PBS’ Vietnam War Docu-Series Is A Timeless Look At A Critical Conflict

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

The clock is ticking on the year.  In a little more than 24 hours, 2017 will finally winding down and the world will be looking forward to 2018.  Before those final hours pass by, there’s still work to be done from Phil’s Picks in the year-ender department.  That work includes year-enders for the year’s top new box sets for grown-up audiences.  In saying grown-ups, that does not necessarily mean solely that the material is inappropriate for younger viewers, but that it might simply not appeal to younger viewers because of the issue of their ability to relate to the material in question.

PBS and Shout! Factory dominate this critic’s list this year with a rather wide array of titles with PBS’ new miniseries doc The Vietnam War taking top honors.  Whether or not one is a military or even history buff, this set is a must see.  Period.  The fourth season of PBS’ British import crime drama Endeavour is also on the list alongside new releases such as Shout! Factory’s Green AcresThe Complete SeriesThe Good PlaceSeason 1 and Ernie Kovacs retrospective Take A Good Look.  Smithsonian Channel even gets some nods with the first two seasons of Air Warriors and the first season of Sports Detectives.  Even mpi Media Group’s Gerry Anderson collection The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson is on this critic’s list.

As with every previous list from Phil’s Picks, this list features this critic’s Top 10 New Grown-Up Box Sets plus five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Developing this list was anything but easy, but every title included was well deserving of its place in the list.  that being said, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Grown-Up DVD/BD Box Sets.


  1. The Vietnam WarA Film By Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
  2. EndeavourSeason 4
  3. Green AcresThe Complete Series
  4. Sports DetectivesSeason 1
  5. Mystery Science Theater 3000 Vol. XXXVIII
  6. Mystery Science Theater 3000 Vol. XXXIX
  7. Ernie KovacsTake A Good Look
  8. The Good PlaceSeason 1
  9. The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson
  10. Air WarriorsSeason 1
  11. Air WarriorsSeason 2
  12. Just Shoot MeThe Complete Series
  13. Ned & StaceyThe Complete Series
  14. IceSeason 1
  15. From Dusk Till DawnSeason 3

That’s it for this list, but still not it for this year’s new DVD and BD titles.  Still up for grabs are spots on Phil’s PIcks 2017 Top 10 New Family DVD/BD Box Sets.  That list is nearly compiled and will be posted ASAP, so stay tuned!

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

‘Ned & Stacey: The Complete Series’ Is A Success For The Series’ Fans, Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Later this month, home entertainment company Shout! Factory will resurrect the short-lived Fox sitcom Ned & Stacy on DVD when it releases for the first time ever Ned & Stacey: The Complete Series.  While the series only ran for two seasons, it still garnered its own cult following, a following that will most assuredly appreciate this presentation.  That is due in part to the set’s episode listing, which will be discussed shortly.  The set’s packaging is another of the set’s elements that audiences will certainly applaud, and will be discussed later.  Its bonus material rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the whole of Ned & Stacey: The Complete Series.  All things considered, they make this collection a solid full-series set for the show’s fans.

Shout! Factory’s forthcoming release of Ned & Stacey: The Complete Series is a collection that fans of the short-lived Fox sitcom are certain to enjoy.  That is due in part to the set’s episode listing.  The series originally ran from 1995 to 1997 for a total of 35 episodes.  However, 11 other episodes produced before the show was cancelled early in 1997, bringing the series’ total episode count to 46.  Those previously unaired episodes are included in this collection along with the other 35 episodes that did make it to air.  That in itself is a bonus for the series’ most devoted fans as it gives those audiences the complete series, and in turn a complete viewing experience.  This forms a solid foundation for the set’s presentation and is hardly its only key element.  The set’s packaging is just as important to note as its episode listing.

The packaging used for Ned & Stacey: The Complete Series is important to note because once again, it has set the standard for multi-disc television collections.  As with so many of Shout! Factory’s other multi-disc sets, this collection places each of the series’ six discs on their own plates inside the standard size DVD case, two of which are placed on the inside of the case, one on the inside front and the other on the inside rear.  By taking this approach, the discs are protected from damaging each other while still allowing the set’s packaging to remain ergonomically sound.

On another note, each of the set’s discs is clearly labeled with its respective season and disc number.  This coincides with the set’s episode listing printed on the inner front and rear of the case. Season One is listed disc by disc on the inside front while Season Two is printed on the case’s inside rear.  Each season’s episode listing is noted chronologically with short but concise summaries of each episode.  When this is considered alongside the packaging of the set’s discs, the end result is a packaging that, again, sets the standard for every multi-disc set out there today and that strengthens the set’s foundation even more.  While the set’s packaging clearly proves to be another key piece of its whole, it is still not the last of the set’s most pivotal pieces.  The set’s bonus material rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material included with Ned & Stacey: The Complete Series is its own important piece of the set’s presentation because of the extra touch that it gives to the set’s viewing experience.  The bonus material includes a nearly 22-minute documentary that features interviews with the series’ lead stars—Thomas Haden Church and Debra Messing—and their co-stars, Gregg Germann and Nadia Dajani alongside a full audio commentary on the series’ premiere episode.  While that episode’s commentary offers its own insight and entertainment, the behind-the-scenes featurette proves in the end to be the most important of the pair.  Audiences will be surprised to learn in that featurette that Church apparently signed on to star in the show not for its premise but because he was impressed by the series’ characters.  Viewers will be just as interested to hear Church’s praise for the series’ writers.  On a related note, audiences will be just as interested at Messing’s commentary that she thought the series’ “edgy” writing was what prevented it from lasting longer.  Those were her words in her interview.

Of course Church and Messing’s commentaries are not the only key discussions included in the set’s bonus documentary. Dajani laughs as she discusses at one point the point that her role as Amanda played in other roles that she landed since the series ended.  She also recalls happily in her interview her tendency towards laughing throughout so many episodes’ tapings, a comment that will in itself have audiences laughing.

As if the cast’s interviews are not enough, audiences also get to hear from series creator Michael Weithorn about the series’ roots, its fans base and more during his interview segments.  Those commentaries add even more interest to the series’ viewing experience.  When they are joined with the commentaries from the cast, the series’ episode listing and its packaging, the whole of all three elements makes clear why this first-ever full-series release of Ned & Stacey: The Complete Series is a success for the series’ most devoted fans and for Shout! Factory.

Ned & Stacey: The Complete Series is a successful first-ever full-series release for the short-lived Fox sitcom.  It is a set that is certain to impress any of the show’s most devoted audiences.  That is, as already noted, due to the presentation of each of the series’ 46 episodes (including all 11 of the series’ never-before aired episodes).  The packaging has once again shown why Shout! Factory remains the gold standard for multi-disc sets.  The bonus material included with the set puts the finishing touch on the set.  Each element is important in its own right, as noted before.  All in all, they make this collection, again, a success both for the series’ fans and for Shout! Factory.  It will be available in stores and online Sept. 26 and 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




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