overly schmaltzy in any of this season’s episodes either in order to make them enjoyable.  That makes them all the more entertaining.  They are just one part of what makes this season such a hit for Time Life Entertainment, though.  The cast’s interpretation of each episode’s script is just as important to the episodes’ enjoyment as the episodes themselves.
The episodes that make up the body of The Wonder Years’ fourth season are in themselves a hugely important part of the season’s overall presentation.  Even as important as they are to the season’s standalone presentation, they are just one of the set’s elements that should be noted.  The work of the cast in interpreting each episode’s script is just as important to the show in its fourth season as the episodes themselves.  And just as with the series’ first three seasons, the cast’s work in front of the lens is completely entertaining.  Dan Lauria’s reaction as Fred Savage calls him out over his new boss at the company picnic in “Growing Up” is a prime example of how the cast’s work proves to be just as important to the show as the show’s scripts.  It is a classic moment.  Jack’s reaction here is a reaction that audiences familiar with the show have seen before in the show’s first three seasons.  Daniel Stern’s narration makes the moment all the more entertaining.  On another note, Savage’s presentation of Kevin’s bravery as he demands his locker back in “Ninth Grade Man” is another good example of the cast’s expert ability to interpret each episode’s scripts.  Here in this moment is Kevin acting more on hormones than on a clear head.  It’s something that every young person (especially younger boys) has done.  Someone says or does something that gets into a person’s head.  And that person in turn in what he or she believes is a brave manner.  In reality, it is a knee-jerk reaction that, just like Kevin realizes after the fact, probably was not the best course of action.  It’s part of that growth that everybody goes through even today.  Older audiences especially will look at this moment and laugh at it thanks to that understanding.  In the same vein, some older youths will find it an interesting moment because of their ability to relate to the moment in their own right.  On a completely different note, when Grandpa Arnold kicks Wayne and Kevin out of the car in “Who’s Aunt Rose?” both Savage and [Jason] Hervey are spot on in this moment.  It is a moment that stands out solidly against so many others throughout this season.  The look on the boys’ faces as they are left to walk the final two miles to their destination and their collective reaction in their collective epiphany is a gripping moment.  Considering the episode’s subject matter, their reaction will move audiences  deeply.  It’s just one more moment that shows why the cast’s work is just as important to The Wonder Years in its fourth season as the episodes themselves.  Even four seasons in, the cast shows its professionalism time and again.  Their collective interpretations and interactions make every episode wholly believable and engaging.  That professionalism partners with the work of the show’s writers to make the fourth season of The Wonder Years just as entertaining and engaging as the series’ first three seasons.  Of course it is hardly the only remaining element of this standalone season set that makes it worth the watch.  The set’s companion booklet once again proves to be just as important to the series here as in the series’ previous standalone season sets.
Both the episodes that are featured in the fourth season of The Wonder Years and the cast’s interpretation of said episodes are equally important in their own right to the season’s new standalone set.  While both elements exhibit great importance to Season Four’s overall presentation, they are not the only elements that should be considered.  The set’s companion booklet is just as important in its presentation as the episodes and acting this time out.  That is because of all of the extra information that is provided to audiences within the pages of the booklet.  That information includes insight into this season’s episodes from the writers, cast profiles, key episode specific quotes, and so much more.  In regards to the episode information, “Little Debbie” is one example.  Writer Mark B. Perry offers his insight in bringing the Pfeiffer family back in this episode and more specifically Debbie Pfeiffer.  Executive Producer Bob Brush also shares his thoughts on “The Accident” and what made this episode so pivotal in the grand scheme of the series’ six-season run.  The cast profiles include profiles on Robert Picardo, and guest stars Soleil Moon Fry and David Schwimmer.  There are also a few episode specific quotes, pop quizzes and more tossed in for good measure.  There is even a recipe for a Mousse au Chocolat (or chocolate mousse) that accompanies the episode summary and other information for It’s A Mad, Mad, Madeline World.”  It’s not just some play recipe either.  It is the real deal.  These are just some of the extras included in Season Four’s companion booklet that audiences will enjoy.  There is much more for audiences to discover for themselves when they purchase The Wonder Years: Season Four for themselves.  All things considered, the companion booklet that comes with The Wonder Years’ fourth season makes the show’s companion booklet once again not just a booklet but its own individual experience.  Together with the show’s writing this season and the work of the show’s cast all three elements come together to make The Wonder Years’ fourth season another must have for any of the show’s fans.  And it isn’t even the last element that could be noted to the set’s benefit.  The bonus cast interviews that are included in the set’s fourth disc and the episode summaries included inside the set’s companion booklet could just as easily be cited as positives to this set.  What’s more the fact that audiences get a full episode listing both within the set’s companion booklet and over the course of each disc.  The episode listing inside the set’s companion booklet includes not just a full listing of the set’s episodes but a short but concise summary of each episode.  The discs that make up the show’s fourth season each have their respective episodes listed on the discs.  What this means is that audiences can be doubly certain that they will know which episodes are on which disc and what’s more what each episode entails in terms of stories.  It might not seem like much on the surface.  But in the grand scheme of things this is a very important element in Season Four’s  overall presentation.  Together with everything else noted here, the overall presentation of The Wonder Years’ fourth season proves it to be in whole, another must have for any of the show’s fans and 2016’s first great new box set for grown-ups.
The fourth complete season of The Wonder Years is 2016’s first great new box set for grown-ups and another must have for anyone that grew up watching this standout drama.  Between its full complement of entirely engaging episodes and the work of the show’s cast, audiences are given more than enough reason to add this latest installment of episodes to their home DVD libraries.  The extensive bonus material included in the set adds even more enjoyment to the set’s overall presentation and viewing experience.  The interviews included in the set’s fourth disc and the extensive information included in the set’s companion booklet will impress audiences just as much.  Each element plays its own important part in the overall presentation of Season Four.  Altogether, they make The Wonder Years: Season Four, again, a collection that any of the series’ fans will want to have in their home DVD libraries and a collection that is 2016’s first great box set for grown-ups.  It will be available next week and can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Wonder-Years-Season-4DVD/dp/B017KIRUC0/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1452289869&sr=1-1&keywords=the+wonder+years+season+4.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:
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Time Life To Release The Wonder Years’ Fourth Season This Winter

