Shout! Factory To Begin Releasing The Nanny’s Standalone Season Sets Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/CBS

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/CBS

Late this spring Shout! Factory ended a long wait for fans of CBS’ modern classic sitcom The Nanny when it released the series in its entirety in the form of The Nanny: The Complete Series. For fans that might not have been lucky enough to get their hands on that set, Shout! Factory has announced that it will begin releasing the series’ standalone season sets next month beginning with the series’ fourth season.

Shout! Factory will release The Nanny: Season Four on Tuesday, September 22nd. The twenty-six-episode run includes plenty of laughs and just as many big-name guest stars including: Bette Midler, Donald Trump, Pamela Anderson, Celine Dion, Jon Stewart, Jason Alexander, and Joan Collins among many others. One of those guest stars–Jason Alexander (Seinfeld)–appears in the season premiere “The Tart With A Heart.” Alexander plays a blind man named Jack in this episode. Fran picks up Jack at a singles bar after tensions rise between herself, Mawell, and C.C. The tensions in question rise from the revelation that Maxwell in fact hired Fran only for her looks. Of course things don’t go quite as Fran planned with Jack in the long run leading to an interesting outcome between Fran and Maxwell. There’s an equally classic story line later in the season in “Kissing Cousins” in which guest star Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) plays Frans cousin. The catch is that Fran doesn’t realize that Stewart’s character is in fact her cousin. This leads to plenty of laughs thanks to a battle of the sexes of sorts between Fran and Maxwell. In “You Bette Your Life” famed singer/actress Bette Midler appears as herself when Maxwell decides to assemble a charity auction. The auction leads to Fran becoming the babysitter for a talented young 10-year old piano player. Things don’t exactly go as planned for Fran and Maxwell in this episode as the sight of an elderly person dying while he performed at a nursing home puts a multi-million dollar deal from the boy’s father in jeopardy. There are plenty more laughs for fans throughout the season’s twenty-six total episodes. And audiences will get to enjoy them for themselves when The Nanny: Season Four is released next month.  Season Four’s complete episode listing is noted below.

Episodes

EPISODE EPISODE TITLE
1 The Nanny: The Tart With Heart
2 The Nanny: The Cradle Robbers
3 The Nanny: The Bird’s Nest
4 The Nanny: The Rosie Show
5 The Nanny: Freida Needa Man
6 The Nanny: Me And Mrs. Joan
7 The Nanny: The Taxman Cometh
8 The Nanny: An Affair To Dismember
9 The Nanny: Tattoo
10 The Nanny: The Car Show
11 The Nanny: Hurricane Fran
12 The Nanny: Danny’s Dead And Who’s Got The Will?
13 The Nanny: Kissing Cousins
14 The Nanny: The Fifth Wheel
15 The Nanny: The Nose Knows
16 The Nanny: The Bank Robbery
17 The Nanny: Samson, He Denied Her
18 The Nanny: The Facts Of Lice
19 The Nanny: Fran’s Roots
20 The Nanny: The Nanny And The Hunk Producer
21 The Nanny: The Passed-Over Story
22 The Nanny: No Muse Is Good Muse
23 The Nanny: You Bette Your Life
24 The Nanny: The Heather Biblow Story
25 The Nanny: The Boca Story
26 The Nanny: Fran’s Gotta Have It

The Nanny: Season Four will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, September 22nd. It will retail for MSRP of $34.99. It can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $29.99 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/the-nanny-season-four. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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Shout! Factory Gets “Weird” This Fall

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

A little more than twenty-five years ago, a little comedy by the name of UHF took the world by storm. The movie starred famed quirky comedian and satirist Weird Al Yankovic and a then unknown Michael Richards (Seinfeld). Just over a quarter of a century later, that cult hit flick will see the light of day again when Shout! Factory re-issues the movie on Blu-ray next month.

Shout! Factory will re-issue UHF on Tuesday, November 11th. As bizarre as the movie is, its premise is actually a relatively solid sticking point. It centers on a small time TV station facing off against a corporate giant in its attempts to keep from being bought out and shut down. In his attempt keep the station from being shut down, George Newman (Weird Al) enlists the help of his friends to put on a giant fundraiser that involves some of the wildest programming that anyone has ever seen. Among those friends is Stanley Spadowski (Michael Richards).

UHF will be available on DVD Tuesday, November 11th. It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s website at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-comedy/uhf-25th-anniversary-edition. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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, 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.

