PBS Distribution To Release New ‘NOVA’ Episode On DVD Next Month

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Distribution will bring another episode of its hit science-based series NOVA to DVD next month.

NOVA: Saving Notre Dame is scheduled for release Feb. 16. The program profiles the efforts made to restore the Notre Dame Cathedral following the fire that nearly destroyed the historic landmark. The cathedral caught fire in 2019, nearly losing more than 800 years of history in the process. The program follows the examinations and technology used in the efforts to restore the centuries-old structure and prevent another such incident in the future over the course of its 57-minute run time.

NOVA: Saving Notre Dame will retail for MSRP of $24.99. Pre-orders are open now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/novapbs

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PBS Distribution To Release New ‘Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood’ DVD Set Next Month

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution will release another collection of classic Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes on DVD next month.

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood: Mister Rogers Meets New Friends is scheduled for release Feb. 9. Few details are available about the four disc collection as to the featured episodes and the set’s box art. It is known that the collection will span a total run time of 847 minutes. That is more than 14 hours of content for families to take in together.

The forthcoming collection is the third box set of episodes from the timeless series and fourth overall collection of the series’ episodes. It’s a Beautiful Day Collection was released in 2018 and followed up by the Would You Be Mine? Collection in 2019. The single-disc collection Mister Rogers & Making Mistakes followed that release in December 2019.

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood: Mister Rogers Meets New Friends will retail for MSRP of $19.99.

More information about the DVD set and all of the latest Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood news is available at:

Website: https://MisterRogers.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TVNeighbor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FredRogersPro

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

PBS Distribution To Release First-Ever ‘Hero Elementary’ DVD Next Month

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Kids’ new animated science-based series Hero Elementary is getting its first DVD release.

Hero Elementary: Sparks’ Crew Pet Rescue! is scheduled for release Feb. 9. The single-disc collection offers audiences more than two hours of entertainment.

One of the collection’s stories finds Sparks’ Crew working to reunite a newborn bird with its parents. Another of the stories featured in the collection finds the crew learning how animals use their tails to communicate with each other. Yet another episode features Sparks’ crew helping animals who are out of place around the city due to fog.

Hero Elementary: Sparks’ Crew Pet Rescue! will retail for MSRP of $9.99. Pre-orders are open.

More information on PBS Distribution’s new Hero Elementary DVD is available along with activities, printables, and more at:

Website: https://pbskids.org/heroelementary

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeroElementary

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

PBS Distribution Announces Release Date, Specs For New ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’ DVD Set

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Distribution will bring a new collection of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episodes to DVD next month.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Tigertastic 50 Pack is scheduled for release Feb. 9. The collection’s 50 total episodes are spread across three discs. One of the set’s featured stories features Daniel going to Baker Aker’s bakery to pick out a birthday cake. When the cake is damaged, Daniel learns the lesson that just because the cake is messed up, it is still edible and tasty.

In a throwback to one of the most beloved episodes of the original Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Daniel and his friends visit the crayon factory in yet another of the set’s featured episodes. Daniel learns that going to the doctor for a checkup is not as scary as he thinks in yet another of the collection’s stories.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Tigertastic 50 Pack will retail for MSRP of $19.99. Pre-orders are open.

More information on this and other Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs is available online now along with activities, games, printouts and more at:

Websitehttp://pbskids.org/daniel

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv

To keep up with the latest 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.

Lessons, Price Save PBS’ Latest ‘Pinkalicious & Peterrific’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

The 2020 holiday season has officially come and gone once again, and with the season in the rear window once again, the focus for lots of retailers and others is already turning to Valentine’s Day.  A glance around any store reveals that.  It is only fitting that with the attention already turning to Valentine’s Day that PBS Distribution released a Valentine’s Day-themed collection of Pinkalicious & Peterrific episodes this year on DVD.  Titled A Pinktastic Valentine’s Day, the single disc collection  features five episodes whose stories present lessons that will resonate with audiences of all ages.  While the lessons featured in the stories are of positive note, the stories themselves detract slightly from the DVD’s presentation.  This will be discussed a little later.  When the episodes and their connected lessons are considered together, they make the collection’s average price point its own important element.  It will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the DVD a positive presentation, even with the negative of its episodes in mind.

