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

 

 

 

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.

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Time Life, StarVista Give Audiences The Time Of Their Lives Again In ‘The Wonder Years” Fifth Season

Courtesy: Time Life/ABC

Courtesy: Time Life/ABC

Television has come a long way since its golden age.  That isn’t a good thing either.  During television’s infancy audiences were provided with so much variety in their programming options.  Now however, those options are far fewer.  Most of what audiences are being offered are either soulless “reality shows,” rebooted game shows, or any number of crime and medical procedurals, none of which even have any heart in themselves.  Thankfully, the variety once offered during television’s golden age have been resurrected by the increasing number of retro TV networks out there and home entertainment companies such as Shout! Factory, MPI Home Video, and the focus of today’s review, Time Life Entertainment.  Time Life and its subsidiary StarVista Entertainment have proven in recent years to be among the leading names in home entertainment thanks to the release of classics such as: Hee Haw, The Carol Burnett Show, and of course The Wonder Years just to name a few of those classic series.  Speaking of The Wonder Years, Time Life and StarVista released the fifth season of that series this past May.  The series’ penultimate season, it proves in its new home release why Time Life and StarVista are among the leading names in home entertainment beginning with the season’s writing; more specifically its stories.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important to note as the show’s writing.  The companion booklet that comes with the set is yet another important element to consider in the set’s presentation.  Each element plays its own part in Season Five’s overall presentation.  They are hardly the set’s only notable elements, too.  There is also the set’s collective bonus material and even the very listing of the episodes to consider in the set’s presentation.  All things considered Time Life and StarVista have once again proven with this release why they are among the leading names in the home entertainment arena.

Time Life and StarVista are among the very few leading names in the home entertainment arena today.  That has been proven time and again with every one of the companies’ previous home releases.  The recently released fifth season of ABC’s classic family drama The Wonder Years is just the latest title to prove that reputation.  The series is one of television’s best classic dramas.  That has already been proven over the course of the series’ first four seasons.  Now in its penultimate season it has proven this once again in large part through its writing.  More specifically that writing applies to the stories at the heart of each episode.  While this season’s stories take place in the 1970s their scenarios are just as relevant today as they were in their given age.  “Road Test” is just one key example of that continued relevance.  Kevin faces his driving test in this episode.  And it isn’t easy.  While everyone else is having an easy go of it, he can’t get over his issues with parallel parking.  That is until he finally faces his fears.  It also leads to a heartwarming father-son bonding moment between Kevin and Jack in the end.  This smaller element of the writing will be discussed later.  Of course driving tests have changed a lot since the days of Kevin’s test.  But that fear and uncertainty that new drivers feel is still very much the same, again proving its relevance to the world today.

The Story within “Day One” is another key example of The Wonder Years’ continued relevance to the world today.  This stories finds Kevin starting high school, which means a whole new environment including a new teacher who makes Kevin his personal target.  This comes about due to one joke that Kevin makes; a joke that Kevin finds harmless but the teacher in question doesn’t, thanks to his personal background.  In the process, Kevin learns a very important lesson not only about civics and government but about right and wrong.  It is an important story that progresses Kevin’s continuing coming-of-age that is just as relevant today as it was in its original broadcast.  Sure, there might not be protests along the line of what Kevin and his classmates did.  But it directly echoes that personal emotional growth that every teen goes through, even today.  So it proves, again, to be just as relevant to the world today as “Road Test.”

“Soccer” is one more example of what makes The Wonder Years so relevant to the world even today.  This time Kevin joins a band of misfit students to form his school’s new soccer team.  Of course the result is a classic underdog story that will put a smile on any viewer’s face.  Despite the differences exhibited by the team and its general lack of talent, it still comes together in the end to inspire both each other and its coach, a one-time soccer legend himself.  The coach had signed on very reluctantly and didn’t even show any real interest in the team throughout most of the story.  But the team’s determination inspired him even just a little bit.  So many stories along the lines on this one have been crafted by so many television and movie writers through the ages.  But they have all been so over the top that they are hardly believable.  This story is the polar opposite of those presentations.  It completely pulls in audiences and in turn makes itself entirely believable.  It is just one more way in which The Wonder Years maintains its relevance even today.  It is hardly the last story presented in this season that proves the series’ continued relevance.  “Private Butthead,” “The Lost Weekend,” and “Wedding” could just as easily be used to exhibit that continued relevance as could any of the season’s other episodes, too.  All things considered, the stories that are presented throughout The Wonder Years’ fifth season show from beginning to end the series’ continued relevance and the overall importance of the season’s writing.  The stories alone are just a portion of what makes the writing so important.  The life lessons that are presented within each episode are just as important to note as the stories themselves.

