MST3K Volume XXXII IS Yet Another Must Have Both For Series’ Long-Time Fans And Classic Movie Buffs

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of the most underrated series in television’s modern history. The series, which originally ran from November 1988 to August 1999, was on the surface a show that poked fun at the best of the worst of Hollywood’s history. On a deeper level though, it proved a show that actually celebrated that history in its own playful way. It is because of MST3K that so many then much younger audiences become the lovers of film that they are today. This critic is among that mass of cinephiles, or lovers of cinema. After its cancellation in 1999, it became relatively difficult to find the show anywhere, including online. Thanks to the efforts of Shout! Factory though, the series has been kept alive through an ongoing series of box sets, each containing four episodes from the series’ eleven-season run. And today, Shout! Factory released what is just the latest in that ongoing series of box sets in the form of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXII. Volume XXXII is yet another joy for any MST3K fan or film buff in general. The central reason for this is of course the films that were chosen for this collection. Shout! Factory has pulled four more best of the worst flicks. They are flicks that are so bad that they’re great even though their cast and crews would rather they remain forgotten.  Another reason that that it is another great set is the collective segments that break up the movies. The timing of Joel, Mike, and their cast mates make for plenty of laughs within themselves. And last but not least worth noting is the bonus material included with the movies. Cast member Frank Conniff offers new introductions to two of the movies. There is also a pair of background pieces on Space Travelers and Hercules that audiences will enjoy along with a pair of bonuses that focus more on the show. All of these bonuses by themselves offer plenty of enjoyment for MST3K fans of all ages. Together with the movies chosen for this set and the live action segments that break them up, MST3K Volume XXXII proves itself one more great addition to the collection of any movie buff and any MST3K fan out there today.

One hundred ninety-seven episodes and eleven years. That is how long the cult hit series Mystery Science Theater 3000 ran in its original broadcast. Throughout the course of time and those episodes, MST3K offered audiences more laughs than one can even begin to count. One of the reasons that it remained such a laugh riot for so long was its choice of movies and those movies’ associated commentary. That is just as obvious in the series’ latest collection of films. The movies picked for this collection include Radar Secret Service (1950), San Francisco International (1970)—which was the “pilot” for the short-lived series—Space Travelers (1969), and the granddaddy of all Hercules incarnations in the 1958 Italian import starring Steve Reeves. Gene Hackman probably doesn’t mind that Space Travelers is one of his far lesser-known pieces today, considering his body of work. And were he alive today, Gregory Peck would likely feel the same about the movie. Yes, it’s that campy. By comparison, Apollo 13 and every other cheesy space flick that has come along since puts this movie to shame. Yet it’s so bad that one can’t help but watch. By contrast, the 1958 Italian import of Hercules is actually campy I nits own right. But at the same time, it is just as enjoyable as it is campy. It could even be argued that its camp is what makes it so worth the watch, again supporting the central argument of why this collection’s movie selection makes it another must have for fans of the series. Radar Secret Service is just as campy both in its story and in its presentation. The story sees a group of government agents tracking a shipment of stolen uranium through the use of (yup) radar. The acting is just as cheesy as the story. It is pretty much on the same level as B-movie king Roger Corman’s classic sci-fi flicks. Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is os cheesy that audiences can’t help but laugh at it, in turn making audiences want to keep watching the movie. Still not enough? How about the standard cheese factor of the original Hercules (1958). The movie features one of the greatest of the demi-gods going on a quest for the mythical golden fleece. There is plenty of eye candy for the ladies. And for the guys, there is even an island populated by nothing but women that allegedly mate with men who come there and then kill them. And then there’s the over-the-top action of San Francisco International that takes place at a San Francisco airport. Of course as dumbed down and cheesy as that seems, there is plenty of material out there today that is even less intelligent offered to audiences. Keeping that in mind, it actually makes the likes of San Francisco International and the rest of this set’s movie’s all the more entertaining and important to its enjoyment.

