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

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory Announces Release Date For Freaks and Geeks Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

NBC’s modern classic teen dramedy Freaks and Geeks only ran for eighteen episodes when it originally aired on NBC from 1999 – 2000. In the time since it ended its initial run on the “Peacock Network” the short-lived series has since gone on to be a cult favorite among audiences. It proved to be such a favorite among certain audiences that in 2004 the series was released in its own full-series DVD box set by Shout! Factory. Now nearly twelve years after its initial home release Shout! Factory is revisiting the series and re-issuing it in its entirety on Blu-ray.

Shout! Factory has announced that it will release Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series on Blu-ray on Tuesday, March 22nd. The series’ eighteen-episode run has been re-mastered from new 4K scans of the series’ original camera negatives. Each episode is presented both in its original 1.33:1 ratio and an enhanced 1.78:1 widescreen presentation and will be spread across nine discs. This presentation greatly expands the footage, revealing never before seen pieces of the series in its original presentation. There will also be a number of extras for true fans of the series included in the set’s presentation.

Freaks and Geeks only lasted for one season in its initial run. But in that time it earned an Emmy Awardfor its entertaining and authentic portrayal of high school life in the 80s in all of its ups and downs. The series was created by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters, Spy), executive produced by Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, This is 40, Pineapple Express) and starred some of today’s biggest names in their younger years, including: Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother, The Muppets, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), James Franco (Flyboys, Spiderman 1 – 3, Pineapple Express, Date Night), Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Neighbors, This Is The End), and Linda Cardellini (ER, Scooby Doo, The Avengers: Age of Ultron).

Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series will be available on Blu-ray in stores and online on Tuesday, March 22nd. It will retail for MSRP of 119.00 but can be pre-ordered now direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at a discounted price of $79.99. 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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Star Trek: TOS DVD Set Is One Of 2015’s Best New Re-Issues

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount Studios Home Entertainment

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount Studios Home Entertainment

As 2015 begins to wind down, most people are beginning to turn their thoughts to 2016. For those that might not have known, 2016 is a big year in the history of television. That is because it will mark the fiftieth anniversary of one of television’s most iconic series. The series in question is none other than Star Trek: The Original Series. While its original run on NBC lasted only three seasons, it has proven in the years since to be one of television’s most beloved and important series. Since it ended its run in 1969, no fewer than four other series have come and gone along with a number of big screen features and box sets containing each series. This includes box sets containing all three of the original series’ seasons. The original series has been released in its own standalone sets on both DVD and Blu-ray and a full series set on Blu-ray. Interestingly enough for all of its various releases Star Trek: The Original Series has never gotten a full series run on DVD. That is until now. Paramount Studios Home Entertainment released Star Trek: The Original Series–The Complete Series on DVD for the first time ever on Tuesday, November 3rd. In examining this first-time release it can be said that there is so much to say to its benefit that it is one of the best of this year’s new box sets for grownups if not the year’s best. The main reason for that is the very presentation of the episodes in their setting here. That will be discussed in more depth shortly. Moving on, another reason that the box set proves so enjoyable is its bonus material. There are trailers, commentaries, retrospectives and so much more added to the set from its first disc to its last (for the record, the series’ seventy-nine episodes and bonus material are spread across a total of twenty-fix discs in this box set) for more than seven hours of extra entertainment and insight for audiences. Last but hardly least worth noting in this brand news DVD box set’s positives is the combined work of the series’ writers and cast. The adventures crafted by the series’ writers were (and are) more than enough reason in themselves for any fan to purchase this box set. The cast’s interpretation of the episodes’ scripts rounds out the presentation of Star Trek: The Original Series–The Complete Series. Each element in and of itself plays its ow important part in the overal presentation of Star trek’s new full series run on DVD. Together they make Star Trek: The Original Series–The Complete Series a must have for almost any Star Trek fan and one of the best of this year’s new box sets for grownups.

