Monday, August 3, 2009

“Hey, baby…we’re gonna go to Vegas…”

Sure, I could have used a lyric from the Faith Hill tune Let’s Go to Vegas—but as I was rummaging around in the Big Honkin’ Music Warehouse that I lovingly refer to as my computer, I found an mp3 of country legend Bobby Bare’s Vegas (sung back then with wife Jeannie) and decided to go with that (the reason for which will become clear in a paragraph or two). But first off, I’d like to apologize profusely for neglecting our award-winning serial Jungle Queen (1945) this weekend. I have no other excuse than I was simply not motivated enough to put it in the DVD player and watch Chapter 2, preferring instead to take multiple naps, goof off on Facebook and watch several Henry Fonda films (The Best Man, Advise & Consent, The Wrong Man and The Grapes of Wrath) during TCM’s Summer Under the Stars festival. (I swear I’ll pick up Chapter 2 this coming Saturday.)

But since my sabbatical, I noticed that I’ve been remiss in putting up some classic television announcements for a while, so I thought I’d get the ball rolling by doing the Debra Messing/Grace Adler “Told You So” dance and report that has updated the content on the upcoming collections Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960s, Volume 2 and 1970s, Volume 2. I predicted there would be a correction when I mentioned the two sets in this post, and even though it’s a pain in the tucchus to type out all this information I will do so—TVShows has a block on their site that doesn’t allow you to cut and paste (apparently some evil websites were using TVShows’ information for their own nefarious purposes and neglecting to give them proper credit):

Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960s, Volume 2

Disc 1

1) Quick Draw McGraw Show (with Snooper & Blabber and Augie Doggie & Doggie Daddy) – Mine Your Manners/Vacation Tripped/Person to Prison

2) Space Kiddettes/Young Samson & Goliath – Show #5: Space Heroes/The SSX-19

3) Bugs Bunny Show #23 – Big House Bunny/Canned Feud/Home Tweet Home

4) Porky Pig Show #3 – Scaredy Cat/Baton Bunny/Feather Dusted

5) Adventures of Young Gulliver – Dangerous Journey

6) Wally Gator (with Touché Turtle and Lippy the Lion & Hardy-Har-Har) – Droopy Dragon/Whale of a Tale/Sea-Saw

7) Jetsons – Elroy’s Mob

Disc 2

1) Quick Draw McGraw Show (with Snooper & Blabber and Augie Doggie & Doggie Daddy) – The Mark of El Kabong/Party Pooper Pop/Chilly Chiller

2) Peter Potamus Show (with Breezly & Sneezly and Yippie, Yappie and Yahooey) – Wagon Train Strain/Missle Fizzle/Black Bart

3) Road Runner Show #1 – Zip and Snort/The Jet Cage/The Wild Chase

4) Atom Ant Show (with Precious Pupp and Hillbilly Bears) – Atom Ant Meets Karate Ant/Bowling Pinned/Picnic Panicked

5) Tom & Jerry –Saltwater Tabby/Mutts About Racing/Just Ducky

6) Magilla Gorilla Show #3 (with Mushmouse & Punkin’ Puss and Ricochet Rabbit) – Private Magilla/Army Nervy Game/TV Show

Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970s, Volume 2

Disc 1

1) Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch – Keep Your Keeper

2) New Adventures of Gilligan – Off Limits

3) Sealab 2020 – Deep Threat

4) Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan – The Mardi Gras Caper

5) Shazzan! – The Living Island/Master of the Thieves

6) Yogi’s Gang – Mr. Bigot

Disc 2

1) Bugs Bunny-Road Runner Hour – For Scent-imental Reasons/Stop, Look and Hasten/Hare-way to the Stars/Duck, Rabbit, Duck!

2) Valley of the Dinosaurs – Forbidden Fruit

3) Tom and Jerry/Great Grape Ape Show #1 – No Way Stowaway/That Was No Idol, That Was My Ape/The Ski Bunny/The All American Ape/Stay Awake or Else

4) Banana Splits Adventure Hour – Joining the Knights/The Littlest Musketeer/’Danger Island

5) Inch High Private Eye – Diamonds are a Crook’s Best Friend

6) New Adventures of Batman & Robin – Sweet Joke on Gotham City

When this set first came out I knew something was amiss because the characters on the box set art didn’t match the content, but I just sat back patiently, knowing that I would soon be vindicated. (Okay, I’m sounding a bit full of myself—I’ll stop now.) I am pleased to see some of the new additions that have been announced, though—particularly with regards to the 60s Volume 2 set, with childhood faves like Wally, Touché, Lippy & Hardy, Breezly & Sneezly, etc. and especially the Space Kiddettes, which was a show that came on at my house around 7:30am on Saturdays…much to my father’s obvious displeasure. My memories of the series are a bit fuzzy with age but I do remember that voice king Daws Butler played Captain Skyhook, the villain of the piece, and in the opening he would introduce himself along with “his evil pal Static.” (Chris Allen also worked on this show, a talented female artist best known for her portrayal of Jay Ward creation Hoppity Hooper.)

