Of Ozzie & Harriett: The Complete Season One + Two
(1952 - 1954/MPI DVD Sets)/Curb
Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eleventh Season
The Complete Fifth Season
(2021/*both Warner DVD Sets)/Stingray
(1964 - 1965**)/That
Dirty Black Bag: Season 1
Dead Or Alive
(1958 - 1961/**both Via Vision PAL Region Free Import DVD Complete
C+/B-/B-/C+/B-/C+ Sound: C+/B-/B-/C+/B-/C+ Extras:
D/D/B/C/D/B- Main Programs: C+/B/A/B-/C+/B-
Dead Or Alive
Import DVD sets now only available from our friends at ViaVision
Entertainment in Australia, can only play on DVD, 4K and Blu-ray
players that can handle PAL DVDs and can be ordered from the links
next are a group of TV shows, many of which are classics, including a
few we are revisiting after a long time....
TV sitcoms of the 1950s had many successes and some huge hits, though
ironically, some actually started as and/or were continuations of hit
radio comedies before TV arrived in homes post-WWII. Ozzie Nelson
had been in show business since the 1930s, but as a musician and a
successful one at that. By the 1940s, he was on a good run when
Harriett Hilliard joined his band, the woman he would eventually
marry in 1935.
1944, they landed up with a hit radio comedy called The
Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriett,
with Harriett being billed as 'Harriett Hilliard' as many married
couples on radio comedy (Jack Benny & Mary Livingston, Fred Allen
and Portland) were pretending not to be married for whatever reasons.
By 1952, as the radio show continued to be a hit, they started the
TV version, becoming (along with the Danny Thomas hit Make
Room For Daddy)
a hit for the then-new TV network ABC, helping to put them on the
couple was joined by sons David and Ricky and one of the
quintessential sitcoms had arrived. I
was TV's first sitcom megahit, but shows like this and Father
(also started as a radio comedy) were part of an early cycle of calm
'happy family' sitcoms that lasted into the 1960s before things
changed. Running until 1966, Ozzie
also had a highly successful syndicated run, even when most hit black
and white TV shows (The
Phil Silvers Show,
54, Where Are You?
among them) were rarely seen, pushed out of the way for any full
up 435 half-hour episodes in 14 long seasons, the series was frankly
a money machine with a wide audience, made wider by young Ricky
becoming a teenager and suddenly a heartthrob with hit records of his
own including a remarkable 34 Top 40 hits on the Billboard chart by
1964 and two of them, #1s!
of variety shows and music series, the series also proved what MTV
would later prove about TV selling music, that it could sell it very,
very well. So with all this, it is no surprise that the TV series is
now here in Season
DVD sets restored and remastered after all these decades and I cannot
remember the last time I saw an episode on any TV/Cable channel.
the early years, the show focused on the four family members and Dom
DeFore as the 'good neighbor' figure in a good fit, but there were
occasionally more notable actors and character actors from the time
turning up (some as semi-regulars) including Jeanette Nolan, comedy
icon Frank Nelson (no relation, but best known for turning up to
torment Jack Benny,) Herb Vigran, Janet Waldo (the voice of Judy
Jetson,) Stanley Holloway, Joseph Kerns, Hal Smith, Ellen Corby,
Lurene Tuttle, John Carradine, Frank Cady, a young Jerry Mathers in
Episode 5, Arthur Q. Bryan (the original voice of Elmer Fudd,) Bob
Sweeney, Parley Baer, Frank Jenks, Shirley Mitchell, Alan Mowbray,
Vera Marshe, Verna Felton, Joan Shawlee, Almira Sessions, Jorja
Curtright, Lloyd Corrigan and Don Beddoe.
are sadly no extras per se, but the Nelsons have kept all the sponsor
advertisements on the prints from brief plugs to surprisingly
elaborate for the time advertising from Listerine and Hotpoint,
including an animated piece where the family is animated and joined
by the cherub version of their mascot Happy Hotpoint and Mary Tyler
Moore shows up as the company's first live-action version. Also
amusing is the family on a giant cutout of the Hotpoint logo of the
it was that big a hit!
Larry David is an endlessly hilarious and clever man that created one
of the most successful sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld,
back in '90s. Now on DVD in its eleventh season is his second hugely
successful series from HBO - Curb
(2022) - in which he is the star. The series has many regulars
including comedians as well including Jeff Garlan, Cheryl Hines,
Susie Essman, Richard Lewis, J.B. Smoove, Ted Danson, and several
other surprise celebrity cameos.
series follows a kind of loose improvised storyline where Larry David
plays himself and tries to navigate daily life in Los Angeles where
he constantly bumps elbows with just about everyone that he comes in
contact with in one way or another with his unique sense of humor
that's mixed with his own unique brand of stubbornness and
awkwardness. You either love him or hate him at the end of the day.
