Dalziel & Pascoe Season Three (1998/BBC DVD) + Mad Men Season Four
(2010/Lionsgate Blu-ray) + Judge John
Deed Season Three (2003 2004/BBC DVD) + Vega$ The Second Season, Volume 2 (1980/CBS DVD)
(Men: B) Sound: C+ (Men: B) Extras: D/B/D/C- Episodes: B-/B/B-/C+
for some television that may not all be the all time best, but is entertaining,
smart, mature TV that we can take seriously because it takes us seriously.
reviewed Dalziel & Pascoe in a Season One set and I enjoyed it enough
to write this:
can be said for Season One of Judge John Deed, the Martin Shaw legal
drama, which included its separate pilot:
took on the second seasons of both
shows issued at the same time:
decided to issue the next seasons at the same time yet again and again, the
shows are good, they have remained consistently good and I can see why they did
as well as they did. However, if you are
interested, you should start at the beginning to get the most out of the shows
in these cases, though you can still pick-up in the middle and watch them. The Season
Three sets are good, yet the shows also played it safe, did not grow in any
significant way and are about as good as they were going to get, which is smart
and watchable. Neither have any extras.
I pick up
covering another series well into its progress.
Mad Men Season Four (2010) continues the story of a successful as agency
(the Mad means Madison Avenue, but sometimes more) as they continue to come
up with amusing new ad campaigns to keep their accounts happy and bring in the
money, but we also see their personal lives and how some of them are not able
to hold things together.
is Don Draper, the best and most innovative of the partners at his agency,
helping to keep the agency afloat as they are about to loose one of their
biggest accounts. However, this season
has so many twists and turns that it actually threw off some fans. That it made it this far with few changes and
was consistent as well as faithful to where it started with was not easy, but
thats what happened and I liked the risks and twists attempted. The problem they face (even with only 13
hour-long shows this season) is that weekly TV grid that has ruined many a good
show. That will make the next season
very interesting, but I liked this one very much and if nothing else, completes
a cycle of the tale of white men selling to White America before the Civil
Rights Movement kicks in and changes things forever. The show is very smart in handling this chasm
and everyone still wants to see how far it goes to reflect what is on the way.
include audio commentary tracks on all 13 episodes and four featurettes: Divorce: Circa 1960s, How To Succeed In Business Draper Style,
The 1964 Presidential Campaign and Marketing The Mustang: An American Icon.
we have the latest half-season of Robert Urichs hit TV show Vega$ The Second Season, Volume 2
(1980) at which point Tony Curtis disappeared and both Judy Landers and Naomi
Stevens had definitely exited, but ratings were so good that it did not matter
at this point. The show already had some
silly plots typical of Aaron Spelling shows, but the location and chemistry of
the remaining cast kept the show afloat a while longer. This set has 11 more hour-long episodes and
the only extra once again are the Episodic Promos that you can view on their
own or before each show.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the BBC DVDs remain good, but not
great with some softness and motion blur, including some stylistic choices that
are not bad, but I would like to eventually see Blu-rays to compare. Both also still sport Dolby Digital 2.0
Stereo soundtracks with little surround activity, but they are well recorded
enough. The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High
Definition image on Men is
impressive throughout with only minor issues at times, great color, depth and
detail that puts it ion par with any TV show being produced today. The way it is produced is also faithful to
the look and feel of the time, as well as the kind of color you would actually
see in the print ads the agency would have produced without overdoing it. The episodes have DTS-HD MA (Master Audio)
lossless 5.1 mixes that are dialogue-based, but rich, warm and well recorded
throughout with good scoring and interesting choices of songs.
Vega$ has a set of 1.33 X 1 presentations
that have more aliasing errors that the previous three sets, but color and the
solid nature of the 35mm-shot image still keeps it looking good. CBS needs to be careful with the next
transfers. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is
also clean for its age, though there is some distortion at times and a few
flaws here and there.
- Nicholas Sheffo