Courtesy:  Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment

This winter, Time Life Entertainment will release the next installment of ABC’s classic family drama The Wonder Years.

Officials with Time Life Entertainment announed this week that the company will release the fourth season of The Wonder Years on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016. It will be released exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $39.95. The four-disc collection boasts all twenty-three episodes from the series’ fourth season as well as a number of extras for fans of the classic series including interviews with the series’ cast and the special featurette “ABC: Teachers That Made a Difference.” Season Four is a season of big change for Arnold and his friends. It sees Kevin making the jump from middle school to high school. That means going from being a big fish in a little pond to being the ittle fish once again in a big pond. Making things even more difficult for Kevin is that he is back together with Winnie Cooper. But she’s now at another school. Paul has his own big announcement that threatens to break up the friendship between him and Kevin. On the home front things are changing quite a bit, too. Kevin’s dad gets a promotion while Kevin gets his first job. Norma takes a job at Kevin’s school. And Karen starts college while Wayne buys his first car. Things definitely get interesting in this story as well as in all of the other big changes that come in Season Four.

If the engaging stories and bonus features aren’t enough for audiences in the fourth season of The Wonder Years, the music that accompanies its twenty-three total episodes will certainly entertain audiences. Season Four features songs from the likes of: Joan Baez, The Beatles, The Monkees, Hank Williams, Nat King Cole, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Ventures, and many more.

The Wonder Years: Season Four will be released Tuesday, January 12th. It will retail for MSRP of $39.95. More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

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.

StarVista Succeeds Again With The Wonder Years: Season Three

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

It is official. StarVista Entertainment now has two new releases on this critic’s list of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. There is a third release from StarVista that has made this critics list of the best new box sets for grown-ups. But that is a story for another time. Getting back on topic, one of the noted box sets on this year’s list—The Wonder Years Season 2—was released back in February of this year. The other—The Wonder Years Season 3—was just released late last month. It is interesting to note how quickly StarVista has churned out the series’ first three seasons considering that Season One was released as recently as this past October. It’s interesting to note because of how enjoyable each season has proven, including the newly released third season. Typically when companies churn out releases (box sets or DVDs/Blu-rays) the end result is a presentation that is largely forgettable and hardly worth the watch. Thankfully, in the case of The Wonder Years, audiences will be happy to know that the standards established by StarVista in the series’ first two seasons have been maintained throughout the course of this season, too thus making Season Three just as enjoyable as those first two seasons and proving why it is yet another piece from StarVista that is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.

