Quincy, M.E. Is As Solid In Its Final Season As In Its First

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Television today is not what it once was. In its golden era, television offered program on three networks—NBC, CBS, and ABC. Thanks to the advances of cable, satellite, and even streaming video, audiences have more options than ever when it comes to what to watch. The problem with having so many options is that considering all of the said options, there really aren’t many options. The comedies and dramas are overly laden with sex and violence. And their scripts are largely cookie cutter across the board. The reality series that are just as prevalent are just as soulless. Thankfully those that yearn for something better will receive just that next week when Shout! Factory, the leading name in home entertainment, releases the eighth and final season of the classic series Quincy, M.E. Filled out by a total of twenty-four episodes, this final collection from one of television’s greatest classic series will impress audiences regardless of their familiarity with the show. The most obvious reason that reason the viewers will enjoy this season so much is the work of the show’s writers. The level of sex and violence that has become so commonplace among today’s TV shows is not there in any of these episodes just as with the episodes that made up the series’ previous seven seasons. The social issues that were often put at the center of the show’s episodes in its previous seasons are here, too. There is even an interesting development in Quincy’s own life as he develops a new romantic relationship that leads to a wedding near the season’s end. There’s much more that could be noted including the writers possibly poking fun at themselves early on in this season’s run, and some semi –fantastical stories to balance things out along the way. In the same vein, the cast’s interpretation of the scripts (its acting) is just as solid eight seasons in as in the series’ debut season. Unlike the acting on the part of casts from so many other shows of the time, this cast shows no sign of over-the-top hamming it up or over acting. Considering the show’s long run, that says a lot. Rounding out the reasons that Quincy, M.E.’s eighth season is a success is the look and sound of the footage. A little more than thirty years has passed since Quincy, M.E. ended its run. Considering that, the footage presented in the show’s looks and sounds just as impressive as that presented in the series’ previous season sets. It is the last factor to consider in examining what makes Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season one more welcome addition to the library of anyone looking for an escape from the heartless, soulless shows that currently dominate television’s ranks today. They also show collectively why this set is an early candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences.

Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season is, as noted, an early candidate for any critic’s list of this year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences. That is because the standards that were established within the show throughout the course of its previous seven seasons are carried on throughout the course of this season’s twenty-four total episodes. One of those standards is the series’ solid writing. Unlike so many of today’s crime dramas and medical procedurals, Quincy, M.E. maintained itself as more than just another one of those shows right from its debut season. Now in its final season, that standard was held as strong as ever. The show’s writers continued to tackle important social issues that are just as relevant today as they were so long ago in the show’s original run. They do also incorporate some slightly more fantastical story lines to balance out that social awareness that is so obvious throughout the series now in its final run. Right from the season’s premiere, the writers show that they haven’t let up by tackling the issues of gang violence and racial bias all in one without letting either topic step on the other. The writers also take on the issues of alcoholism, medical malpractice, and government influence on the drug industry. These are some pretty heavy topics for a show such as Quincy, M.E. to tackle. but the show’s writers handle each topic with the utmost professionalism and believeability. Even more intriguing is that all of these topics are raised in the first of the set’s six discs. Throughout the rest of the season’s runs, the issues of teen suicide, problems within the foster care system and much more. Those wanting something a little less provocative are given the growing romance and eventual marriage (yes, marriage) between Dr. Quincy and the newly introduced psychiatrist Dr. Emily Hanover (Anita Gillette) throughout Season 8. Her introduction serves to show a different side of Quincy than audiences familiar with the series are used to seeing. Audiences get to see more of his more emotionally vulnerable side instead of the strong, steadfast resolve shown throughout the series’ previous seasons. It’s just one more welcome addition to this season’s run that along with the other, deeper episodes, makes Season 8 truly enjoyable and a valid candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences.

The writing that went into Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season goes a long way toward making it another welcome addition to the library of any fan of this hit series. The same can be said of the acting on the part of the series’ cast. While shows from the 1970s and 1980s weren’t overly laden with sex and violence, far too many of them were marred by acting that was awful to say the least. The acting on the part of Quincy, M.E.’s cast eight seasons in is the polar opposite of that from those series. As a matter of fact, star Jack Klugman and his co-stars show the utmost professionalism and seriousness from season premiere to series finale. It would have been so easy for the cast to just dial it in especially as long as the show had been on television by the time this season aired. But not one member of the cast let up. the end result is acting that makes suspension of disbelief so easy. And coupled with the solid work of the show’s writers, both elements will keep audiences new and old alike enthralled in every episode. Yet again, it proves to be another way in which Quincy, M.E. shows itself a valid, early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences by year’s end.

