I took a hike up to the mailbox last night (I hadn’t checked it since Saturday) and found a couple of packages waiting for me: one was the third season of Quincy, M.E., which I purchased at Target.com (using a gift certificate I received for my birthday as partial payment) last week, and the Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960s, Volume 1 collection—which was a birthday present courtesy of sister Debbie and company. (She also pre-ordered Volume 2, which comes out toward the end of October, so major TDOY points to her, her husband and my niece.) I watched a little bit of the Saturday Morning Cartoons set earlier this morning and for a multiple-show set it’s very entertaining—if not a little disappointing, because apparently you can’t go home again. What I thought so rib-tickling in my days as a mere prat is now just animated noise; though I will confess the Quick Draw McGraw cartoons still produce a giggle every now and then…particularly the character of “Queekstraw’s” faithful hunting dog, Snuffles, whose loyalty usually involved the going-rate price of a dog biscuit. (After receiving the treat, Snuffles would go into spasms of complete, unbridled joy—often hugging himself and sighing as if he had just experienced the orgasm of his life.)
I particularly enjoyed how they included the opening and closing titles for programs like The Quick Draw McGraw Show (though the closing credits are kind of truncated because the original titles had a voice-over touting the series’ sponsor, Kellogg Cereals—“the best to you each morning”), The Magilla Gorilla Show and The Peter Potamus Show. (Why they couldn’t have stuck a set of credits on the first Magilla Gorilla collection Warner Home Video released is a question I can’t answer.) The curious thing about the Potamus credits is that the closing titles feature the characters of Ricochet Rabbit and Droop-a-long; originally the cartoon pair were part of the Magilla series, but at some time during mid-season they swapped the Ricochet segments with Potamus’ Breezly & Sneezly cartoons. (I know I shouldn’t pay attention to this sort of thing, but I do.) The visual quality of these cartoons varies from fine to not-so-fine; WHV explains in an opening disclaimer that “the archival elements of these cartoons blah blah blah not up to snuff blah blah” and all that tommyrot. Honest, I’m not complaining—no one promised that nostalgia would be pristine.
TVShowsOnDVD.com has a pair of announcements up for two upcoming CBS DVD-Paramount releases: the first is The Fugitive: Season 3, Volume 2—scheduled for a street date of December 8th and containing the last fifteen shows from the third season. On that same day, they’ll also roll out Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 2, which will finish out the legal series’ fourth year with the remaining thirteen episodes. I know people are probably tired of me crabbing about this but I still think this split-season practice is a blot on CBS/Paramount’s name (even more so than the infamous Fugitive music fiasco) and even though they didn’t invent it, they’re still capitalizing on it like nobody’s business. I will probably buy both volumes of the Fuge’s third season but I’ve held off on the Mason sets until the price takes a real precipitous plunge or some online store offers a 2-for-1 sale.