PBS Kids’ New Wild Kratts DVD Is A Fin-Tastic Collection

Courtyesy:  PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtyesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Kids’ will release its latest collection of episodes from its hit kid-friendly wildlife series Wild Kratts next Tuesday, April 14th. The DVD, Shark-Tastic, is a nice addition to any family’s Wild Kratts DVD collection regardless of the number of DVDs that families may or may not already own. The DVD, the series’ eighth, features four episodes for the whole family. Two of those episodes—‘Speaking Dolphinese” and “Stuck on Sharks” are bonus episodes. But they have actually been previously released on two other Wild Kratts collections—Lost at Sea and Predator Power. That aside, all four episodes present a similar theme tying each episode together. Keeping that in mind, the episodes featured in this latest collection make for at least one reason that families will enjoy it. The run time of each episode adds to the DVD’s overall enjoyment. Each episode runs roughly twenty-five minutes. That is just long enough for the series’ intended audiences. What’s more, it is a standard held by the show since its inception two years ago. Last to note the makes Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic worth the watch is its bonus material. PBS Distribution has included again as bonus material an extensive aquarium guide and matching game that encourages audiences to match the given animals with their correct habitats. Both bonuses have been included in previous Wild Kratts DVDs. This is of course more the case for those that are just starting their Wild Kratts DVD collection. Keeping that in consideration along with the DVD’s episode selection and the episodes’ run times, Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic still proves to be an enjoyable watch for any family even if a family already owns any of the series’ other DVDs.

Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic is a fun watch for any family regardless of how many of the series’ previous DVDs a family may or may not already own. The central reason for this is the DVD’s episode selection. Included in this DVD are four episodes that take the brothers Kratt into the deep blue sea for four very different reasons. Two of the episodes in question—“Speaking Dolphinese” and “Stuck On Sharks”—have both already been included in previous Wild Kratts DVDs. On the surface this might not seem like much worth noting. But a deeper examination reveals much more. A deeper examination reveals that all four of the episodes featured here presents its own original story separate from any of the others. At the same time, all four episodes are tied together by one continuous theme of aquatic life. “Octopus Wildkratticus” (Season One) examines the adaptations of the octopus while the Kratt brothers try to reclaim their lost power suits. In “Tortuga Tune Up” (Season Two), Chris and Martin introduce the Hawksbill Sea Turtle and the Tiger Shark to audiences while they try to help Aviva develop the Tortuga’s ability to swim underwater. “Speaking Dolpinese” (Season One) sees Chris and Martin learning to speak the language of the dolphin when they encounter a pair of young dolphins that have been separated from its pod. And in “Stuck on Sharks” (Season Two), the Kratts present a lesson on one of the ocean’s deadliest yet most misunderstood predators, the Great White Shark. The stories themselves are well worth the watch if only for their educational and entertainment content. That all four also maintain a central theme will especially ensure audiences remain engaged through all four episodes. It’s just one way in which Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic proves itself worth the addition to any family’s library even if said families already own the DVDs on which “Speaking Dolphinese” and “Stuck On Sharks” were previously released.

The episodes that make up the body of Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic by themselves make for plenty of reason for audiences to check it out. Younger viewers will be able to catch the concepts delivered by the series’ writers just as easily as older adults. This applies both with the DVD’s primary pairing of episodes and its bonus episodes, too. What’s more, all four episodes stand as their own stories yet stay connected via one continuous theme of aquatic life. That all four episodes follow that one theme yet stand out as their own works will keep viewers engaged and in turn aid in helping viewers catch the concepts handled in each episode. The easily accessible writing displayed in each of the DVD’s episodes coupled with their solid continuity is important to the overall presentation of Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic. But without a proper run time, the writing and continuity of the episodes would be moot. Each of the DVD’s episodes comes in at roughly twenty-five minutes. Being that the concepts presented in the episodes are typically aimed at older children (typically third grade and up), twenty-five minutes is just long enough. Were the episodes any longer, the show’s heads would risk losing the attention of its viewers. So keeping this in mind, it shows even more why the episodes’ run times are so important to the presentation in whole.

