Archives for TV on DVD

Must-See-TV DVDs: February 2010

TVScreener.com will resume with weekly TV-on-DVD columns (every Tuesday) next week, and in the meantime, here’s a little catch-up of must-see February releases:

MUST-SEE-TV DVDS OF THE WEEK:
Nurse Jackie: Season One (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)
Details: Nurse Jackie (Edie Falco) leads a dangerous double life: she’s a caring, competent nurse, wife and mother on one hand, and she’s a pill-popping adulterer on the other. She managed to juggle all her secrets in the show’s dramatic, often darkly funny first season, but a season finale cliffhanger promises much, much more drama and upheaval ahead for Jackie.
Bonus Features: Cast commentaries, an “All About Edie” featurette, real-life nurse stories and a making-of featurette.

Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season One (MTV Networks)
Details: If you’ve already seen it, trust me, it doesn’t get any less fascinating upon repeat viewings; in fact, someone should, and probably will, teach a sociology class that will dissect the show and its characters, er, stars. And if you haven’t seen it yet? You really should; not because Snooki, The Situation or DJ Pauly D and their overly-coiffed hair and overly-tanned bods are going to be around past the 15-minute mark, but because the show’s pop culture impact is likely to live on, in infamy, for quite a while.
Bonus Features: The reunion special, the cast’s Guido makeover of Michael Cera, deleted scenes and style tips from Snooki (now you too can get the Guidette hairdo without a Bumpit!).

BEST OF THE REST:
Army Wives: The Complete Third Season (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Details: Joan’s promotion … Denise and Frank’s marriage woes … Claudia Joy’s issues with daughter Emmalin … the show’s third season was another great one, and the Lifetime drama continues to be a timely look at military families as their real-life counterparts continue to feel the impact of so many American men and women being deployed around the world. Army Wives‘ fourth season, by the way, kicks off on Lifetime on April 11.
Bonus Features: Deleted scenes, bloopers, Webisodes and a cast-led behind-the-scenes look at Charleston, South Carolina, the town where Army Wives is filmed.

Small Wonder: The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory)
Details: One of the true cheesy, guilty pleasure classics of the ’80s finally hits DVD with this set, which follows the adventures of the Lawson family as they try to pass off their “Voice Input Child Identicant,” i.e. a robot, as a ten-year-old child named V.I.C.I. Madcap hilarity, of course, ensues.
Bonus Features: Commentaries with the cast and series creator, original episode promos and a fan art gallery.

Head Case: The Complete Series (Anchor Bay)
Details: Alexandra Wentworth, a.k.a. Jerry’s “Schmoopie” on Seinfeld, a.k.a. Mrs. George Stephanopoulos, starred in this underrated Starz sitcom about a therapist who works with Hollywood celebs. The real joke, of course, was that the good Dr. Elizabeth Goode was as nutty as any of her patients.
TV Screener Tidbit: Among the many celebs who played themselves as patients of Dr. Goode: Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Hefner, Tori Spelling, Marc Cherry, Jason Priestley, Ralph Macchio, Jeff Probst, Macy Gray, Andy Dick, James Denton, Greg Grunberg, Sandra Bernhard, Sean Hayes, Tom Sizemore and Larry Miller.

FlashForward (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Details: Now that Lost is winding down to its May series finale, there may be room in your channel surfing sked for another complicated, slowly-evolving mystery series, and FlashForward is a good candidate. The box set includes the show’s first ten episodes (which aired earlier this season), as well as a sneak peek at things to come.
TV Screener Tidbit: The series is scheduled to return to ABC’s line-up on March 18 with a two-hour episode, while the two-hour season finale is scheduled for May 27.

Lincoln Heights: Season 1 (Shout! Factory)
Details: Primetime still has a long way to go in presenting more racially diverse characters, and sadly, this fine drama, about an African-American cop who moves his family back to his tough neighborhood in an effort to help change it for the better, has run its course on ABC Family. And if you missed it during its original four-season run, now’s a great time to catch the first – and best – season on DVD.
TV Screener Tidbit: New York Times reviewer Virginia Heffernan once described Lincoln Heights as aspiring to be a PG-rated version of The Wire.

