Shout! Factory Announces ‘SBTB: The Complete Series’ Bonus Features List

Courtesy: Shout! FactoryNBC

Shout! Factory has announced the bonus materials to be included in the upcoming release of Saved By The BellThe Complete Collection.

The bonus features that will be included with the new collection are headlined by two brand new making-of documentaries — “Past Time at Bayside High: Making Saved by the Bell” and “Bayside’s Greatest Hits: The Music of Saved by the Bell.”

Also featured in the collection will be the featurettes, “Saturday Morning: From Toon to Teen,” “It’s Alright: Back to the Bell,” “The First of Its Class: From Sitcom to Icon,” audio commentaries, photo galleries and a 16-page companion booklet.

Saved by the BellThe Complete Collection is scheduled to be released Oct. 2, and for true devotees of the timeless series, this set gets right what the show’s previous series offerings have gotten wrong.

Whereas previous sets — including the most recent from Lionsgate — omitted the college years, this set includes those episodes and the previously omitted “Good Morning, Miss Bliss.”  The full, 86-episode series run spans 2,790 minutes across 16 discs and even includes the rare Saved by the Bell movies as an added bonus. They were previously omitted from the series’ most recent release.

Pre-orders are open now for the set at Amazon.  More information on Saved by the BellThe Complete Collecion and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.shoutfactory.com

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NBC’s ‘The Good Place’ Shows Impressive Growth In Its Second Season

Courtesy: NBC/Shout! Factory

On September 27, NBC’s quirky new comedy The Good Place returns for its third season.  The renewal came as a surprise to many when it was originally announced, and now the show’s heads are promising plenty of surprises from the series in its upcoming season.  While audiences wait for Season Three’s premiere, they can catch up with the story so far thanks to the recent release of the series’ second season on DVD.  Season Two proves to be a notable improvement from Season One, despite the clear ratings drop between the two seasons.  That is proven in part through the series’ writing, which will be discussed shortly.  The work of the series’ cast is just as notable as that of the series’ writers.  It will be discussed later.  While writing and acting anchor the second season of The Good Place, the two-disc set’s average price point does just as much to make audiences appreciate this season as its content.  When it is considered alongside said content, the whole of this season’s home release proves to be a presentation that is an enjoyable installment of The Good Place.

The second season of NBC’s the Good Place is an enjoyable new installment of what is one of the network’s most notable series, and now thanks to Shout! Factory, it is available on DVD.  Season Two is actually an improvement over the series’ debut season, despite what the ratings may lead some to think.  That is proven in part through the season’s writing.  This season launches with Michael struggling to constantly reboot his project because Eleanor, Chidi, Jason and Tahani keep figuring out that they’re really in the bad place instead of the good place.  Seeing Michael’s reaction each time is worth its own share of laughter, so compliments to the writers are deserved there.  His reaction at trying to cover up his constant failures is just as entertaining as another of the town’s demons basically blackmails him on one side and then the humans blackmail him on the other side, only to befriend him.  That reaction ties into another element of the writing that stands out this season – the character development – which will be discussed momentarily.  Staying on the matter of the story development, audiences see Michael and company eventually leave “The Good Place” and make their way to a “limbo” of sorts and eventually to “Bad Place Headquarters” before even being sent back to Earth, not to give away too much.  This is all important to note because it shows the writers’ ability to keep the story progressing, knowing that if they kept the whole thing in “The Good Place,” that it wouldn’t take long for ideas to dry up and in turn for the show to end.  Considering this, the way in which the writers progressed the story, moved it away from the “Good Place” and into other venues in itself keeps the story fresh and interesting, showing the show’s promise.  It’s just one part of what makes the writing stand out this time.  The character development, as noted earlier, plays into the writing, too.