Star Trek: The Original Series–The Complete Series is one of the best of this year’s new box sets for grownups. It is a collection that those without any of the series’ previous releases on DVD and Blu-ray will especially appreciate. That is thanks in large part to its very presentation. All three seasons of Star Trek: TOS (as it will be referred to from here on out) have been previously released in their own standalone season sets both on DVD and Blu-ray. The series has even received its own full-series set on Blu-ray as recently as 2009. For all of these releases, the groundbreaking sci-fi series has never received a full series release on DVD until now. All seventy-nine of the series’ original episodes are included in this set. The twenty-five disc (yes, twenty-five discs) is just as impressive because of its price. It retails between forty and forty-five dollars. Considering the ratio of the number of episodes to discs and the amount of bonus material that is actually not that bad of a price. That is especially the case considering that the show’s full series Blu-ray box set retails for nearly double that depending on the retailer. It proves the DVD box set to be relatively affordable. What’s more, the episodes look and sound quite impressive from one to the next. It is even obvious where the episodes have in fact been re-mastered just as is advertised on the set’s outer box. That is even discussed in one of the set’s bonus features, which will be discussed later. Getting back on the subject at hand, the only major downside to the overall presentation of the series here lies in its packaging. Unlike most multi-disc sets released today, the discs are packaged in what would now be considered something of an unconventional fashion. They are placed two to a side on each of the set’s plastic inserts with the discs overlapping one another. This is not the best idea when it comes to packaging. But considering that the set is spread across twenty-five total discs, it is something of a necessary evil. Had the discs been placed one to a side as is the case with most multi-disc sets, it would have potentially taken up twice the space and required even more space for the discs. To that extent Paramount’s home entertainment division can be forgiven for the set’s packaging. All things considered here Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series‘ packaging proves that while it is not perfect, it is still be a solid positive to the set’s overall presentation. The presentation of its episodes on the other hand is wholly positive. The end result of both elements together creates a presentation that every Star Trek fan will appreciate.

The packaging of Star Trek TOS–The Complete Series, while not perfect, is a necessary evil. It allows all twenty-five of the set’s discs to be housed in a single box rather than forcing them to be spread across multiple boxes. The presentation of the episodes across each of those discs is in itself quite impressive to say the least. Together they make up just one part of what makes Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series an impressive new release for this classic series. The bonus material included throughout each of the series’ twenty-five discs adds even more enjoyment to the series in whole. There is an ongoing series of featurettes titled “To Boldly Go” that spans all three seasons. This series of featurettes examines the series and its impact on both television and American culture in whole. If that isn’t enough for audiences, Season One includes a bonus featurette titled “Spacelift: Transporting Trek Into The 21st Century.” This leading bonus examines the work that went into re-mastering the series in terms of its special effects. Those special effects include the look of the Enterprise against different planets, interior shots of the Enterprise, and other elements including the work done to re-master the Enterprise for the special inclusion of the Star Trek: DSN episode “Trials and Tribble-ations.” Speaking of that episode, it is included, too, in whole as a companion piece to the famed TOS episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” There is even a complete episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series titled “More Tribbles, More Troubles” included as its own companion bonus to the TOS episode. There’s also a bonus in which the cast of TOS discusses the many romances that took place throughout TOS. This includes not only Captain Kirk’s own various romances but those enjoyed by other members of the cast including a rumored romance between Spock and Uhura. And even that bonus isn’t the end of the set’s extensive bonus material. There are discussions by the cast on a number of different topics throughout the set that will entertain audiences for hours if not days. That vast collection of bonuses set against the presentation of the series’ episodes here and its packaging makes Star Trek: TOS–The Original Series that much more entertaining for audiences and that much more of a must have for any Star Trek fan.

The bonus material included in Paramount and CBS DVD’s new re-issue of Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series couples with the presentation of the series’ episodes and its packaging to make it one of the best of this year’s crop of new re-issues. As important as all of the noted elements are to the whole of this massive box set, they are not the set’s only important elements. The cast’s interpretation of the scripts rounds out the whole of this presentation. William Shatner has been spoofed countless times over ever since Star Trek: TOS went off the air for his portrayal of Captain Kirk. Yet for all of the jabs that have been taken at him over the years, there is no denying his work on camera. No, there will be no dumb puns here. The fact of the matter is that Shatner was (and is even today)wholly believable as the head of the Federation’s flagship starship. Sure, he gets a little cheesy in his interactions with all his various female co-stars. But in general his firmness as he leads the crew through some very tough situations makes suspension of disbelief quite easy. Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley are both just as impressive as Spock and Bones respectively. Whether on their own or together with one another (and with Shatner) both men hold their own throughout every episode. From handling serious moments to more light-hearted, comical moments all three men are a joy to watch. That is not to ignore any of the show’s other main cast members either. Nichelle Nicols, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, and George Takei are equally enjoyable to watch when they get their time in the spotlight. Whether for their work, for that of the series’ main cast, or any of the supporting and guest cast, it can be said that the work of the series’ cast plays its own important part in the whole of Star Trek: TOS. Together with the work of the show’s writers and the overall presentation of the episodes in this new DVD box set, all the noted elements make this collection a must have for any Star Trek fan. Those elements coupled with the set’s packaging and companion bonus material, the set in whole proves to be one of the best of this year’s crop of new re-issues.