Pound Puppies’ Latest Compilation One Of The Show’s Best Yet

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Hub Network/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Hub Network/Hasbro Studios

Shout! Factory has teamed up with Hasbro Studios and the Hub network once again another compilation of episodes from Hub’s Pound PuppiesPound Puppies: Holiday Hijinks is one of the best compilations from this family and kid favorite series to be released yet.  That is largely because of each episode’s writing.  This compilation offers viewers some of the series’ most heartfelt episodes to date.  Just as noteworthy in this compilation is the guest voice talent.  Both parents and kids alike will recognize the celebrity voices that are included in some of the episodes in this set.  Something more subtle, but just as worth noting in this collection of episodes is that each one features its own musical number.  It’s something that hadn’t been seen (or rather heard) in previous collections.  It’s a nice touch to the episodes in question.  The reason for that will be discussed later.  All things considered, Holiday Hijinks is one more great addition to any family’s home DVD library, whether it’s their first introduction to the new Pound Puppies or not.

The latest compilation of Pound Puppies episodes includes five more episodes from the Hub network’s hit children’s series.  This follows the same format as the previous DVD compilations that have been released.  The episodes collected for this collection stand out because they are some of the series’ most heartwarming episodes yet.  The collection’s opener, “I Heard The Barks on Christmas Eve” is the collection’s only actual holiday themed episode.  It’s still a wonderful story, nonetheless.  For the first time ever, viewers see that Mr. McLeish actually has a heart and isn’t the mean middle aged man that he comes across as being in most episodes.  It presents those classic messages that everybody needs somebody and that everybody deserves somebody, especially during the holidays.  Audiences will appreciate how writer Joe Ansolabehere expanded on the show’s central theme of family in the set’s second episode, “I Never Barked For My Father.”  Lucky meets his long lost father and brother for the first time ever in this episode.  These are two of the collection’s finest.  What’s more, older audiences will appreciate the guest vocal talent shared here.  That is another positive to this set of episodes.

The episodes collected for Pound Puppies: Holiday Hijinks offer plenty of heart and laughs.  The writers behind the show are to be applauded for their work.  Just as worth noting of these episodes is the guest vocal talent recruited for these episodes.  Lucky’s father is voiced by none other than Gary Cole in “I Never Barked For My Father.”  And his long lost brother is voiced by one Gary Cooksey.  Cooksey is best known for his time on Diff’rent Strokes as well as voicing Montana Max on Tiny Toon Adventures and portraying Robert “Buddy” Budnick on Nickelodeon’s hit 90s series, Salute Your Shorts.  Older audiences will recognize Gary Cole from his roles in Office Space, Dodgeball, Talladega Nights, and Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law just to name some of his work.  Cole and Cooksey are just a couple of the well-known names that grace this collection of episodes.  Fred Stoller (Wordgirl, Everybody Loves Raymond) guests on the collection’s opener as the voice of Ralph.  Ralph is a stray that has lost his Christmas spirit because he has never had a single owner.  That all changes thanks to the Pound Puppies.  Wayne Knight (Seinfeld, Scooby-Doo & The Goblin King, Jurassic Park, The Exes) also shares his talents as the voice of Ralphie, Mr. McLeish’s old friend in “Good Dog, McLeish.”  If that isn’t enough, then the addition of both Tress MacNeille (Futurama, The Simpsons) and Charles Shaughnessy (The Nanny) as guest talent in “Prince and the Pupper” will certainly convince parents to check out this latest collection of Pound Puppies episodes with their kids.  The list of guest talent included in Pound Puppies: Holiday Hijinks is only a glimpse of the big name actors and actresses that have lent their talents to this series over the course of three seasons.  And it’s just one more reason for families to enjoy this collection together.  There is one more reason that families will enjoy the episodes presented in this set.  That reason is that each of the set’s five episodes includes its own musical number.  It would have been so easy for the writers to go over the top considering the history of musical numbers in shows that aren’t known for musical numbers.  Instead, the show’s writers made each episode’s musical number respectable and within limitations.  They didn’t make them big, cheesy tongue-in-cheek numbers.  They actually add a certain amount of emotion and comic relief where necessary.  Just as with the guest vocal talent and the equally enjoyable writing overall, the musical number become one more part of the whole that makes Pound Puppies: Holiday Hijinks well worth the watch any time of the year.  It is available now on DVD in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/pound-puppies-holiday-hijinks.  More information on this and other Pound Puppies DVDs is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutactoryofficial.  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.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Is One Of Disney’s Modern Classics

