Tuesday, May 03, 2005

TV on DVD - May 3, 2005

Bless Me Father: The Complete Collection
- I have very fond memories of this British series. Starring Arthur Lowe as the occasionally irrascible Father Duddleswell ( but more commonly known as "Father D") it was a normally gentle comedy about a Catholic parish in London in the 1950s. Particularly funny was Mother Stephen, a particularly dour and autocratic nun who was focused on getting the apparently very gloomy (the portrait of the Mother Founder was surrounded by skulls) founder of her order of nuns made a saint. Sadly the series ended when Lowe died of a stroke. Well worth it.

Cold Feet: The Complete Collection, Volume 2
- A British series, but not one that I have any knowledge of. This sort of show gets missed by PBS stations that endlessly repeat
Are You Being Served and Keeping Up Appearances.

Project: ALF

-This was the made for TV movie that tried to bring the character ALF back without the Tanner family to provide a sense of normalcy. The character is funny because of his interaction with normal humans (and trying to eat the cat), but
Project ALF puts him in a situation where he's been discovered and is on the run from the authorities. What's funny about that?

Dawson's Creek: The Complete Fifth Season

- The WB came too late to my TV - thanks to a digital box - for me to see the early episodes of
Dawson's Creek. Well that's not quite true since the series was seen on one of the Canadian channels. I don't think it was seen from the eh beginning and based on everything that I read about it I wasn't overly interested. So, another one I didn't see.

Dora the Explorer It's A Party!

- Another kid's show, unseen by people who don't have kids... like me.

Everybody Loves Raymond The Complete 3rd Season

- Not everybody. I always found Ray Romano exceptionally annoying, and the less said about Doris Roberts as Marie the better (and I usually like Doris Roberts). About the only saving grace the show had was an exceptionally dead pan performance from Brad Garrett as Robert.

Gilmore Girls The Complete 3rd Season

- I've been known to watch at least part of an episode of
The Gilmore Girls. I like some of the writing and the two leads are rather attractive. That said, I don't think I've ever made it through to the end of an episode. Too much Estrogen I think.

I Love Lucy: The Complete Fourth Season

- Although the phase hadn't entered the lexicon at the time, the fourth season of I Love Lucy may have been when the show "jumped the shark". Until then it had been a domestic comedy with the twist that Lucy was married to a Cuban band leader. In the fourth season Lucy went to Hollywood, a move that not only took them out of the confines of the brownstone apartment building and the night club but also allowed a host of movie stars to appear. While the situations continued to be funny the chemistry of the show had changed. Don't get me wrong, there's some great comedic stuff here, like Lucy pretending to be Harpo Marx and then appearing with Harpo, or Lucy lighting here nose on fire (it's a fake nose in an attempt to disguise herself from William Holden), but the series has gotten away from it's roots. Season Five would finish the Hollywood storylines and then send the cast off to Europe, while the sixth season would move the show out of New York and into Connecticut.

King Of The Hill: Season 4
- I've seen bits and pieces of
King Of The Hill and it is funny, but I have to say that it is not on my list of must see shows. Unlike The Simpsons it is a series that could quite easily be done as a live action show, which should lead to the question of what is gained by doing it as animation.

The Man Show: Season Three

- Never saw it. I know that the Comedy Channel up here had it, but I never actually felt motivated to watch it. On the other hand, any show with women known as Juggies! can't be a total loss can it?

Naked City: Box Set 1

- One of the minor irritations about being in Canada is that sometimes Amazon.ca has a different release date for DVDs than the United States. Amazon.com has this set available on May 3, but Amazon.ca has it available on May 10. Whatever date you choose this is a Major League, Grade A#1 Cherce keeper. Produced by Image it is a compilation of several previously released DVDs, with four episodes of what New York Police officers voted as the best cop show ever, ahead of Homicide: Life On The Streets, and any version of Law & Order. Based on the 1948 film of the same name which in turn was based on the photographs of the legendary Weegee, this set includes three disks with episodes from the second and third seasons (the first season was a half hour show with a different cast). The list of guest stars this series had was truly astonishing, a cavalcade of character actors like Sorrel Booke and Jack Klugman, soon to be stars like Robert Redford, and legitimate stars like Kim Stanley, Mickey Rooney, Martin Balsam, and Roddy McDowell. I've never seen it, but it contributed one of the great phrases to the lexicon - "There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them."

Partridge Family: The Complete First Season
- A bona fide pre-teen hit from the days when I was a teen. Parent's probably liked it because these were "rock" musicians who were nice and clean cut, and as I recall teen-aged boys sort of lusted after Susan Dey (though why I can't remember - I saw her nude scenes in First Love and the woman had nothing up top) while the girls were lusting after David Cassidy, but the breakout star was Danny Bonaduce. The first season has some very good guest stars including Louis Gossett Jr., Richard Pryor (in one episode!) Johnny Cash, Ray Bolger and Rosemary deCamp, and a pre-Star Wars Mark Hamill.

Radio Free Roscoe: Season One: Greatest Hits

- Made in Canada, but I don't think I've ever seen it or even heard of it before this listing. Apparently most of the cast are Canadian, although they don't seem to have IMDB biographies. Just checked and it's on The Family Channel up here, which is no relation to The Family Channel in the U.S.

Star Trek Enterprise: The Complete First Season

- With
Star Trek: Enterprise running down to its end, here's how it all started. Based on the last half of the third season and all of the fourth, it could have been so much better than it was. Blame of course goes to Berman and Braga, because by the time Manny Cotto got his hands on the show it was too late. Doctor Who used to change producers and script editors on an average of every three years. When they didn't, when John Nathan Turner became the permanent producer from 1980 to 1989, it went downhill fast. The same applies to Berman and Braga. They have stayed with the Star Trek franchise too long for any good they have done.

Three's Company: Season Four
- The last season with Suzanne Somers as Chrissy and the first season with the incredible Mr. Knotts. Despite all of the backstage sturm und drang, the fact is that the show had its best on screen chemistry with three original cast members. And despite the critics of the day talking about it being T&A fluff, the show has held up remarkably well. The mix was right between Somers' innocent sexiness and Miss Malaprop quality, John Ritter's tremendous ability as a physical comedian, and Joyce DeWitt's talent as a straight woman. That mix went wrong when Somers left and neither Jenilee Harrison nor Priscilla Barnes made up for it.

Touched By An Angel: Second Season
- Never got into it. Too much maudlin sentimentality mixed with copious amounts of God. I'm sure the PTC loved it.

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