‘The Good Place: The Complete First Season’ Will Put Viewers In Their Own Good Place

Courtesy: NBC/Shout! Factory

NBC’s hit serial sitcom The Good Place has proven in its now season and a half or so on the air to be one of the “peacock network’s” biggest properties in years.  That is because currently, there is little if anything like it on television – broadcast, cable and even online – like it today.  Though, there is no denying in watching this series its similarity to another former NBC hit serial sitcom in the form of My Name Is Earl.  Given, the two series are not entirely alike, but there are enough similarities that one cannot ignore the series’ connection.  Even with that in mind, The Good Life is still deserving of its own applause, and later this audiences maybe not familiar with the series will see why it is deserving of its own applause when Shout! Factory releases the series’ debut season on DVD.

There are plenty of things that audiences can say to the positive about The Good Place: The Complete First Season beginning with its’ writing.  That will be discussed shortly.  Just as important to Season One’s presentation as the writing is the work of the series’ cast.  This will be discussed later.  The bonus material included in the set rounds out its most important elements, and when it is considered along with the once again welcome precise episode listing inside the case and the set’s average price point, the whole proves to be a set that will put any of the series’ fans in their own good place.

Shout! Factory’s forthcoming release of The Good Place: The Complete First Series is a collection that is certain to put the series’ fans in their own good place.  That is due in no small part to the work of the series’ writers beginning with the series’ very premise.  The premise is simple: a person who was not so nice in life dies, goes to the afterlife and ends up learning to be a better person and bettering others in the process.  The catch here is that the woman – Eleanor Shellstrop – shouldn’t be where she is….or should she? (not to give away too much from the series’ second season, which recently premiered).  Regardless of whether the good place is in fact the good place or not, Eleanor’s personal growth over the course of the first season is something that audiences will love to watch.  That is thanks not only to the stories, but how the stories are executed.  From causing giant frogs and cocktail shrimp to terrorize her afterlife home to causing a giant sinkhole to who knows where to appear and more, the ways in which Eleanor learns to become a better person will leave audiences laughing uproariously while also moving them.  Again, The very concept of a lead figure trying to improve is nothing new for NBC.  Audiences saw a very similar concept in My Name Is Earl, but it was done in a different format.  Add in the fact that the writers keep viewers guessing throughout Season One if the good place is indeed the good place thanks to Michael’s story line and there’s plenty to keep audiences engaged.

The story’s plot is just one part of what makes the writing so enjoyable in the first season of The Good Place.  The way in which the episodes are separated, which is – like the show’s premise – very much like that of My Name is Earl.  Whereas the earlier program was divided up into names on Earl’s list, this series is divided up into the people who Eleanor meets in her afterlife and the connections between them and herself.  There are no overly drawn out interweaving subplots.  Rather, each episode focuses only on the noted story lines, which are clearly outlined in the episode guide inside the set’s case.  This will be touched on lightly later.

As if the storylines and the series’ plot are not enough example of what makes the series’ writing so strong in its debut season, the back stories presented for each of Eleanor’s new friends add their own depth to the series as they help with the series’ overall character development.  This leads viewers to be even more engaged as they either root for certain characters or boo them.  It is all so entertaining, and collectively shows why this show’s writing, even in its lead season, is so important to its whole.  It is just one part of what makes the series’ debut season so enjoyable.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important as that of its writers to its presentation in Season One.

The work of The Good Place’s cast is so important to note in examining the series’ first season because their work keeps viewers just as entertained and engaged as the writing.  Kristen Bell’s take on Eleanor is spot on as Eleanor goes from completely clueless, self-centered subject to someone who actually, genuinely cares about people.  Again, that care and concern for others grows in the series’ now second season, but that won’t be discussed too much here.  Fellow leads Ted Danson and William Jackson Harper are just as entertaining as Michael and Chidi.  In all honesty, Danson’s take on the somewhat manic Michael is perhaps his best portrayal since his days as bartender Sam from yet another former NBC hit series, Cheers.  He makes Michael so silly in his behavior, yet there is something so entertaining about that silliness even if Michael might not be such a nice guy after all.  Harper meanwhile has wonderful chemistry opposite Bell anytime the pair is onscreen together.  Chidi’s neurotic behavior is so funny to watch whenever he has to deal with Eleanor thanks to Jackson’s work.  That behavior, juxtaposed against Eleanor’s more carefree nature makes for such an entertaining odd couple setup.  Keeping all of this in mind, all three of the series’ leads do so much to make the show so fun.  When they are joined by the supporting cast, they show just as much talent. When all of this is considered, it becomes clear why the cast’s work in The Good Place’s first season is just as important as the work of the series’ writers.  It is hardly the last of the set’s most important elements, too.  The bonus material included in the set plays its own part in the set’s presentation, too.

