reviews1
ARTICLES-BUTTON-STEP-1
videobutton1
LINKS-BUTTON-STEP-1
CONTACT-BUTTON-STEP-1
HOME-BUTTON-STEP-1

 

 

Shout! Factory Classic TV Corner Vol. 1

shoutHart

shoutTJ

shoutGreen

    Shout! Factory pretty regularly finds itself to be the repository for unloved and forgotten classic TV shows (and also just simply classic TV shows that haven't had proper DVD releases). Over the years they have put out so many iconic shows from all eras from the beginning of television as a medium all the way through to the present that it is hard to keep up with their output. Throughout the summer they dipped into some missing on the format 80's icons with Hart to Hart and T.J. Hooker in complete series collections. So how do these sets fare? Let's find out.

Hart to Hart - Complete Series

Director– Various

Starring – Robert Wagner, Stefanie Powers

Country of Origin- U.S.

Discs - 29

Writer - Scott MacDonald

Distributor – Shout! Factory

    Hart to Hart is one of those shows which only could have been made in the 80's, though I should say it did start in 1979. The show follows Jonathan Hart (Robert Wagner - The Pink Panther) and his wife Jennifer (Stephanie Powers), a pair of multi millionaires who decide that in their free time instead of doing what other rich young couples do, they will solve the murders and other crimes that oddly plague their upscale social circle. The show is a rather soft mystery show in the vein of other 80's programs like Murder She Wrote, and Matlock.

    Throughout all 110 episodes (plus the pilot) the show is never not entertaining, though it does feel a bit by the numbers at times, especially when viewed in large doses (this is not recommended by the way). However, it is a fun way to pass the time, especially if you are a fan of the light TV mystery genre that was so prevalent in this era. The chemistry between the two leads is undeniable, and the show definitely comes recommended.

   Shout! Factory presents Hart to Hard in its native 1:33:1 aspect ratio, everything looks solid for the most part, but don't expect miracles. If you've been seeing re-runs anywhere on TV this will no doubt look better than the worn down tape source there, but as usual with sets of this sort no restoration was really down.   Audio is Dolby Digital mono, and is audible throughout the presentation. Extras are limited  to a commentary by the leads on the pilot with the director and a highlight real for the first season.

The Series (3.5/5)

Audio/Video (3/5)

Extras (1.5/5)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

T.J. Hooker - Complete Series

Director– Various

Starring – William Shatner, Heather Locklear

Country of Origin- U.S.

Discs - 20

Writer - Scott MacDonald

Distributor – Shout! Factory

 

 

    William Shatner is one of those actors who regardless of what he does, I sort of want to see it, and oddly I had never seen an episode of T.J. Hooker until this box set arrived in my mailbox. The show is produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg of Starsky and Hutsch and Fantasy Island fame. They also produced Hart to Hart which is the other review in this series, which makes sense as Shout! must have acquired them both concurrently.   If you know anything about the pair, you will also know that they did not tend to produced overly serious fare, and that tone carries over into their police melodrama T.J. Hooker.

    T.J. Hooker centers around William Shatner’s titular character, a former plain clothes police officer who gets back into uniform following the death of his partner (the premise is serious, the show is more laid back). The show begins with him teaching a class at the police academy,  and taking a liking to a new recruit Vincent Romana (Adrian Zmed), who he believes can be a truly great cop.  The pair become a team, and set out about solving crimes in the city. Like Hart to Hart the show can be a fit formulaic at times, including a lot of shows centering around relatives of the police being attacked and criminalized, but it is a good light hearted entertainment with a cast that has a decent chemistry. Oddly, it seems that Shatner seems to have made note of his reputation as a hammy-over actor and kept his performance in check. While it's not exactly a serious performance, it is much more toned down than anything else I've seen from the actor.

    Like Hart to Hart, T.J. Hooker is presented with a 1:33:1 aspect ratio and Dolby Digital mono audio. The  show looks fine, and is audible throughout. There are zero extras.

The Show (3/5)

Audio/Video (3.5/5)

Extras (0/5)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Green Acres - Complete Series

Director– Various

Starring – William Shatner, Heather Locklear

Country of Origin- U.S.

Discs - 24

Writer - Scott MacDonald

Distributor – Shout! Factory

 

    I grew up about 25 years after Green Acres went off the air, and yet like many shows of its era, it was given a new lease on life during the earliest days of Nickelodeon's “Nick at Nite” offshoot.  Like many of the golden era TV shows that Nick at Nite broadcast at the time I quickly found myself obsessed by Green Acres. The show had a typical fish out of water premise with a couple  Oliver and Lisa selling their penthouse apartment in New York for a ramshackle home in the rural community of Hooterville. Lisa is an Eastern European immigrant that is used to the finer things, and wants nothing more than to get out of Hooterville.  Oliver has a high admiration for the community, land, and people so much so that the people get a kick out of Oliver and his aspirations.

    Green Acres doesn't simply play with the typical fish out of water tropes like a normal sitcom might. It a true madcap comedy that works well across each of its 6 seasons. Some might be reluctant to pick up a “rural” comedy from the 60's, but this show works quite well still to this day. Shout! Factory presents in a solid 1:33:1 full frame transfer. Things like pretty stable here, but the A/V won't win awards, it will certainly look better than any tapes you still might have or cable re-runs. The sound is decent, and they've also included some extras including a 30 minute look back on the show, a commentary track on episode 1,  finally their is an excerpt from the Merv Griffin show with stars Eva Gabor and Eddie Albert as guests.

The Show (4/5)

Audio/Video (3/5)

Extras (2.5/5)