Danny Phantom Complete Series Set Is Loads Of Ghostly Fun For All

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Nickelodeon’s programming today is comprised largely of live action sitcoms aimed at teen viewers.  However, from the early 1990s up until the mid-2000s, the network was known more for its vast array of cartoons.  It’s “Nicktoons” were its heart and soul.  While Nickelodeon does have some cartoons today, the network’s sole remaining real Nicktoon is Butch Hartman’s hugely successful series Fairly OddparentsFairly Oddparents is a standout series, too.  Interestingly enough, it isn’t his first series to have the honor of being added to Nickelodeon’s list of beloved Nicktoons.  His first notable “Nicktoon” was the short-lived supernatural series Danny Phantom.  Now thanks to Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon, fans of Danny Phantom will be able to own the complete series in one box later this month.  Danny Phantom only ran for three seasons.  In its defense, it could be argued that this was because it was ahead of its time.  That aside, series creator Butch Hartman and his writers crafted a number of enjoyable episodes throughout the show’s short run.  Just as worth noting about this new upcoming box set is that is alleviates some minor problems raised in the box sets containing the series’ second season.  Lastly, those that know their Nicktoons history will appreciate the voice talent that made up the series’ cast.  That who’s who of voice actors combined with the enjoyable stories, and the fact that they are all available together for the first time collectively make this upcoming set well worth picking up for any Danny Phantom fan.

Fans of Danny Phantom: The Complete Series  will appreciate this new complete series set first and foremost because it presents the series’ entire three-season run in one complete box set.  Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory have already released three complete series sets from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern Life, and The Angry Beavers.  Those sets proved to actually take up far less space on DVD racks than the stand-alone season sets that had originally been released.  This set is no different.  All nine discs that make up all three seasons are included in this box.  Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon have sweetened the deal even more for fans in that they have maintained the established wise packaging that was used in the aforementioned complete series sets.  The discs are placed inside the box on either side of their own “insert” with the ninth and final disc being placed in its own spot inside the back of the case.  As with the previously noted box sets, this protects the discs and allows the episodes contained within each one to be enjoyed much longer.  It is the starting point of what audiences will appreciate about Danny Phantom: The Complete Series.

The packaging for Danny Phantom: The Complete Series is a good starting point in discussing everything that makes this box set well worth its price.  The episodes contained across the set’s nine total discs make the presentation as a whole even more enjoyable.  It would be easy to say that because its main characters were high school students, Danny Phantom was just another program aimed at audiences of the same age. To a point, it could be seen how teen audiences would take an interest in the series.  Case in point, one of the series’ story arcs involved a potential inter-racial romance between Danny and black classmate named Valerie Gray (voiced by Cree Summer—The Cosby Show, Clifford The Big Red Dog, Codename: Kids Next Door, etc.).  It really is a sign of the times that the show’s writers would include this without making a big fuss over it, either.  It is a subtle, but nice addition to the series.  There are also the constant struggles to balance trying to be a regular teen with being a superhero. But the jokes that are tossed in each episode aren’t above some younger viewers, either.  So while teens might have been the primary audience, younger viewers would have obviously enjoyed the show, too.  The same applies to today’s teens and pre-teens, too.

The packaging and writing that make up Danny Phantom’s episodes are collectively a big part of what makes the series so enjoyable even for today’s younger audiences.  There is at least one more aspect of the series’ new set that audiences will appreciate in examining the presentation as a whole.  That aspect is the series’ voice cast.  The series’ primary cast reads like a who’s who of voice acting.  It has already been noted that veteran voice actress Cree Summer is part of the primary cast (even though she doesn’t come into play until the second season).  Along with Ms. Summer, Grey DeLisle (The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Clifford The Big Red Dog, Clifford: The Puppy Years, Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends, etc.) Kath Soucie (Futurama, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Beauty and the Beast, etc.), Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, etc.) and a whole slate of others each play roles in the series.  Fans will also recognize the voices of Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, Hellboy & Hellboy II), Martin Mull (Roseanne), and the man who is perhaps the busiest male voice actor in the business, one Frank Welker (Curious George, The Real Ghostbusters, Scooby-Doo Where Are You, etc.)  Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), Taylor Lautner (the Twilight saga), and the late David Carradine even make appearances throughout the series among so many other big names.  If the massive list of A-listers that play roles in Danny Phantom isn’t reason enough to check out the new Danny Phantom: The Complete Series box set, then one need only set that alongside the enjoyable writing and the equally wise packaging to see just how worthwhile this set is for kids and kids at heart.  It will be available in stores and online Tuesday, January 28th.  It can be pre-ordered online now from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/danny-phantom-complete-series.  More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial.  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.

ESPN Offers Sneak Peek at New Documentary, More In NFL Sunday Countdown Week 2

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has a change to its NFL Week 2 schedule to pass on to audiences.  Broadcast of the network’s weekly Sunday NFL Countdown will air this week Sunday, September 15th beginning at 10am on ESPN.  Chris Berman will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined by NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, and Ray Lewis.  Also on board for this week’s three-hour pre-game show will be senior fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry, NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, and NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.  Berry brings to the table this week the discussion of a rather unique punishment instated by one fantasy league.  The story is just one of many stores shared in Berry’s new book.