Courtesy:  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Walt Disney Studios has largely made its fame on taking classic literary stories and adapting them for the big screen.  For the most part, doing so has led to great success for Disney.  So it goes without saying that when Disney’s heads decided to bring Victor Hugo’s literary classic, The Hunchback of Notre Dame to audiences in animated form doing so was a pretty big risk.  That is because this is hardly the happiest of stories.  Somehow though, Disney managed to pull off the job and craft what should be considered to be one of the company’s modern classics.  Whereas its renditions of The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, Cinderella and others are considered the company’s original classics, its take on Hugo’s literary masterpiece fits nicely into the category of modern classics.  This is the case for a variety of reasons. In watching this rendition, one can’t help but be taken back to Disney’s golden era.  From the subtlety of the mix of hand drawn and digital animation, to the big song cues to the animation, one actually feels as if one is actually watching a stage presentation made into an animated film.  And while it may be a little bit scary for younger audiences with its darker elements, it still stands as one of the better works in Disney’s modern era.

Viewers that closely watch the newly re-issued Hunchback of Notre Dame I/II combo pack will catch a subtlety that others might not that harkens back to Disney’s golden era.  That subtlety is a mix of animation styles.  There are a handful of scenes throughout this movie that show on one side, the rougher, less “streamlined” animation style sitting side by side.  This is explained briefly in the original “Making of featurette” that was included in the movie’s previous release.  Actor Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) explains the reality behind the misconception that all animation done for Disney movies—at the time—was done by computer.  The difference between the hand drawn animation and digital animation is pretty clear.  And the very fact that animators tried to duplicate the animation of Disney’s famed “Nine Old Men” even in the slightest in this feature makes it worthy of at least a little bit of respect.

If the attempt by animators to replicate the animation of Disney’s most famed animators isn’t enough for viewers, then perhaps the story’s musical numbers will help win over audiences.  Composer Alan Menken returned for this movie after having massive success nearly a decade prior on another of Disney’s biggest modern classics in The Little Mermaid.  The animation works in tandem with the big musical numbers to really leave viewers feeling like they are watching a stage presentation in animated form.  That’s even more the case now that the movie has been re-issued on Blu-ray.  There is just a certain quality on which one can’t put one’s finger that pulls audiences in and makes the story believable.  That’s the sign of a quality work.

If the song cues and the animation aren’t enough, then the movie’s more comical moments will entertain audiences.  Even in some of the movie’s darker moments, the story’s writers come up with some pretty funny moments to help lighten the mood.  A prime example of this comes late in the movie, in the final showdown sequence.  As Quasimodo and Frollo face off in the cathedral’s tower, soldiers are below, trying to break in.  Laverne (voiced by the late Mary Wickers) helps in the fight by calling on a large group of birds.  This moment is a tribute not just to the classic Warner Brothers movie, The Wizard of Oz, but also to Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic, The Birds.  While the latter tribute may have been unintentional, it is there.  It’s just one of so many moments that will have viewers laughing.  Add in Jason Alexander’s comedic timing and viewers get more than enough laughs to offset the movie’s darker moments.  Those darker moments being offset and the movie’s enjoyable musical numbers and hybrid animation together make The Hunchback of Notre Dame one of the better movies from Disney’s modern era.  One might even go so far as to call it one of Disney’s modern classics.  It is available now on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct from the Disney store at http://www.disneystore.com/the-hunchback-of-notre-dame-blu-ray-and-dvd-combo-pack/mp/1331583/1000316/ and at the Disney DVD store at http://disneydvd.disney.go.com/the-hunchback-of-notre-dame-two-movie-collection.html

To keep up with the latest 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.

3rd Rock From The Sun Season three is more out of this world fun

NBC is known historically for having some of the best programming on tv during the latter half of the twentieth century.  And much like Nickelodeon had its heydey during the 1990’s NBC also had its real heydey during that decade.  It ran strong on the shoulders of its Must See TV Thursday lineup.  Its Thursday lineup included major hits such as:  ER, Frasier, Seinfeld, and Friends.  The early 90’s on NBC also saw two other long time staples begin to wind down in The Cosby Show and Cheers.  By the latter half of the 90’s, NBC’s Thursday night lineup was visibly shaky.  Luckily, NBC did have one more trick up its sleeve with a little show that wasn’t in its Thursday lineup.  That show was the ensemble comedy, 3rd Rock From The Sun. 

