A huge bunch of new releases that celebrate a better time for television. A time when cartoons were cool and not commercials for toys. Where sitcoms could be different and night time dramas were more bizarre than the stuff they showed on the daytime soaps. These are some fine examples of what television used to be.
WALTONS SEASON 8
In this, the next to the last season, we have a drama that no one thought would catch on. It wasn't supposed to make it at all. In the end it toppled it's competition and even caused funny man Flip Wilson to cancel his show before The Waltons could do it for him. Unfortunately, a lot of beloved television like this go on for way longer than they should. It was the second season without it's main voice, John-Boy Walton. I was always amazed that any kid his age would let himself be called John-Boy, but that was a different time and place.
World War II played a huge part in the shaping of this season. Add to that the fact that Ellen Corby who played Grandma Walton was sick in real life and the ensemble cast took a huge blow that makes this one of the least effective seasons of the show.
This is the box set for the completist wand with some interesting documentary features this is essential viewing for the true Waltons fan.
DALLAS SEASON 10
Dallas is the exact opposite of the aforementioned Waltons. Sure, it had an ensemble cast, but the main character is J.R. Ewing. He is the madman and master manipulator behind the scenes of the show. Everyone else is expendable. Long past the Who Shot J.R. phenomenon that swept this country of ours, J.R. showed that he was so bad that other cast members dreamt of killing the bastard.
This time around J.R. unleashes one of his most insane plans ever. To have a mercenary blow up Saudi oil fields! This is insanity at it's best and the show doesn't disappoint.
My one true criticism of this set is there are absolutely no extras included. All of these people are alive, can't we get a few little featurettes or something? Maybe commentary on an episode or two? Other than that this is one of the better seasons of a classic television show.
YOU'RE A GOOD SPORT CHARLIE BROWN
It is impossible to do wrong with the classic series of Charlie Brown releases. This is the seventh release and overshadowed by the more popular, holiday themed ones, but one of my favorites. The fact that these little kids are scooting across the terrain on motorcross is just astonishing to me. If you tried to do that with little kids nowadays you would be sued for child endangerment. Not Charlie Brown who, in spite of being number 13, is determined to win the race.
In addition to this feature we get two bonuses;
You're The Greatest Charlie Brown, where Charlie is trying to win a decathlon. and Dust Yourself Off & Pick Yourself Up, Charlie Brown which is about Charles Schultz' son Craig who inspired this feature.
Another great Charlie Brown disc and hopefully there will be more to follow in the near future.
THE ALL NEW SUPERFRIENDS HOUR: SEASON ONE, VOLUME TWO
Finishing up the rest of season one we get more of the Superfriends, more PSA's, more magic tricks and lots of Zan and Jena. Lots of yummy cartoony goodness that shows how a cartoon becomes a classic. There is even a great documentary that explains the cultural phenomenon of The Wonder Twins.
This is quality stuff here folks. I would even at this point be brave enough to watch the earlier stuff with Wendy and Marvin. And that's brave folks.
NIGHT COURT SEASON TWO
A sitcom that manages to capture the raunch feel of a New York night court, filled with disgusting behavior by the D.A., a certifiably insane judge and a couple of bailiffs that are like night and day. This is the season where Markie Post takes over from the lady who sand with Meatloaf and comes into her own. A sitcom that probably couldn't get made today and presented here in a great DVD set. This is from the day when NBC could hit them out of the park if it was a sitcom.