Paramount and CBS DVD’s new DVD presentation of Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series is one of the best of this year’s new re-issues. Its episodes look just as impressive today as they did in their original run on television. In some cases they even look better thanks to the work of those that re-mastered the series for its presentation here. The writing and acting that went into each of the series’ nearly eighty episodes make the set in whole even more of an enjoyable presentation. The set’s packaging, while a necessary evil, partners with its bonus material and those already noted elements to make Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series a must have for any Star Trek fan that does not already own the series’ Blu-ray box set. Not only that but they combine to make Star Trek: TOS–The Complete Series one of the best of this year’s crop of new re-issues, if not the best. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Original-Leonard-Nimoy/dp/B013Q1BVIE/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1448647397&sr=1-1&keywords=star+trek+the+original+series.  More information on this and other Star Trek DVDs and Blu-rays is available online now along with all of the latest Star Trek news at:

Website:  http://www.StarTrek.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/StarTrek 

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Matlock: Greatest Cases Is A Great Set For Dramaphiles And Matlock Fans Alike

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtroom dramas today are so boring. The reason being that there are so many of them. And among that mass of legalese there is little to no originality among said series. Thankfully those that love the genre but hate the general lack of choices have another option thanks to the people at CBS DVD and Paramount. That option comes in the form of the new Matlock compilation set Matlock: Greatest Cases. The three-disc collection was released in stores this past March. And regardless of viewers’ familiarity with the series this recently released collection proves to be one that any courtroom drama fan will enjoy. This is especially the case for those looking to escape all of the cookie cutter series on television today. The main reason for this is the collection of episodes featured throughout all three discs. There are eleven episodes featured in this set, one of which is a two-part episode. What’s more, each of the series’ nine seasons is represented through the episodes. This will be discussed shortly. It is just one reason that the collection proves so interesting for audiences. The writing behind each of the featured episodes is just as much to note as the episodes themselves. Audiences will note a clear difference between the overall content of these episodes and those of nearly every other courtroom drama that has been on television since it ended its run. Last but hardly least of note in this set is the work of the show’s cast, most notably of lead actor Andy Griffith. The intensity that seems so prevalent among casts of today’s courtroom dramas is nowhere to be seen at any point in these episodes. Yet the cast (including the guest stars) still keeps viewers entertained and engaged from beginning to end in each. It shows that even today dramas don’t have to be so overly dramatic in order to be entertaining. It rounds out the ways in which Matlock: Greatest Cases proves to be such an entertaining new collection of episodes from the classic series. Together with the featured episodes and their writing, the collection in whole shows clearly why dramaphiles and Matlock fans alike will want to pick up this box set.

Matlock is one of the best courtroom dramas of the 20th century. It ran for a total of nine seasons from 1986 to 1995. That run is actually as long as CBS’ classic courtroom drama Perry Mason. THAT series ran for nine seasons from 1957 to 1966. Earlier this year, CBS DVD and Paramount teamed up to release Matlock in its entirety in one complete series box set. It marked the second time since 2013 that the series had been released in one complete box set. Along with that collection CBS DVD and Paramount also released the much smaller compilation Matlock: Greatest Cases ahead of the show’s full-series re-issue on March 10th. This collection is a good representation of what made Matlock such a hit series for so long regardless of viewers’ devotion to the series. The main reason for this is the collection’s featured episodes. Matlock: Greatest Cases features a total of eleven episodes, one of which was a two-part episode. That brings the episode list to a total of twelve spread across three discs. The episodes themselves are just part of what makes them important. A closer look at the set reveals that all nine of the series’ seasons are represented through these episodes. That means that while it may only present eleven (or twelve depending on how one decides to count it) episodes, the collection in whole paints a relatively rich picture of the series and what made it such a fan favorite in its initial run on television. That being the case, the episodes that are featured throughout this collection show clearly why they are an important part of the collection’s overall presentation. They are not the set’s only important element, either. The writing behind the episodes is just as important as the episodes themselves.