The work of Quincy, M.E.’s writers and cast members collectively shows without a doubt why Quincy, M.E. was such a popular season for so long. And it is no doubt with the upcoming release of its eighth season it will regain even more that popularity that it boasted in its original broadcast. Much the same can be said once more of the look and sound of each episode’s footage. Considering that over three decades have passed since Quincy, M.E. went off the air and almost forty years have passed since it first premiered on NBC in 1976, the look and sound of the show’s footage is surprisingly impressive. Yet again, it is a tribute to the work of those charged with bringing the series back to life for both its original audiences and a whole ew generation of fans. And it is one more tribute to Shout! Factory’s dedication to excellence for audiences, proving yet again why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment. It is also more reason for any critic to include Quincy, M.E.:The Final Season on his or her list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences come December.

Whether for the work of the show’s writers, its cast members, or the overall production values presented here, Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season boasts plenty of positives. By themselves, each of the noted positives plays its own important role in the enjoyment and success of this final season of Quincy, M.E. Collectively, they make Season 8 a must have for any fan of Quincy, M.E. and any fan of classic television in general. Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season will be available on DVD next Tuesday, March 10th in stores and online for retail price of $39.97. It can be pre-ordered online now for a reduced price of $34.98 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/crime/quincy-m-e-the-final-season. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com

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Shout! Factory Sets Release Date For Quincy, M.E.’s Final Season Set

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Classic television network Me-TV recently added the famed medical procedural Quincy, M.E. to its weekly broadcast schedule. Ironically, what started six years ago with Universal Studios Home Entertainment will finally come to a close next month thanks to Shout! Factory when the series’ eighth and final season will finally be released on DVD.

Shout! Factory picked up the distribution rights to Quincy, M.E. in September 2012 and since has released the series’ fourth through seventh season. And on Tuesday, March 10th, Shout! Factory will release the eighth and final season of the classic drama. The series starred actor Jack Klugman in the starring role. It remains a fan favorite today mainly because of its writing. From season to season, the writers crafted stories that saw Quincy not just solve crimes but also tackle the prevalent social issues of the day. The series’ final season is no different to that end. In the season, Quincy takes on the issues of drug abuse, teen suicide, the alleged effect of music on young audiences, and the massive problems with the nation’s legal and corporate infrastructure.

Quincy, M.E.: Season Eight will be released on DVD Tuesday, March 10th. It will retail for $39.97 and can be pre-ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Quincy, M.E. Season 7 Is A Fond Farewell For One Of TV’s Greatest Dramas

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/NBC Universal

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/NBC Universal

Medical dramas are among the most popular series on television today.  Series such as E.R., House, M.A.S.H., and others have been cornerstones for television’s “Big 4” throughout the decades.  They obviously weren’t the only medical dramas to make waves over the years.  But compared to all of the cookie cutter medical procedurals that dominate the airwaves today, they are some of the best that have ever been on television.  One other series that remains just as beloved today is NBC’s hit series Quincy, M.E.  The series ran for seven seasons on NBC from 1976 – 1983.  Thanks to Shout! Factory, this classic series started receiving the honor and respect that it deserves in 2005.  And now this week, Shout! Factory finishes off the series with the release of its seventh and final season.  Quincy M.E.:  Season 7 is another wonderful farewell for what is one of the greatest medical dramas in television’s modern eras.  Audiences will agree that seven seasons in, the series’ writing was still as solid as in its first season.  The stories presented in this season’s episodes are fully believable.  They are not the overly sexualized and overly violent prime-time soap operas that dominate television today.  Speaking of that overly sexualized and overly violent format of today’s prime-time medical soap operas, that in itself is another reason that these episodes are so enjoyable for audiences.  Their general content, in other words, is another reason that this season is so enjoyable.  The list of guest stars that make appearances throughout Season seven adds even more enjoyment.  It is a list of stars that have become some of the most well-known A-listers in Hollywood today.  Each of the factors noted plays its own integral role in the enjoyment of this final season of Quincy, M.E.  Collectively, they make this season a fond farewell for one of the best dramas in television’s modern era.