This time out, the writers created far more character development not only for Michael, but also for Chidi, Eleanor, Jason and Tahani. It’s nice to see all five figures grow and interact together throughout the course of this season.  One of the most notable moments of the group’s interactions comes as Michael has an existential breakdown after realizing what humans deal with on a philosophical level.  It’s such a brief moment, but so entertaining to see the ability to use philosophy to generate laughs and also to show the reach of star Ted Danson’s acting abilities (which will be discussed later).  Staying on that same page (and not to give away too much), when Michael “turns” and “shows his true colors” it’s nice to see that the writers didn’t take the usual route, but instead leave viewers wondering which side he is on at first.  Of course it does become obvious which side he’s on as the demons tear down the town, but the overall execution of that part of that story arc is to be commended, too.  It shows that Michael really has the potential (and maybe even hidden desire) to be good just like his human friends.  This plays out even more later in the season, leaving audiences to see even more development from Michael that is certain to be a key point in Season Three.  That character development aspect won’t be given away here for the sake of those who have yet to see Season Two.  It is a nice element, though and is certain to entertain audiences plenty.  On a lesser note, Janet develops as a character this time out, too, and while at first this development is somewhat annoying – considering it takes that all-too-familiar romance story line – it’s good to see that said story line isn’t allowed to take over the season’s developments.  The same goes to the relationship between Eleanor and Chidi.  If either of these story lines had been allowed to have any more prominence than they did, they would have ruined Season Two.  Luckily though, they were kept under control, so compliments to the writers for keeping those story elements to a minimum.  Each writing element does its own part this season to entertain audiences.  When they are joined, they form a strong foundation for Season Two that gives audiences plenty to appreciate.  Of course the writing is just that, a foundation.  The work of the cast on camera strengthens that foundation even more.

As has already been noted, Ted Danson’s “Michael” is given more development over the course of Season Two.  That development also leads to some of the best acting this season.  His noted existential breakdown late in the season’s run is one of the season’s funniest moments.  That is especially the case as audiences see the result of that breakdown.  Not to give away too much, but it leads Michael to have something of a mid-afterlife-crisis that includes Janet and a sports car.  These moments are some of Danson’s shining moments in Season Two, but not his only highlights.  His subtle cues to his human friends during the roast make this moment entertaining, too.  That’s because he doesn’t go over the top in pointing out his clues.  Even viewers who pay the closest attention might miss them, adding to the enjoyment later after they are revealed.  The moment in which he reveals the truth of his plan to get the humans to the real “Good Place” is another wonderful moment in which Danson’s acting shines this time out.  It would have been so easy for him to ham it up in this clearly key emotional moment, yet he handled the moment expertly, revealing to viewers just as much to the humans that maybe, just maybe there is a desire to be good.  It’s a moment that makes him much more of a sympathetic character.  When it is considered with all of his laugh riot comedic moments, the whole of those moments (including those not noted here), they make Danson’s performances one of the best this season of any of the cast.

While Danson’s performance throughout Season Two stands out, one cannot ignore the performance of William Jackson Harper.  Harper’s presentation of the high-strung ethics professor Chidi is another highlight of the season’s performances.  His reaction at trying to teach his counterparts (and even Michael) different ethical and philosophical topics makes for just as much reason to watch as Danson’s work on camera.  This is especially apparent in his interactions with fellow co-star Manny Jacinto (who plays Jason).  The juxtaposition of Jason’s less than intelligent mindset to Chidi’s too-smart-for-his-own-good persona hints back at the likes of Laurel and Hardy or even the Skipper and Gilligan (which was in its own way, an updated take on Laurel and Hardy).  One could even make a comparison with this pairing to Abbott & Costello’s back and forth.  Every time the pair interacts, each man puts on his best face, giving such a wonderful performance and plenty of laughs.  This is just part of what makes Harper’s performance memorable this season.  His deadpan reaction to Michael as Michael gives a rather incorrect remark about the trolley predicament is another great moment.  Again, no to give away too much, but what he makes Michael do as punishment will have any grownup laughing.  On another note, when Chidi reveals his feelings to Eleanor, it shows Jackson’s ability to handle dramatic acting just as well as comedic acting.  It would have been easy for him to ham up the moment way too much, but he didn’t let the scene get away from himself.  Rather, he made the most of the moment, and truly made the revelation one of the season’s most shocking and powerful moments.  Considering this and his outright comedic prowess (which hints somewhat at his work on PBS’ short-lived reboot of The Electric Company – yes, Mr. Harper, this critic appreciates that work, too), Jackson’s performance is another highlight this season.  It still is not the last of the performances worth noting.  D’Arcy Carden’s (Broad City, Barry) is another notable performance.