The episodes that were culled for Matlock: Greatest Cases are in themselves an important part of the presentation’s whole. That is because they paint a relatively full picture of the series. The picture in question succeeds in showing in its own way what made (and continues to make) Matlock such a fan favorite. Of course without solid writing, the episodes wouldn’t be worth the presentation. It is safe to say in regards to the series writing that it is definitely solid. As a matter of fact, it is far more solid (and enjoyable) than that of so many courtroom dramas that have come along since Matlock ended its initial run. That is exemplified in every one of the collection’s episodes. That is because the show depicted within each featured episode is one that was more soft-boiled than hard. To illustrate that comparison, it is more akin to the like of Perry Mason than Law & Order or other more modern courtroom dramas. That is exemplified primarily through the set’s lead episode “The Judge.” Guest starring legendary entertainer Dick Van Dyke, the episode sees Van Dyke’s character Judge Carter Addison on trial after the murder of his lover Joanne Leigh (Bobbie Eakes–The Bold and the Beautiful, All My Children, One Life To Live). Most of the story takes place in the courtroom. There is no time wasted with investigators running around searching for evidence and interviewing possible suspects here, there, and everywhere. What this does is it allows for more character and story development. In turn, the noted character and story development will keep viewers fully engaged from beginning to end. It’s just one example of the importance of the series’ writing in this collection of episodes. “The Last Laugh” is another example of the importance of the series’ writing.

“The Judge” is in itself a key example of what makes Matlock’s writing so important even in this three-disc episode collection. “The Last Laugh” is another example of its importance. While subtle the episode’s title is one way in which the writing proves to be so important not just here but in every episode. The episode’s title, as with each featured episode’s title, is short and straight to the point. It tells the episode’s story without trying to be kitschy in its delivery or too simplistic either. The story’s execution is just as important as its title. In this episode, Matlock has to defend comedian Harvey Chase (Milton Berle) after Chase is accused of murdering another comic that had insulted him in front of an entire audience. The case looks to be cut and dry until Harvey accidentally reveals an important piece of evidence that could in fact prove his innocence. Not even Harvey had thought about the key piece of evidence. The ultimate reveal at the story’s end makes the whole adventure worth the watch. That is because at no point in the story’s run does Berle (who co-wrote the episode with Stephen Lord) make the answer obvious to audiences. Rather it keeps audiences guessing right up to that moment. In other words, Berle and Lord keep audiences engaged with ease from beginning to end yet again. They show just as much here as in any of the series’ other episodes that it is possible to have an enjoyable mystery without the dark, gritty content that is so prevalent in so many of today’s crime and courtroom dramas. It is not the last example of what makes the featured episodes’ writing so important even as impressive as it is here. “The Debt” is another example of the importance of the writing behind Matlock even in this collection of episodes.

“The Judge” and “The Last Laugh” are both key examples of what makes Matlock’s writing so important in the series’ latest collection of episodes. That is thanks in large part to the stories’ execution. The same can be said of Season Seven’s “The Debt.” This episode sees Matlock’s daughter Leanne having to defend her ex-husband Peter MacIntyre after he is accused of murdering his friend and boss. The accusation stemmed from the discovery of Peter kneeling over said individual’s dead body, which had a large knife sticking in it. While not an overly used plot element, the use of an estranged couple being forced into one another’s lives in a difficult situation is not necessarily new to the entertainment world. Nor was it new at the time of the episode’s airing. That aside it was still handled quite well here. It was nice to see Leanne not just giving in to Peter as he begged her to represent him even as he tried to seduce her. Female viewers will be proud to see her stand up to Peter and remind him that he is with another woman and she will not fall for his attempts. In the same vein, it is interesting to see something of a different side to Matlock in this episode, too. He shows a certain vulnerability when Leanne tells him that she is going to represent Peter. As the story proceeds audiences see a change in Matlock’s view of his one-time son-in-law. That is because Peter’s sense of morality begins to kick in and even he grows. That overall character development ties directly in to the episode’s overall script and helps the story in whole advance with ease. Because it does, it will keep viewers just as engaged as any of the other episodes featured in this box set. It is one more example of the importance of the writing behin Matlock in the series’ new box set. It is not the only other example of said importance either. There is still a handful of other episodes in this collection that could just as easily be cited in illustrating the importance of the series’ writing. Regardless of whether one cites those episodes or the ones noted here, it can be said of each episode within this collection that each one shows in its own way the importance of the series’ writing. All combined, the writing with each of the set’s featured episodes proves why dramaphiles and Matlock fans alike will want to add this box set to their own DVD libraries.

