Tuesday, May 10, 2005

TV on DVD - May 10, 2005

American Chopper: Series: Season One
American Chopper: Series: Season Two
- Watching the Teutels - well mainly Paul Jr. - design and build custom motorcycles from the ground up isn't really the best part of this show. The best part of the show is watching Paul, Paulie and Mikey Teutel blow up at each other while the other people who work at Orange County Choppers run for cover. The fact that they produce some beautiful work despite having what can best be described as a disfunctional work environment is an added bonus.

Dastardly And Muttley: The Complete Series
Penelope Pitstop: The Complete Series
- Nostalgia's a funny thing. I never saw either of these two shows at the time, but they and shows of their ilk were held up as the very definition of the depths to which animation had fallen (which is wrong - if you want to see the depths, take a look at a Filmation series like Star Trek: The Animated series, but I digress). There was even a word for it Hanna-Barberianism. Looked at today after a generation of animation that cut even more corners - some of it produced by Hanna-Barbera but a lot of it not - shows like these seem to be sparkling example of what TV animation should be more like.

Ed Edd N Eddy: Volume 1 Season 1
- Another animation effort from Cartoon Network that I haven't seen and probably wouldn't like if I did. I seem to say that a lot don't I? Of course it would help if it was shown up here in Canada.

Entourage: The Complete First Season
- This is a series I've never heard of until it came up in this list. I mean never. Turns out that this HBO series is available in Canada on a movie package, but unlike other Canadian cable and satellite providers Shaw Cable doesn't make you sign up for a movie package to get the UPN and WB stations that are available in Canada - so I didn't. Which means missing an experience like Deadwood, but saves me about $11.

Have Gun Will Travel: Season 2
- It wasn't until I saw the series recently on the Lonestar cable network here in Canada that I realised two things. The first is that the Johnny Western theme that was one of my greatest memories of the series ("Have Gun Will Travel reads the card of the man,/ A soldier of fortune in a savage land") was in fact not the opening theme of the series but the closing theme and only really adopted in the second season. The opening was far more interesting and far less memorable (for a five year old kid) - the holster with the knight chess piece from which the big hand made revolver is pulled and pointed right at the camera as a line from the night's episode is read, after which the gun is slammed back into the holster. The other thing was that Richard Boone really was a homely as Paladin as he looked in later work like Hec Ramsey (which I liked a lot - apparently more than American audiences of the time) and the John Wayne movie Big Jake. Definitely a show worth seeing again but apparently not in Canada yet since Amazon.ca doesn't even have a date for it to be available.

In Living Color: Season 3
- Was never available on Canadian networks and we didn't get Fox in Saskatoon until well after the show was cancelled. It is currently seen on the Comedy Network up here but I haven't watched it. Notable for the collaboration between the various members of the Wayans Family, but also as the breakout showcase for Jim Carrey. Carrey had been seen on U.S. TV before in the sadly ignored Duck Factory (another show I liked more than American audiences of the time) but he was a lot freer to do what he wanted in this series. Apparently the third season also saw Jamie Foxx added to the cast and Jennifer Lopez on the show as a "Fly Girl". A lot of talent in that series.

Joan Of Arcadia: The First Season
- Buy this set if you want to be loved by the Parents Television Council. Here's the puzzling part though: Joan of Arcadia was the big new series of the 2003-04 season, and in the 2004-05 season is being threatened with cancellation due to lower than expected ratings. What changed between Season 1 and Season 2?

Kim Possible - The Movie: So the Drama (Extended Edition)
- I understand that this is another Nickelodeon series. Or is it Disney? Since I'm not interested that much in children's TV except from a nostalgia point of view I don't know which it is, and of course haven't seen it. Okay, I looked it up and this is a movie based on the Disney series of the same name.

Monster Garage: Season One
Monster Garage: Season Two
- This is sort of a companion piece to American Chopper except that instead of building custom motorcycles they build custom hot rods. For some reason I don't find it nearly as involving as American Chopper. Maybe it's just the personalities involved. All I know is that I've never seen a complete episode, and the one episode that I saw part of featured a Swedish kid who had come to the garage to learn how to build hot rods but was only allowed to sweep up the shop and clean the interiors of the cars. On the occasions when he tried to actually see how the work was done he was yelled at so much by the boss that he quit in disgust. The boss said good riddance.

Mutant X: Season 2
- Canadian show courtesy of CanWest-Global and co-production. I seem to recall that Fox Movies sued Marvel because the concept of the show was extremely close to The X-Men which Marvel had created in the first place. It was all about movie rights and being too close to originals. I wouldn't know because - yet again - this is a show I've never watched, but this may be the reason you'll never see Bruce Wayne on Smallville.

My Favorite Martian - Second Season
- Now this series I do remember. When I was a kid some of us created "Uncle Martin" antenna with sticks, tin foil, and rubber bands. Never did figure out how to get them to go up and down though. The chemistry between Tim O'Hara (Bill Bixby) and "Uncle Martin" (Ray Walston) was quite real and warm, but while Bixby was an enjoyable straight man the real attraction to the series was Ray Walston who could act circles around anyone else in the cast and frequently did.

Quantum Leap: The Complete Third Season
- I started watching this show, and somewhere along the line - well before the third season, and maybe even before the second - I stopped. I can't really tell you why though, except to say that while the concept was interesting the show just didn't interest me.

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