Carden’s take on Janet as Janet develops presents its own share of interest.  One of her most notable moments comes as she tries to come to terms with the revelation of a previous relationship with Jason.  Again, not giving away too much here, but her deadpan, mechanical reaction (since Janet is supposed to be a robot) as she tries to process the situation and her feelings lends itself to comparisons with Brent Spiner’s take of Data trying to understand human emotions on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Watching her take in the reality despite knowing that she is an artificial intelligence so casually will definitely keep viewers engaged.  The same applies as she realizes that her glitching is tied to the aforementioned revelation.  On another note, her struggle to become a “Bad Janet” as the group makes its way to the “Bad Place Headquarters” and tries to navigate the party there is worth its own share of laughs.  Seeing her do something that is so out of place for her and seeing her discomfort shows her own growth as a character while also offering plenty of laughs.  She of course finally handles the needed change in a surprise twist that won’t be revealed here.  It is just as surprising as Chidi’s revelation of his feelings for Eleanor and helps the story advance nicely in the process.  When one considers Carden’s acting alongside that of Jackson and Danson (as well as the rest of the cast), it goes without saying that the cast’s work presents its own positives to Season Two’s presentation.  When those positives are coupled with the positives in the season’s writing, both elements show so much overall growth this season.  That growth, in turn, presents plenty of hope for Season Three.  Keeping all of this in mind, the average price point for Season Two’s two-disc set makes all the laughs and overall entertainment worth it.

Using the nation’s biggest retailers – Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon – and Shout! Factory’s own store – since the set has been distributed via Shout! Factory – the average price point of The Good Place: Season Two comes in at $14.68.  With taxes, that brings the set’s average price point to just over $15.  That is not an overly expensive price point, considering so many DVD box sets run anywhere from $30 – $40.  Paying on average $15 for two discs means that on average the set is a little more than $7 per disc or roughly $1.25 per episode.  Again that is a relatively affordable price.  Considering how much growth is displayed in this season both in regards to its writing and the cast’s work, that is saying plenty, too.  Keeping all of this in mind, this season’s set is one that clearly proves worth the purchase whether one is a fan of The Good Place or a new viewer.

The second season of NBC’s quirky ethics-based series The Good Place is a welcome new entry to the series.  It is an entry that new fans and those who have watched from the first season will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the season’s writing.  the writing displays plenty of growth from the characters and in the story itself.  The work of the series’ cast shows its own growth, too, offering just as much entertainment.  The set’s average price point is relatively affordable at $15.  That is not a bad price for the entertainment offered by the noted writing and acting.  Keeping all of that in mind, the second season of NBC’s The Good Place proves worth the purchase for fans of this quirky young comedy. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store now.  More information on The Good Place is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.nbc.com/the-good-place

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nbc

 

 

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory To Re-Issue ‘Saved By The Bell’ This Fall

Courtesy: NBC/Shout! Factory

It’s time to go back to Bayside!

For the first time in almost five years, NBC’s classic Saturday morning series Saved By The Bell is getting a full-series set on DVD, and it’s all thanks to Shout! Factory.  Saved by the BellThe Complete Collection is scheduled to be released Oct. 2, and for true devotees of the timeless series, this set gets right what the show’s previous series offerings have gotten wrong.

Whereas previous sets — including the most recent from Lionsgate — omitted the college years, this set includes those episodes and the previously omitted “Good Morning, Miss Bliss.”  The full, 86-episode series run spans 2,790 minutes across 16 discs and even includes the rare Saved by the Bell movies as an added bonus. They were previously omitted from the series’ most recent release.

Pre-orders are open now for the set at Amazon.  More information on Saved by the BellThe Complete Collecion 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, 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.

Shout! Factory, NBC Taking Audiences Back To ‘The Good Place’ This Summer

Courtesy: NBC/Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory and NBC are teaming up again to bring audiences the second season of NBC’s hit comedy The Good Place on DVD.