The episodes that make up the body of Matlock: Greatest Cases, and the writing behind each episode clearly show together why this three-disc set is one that any dramaphile and Matlock fan will want to add the collection to his or her own home DVD library. They are just part of the reason why said audiences will want to pick up this recent release, too. The work of the show’s cast is also of note in the set’s featured episodes beginning with lead actor Andy Griffith. While Griffith isn’t playing Andy Taylor in Matlock, each episode here shows that he still carried over some of that down home personality that made him so beloved during his days on The Andy Griffith Show. Yet at the same time, there is a certain serious element to his portrayal of Ben Matlock. Thanks to boasting both character elements, Matlock comes across as the kind of person that anyone would want should they ever end up in court. He is a lawyer with heart. And it’s not the overly pious and emotional heart that is so common among lawyers on today’s courtroom dramas. The guest stars are just as enjoyable to watch in this collection, too. Dick Van Dyke showed that he was just as capable as a villain in “The Judge” as he was a comedic actor in The Dick Van Dyke Show or even a more serious actor in Diagnosis Murder. It goes to prove his versatility as an actor in simpler terms. And Milton Berle is just as entertaining in his guest role in “The Last Laugh.” Given, he was type cast for the role. But even considering this, Berle (It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Batman, The Love Boat) still handled his role with the utmost seriousness and expertise. When Harvey is forced to admit that his career is near its end, the emotion in his voice and on his face is so powerful. With his acting experience, it would have been so easy for him to just phone it in and even ham it up. But he didn’t go that route, opting instead to really give his best possible performance. It is just one more portrayal that proves the work of the show’s cast (main and otherwise) to be just as important as th episodes themselves and the writing behind each featured episode. Th combination of all three elements together makes Matlock: Greatest Cases a collection that dramaphiles will enjoy just as much as the series’ original fans.

Matlock: Greatest Cases may not be as big as the recent re-issue of the show’s full-series DVD box set. Regardless it is still a collection that any of the show’s original fans will enjoy just as much as any dramaphiles in general. The main reason for this is the set’s featured episodes. The episodes that were culled for the three-disc set represent each of the series’ nine seasons on television. The writing behind each of the featured episodes sets the show completely apart from all of the overly gritty hard-boiled courtroom dramas. The writing makes it more akin to the likes of Perry Mason than Law & Order. The work of the show’s cast in each of the featured episodes is just as important as the episodes and their writing. All three elements together make this collection whole and wholly entertaining to dramaphiles and the show’s original fans alike. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from CBS DVD and Paramount is available online now at:

Website: http://www.cbshomeentertainment.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CBSHE

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Maude: The Complete Second Season Shines In Its First Standalone Release

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Bea Arthur is one of the great names in television’s modern history.  The famed actress starred in a number of TV shows over the course of her life.  One of the most well-known of those roles (if not the most well-known) was as divorcee Dorothy Zbornak in NBC’s classic sitcom Golden Girls.  While most of her fame came from playing that role, it was not her only really well-known role.  Her role as the title character in CBS’ classic dramedy Maude can be argued to be the role that really made Ms. Arthur famous.  That is because as her character, Maude Findlay, was such anything but the typical female lead at the time.  She was a headstrong, self-assured figure who was also quite educated and witty (much like Dorothy Zbornak).  She was the very antithesis of every female lead on television up to that point.  It can even be argued that Maude remains today the inspiration for so many of the female leads on television today.  As popular as Maude remains, it mostly faded into the annals of television history after it ended its six-season run in 1978.  Though, earlier this year it was finally resurrected (and in grand fashion) with the release of Maude: The Complete Series on DVD.  The box set, released by Shout! Factory was the series’ first ever full-series presentation on any platform.  And this summer its release was followed up by the release of the series’ complete second season on DVD late this summer.  That box set, released August 11th, is a must have for any of the series’ original audiences.  It is just as important for anyone that wants to start learning about yet another of television’s most important series.  The main reason for this is the series’ writing.  The writing behind this series was, much like All In The Family, the series that spawned Maude, was just as hard-hitting as it was entertaining.  That is very much the case here.  In the same vein, the cast’s work in interpreting the episodes’ scripts is just as important to the season’s overall presentation.  Last but hardly least of note in regards to this set is its companion episode guide.  Once again, Shout! Factory has included a complete episode guide for viewers.  The company has done so in a familiar fashion, too.  It rounds out the elements that make this three-disc set worth the watch by audiences new and old alike.  Each element in its own right plays its own important role in the presentation of Maude: The Complete Second Season.  Altogether, they make this collection a fitting first installment of the series from Shout! Factory.