When it originally ran on NBC, Quincy, M.E. ran for a total of seven seasons.  Seven seasons by today’s standards is a lot for a scripted series.  By the standards during which it aired, for a series to run seven seasons was not that big of a surprise.  One reason for that is that scripted series at the time actually had scripts that were actually believable and worth watching.  The scripts penned for this series’ seventh season is proof of that.  The writers have one again crafted a handful of scripts for this season that are just as relatable to audiences today as they were in their original broadcasts decades ago.  Early on in Season Seven, the show’s writers present a story titled “The Golden Hour” that tackled the issue of hospital negligence and malpractice.  A car wreck lands a father and daughter in two different hospitals in this episode.  The father survives at the hospital to which he is transported.  His daughter on the other hand is taken to another hospital and is misdiagnosed, leading to her death.  This leads to a conflict between Quincy (Klugman) and the doctor that misdiagnosed the girl.  It is a conflict that eventually leads all the way up to the hospital’s heads.  Many might not believe it, but the issue of malpractice and misdiagnoses of patients is just as relevant to audiences today as it was in this episode’s original broadcast over three decades ago.  “Gentle Into That Good Night” is another prime example of the writing in this season continued to make the series so enjoyable.  This episode dealt with the issue of a man and his wife having to come to terms with the fact that she is dying from a terminal illness.  This is a very touching episode.  Again, it is one of those pieces that will reach audiences just as much today as it did in its original broadcast.  Nobody wants to hear that they are going to lose a loved one and that there is nothing that can be done about it.  It is an episode that is not easy to watch, even for those that have not lost a loved one in such fashion.  But because of the way in which the series’ writers handled the topic, it proves to be one of this season’s best episodes and best examples of what made this show so good even seven seasons in.  Even when the series left the hospital and delved into other realms, the writers still kept the show believable and relatable to audiences.  That is proven late in Season 7 in the episode “Stolen Tears.”  The writers tackled the issue of the holocaust in this episode, which interestingly enough aired on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th, 1982 to be exact).  Quincy had to investigate a case in this episode that is linked to a well-known figure who publicly denied the existence of the holocaust and its events.  There are still today people that believe the holocaust never happened.  It’s another part of the whole that makes Season 7 so enjoyable regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the series.  These are just a few examples of how the writing in Quincy, M.E.’s seventh season makes this series so enjoyable even in its last run.  It even tackles air pollution and other social issues throughout the course of its episodes.  It’s really something to behold.  How many dramas today can pull that off and do it so well for that matter?  The answer is very few.  It’s another reason that the writing this season is the cornerstone of this season’s success.  Something else worth noting that makes the show so enjoyable is the fact that unlike today’s crime and medical dramas, it didn’t rely on sex and violence to work.  It relied on that writing, again.

So many of today’s medical and crime dramas (honestly all of them) rely more on sex and violence to keep audiences engaged.  That is in itself a sad statement.  It shows how far audiences and studios have fallen together.  As compared to today’s medical and crime dramas, the lack thereof in Quincy, M.E. even in its seventh season is another reason that the show remained so enjoyable.  As the calendars turned from the 70s to the 80s, it seemed that a lot of TV shows started to make a turn away from real substantial writing in favor of said sex and violence.  It is good to see that even as this series entered the 80s, it didn’t fall victim to that curse.  It continued on in its final season relying solely on the solid writing that had made it such a solid drama throughout its previous six seasons.  The show’s heads never show the gory detail that is used in today’s forensics-based series.  Stories involving murders, car crashes and other cases don’t rely on the blood, sex or overall violence that is used by so many of today’s dramas.  It is a sign that shows don’t need that excess that dominates today’s dramas to be enjoyable and gripping.  Too bad today’s writers either don’t see that, or do, and just don’t care.  Maybe if they did care, they would see it’s one more reason that this show will always be more memorable than most of what’s offered to audiences today.