The Good PlaceThe Complete Second Season is currently scheduled for release July 17 in stores and online.  Originally airing this past September (Sept. 20, 2017 to be exact), this 13-episode season follows Eleanor’s continued adventure in the afterlife.

As Season Two opens, everyone’s mind has been wiped because of the events of Season One.  Of course, Eleanor and her friends eventually figure out what’s going on, leading to more mind wipes and things going back and forth.  Eventually, they realize the “good place” is in fact the “bad place.”  Along the way, Michael shows his own character development after realizing increasingly his own failings.  This leads the season’s story to get even more interesting, not to mention the season’s other subplots.  It all leads to a very surprising season finale that is sure to leave audiences talking.

Along with its 13 engaging episodes, Season Two’s home release also includes a handful of bonuses including extended episodes, feature-length commentaries, gag reel and visual effects reel.  The commentaries come from series creator Michael Schur, Executive Producer Drew Goddadrd, Producer Megan Amran and actor Ted Danson.

The Good PlaceThe Complete Second Season can be pre-ordered online now direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on The Good Place is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.nbc.com/the-good-place

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nbcthegoodplace

 

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, 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.

Time Life Gives Audiences The “Time Of Their Lives” Again With Fourth Season Of ‘Laugh-In’

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment

The world is in a perilous state today.  People once perhaps friends have been divided by unscrupulous political and media heads.  The threat of war, economic strife and all kinds of other issues are way too prominent around the world, so it goes without saying that the world certainly could use a good laugh.  Enter Time Life and the fourth season of NBC’s classic variety comedy series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.  Time Life will release the fourth season of the classic series next Tuesday, May 8.  It goes without saying that regardless of one’s familiarity with the series, this latest installment is another welcome watch for anyone looking for that good laugh.  The collective work of the series’ writers and cast prove that with ease.  The set’s bonus material offers its own interest, too.  It will be discussed later. The set’s companion episode guide enhances its presentation even more and will be discussed a bit later.  Each element is important in its own way to the collection’s presentation, and will be proven through this review.  All things considered, they make the fourth season of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In a welcome laugh riot.

The fourth season of NBC’s classic variety series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In is another welcome addition to the home collection of anyone looking for a fun escape from all of the tension and drama filling everyday life.  That includes the most devout Laugh-In fans and the least seasoned of its viewers.  This is proven in part through the collective work of the series’ writers and cast.  The rapid fire jokes (and their scenes) are products of their time, obviously.  But somehow, they are still so funny.  On a side note, one can’t deny the seeming influence of that approach on CBS’ similarly formatted show Hee-Haw.  That’s especially the case considering that Laugh-In ended in 1973, only two years after Hee-Haw had gotten its start.  Getting back on topic, there are jokes in this season of Laugh-In about the media, random skits involving an orchestra director, a meter maid, and more.  That’s just on the set’s lead disc.  The other discs feature equally fast-paced bits with jokes about literature, the Federal Communications Commission, world events and much more.  It all happens so fast that audiences are basically forced to pay attention in order to catch the jokes.  That’s the case in every bit.  What’s more, even though the jokes and skits are products of their time, they are still somehow so funny even now, decades later thanks to their delivery by the show’s cast.  Whether it’s hosts Dan Rowan and Dick Martin delivering jokes about politicians of the time, cast members Ann Elders and Arte Johnson delivering wild, random bits and more, the cast’s work on camera with each segment makes every line so funny.  Speaking of Johnson, the bonus interview with Johnson adds its own interest to the collection.  Alongside the interview with Lily Tomlin, the two interviews prove to be just as important to this set’s presentation as its jokes, skits and acting.