The combination of the writing and the run times in all four episodes combined with the episodes’ sensible run times makes the argument in favor of this DVD even stronger than if one were to use only one element or another. Together, they assure that the show’s key audiences will remain engaged and entertained from beginning to end with each episode. This is of the utmost importance to the enjoyment of this latest Wild Kratts compilation. As enjoyable as the episodes prove to be, they are just part of the reason that audiences will enjoy this DVD. The material included as bonus features makes the DVD even more enjoyable. This is especially the case for those that perhaps don’t already own the show’s previously released DVDs. The reason for this is that the bonus material included on this disc is the same material included in those noted releases. The material in question includes a printable activity that lets younger fans to match animals to their proper habitat and an extensive aquarium guide that kids can use. Now that summer is just around the corner, both the activity sheet and the aquarium guide will serve as their own positives to help keep kids learning while they’re out of school. So to that extent, both extras definitely deserve to be called bonuses at least in this case. It’s one more way that Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic proves itself to be another welcome addition to any family’s Wild Kratts collection.

Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic presents plenty of reasons for the whole family to enjoy this latest collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ hit wildlife series. All four episodes featured in this collection follow the same aquatic theme. Two of the episodes are even pulled from previous Wild Kratts DVDs to complete the episode list. The run time of each episode comes in just under the half hour mark. That in itself is a long-held tradition by the people behind Wild Kratts. And coupled with the easily accessible marine biology lessons presented in each episode, the DVD becomes all the more entertaining for audiences of all ages. The addition of the DVD’s bonus material makes the overall presentation all the more enjoyable and successful especially with summer right around the corner. All three elements taken into consideration, Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic proves exactly why it is yet another welcome release from what is one of PBS Kids’ best series. Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic will be available next Tuesday, April 14th. It can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58235516&cp=&kw=wild+kratts+shark-tastic&origkw=Wild+Kratts+Shark-Tastic&sr=1. More information on Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic is available online along with all of the latest Wild Kratts news and games online at:

Website: http://www.krattbrothers.com
http://pbskids.org/wildkratts

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

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PBS Kids’ New Dinosaur Train Is A Fun-Filled “Ride” For The Whole Family

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Distribution just announced Wednesday that it will release another brand new collection of episodes from the hit PBS Kids series Dinosaur Train later this month in the form of Dinosaur Train: Explore Outdoors.  Its release on April 21st will come almost two months after the release of the series’ most recent DVD Dinosaur Train: I Love TrainsDinosaur Train: I Love Trains is in its own right another enjoyable addition to the series’ already long list of previously released DVDs and just as welcome in any family’s home DVD library.  The main reason for this is, as with any TV show or movie, its writing.  The series’ writers have crafted eight more stories that not only educate young viewers about more dinosaurs but also about some important life lessons, too.  The run time of each episode remains the same as with the episodes included in the series’ previous DVD releases.  Considering that the combination of those run times and the equally well-written episodes prove clearly why Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

The latest addition to PBS Kids’ already long list of Dinosaur Train DVDs, Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains, is one more welcome addition to any family’s home library.  This is regardless of how often one family or another gets to see Dinosaur Train.  The central reason for its enjoyment is the strong writing exhibited in each previously released compilation from the hit series.  This is exhibited in all eight episodes that make up the DVD’s body beginning with “Junior Conductor Jamboree.”  Usually the Pteranodon kids goes to one specific time period or another and learn about one kind of dinosaur or another.  In the case of this episode, the kids ride the train from one end to the other, picking up friends along the way for one big prehistoric celebration.  The kids learn about conducting the dinosaur train and about the different time periods along the way.  This includes learning about a variety of dinosaurs that lived in each time period instead of just one.  On the surface one might think that this means presenting a rather broad swath of information for young viewers that they might not fully catch.  But credit where credit is due.  The writers actually handled this issue quite well by offering just enough information to be considered a small introduction to the given dinosaurs and their time zones.  Their handling of the information in question will in turn lead young viewers to want to learn even more about everything discussed.  The show’s writers really should be applauded for that effect.  It is their painstaking efforts to balance everything that will lead to that love of knowledge among its younger viewers (and maybe even some older viewers, too).