The third season of The Wonder Years is just as enjoyable for audiences of all ages as the series’ first two seasons. This is the case even though the company released it only about three months after the release of the series’ second season and only seven months after the series’ debut season. It is so enjoyable because those charged with its assembly and release maintained the same standards used within those sets in this one, too. The main standard in question is the inclusion of every one of the season’s twenty-three total episodes in their entirety. The episodes in question are ones that once again are just as relatable for audiences today as they were to audiences in their original run on ABC so many years ago. The set’s first disc is loaded with examples of how those episodes remain so timeless. It opens with “Summer Song” in which Kevin has his first-ever summer romance. While not everybody out there has had that fabled one-time “relationship” enough people have had it even now in the twenty-first century to make it relatable. “Rock ‘n Roll” is just as relatable. Again it is not entirely relatable to every viewer today. But one glance at the teeny-bopper and tweeny-bopper sitcoms and dramas out there today shows just how relatable this episode remains despite its age. Having that teen band is something that so many young people do as part of their “coming of age” even today. Even this critic went through that at one point. “Goodbye” is perhaps one of the most powerful of the season’s episodes in its ability to relate to viewers as it sees Kevin having to face one of the most difficult situations that he would ever face in his life. It is a situation that every young person has to face at one point or another. It is just part of that personal growth that everybody goes through at one point or another as they get older. Staying on that note, the fact that the third season of The Wonder Years continues to present Kevin’s coming of age—his personal growth and his growth as part of a family unit—in whole, it makes the series that much more believable and in turn more memorable from one episode to the next. That alone makes this latest season set that much more of a must have for audiences of any age. In other words it proves even more why it is one of this year’s best new box sets for the whole family.

The presentation of The Wonder Years’ third season in its entirety is the most important aspect to its enjoyment. It is a serial that really is not a serial. The scenarios presented in each episode are timeless mirror images of the real world and vice versa. They are just part of what makes this season another success. Along with including all twenty-three (NOT seventeen) episodes featured in the season’s original run, StarVista Entertainment has once again included a load of in-depth bonuses for audiences. Audiences get to hear from stars Danica McKellar, Fred Savage, and Josh Saviano yet again in another roundtable discussion that focuses on not just Season Three but the show’s other seasons, too. There are also one-on-one interviews with McKellar and her sister Crystal–who played another of Kevin’s romantic interests, Becky Slater—as well as Olivia d’Abo (Karen Arnold) and Jason Hervey (Wayne Arnold). If that’s not enough for fans, StarVista has one again included a companion booklet that serves as not just an episode guide but its own true bonus companion to the season set. It is a bonus because once again, it provides extra behind-the-scenes “secrets” about each episode such as the revelation that Fred Savage’s younger brother (and now fellow famed actor) Ben played Cupid—a.k.a. Curtis Hartsell—in the episode “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” or that Danica McKellar joined the ranks of greats such as Orson Welles, Frank Sinatra, Eva Marie Satin, Hal Holbrook, Spalding Gray, and Paul Newman in performing in the play Our Town. Sure, it was as Winnie Cooper. But it is still pretty interesting to learn this little tidbit of information. There are even more masses of extras shared throughout the set’s bonus companion booklet that audiences will enjoy learning for themselves. Together with the season’s full complement of fully believable and entertaining episodes it both elements together show quite clearly why this latest release is another of the year’s best new box sets for families. While both elements are equally important to the season’s enjoyment, they still are not all that makes this set so memorable and a must have. The look and sound of the set is another standard that StarVista has maintained in this season.

Audiences that perhaps might not have already picked up the first two seasons of The Wonder Years will be quite pleasantly surprised by the series’ third season box set. That is because it maintains the high standards set by StarVista for itself in the noted box sets in every way. It presents every episode from the classic series’ third season in whole. Added on to that, the episodes continue to keep audiences engaged and entertained because of their reality. The bonus material that was included with the series’ previous standalone sets are just as prevalent here as in those sets. They make the overall viewing experience presented in this box set all the richer for viewers. While both standards go a long way toward making The Wonder Years: Season Three enjoyable for audiences, the collective production values of the episodes (their overall look and sound), are also just as impressive as those of the previous seasons’ episodes. The grainy look of the show from its original run is there. Bu it has been cleaned up just enough to keep the picture clear. The season’s audio mix is just as impressive. This is especially the case with the show’s soundtrack. The songs that make up the show’s foundation sound wonderful whether on a standard television or one with a home theater system. In the same vein, the audio has been handled so professionally that at no point will viewers have to ride their remotes so to speak. In other words, whether in the transitions from dialogue to music and back or from scene to scene in general, viewers will not have to worry about adjusting the volume on their TVs. Yes it seems minor on the surface. But there are those series and movies that suffer dramatically from poor audio management which leads to viewers riding their remotes constantly. It really takes away from the overall viewing experience. Thankfully, again, viewers don’t have to worry about that here. Because they don’t have to worry about making that constant adjustment, viewers will be able to spend their time taking in the stories presented in every one of the season’s twenty-three episodes as well as all of the season’s bonus material. It rounds out the set and shows once and for all why The Wonder Years: Season Three is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.