The movies that were chosen for MST3 Volume XXXII are each equally entertaining in their own right. By themselves, they will offer their own share of laughs for both long-time fans of the series and for classic movie buffs alike. Of course by themselves, the movies can only offer but so many laughs. The segments that break up the movies (and the riffing during the movies) add to the laughs. Audiences will laugh uproariously when Crow and the rest of his robot buddies try to bring Mike back to himself in the skits used between Radar Secret Service. Their attempt to re-create his high school class reunion is a prime example of how the show’s mid-movie skits will leave audiences in stitches. Tom Servo’s speech between segments of Hercules about the ability to line up the stars to make any constellation is just as hilarious. It is so funny because it’s true. For eons, humans have passed down the knowledge of certain star clusters being specific patterns. Yet there are so many stars out there that it would be just as easy to take the same groupings of stars, line them up with other star groupings and make wholly different constellations. After all, who is to say that there couldn’t be a “sandwich” constellation? Audiences that watch this episode will get that joke. Speaking of jokes, the riffing during the movies expertly complements the mid-movie segments. In only a matter of minutes in Radar Secret Service, Mike and company take playful jabs at Harrison Ford, the classic 1975 sitcom Welcome Back Kotter, and even breakfast cereal Golden Grahams. If that’s not enough, there are jokes at the expense of the late, great Judy Garland and famed director John Sturges in Space Travelers (a.k.a Marooned). The writers playfully jab at Sturges that he had done much better work than Space Travelers, showing just how cheesy and over-the-top it was. There are plenty more jokes and riffs at which audiences will laugh uproariously throughout this set’s movies. They come so fast and furious that the only way for audiences to catch and fully enjoy them all is to pick up MST3K Volume XXXII. Regardless of whether for the noted skits and riffs or for others not noted here, audiences will agree in purchasing MST3K Volume XXXII that the laughs generated by each and every skit and joke more than make this collection of classic flicks a must have for any of the series’ fans and classic movie buffs alike.

The mid-movie skits and riffs offered up throughout the course of each of this set’s movies are a laugh riot. Between the zany skits, the jabs at all things pop culture, and the jokes in general, many audiences might find themselves laughing so hard that they cry tears of joy. That is thanks to the talent of the writers and to the choice of movies for this collection. For all of the enjoyment brought by the movies and the collective riffs and skits, they still are not all that makes this collection so fun for fans and movie buffs alike. The bonus material included with the movies puts the finishing touch on the set, proving without a doubt not only why MST3K Volume XXXII is a must have for fans and movie buffs alike, but also that this set is one of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences. This time out, Shout! Factory has included a history on Space Travelers and its legendary director John Sturges and a history on Hercules producer Joseph E. Levine. There is also a fun little look at Frank and Trace’s trip to the U.K. for a sci-fi fan fest across the pond, and an equally entertaining piece focusing on the history of “Satellite News.” Space Travelers’ feature centering on director John Sturges spends a little bit of time going into detail on his body of work that included huge hits such as The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, and The Old Man and the Sea just to name a few. It compares those works to Space Travelers and its value versus that of this much bigger hits, explaining that is how the riff in the movie came to be. There is also an interesting point/counterpoint in whether or not its heads should have stuck with the title of Marooned or if going with the title of Space Travelers was better. For anyone that is a true lover of movies, this discussion in itself is sure to bring about plenty more discussions. Hercules’ feature centering on producer Joseph E. Levine is an eye-opener for cinephiles of all ages. It points out the movies that were brought to American viewers thanks to his efforts. As is noted in the feature, if not for Levine’s efforts American audiences might never have gotten to see the 1958 take of Hercules or another major motion picture in the form of Godzilla and other major foreign language films. Yes, Levine was even responsible for importing Godzilla. He is also the man responsible for bringing to audiences such hits as The Graduate, The Producers (go figure), and Darling among so many others. While it is not an extensive profile, this feature on Joseph E. Levine is still an important addition to MST3K’s latest collection of movies. It is just as important for any film history buffs, too. This feature and the piece on Space Travelers’ history are the central bonus features included in this set. That is not to discount the video post card that is Frank and Trace’s trip to London. or the “Satellite News” feature included in San Francisco International. Frank and Trace’s overseas trip serves to show the continued popularity of MST3K not just in America but around the world. That by itself is quite the statement. And speaking of statements, such a statement partnered with each and every other element noted here shows exactly why MST3K Volume XXXII is a must have for any of the series’ fans and for any classic movie buff. What’s more, everything noted here proves why this box set belongs on every critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-ups come December.