The lack of overt violence and sexuality throughout Season 7’s episodes and the show’s writing at this point are both important factors to consider in the show’s success even seven seasons into its run.  Both factors exemplify just why this series will always outperform the medical and crime dramas on television today.  Others must have seen that even in the show’s original run.  The list of guest stars that have gone on to make up today’s major stars proves that.  Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey, Judging Amy), Mimi Rogers (Two and a Half Men, The X-Files, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery), Diana Muldaur (L.A. Law, Batman: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation), Dixie carter (Designing Women, Family Law, Desperate Housewives) Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gargoyles, Falcon Crest), Steve Antin (The Goonies, NYPD: Blue, Burlesque) and Colleen Dewhurst (Murphy Brown, The Civil War, Ann of Green Gables) all joined Klugman and his cast mates as special guest stars this season.  Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men, KPax) also appeared in one episode that could be argued as the influence behind a number of episodes of other crime dramas that have followed.  Each of these actors had already established themselves or were in the process of establishing themselves in the worlds of TV and film at the time that they guest starred in the episodes of Season 7.  Each one since went on to become major A-Listers in their own right, too.  Anytime actors that are already celebrities in their own right go to shows that are just as popular even as guest stars, it is a statement of their faith in the show.  It adds credibility to the show.  And it wasn’t the first time that the show had seen its share of big names appear, either.  It just goes to show the popularity of the show then and now.  And together with the writing and overall tame content in comparison to today’s dramas, it becomes all the more important.  It serves to prove once more just how important this show was and still is to the history of television.

The writing that went in to the seventh season of Quincy, M.E. shows why even decades after the show ended its run, it is still just as entertaining as it was in its original run. The same can be said of the overall content throughout the show’s seventh season. It didn’t need the sex and violence that is so pervasive in today’s medical and crime dramas. And the list of stars that were already establishing themselves at the time of their appearance adds even more credibility to this season and the series in whole. All three factors together more than make this season worth adding to the collection of the show’s fans. Quincy, M.E. Season 7 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/crime/quincy-m-e-season-seven. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at:

 

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Fan Favorites BD Re-Issue A Good Introduction To The Twilight Zone For New Fans

Courtesy:  Image Entertainment

Courtesy: Image Entertainment

Image Entertainment is preparing to re-issue the first three seasons of The Twilight Zone on DVD in May, June and July respectively.  Whether these new lower cost re-issues will be available in stores or exclusively via Amazon.com is still up in the air.  Even if they will be available exclusively online via Amazon, they are still sets that will be worth ordering considering that they will be far less expensive than their previously released DVD counterparts and will allegedly have much the same features as said sets.  In the meantime, audiences who are perhaps new to The Twilight Zone can check out last year’s Blu-ray release of The Twilight Zone Fan Favorites.

The Twilight Zone Fan Favorites is a good introduction for anyone that is new to the world of this classic series.  The recently released Blu-ray collection is a mirror image of its DVD counterpart.  It boasts all of the same episodes in the same order, only in high definition.  For this critic alone, this set is made enjoyable by no fewer than half of the included episodes.  The reason for that is the writing of said episodes.  Among the best of those episodes is: ‘The Monsters are Due on Maple Street ’,‘ The Lonely and what is in this critic’s eyes the series best episode hands down, ‘Night of the Meek.’  The writing on these episodes is just a small sample of what makes this classic show timeless.  In the case of ‘The Monsters are Due on Maple Street’, audiences get a commentary on human nature in dire circumstances that still stands true decades after it originally debuted.  ‘The Lonely’ offers viewers commentary on the basic human need for companionship and what it can do to a person.  And the most underrated of Twilight Zone episodes, ‘Night of The Meek’ is one of very few episodes from the series that has a happy ending.  It’s also the show’s only holiday themed episode.  Now, none of these episodes are the only ones from the series that offer such themes.  But they do offer a solid glimpse into everything that has made The Twilight Zone a hit to this day.

The writing behind The Twilight Zone goes a long way toward the show’s continued success for so many decades.  It’s just part of what makes this latest set of fan favorites a solid release.  Audiences get in this collection, a full set of episodes presented exactly as they had run in their original airings, complete with promo for the next week’s episode of The Twilight Zone and even for other shows on its home network, including The Andy Griffith Show and others.  That Image would strive to maintain the show’s episodes from their original airings in this set is a credit to this company and gives great hope for the upcoming DVD re-issues of the show’s first two seasons over the next two months.  The Twilight Zone Fan Favorites is available now and can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007FZ7LRI/ref=s9_psimh_gw_p74_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0X7DGQ8H39NK7G3P4Q4X&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846.

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