3rd Rock From The Sun ran a total of six seasons on NBC.  It aired from 1996 – 2001.  There’s no argument that despite not being on the “Peacock Network’s” Thursday lineup, it was one of the most solid of the network’s shows in the latter half of the 90’s.  It really helped to ease NBC into the new millenium.  That’s because unlike most of its Thursday lineup, 3rd Rock From The Sun really appealed to a wide range of viewers.  It was a show that the entire family could really enjoy.  Having veterans John Lithgow and Jane Curtin leading the cast only served to make the show even funnier.  Now, thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment, that classic hit show is seeing the light of day once again.  The third and fourth seasons were released on dvd last month. And the laughs come just as fast in these two seasons as in the show’s first two seasons.

Season Three opens with Tommy, Sally, and Harry returning to Earth after the second season’s finale.  Season two ended with Harry, Tommy and Sally returning to their home planet after experiencing dreams.  Their dreams made them think that their brains were decomposing.  While they’re gone, Dick stays behind and plans his wedding with Mary.  When the trio return, they’re not alone.  They bring along a fellow alien named Janet, who is played by guest star Roseanne.  They tell Dick that Janet is his new wife, to which Dick obviously freaks out.  He freaks out not just because it throws a wrench in the works for his impending wedding with Mary.  It’s also because Janet is the niece of the Big Giant Head (William Shatner).  They tell Dick that if he gets rid of her, the Big Giant Head could get rid of them, literally.  This leads Dick to figure out any way that he can to make Janet want to leave.  Classic movie buffs will love the reference to A Streetcar Named Desire in one of Dick’s plans.  Needless to say, Janet ends up ruining things for Dick and Mary.  She thinks he’s been lying to her all along, and calls off the wedding.  Luckily, it does all end with a good laugh.

Also in Season Three, the Solomon’s (specifically Sally) learn about pregnancy after Sally goes to the gynecologist in the episode, “Pickles and Ice Cream.”  Sally meets a group of expectant mothers after leaving the exam room.  The moment in which she leaves the exam room is funny in itself.  When all the mothers start to talk about their pregnancies, it makes Sally jealous.  So she pretends to be pregnant.  This leads to all kinds of laughs.  It ties in to the episode’s secondary story.  The episode’s secondary story has Harry’s pet, Pickles, returning to the family.  There’s just one problem.  Pickles is in human form.  Pickles ties in to Sally’s pretend pregnancy because when Sally’s boyfriend, Don (Wayne Knight) finds out about her being allegedly pregnant through Dick, he thinks Pickles is the dad, not knowing Pickles isn’t human.  So when Sally returns home at the episode’s end, Don tells her that he wants to be the father of Sally’s baby.  That’s when she reveals that she’d been pretending all along.  Of course, for all the laughs, this episode does have its heartwarming moment.  Sally actually sees another woman giving birth.  She admits she wouldn’t mind having a child.  She’s just afraid she won’t be good enough because of the amount of time and dedication.  She says something that rings true for every expecting couple.  A baby is forever.  It shows that even female aliens have a certain motherly instinct.

Sally learns about pregnancy and motherhood in Season Three.  She also learns about the ins and outs of love.  In “Sally and Don’s First Kiss”, Don confronts Sally about why in the amount of time they’ve dated, they haven’t kissed yet.  So Sally starts reading romance novels to try and come up with the perfect scenario for their first kiss.  But when what she reads doesn’t work out in reality, she nearly breaks up with Don, until he takes charge of the situation.  That ignites the spark that they both need for romance.  While all this is going on, Dick is having to deal with a hateful lunchlady who is charging him for crackers every day during his lunch.  That is until Mary explains that he needs to take control of his situation.  And Tommy teaches Harry how to pass the test for his G.E.D. using random choice instead of studying.  Weirdly enough, that advice works.  This storyline ties in to Sally’s story, albeit very briefly.  That’s part of what makes this such a great episode.  Far too often, tv shows try to interweave too many storylines into an episode/episodes, thus bogging down said episode(s).  This episode of 3rd Rock is an example to students of the media arts of episode writing done right. While there are three entirely separate storylines here, they all work perfectly independently, making for lots of laughs from start to finish.

3rd Rock From The Sun was a great show when it originally aired on NBC.  Its writers had a wonderful grip of comedy.  For that matter, their writing gave the show a certain kind of heart, too.  That combination of heart and comedy made all six seasons of this show a hit.  And Season Three was just one part of the whole that made the show so great, as evidenced in the episodes listed.  Whether for those episodes, or any others not listed here, Season Three of 3rd Rock From The Sun is one more wonderful addition to the library of any fan of true worthwhile television.