The above cartoon is just about the best way to explain my continual absences from the blog over the past several days—while it is amusing, it’s also undeniably true. I would like to point out, however, that not all of my spare time was spent listening to the siren song of Facebook; I completed another project of liner notes for Radio Spirits, and took some time to write this piece for Edward Copeland on Film which acknowledges the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz (1939).
With most of the heavy stuff out of the way, I’m hoping that this will give me the opportunity to return to regular posting here at TDOY—and I thought I’d kick things off with some up-and-coming announcements of some classic television releases courtesy of the go-to website for all TV shows on DVD…well, namely TVShowsOnDVD.com. The esteemed Mr. David Lambert gives collectors of vintage Yuletide-themed TV episodes a heads-up by announcing that Shout! Factory plans to release on November 3rd Merry Sitcom!—a collection of situation comedy episodes centered around Christmas that will include installments of That Girl, Father Knows Best, McHale’s Navy, Bewitched, The Flying Nun and The Donna Reed Show. Both Bewitched and Nun have seen season box sets (Bewitched went the entire eight-year-run) previously released by Sony, so what I’m curious to know is whether or not the Factory is going to finish out The Flying Nun by releasing the third and last season to disc (if they decide to do so, kudos to them). The Donna Reed Show is also in a current state of releases courtesy of Virgil Films and Entertainment (season two arrived at Rancho Yesteryear yesterday, as a matter of fact).
If you’ve already purchased all or any of these previously-released sets (I think I’m the only one raising his hand here) you might not want to do any “double-dipping” but Shout! is adding an extra enticement in including “Christmas Memory,” a holiday-themed episode from Window on Main Street, the short-lived series starring Robert Young after he left FKB. (Several of these episodes have been included in the FKB season releases.) I’ll probably wait and see the pricing on this before making a decision—right now the SRP is $12.99, which doesn’t seem too bad.
CBS DVD-Paramount has announced a release date for the seventh and final season of the classic espionage favorite
CBS-Paramount will also release one of those collections that is certain to cement their exalted position in the Weasels Hall of Fame: November 10th will see the release of a big honkin’ box set entitled Hogan’s Heroes – Kommandant’s Kollection: The Komplete Series. Yes, they’ve repackaged all six seasons of the wacky POW kamp komedy…sorry, they’ve got me doing it…camp comedy and are reselling it with the enticement of a “bonus disc” that is, according to the company, “packed with never-before-seen special features of this television gem!” As for those of us fans who ponied up the scratch to buy the six single season releases, do you suppose there’s a chance that they could make this bonus disc available for demonstrating our loyalty and supporting the individual sets as a stand-alone deal? (Yes, I know—I’ve been out in the sun too long.)
The BBC and Warner Home Video are announcing a repackaged release (yes, they call it “remastered”—only because “leftovers” doesn’t test well in consumer groups) of the complete four series of The Black Adder, which starred the very funny Rowan Atkinson (unless he’s playing Mr. Bean, then the “funny” adjective need not apply). Between 1983 and 1989, the character of the Black Adder was featured in a sort of continuous mini-series made up of The Black Adder, Blackadder II (my personal favorite), Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth (my other favorite). All twenty-four episodes from these four series will be included in this set, along with the specials Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988) and Blackadder – Back and Forth: Millennium Special (1999). Now, in all fairness these series have been out-of-print for sometime (and I know this to be so because I sold my copy on eBay and received exactly what I paid for, even though it was used) so I’ll probably give BBC/Warner a pass—but since the SRP is $79.98 I may have to stick this one on my Christmas list.
Finally, in the “What the f**k?” department, the aforementioned Virgil Films and Entertainment will release the Saturday morning sitcom classic Big John, Little John to DVD October 13th. I don’t know if anyone besides me will remember this chestnut, but it starred Herb Edelman as a high school science teacher who “finds” the legendary Fountain of Youth during a trip to