Berman and company will focus on five more matchups in week two with insight from reporters at each game.  The first of those games is a matchup of the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers.  Reporter Suzy Kolber and NFL analyst Merril Hoge will have all the latest information on that matchup.  In coordination with coverage of the game, ESPN will also have a special feature on the Redskins’ team name and the controversy surrounding it Sunday morning on Outside The Lines.  Bob Holtzman will have the story.  Audiences can catch the special edition of Outside The Lines  at 8am on ESPN2.

Something else to watch for in week 2 is the annual “Manning Bowl.”  Eli and brother Peyton face off as the Broncos take on the G-Men this week.  ESPN reporter  Josina Anderson will have all the latest from that game. Leading up to the game, Sunday NFL Countdown will feature a sneak peek at ESPN’s new documentary on the brothers, The Book of Manning.  The documentary kicks off the third season of ESPN Films’ SEC Storied series.  It focuses on the legendary Manning family, from father Archie to his equally famed sons.  Veteran actor John Goodman (Monsters UniversityMonsters, Inc., Roseanne) narrates the special, which will feature home movies of the Manning brothers in their youth, interviews with those closest to the Manning family and more.  It airs Tuesday, September 24th at 8PM ET on ESPN.

The third of the matchups on which NFL Sunday Countdown will focus is the week two matchup of the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.  Dominguez and company will look at the pump fake of Seattle QB Russell Wilson.  Audiences will get to hear from Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell as he discusses how he helped the former NC State University QB on the use of the technique.

Also planned for coverage in week 2 are matchups between the Cowboys and Chiefs, and the Eagles and Chargers.  More information on all of this week’s coverage from NFL Sunday Countdown is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and http://espn.go.com/nfl/notebook/_/page/sundaycountdown11/your-weekly-nfl-guide.

To keep up with all of 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 Solomons are stil as funny as ever in 3rd Rock Season Four

3rd Rock From The Sun is arguably one of the greatest sitcoms not only in the history of NBC, but in the modern history of broadcasting.  This outrageously hilarious comedy was unlike anything else during the entire six seasons that it aired.  And now, thanks to the people at Mill Creek Entertainment, fans of the show can re-live all the laughs once again.  Four of the show’s six seasons are now available on dvd.  3rd Rock Season Four is just as funny as the show’s first three seasons.  Season Four sees the on again/off again relationship between Dick and Mary roll on, with the introduction of another new love interest making for plenty of laughs.  The Solomons also discover the *joys* of having to pay taxes this season.  And when Mary receives a chain letter, her refusal to send it leads to a string of bad luck for her. It all makes for plenty of laughs.

Dick’s relationship with Mary has been a hilarious ride ever since the first season of this show.  Now four seasons in, the pair has another wave as the show introduces guest star Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne, The Big Bang Theory) in the episode, “What’s Love Got to do, Got to do with Dick?”  Metcalf plays professor Jennier Ravelli, who is brought in after Mary is promoted.  Jennifer and Dick become an item, and eventually lead Mary to get jealous.  This leads to one of many of the show’s funny moments in the companion episode, “D3:  Judgement Day.”  Dick and Mary play a game of wits to see who will crumble to the other first, with Nina playing her own role in the back and forth battle.  This battle of the sexes is something to which almost every viewer can relate.  That the duo would take it over the top how they do makes this mini-storyline all the funnier.

Of course, the ongoing story of Dick and Mary doesn’t get all the attention this season.  Another relateable matter for viewers is that of dealing with taxes each year.  In the episode, “Dick and Taxes”, the Solomons learn what humans deal with in having to file tax returns.  The family has to figure out its returns after a discussion between Dick and Mary.  The resultant frazzled effect on the family is, again, something to which every viewer can relate.  The family’s plans to try and defraud the IRS as a solution are hilarious.  One can’t help but laugh when the family makes up a fake salon as part of its attempts, only to suddenly have that backfire on them.  People actually start coming in.  Of course, the Solomons end up getting audited.  Their attempts to cover up being aliens make for their own laughs too.  It all adds up to yet another laugh riot episode.

The relateability of dealing with taxes makes “Dick and Taxes” one of the best episodes of Season Four.  Though it’s just one of the moments that make the whole season so enjoyable.  Another of the season’s really funny moments comes in the episode, “Superstitious Dick.”  In this episode, Dick learns the human concept of superstition after Mary receives a chain letter and refuses to send it on.  She starts having lots of bad luck when she doesn’t send it off.  From injuring her arm to her head, and even being hit by a hockey puck, Mary’s bad luck leads Dick to bring Miss Dubcek to the hearing for his grant proposal.  He’s so paranoid that he looks like someone with OCD, stepping only on certain floor tiles, tugging on Miss Dubcek’s ears, and more.  In the end, Dick doesn’t get his grant because of that.  But he does learn another valuable lesson about another human behavior and mindset.  And it leads to even more laughs for audiences.

It’s already been noted that 3rd Rock from The Sun is one of the single greatest sitcoms in the modern era of broadcasting.  The stories written for each season made this show unlike anything else out there in its entire six seasons on air.  The episodes included here are just a tiny sampling of what made the show so great even four seasons in.  Season Four ran a total of twenty-four episodes.  And this season has plenty more laughs for audiences, regardless of which episode one picks.  It’s one more great piece of television nostalgia for fans of truly great sitcoms.