On another note, “Rocket Train” is another important example of why the work of the show’s writers remains so important in this compilation of episodes.  “Rocket Train” is an especially important episode for younger viewers because of the important life lesson that it presents.  The lesson that it presents is that just because something is new, shiny, and “high performance” does not necessarily mean that it is better than what’s already out there (I.E. something older).  We live today in an age when young people (children, teens, and even adults) want the next cool, shiny, “high performance” gadgets.  The thing is that just like the Rocket Train, the next new cool gadget is anything but perfect.  Smart Phones may seem cool.  But it has been pointed out that they have their own security flaws versus the simplicity and security of say a flip phone.  In the same vein, the Rocket Train ended up needing help by the older but more reliable Dinosaur Train.  Again, the connection is clear.  It is an episode that every family should see.  With any luck, maybe older audiences and younger alike will catch that lesson and take it to heart.  It would prove the writers’ efforts weren’t in vain.  Regardless it proves once again why the writing is so important to the whole of this DVD’s episode.

One more example of the importance of the writing in these episodes lies in “Troodon Train.”  This episode is a little more basic than the others that have been noted already.  It serves more as a review of sorts per se as it re-introduces the Elvis’ prehistoric dino counterpart in the form of King Cryolophosaurus.  The *ahem* king is re-introduced in this episode as the Pteranodon Family takes a trip to Troodon Town to celebrate Troodon Train Day.  The festivities are capped off by a performance by The King himself.  King Cryolophosaurus was already introduced in previous Dinosaur Train DVDs.  So having him play a part in this episode is really a way to get him fresh in young audiences’ minds.  That the writers would maintain King Cryolophosaurus as an ongoing character and include him yet again so as to basically review in a manner of speaking  is pretty smart to say the least.  So credit goes out to not only Dinosaur Train’s writers but also to those charged with assembling the episodes included in this set for including this episode if only for that purpose.

All three episodes noted here are each prime examples in their own right as to why the writing in each episode makes this compilation so enjoyable.  Of course there are five other episodes that present their own value to audiences.  Regardless of which episode(s) audiences find as their favorite(s), every viewer will agree that all eight episodes together clearly show why the writing behind these episodes makes them so enjoyable and in turn Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains in whole so enjoyable, too.  Now having noted this, the writing is not all that is worth noting in the enjoyment of Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains.  The run time of each episode is just as important to the whole.  Just as with the episodes included in the series’ previous DVD releases, the episodes presented here run no more than roughly than about eight to ten minutes each.  Considering the series’ key audience, this is just long enough to keep younger viewers’ attention from beginning to end of each episode.  And because the topics and subjects handled in each episode are done so in a relatively simplistic manner, it guarantees even more that said audiences will not only enjoy each episode and remain fully engaged, but that those viewers might even actually retain at least some of the information shared in each episode, too.  So to that extent, the run time of each of the DVD’s episodes does in fact prove once again to be just as important as any other element that makes the show so enjoyable for audiences of all ages.

The work of the writers behind Dinosaur Train goes hand in hand with the run time of each episode included in this DVD in examining what makes it another enjoyable presentation. The relatively short run time of each episode will keep young viewers’ attention just long enough for them go grasp the equally simplistic delivery of the topics covered in each episode. While both elements are of equal importance to the whole of Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains, there is still one element remaining that should be noted in regards to the DVD’s overall enjoyment. The element in question is the material included with the DVD as bonus material. For the most part, the bonus material is a handful of printable coloring pages. That includes even the printable activities. The activities in question are the starting point for activities that could be done away from the TV. And at the same time, they also double as coloring pages for some younger audiences, too. The real gem of this DVD’s bonus material is its interactive CD-Rom game that allows users to play as one or two of the Pteranodon kids, paddling down a river and collecting bugs. Children can compete to see who can catch the most bugs first as they make their way down the river. It teaches both counting skills and entertains at the same time. So even in this case, the bonus material definitely lives up to its name. And together with the work of the writers, and the overall run time of each episode, all three elements come together to prove exactly why Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains is another wonderful “ride” for any young paleontologist in training and for any family in general.