PBS Distribution’s Pinkalicious & Peterrific DVD A Pinktastic Valentine’s Day is a gift that the whole family will appreciate.  That is proven in part through the lessons presented in its featured stories.  The DVD opens with the familiar lesson that the best gifts are the ones that are made versus those that are bought in the episode “Pink Love.”  The episode, which is the disc’s only Valentine’s Day-themed episode, also teaches an important lesson about problem solving when the Valentine’s Day cards that Pinkalicious made are ruined.  She stresses at first about how to make new cards for her classmates, but eventually comes up with an answer to the problem.  Whether on Valentine’s Day or any other holiday (such as Mother’s Day, which is also addressed in one of the collection’s episodes) making a gift from the heart will always be better than just buying something.  What’s more, the matter of problem solving is important to every young person’s development, so having that lesson incorporated into the episode in such subtle fashion helps the DVD’s presentation in its own way.

Speaking of personal development, that matter is addressed again in the central lesson featured in “That Unicorn Feeling.”  The specific lesson tied to the matter is in this case, that of the importance of using one’s imagination.  When Pinkalicious, Peterrific and one of their friends are paying a game together involving their imaginations, another friend comes along who can’t see the unicorn that the others see.  Over time, that friend learns how to use her imagination and eventually sees the unicorn, too.  Learning how to use one’s imagination is important not only in a child’s formative years, but throughout life.  After all, imagination is what leads to the creation of some of the greatest stage plays, movies, and television shows of all time.  To that end, learning early on, that importance of developing imagination is a welcome lesson for every young viewer.

Another important lesson that is presented in A Pinktastic Valentine’s Day is that of pet adoption.  Peterrific points out at one point, that he and his sister’s mom told the pair at one point, people are not supposed to keep wild things.  In this case, the reference being made is to the fact that it is not wise for people to adopt any wild animal.  That includes even stray animals.  That is because there is no telling what medical or other conditions stray animals might have and the liability connected with owning them.  Again, the subtle way in which this lesson is delivered is deserving of applause.  It is completely unrelated to the other lessons featured in the DVD, showing even more, the diversity in the DVD’s featured lessons.  Together with the emotional lesson about children being a mother’s greatest gift in “Mother’s Day Surprise” and whatever lesson is delivered in “Whale of a Song” (that episode’s lesson is not made so clear, unless it is just about appreciating nature), the whole of the DVD’s featured lessons forms a solid foundation for the DVD’s presentation.  If for no reason other than the lessons, the DVD proves worth watching at least occasionally.

While the lessons featured in A Pinktastic Valentine’s Day do much for the DVD’s presentation, the stories to which the lessons are connected detract from that presentation to some point.  As has already been noted, the only Valentine’s Day-themed episode featured in this DVD is it lead episode, “Pink Love.”  The other featured stories are anything but Valentine’s Day-themed.  To that end, the stories that are featured in this collection leave the DVD’s title to be somewhat incorrect.  It’s basically false advertising to a point.  Now even with that in mind, it is not enough to completely disqualify the DVD.  The lessons tied to the stories make up for that negative at least to a point.  Hopefully this is something that those behind the DVD will take into account when and if another Pinkalicious & Peterrific DVD is released.