The Wonder Years: Season Three is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families, in case that point hasn’t already been driven home. It has more than earned this title thanks to the fact that it presents the same high standards established by StarVista Entertainment in the series’ first two season sets. It presents all twenty-three episodes that make up Season Three in their full, joy-filled and often emotional moments. The bonus material boasted by the series’ first two season sets are also present here. Just as impressive is the fact that this season looks and sounds just as impressive as those standalone sets. Whether on their own or collectively, all three elements noted here show without a doubt that the third season of The Wonder Years is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from StarVista Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

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StarVista Shines Bright Again Thanks To The Wonder Years Season Two

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

ABC’s The Wonder Years was one of the most successful and popular programs on television in its original run on ABC from 1988 – 1993.  Even after more than two decades since it finally came to an end, it still remains one of the most beloved series in television’s modern history.  As beloved as the series continued to prove to be since it ended its original run, it wouldn’t be until last year that devotees of The Wonder Years would finally be rewarded for their loyalty to the series.  The complete first season of The Wonder Years finally got its first ever full, proper DVD release last fall courtesy of StarVista Entertainment.  And this week, StarVista Entertainment has followed up that release with the series’ complete second season.  Season Two picks up where the series’ first season left off in every sense of the phrase, presenting wonderful, timeless episodes that are just as relatable today as they were in their original airings.  The acting on the part of the cast remains just as impressive as in Season One.  And the mass of bonus material including the companion booklet and the on-disc bonuses impresses yet again in its own way.  Each of the noted elements—the writing, acting, and bonus material—that went into the second season of The Wonder Years plays its own pivotal role in making this long-awaited box set so impressive.  All three together make the second season of The Wonder Years another must have for any of the series’ original audiences.

When it was finally released last year, StarVista Entertainment’s release of The Wonder Years: Season One proved in so many ways to be well worth the two-decade plus wait.  One of the main reasons that it proved so well worth the wait was the writing behind its episodes.  Much the same can be said of the writing in Season Two’s episodes.  The series’ writers continued in Season Two to present a series that was a serial without actually being a serial.  It followed the Arnold family’s growth.  But unlike today’s series, it didn’t require audiences to dedicate the amount of time that said series require of audiences.  It’s a model that sadly hasn’t been seen since the days of Home Improvement, Wings, The Cosby Show, and 3rd Rock From The Sun just to name a handful of series.  It’s just part of what continues to make the writing so impressive in the series’ second season.  The ability of audiences to so easily relate to the series concepts in these episodes makes the writing just as strong.  Every viewer will relate to the fallout from Kevin and Winnie’s breakup at the end of Season One because every viewer has navigated those same troubled waters in their own lives whether as children or teens.  In the same vein, the growing complexities of Kevin and Paul’s friendship throughout Season Two are just as real.  The strain put on the pair’s friendship when Paul starts dating in “Steady As She Goes” is a situation to which any viewer can relate.  It’s a situation to which both men and women can relate as both boys and girls go (have gone) through at some point in life.  And the emotional strain caused by a divorce as in “How I’m Spending My Summer Vacation” is just as much an issue to which so many audiences can relate.  It’s just one more example of how the writing behind Season Two makes its episodes just as enjoyable as those that made up the series’ first season.  There are plenty of other examples of why the series’ writing this season remains so solid.  From the special message in “Christmas” to the tensions which every married couple has had at some point even today in “Pottery Will Get You Nowhere,” to the already noted episodes, audiences will see from episode to episode just why the writing behind Season Two’s episodes is central to the set’s success and enjoyment.

The writing behind the second season of The Wonder Years is the center point of its success and enjoyment.  Even now in the twenty-first century, the situations presented throughout each episode are situations to which any family can relate.  That is because every viewer has found himself or herself in at least one of the given situations if not most.  That having been noted, the work of the show’s cast in terms of interpreting Season Two’s scripts adds to the episodes’ enjoyment.  At no one point does it ever feel like the cast is going over the top.  Maybe the reason for that is that the situations presented in Season Two were just as timeless then as they are today.  They were (and are) so real that it made interpreting their scripts that easy.  It is so easy to believe Kevin’s heartbreak when he learns that Winnie hasn’t fallen back in love with him and when he is struggling to keep his parents from fighting after Jack gives Norma no support as she takes a pottery course.  The frustration of the Arnolds in trying to keep up with the times in “Christmas” is just as real and believable.  Even today, it’s so easy for any family to see itself in the position of the Arnolds as they feel left behind by technology and those with the latest technology.  That reality made the acting just as easy for the cast just as the reality of divorce made the acting in the season finale so easy.  And because the acting in these (and all of Season Two’s episodes) is so believable, it makes the episodes in whole more believable and that much more enjoyable for audiences.  The believability of the cast’s acting coupled with the work of the script writers makes collectively for a big reason that The Wonder Years: Season Two is a must see for any fan of this classic series.