Dinosaur Train: I Love Trains is available now on DVD in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=49575196&cp=&sr=1&kw=dinosaur+train&origkw=Dinosaur+Train&parentPage=search. More information on this and other Dinosaur Train DVDs and episodes is available online along with Dinosaur Train games and activities at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain

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

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PBS Announces Release Date, Specs For Grantchester Home Release

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ hit series Masterpiece brings to audiences another gripping murder mystery this spring when it releases Grantchester on DVD and Blu-ray.

Grantchester will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, April 7th. The story is based on author James Runcie’s novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. It picks up just after the end of World War II. Elizabeth II had just become queen. And Grantchester’s local priest was one of the town’s most respected figures. A lawyer in nearby Cambridge is found dead. A suicide note, a gun, and alcohol point directly to an open and shut case. But confessions to local priest Sidney Chambers reveals much more than Inspector Geordie Keating had thought. The confessions lead the pair to team up solve what turns out to be a murder. Audiences can check out a trailer for Grantchester online now via YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3tzFp5CeAU.

Grantchester stars James Norton (Rush, Death Comes to Pemberly, Mr. Turner) as Sidney Chambers. He is joined by Robson Green (Being Human, Mount Pleasant, Strike Back) as Inspector Geordie Keating. Also on board for this mystery are: Morven Christie (The Young Victoria, Death in Paradise, Sirens) as Amanda Kendall, Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses, Casualty, Doctors) as Mrs. Maguire, Al Weaver (Sherlock, Me and Orson Welles, Doom) as Leonard Finch, and Pheline Roggan (Soul Kitchen, Chiko, Kebab Connection) as the widow of lawyer Stephen Staunton, the series’ first victim.

Grantchester will be available Tuesday, April 7th on DVD and Blu-ray. The series is spread across six episodes for a total run time of 360 minutes. It is spread across two discs on both its DVD and Blu-ray release. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray set for $39.99. Both can be ordered online along with a DVD/Book combo and Blu-ray book combo via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=grantchester&origkw=grantchester&sr=1.

More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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.

PBS Bringing British Murder Mystery To American Audiences This Spring

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

This spring, PBS distribution will release a gripping new miniseries for all the mystery lovers out there.

Dancing on the Edge will be release on DVD an Blu-ray on Tuesday, May 5th. The story focuses on a group of black jazz musicians living and performing in London in the 1930s. The group, known as The Louis Lester Band is becoming increasingly popular all around London, even being asked to perform for the royal family. Along the way, American businessman Walter Masterson and his employee Julian catch the group and become very interested in it. It seems that everything is coming up roses for The Louis Lester Band. But then tragedy strikes. A series of challenges follows that threatens to end the group’s rise to stardom. The story was written by famed writer and director Stephen Poliakoff (The Lost Prince). It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, American Gangster, Children of Men), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc., Monsters U, Argo) Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game, Watchmen, The Good Wife), Jacqueline Bisset (Bullitt, Murder on the Orient Express, The Deep), Tom Hughes (Page Eight, About Time, Cemetery Junction), Angel Coulby (Merlin, Imagine Me and You, Magicians), Wummi Mosaku (Philomena, Citadel, I Am Slave) and many others.

The mini-series’ six episodes bring its total run-time to roughly seven hours. Those episodes are spread across three discs both in its DVD and Blu-ray presentation. Audiences can check out a trailer for the mini-series online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcqnCz5chXs. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray for $39.99.
The Blu-ray can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647396&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search#AdditionalInfo.

The DVD can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647376&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search.

More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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.