Keeping in mind the value of the lessons featured in A Pinktastic Valentine’s Day, they in themselves make the collection’s average price point its own positive.  The average price point for A Pinkalicious Valentine’s Day is $5.96.  That point is obtained by averaging listings at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and PBS’ online store.  It was not listed at Target and Books-A-Million at the time of this review’s posting.  The least expensive of the noted listings is $3.99.  It shows up twice, at Amazon and Best Buy.  The most expensive listing — $7.84 – is at Walmart while PBS’ online store and Barnes & Noble Booksellers each list the DVD at $6.99.  Considering again, that the majority of the DVD’s value rests in its lessons, that aspect makes the less than $10 average price point acceptable.  That is not to say that the stories in which the lessons are presented are bad by any means.  They are okay and are themselves worth watching occasionally.  But that only one of the stories follows the theme of the DVD’s title, it does detract the overall appeal.  To that end, the listings, which will not break any family’s bank, is worth paying even with the one noted negative.  It works with the content to make the DVD at least somewhat more appealing presentation for the whole family.

PBS Distribution’s Pinkalicious & Peterrific DVD A Pinktastic Valentine’s Day is a presentation that is at least somewhat appealing.  The lessons that are tied into the disc’s five featured stories play largely into that appeal.  They are life lessons that are accessible for boys and girls alike and viewers of all ages.  The stories themselves are slightly problematic in that only one of the stories follows the theme presented in the DVD’s title.  That creates a sense of false advertising for audiences.  Keeping all of this in mind, the average price point of less than $10 is a point that audiences will agree is worth paying for the content even with its one negative.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, the DVD proves itself worth watching at least occasionally.  It is available now.  More information on the DVD is available along with games, activities, printables and more at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/pinkalicious

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


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PBS, WNET’s New Titanic Documentary Stays Afloat From Beginning To End Despite Its Setup

Courtesy: PBS/WNET

More than 100 years have passed since the R.M.S. Titanic sank in the waters of the North Atlantic.  In the century-plus since that tragedy happened, leading to the deaths of approximately 1,500 people, much has been said and written of the events of April 15, 1912.  From examinations off the Titanic’s construction, to the action (and possible inaction) of its Captain, to the accuracy of the descriptions of its sinking, so much ground has been covered about what is among the worst maritime disasters in modern history.  Early this past October, PBS and WNET added another topic to that list of discussions with the new episode of Secrets of the Dead: Abandoning the Titanic.  It is unknown at this point whether the program will see a home release anytime soon, but regardless the program is streaming free in the meantime.  The nearly hour-long program is a presentation that while imperfect, will still appeal to a wide range of viewers.  That is due in part to its central discussion, that of whether the passengers and crew of the Titanic were in fact abandoned and if so, by which ship.  This will be discussed shortly.  While that discussion, which takes up the second half of the program, ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment, the program’s first half detracts somewhat from the episode’s overall presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The visual effects and recordings used to help tell the story round out the doc’s most important elements.  They will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the program.  All things considered, they make Secrets of the Dead: Abandoning The Titanic a presentation that while imperfect, is still well worth watching.

PBS and WNET’s recently debuted Secrets of the Dead episode Abandoning The Titanic is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  Students and lovers of maritime history and those of history in general will find something to like about this program.  That is due in part to its central discussion.  The discussion in question is that of whether the Titanic’s passengers and crew were abandoned by another ship that was in range of the doomed liner, and if so, which ship abandoned them.  This discussion takes up the second half of the nearly hour-long program.  This aspect will be discussed a little more at length shortly.  While it only takes up the second half of the program, the depth of that discussion ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment in its own right.  The exact location of the Titanic at the time of its sinking is examined in comparison to that of other ships in the area.  That examination is provided to show proximity of the closest ships, of which there were two:  the Californian and the Mount Temple.  As the examination proceeds, viewers are taken briefly into World War I history to learn that one of the two ships did indeed abandon the Titanic, and that had the ship in question responded to the emergency, every life on board the “unsinkable” giant might have actually been saved.  Even more interesting is that the examination concludes by exonerating the Captain of the other ship while also firmly pointing the ultimate blame on the Captain of the Titanic for his inaction early on that led to the fateful collision.