Whether for the movies chosen for the set, the mid-movie skits included in each episode and the riffing during the movies, or for the bonus material, MST3K Volume XXXII proves itself clearly to be a must have for any long-time fan of this cult favorite series. It also proves to be just as much of a must have for any classic movie buff out there. MST3K Volume XXXII is available in stores and online now and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-comedy/mst3k-volume-xxxii. 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

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Shout! Factory Unearths Another Shining TV Gem In Pee-wee’s Playhouse Seasons 3, 4, & 5

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

When Pee-wee’s Playhouse first debuted on CBS’ Saturday morning children’s programming lineup way back in 1986, there was nothing like it on television at the time. Fast forward nearly three decades since its premiere and roughly twenty-five years since it ended its original run and still there has been nothing like it since. In the years since it ended its run the zany, one-of-a-kind children’s series has seen various VHS releases. But it had never received a proper DVD or even Blu-ray release. That is until 2014 when its complete five-season run was released on Blu-ray via Shout! Factory. Shout! Factory also released the series’ first two seasons in their own stand-alone DVD box set alongside the full series Blu-ray box set. And last Tuesday, Shout! Factory finished off it’s release of this modern classic when it released on a separate stand-alone box set, the series’ third through fifth season. Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5–Special Edition is another great addition to the collection of anyone that grew up with this series. Much as with the series’ first two seasons, the show’s writing continues here to make it stand out among other children’s offerings of the day. The writers continue here to exhibit such talent, crafting stories that both teach important lessons and concepts and entertain all at the same time. On a more subtle note, the continued inclusion of classic cartoons in various episodes adds to the enjoyment. the cartoons include more well-known pieces pulled from the Warner Brothers vaults and lesser known pieces, which is in itself important to the whole. that will be discussed later. Moving on for now, the bonus cast and crew interviews coupled with the audio commentary on the series’ special Christmas episode rounds out the reasons for audiences to pick up this box set. The interviews offer an extensive look behind the scenes of the show and its production. In its own right, the audio commentary included in the series’ Christmas episode offers its own insight into the show even if only on that one episode. But that commentary plays its own important role in the presentation’s whole when partnered with the set’s aforementioned positives. All three elements together show exactly why any kid and kid at heart will appreciate this final release from what is the most intriguing children’s series in television’s history. So many positives along with the fact that Shout! Factory would take on the series once more shows yet again, too why Shout! Factory remains the leading name in home entertainment to this day.

Shout! Factory has over the years gone slowly and quietly gone from being a little indie-home entertainment company that could to being the leading name in home entertainment. Partnerships with Nickelodeon, CBS, and other major companies have led to the release of some of the greatest movies and TV shows in the modern history of both mediums. Not only that but the releases themselves have proven far more worth the watch than releases from a bigger name such as Warner Home Video. Its latest release, Pee-wee’s Playhouse Seasons 3, 4, and 5–Special Edition is even more proof of both arguments. The arguments are supported mainly through the show’s writing. Just as with the show’s first two seasons, its writers have once again managed to balance its zany, one-of-a-kind look and feel with content that educates in its own original way. “Fire in the Playhouse” is just one example of the writers’ ability to balance both elements as it subtly teaches about fire safety when Ms. Yvonne brings over some bread to bake. “Front Page Pee-wee” teaches both a simplistic lesson about journalistic integrity and telling the truth alongside a subtle lesson about healthy eating. And “Playhouse For Sale” teaches its own lesson about spreading rumors and jumping to conclusions. The lessons and entertainment offered in these episodes each show in their own way the ability of the show’s writers to balance its educational and one-of-a-kind entertainment content. There are plenty of other episodes that exemplify that ability of the writers to craft such balanced stories. Audiences will see that for themselves when they add this box set to their own DVD library. It is not all that audiences will note that makes the set so entertaining, either. The classic cartoons that are used in various episodes actually play an important role of their own to Seasons 3, 4, and 5. That’s especially the case in an era when real cartoons are extinct for all intents and purposes.

