Tuesday, April 19, 2005

TV On DVD - April 19, 2005

Another relatively weak week on the DVD front, in part because several things that TV Shows on DVD has listed have been delayed.

But first a word from our sponsors.

Or at least about sponsors. I'd like to run a bit of an informal poll. Money grubbing whore that I am, I am considering becoming an Amazon.ca associate. What I'd like to do (assuming that I can) is link the weekly TV on DVD titles to the appropriate Amazon.ca site. I know it won't bring in a lot of money - in the time that I've had the Google Adsense ads I've racked up the magnificent sum of $8.40 - but at the very least it will help me next time I want to buy something from Amazon. Still, I don't want to seem overly commerical, and maybe you guys can give me some better advice.

And now, without further ado we return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Blue's Clues - Blue's Room: Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
- Well I'm a little old for Blue's Clues and I don't get to see my two year old nephew nearly enough to know how he reacts to it. Still, what I've seen seems innocuous enough. I just wish that the network weasels at the CBC would reconsider releasing some of their classic kids shows, like The Friendly Giant and Chez Helene as well as Mr. Dress-up. CBC execs contend that The Friendly Giant and Chez Helene aren't active and up to date enough for modern kids, but the audience keeps renewing itself and the shows are amazingly gentle, and way better than a purple dinosaur, a blue dog or a group of guys calle The Wiggles. (BTW this isn't available in Canada yet.)

The Jacques Cousteau Odyssey: The Complete Series
- Captain Cousteau was a staple of my childhood, to the point where teachers would tell us to watch whenever The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau was on. His shows were always worth the time in terms of educational value and sheer beauty, so sight unseen this one gets a heartfelt recommendation from me. (Just to let you know, Cousteau's most famous research ship Calypso sank in Singapore harbour in 1996. Carnival Cruises is restoring the ship with a completion date set for the end of 2005.)

Dynasty: Season 1
- From the sublime to the ridiculous. The first season is the one without Joan Collins, so the cat-fight quotient is way down. Actually the first season was almost the last. The series tended to be regarded as a very weak Dallas clone and was on the edge of being cancelled. It was only when Esther Shapiro came up with the idea of bringing on Elizabeth Taylor to play Alexis Carrington that the series was renewed - then they found out that Liz wasn't interested!

Garfield & Friends: Volume 3
- It is accepted wisdom in the rec.arts.comics.strips newsgroup that Garfield has long since stopped actually being funny. The TV series on the other hand apparently seems to get funnier as time goes by. Amazingly enough it ran for six years (which is quite amazing for a cartoon even today) and only ended in 1995.

Miracles: The Complete Series
- I never saw this show but by all accounts I missed something spectacular. When the show premiered it apparently drew large ratings, but was largely killed by the Iraq War coverage on ABC. Six episodes were aired on ABC before it was cancelled, although 13 were made. This set contains all 13.

That '70s Show, Volume 2
- Never watched it. I lived through the '70s (and it wasn't one of my best times - I was 4F in the Sexual Revolution), why would I want to watch a show about it?


tim gueguen said...

Probably the worst thing that happened to That '70s Show was the debut of That '80s Show, depriving the former series of the chance to get out of the '70s. Instead it will be like MASH, with the characters stuck in the same limited period as they age.

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Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

You might find this hard to believe, but I'm actually a fan of That 70's Show, if only for Kurtwood Smith. His character, Red Forman, makes me laugh and there's a parallel between his relationship with son Eric (Topher Grace) and that of Herbert T. Gillis (Frank Faylen) and son Dobie (Dwayne Hickman) on the sitcom classic The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

In Dobie Gillis' first season, Herbert was actually a dark character, given to pronouncements of "I gotta kill that boy...I just gotta" when referring to his son. When the show was renewed in the 1960-61 season, the show's creators softened him up so much so that the series became a bit mushy after that. I think the same situation exists on That 70's, only much, much edgier.

Linda said...

As for old CBC shows on DVD, how about The Forest Rangers? I remember enjoying that series.

Of course this is written by someone who would love to have a copy of Dr. Simon Locke.

Anonymous said...

I know Laura Prepon and her family from having lived in New Jersey (as I was editing a weekly paper in her area when "That '70s Show" premiered, so I was among the first to interview and write extensively about her), so I've watched the series a great deal since its debut. And though I like her a lot (and think Laura shows a fine comedic sense), the series has grown a bit long in the tooth, She really should find a sitcom vehicle of her own.

Brent McKee said...

As I mentioned I've never watched That '70s Show although I've seen bits and pieces of episodes. That said, from comments of others I think that those who feel the show has gone on too long are probably right. With Topher Grace and now Ashton Kutcher developing their film careers, it probably would have made more sense for Fox to cancel the show either at the end of last season or the end of this season, rather than renew it for next year. My opinion is that the decision to renew reveals a weakness in what Fox has to replace it with, or more accurately what they have confidence in as a replacement for the show.