Audiences get plenty to appreciate in the bonus material included with the first season of The Good Place.  The standard gag reel and table read offer plenty of behind the scenes entertainment for audiences, giving them another view of how much fun the cast had preparing for each episode.  The audio commentary included in the series’ premiere and the season finale offer just as much entertainment as well as a certain amount of insight.  The look at how the series’ special effects were brought to life will especially engage those with an interest in the visual arts, especially as they apply in the realm of computer graphics.  Those audiences will be amazed (along with fans in general) at the amount of work that went into bringing the good place to life including all of the craziness brought on by Eleanor’s choices.  It all collectively makes the whole of this set’s bonus material just as fun to watch as the series itself.  When it is joined with the series’ episodes, it makes the set’s viewing experience that much more entertaining.  Add in a relatively affordable average price point of $14.49 (determined by comparing prices at Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target, Best Buy and Shout! Factory’s store), and audiences get in this set a collection that is sure to put audiences in their own good place.

Shout! Factory’s forthcoming home release of The Good Place: The Complete First Season is a release that is certain to put audiences in their own good place.  That is due in no small part to the work of the show’s writers.  Whether intentionally or not, the writers have generated an entertaining plot here that bears a striking similarity to that of My Name Is Earl, just with a few alterations in terms of the setup.  Eleanor’s attempts to hide her secret, which result in her own personal growth, makes for its plenty of endearing entertainment.  The work of the series’ lead cast adds even more entertainment to the series’ lead season.  The bonus material included in the set and the set’s relatively affordable average price point put the finishing touches to the set.  Each piece is important in its own right to the collection.  All things considered, The Good Place: The Complete First Season is certain to put viewers in their own good place.  The Good Place: The Complete First Season will be available in stores and online Oct. 17.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory, NBC Partner To Release ‘The Good Place: Season 1’

Courtesy: NBC/Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is taking audiences to a “Good Place” this fall.

Shout! Factory will release the first season of NBC’s hit sitcom The Good Place in stores and online on Oct. 17.  The series follows protagonist Eleanor Shellstrop  (Kristen Bell-Bad Moms, Veronica Mars, Frozen) as she navigates her unexpected afterlife following a clerical error  landed her upstairs instead of downstairs.

Bell is joined in Season One by veteran actor Ted Danson (Cheers¸ Becker, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) and by William Jackson Harper (The Electric Company, True Story, All Good Things) among others in this surprise hit comedy’s debut season.

Along with 13 full-length episodes, the series’ lead season also comes with a handful of bonuses including a pair of audio commentaries, a gag reel, table read and more.  The Good Place: Season 1 can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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‘Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series’ Hits All The Right Marks

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

NBC at one point was one of the leading networks in primetime broadcasting.  Series such as Cheers, 3rd Rock From The Sun, Seinfeld and so many others made the network a powerhouse.  Just as many of those series have already seen full-series releases on DVD and/or Blu-ray.  Early next month, yet another of the series that once made NBC a leader will see a full series home release for the first time ever thanks to Shout! Factory in the form of Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series.  The 19-disc set will be released Sept. 5 in stores and online.  Being the first time ever that the series has been released in whole, it is easy to say that it will be difficult for any company to top what Shout! Factory has done with this collection.  That is due in no small part to the set’s packaging, which will be discussed shortly.  The set’s average price point is just as important to note in examining the set’s overall presentation as its packaging, and will be discussed later.  The set’s bonus material rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the collection’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series proves to be one more of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray releases for grown-ups.

Shout! Factory’s forthcoming Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series box set is one of this year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray releases for grown-ups.  That is thanks in part to the 19-disc set’s packaging.  The series’ first six seasons are packaged together in three of the set’s cases while the seventh season is housed in its own standalone set.  The discs themselves are placed on either side of the case’s plates, safely protecting them from marring one another.  In some cases, the discs even sit alone on a spot inside the case separate from the plates, yet again showing Shout! Factory’s dedication to protecting the discs from damage.  Considering that the series ran for seven seasons and a total of 148 episodes, such packaging–which is the norm for Shout! Factory–is surprisingly ergonomic.  Considering all of this, it becomes clear why this set’s physical packaging is so critical to the set’s overall presentation.  It is only one aspect of that packaging that should be noted, too.  The episode listing inside each box is just as important to note as the actual physical packaging.