The continued ability of the writers to balance the educational and entertainment content in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th season of Pee-wee’s Playhouse is its own important part of the whole that the show’s original audiences will all appreciate. Said audiences will appreciate that ability and talent in that in its own way, it manages to keep viewers fully engaged. It may even keep today’s younger viewers engaged. While it is obviously an important part of the whole, the cartoons incorporated into the show’s weekly broadcasts were also collectively just as important. The cartoons incorporated into the show’s last three seasons included both the more well-known Looney Tunes cartoons and a number of far more obscure pieces. The cartoons themselves serve as their own lesson on the history of both cartoons and television in general. When viewed as part of the whole of Seasons 3, 4, and 5, the cartoons included in each episode add to the series’ entertainment value, thus making it even more worth the watch. This is especially the case considering the fact that real cartoons have become extinct for all intents and purposes. Taking that into account, it makes the cartoons incorporated into each show all the more important an element of the whole and in turn shows once more why this box set is well worth the purchase by anyone that grew up with Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

The balance of educational and entertainment content within each episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse in its final three seasons by itself makes for plenty of reason for the show’s now grown up original audiences to add this new set to their own DVD library. The entertainment and historical value of the cartoons incorporated into the show makes Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5–Special Edition all the more worth the addition to the library of any of the show’s now grown up audiences. Both noted elements play an integral part in the enjoyment of the set in whole. But they are not all that is worth noting in this set. The bonus interviews with the cast and crew along with the bonus commentary in “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special” collectively round out the reasons that audiences will appreciate the second and last set of episodes from the modern classic series. the bonus interviews with the cast and crew offer quite the insight into the show and its creation. Audiences learn how the show’s main characters were created and some of the cast and crew’s favorite moments in the interviews. The bonus commentary included in the series’ Christmas special is just as enlightening. Audiences will be surprised to learn right from the episode’s outset that the men’s chorus wearing the Marine outfits were not in fact Marines. The reasoning for the show’s heads to proceed with having a “Marine chorus” is just as intriguing to say the least. There is much more that could be noted. That would take far more time and space than is available to this critic. Along with the extensive amount of information shared through the episode’s commentary, audiences actually get two different commentaries. The first of the commentaries comes from Pee-Wee himself, Paul Reubens, and his . The other comes from those behind the cameras. And it is just as in-depth. Both commentaries coupled with the set’s bonus interviews shows just as much in its own right why these elements are just as important to the whole of Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5 as the work of the show’s writers and the cartoons included as part of each season’s episodes. Whether for those cartoons, the writing, or for the bonus material included in the set, all three elements prove key in their own way. Collectively, they show exactly why this final set of episodes from one of television’s most intriguing series is one that any of the series’ original fans should have in his or her own personal library.

Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5 is available in stores and online now at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-comedy/pee-wee-s-playhouse-seasons-three-four-five-special-edition via Shout! Factory’s online store. More information on this and other titles available from Shout! Factory is available online now 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 reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory Set To Release Barney Miller’s Complete Seventh Season Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Barney Miller and the crew of the 12th Precinct are coming back.

On Tuesday, April 7th, Shout! Factory will release the seventh season of the hit classic series Barney Miller on DVD. Noted for taking a more comical and realistic look at police life, unlike so many other cop shows out there, the series ran for eight seasons on ABC. The series’ seventh season sees Detective Harris learning the ups and downs of being an author while the force in whole deals with bulletproof vests and being re-classified as a homicide-only squad. These are just some of the stories that make up Season Seven’s twenty-two total episodes. Audiences will find plenty more laughs throughout the upcoming three-disc set when they purchase or pre-order it for themselves. Speaking of which, it will retail for MSRP of $24.97. It can be pre-ordered now online via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/barney-miller-season-seven for a reduced price of $19.97. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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Scream Factory Resurrecting Carrie Next Month

Courtesy:  Scream Factory

Courtesy: Scream Factory

Author Stephen King has spent the better part of his life creating some of the darkest stories and most frightful characters ever developed in literary history. Some of his scariest stories include the likes of The Stand, The shining, and Misery. Misery also featured what is to this day one of King’s most frightful characters in the form of Annie Wilkes. His novel Needful Things featured an equally scary villain in the form of Leland Gaunt. Gaunt is of course the devil in one of his infinite human guises in this story. Pennywise from King’s novel It and the evil, killer dog Cujo whose name is also the title of another of King’s scariest stories should both be added to that list. For all of the scares that each of these stories and characters have created among audiences over the years, perhaps none of King’s characters have generated as much fear as Carrie. In 1974, King’s teenage character made her literary debut. Two years later, she would be brought to the silver screen courtesy of United Artists. Roughly twenty-three years after that movie made its debut, United Artists would revisit Carrie when it debuted The Rage: Carrie 2. Only three years would pass between the release of that movie and MGM TV’s small screen reboot of the original 1976 movie. Now thanks to Shout! Factory’s horror division Scream Factory, audiences will get to own both The Rage: Carrie 2 and MGM TV’s small screen reboot of Carrie next month in one package.