While I’m on the subject of cartoons, is also announcing that Warner Home Video is rolling out The Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection: Volume 7 for release on October 13th. Warner had made noises that Volume 6 would be the last go-round for the Looney Tunes bunch, so it’s nice to see that they’ve had a change of heart…or have they? Because, boys and girls out there in YesteryearLand, Volume 7 will showcase two discs containing twenty-six cartoons…that were already released in the first three Spotlight Collections! “Bwhahahahahahaha!!!” I can hear them chortling now. “You saps! If we slap anything—anything—with Bugs Bunny’s picture on it, you’ll snap it up in a New York minute…no questions asked!” I have a few words for the Warner execs: “I fart in your general direction…your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time…”

And while we’re on the subject of recycling, Liberation Entertainment—having successful brought all six seasons of Daniel Boone to DVD—will be re-releasing some of those episodes in collections for the budget-minded; two 2-disc sets (both set for a November 24th release) entitled Daniel Boone – Fess’ Favorites and Daniel Boone – The Best of Mingo. So if you’re a casual fan of the series but just couldn’t see your way clear to committing to the whole enchilada, it might be worth checking out.

Well, what do we have for the adults? As previously speculated, CBS-Paramount will be releasing Hawaii Five-O: The Seventh Season to DVD this October 20th, making millions of its fans extremely happy (like me) because of their dedication to continuing towards the full run of the series (knock wood) and because these sets managed to escape the fate of the dreaded “split-season” treatment that the company has taken to its bosom like a man with a woman in a Harlequin novel.

Another classic detective series that has staved off the split-season treatment is Mannix; the third season of which has a street date a week later on October 27th. (By the way, if you’re a fan of the crime drama starring Mike “Touch” Connors as the private detective who managed to get the stuffing kicked out of him week-after-week, you might enjoy—as I did—this nicely-written bit of nostalgia by my very good cyber-pal Linda at Yet Another Journal.)

As for news of other releases being issued forth by CBS-Paramount—well, they’re still trying to tick off as many Fugitive fans as is humanly possible; yes, the third season (Volume 1 with fifteen shows) will hit stores on October 27th as well, and I’ll be curious to see what the company has decided to change on this go-round. (“Um, we no longer own the copyright to the soundtrack of David Janssen’s voice, so his lines will be re-recorded by Cyndi Lauper.”) You know, of course, that my dedication to this classic series is so great that I’ll certainly get in line for this release—and I resent any comparisons to myself and a round-headed kid in the comic strips who has a football he’s planning to kick snatched away from him at the last second. (I don’t deny the comparisons—I just resent them.)

Now, this is not an item that I personally plan to add to my collection—because I really thought the series was inane (it reminded me of Burke’s Law, only not quite as entertaining)—but for those of you who have been jonesing for a Dan Tanna fix, the 1978-81 detective series Vega$ will be coming to DVD October 20th. Created by Michael Mann (I did not know this, by the way—but I still thought the show was silly) and starring Robert Urich (in what would become an all-too-familiar chorus line of endless TV shows, the best being Spenser: For Hire) as a private eye who made his living in the Sodom-and-Gomorrah city, assisted by the very lovely Phyllis Davis (one of the show’s attributes) as “Beatrice” and equally lovely (though I remain loyal to Phyllis) Judy Landers as Tanna’s “administrative assistants.” The show also featured a recurring character in Bobby “Binzer” Borso, a sort of down-and-out jack-of-all-trades played by character actor Bart Braverman. Greg Morris was also on this series (the other positive attribute of the show) as Lt. David Nelson, and Tony Curtis showed up a few times as “Slick” Philip Roth—not the author of Goodbye, Columbus and Portnoy’s Complaint, but a casino owner who usually had work for Mr. Tanna from time to time.

Vega$ ran for three seasons on ABC (it was a hit primarily due to its successful lead-ins of Eight is Enough and Charlie’s Angels) and there were a total of sixty-eight episodes produced (sixty-nine if you count the pilot)—so you’re probably figuring: “Hey—23 episodes in the first season [this announcement confirms that the double-length pilot will be included]…surely you can fit that in one collection.” Well, the people at CBS-Paramount are out to prove you wrong; they are releasing this as…yes, another split-season rip-off: eleven episodes as Vegas: The First Season, Volume 1. Personally, I’m glad I never was a fan of this series because this is such an egregious swindle I’m surprised the people who did like the show haven’t stormed CBS-Paramount’s offices with torches and pitchforks. So many individuals have been clamoring for this show to be on DVD—does the company really think they’re gonna take a loss or that people will have no interest in purchasing it? No…they’re just greedy, grasping bastards. Period. End of report.

1 comment:

hobbyfan said...


I think the split-release DVD's of shows like "Vega$" are meant to be a "test-the-waters" deal because not everyone has the same appreciation for "Vega$" like you do.

And when did CBS-Paramount get the DVD rights, anyway?