Sometimes he means well, but comes across the opposite of his meaning
- and sometimes, yeah, he's just a jerk. But the laughs here are a
mile a minute, at least to this reviewer!
this hilarious season, Larry discovers a dead body in his pool in his
backyard due to his negligence of not building a required five foot
fence around the pool. In order to keep the situation quiet, he ends
up striking up a deal with a restaurant owner to cast his terrible
daughter as the lead actress in his upcoming Netflix show that he is
producing. Other hilarious situations ensue due to this awkward
situation in this eleven episode season.
11 episodes here include The
Five-Foot Fence, Angel Muffin, The Mini Bar, The Watermelon,
IRASSHAIMASE!, Man Fight Tiny Woman, Irma Kostroski, What Have I
Done?, Igor, Gregor, and Timor,
isn't the end of Curb
and while I was expecting it to address the pandemic in a more direct
way or continue a little more the storyline started in the prior
season where he had the rise and fall of his spited coffee shop, this
season just went ahead and did it's own thing and is pretty
satisfying as a whole.
goes to hell, but after 2 months, he suddenly returns when God says
hell no longer needs a king, but he has bigger problems when his twin
brother Michael has been impersonating him. But then, God suddenly
decide come to earth for vacation and he suddenly announces he
literally make the earth-shattering announcement he is also retiring.
Along with Detective Decker, Lucifer continues to solve murders and
now he has to deal with the celestial politics in
The Complete Fifth Season
is the devil of course, tired of ruling Hell, he decides to move to
L.A. and he joins Chloe Decker in solving murder cases. After 4
seasons, Chloe learns Lucifer IS the devil, but he is misunderstood
and the both end up falling for one another... And after Lucifer goes
to hell (twice) for Chloe, are they finally going to admit their
feelings and confess to each other? But when Lucifer's twin brother
Michael comes to earth, things go to hell, Michael secretly has plans
to ascend the throne, but he first he needs to get rid of Lucifer.
In this season, Lucifer realizes he is more like his father than he
realizes and he becomes afraid he will make the same mistakes his
father made with him with Chloe.
is a great amusing TV series, it is funny, touching and serious at
the same time. I would strongly recommend you watch the entire
series from the beginning. It plays on how the Devil or 'Lucifer' is
a good guy and helping to catch bad guys and punish them. From time
to time, he uses his superpowers to help solve the murder.
Meanwhile, there is the whole drama between heaven and hell and when
the 'human' characters discover Lucifer has been telling the truth
all along and he IS the devil. The
Complete Fifth Season
has the whole musical episode and extras include deleted scenes and
this time include:
Sad Devil Guy:
It's been two months since Lucifer returned to hell. As Chloe
struggles not missing him, Lucifer helps a soul in hell solve his own
murder as Chloe solves the murder in the real world, suddenly
'Lucifer' returns to save Chloe.
Michael, Lucifer's twin brother pretending to be him and help Chloe,
but Chloe realizes he isn't Lucifer when he has the opposite powers,
to prey on people's fears instead of desires. Amenadiel goes to Hell
and tells Lucifer he needs to return and deal with Michael.
The real Lucifer returns and he and Chloe investigate a murder in TV
reality show, well... about 'them'.
Never Ends Well for the Chicken:
Lucifer tells Trixie the story of Maze's mother and what happened to
her and how he got her ring.
Amenadiel helps Chloe in solving a murder of a nun. Chloe faces her
own insecurities when she discovers she is 'gift' from God to
Lucifer and Chloe investigate a murder of DJ. Chloe runs into her old
ex-boyfriend and Lucifer become jealous, but in the end, they make up
with each other and finally have sex. Dan finds out Lucifer is the
After having sex, it turns out Chloe suddenly has Lucifer's powers
and they investigate a serial killer. Dan is tricked by Michael into
With Lucifer's powers constantly shifting, he survives Michael's plot
to kill him, but then Chloe discovers they caught a copycat killer.
Before they can catch him Chloe is kidnapped, but it turns out
Michael was behind it all.
God comes down to earth and tells Lucifer and Michael to make peace
with one another. Lucifer becomes afraid and believes he is not
capable of love... because he believes his father isn't.
Celestial Karaoke Jam:
God decides to stay on Earth a little long and be the father he never
was to Lucifer, but in his presence, everyone starts randomly dancing
and singing. (musical episode) God reveals to Lucifer he may be
losing his control of his powers.