Scream Factory, Shout! Factory’s horror division, will re-issue United Artists’ The Rage: Carrie 2 and MGM TV’s 2002 small screen reboot of the 1976 original on Tuesday, April 14th. The movies will be released together in a single Blu-ray package. Audiences will note in MGM TV’s small screen reboot that said movie follows Stephen King’s original literary work more so than the 1976 movie that was inspired by that book. It was written by Bryan Fuller (TV’s Hannibal, Pushing Daisies). It stars Emilie de Ravin (Lost, Once Upon A Time, Roswell), Katharine Isabelle (Being Human, Hannibal, Insomnia), Chelan Simmons (Kyle XY, Good Luck Chuck, Final Destination 3), and Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island, The Green Mile, Easy A).

The Rage: Carrie 2 follows much the same story as that presented in its predecessor with a few minir changes to the story for this outing. It stars Emily Bergl (Blue Jasmine, Desperate Housewives, Men in Trees) in the lead role. She is joined by cast mates Jason London (Dazed and Confused, Jason and the Argonauts, The Man in the Moon), Rachel Blanchard (Snakes on a Plane, 7th Heaven, Are You Afraid of the Dark?), Mena Suvari (Six Feet Under, American Beauty, Chicago Fire), and Amy Irving (Carrie, Alias, Yentl). Irving returns in The Rage: Carrie 2 to once again take on the role of Sue Snell from director Drian DePalma’s 1976 original take on Carrie.

Scream Factory’s upcoming Carrie double feature will be released on Blu-ray on Tuesday, April 14th. It will retail for MSRP of $24.97 but can be pre-ordered online at a reduced price of $19.97 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/carrie-the-rage-carrie-2-double-feature. More information on this and other releases from Scream Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.ScreamFactoryDVD.com

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

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TMG Releasing Another Classic Gerry Anderson Series Next Month

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Timeless Media Group will release yet another piece of legendary television figure Gerry Anderson’s collection next month when it releases Joe 90: The Complete Series.

Timeless Media Group will release Joe 90: The Complete Series on Tuesday, April 14th. The thirty-episode series follows the adventures of genius scientist Professor Ian McClaine and his adoptive son Joe who are recruited by the World Intelligence Network after McClaine creates a machine called a BIG RAT (Brain Impulse Galvanoscope Record and Transfer). The BIG RAT has the ability to transfer specific knowledge, skills, and abilities from one person to another in instants thus making its subjects capable of performing any number of tasks, stealing information and much more. When McClaine looks for a test subject for his machine, he turns to his adoptive son to help him. Having gained his new abilities, he and his adoptive father end up working for the W.I.N. stopping the world’s various crime lords, evildoers, and general bad guys. The duo’s adventures are spread across six discs and include both a previously unseen interview with Anderson and audio commentary with designer Mike Trim and director Ken Turner. It will retail for MSRP of $29.93 but can be pre-ordered online now for a reduced price of 24.93 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/joe-90-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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Quincy, M.E. Is As Solid In Its Final Season As In Its First