Shout! Factory’s recent release of Maude: The Complete Second Season this past August marks the first time ever that the series’ second season has ever seen the light of day on any home platform.  The series’ first season has been released twice over already, first by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and then most recently by Mill Creek Entertainment.  But save for that season, none of the series’ other five seasons had been released in any format until now.  There is plenty for fans of the classic dramedy to enjoy and appreciate here beginning with the work of the show’s writers.  While Maude was not necessarily groundbreaking in regards to its overall writing approach it was still an important series because of the fact that it was one of few shows on the air at the time that was brave enough to take on some tough issues  all while providing its own share of laughs at the same time.  “Florida’s Affair” is one prime example of this.  This episode is especially interesting in that it was penned by a male writer—Alan J. Levitt.  In this episode, Florida, Maude’s housekeeper at the time, is being pursued by a man other than her husband.  While Florida keeps telling the man no, he keeps coming after her.  Just as interesting here, is that Maude and Carol feel that it is okay for a woman to be attracted to a man other than her husband.  What makes all of this so important (at least in the eyes of this critic) is that it could be argued that it exhibits just how progressive mindsets were at the time in regards to gender roles and stereotypes in America.  It is a discussion that is just as relevant among men and women today as it was when this episode originally aired.

“Florida’s Affair” is an important example in its own right of how Maude’s writing is so important to its episodes in its second season.  It is also not the only example of the importance of that element.  “Maude’s Guest” is another key example of the importance of the series’ writing in the series’ second season.  That is because in its own way, it directly takes on the racial tensions that were still quite alive at the time of the episode’s airing.  When Maude decides to take in an African-American teen in this episode, it is obvious that it is for all of the wrong reasons.  While she thinks that her heart is perhaps in the right place, her reasoning isn’t.  Her own efforts reveal what could be argued to be a subconscious racist mindset within herself.  It is yet another issue that is just as relevant today as it was in the 1970s.  There are those people that do things such as what Maude did with the result that it maintains those very tensions that said people think they are trying to break down.  Of course in the case of this episode, everything ends on a relatively happy note. And as with “Florida’s Affair” it still is not the last example of the strength of the show’s writing this season. “Phillip’s Problem,” which comes later in the season’s run, is one more example of what makes this season’s writing so important to its overall presentation.

“Phillip’s Problem” is one more example of what makes the writing in Maude’s second season so important to its presentation here. This episode centers on not one but two very serious issues that are just as important in today’s culture as they were in American society in the seventies—divorce and its effect on families, and child discipline. In both cases, the subjects are tackled with both heart and humor. It is interesting to watch as Maude and Carol debate how best to discipline Phillip, who has been acting out quite a bit lately in this episode. It turns out in the long run that his behavioral issues stem from Carol dating another man. This is a very real portrayal as many young people caught in the middle of a broken family do tend to have behavioral issues. The issues stem from not having that family bond that is common among families not split by divorce. The discipline issue is even more wide-reaching. That is because it is a much broader topic. To this day, there is still intense discussion among Americans about disciplining children and whether or not something as simple as spanking a child should be considered abuse.   The manner in which both topics were presented here by itself will most assuredly keep viewers engaged. The balance of both topics throughout the course of the episode is just as impressive. The combination of both factors shows clearly why this episode is such a clear example of what makes it a key example of the show’s strong writing in its second season. Even considering this, it still cannot be said that it is the only other example of the strength and importance of the show’s writing. Any of the season’s twenty-four total episodes could be used as examples of the writers’ impressive work. That in mind, the season’s writing overall can easily be said to be among the most important elements to note in the set’s presentation.   The writing is just one part of the equation, though. The work of the series’ cast in interpreting the episodes’ scripts is just as important as the scripts themselves.