There is no denying that the investigation of which ship abandoned the passengers and crew of the Titanic is in itself engaging.  It alone makes this recently debuted episode of Secrets of the Dead worth watching.  For all that this element does for the overall episode’s presentation, the episode’s first half counters that success.  The first half of Abandoning The Titanic is spent telling the same story that audiences have heard countless times.  It is just the story of how the Titanic made its way into the North Atlantic ice field that ultimately led to the collision that sank the ship.  The already known matters of how warnings about the ice field from other ships were ignored and the alleged inaction of the ship’s Captain are raised once more.  For the most part, the first half of the program does little more than set the stage once again.  So while maybe it does play some kind of part to the bigger story, it is a part of the program that audiences can largely skip past while streaming the episode.  Perhaps the most interesting part of the story that is even noteworthy is that of the examination of the bilge pumps.  It is revealed in the initial set up that the Titanic’s bilge pumps were not set up to handle the widespread flooding that the Titanic took on following its collision.  Rather they were set up for “localized” flooding, as one of the interviewed “experts” explains.  That is a topic that has rarely if ever been addressed in previous docs from other sources about the Titanic.  It adds yet another layer to that story.  Other than that aspect though, there is little else to really interest audiences.  The mention of the ship on the horizon is brief at best and is not even really re-visited in depth until approximately 32 minutes into the 55-minute program.  To that end, audiences will be encouraged to watch the one noted brief discussion about the bilge pumps in the first half, but skip through everything else featured in that portion of the program.  The real engaging portion of the program comes, again, approximately 32 minutes into its run time.  That portion of the program, along with the visuals used to help tell the story, make the whole worth watching at least occasionally.

The visualizations that are used to help tell the story of the Titanic’s abandonment are obviously aesthetic elements, but they do help ensure viewers’ engagement and entertainment, even through the first half of the program.  There is a lot of footage used from vintage movies focused on the Titanic to help show how people reacted as the ship sank.  The morse code messages sent between ships leading up to Titanic’s sinking help are superimposed on screen.  It drives home the lack of action taken on the part of Titanic’s crew.  Also used are photos of the crews from the ships and even photos of the hearings that were held following Titanic’s sinking to help illustrate the story.  There are even CG depictions of how the Titanic collided with the noted iceberg and slowly fell beneath the cold waters of the North Atlantic.  The one thing that these depictions get wrong is how high the ship’s back end rose as the bow went below the water line.  It has already been proven in past documentaries that the Titanic’s back end never rose as high as so many depictions show.  Rather, it only rose a few feet above the water than the hugely inverted angle so often shown.  That aside, the CG depictions in general work with all of the other noted visualizations to help tell the story of the ship’s sinking and abandonment, stressing what could have been.  It all collectively works with the story (including the first half) to add even more appeal to the overall presentation and make it worth watching at least occasionally.

Secrets of the Dead: Abandoning The Titanic is an interesting addition to the long-running series that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  That is proven in part through the program’s examination of whether in fact the passengers and crew of the ship were abandoned by another ship’s crew, and if so, which ship and its crew.  That examination comes in the second half of the nearly hour-long presentation.  The first half of the program is largely able to be ignored, since it sets up the second half, telling a story that most everyone knows.  The one positive to the first half of the program comes in the brief discussion about the failings of the ship’s bilge pumps.  Other than that one aspect, audiences can largely just avoid the program’s first half.  The visualizations that are used to help tell the story are aesthetic, but they do their own share to keep viewers engaged and entertained.  They make sure that audiences will be able to see the words spoken and written rather than just hear them.  They also personalize the story by showing the pictures of the figures involved in the story.  What’s more, they also give glimpses into the events that followed the Titanic’s sinking, as well as much more.  Between this aspect, the in-depth examination of the Titanic’s abandonment, and even the one detail added to the first half of the program, the overall presentation of Secrets of the Dead: Abandoning the Titanic makes itself a show that stays well afloat from start to end.  The documentary is streaming now.