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Television today is not what it once was. In its golden era, television offered program on three networks—NBC, CBS, and ABC. Thanks to the advances of cable, satellite, and even streaming video, audiences have more options than ever when it comes to what to watch. The problem with having so many options is that considering all of the said options, there really aren’t many options. The comedies and dramas are overly laden with sex and violence. And their scripts are largely cookie cutter across the board. The reality series that are just as prevalent are just as soulless. Thankfully those that yearn for something better will receive just that next week when Shout! Factory, the leading name in home entertainment, releases the eighth and final season of the classic series Quincy, M.E. Filled out by a total of twenty-four episodes, this final collection from one of television’s greatest classic series will impress audiences regardless of their familiarity with the show. The most obvious reason that reason the viewers will enjoy this season so much is the work of the show’s writers. The level of sex and violence that has become so commonplace among today’s TV shows is not there in any of these episodes just as with the episodes that made up the series’ previous seven seasons. The social issues that were often put at the center of the show’s episodes in its previous seasons are here, too. There is even an interesting development in Quincy’s own life as he develops a new romantic relationship that leads to a wedding near the season’s end. There’s much more that could be noted including the writers possibly poking fun at themselves early on in this season’s run, and some semi –fantastical stories to balance things out along the way. In the same vein, the cast’s interpretation of the scripts (its acting) is just as solid eight seasons in as in the series’ debut season. Unlike the acting on the part of casts from so many other shows of the time, this cast shows no sign of over-the-top hamming it up or over acting. Considering the show’s long run, that says a lot. Rounding out the reasons that Quincy, M.E.’s eighth season is a success is the look and sound of the footage. A little more than thirty years has passed since Quincy, M.E. ended its run. Considering that, the footage presented in the show’s looks and sounds just as impressive as that presented in the series’ previous season sets. It is the last factor to consider in examining what makes Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season one more welcome addition to the library of anyone looking for an escape from the heartless, soulless shows that currently dominate television’s ranks today. They also show collectively why this set is an early candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences.

Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season is, as noted, an early candidate for any critic’s list of this year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences. That is because the standards that were established within the show throughout the course of its previous seven seasons are carried on throughout the course of this season’s twenty-four total episodes. One of those standards is the series’ solid writing. Unlike so many of today’s crime dramas and medical procedurals, Quincy, M.E. maintained itself as more than just another one of those shows right from its debut season. Now in its final season, that standard was held as strong as ever. The show’s writers continued to tackle important social issues that are just as relevant today as they were so long ago in the show’s original run. They do also incorporate some slightly more fantastical story lines to balance out that social awareness that is so obvious throughout the series now in its final run. Right from the season’s premiere, the writers show that they haven’t let up by tackling the issues of gang violence and racial bias all in one without letting either topic step on the other. The writers also take on the issues of alcoholism, medical malpractice, and government influence on the drug industry. These are some pretty heavy topics for a show such as Quincy, M.E. to tackle. but the show’s writers handle each topic with the utmost professionalism and believeability. Even more intriguing is that all of these topics are raised in the first of the set’s six discs. Throughout the rest of the season’s runs, the issues of teen suicide, problems within the foster care system and much more. Those wanting something a little less provocative are given the growing romance and eventual marriage (yes, marriage) between Dr. Quincy and the newly introduced psychiatrist Dr. Emily Hanover (Anita Gillette) throughout Season 8. Her introduction serves to show a different side of Quincy than audiences familiar with the series are used to seeing. Audiences get to see more of his more emotionally vulnerable side instead of the strong, steadfast resolve shown throughout the series’ previous seasons. It’s just one more welcome addition to this season’s run that along with the other, deeper episodes, makes Season 8 truly enjoyable and a valid candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences.

The writing that went into Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season goes a long way toward making it another welcome addition to the library of any fan of this hit series. The same can be said of the acting on the part of the series’ cast. While shows from the 1970s and 1980s weren’t overly laden with sex and violence, far too many of them were marred by acting that was awful to say the least. The acting on the part of Quincy, M.E.’s cast eight seasons in is the polar opposite of that from those series. As a matter of fact, star Jack Klugman and his co-stars show the utmost professionalism and seriousness from season premiere to series finale. It would have been so easy for the cast to just dial it in especially as long as the show had been on television by the time this season aired. But not one member of the cast let up. the end result is acting that makes suspension of disbelief so easy. And coupled with the solid work of the show’s writers, both elements will keep audiences new and old alike enthralled in every episode. Yet again, it proves to be another way in which Quincy, M.E. shows itself a valid, early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences by year’s end.