The bonus interviews that come with this season of Laugh-In are so important to note because of the insight that they offer into life off camera for the cast.  Case in point Arte Johnson’s sit down.  Johnson notes in his discussion, how well the cast worked together in regards to meting out lines and the general chemistry among the cast.  There is also note in his discussion about his own influence – one Peter Sellers – and the comparisons of today’s shock comedy to simple comedy.  His discussion makes clear that he was not happy with what has become of comedy in this era.  It’s eye-opening in its own right.  Tomlin’s interview is just as insightful as that of Johnson.  She talks in-depth about the evolution of her Edit Ann character, and how that character almost didn’t happen.  There’s also discussion on Suzy Sorority that connects the two together and so much more.  What’s really nice here is that unlike with Johnson’s interview, each topic is separated by its own slate.  That makes it easier to follow the discussions, thus ensuring even more viewers’ engagement and entertainment.  What’s really great here is that whereas Johnson’s interview is very straight forward, Tomlin’s interview offers its own share of laughs.  The one interesting theme that connects the two is the mention of how families would be able to come together to watch Laugh-In and how that is not the case anymore today.  It’s a simple statement, yet says so much.  It is a statement, once again, of how far from grace television has fallen since the days of Laugh-In and even similar shows like Hee-Haw, The Carol Burnett Show and others.  Thank goodness Time Life has resurrected now four seasons of this comedy standard.  Now having said of all of this, the interviews that come with this season of Laugh-In are still not the last of its most important elements.  Its companion episode guide is important in its own right.

An episode guide might not seem like much on the surface, but as this critic has pointed out many times with other releases, its value is more than just aesthetic.  The episode guide here, as with the series’ previous seasons, gives brief but concise descriptions of what audiences have to expect with each episode.  That makes it easier for viewers to decide on which episode(s) to watch, thus taking far less time in the overall process.  Having to go through disc after disc with no guide can get tedious to say the very least.  That tediousness can wear on viewers very quickly and easily.  What’s more, the episode guide even provides each episode’s original air date and the episodes’ guest stars.  To that end, not only is the episode guide an episode guide, but it’s also the starting point for a history lesson of sorts.  That history lesson can then lead to an even deeper appreciation of the show and – in the bigger picture – an appreciation of where television once was in comparison to where it is today.  Keeping this in mind, it should become clear why the set’s companion booklet proves to be its own important part of the set’s presentation.  When it is joined with the work of the series’ writers and cast and the bonus interviews, all three elements – discussed in whole – show clearly why this latest season of Laugh-In another laugh riot and such a wonderful watch.

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Fourth Season is another wonderful addition to any classic TV lover’s library.  It is just as welcome for those looking for an alternative to all of the sex and violence currently polluting television today, and a great way to get away from the tension in the news.  That is evidenced in part – as discussed – through the collective work of the show’s writers and cast.  While the jokes and skits are products of their time, there is something about the way in which they were written that still makes them funny to this day.  The same can be said of the cast’s execution of each bit’s script.  Regardless of viewers’ familiarity with the series, the cast’s execution of the scripts makes every joke so funny.  It shows the power of performance.  The bonus interviews with Lily Tomlin and Arte Johnson offer their own share of insight and entertainment.  They are the set’s only bonus materials, but are still entertaining in their own right.  The companion booklet that comes with the set proves to be more than just an episode guide.  It offers a starting point on a history lesson on the show and on television history.  Each element proves critical in its own right to this set.  All things considered, they make the fourth season of Laugh-In another entertaining entry from a timeless classis series.  It will be available next Tuesday, May 8.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

 

 

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Time Life Announces “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: Season Four” Release Date

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment

Time Life Entertainment is bringing more laughs and entertainment to audiences with another season of the classic variety show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In next month.

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-InThe Complete Fourth Season is currently scheduled to be released Tuesday, May 8.  This release marks the first time ever that this season has ever been made available at retail.  It will retail for MSRP of $39.95.

Season Four’s 26 episode run is spread here across seven discs and features appearances from celebrities such as: Carol Channing, Tim Conway, Wilt Chamberlain, Rich Little, Bob Newhart, Art Carney, Johnny Carson and many others.  Along with lots more laughs from sketches such as “The Farkle Family,” “Cocktail Party,” “Joke Wall” and others, this new set also includes two new-to-retail, specially-produced bonus features — interviews with Lily Tomlin and Arte Johnson.

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-InThe Complete Fourth Season‘s total run time is 1,384 minutes and will be presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

More information on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-InThe Complete Fourth Season and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

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

‘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:

 

 

 

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