The work of the cast and the writers in The Wonder Years’ second season make up a big part of the reason that any fan of the show should check out this new box set from StarVista Entertainment.  While both elements are of equal importance to the set’s success, there is still one more element to note of the set that will impress audiences just as much.  That final element is the set’s collective bonus material.  The bonus material includes not just the bonus interviews and featurettes on the set’s fourth disc but the set’s companion booklet, too. The material included on the set’s fourth disc includes more interviews with Fred Savage’s TV parents Dan Lauria and Alley Mills as well as an interview with narrator Daniel Stern (Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Bushwacked). There is also a look back at the turbulent era in which The Wonder Years’ second season took place. The era in question was the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was a time of great social change for America, and as audiences will see in “The Times They Are A-Changin’: The Era” those changes were reflected directly in the episodes. They were part of the previously noted writing that made Season Two so enjoyable. Along with all of that, there is also a roundtable discussion with Fred Savage, Danica McKellar, and Josh Saviano in which the trio looks back on the events of Season Two and what those events meant to each one of them. The companion booklet that is included with Season Two maintains the standard set by the booklet included in Season One’s box. Simply put, it is more than just an episode guide. It outlines the episodes and gives some background on the episodes as well as some history behind the show and other little important tidbits such as current events and music history in relation to the episodes’ settings. The fact that the people at StarVista entertainment would strive to maintain that high standard even with the set’s companion booklet shows that they wanted to continue honoring the series and those that made it so great, and the show’s fans. Such an in-depth booklet coupled with equally in-depth bonuses included on-disc show together why the bonus material included in The Wonder Years: Season Two is just as important to its presentation as the episodes and the work of the cast. By themselves, the bonuses included in this set make for plenty of reason for the show’s original fans to add this set to their home library. Together with the work of the cast and the writers, audiences are presented with a set that is in every way a definite must have.

The Wonder Years: Season Two is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Wonder-Years-Season-2-4DVD/dp/B00OGD8PX6/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1423063498&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Wonder+years+Season+2. More information on this and other titles from StarVista Entertainment is available online at:

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

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.

MLB World Series Takes Top Honors In The Phil’s Picks 2014 List Of Best New Box Sets For Grown-Ups

The days are officially ticking away to the end of another year. That means that all of the critics out there are now putting out their annual “Best Of” lists. This critic is still working on some of those lists while others are official. The jury’s still out on some right now such as the year’s Best New Documentaries, Independent Movies, Re-Issues, and Best New Movies overall. The lists for all the new music are still in the works, too. So while those lists are being completed, Phil’s Picks offers to everyone to start off the year, a look at the Top 10 Best New Box Sets for Grown-Ups. This year’s list is capped by a box set featuring the entire 2014 World Series, courtesy of Lionsgate, A&E Home Video, and MLB Productions. Also on this year’s list are some blasts from the past and some imports from our neighbors across the pond, and one surprise entry in the Honorable Mention list. The box sets’ packaging, bonus material and more were collectively taken into account in building this (and the other lists to come). Only 15 titles total could make the list. So there were some that didn’t make the list such as the sixth and seventh seasons of Star Trek The Next Generation on Blu-ray or the full six-season run of Ancient Aliens among others. It goes without saying that this was not an easy list to build. But it feels right. So without further ado, here is the list of 2014’s Top 10 New Box Sets For Grown-Ups.

2014 Best New Box Sets For Grown-Ups

1. 2014 MLB World Series Collector’s Edition

2. Endeavour: Series 2

3. Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series

4. The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crackups

5. The Dean Martin Show: Fully Roasted

6. The Roosevelts

7. Inspector Lewis: Series 7

8. Psych: The Complete Series

9. Secret Agent (A.K.A. Danger Man): The Complete Series

10. The Wonder Years: Season 1

Honorable Mention

11. The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years–1951 – 1955

12. The Almighty Johnsons: Season 1

13. Hell on Wheels: Season 3

14. The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection

15. I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 1 (BD Re-Issue)

Tomorrow, Phil’s Picks looks into the list of the year’s best new box sets for Children and Families. Stay tuned! 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.