God decides to become human for a day to help him better understand
Lucifer. But when God gets hurt in the investigation, Lucifer
defends his father. God reveals he is planning on retiring.
Espinoza: Naked and Afraid:
Lucifer plays a prank on Dan into believing he is caught in a 3-way
mob war to get back at him from shooting him.
Little Harmless Stalking:
Linda is the main suspect in a murder, but she is protecting the
daughter she gave up long ago and buying time for Lucifer and Chloe
to solve the murder.
Both Michael and Lucifer begin rallying forces to see who is going to
become the next God. Lucifer tries to win God's favor by helping him
find his retirement home, but then he reunites him with their mother
the Goddess, but then God and the Goddess decides to leave for
This Really How it's Going to End?!:
Michael has been secretly rebuilding the flaming sword and Dan pays
the ultimate sacrifice when he comes close to his secret.
Chance At a Happy Ending:
Michael raises an army of angels and Lucifer raises an army of demons
and fight over who is becoming the new God. Michael then kills
Chloe, but then Lucifer goes to heaven and trades places with Chloe,
willing to die in her place, but then his act of self-sacrifice
finally proves him worthy of becoming the new God and all the angels
kneel before him.
SuperMarionation U.K. series Stingray
(1964 - 1965) is back on DVD in Australia after going out of print
from Umbrella by ViaVision, who are picking up all the Gerry Anderson
shows that have split rights in the U.S. and handled exclusively by
Network U.K. in its home country of origin. The first full color
series from Anderson and what became ITC was actually the first full
color series from British TV at all (live action shows like The
followed, then The
went to color like the rest of British TV soon after) as the famous
advanced puppets with oversized heads struck again.
in 2065, the World Aquanaut Security Patrol (or WASP) battle evil
worldwide with the advanced super submarine of the title, backed by a
great voice cast (including the first Miss Moneypenny for James Bond,
Lois Maxwell,) incredible effects and model by Derek Meddings and
that catchy title song. The show was a hit and ran for 39 solid
half-hour episodes before they folded it to make a more advanced
series. This led to international superhit Thunderbirds
and the most complex of all puppet action shows, Captain
60 years alter, the imagination and hard work that went into making
this show are more apparent than ever, especially in the often lazy
digital era we are in. The craftsmanship, care and yes, art that
went into each episodes could be painstaking and is now almost
mind-boggling as the many people who produced this show were doing
something not even Disney had attempted and for TV yet. Though some
aspects have aged, including a little political correctness at times,
Stingray is a minor all-time classic of action, fantasy, TV and even
science fiction. That is why it deserves to be revisited and seeing
it again was better than I expected.
include Gerry Anderson audio commentary tracks on the episodes
Stingray and Stand By For Action, character biographies, stills
galleries and TV 21 audio adventures.
Dirty Black Bag: Season 1
(2022) is one of two TV westerns series we are looking at and part of
a retro cycle of productions going straight-to-video to on TV that
have mostly been forgettable, weak, lame, tired and flat out dull.
Though this one at least tries to be darker and a little more honest
that the 'auto pilot' productions we've suffered from so often lately
with its idea of beheadings and resultant trophies, but they are
still a ways away from Leone, Tarantino and the better early entries
in the genre until it collapsed in 1979.
its advantage, the locales are not bad, while the cast is a bit
better featuring Dominic Cooper, Douglas Booth, Aiden Gillen and
Travis Fimmel, not shying away form the gruesomeness of the
situations or death itself. Maybe it wallows in that a bit more than
it should, but it also sometimes is evoking the Horror genre whether
it means to or not.
runs seven episodes (no extras included) and was enough of a success
that it was renewed, so we'll see where it goes. For genre fans
only, at least they are trying to make this work.
we revisit one of the more remembered and liked TV westerns, Wanted:
Dead Or Alive
(1958 - 1961) with Steve McQueen in an early role that helped put him
on the map before he became a big movie star, world celebrity icon,
king of cool and set fashion standards that are still with us today.