The work of Quincy, M.E.’s writers and cast members collectively shows without a doubt why Quincy, M.E. was such a popular season for so long. And it is no doubt with the upcoming release of its eighth season it will regain even more that popularity that it boasted in its original broadcast. Much the same can be said once more of the look and sound of each episode’s footage. Considering that over three decades have passed since Quincy, M.E. went off the air and almost forty years have passed since it first premiered on NBC in 1976, the look and sound of the show’s footage is surprisingly impressive. Yet again, it is a tribute to the work of those charged with bringing the series back to life for both its original audiences and a whole ew generation of fans. And it is one more tribute to Shout! Factory’s dedication to excellence for audiences, proving yet again why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment. It is also more reason for any critic to include Quincy, M.E.:The Final Season on his or her list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences come December.

Whether for the work of the show’s writers, its cast members, or the overall production values presented here, Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season boasts plenty of positives. By themselves, each of the noted positives plays its own important role in the enjoyment and success of this final season of Quincy, M.E. Collectively, they make Season 8 a must have for any fan of Quincy, M.E. and any fan of classic television in general. Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season will be available on DVD next Tuesday, March 10th in stores and online for retail price of $39.97. It can be pre-ordered online now for a reduced price of $34.98 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/crime/quincy-m-e-the-final-season. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com

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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Say Hey For Hey Dude: The Complete Series

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

It has been nearly twenty-five years since the classic live action, teen-centric series Hey Dude wrapped up its five-season run on Nickelodeon. One of a small handful of live-action series on Nickelodeon during its time on the air, it was Nickelodeon’s answer to NBC’s Saturday morning kids’ series Saved By The Bell. In 2011, Shout! Factory resurrected Hey Dude, releasing the first of the series’ five seasons on its own stand-alone box set. Shout! Factory didn’t waste any time getting the series to its now grown up fans after acquiring its distribution rights, either. From 2011 to 2013, all five seasons were released in their own stand-alone box sets. Now as a final hurrah, Shout! Factory will release all five seasons in one complete series box set on Tuesday, March 10th. It is not the first of Nickelodeon’s classic series that Shout! Factory has released in full nor will it be the last. There is still at least one more set to be released in the form of The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series. And hopefully that box set will make its way out before the year lets out. That’s an issue for another time. For now, the fact that all five seasons of Hey Dude have been compiled into one box set is in itself a huge positive for fans. It’s not just about ergonomics, either. There is even more to it than that. And that will be noted shortly. Also worth noting is the writing that went into the series’ sixty-five total episodes. The show’s then younger audiences could just as easily relate to the stories behind each episode as those presented in Saved By The Bell or any other teen-centric series on television at the time. This is the case even though its setting was supposed to be a dude ranch. The writers were still able to craft a whole series of stories from the show’s premiere to its finale that were just as entertaining as they were accessible to audiences. While both the show’s writing and the box set’s full collection of seasons are equally important, just as important to note is that each of the discs that make up the show’s five seasons have been specifically marked within their respective seasons. This reduces any confusion for audiences. And together with the inclusion of a complete episode list inside the box’s cover (specifically on the front and rear cover), it rounds out all of the set’s positives. By itself the separation of the seasons (and the companion episode list) within the box is one of the strongest reasons for fans to pick up this Hey Dude: The Complete Series. Together with its full complement of episodes and the writing behind said episodes, all three elements together make Hey Dude: The Complete Series a must have for any fan of this modern classic series. They also collectively make it one of the year’s best new box sets for children and families.

