Wednesday, July 13, 2005

TV On DVD - July 12, 2005

This is late but Tuesday was not a good day for me. I spent most of the time I'd usually use to write this trying to locate some fittings for a damaged underground sprinkler head. When I finally found what I thought was the right parts I discovered that I got the wrong size. Anyway here are the listings of DVDs released on Tuesday.

America Undercover: The Autopsy Files
- Part of HBO's America Undercover documentary series, The Autopsy Files examines autopsies in a number of real cases. This DVD contains the original 1994 Autopsy: Confessions of a Medical Examiner and the 1995 Autopsy 2: Voices From The Dead. Although the series is shown on Canada's Documentary Channel I haven't seen it.

Butterflies: Series 1
- British series which I never saw. Summaries indicate that it has a vague resemblance to Desperate Housewives except not really. Wendy Craig plays Ria Parkison who is happily but "not excitedly" married to Ben, played by the ever useful and enjoyable Geoffrey Palmer. No wonder she always seems to be on the verge of having an affair.

Care Bears: Share a Scare
Care Bears: Season of Caring
- You have no idea how much I loathe the Care Bears. Suffice it to say I didn't like them when they started out as Hallmark Cards, and adding voices and movement hasn't improved my feelings any.

The Best of He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe
- TV on DVD called this the "Best 10 episode collectors edition" to which I can only ask "There were good episodes of this?" Maybe I just don't get it, to me it's just another animated toy commercial.

Hercules: Legendary Journeys - Season Six
- Ah Hercules, the role that Kevin Sorbo was born to play. The sixth and final season was abbreviated with only six episodes, but the series on the whole was definitely a keeper. The main characters were never taken too seriously and the supporting cast was very good, including noted New Zealand writer, actor and director Michael Hurst as Hercules' best friend Iolus, the late Kevin Smith as his best enemy (and half brother), the god Ares, Alexandra Tydings as his half-sister the goddess Aphrodite, and the ever popular Bruce Campbell as the thief Autolycus.

Hunter: The Complete Second Season
- Never really a favourite of mine, but even I have to admit that the interaction between Sergeant Rick Hunter and his partner Sergeant DeeDee "the Brass Butterfly" McCall was letter perfect, like people who could get at each other but always had each other's back.

Mickey Mouse Club: Best Of The Original
- No matter how many times Disney revives the Mickey Mouse Club this is the one people will remember. This is actually the second version of the club (the first was in the 1930s and was basically a fan club for the character Mickey Mouse) but this is the one where everyone saw Annette Funicello grow up. The cast also included Don Grady (later Robby on My Three Sons) Bobby Burgess (later a featured singer and dancer on the Lawrence Welk Show) and of course Disney mainstay Tommy Kirk. This disk contains five episodes, however there is a box set from the Disney Treasures series with ten episodes and a number of special features which is probably a better buy for the real fan...if you can find it.

MMC: The Best Of Britney, Justin and Christina
- Back in 1989 someone at Disney thought it was a good idea to revive the Mickey Mouse Club yet again, this time for Disney's own cable channel. Apparently someone then decided that the name The All New Mickey Mouse Club (to differentiate it from the New Mickey Mouse Club which was the 1977 version) wasn't "hip and happenin'" enough...or something, because it was dubbed MMC. This DVD release features four episodes of the show plus concert performances by Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, all of whom were in the cast for the last two seasons of the show.

The Nanny - The Complete First Season
- I have never made any secret about my love of Fran Drescher or The Nanny. Subtle comedy it wasn't but it routinely had me rolling in the aisles. The adult casting was superb with the two major supporting actors - Daniel Davis as the butler Niles and Lauren Lane as Fran's nemesis C.C. Babcock - often getting many of the best gags. The pilot was fairly ordinary and gives no hint of what's to come but once the series got rolling it was, at its best, reminiscent of the best of I Love Lucy. In fact Fran Drescher did one episode in a later season as a tribute to I Love Lucy. Highly recommended, but I am biased.

Oblongs, The Complete Series
- Another Best Buy exclusive. This WB series about a rather odd family that lived on land that had been a toxic waste dump lasted a total of 8 weeks, with four more episodes never airing. It has been on Teletoon, but I don't recall having seen it.

Poirot: The Classic Collection
- This massive 12 disc set collects all of the classic Hercule Poirot stories done for A&E (classic to diferentiate them from the "New Adventures" which was a series of two hour movies made later). The series (and the movies) starred David Suchet as Poirot and he was perhaps the best actor for the part - certainly better than Sir Peter Ustinov, who appeared as Poirot in two theatrical movies - Death On The Nile, Evil Under The Sun and Appointment With Death - and three made for TV movies - Murder In Three Acts, Dead Man's Folly, and Thirteen At Dinner. Although the price ($196.50 from seems like a lot it is less than half the cost of the 12 discs bought individually.

Sealab 2021: Season Three
- Another "modern" animated series from Cartoon Network, and another one that I haven't seen. The premise is a carry over from the old Hanna-Barbera series Sealab 2020 but with a decidedly bizarre turn as the crew of Sealab is going mad, but in a funny way. Uses scenes from Alex Toth's original series.

Tales from the Crypt: The Complete First Season
- HBO's horror series loosely based on the classic EC comics from the 1950s. Reminiscent in some ways of the old Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling series in the use of a host (which was in fact used by those same EC Comics as well as a host of radio shows from the 1940s) to bookend the stories which always had a twist ending. In this case it was the garrulous Cryptkeeper, who was basically an animatronic puppet.

Titus: Complete Seasons 1 & 2
- Not a show that I ever watched, indicated by the fact that It lasted a lot longer than I actually thought it did. Worth noting if only for the presence of the always watchable Stacy Keach as Chris Titus's father, both in the current and the frequent flashback sequences.

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom: Dangerous Encounters in the Wild
Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom: Mammals of North America

- Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom was standard fare in many households. Sponsored by Mutual of Omaha (an insurance company) this was one way to get nature documentaries on commercial television in the days before cable and satellite TV. The host of the series was Marlin Perkins and he was always in there, not just as host but as one of the people studying the animals, along with his assistants, usually either Stan Brock or Jim Fowler. While the series continued for a few years after Perkins left the series in 1985 (he died of cancer in 1986) it wasn't the same. These two sets include 10 half-hour episodes each of the series.

Season 1 - Wire in the Blood
Wire in the Blood: The Complete Second Season

- A British series which I haven't seen about a psychologist with an expertise in serial killers partnered with a police detective. I know it sounds like a depressingly large number of American cop shows, but the British perspective apparently makes it work better.

Under the Umbrella Tree Volume 3
- A series which steadfastly refuses to show up on or on Which is odd considering that the show was produced by the CBC in cooperation with the Disney Channel. As a result I can't tell you anything about what's on the Volume 3 disk.

No comments: