Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holidays in

Kliph Nesteroff over at the Classic Television Showbiz blog has been diligently scouring the YouTube vaults for television shows with a Yuletide theme, and some of the entries are a lot of fun to watch—particularly a 1952 episode of Racket Squad (with Reed Hadley as Captain Braddock, who in this installment has to bust Santa Claus) and some Hollywood Palace telecasts featuring the Old Groaner himself, Bing Crosby (and various guests). My particular favorite was this Our Miss Brooks outing (dated 1953), which not only had I not seen previously, I wasn’t aware of its existence (I thought the only holiday-themed episode was the one about the “magic Christmas tree,” which they traditionally did on radio each year). Skate on over and have a look; I’m sure you’ll find something of interest.

TVShowsOnDVD.com has some additional information on the upcoming Timeless Media Group release of Laramie (they got some assistance from Bob “Master of His [Public] Domain” Huggins, and bestowed upon him an “attaboy” in the process); the good news is that the release (due out February 10, 2009) will not be one of those loathsome split-season sets (yay) but will feature all twenty-eight episodes of the third season (“in living color,” as they used to say)—which saw the addition to Laramie’s cast (Robert Fuller and John Smith) former December Bride Spring Byington as Daisy Cooper, housekeeper and surrogate mom, and Dennis Holmes as Mike Williams, an orphan who joined the household after his parents were killed by Indians. The only thing that concerns me is that according to the announcement, the set will consist of six discs…and I’m not sure how the quality of the episodes will bear up by cramming twenty-eight into six. Still, if you had asked me a year or two ago the likelihood of seeing a Laramie release I probably would have bruised something laughing out loud in response…so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this set stop by Rancho Yesteryear next February.

Back in June, I wrote a post about a successful 80s Britcom entitled Only When I Laugh, which at the time was seeing its four series run released to Region 2 courtesy of Network DVD. TVShowsOnDVD.com has an announcement up that a 5-disc box set of the entire series (Only When I Laugh: The Ultimate Collection) will be coming out on Region 1 in Canada March 10, 2009…containing all twenty-nine episodes PLUS a bonus pilot entitled Rowan Atkinson Presents…Canned Laughter, which would have starred the Blackadder/Mr. Bean comedian in a series that never got off the ground. The post I composed about Laugh in June came and went without much commentary but for some odd reason a hefty percentage of the search hits for TDOY come from people seeking information on what is a very funny series. I don’t have the entire show collected yet (I bought Series 3 not long after I wrote about it, but I still haven’t gotten ‘round to getting Series 4) but if you’re a Britcom fan and enjoy the work of James Bolam (The Likely Lads, Second Thoughts), Peter Bowles (To the Manor Born, The Bounder) or Richard Wilson (One Foot in the Grave) it’s a must-have for you.

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