PBS Kids’ New DTN DVD Is A Welcome New Addition To Any Family’s Home Library

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Twelve years ago, the world lost one of its most important figures when Fred Rogers passed away.  Rodgers was one of those very rare figures that was the same in front of the camera as he was away from the set of his beloved series Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood.  That is evident in the 2012 documentary Mr. Rodgers & Me.  The same year that Mr. Rodgers & Me made its debut, The Fred Rogers Company launched the family friendly series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  The CG-based series focuses on one of Mr. Rodgers’ most beloved figures and has gone on since its inception to be one of PBS’ and PBS Kids’ best series.  The series has spawned no fewer than six DVDs since the series’ inception, the latest of which was released last month in the form of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel.  If Mr. Rodgers were alive today, he would be just as proud of this collection of episodes as the series’ previous compilations.  That is because just as with the noted collections, it carries on his legacy with pride.  That is evident primarily through the work of the series’ writers.  The writers have crafted a multi-part series of episodes that follows the growth of the Tiger family.  It is a story to which every family will relate and that in turn that every family will appreciate and enjoy from start to finish.  The separation of the story into seven episodes—one of which is a two-part episode, thus making the collection actually eight episodes—makes the DVD even more enjoyable for audiences of all ages.  It is that separation that makes the story easier to follow and more enjoyable to follow, too.  The coloring pages and activities included with the disc as bonus material rounds out the reasons that audiences will enjoy this disc.  The bonus material in question is the same as that found on PBS Kids’ previous Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs.  That means that even if a family doesn’t have the previously released DVDs, no family will feel left out at least to that extent.  The combination of that positive with the DVD’s other noted elements shows clearly why Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is another must have for any family that is expecting a new member of the family.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is not the first in the show’s series of DVDs.  And it likely isn’t the last.  Regardless, it is another piece that any family will enjoy.  Those families expecting a new member will especially enjoy it.  That is primarily because of the work of the show’s writers.  While the writers have tackled important issues for young viewers such as emotional development, general social skills (E.g. sharing, patience, etc.) and for much younger audiences, the importance of dental hygiene and even potty training.  Now with this DVD, the show’s writers have taken on a pretty lofty topic in the upcoming expansion of Daniel’s family.  Daniel learns in the episodes presented here that he’s not going to be the baby of the family anymore.  It’s a topic to which so many families will happily relate.  That is especially the case being that the writers made the story like something right out of any everyday family’s growth.  There are no outrageous additions to the story.  Though, it is shortened up somewhat.  That is obviously for the sake of time.  But from the announcement of his parents expecting a new addition to the family to his various emotional stages before, during, and after his sister’s birth, audiences will see just how easily the story reaches audiences.  It especially makes discussions for families that are themselves expecting to expand all the easier.  That the writing behind the episodes can entertain and reach such a broad spectrum of viewers shows exactly why the writing is so pivotal in to the DVD’s enjoyment.  It’s just one part of the whole that makes Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel a must have for any family.

The work of the writers in the episodes collected for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brothers Daniel shows by itself one obvious reason that any family will welcome this DVD just as much as its own new addition.  On a related note, the fact that the story was separated out into seven stand-alone stories makes the presentation overall even better.  The separation of the story into seven stand-alone episodes keeps them just long (or short) enough to keep younger viewers engaged.  This is nothing new for episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  Anyone familiar with the series and its DVDs will attest to that.  It’s also very smart.  Keeping the attention of its target viewers also means an increased chance of getting the key concepts of each episode and of the story in whole through to said viewers.  Each episode runs about fifteen minutes, putting the DVD’s total run time at approximately two hours.  So not only will young viewers get (and hopefully retina) the presented important life lessons in a short time, they will also be kept entertained for two hours.  That is a win-win for any family regardless of whether or not said family is expecting its own new addition.  It’s yet another way that this new DVD shines and proves to be its own welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

