MidSomer Murders – Set 17 (2008/Acorn Media DVD) + Spin City – Season Four (1999 – 2000/Shout!
C Sound: C+ Extras: C/D Episodes: C
that not all hit TV is good, sometimes an adequate show can have a very long
run and land an audience. Here are two
becoming a sort of joke that MidSomer
Murders is still on the air and DVD sets are still arriving. The series about killings in a “nice, small
town” has stunningly reached Set 17
(!) and by now, you would think the town would be condemned, no matter how nice
the weather, buildings and plants are.
With so many people being killed, you might think the town was owned by
an HMO if this were set in the U.S.
and property values would drop. Where’s
the graffiti? Is that nice house now a
The Dogleg Murders, The Black Book, Secrets &
Spies and The Glitch are the
latest telefilm mysteries (only so exciting) and they are as unexciting as Law & Order meets Murder, She Wrote at their most played
out, though this could be worse. Peter
Davison, Alice Krige and Philip Jackson even show up in guest casts this time,
but it does not help much. It has been a
long time since I covered one of these sets (you have to go back to Ten) and though some of the other
writers have enjoyed it, they did not have to watch the earlier shows
either. This is for fans only, though
the show has not become much worse since, it is just too formulaic to
recommend. It is not off the air yet
either. You can find all the sets to
date reviewed elsewhere on this site.
there is Spin City – Season Four
(1999 – 2000) reaching what turned out to be its midpoint. Star Michael J. Fox was not well and this was
not public yet from what I remember, though his battle with the awful
Parkinson’s Disease was soon going to be part of the national debate. It cut this show short, though Heather
Locklear (in an interesting move, giving her some of her more interesting work)
joined the cast and stayed on the show until it ended.
is good for the kind of show it is, but I was never a big fan and like MidSomer, it just moved on being what
it was. That means it is safe and there
is no growth, though seeing Fox here act through his problems is amazing and this
was sadly his last season on the show, so this is a key season for fans and the
show if nothing else. All 26 episodes
are here over four DVDs. You can find
all the sets to date for this show as well reviewed elsewhere on this site.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on MidSomer
is as soft as its predecessors, but it does not look bad or great, but the
switch to HD from film has permanently hurt the show visually and color suffers
too. The 1.33 X 1 image on City episodes also is soft with
aliasing errors and is also only so engaging.
Both have Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo tracks and they are better than their
picture, but nothing with any palpable surrounds. They are at least professionally
recorded. Only MidSomer has extras and they include text production notes, facts
and cast interviews (text) with John Nettles, Jason Hughes and Kirsty Dillon.
thing. The MidSomer covers like so many TV shows (including Spin City) have similar designs, but MidSomer has been going on so long that
if you look at them in release order, it is like time-lapse photography or
something you would see in either plastic surgery or hair replacement ads. Wonder if they could at least break the
formula of their covers.
- Nicholas Sheffo