More information on this and other episodes of Secrets of the Dead is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SecretsofTheDead

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SecretsPBS

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Grown-Ups Got Plenty Of TV To Enjoy In 2020

Courtesy: itv/PBS Distribution/PBS

Families nationwide got a lot of worthwhile ways to spend time together during the COVID-19 pandemic this year, thanks to all of the new DVDs, Blu-rays and box sets.  Of course while families got plenty to watch together, grown-ups also needed something of their own to enjoy.  Thankfully this year produced just as much for grown-ups to enjoy as children.  That is why Phil’s Picks is taking a look at what were among the best of this year’s new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for grown-ups.  This year saw a bunch of new content from Warner Brothers and DC, some better than others (E.g. the new Swamp Thing reboot and new seasons of Black LightningBlack Lightning proved better this year than Swamp Thing, but the latter still proved worth watching at least once.  Itv and PBS presented a rather intriguing new season of itv’s crime drama Endeavour.  The season was okay but left something to be wanted.  The short-lived deep comedy The Good Place finally met its end this year and also received its only full-series release on Blu-ray thanks to the folks at Shout! Factory.  In an even more surprising move, ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family got a full series release this month exclusively through Target.  While not inexpensive, it is a presentation that devotees will appreciate.  It is just one more entry in Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New DVD & Blu-ray Box Sets For Grown-ups category. 

As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 titles in the category along with five honorable mentions for a total of 15 titles.  Without further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 new DVD & Blu-ray Box Sets for Grown-Ups.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW DVD & BLU-RAY BOX SETS FOR GROWN-UPS

  1. Endeavour: Season Seven
  2. The Good Place: The Complete Series
  3. Modern Family: The Complete Series
  4. Doctor Who: Season 12
  5. The Expanse: Season 4
  6. Black Lightning: The Complete Second Season
  7. Black Lightning: The Complete Third Season
  8. Stargirl: The Complete First Season
  9. Mission: Impossible: The Complete Series
  10. Gunsmoke: The Complete Series 65th Anniversary Set
  11. Gunsmoke: The Movies
  12. Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Season 1
  13. Swamp Thing: The Complete Series
  14. Star Trek Picard: Season 1
  15. The Twilight Zone: Season 1

One more list is up to finish up this year’s lists.  That list is the year’s top new re-issues.  Stay tuned for that.

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

Vintage, Modern Offerings Gave Families Lots To Like This Year

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Families spent a lot of time indoors together this year thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Between parents working from home and students forced to take classes online, parents and their children have seen a lot of each other this year; Probably a lot more than usual.  That increased time together can often lead to tensions between families.  Thankfully, plenty of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets were released this year to help relieve that tension and give families plenty to enjoy together.  That has already been pointed out in part through Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New DVDs & Blu-rays list.  Single disc presentations are just a part of what families had to enjoy together this year.  There was also plenty of content thrown in this year in the form of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for families.  Among some of the best of this year’s new family box sets are first time releases from the likes of Time Life, PBS, and Nickelodeon.

As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the year’s Top 10 new titles and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Family DVD & Blu-ray Box Sets.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVD & BLU-RAY BOX SETS

  1. Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
  2. The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 4
  3. Dolly: The Ultimate Collection
  4. Arthur: The Complete Friendship Collection
  5. The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 2
  6. The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 3
  7. Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures
  8. The Jetsons: The Complete Series
  9. Sesame Street: Old School Volume 1
  10. Sesame Street: Old School Volume 2
  11. Spongebob Squarepants: Season 11
  12. Paw  Patrol: PUP-tastic 8-DVD Collection
  13. The Flintstones: 2 Movies & 5 Specials
  14. Garfield & Friends: Season Three
  15. Benji 4-Movie Collection

Next up from Phil’s Picks is the 2020 Top 10 New Grown-Up Box Sets and then the year’s top new re-issues to finish off this year’s lists.  Stay tuned for all of that this weekend.