When it was announced four years ago that Shout! Factory would release the first of Hey Dude’s five seasons, the show’s now grown up fans were understandably rather excited. That is because Shout! Factory had already released the first season of both The Wild Thornberrys and Rocko’s Modern Life with quite the positive results. And the first season of Hey Arnold!, CatDog, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters were all on the way, along with the first and second season of The Angry Beavers and the first season of Danny Phantom all within a matter of months. So it was obviously just one part of a virtual tidal wave of releases thanks to a deal struck between Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory. It was a deal that has since gone on to see the full series sets of almost all of those other shows see the light of day in stores and online. The only shows involved in that deal that still have yet to see full releases are The Wild Thornberrys and Hey Dude. But on Tuesday, March 10th, audiences will finally be able to strike Hey Dude from that list as it will finally see the light of day. Hey Dude: The Complete Series is just as impressive as the previous full-series box sets released by the partnership between Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon. The most obvious reason being that it is indeed the show’s full series run. All sixty-five episodes of Hey Dude are spread across ten discs in this box set. This is important for two reasons. The first reason that it is important is simply for the purpose of ergonomics. Instead of having to fill space with five separate stand-alone DVD box sets, all five seasons have been placed into one box. The one box saves space versus the five stand-alone sets. The reason that it saves space is the smart packaging of the series’ discs, which has for a long time been the standard for Shout! Factory’s multi-disc sets. The discs are placed one on the inside front of the box, another on the inside rear, and the rest on either side of a set of plastic “plates.” It saves space and protects the discs from scratching one another. On another level, the stand-alone season sets are not exactly easy to find unless fans order them online. With the upcoming release of Hey Dude: The Complete Series exclusively in Wal-Mart stores nationwide, fans won’t have to worry about hunting for this season or that one. They are all presented in the one box. As if the ergonomically sound box and the inclusion of all five seasons within the one box isn’t enough, fans are being given quite the price break with Hey Dude: The Complete Series. Each stand-alone season set prices at roughly $20 plus tax versus the approximately $30 price tag for the complete series set. It’s yet another huge positive for the set that is sure to make quite a few of the show’s fans very happy. It is hardly the last of the positives to the set, either. The writing behind the series is just as worth noting in its enjoyment and success.

The physical and financial elements of Hey Dude: The Complete Series by themselves make this new box west well worth the purchase. They aren’t the only reasons that fans of the classic Nickelodeon series will want to add the set to their DVD libraries. The work of the show’s writers makes it even more worth the purchase. Hey Dude’s writers keep their audiences fully engaged with a wide range of stories throughout the show’s five-season run. From a comical battle of the sexes early on in the series’ run to Mr. Ernst getting amnesia with comical results in the series’ final season to Danny having to make an important choice regarding his roots in Season Four’s “Do The Right Thing,” the writers showed time and again throughout Hey Dude’s five seasons that they knew how to move their audiences and make them laugh, too. They show that talent just as much when the ranch hands have to take care of a baby they think has been abandoned in “Baby” and in the comical Season Two finale “Take Me To Your Leader” in which everyone thinks that aliens have invaded the ranch. That episode is sure to have any viewer laughing with its old school comic elements. The episodes noted here are just some of the examples of why the writing behind Hey Dude makes the series’ upcoming box set so enjoyable. Every season of Hey Dude exhibits the talent of the show’s writers. And audiences will see that for themselves when they purchase Hey Dude: The Complete Series. They will see throughout the show’s five seasons just how many laughs and moving moments it offered then and still offer today. They will also see just how important the set’s physical and financial elements are to the whole package. In seeing all of that, audiences will agree even more so why Hey Dude: The Complete Series is indeed one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.

The physical and financial elements of Hey Dude: The Complete Series coupled with the work of the show’s writers makes fully evident why every fan of Hey Dude should add the series’ full series set to their personal libraries. They show, too why Hey Dude: The Complete Series is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. For all of the value and importance of those elements, there is still one more element worth noting that makes this box set such a joy for audiences. That last element of this set that makes it so enjoyable and such a success is the fact that the discs from each season’s set are clearly marked. It would have been easy for the people at Shout! Factory to just toss all ten discs into the box and called it with the set’s companion episode list printed on the inside of the box’s cover art. But being that Shout! Factory is the leading name in the world of home entertainment, that didn’t happen. The discs from each season are clearly marked. That combined with the companion episode list wholly eliminates any chance of confusion for viewers trying to find specific episodes. The partnering of those two elements makes for one final, solid part of the whole that makes Hey Dude: The Complete Series a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library. Combined with all of the other noted elements, they show in whole once again why Hey Dude: The Complete Series is so deserving of being called one of this year’s best new box sets for the whole family and why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment.

Hey Dude: The Complete Series is the perfect final statement from Shout! Factory for this modern classic live-action, teen centric series from Nickelodeon. Smart packaging, equally smart writing and a complete episode prove that argument. With any luck it won’t be the last of Nickelodeon’s classic series to be released by Shout! Factory. God forbid it is. But if it is, then it is a great way to go out as it shows once again what once made Nickelodeon so great and what still makes Shout! Factory the greatest name in home entertainment. Hey Dude: The Complete Series will be available on Tuesday, March 10th exclusively in Wal-Mart stores across the country. More information on this box set and others from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com

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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.