Here, he plays bounty hunter Josh Randall, but one with a heart and
moral code that led him to getting involved in situations beyond any
bounty money he mighty collect.
today's TV series and westerns, each half-hour is a self-contained
and that tales some smart narrative economy. In that, the shows hold
up pretty well, especially in a sea of westerns then and now. These
seem more probable than most of the many, competing shows of the
time, including several of the hour-long shows and that is where all
such TV shows eventually landed up going as TV grew and the audience
wanted more. Sponsors were more than happy to go along financially
with it all.
is a natural in all this, which is another reason the show holds up
as well as it does, even when it seems set-bound. The case notes
guest stars include Warren Oates, Ralph Meeker, James Coburn, Lee Van
Cleef, Clu Gulager, DeForest Kelley, Martin Landau, Mary Tyler Moore
and Dyan Cannon, but other great actors here include John Dehner,
Gloria Talbot, William Schallert, Everett Sloane, Edgar Buchanan,
Dick Foran, Virginia Gregg, Charles Aidman, James Best, Michael Pate,
Noah Berry Jr., Richard Anderson, Don Gordon, Pedro Gonzalez
Gonzalez, Richard Farnsworth, Skip Homeier, Alan Hale Jr., J. Carol
Naish, Gerald Mohr, John McIntire, Victor Jory, Darryl Hickman,
Lawrence Dobkin, Fred Beir, Susan Oliver, Cloris Leachman, Jeanette
Nolan, Joyce Meadows, Arthur Franz, Nick Adams, Royal Dano, J. Pat
O'Malley, Lurene Tuttle, Vic Perrin, Jay Silverheels, Wayne Rogers,
Claude Akins, Stafford Repp, Ned Glass, Jay North, C. Lindsay
Workman, Jack Ging, Lee Bergere, Hal Needham, Herb Vigran and R.G.
Armstrong, who just passed way as we posted this text.
Dead Or Alive
is at least a minor classic of TV Westerns and anyone who likes
westerns and has not seen the show needs to now!
include a vintage featurette at the end of Season
four more at the end of Season
four hideously colorized episodes of the show that have aged very,
very badly, a rough low-def presentation of his early film The
Great Train Robbery
and a chance in a frame-by-frame section to read two tie-in comic
books to the series issued by Dell Comics back in the day with fine
definition and color reproduction.
for playback performance. As
Kodak was eventually one of the show's biggest and smartest sponsors,
the show was likely shot on 35mm Eastman Kodak black and white
photochemical film negative, but early on here, maybe Ansco or DuPont
film. Either way, the 1.33 X 1 black and white image corrects the
issues the older Shout! Factory DVD compilations from years ago
suffered in weak images that were no better or worse than seeing them
on old analog TVs in syndication. There are some
softer-than-expected shots here and there, but that was also the case
on the first two Blu-ray seasons of The
Andy Griffith Show
that we covered a few years ago.
also get some slight damage here and there, but nothing dramatic and
nothing that could not be corrected at a later date. Like any
independent-produced series at the time like those from Flying A or
Four Star Productions, or even the Borax-produced Death
this show is somewhere in between an orphan show and a major
studio-owned series, so some flaws might show up here that would not
happen with a billion-dollar company taking regular care of their
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is interesting in that this would sound better
lossless, but also like early such black and white TV shows,
especially hits, you can hear the sonics start out simple and slowly
get better. Season
has audio that is usually clear, but narrow, versus improvements in
to the point that you can really hear everything clearly by the end
of the sophomore season.
is presented here on DVD in standard definition with a 1.78:1
widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital track, both of
which are of the norm. Some compression issues are evident, but not
terrible in an upscale.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on
episodes look as good as they can in the format, but know it is also
available exclusively from Warner Archive on Blu-ray with a 1080p
image and lossless DTS-MA 5.1 sound. The show is well produced and
presented, as discussed in the reviews of the first and third seasons
we reviewed. Fans will be likely be happy with which format they
full color 1.33 X 1 image on Stingray
looks better than the A&E U.S. set we covered about a few decades
ago, though these may be the same transfers, they just have better
color range and a little more detail and depth. The lossy Dolby
Digital 2.0 Mono also shows its age and a little more so, but often
sound good, making this also competitive with later DVD set from the
U.S. and U.K., so this is a solid release or you could wait for a
Blu-ray edition sometime down the line.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Bag
can be soft, but some of this is from the style the show chose, but
also just from how it looks. I wish it had more visual clarity. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on each show can oddly
have some compressed moments, though I do not know why, as that has
nothing to do with style or realism at all. Maybe 5.1 was an
1.33 X 1 black and white image on the Wanted
series are the same transfers we encountered on the old MPI U.S. DVDs
we got to cover, but some shows still look clearer than expected
here, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its age the most
of all shows here, despite some of the early Ozzie
shows sounding more off. This is the best these will look until the
series is restored photochemically with 4K scans.
order either or both of the ViaVision imports, go to the following
Dead Or Alive
Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Lucifer)
and James Lockhart (Enthusiasm)