The writing behind the second season of Maude is a key element in the presentation of the season’s new standalone season box set. That is thanks in large part to the topics tackled in each episode and the manner in which they were handled. It is very reminiscent of the approach taken in All in the Family, which was the very show that led to Maude’s creation. As important as the writing is to the overall presentation of Season Two, the cast’s interpretation of Season Two’s scripts proves to be just as important as the scripts themselves. From beginning to end, Bea Arthur was wonderful to watch. Her comic timing and her ability to handle the show’s more serious moments makes suspension of disbelief simple. This is just as much the case when she is set against Walter (Bill Macy). The pair’s back and forth feels so natural in every exchange. Macy is a laugh riot in his own right with his take on Walter. He is the polar opposite of Maude. He is more grounded in his personality. That set against Maude’s overly self-righteous and self-confident personality (and at times thoughtless) makes for a great dynamic. Adreienne Barbeau (Escape From New York, The Fog, Creepshow) is just as entertaining as Carol whenever she is included in an episode’s script. Again, that is thanks to the dynamic created between herself and Arthur. It shows the very real chemistry that the cast had in whole throughout the season’s run. And because they had such fun, it makes every episode just as enjoyable for audiences. It is yet one more way in which Maude: The Complete Second Season well worth the watch by audiences old and new alike. It still is not the last way in which the box set shows to be so well worth the watch. There is still one last element to note in the overall presentation of this season. That element is the set’s featured episode guide.

Both the scripts and the acting within each of Season Two’s episodes are of the utmost importance to its overall presentation in its new standalone season set. While both elements are equally important in their own right to the presentation, the episode guide included in the box set is just as important as the set’s content. The episode guide lists all twenty-four Season Two episodes. They are split between the front and back inside cover of the box. Each episode is noted in relation to its disc throughout the guide. There is also a short yet concise summary of each episode outlining each episode’s central plot. This is, by and large, nothing new for Shout! Factory. That is given. However, there are other studios that put out TV series’ box sets but refuse to include an episode guide of any sort. Those studios will remain nameless here. Getting back to the point, the fact that there are those studios that refuse to include such guides are only shooting themselves in the foot. It is a minor aspect of any box set’s presentation. But it is still an important element nonetheless. It is part of that viewing experience. Having that guide saves time for audiences as it prevents them from having to go through one disc or another, trying to remember which episode(s) is/are on which disc(s). It’s incredible to think that there are some studios out there that will omit this minor yet important element in their box set presentations. Luckily Shout! Factory has once again made a point of including it in Season Two’s box set. Because the company did, it completes the viewing experience here and shows once and for all why this box set is well worth the watch by any audience regardless of familiarity with the series.

Shout! Factory’s release of Maude: The Complete Second Season marks the first time ever that it has received its own standalone DVD season set. Yes, it was originally released as part of the show’s full series set released earlier this year. But its release this past August by itself is the first time that it has ever been released by itself. Considering this, its first release proves to be quite the success. That is thanks in large part to the work of the series’ writers. The writers mixed heart and humor in every episode to make twenty-four episodes that are well worth the watch just for that reason alone. The cast’s interpretation of the scripts adds even more reason for audiences to purchase it. The companion episode guide that is printed inside the case’s box art rounds out the set’s positives. It gives a clear listing of the set’s episodes in regards to their respective discs and includes a short but concise summary of each episode. The full, clear listing dramatically reduces the amount of time that viewers have to spend searching for episodes. And the episode summaries make choosing which episode(s) to watch all the easier. All three noted elements combined together make the viewing experience in Maude’s second season fully immersive and enjoyable for fans new and old alike. They show collectively exactly why this box set is a solid first solo release from Shout! Factory and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and once again why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment. Maude: The Complete Second Season is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/maude-season-two. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

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Shout! Factory To Begin Releasing The Nanny’s Standalone Season Sets Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/CBS

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/CBS

Late this spring Shout! Factory ended a long wait for fans of CBS’ modern classic sitcom The Nanny when it released the series in its entirety in the form of The Nanny: The Complete Series. For fans that might not have been lucky enough to get their hands on that set, Shout! Factory has announced that it will begin releasing the series’ standalone season sets next month beginning with the series’ fourth season.

Shout! Factory will release The Nanny: Season Four on Tuesday, September 22nd. The twenty-six-episode run includes plenty of laughs and just as many big-name guest stars including: Bette Midler, Donald Trump, Pamela Anderson, Celine Dion, Jon Stewart, Jason Alexander, and Joan Collins among many others. One of those guest stars–Jason Alexander (Seinfeld)–appears in the season premiere “The Tart With A Heart.” Alexander plays a blind man named Jack in this episode. Fran picks up Jack at a singles bar after tensions rise between herself, Mawell, and C.C. The tensions in question rise from the revelation that Maxwell in fact hired Fran only for her looks. Of course things don’t go quite as Fran planned with Jack in the long run leading to an interesting outcome between Fran and Maxwell. There’s an equally classic story line later in the season in “Kissing Cousins” in which guest star Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) plays Frans cousin. The catch is that Fran doesn’t realize that Stewart’s character is in fact her cousin. This leads to plenty of laughs thanks to a battle of the sexes of sorts between Fran and Maxwell. In “You Bette Your Life” famed singer/actress Bette Midler appears as herself when Maxwell decides to assemble a charity auction. The auction leads to Fran becoming the babysitter for a talented young 10-year old piano player. Things don’t exactly go as planned for Fran and Maxwell in this episode as the sight of an elderly person dying while he performed at a nursing home puts a multi-million dollar deal from the boy’s father in jeopardy. There are plenty more laughs for fans throughout the season’s twenty-six total episodes. And audiences will get to enjoy them for themselves when The Nanny: Season Four is released next month.  Season Four’s complete episode listing is noted below.

