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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Crime > Detective > British TV > Melodrama > Wealth > Comedy > Soap Opera > Situation Comedy > Governor: The Complete Collection (1995 - 1996*)/Personal Maid's Secret (1935/Warner Archive DVD)/A Place To Call Home: Series Five (2017/*both Acorn DVD Sets)/Modern Family: The Complete Ninth Season

Governor: The Complete Collection (1995 - 1996*)/Personal Maid's Secret (1935/Warner Archive DVD)/A Place To Call Home: Series Five (2017/*both Acorn DVD Sets)/Modern Family: The Complete Ninth Season/This Is Us: The Complete Second Season (both 2017 - 2018 Fox DVD Sets)



Picture: B-/C/B-/B-/B- Sound: B/C-/B-/B-/B- Extras: D/D/C/C/C Main Programs: C+/C+/C/B/C+



PLEASE NOTE: The Personal Maid's Secret DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



Here are four hit TV shows and one short feature film that was not a B-movie and shows us the TV writing if today is more similar to such early sound films than you might think.



We star with Governor: The Complete Collection (1995 - 1996) as the UK crime series lands on disc and allows a new generation to binge and old fans to revisit. A serious and realistic miniseries, The Governor stars Janet McTeer as a female governor that is in charge of an all-male high-security prison. Written by Lynda La Plante (Prime Suspect), the story is as relevant then as it remains today.


The show also stars Derek Martin, Ron Donachie, David Nicholls, Eamonn Walker, Paul Kynman, Anthony Higgins, and Idris Elba (!!!) to name a few. The show is two seasons and twelve episodes in length.


Presented in standard definition in a 4:3/1.33 X 1 full screen presentation with a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, the show looks fine on DVD and shows a bit of age, but its shot on film and is still the best of the five presentations in this text. The general look of the show is pretty natural in terms of tones and nothing too over the top or stylistic.


No extras.


Not terrible, but a bit dated in terms of fashion and feel but nothing out of the norm for a procedural crime drama. Fans will be happy to have all of the episodes together in this new addition.



Arthur Grenville Collins' Personal Maid's Secret (1935) may only run 58 minutes, but it plays as much more than what used to be a nearly hour-long episode of a given TV anthology series later (less commercials then) and a feature that is well rounded if too short. The casting is solid and shows why Warner could compete with any studio in the world. Ruth Donnelly is great as the maid who knows that a very beautiful, pretty, well-off daughter (Anita Louise, looking like a million dollars) of a rich couple (among the many rich she works for) is actually her daughter!


She still runs into her despite being hired by the wife (Margaret Lindsay) of an up and coming husband/businessman (Warren Hull, who has convincing chemistry with her) and only exposing her to secret daughter Diana all the more. Like the better dramatic TV these days (when you can find it), the writing is tight and the comedy not over-the-top, yet authentically funny down to their 'ready for Our Gang/The Little Rascals' son and other actors here. Nothing is wasted and its early sound films like this that show how smooth making sound cinema was becoming.



Instead of corny or stupid, the film stays on track and knows how to end in a smart way that is not formulaic or dumb. Considering its age, that says something, so it is odd why more of these actors did not become big names or how this film got lost in the shuffle, but Warner Archive has it now on DVD.


The movie is very good looking and well shot for its time, but unfortunately, the 1.33 X 1 black & white image transfer often shows the age of the materials used, so it is one that needs some work, but even with that, you can see how top rate a Warner production then could be. However, the wear is worse with the sound, a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono whose source track here has too many pops, clicks and distortion for anyones own good. Some of the adjustments would be simple and cheap, but like the picture, the film needs and deserves a real restoration and being a true early sound gem from Warner, deserves it. Be careful of volume switch and high sound playback levels.


There are sadly also no extras, but a trailer has to be somewhere and maybe a featurette?



The Australian soap A Place To Call Home lands on disc in its 5th Season and is sure to appeal to the Downtown Abbey crowd. Mixed with a bit more suspense than that series, A Place To Call Home features great looking cinematography and performances from its core cast (lead by Marta Dusseldorp and Brett Climo) but can't escape its over the top melodrama.


Set in Europe as a period piece, the show centers around Sarah Adams (Dusseldorp) who is now living in the year 1958. Set in a world full of wealth, Sarah and the Bligh family faces one dramatic scenario after another through the twelve episode season.


Episodes include Own Worst Enemy, Fallout, All That Glitters, The Edge of Reason, Do Not Go Gently, Demons of the Dark, The Anatomy of His Passing, Cloud Break, All That Lies Ahead, Death Comes As An End, Lie Deep, and In Memoriam.


Presented with an anamorphically enhanced widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, the presentation here is pretty standard and of high quality.


Special Feature: Exclusive Q and A with Jenni Baird (22 min)



Modern Family returns for its Complete Ninth Season that sums up the norm of today's dysfunctional family. A sitcom without a laugh track, the show features a large family of gay and straight, older and younger, and teenage to adolescence. The show is pretty funny and still maintains its innocence despite its dabbling with some semi-controversial topics.


The show stars Ed O'Neil, Sofia Vergara, Ariel Winter, Sarah Hyland, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Nolan Gould, Rico Rodriguez, and more.


The Ninth Season spans three discs with 22 episodes that include Lake Life, The Long Goodbye, Catch of the Day, Sex Lies and Kickball, It's the Great Pumpkin, Phil Dunphy - Ten Years Later - Winner Winner Turkey Dinner, Brushes with Celebrity, Tough Love, No Small Feet, He Said, She Shed - Dear Beloved Family, In Your Head, Written in the Stars, Spanks for the Memories, Wine Weekend, Royal Visit, Daddy Issues, Chips and Salsa, Mother!, The Escape, and Clash of Swords.


The show is presented on anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. This watermark/commercial free presentation makes it much easier to binge watch the show as opposed to the interruptions with its original network broadcast. Compression issues are evident as is the norm for the format but it looks fine here.


The only special feature is a gag reel.



Finally, This Is Us: The Complete Second Season (2017 - 2018) lands on DVD courtesy of Fox and is sure to satisfy fans of the series as it is a nice little set. The heavy drama fellows several different intertwining storylines as they all center around people who have the same birthday. Winner of a Primetime Emmy Award, the show is fine for what it is... but you might want a box of tissues while watching.


The show stars Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, and Sterling K. Brown to name a few.


Season 2 is comprised of 18 episodes that span four standard definition DVDs which includes A Father's Advice; A Manny-Splendered Thing Parts 1 and 2, Deja Vu, Still There, Brothers, The '20s, The Most Disappointed Man, Number One, Number Two, Number Three, The Fifth Wheel, Clooney, That'll Be The Day, Super Bowl Sunday, The Car, Vegas, Baby, Episode 17, This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life, and The Wedding.


This Is Us is presented on anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. This watermark/commercial free presentation makes it much easier to binge watch the show as opposed to the interruptions with its original network broadcast. While compressed, the show's strong cinematography and production value shines through even though the template tends to be more natural.


Special Feature: 'The 'Aftershow' after each episode.



To order the Warner Archive DVD Personal Maid's Secret, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo (Secret) and James Lockhart

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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