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

‘NOVA: Human Nature’ Succeeds In Its Gene Editing, Bioethics Discussions

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Technology can be a very good thing.  It can also be very bad.  It all depends on who uses it and how.  That is the central discussion of the recently debuted episode of PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA, Human Nature.  The episode, which debuted in September, was released Dec. 1 on DVD.  The 90-minute documentary is a presentation that is certain to engage and entertain viewers from start to end.  That is due in no small part to the program’s central discussion topic.  This will be discussed shortly.  The way in which the program is presented adds to the program’s appeal even more and will be discussed a little later.  Considering these aspects collectively, they make the DVD’s average price point a positive in its own right.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this DVD.  All things considered, they make the DVD’s a presentation overall that many audiences will find a must in their personal documentary libraries.

NOVA: Human Nature is a powerful new episode of PBS’ hit science-based series that stands as one of the best of the series’ episodes this year.  That is proven in part through its central discussion topic.  The topic in question is that of the use of what is known as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, or “CRISPR” for short.  As is revealed through the discussion, “CRISPR” as something genetic has been happening for eons.  If what is discussed is understood correctly, it has played a big part in the evolution of many if not most biological creatures.  It has helped protect biological beings safe from viruses, allowing them to survive.  From there, the discussion turns to the use of “CRISPR” as a technological tool for humans.  Some of America’s top scientific minds discuss the possibility of using “CRISPR” to potentially eliminate diseases, such as cancer and sickle cell anemia, and to even alter genes of embryos so that couples can have potentially disease-free babies.  The topics of whether even doing that is ethical and the long term impact – whether humans would even remain disease free throughout life – branch out from the central theme along the way.  No bias is shown one way or the other, as supporters are interviewed along with opponents to the use of “CRISPR.”  One of the noted scientists who comes across as a supporter of “CRISPR” points out that despite popular belief, scientists are not looking to use “CRISPR” to bring back dinosaurs and wooly mammoths.  Another points out that at this point, the military is not working to use
”CRISPR” to make “super soldiers” and other military technology.  Yet another even points out that “CRISPR” is in fact being used to potentially create plants that are able to adapt to the world’s changing climate conditions.  To its defense, this aspect of “CRISPR’s” potential positives is rather interesting.  Humans need agriculture in order to produce food, and with climate change’s impact on the planet (and the human impact on the naturally occurring process) so clear, creating plants that are adaptable (or resistant to) the impacts of climate change could proof beneficial for humans.  As one of the interviewed scientists points out in the program’s end (not to give away too much), hopefully the day won’t come anytime soon that humans would decide to use this clearly divisive tool that is “CRISPR” for anything bad.  Regardless of which side one takes on the ongoing discussion over the use of “CRISPR” it is clear in watching this episode of NOVA that the discussions likely will not end anytime soon.  That is not a bad thing, either, considering all of the issues raised through the program.  To that end, the central topic featured in this in-depth documentary creates a solid foundation for the program.  It is just one of the aspects that makes NOVA: Human Nature a success.  The way in which the program is presented adds to its appeal.

A lot of ground is covered over the course of NOVA: Human Nature’s 90-minute run.  It is all presented in one continuous program, too.  Keeping that in mind, the manner in which the episode is presented is key in its own right in order to keep viewers watching.  In order to keep viewers engaged, those behind the episode divided the episode into “chapters.”  The “chapters” are clearly pointed out on screen as the documentary progresses.  This leaves no doubt that the overall discussion is changing direction.  What’s more, the transitions between chapters are solid in their own right.  There is just enough space between the “chapters” to let viewers know that the program’s discussion is changing.  That and the visual presentation of each “chapter’s” title collectively makes for a wonderful presentation for the episode.  It breaks things up just enough to keep viewers from getting bored with the topic and its discussion.  That and the central topic collectively make NOVA: Human Nature even more successful, especially in the way it plays into the program’s pacing.  Keeping all of this in mind, there is one more aspect of the episode to discuss, the program’s average price point.