Both the writing that went into Big Brother Daniel’s episodes and the separation of the episodes that make up the DVD’s body are important to the enjoyment of the presentation in whole. Both elements work together to keep audiences of all ages fully engaged from beginning to end. They also work in tandem to serve as a wonderful starting point for any family that may be expecting its own new addition. As important as all of this is to the DVD’s overall presentation, there is still one more element to note that every family will appreciate about it. That final element is the disc’s collective bonus material. Yet again, PBS Kids and The Fred Rodgers Company have included the same bonus material that was included in the series’ previous DVDs. That material in question includes an activity that teaches both healthy eating and healthy expressions of feelings, another activity that teaches children to use their imaginations as they go on a make-believe train ride. There are even a number of printable coloring pages, too. And of course, there is a music video included that can be viewed without having to dig into the DVD. It can be accessed simply by playing the DVD versus having to dig into the DVD’s other bonuses which have to be accessed separately. Whether as part of the DVD itself or a separate .pdf file, the bonus material included with this DVD rounds out the elements that make it so enjoyable and a must have for any family regardless of whether or not said family is expecting its own new addition. The bonus material may be old hat for some. But for others it could be just as new as new baby. And for those audiences, it proves to be a welcome addition to the DVD’s overall presentation. Combined with the work of the show’s writers and the separation of the story into its own stand-alone episodes, all three elements show clearly why Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel is a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library regardless of whether or not it is expecting its own new addition.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Big Brother Daniel proves in the end to have plenty of positives, as has been noted here. Whether for the writing incorporated into each episode, the separation of the story in to seven stand-alone episodes, or for the inclusion of its bonus material included in each previously released Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD, the is plenty to like about this latest DVD. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=51196856&cp=&sr=1&kw=daniel+tigers+neighborhood&origkw=daniel+tiger%27s+neighborhood&parentPage=search. Families can also enjoy more episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and play Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood games online at http://pbskids.org/daniel. Fans can also go there or the official Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv for all of the latest updates on the show and more. 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.

Ben Franklin’s Bones Proves Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction (And More Entertaining)

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

People love drama.  A quick look through the shows dominating both the broadcast and cable networks today proves that.  The same can be said of offerings filling America’s theaters both past and present with dramas even dominating the Oscars ever since the very first Academy Awards celebration nearly ninety years ago in 1927.  Given comedies, musicals, and rom-coms have picked up their own share of Oscars for the “Best Picture” since that year.  But their wins have been extremely sparse.  So what is wrong with this seemingly never-ending fascination with drama?  The issue is that the dramas and medical procedurals that dominate television are entirely fictional.  The dramas that have won so many Oscars over the past eight decades plus have been either fictional or fictional in part.  The problem is that with so much fictional drama dominating television and movie theaters for so many decades, the importance of real life drama seems to have been decreased.  Thankfully though, PBS’s hit history-based series Secrets of the Dead continues to prove that real life drama is just as important as all the made up material on both the small screen and the silver screen.  Its new episode Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones proves that. It proves that primarily through its story of bones found in Franklin’s home in England upon renovations done on the residence back in the late 1990s. The story plays out like something right out of a Sherlock Holmes novel. The twist revealed as the story progresses will throw everyone unfamiliar with the story for a loop. The story’s pacing set against its material adds to the overall presentation. The juxtaposition of the story’s pacing to its included material will keep audiences fully engaged from start to finish. Rounding out the whole thing are the collective re-enactments, interviews, and actual footage that are used to help illustrate and advance the story. The re-enactments are kept to a minimum instead of being made the star of the show. Coupled with the video of the actual excavations and the included interviews, all three elements work in tandem to fill out the presentation and prove yet again that real life crime and medical drama can be just as gripping as the fictional material broadcast to thousands of households every week and sent to thousands of theaters every month. And together with the episode’s actual story and its pacing, everything together shows why the drama of Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones makes it a piece that every drama lover will appreciate.

Anyone that is a fan of all the fictional dramas that dominate American television and theaters will appreciate the real life drama contained in Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones. The drama comes from the story of skeletal remains found in the one-time home of Benjamin Franklin and the resultant search for clues and answers as to where the bones came from and how they got there. The bones were discovered in the late 1990s when a group of individuals was working on the house in order to turn it into a museum honoring Franklin and his legacy. The identity of the bones has never been revealed. And for those that have not yet seen this episode of Secrets of the Dead, the discovery as to the remains themselves will be left for those viewers to find out for themselves. Even more shocking to learn is the semi-criminal link to how the bodies got to the home and the purpose for which the bodies were used. It’s wild to think that as dark as everything presented in the story seems, if not for the revelations made in this episode of Secrets of the Dead, the advances made in the medical field today might never have happened. As the old adage states: truth is stranger than fiction. And because it is so much stranger than fiction, any lover of drama on television and in movies will be just as entertained by this episode of Secrets of the Dead as they would by those fictional dramas.