The stories at the center of The Wonder Years’ fifth season are in their own right hugely important to the writing within the season’s presentation.  They are just part of what makes the writing so important.  The life lessons that are presented within each episode are just as important to note as the stories themselves.  Case in point the lesson presented in “Day One.”  The lesson about standing up for one’s own beliefs is one that applies at any stage of life.  While the tyrant here might have been the teacher Kevin still realized that he had to stand up for himself just as people in general must stand up against tyranny, bullies, and the like.  It boasts a certain heart that few if any shows today can say they have.

“Grandpa’s Car” boasts just as much heart in its story and life lesson as that presented in “Day One.”  This story sees Arnold’s grandfather having to come to terms with his age and his waning abilities.  It presents yet another topic that is just as relevant today as it was in Kevin’s youth.  While the story is powerful in its own right, so is the lesson presented here.  The lesson centers on family.  It presents that important message about looking after one’s family even when family might not agree with certain decisions and actions.  It is one of those lessons (and stories) that will definitely touch audiences so deeply.  And it is hardly the last example of the importance of the lessons to the series’ writing in this season.  “The Wedding” provides one more example of the importance of the show’s lessons this season to its writing.

“Grandpa’s Car” and “Day One” both present lessons that are clearly important to the series’ writing.  They are lessons that ring just as true today as they did during Kevin’s youth.  They are not the only episodes to present such important lessons.  The lesson at the heart of “The Wedding” (no pun intended here) is yet another example of the importance of the show’s lessons to its writing.  It presents the message of social existence.  Just because Karen’s wedding isn’t the traditional wedding does not make it wrong.  It still allows her and her new husband to express their love to one another.  Sadly there are a lot of people who to this day still think that a wedding should be a certain way thanks to social norms and values.  Considering that, the lesson presented here is one from which so many audiences would benefit even today.  Keeping that in mind, the lesson presented here is yet one more example of the importance of the show’s lessons to its writing.  And as with the presented stories, it is hardly the last lesson that could be cited in exhibiting the importance of the show’s writing, too.  There are plenty of other lessons that could be cited here.  All in all they come together with the lessons noted here to show in full that the lessons presented within the episodes are just as important to the show’s writing as the presented episodes.  Now having considered all of this, the stories and lessons that are presented across The Wonder Years’ fifth season show unquestionably the importance of the season’s writing to its presentation.  As important as the writing proves to be to The Wonder Years’ fifth season it is not the only important part of its presentation.  The work of the show’s cast is just as important to note as that of the show’s writers.

The work of The Wonder Years’ writers proves to be unquestionably important to the series even in its fifth season.  That is because the writers have crafted stories that on one level are just as relevant today (yet again) as they were in their original broadcast.  On another level the lessons that are presented throughout give each episode (and the season in whole) just as much heart as the series’ previous four seasons.  While the writing proves to be so important to the series it is not the only important part of this season’s presentation.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important to note as the writing.  Their work shines through in every episode just as much as that of the writers.  One prime example of this comes midway into the season in “Private Butthead.”  When Wayne decides to join the Army, thinking he’s not smart enough to go to college, he and Jack butt heads over his decision.  What is evident on both parts is the love that Jack has for his son.  The emotion exhibited by Dan Lauria as he tries to persuade Wayne (Jason Hervey) to rethink his decision is so painful and heart-wrenching.  Lauria really makes audiences feel for him.  That is because he is not so much because Jack is mad at Wayne but rather because he is so scared for him and what might happen.  He explains to Wayne that it was different when he went to Korea.  He knows what happens in war.  He just doesn’t want that for his son.  It is a father’s love for his son.  And it shines here so brightly.  On the same note, Hervey is just as believable as Wayne butts  heads with Jack.  He makes audiences believe his performance just as much as Lauria does for Jack.  It would have been so easy for the pair to go over the top here.  But at no point does that happen.  It makes their performance one of the season’s best hands down.  It is just one example of how the cast’s work shines in this season.  Olivia d’Abo is just as impressive when she takes center stage in “The Wedding.”

Dan Lauria and Jason Hervey both exemplify the importance of the cast’s work when the pair take the lead in ‘Private Butthead.”  The duo expertly presents a situation that is just as prevalent today as it was so many decades ago.  The emotion exhibited by both men as they play their respective part in the story makes the story so emotionally gripping.  On another note, Kevin’s personal growth in “Day One” is another example of the importance of the cast’s work this season.  Audiences will find themselves completely enthralled in Fred Savage’s performance as Kevin goes from being a nervous high school “newbie” to being a proud, confident leader of sorts as he eventually leads his classmates in a protest against their tyrannical teacher.  It is so interesting to watch Kevin’s gradual personality change over the course of the episode.  That is thanks, again, to Savage’s attention to the story and control of Kevin’s growth.  It is yet another example of how the cast’s work shines here and most definitely not the last.  On another note, Olivia d’Abo is impressive in her own right during her time at the fore in “Stormy Weather.”