The average price point for NOVA: Human Nature is $21.52.  That price is reached by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and PBS’ online store.  At the time of this review’s posting, the DVD was not listed through Target or Books-A-Million.  Amazon and Best Buy offer the least expensive of the noted retailers, at $17.99.  PBS’ listing once again is the most expensive at $24.99 while Walmart’s listing of $24.13 is just below PBS’ price.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ listing of $22.49 also exceeds the average price point.  So in the bigger picture of the DVD’s price, its average price point barely tops the $20 mark along with the majority of its single listings.  Two of the noted listings are well below that mark.  Now given the breadth and depth of the content featured in the DVD and its pacing (which works so well because of the episode’s construction) those less expensive listings prove to be money well spent.  They are prices that will not break any viewer’s budget.  The same can be said of the more expensive listings, even being that they exceed the DVD’s average price point.  Regardless of which retailer one chooses, at least some of the money spent on this fully engaging program will go back to PBS.  So it is a win for everyone.  Audiences get a documentary that they are sure to watch time and again, and PBS receives financial support that allows it to continue providing such top notch programming.  Keeping all of this in mind, NOVA: Human Nature proves itself to be a presentation that is one of this year’s best new documentaries.

NOVA: Human Nature is a powerful addition to the series.  Now that it is available on DVD, it is a presentation that so many audiences will want to watch time and again.  That is proven in part through its central discussion topic, that of the use of “CRISPR” and the ethics related to its use.  The unbiased discussions are sure to keep viewers engaged and entertained in their own right.  The episode’s construction works directly with the overall discussion to keep viewers engaged and entertained, too.  It keeps the whole from becoming monotonous.  That is especially important considering the amount of content covered in the discussions and the program’s overall 90-minute run time.  Keeping in mind the content featured in this episode and its delivery, the DVD’s average price point proves to be money well-spent, as audiences will, again, find themselves watching it more than once.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the episode a welcome addition to most audiences’ home libraries and one of the year’s top new documentaries.  NOVA: Human Nature is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/novapbs

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 http:///philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS, Nickelodeon Offer Kids, Families Lots Of Worthwhile DVDs, Blu-rays In 2020

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Viacom

PBS, PBS Kids and Nickelodeon are some of the most important television networks for children today.  In an age when it seems like families are becoming increasingly segregated within their own homes thanks to technology and general television programming that is anything but family friendly, these networks continued to provide so much content to bring families together in 2020.  That content was presented not just on the small screen, but also on DVD and Blu-ray.  To that extent, even new children’s DVDs and Blu-rays deserve their own year-end best of list.  That list is what is presented here from Phil’s Picks.  This  year’s list of top new children’s DVDs and Blu-rays pulls mainly from the noted networks, and even from Warner Brothers.  Topping the list this  year is S.T.E.M. programming from Nickelodeon in the form of a new DVD from Blaze and the Monster Machines.  Also featured in this list is new content from series, such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and even a certain Cartoon Network movie.

As with every other year-ender list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the year’s Top 10 New titles and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Children’s DVDs & Blu-rays.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW CHILDREN’S DVDS & BLU-RAYS

  1. Blaze and the Monster Machines – Knight Riders
  2. The Berenstain Bears – Bear Family Vacation
  3. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Explore The Outdoors
  4. Tex Avery – Screwball Classics Vol. 1
  5. Tex Avery – Screwball Classics Vol. 2
  6. Space Ghost & Dino Boy: The Complete Series
  7. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  8. Ben 10 vs. The Universe
  9. Blaze and the Monster Machines – Race for the Golden Treasure
  10. Elmo’s World – Things Elmo Loves
  11. Monster Hits – Rock & Rhyme With Elmo
  12. Paw Patrol – Dino Rescue
  13. Paw Patrol – Mighty PupsSuper Paws
  14. Paw Patrol – Jet to the Rescue
  15. Garfield World Two Movie Collection

Up next from Phil’s Picks is the year’s Top 10 new Family DVD & Blu-ray Box sets.  Stay tuned for that. 

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