Episodes

EPISODE EPISODE TITLE
1 The Nanny: The Tart With Heart
2 The Nanny: The Cradle Robbers
3 The Nanny: The Bird’s Nest
4 The Nanny: The Rosie Show
5 The Nanny: Freida Needa Man
6 The Nanny: Me And Mrs. Joan
7 The Nanny: The Taxman Cometh
8 The Nanny: An Affair To Dismember
9 The Nanny: Tattoo
10 The Nanny: The Car Show
11 The Nanny: Hurricane Fran
12 The Nanny: Danny’s Dead And Who’s Got The Will?
13 The Nanny: Kissing Cousins
14 The Nanny: The Fifth Wheel
15 The Nanny: The Nose Knows
16 The Nanny: The Bank Robbery
17 The Nanny: Samson, He Denied Her
18 The Nanny: The Facts Of Lice
19 The Nanny: Fran’s Roots
20 The Nanny: The Nanny And The Hunk Producer
21 The Nanny: The Passed-Over Story
22 The Nanny: No Muse Is Good Muse
23 The Nanny: You Bette Your Life
24 The Nanny: The Heather Biblow Story
25 The Nanny: The Boca Story
26 The Nanny: Fran’s Gotta Have It

The Nanny: Season Four will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, September 22nd. It will retail for MSRP of $34.99. It can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $29.99 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/the-nanny-season-four. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

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Shout! Factory Announces Release Date For Hill Street Blues’ Sixth Season

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/NBC

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/NBC

Shout! Factory will release the penultimate season of the classic crime drama Hill Street Blues next month.

Officials with Shout! Factory announced recently that the series’ sixth season will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, September 8th. Season six opens with a powerful episode centering on a hostage situation in which Henry Goldblume is taken hostage by members of a militant group called S.O.I.L. There is an associated story line in which Renko finally meets his favorite musician, Bobby Angel, but is faced the the issue of having to have him arrested on drug charges. These are just a couple of the story lines that interweave throughout this episode. Later in Season Six, Goldblume faces another ethical crisis when he is assigned to protect a parade by neo-facists. And in one of the season’s most interesting moments, things get tense in the precinct when a smoking ban is imposed on the building. One of Bobby’s old friends returns in this episode, and much more in this episode. Fans of this original series will find much more in these and the season’s other episodes for themselves when Season Six hits store shelves and online retail outlets. Season Six’s complete episode listing is noted below.

Episodes

EPISODE EPISODE TITLE
1 Hill Street Blues: Blues In The Night
2 Hill Street Blues: Hacked To Pieces
3 Hill Street Blues: Seoul On Ice
4 Hill Street Blues: In The Belly Of The Bus
5 Hill Street Blues: Somewhere Over The Rambo
6 Hill Street Blues: Oh, You Kid
7 Hill Street Blues: An Oy For An Oy
8 Hill Street Blues: Fathers And Huns
9 Hill Street Blues: What Are Friends For?
10 Hill Street Blues: The Virgin And The Turkey
11 Hill Street Blues: Two Easy Pieces
12 Hill Street Blues: Say It As It Plays
13 Hill Street Blues: Das Blues
14 Hill Street Blues: Scales Of Justice
15 Hill Street Blues: I Want My Hill Street Blues
16 Hill Street Blues: Remembrance Of Hits Past
17 Hill Street Blues: Larry Of Arabia
18 Hill Street Blues: Iced Coffey
19 Hill Street Blues: Jagga The Hunk
20 Hill Street Blues: Look Homeward, Ninja
21 Hill Street Blues: Slum Enchanted Evening
22 Hill Street Blues: Come And Get It

Hill Street Blues: Season Six will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, September 8th. It will retail for MSRP of $34.99. It can be pre-ordered online now for a discounted price of $29.99 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/crime/hill-street-blues-season-six. 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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com. 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.