According To Jim – The Complete Third Season (2003 – 04) + Boy
Meets World – Season 5 (1997 – 98/Lionsgate DVD Sets) + Food With Friends (Nickelodeon DVD) + Little Rascals: Boys Of Our Gang + Classic & Hidden Episodes (Legend
DVDs) + Melissa & Joey – Season One,
Volume One (2010) + Webster – Season
Two (1984 – 85/Shout! Factory DVD Sets) + Scholastic DVD Wave: The North Star + Scrambled States Of America + Splat The Cat
(World/Melissa/Webster: C) Sound:
C+ Extras: D/D/D/C-/C-/D/D/C-/C/C Episodes/Shorts: D/D/C+/B-/B-/D/D/C+/B-/B-
declines have happened at the same time in television programming and sadly,
they have intersected: TV situation comedies and children’s programming. I was struck by how profound this was by a
recent wave of DVD releases that happen to arrive at the same time. They included duds we have covered before.
sitcoms include the highly unfunny According
To Jim – The Complete Third Season, which is
actually worse than the previously lame season wee covered at this link:
Belushi can act and can even be funny, but when he is bad (especially this
bad), I wish he had better material and I am reminded how much I miss his
brother John. How a show like this stays
on the air is because it is safe and barely does well. That is at least commercially. Picture and sound are the same as the last
set and lame extras include two making of featurettes as boring as the show.
Boy Meets World – Season 5 is the first time I am looking at
the show. If you are unfamiliar, here is
what the show is like from our previous coverage:
Seasons 1 – 3
show was not so badly written (or made in the 1970s), this high school comedy
with Ben Savage might have been truly fun and as smart and as memorable as the
likes of a Welcome Back, Kotter. Instead, it is formulaic, sometimes smug,
lame, unfunny comedy where everyone says dumb things, including dumb things
that think they are smart to say and rings false every second. And you wonder why the dropout rate is so
high. The 1.33 X 1 image is very soft,
the Dolby Digital 2.0 sound barely stereo and there are no extras.
contrast, Food With
Friends compiles six episodes of different Nickelodeon series on one DVD
that all have the common denominator of food. I prefer these as singles versus
ones that seem like poor substitutes for full season sets. Dora, Diego, Ni Hao, Blue, Wonder Pets and Yo
Gabba Gabba are all here, including a two related
Music Videos. All have decent 1.33 X 1
and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.
the oldest on this list is the best.
Legend Films continues their varied releases of The Little Rascals with two more singles: Boys Of Our Gang + Classic & Hidden Episodes.
Note the title of the latter disc.
You see, the original shorts were heavily syndicated on TV to the point
that many even today are still under the impression it was a TV series and not
a series of theatrically released film shorts.
Nicer still, all the shorts here are uncut and in their original black
and white form. If you are unfamiliar
with the show, try these links for the two DVD sets of their shorts on the
market that are the most popular:
Warner Archive/MGM Our Gang
Genius Little Rascals – Complete
Boys Of Our Gang includes the shorts Little
Daddy, Birthday Blues, Honkey
Donkey, Fishy Tales, Pay As You Exit and bonus silent short Monkey
Business, while Classic &
Hidden Episodes has Big Ears, Lazy Days, Free
Eats, Fish Hooky, Mush & Milk and bonus silent
short The Fourth Alarm. These
all look (in their 1.33 X 1 frame) good with few flaws and are as good as any
singles on the series that have been issued on DVD to date. So good in fact I wonder when they will
arrive on Blu-ray.
Melissa & Joey – Season One,
Volume One takes a “it looks like she had her face done Melissa Joan Hart (from
the awful Sabrina) and Joey Lawrence
(who thankfully does not supply a Rap theme song, but let’s not give these
people any ideas) in a really, really bad knock off of Who’s The Boss? that makes that show look
like a course in advanced supercomputer programming. This horrid show has Lawrence becoming a “manny”
(male nanny; one who does not sing Mammy)
in this absolutely implausible, awful, lame, pathetic excuse for TV programming
that is the worst on the list. Pray for
cancellation while Lawrence’s
younger brothers abduct him and stop him from making the show.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is very soft and loaded with motion
blur, while the Dolby Digital sound is limited and weak for a new
production. Tired featurettes, Sneak
Peek of more shows (terrifying) and one of the least funny Blooper Reel’s in
DVD history are the extras.
Webster – Season Two manages to be worst than the One which we covered here:
point, the show was running 100% on Emmanuel Lewis’ appeal, because the
teleplays are awful. The 1.33 X 1 image
remains digitally harsh (likely sourced from old digital copies) and the Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo is barely so as well.
There are no extras.
we have three more DVD releases from Scholastic. The North
Star includes the title short narrated by Tim Curry and four other shorts
including Players In pigtails by Zooey Deschanel, Scrambled States Of America offers four shorts teaching geography
and the three-DVD Splat The Cat is a
three disc set that is still educational, but focuses on fun fiction for young
people that seemed more repetitious than usual for a set from the company. Still, they all have read-along functions,
one author interview per release and continue the quality of the many previous
titles we have covered including those at this links:
find more by entering the word “Scholastic” in our search engine.
- Nicholas Sheffo