The episode listing is important to discuss because it, too is a norm for Shout! Factory.  The season-specific listing presents short but concise summaries for each episode. This easily gives audiences a reference point not only for the episodes’ stories but also which gives them a reference point for the seasons, too.  That is important to note since the seasons are not noted on the discs.  Simply put, Shout! Factory has shown through attention to even this detail its determination to present the best product possible to the series’ fans.  Considering this and the set’s equally wise physical packaging, Shout! Factory is to be highly applauded for its efforts to present solid packaging for Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series.  The series’ packaging is only one of its key elements.  Its average price point is important to note in its own right.

The average price point for Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series is important to discuss because it is a relatively affordable price.  For the sake of this review, the set’s average price point was determined using its price as listed at Shout! Factory’s store, Target, Best Buy and Wal-Mart.  The average price point from those prices is $55.44.  What is really interesting about this price point is that it would be little different if fans were to order the set online.  That is because each of the noted outlets generally allow for free shipping,  Taxes would push up the average price point a little, but not by much. Considering that the series’ 148-episodes are spread here across 19 discs, that—again—makes the set’s average price point relatively affordable.  While it is clearly an important part of the set’s whole, it is not the last of the collection’s most notable elements.  Its bonus material rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material included with Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series is an important piece of the collection’s whole because it is material that was not included in any of the series’ previous standalone sets, none of which were released through Shout! Factory.  That makes the set’s bonus material all the more important and a bonus.  Audiences will be happy to know that Shout! Factory doesn’t tease them and hold the bonus material for the set’s last disc either.  Instead, they present that material right from the series’ outset.  “Always in Fashion,” the set’s lead bonus is also the bonus material’s cornerstone.  Audiences will be interested to learn about the series’ roots from series creator Steven Levitan and star Laura San Giacomo’s thoughts about the importance of the sitcom being led by female stars versus male stars in this nearly half-hour featurette.  Audiences also hear from fellow stars David Spade, George Segal and Wendy Malick about their characters, and how the characters worked together on screen among other items.  Everything presented in this bonus is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in regards to the bonus material.  Four of the series’ episodes also include audio commentary that offers its own extra insight and entertainment, strengthening the set’s viewing experience even more.  Given, all of the episodes featuring audio commentary come only from the series’ first two seasons, but that is not necessarily a negative.  The laughs and learning that said commentaries present still makes for enough enjoyment that it doesn’t matter that other episodes don’t have any commentary.  Keeping all of this in mind, it should be clear why the bonus material include in the first-ever full series release of Just Shoot Me! is just as important to its overall presentation as the set’s packaging and pricing.  When all three elements are joined, they prove this collection to be one of the year’s best new DVD and BD box sets for grown-ups.

Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series is one of this year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for grown-up audiences (versus new releases for kids and family).  That is due in no small part to well-thought out packaging that even includes a solid episode list for each season.  The set’s relatively affordable average price point strengthens it even more.  The bonus material included in the 19-disc set rounds out its most important elements.  It is previously unreleased material and material that offers plenty of insight and entertainment for audiences.  Each element is clearly important in its own right.  All things considered, the noted elements make Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series, once more, one of this year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for grown-up audiences.  It will be available in stores and online on Sept. 5.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Time Life To Release Two New Classic ‘Late Show’ Sets Next Month

Courtesy: Time Life

Time Life is taking audiences back in time with two new Late Show Starring Johnny Carson box sets next month.

Johnny & Friends: The Complete Collection will be released Sept. 19 and the Vault Series: Volumes 1 – 6 will be released Sept. 26.  The prior collection will be spread across 10 discs.

The first six discs, which make up Johnny & Friends, will feature 28 full-length episodes from the landmark late night talk show.  The Ultimate Carson Collection, a three-disc compilation collection, is also included in the set.  The discs included in the collection are: The Best of the 60s & 70s, The Best of the 70s and 80s and the Best of the 80s and 90s.

Carson’s final show is included in the compilation set along with Ed Ames’ famous tomahawk toss, tiny Tim’s wedding, party crashing with Dean Martin and Bob Hope among much more.

The collection’s 10th and final disc is a collection of Christmas episodes in their entirety.

Johnny & Friends: The Complete Collection will retail for MSRP of $99.95.

Courtesy: Time Life

The Vault Series: Volumes 1 – 6 is a six-disc collection exhibiting what makes Carson one of the greatest television personalities to this day.  It includes Carson’s 10th Anniversary Late Show special, which aired Oct. 2, 1972, a collection of birthday episodes, which aired on Oct. 23, 1974, the 11th Anniversary Show from Sept. 7, 1973 and much more.