Gary Unmarried (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Details: Sure, it’s basically a dude version of The New Adventures of Old Christine, but it’s elevated by the charms of Jay Mohr, who has deserved another shot at a sitcom since his clever, biting and all-too-short-lived 1999-2000 Hollywood spoof Action.
Bonus Features: Tours of the Gary set with Mohr and the cast, season one bloopers and Ed Begley Jr.‘s guide to making the Gary set eco-friendly.

AND THE REST …
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths on Blu-ray (Warner Bros.)

The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Sixth Season (Fox)

Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey: The Complete Season One (A&E Home Video)

Barnaby Jones: The Complete First Season (Paramount)

Adam-12: Season 4 (Shout! Factory)

Cannon: Season Two, Vol. 2 (Paramount)

Night Court: The Complete Third Season (Warner Home Video)

Project Runway: Season Six (Weinstein Co.)

JAG: The Final Season (Paramount)

American Chopper: Honoring the Uniform (Discovery Channel)

Ghost Hunters: Season Five, Part One (Image Entertainment)

My Three Sons: Season Two, Vol. 1 (Paramount)

Mr. Ed: The Complete Second Season (Shout! Factory)

MythBusters: Urban Legends (Discovery Channel)

WIN THIS! Elvis Presley 75th Birthday CD & DVD Goodies!

HOORAY! We have our winner:

Richard! Congrats, Richard, and thanks for entering. Your awesome goodies will be on their way to your mailbox shortly. Enjoy, and thanks again for checking us out at TV Screener.com!

And everyone, stay tuned to TVScreener.com … we’ve got lots more TV goodies coming your way!

Happy birthday, Elvis, happy birthday to you! Today marks the 75th anniversary of the birth of The King of Rock and Roll, and in honor of this very special occasion, TVScreener.com is celebrating by giving one Elvis fan a great package of Elvis-ness: Copies of the new Elvis 75 CD and the ’68 Comeback Special DVD!

The just-released CD features 25 EP gems, including classics like Heartbreak Hotel, Love Me Tender, It’s Now or Never, Are You Lonesome Tonight?, Can’t Help Falling in Love, Suspicious Minds, Burning Love and Always on My Mind, while the DVD unfolds the classic 1968 NBC TV special that has come to be known as the ’68 Comeback Special, featuring Elvis in his iconic black leather suit, performing his greatest hits, new songs and riffing with the audience, an incredible performance that not only proved he still had it after seven years of not performing live, but which also became the biggest TV special of the year and went on to inspire MTV’s famous Unplugged concert series.

It’s truly a hunka, hunka burning Elvis goodness, and for a chance to win the Elvis CD and DVD:
– Leave a comment on this post, with the name of your favorite Elvis song or movie, and an e-mail address to reach you
– Deadline to enter is January 22 at 8PM ET (according to recorded comment time)
– The winner will be chosen by random, using Random.org’s Random Number Generator
– The winner will be announced on the evening of January 22, as an update to this post

Good luck Elvis fans, and thank you, thankyouverymuch, for entering!

Must-See Holiday TV DVDs: 2009

The clock is ticking down to Christmas, and the big snowstorm in the Northeast last weekend seriously cut into your holiday shopping time? Whether you’re looking for last-minute gifts (pair several of these together for a great DIY box set) or just some good stuff to watch while curling up on a warm couch, here’s a list of more than 30 awesome Christmas-themed TV series and specials on DVD …

CARTOONS
The Original Christmas Classics (Classic Media)
Details: It’s a box set full of holiday fun, including three beloved TV specials: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town. Great songs, great characters and heartwarming storylines made these three perennial favorites and they’re collected here together with four more sweet specials: The Little Drummer Boy, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, Cricket on the Hearth and Frosty Returns.
Bonus Features: The box set includes a bonus CD with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Burl Ives, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Bobby Rydell, “Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives, “Let It Snow” by Chicago, “Winter Wonderland” by Jewel, “Merry Christmas, Baby” by Otis Redding, and, a tune that’s on my all-time top 10 Christmas songs list, “Silver & Gold” by Burl Ives, from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