Dan Lauria, Jason Hervey, and Fred Savage all show in their own ways the importance of the cast’s work in this season of The Wonder Years.  Theirs isn’t the only notable work.  Olivia d’Abo deserves her own share of praise for her work as Kevin and Wayne’s sister Karen.  That is especially the case in ‘Stormy Weather.”  Here in this story is d’Abo portraying Karen as a grown woman yet someone who is still so vulnerable.  There is still that aspect of someone so young and inexperienced in life thanks to d’Abo’s performance.  D’Abo’s performance presents Karen as a young woman who is realizing that while she is an adult, she still obviously hasn’t completely found her way or herself.  And the moment at which she realizes this is one of the episode’s most powerful.  It is a subtle moment.  But those who pay close attention will catch it.  In doing so, those audiences will be so moved.  It is just one more way in which the cast’s work shines through in this season and shows its importance to the season’s presentation.  There are so many other moments that could be cited in exhibiting the importance of the cast’s work.  That would take far too much time, though.  Keeping that in mind, it would be safe to examine one more of the season’s important elements, its companion booklet.

Both the writing and acting behind the The Wonder Years in its fifth season do so much to make the show just as solid this time out as in its previous seasons.  They are not the season’s only important elements.  The companion booklet that comes with the set is just as important to note as the writing and acting.  Just as with the series’ previous seasons, this season’s companion booklet presents so much extra enjoyment for audiences.  It presents short but concise summaries for each of the season’s 24 episodes.  There are also some interesting tidbits included that range from behind-the-scenes information to some equally interesting history items.  For instance, in “Hero” it is noted that a then much younger James Caviezel actually had NBA aspirations in real life.  But an injury to Caviezel prevented those dreams from becoming reality, thus leading him to embark on an acting career.  It also presents a note about actor Paul Dooley, who played Kevin’s soccer coach, Pops in relation to the episode “Soccer.”  Audiences learn in watching this episode that Dooley was one of the creative forces behind PBS’ hit series The Electric Company.  There is even a note about author Jonathan Swift in relation to “Frank and Denise.”  It notes that Swift, who wrote Gulliver’s Travels, also wrote the 1,000 line poem “Cadenus and Vanessa,” that gets Denise so emotional in this episode.  The liner notes go on to state here that the poem in question was actually aobut his 17-year affair with Esther Vanhomrigh, whose parents were also friends of Swift.  It’s just one more interesting piece of information provided in the set’s companion booklet.  There is so much more that could be discussed including a little “pop quiz” related to Wayne’s SAT prep in “Private Butthead,” a brief history of the movie Carnal Knowledge and its impact upon its release, and even a little bit about actor Lyman Ward’s guest star appearance in “Of Mastodons and Men” among so much more.  Whether for these pieces of information, those more directly noted here or any of the others, it is clear that the companion booklet that comes with the fifth season of The Wonder Years is just as important to its presentation as the season’s writing and the work of the series’ cast.  Each element is important in its own right.  Heck, even the bonus material included on disc and the clear listing of episodes on the discs deserves being noted here, too.  All things considered, Time Life Entertainment and StarVista have proven once again with this collection why they are among the leading names in the home entertainment arena today.  It also shows why this recently released box set is one of the year’s top new box sets for grown ups.

The Wonder Years: Season 5 is yet another successful release from Time Life Entertainment and StarVista.  It shows once more why these two companies are, along with Shout! Factory and MPI Home Video, among the leading names in the home entertainment arena.  This is shown through the solid writing from the season premiere to the season finale.  This includes both the stories presented in each episode and the lessons (the heart) presented in each story.  The work of the series’ cast adds just as much enjoyment to each episode and the season in whole.  The companion booklet that is included in Season Five’s box adds just as much enjoyment to the set as its writing and acting.  The same can be said of the bonus material included on-disc and the clear listing of episodes on each disc.  Each element is equally deserving of being mentioned.  But there is just not enough time or space to do so.  All things considered Time Life Entertainment and StarVista have proven once again through all of these elements why they are among the home entertainment arena’s leading names.  Altogether they not only strengthen both companies’ reputations in the home entertainment arena but also show why this box set is one of the year’s top new box sets for grown ups.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment and StarVista 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.

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:
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.

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

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 Entertainment To Release The Wonder Years’ Third Season Next Month

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

StarVista Entertainment’s release of The Wonder Years on DVD will officially reach its halfway point next month.

StarVista Entertainment will release The Wonder Years: The Complete Third Season on DVD next month. It will be released on Tuesday, May 26th. The release of the series’ third season will come almost four months after the release of its second season back on February 3rd of this year. Season Three includes all twenty-three episodes from Season Three. They are spread across four discs. It also includes another handful of bonus features that are noted below:

BONUS FEATURES 

  • Hall Pass: Roundtable with Danica McKellar, Fred Savage, and Josh Saviano
  • Featurette: A Family Affair: At Home with the Arnolds
  • Interviews with: Olivia d’Abo (Karen Arnold), Jason Hervey (Wayne Arnold), Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper), Crystal McKellar (Becky Slater) 

Season Three sees Kevin’s coming-of-age continue as he receives his first French kiss and he goes to his first makeout party. Things get revved up even more as Kevin’s brother Wayne now has his driver’s license, too. And in another avenue, Kevin gets his first introduction to the rock and roll life when new kid Larry Beeman (played by Joshua Miller) gets things in motion for The Electric Shoes. There is also the ongoing story line of Kevin and Winnie’s on again-off again relationship. Season Three’s soundtrack adds to those stories. It features songs from such legendary acts as: The Beach Boys, The Jackson 5, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, Judy Collins, The Lovin’ Spoonful, James Taylor, The Who, The Righteous Brothers, James Brown, The Byrds, Jackie Wilson, and many others. That list of songs is noted below:

 

SONG CLEARANCES (BY EPISODE)

“Summer Song”

  • Good Vibrations-The Beach Boys
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice-The Beach Boys
  • Sentimental Journey-Les Brown & His Orchestra
  • No Fun-The Stooges

“Math Class”

  • ABC-The Jackson 5
  • One-Three Dog Night
  • You Can Close Your Eyes-James Taylor

“Wayne on Wheels”

  • I Get Around-The Beach Boys

“Mom Wars”

  • Your Mother Should Know-Instrumental
  • Nowhere to Run-Martha & the Vandellas
  • The Circle Game-Joni Mitchell

“On the Spot”

  • There’s No Business Like Show Business-Warner Mueller & Orchestra
  • Appalachian Spring-St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

“Odd Man Out”

  • The Air Force Song-Bob Sharples and His Music

“The Family Car”

  • The Stars and Stripes Forever-Bob Sharples and His Music
  • I Can See Clearly Now-Johnny Nash 

“The Pimple”

  • Over the Rainbow-Liberace
  • Ain’t No Mountain High Enough-Diana Ross

“Math Class Squared”

  • American Tune-Paul Simon

“Rock ‘N’ Roll”

  • I Want to Hold Your Hand (from The Ed Sullivan Show)
  • My Generation-The Who
  • So You Want to Be a Rock ‘N’ Roll Star-The Byrds

“Don’t You Know Anything about Women?”

  • Unchained Melody-The Righteous Brothers
  • Crimson and Clover-Tommy James and the Shondells
  • (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher-Jackie Wilson 

“The Powers That Be”

  • Walking the Dog-Rufus Thomas
  • Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)-The Byrds

“The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”

  • You’re All I Need to Get By-Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
  • What Becomes of the Brokenhearted-Jimmy Ruffin
  • All You Need Is Love-Instrumental
  • My Funny Valentine -On-Screen Character Performance
  • Miss Gulch from The Wizard of OZ-Instrumental 

“The Tree House”

  • Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag-James Brown
  • Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off-On-Screen Character Performance
  • The Birds and the Bees-Jewel Akens

“The Glee Club”

  • Stout-Hearted Men-Nelson Eddy
  • Climb Every Mountain-On-Screen Character Performance
  • I Could Have Danced All Night-On-Screen Character Performance
  • Aquarius-On-Screen Character Performance 

“Night Out”

  • Happy Together-The Turtles
  • Hang on Sloopy-The McCoys
  • Shout-The Isley Brothers
  • In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida-Iron Butterfly
  • Seasons Reprise-Elton John

“The Unnatural”

  • Marine’s Hymn-Bob Sharples and His Music

“Goodbye”

  • Goodbye My Friend-Linda Ronstadt 

“Cocoa and Sympathy”

  • Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?-The Lovin’ Spoonful
  • Unforgettable-Nat King Cole

“Daddy’s Little Girl”

  • Thank Heaven for Little Girls-Maurice Chevalier
  • Who Knows Where the Time Goes-Judy Collins

“Moving”

  • My Girl-The Temptations

More information on The Wonder Years: The Complete Third Season and other titles 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.