The story presented in Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones is just as gripping a drama as anything that could ever be written for an episode of Law & Order, CSI, Grey’s Anatomy or any other crime drama and medical procedural. The difference between this episode and those of the noted shows is that the story presented in Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones is real. It proves the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction. And because of that it makes this episode just as entertaining as anything on television and in theaters today. As enthralling as the story in this episode proves to be in the end, the information in the story is only part of what makes it work. The story’s pacing works in tandem with its in-depth information to keep the program moving forward and interesting at the same time. No time is wasted ruminating on one aspect of the story or another more than others. Rather, equal time is offered to every part of the presentation from the discussions on the excavation and resultant research to the re-enactments to the interviews, every part of this episode receives just enough time to keep audiences engaged from start to finish, waiting on the edge of their seats to find out the next revelation.   Along with the story at the center of this episode, it and its pacing combine to strengthen the episode even more and prove even more clearly why any fan of television and theatrical dramas should watch this episode of Secrets of the Dead just as much as those fictional presentations.

The story presented in Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones and its pacing are both key to the enjoyment of this program. Both elements work together to make the story just as entertaining and as gripping as anything ever churned out by the writers at CSI, Grey’s Anatomy, or Law & Order: SVU. While both elements are equally important to the whole of Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones, there is still one more element to note that makes the episode complete. That element in question is the episode’s collective interviews, re-enactments, and actual excavation footage. These three parts make up the body of this episode’s story. And thanks to the work of those behind the episode, all three elements are given just enough time to keep things interesting. It goes right back to the show’s pacing and in turn the work of the show’s writers to keep the pacing just enough that none of the noted elements dominates the program. Had one of them dominated, it might have hindered the show and in turn made it far less interesting and enjoyable than it is. Luckily that didn’t prove to be the case. And the end result of that is an episode of Secrets of the Dead that proves again to be just as interesting and engaging as any of the major dramas on television and in theaters today. It proves to be a piece that any drama fan will appreciate just as much as those offerings.

Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones is one of the best episodes that the hit PBS series has produced to date. Whether for the in-depth information shared throughout the program, its pacing, the surprise twist revealed through the program’s in-depth information or for another reason, it proves to be just as entertaining as any crime drama and medical procedural on television and in theaters today. Some might even argue that being a real life crime drama and medical procedural in one, it is even more entertaining than said offerings on television and in theaters Secrets of the Dead: Ben Franklin’s Bones will be available on DVD on Tuesday, March 17th. It can be pre-ordered direct from PBS’ online store now at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=57131096&cp=&sr=1&kw=secrets+of+the+dead&origkw=Secrets+of+the+Dead&parentPage=search. Audiences can check out a clip from this episode of Secrets of the Dead online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pkQeQJU9eU. More information on this and other episodes of Secrets of the Dead is available online now at:

 

Website: https://pbs.org/secrets

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

 

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PBS’ Nature Will Keep Things Cool Next Month With A New Episode Of Nature On DVD

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Typically when one thinks of Antarctica, one thinks of snow, ice, and penguins. Thoughts turn to what is one of the harshest environments on the planet. However, those harsh conditions exist during the continent’s coldest months. During its summer months, things change, allowing for tourists to make their way to the Antarctic. Along the way, said tourists make it a point to stop at the Antarctic peninsula at Port Lockroy. It is there that a colony of approximately 3,000 gentoo penguins find their mates, build nests, and raise the next generation of gentoo penguins. It just so happens that along with the penguins, there is also a British post office at Port Lockroy where tourists can purchase post cards to send back to their friends and family and visit the post office’s on-site museum. Now thanks to PBS, audiences can get a glimpse into the lives of the gentoo penguins and how they are being protected in the new DVD Nature: Penguin Post Office.

Nature: Penguin Post Office will be released Tuesday, March 17th. The DVD examines the lives of the gentoo penguins at Port Lockroy and the efforts to protect the penguins as visitors make their way to the port through each year. The hour-long program includes interviews with volunteers from the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust who run the post office and museum at Port Lockroy. The DVD will retail for $19.99 but can be pre-ordered online via PBS’ online store at a reduced price of $17.99 at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=57130986&cp=&kw=penguin+post+office&origkw=penguin+post+office&sr=1#Details. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online along with the latest Nature news at:

Website: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

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

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