A Charlie Brown Christmas on Blu-ray (Warner Home Video)
Details: Hands down, my most favorite holiday special of all time, and I know I’m not the only member of that club. And the only thing that could possibly have Charlie Brown Christmas better? A crisp Blu-ray DVD transfer.
Bonus Features: A making-of featurette, a digital copy of the special and a bonus ‘toon, It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Blu-ray (Warner Home Video)
Details: He’s still as cuddly as a cactus, as charming as an eel, a nasty, wasty skunk whose soul is full of gunk, but now he’s all those things on Blu-ray.
Bonus Features: Audio commentary by the special’s voice artists, the Dr. Seuss and the Grinch: From Whoville to Hollywood featurette, an interview with the special’s musical composers, a featurette on the special, hosted by the late Phil Hartman, and a Who’s Who in Whoville gallery.

The Year Without a Santa Claus (Warner)
Details: Santa may be the guy in the title, but when you think about this Christmas special, isn’t it really all about Heat and Snow, the Miser brothers?
Bonus Features: Featurettes on stop-motion animation and profiles of holiday classic filmmakers Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass.

AND THE REST …
A Miser Brothers Christmas (Warner)

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas (Universal Home Entertainment)

Elmo’s Christmas Countdown (Sesame Street)

Elmo Saves Christmas (Sesame Street)

Thomas & Friends: Holiday Express (Lyons/Hit Entertainment)

COMEDY
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: It’s a Very Sunny Christmas (Fox)
Details: As The Gang celebrates, sorta, Christmas, flashbacks provide us with insight into how and why they became, uh, the way they are. Plus, Danny DeVito gets way naked.
Bonus Features: A Sunny sing-along, a making-of featurette and deleted scenes with Young Mac and Young Charlie.

A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All (Comedy Central)
Details: Funny guy Stephen Colbert gives his own best review, calling the special “the greatest newsman-hosted holiday special since A Walter Cronkite Tet Offensive.
Bonus Features: Alternate endings, a books-roasting-on-an-open-fire Yule log and a live-action Colbert advent calendar.

Saturday Night Live – Christmas (Lionsgate)
Details: It lacks more recent classics like “Dick in a Box,” but the DVD does include Eddie Murphy‘s Mr. Robinson’s Christmas, Adam Sandler‘s original “Hanukkah Song” performance, Alec Baldwin‘s Schweddy Balls and Ana Gasteyer‘s Martha Stewart Topless Christmas Special.

Merry Sitcom! Christmas Classics from TV’s Golden Age (Shout! Factory)
Details: Holiday-themed eps from sitcoms like Father Knows Best, The Donna Reed Show, McHale’s Navy, Bewitched, That Girl and The Flying Nun.

TV Sets: Holiday Treats (Paramount)
Details: Christmas episodes of I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Brady Bunch, Taxi, Family Ties, Frazier, Wings and The Andy Griffith Show make up a DVD that any true TV sitcom fan will love.

Holiday TV Comedy Collection (Universal Home Entertainment)
Details: Awesome: Christmas episodes of The Office, 30 Rock, House, Monk and Psych.

AND THE REST …
Holiday TV Classics (Mill Creek Entertainment)

Johnny Carson Celebrates Christmas (Respond)

Christmas with SCTV (Shout! Factory)

FAMILY CLASSICS
A Christmas Story on Blu-ray (Warner Home Video)
Details: The leg lamp, Flick’s tongue on the flagpole, Ralphie’s Red Ryder … they’re all a part of this goofy, but charming family holiday tale that just gets better each time you watch it.
TV Screener Tidbit: It’s a must-own for your holiday DVD collection (especially on Blu-ray), but you can also catch A Christmas Story on its annual 24-marathon loop on TBS, beginning at 8PM ET on Dec. 24.

It’s a Wonderful Life on Blu-ray (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Details: OK, so it’s not technically a TV show or special, but, like The Wizard of Oz, It’s a Wonderful Life has become, for most of us, something we look forward to watching on TV every year at Christmastime. To finally be able to watch the movie on a great Blu-ray transfer is reason to watch it yet again, with a whole new appreciation for how a relatively simple story – the movie wasn’t a huge hit in its original release and won no Oscars – has had such a huge impact on movie fans for decades.
Bonus Features: A making-of featurette.

