Tuesday, March 15, 2005

TV on DVD #2

Continuing my efforts at stealing other people's ideas I present this week's new TV series releases on DVD and my thoughts about them. List courtesy of the guys over at TVGeekSpeak.com.

Bit of a slow week, at least as far as shows I can give comments on - I haven't seen most of them. Is that going to stop me? Not on your life!

Court TV: Body of Evidence
- Starting with this one, although in this case I have a legitimate excuse. The saga of Court TV around here is pretty rocky. Originally the Canadian Cable companies offered the US channel, and I got it when I bought Digital Cable (it was bundled with BBC World - which was the one I wanted - and a couple of other channels). However because of programming clearances, the US channel was basically the trials and then dead air after 5 p.m. and on weekends. Eventually it was replace with Court TV Canada, which wasn't on my local system until about 6 months ago. Since I didn't have any interest in it I didn't subscribe. And I didn't watch it during the misnamed 31 Days of Great TV promotion the Canadian TV industry did in January.

Farscape: Starburst Edition Volume 3
- Huh? Is this a "clever" way to get you to buy something you already have or are they just being cute? Really, I want to know, because I've never watched Farscape. I know, it's a hard thing to admit but it's true.

Hogan's Heroes: The Complete First Season
- Now this I do know. And while I won't go quite as far as Jaime J Weinman does in his blog
Something Old, Nothing New in calling Hogan's Heroes better than M*A*S*H I will suggest that any attempt to assert that Hogan's Heroes didn't understand the brutality of the Nazi regime doesn't get it. Hollywood had, during the 25 or so years following the end of World War II done a very good job of almost totally ignoring and downplaying the systematic extermination of people deemed to be enemies of the Third Reich, including Jews, Gypsies, Poles, political opponents, the mentally retarded and just about anyone else who struck their fancy. A look at the cast list of Hogan's Heroes shows a number of people who were directly touched by events: Otto Klemperer, John Banner, Leon Askin, Robert Clary. As a sop to those who hate Hogan's Heroes, I will note that Leon Kinsky (best known as Sascha in Casablanca) appeared in the pilot as a Russian POW but refused a permanent role because the premise struck him as offensive. "The Nazis were seldom dumb and never funny."

La Femme Nikita Season 1 and 2
- Never saw it. It was a Canadian-made adaptation (for an American network) of an American movie that had been adapted from a French movie ... or something like that. On the other hand the cast looks pretty good.

Starsky & Hutch: The Complete Third Season
- This one I did watch, but somehow the abiding images of it for me have always been the car, and Paul Michael Glaser standing in a total downpour in that stupid sweater that must have gained 20 pounds in water weight.

1 comment:

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

For those individuals who would choose to diss Hogan's Heroes because, as you point out, "The Nazis were seldom dumb and never funny," I can say only this: Hogan's Heroes is a situation comedy...not a documentary.

I'd also recommend to Hogan's fans two additional entertainment venues: first, Paul Schrader's Auto Focus (2002), which effectively tells the seamier side of the Bob Crane story (it includes a Crane hallucination that he experiences while rehearsing an episode of the sitcom that you have to see to believe), with Greg Kinnear in a very effective performance. Britcom fans will also enjoy 'Allo, 'Allo, a sitcom spoofing war dramas about the French resistance that has had its first two series (seasons) released on DVD ("Leesen verrry carefully, I weel zay zis only wernce...").