The Vault Series: Volumes 1 – 6 will retail for MSRP of $59.95.

More information on these 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

 

 

 

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The Band Perry Debuts New Single, ‘Stay In The Dark’

Courtesy: Interscope Records

Courtesy: Interscope Records

The Band Perry is known to audiences around the world as one of country music’s biggest acts.  However this year, the band will change things up and release its first-ever pop record in the form of My Bad Imagination.  In anticipation of that record’s upcoming release, the trio debuted the album’s lead single this week.

The band debuted the song ‘Stay in the Dark’ this week via Interscope Records.  The keyboard-driven composition is a dramatic departure from the band’s country compositions.  It is a work that fans of Katy Perry and other acts of her ilk will enjoy.  The song is streaming now on the band’s YouTube channel.

Courtesy: Interscope Records

Courtesy: Interscope Records

Neil Perry echoed that statement. He said the song’s arrangement was meant to exhibit the band’s growth.

“Creatively, ‘Stay in the Dark’ brings forward some of the elements we’ve always been known for as The Band Perry while introducing our fans to the all new sounds we’ve been working with,” Perry said.

Reid Perry said lyrically, the song is a love song at its core, adding it has far more meaning than just that one story for the siblings.

“In the literal sense ‘Stay in the Dark’ is about getting close to the one you love, closing the curtains and escaping from the wilds of the world together for the night,” Perry said.  “For us though, it has so many meanings, and we’re looking forward to seeing how our fans find themselves in it.”

Kimberly Perry agreed with her brothers as she talked about the song and the direction in which it finds the band moving.

“As we’ve been thinking about our transition from our last two albums to this one, I’ve interpreted lyrics more as metaphor with ‘I just want to stay in the dark’ meaning I want to stay romantic, imaginative and naïve,” Perry said. “I want to believe in what I can’t see.  I want to keep walking forward.  Chances and bold moves are always the ones that carry you the furthest in life – and for most of us we’ve got to ignore the naysayers and just take the leap.”

The Band Perry will perform its new single Tuesday night on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  House drummer Questlove will handle drumming duties on the song.  The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon airs Monday through Friday at 11:35 p.m. EST.

Fans can purchase ‘Stay in the Dark’ online now at iTunes and Amazon.  It can also be streamed online at Apple Music, Google Play and Spotify.  More information on ‘Stay In The Dark’ is available online now along with all of The Band Perry’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.thebandperry.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thebandperry

 

 

 

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Anthrax Is Coming To ‘Late Night’

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Anthrax is coming to Late Night later this month.

The band has announced that it will perform on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers on Wednesday, August 24th.  It is part of the band’s 35th anniversary celebration.
The band will perform its new single ‘Monster at the End’ during its debut appearance on the program.  The song is the latest song to be released from the band’s latest album For All Kings, which was released earlier this year via Megaforce Records.  The song will start hitting radio stations nationwide next Tuesday, August 16th.

Early next month Anthrax will join Death Angel and fellow “Big Four” band Slayer for a North American fall tour.  That tour launches Friday, September 9th in Cleveland, Ohio and runs through Thursday, October 27th.  The tour includes performances in Louisiana, North Carolina, Idaho, Texas and a number of other cities.  Audiences can see the band’s full tour schedule online now here.  More information on the band’s tour, its upcoming Late Night performance, and all of its latest news is available online now at:

Website: http://anthrax.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/anthrax

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The Band Perry To Compete This Week On ABC’s ‘Celebrity Family Feud’

Courtesy:  BBGun Press

Courtesy: BBGun Press

One of country music’s top acts will make an appearance on ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud this Sunday night.

The Band Perry has announced that it will be on the new “spinoff” of the hugely popular trivia-based game show in this week’s episode. Celebrity Family Feud airs every Sunday night on ABC at 8pm local time.  Audiences should check their local listings for times.  The sibling trio act will compete for Teen Cancer America during its appearance on the show, which is part of ABC’s new “Sunday Game Show” programming block.  Also included in that programming block are reboots of Match Game and $100,000 Pyramid.

As an interesting note, The Band Perry’s song ‘Live Forever’ has been chosen as the theme song of Team USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics.  The 2016 Summer Olympics will be broadcast in the United States by NBC.  Audiences can see the video for the band’s song online here.  ‘Live Forever’ can purchased online now via iTunes.

More information on The Band Perry’s upcoming appearance on ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.thebandperry.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thebandperry

 

 

 

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.