Little House on the Prairie – Christmas (Lionsgate)
Details: The DVD includes two Little House holiday episodes: Christmas at Plum Creek and A Christmas They Never Forgot. The first one is the Little House take on The Gift of the Magi, as Laura trades her beloved horse Bunny for a brand new stove for Ma (‘fess up – this one makes you cry!). In A Christmas They Never Forgot, the Ingalls fam is snowed in at Christmas, and they take the opportunity to share stories of Christmases past, including Caroline’s tearjerker about the year she finally accepted her stepfather into her family.

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (Paramount)
Details: It’s the 1971 TV movie that introduced us to the Walton family, including most of the cast that would go on to star in the series based on Earl Hamner‘s autobiographical writings about his fam. John Boy? Check. Grandma and Grandpa Walton? Check? Even the Baldwin sisters and Ike Godsey pop up in the story, as mom Olivia sends oldest son John Boy off to find his missing dad on Christmas Eve.

MUSIC
Chris Isaak Christmas (Koch Vision)
Details: No musician puts on a more fun show than Isaak and his band, and it’s truly a rockin’ show as Isaak and pals Michael Bublé, Brian McKnight and Stevie Nicks run through Christmas gems like “The Christmas Song,” “White Christmas,” “Blue Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Santa Bring My Baby Back,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and the Isaak holiday original “Christmas on TV.”

The Judy Garland Holiday Special (Classic World)
Details: The 1963 Christmas episode of Garland’s TV show includes guest appearances by her daughters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft, as well as her pal Mel Torme, and Garland closes the episode with an amazing performance of “Over the Rainbow.”
TV Screener Tidbit: Among the holiday tunes performed during the episode: “Deck the Halls,” “Jingle Bells”, “Silent Night,” “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

My Christmas (Philips)
Details: Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Mary J. Blige, Natalie Cole and Reba McEntire perform beautiful versions of Christmas classics like “What Child Is This,” “Blue Christmas” and “The Christmas Song” in this live PBS concert, taped at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.

Ring Christmas Bells (Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
Details: Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell has the perfect voice to accompany the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in this annual concert event, and Gilmore Girls fans will be thrilled, and moved, by Edward Herrmann (a.k.a. Richard Gilmore) and his narration of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‘s “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

AND THE REST …
Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes (Time Life Entertainment)

Happy Holidays with Bing & Frank (Arts Alliance)

Brian Setzer – Christmas Extravaganza (Surfdog Records)

A VERY CHRISTMAS CAROL CHRISTMAS DVD LIST
A Christmas Carol (Turner Home Entertainment)
Details: Patrick “Capt. Piccard” Stewart is one of, if not the, best Ebenezer Scrooges ever in this 1999 made-for-TV TNT adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic.
TV Screener Tidbit: More great casting: The Wire‘s Dominic West as Scrooge’s nephew Fred.

Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (Warner Home Video )
Details: Daffy Duck is the greedy manager of the Lucky Duck convenience store, and he’s denying his employees Christmas say vacation and discounts on toys for their kids. But when Bugs Bunny pops in for some last-minute shopping, he and the store’s employees – Porky Pig, Marvin the Martian, Yosemite Sam and Speedy Gonzales – plus the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future team up to convince him his money-minded ways are bad.
TV Screener Tidbit: The ghosts: Past (Tweety and Granny), Present (Yosemite Sam) and Future (Tazmanian Devil).

A Flintstones Christmas Carol (Warner Home Video)
Details: Guess which Bedrockian is the Scrooge in this version? Yep, it’s Fred, who’s taking his role as Scrooge in the local theater production of A Christmas Carol a bit too seriously. In fact, he’s become so bitten by the acting bug that he forgets to buy his fam gifts for Christmas!
Bonus Features: The DVD includes “Christmas Flintstone,” an episode from the fifth season of The Flintstones series, in which Fred gets a job as a Macyrocks Santa and has to take over for the real Santa when he gets too sick to work on Christmas Eve.

AND THE REST …
Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure (Nickelodeon Home Entertainment)

Barbie in a Christmas Carol (Universal Home Entertainment)

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (Disney)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (Disney)

The Lesson: If You’re Going to Use Your Show to Pimp Your DVDs, Make It Funny

Andy Richter and Conan O’Brien really want you to know that their short-lived, but critically acclaimed sitcom Andy Barker, P.I. was released on DVD this week, and they’re not above using The Tonight Show to spread the good word about the show that starred Richter and was produced by O’Brien:

By the way, if you have a Richter fan on your holiday shopping list, his other funny, canceled-too-soon sitcom, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, was released on DVD earlier this year, meaning there’s a double dose o’ Andy DVDs for those who love them some Richter. And really, who isn’t in that group?

WIN THIS! ‘Chuck’ Season 1 DVDs and Subway Gift Card – Week 1

HOORAY! We have our winner:

Marisa! Congrats, Marisa, and thanks for entering. Your awesome box set and Subway gift card will be on their way to your mailbox shortly. Enjoy, and thanks again for checking us out at TV Screener.com!

And everyone, keep checking our WIN THIS! section … we’ve got lots more TV goodies coming your way, including our Chuck/Subway giveaway week 2 on Monday, August 3!

All the Chuck news that came out of San Diego Comic Con last week makes us wish 1) We’d planned a trip to SD for what sounds like one of the coolest pop culture events EVER, and 2) that Chuck season three was starting, oh, tomorrow.

Sadly, it is not. But it’s largely thanks to the devoted fandom of many Chuck Websites and Twitter-ers that there will be a season three at all, and TV Screener.com is celebrating the Chuck-ness (thanks to a generous helping of DVDs from Warner Home Entertainment) by giving away five Chuck season 1 DVD box sets, along with five $10 Subway gift cards, i.e. two “$5 footloooooongs!”

We’ll give away one DVD box set and one $10 Subway gift card each week for five consecutive weeks, starting right now! And if you already own the discs, enter anyway for a chance to win and pass them along to a friend, i.e. a potential new Chuck lover.

But before we dish the details on how to enter, here’s a shout out to all the best places for keeping up with scoop and bonding with fellow fans on all things Chuck, Sarah, Awesome, Jeffster!, Casey, Morgan, Buy More … you get the idea.

Websites
Buddy TV’s Chuck
Chuck at Wikipedia.org
Chuck Daily
Chuck Me Out! (an official Chuck Website)
Chuck Online

Chucktv.net
ChuckYouTuesday fancast
Don’t Freak Out – A Chuck and Sarah fansite and fanlisting
Hulu.com’s Chuck page
Jeffster! on Facebook
Music from Chuck
NBC’s Chuck Website
RenewCHUCK.com

Strahotski.com
Television Without Pity Chuck coverage
Televisionary Chuck coverage
What’s Alan Watching? Chuck coverage

Zachary Levi.com
Zachary Levi Fan

Zachary Levi official Website (in progress)

Twitter-ers
4theloveofchuck

AgentEllie
chuck_bartowski

ChuckMeAwesome
ChuckMeEurope
ChuckMeMondays
chuckmeout
ChuckNerd
ChuckNut
ChuckOnline
chuckster54
Chucktvdotnet
ChuckYouTuesday
EllieBartowski
Emmy4Chuck
EWAusielloFiles
GMMR
happylovesChuck
_jeffster_
julialing

kristinalert
nbc
nbcchuck
nzchuckfan
op_pineapple
prezofbuymoria
renewCHUCK
savechuck
scooterdoo (Chuck star Scott Krinksy)
sepinwall
SupportChuck
teambartowski
TVWithoutPity
weheartchuck
zacharylevi

PS – If we’ve missed any great Chuck Websites or Twitter-ers, send us an e-mail and we’ll add them to the lists!

Now, back to the DVDs and Subway gift cards giveaway:
– Leave a comment on this post, with the name of your favorite Chuck character, scene or quote, and an e-mail address or Web/blog link way to reach you
– Deadline to enter for the week one giveaway is July 31 at 8PM ET (according to recorded comment time)
– The winner will be chosen by random, using Random.org’s Random Number Generator
– The winner will be announced on the evening of July 31, as an update to this post

Good luck, citizens of BuyMoria, and remember to check back every Monday for the next four weeks for a shot at winning another Chuck DVD box set and Subway gift card!

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