July 13, 2010

News: Durham County, Being Erica Season 2 DVDs to be released

Durham County‘s second season will come out July 27, 2010 through Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada.  The TMN/Movie Central series’ second season sees forensic psychiatrist Pen Verrity (Michelle Forbes) join newly-appointed homicide detective Mike Sweeney (Hugh Dillon) as they solve crimes.

This being Durham County, both characters are weighed down by heavy emotional baggage.  Verrity is coming to terms with the drowning death of her daughter.  Sweeney’s family has pulled apart, due to the aftereffects of his dealings with serial killer Ray Prager.

The second season, like the first, is six episodes long.  Somehow, Anchor Bay has pulled a two-disc set out of this.  Go figure.

The amazon.ca sales rank for Durham County‘s second season is very high.  As of the time I write this, Durham County‘s second season ranks #19 in DVD sales.  Earlier today, it was #15.  Granted, this is amazon.ca and not amazon.com, but I am referring to the mainstream DVD sales chart.  A top 20 ranking there is impressive.

TVShowsonDVD.com mentions Being Erica‘s second-season set, available on DVD September 14, 2010 through E1 Entertainment.  The three-disc set will contain the standard set of extras – bloopers, deleted scenes, audio commentaries and webisodes.  Of note, the webisodes are termed “Erica’s Weblogs.”

I apologize for not going into as much detail with Being Erica‘s format, like I have with Durham County.  Ostensibly, Erica Strange (Erin Karpluk) continues to delve into her past to find out the points where her life has gone pear-shaped, but the writers are smart enough to skew the format so that it doesn’t grow stale.

Granted, I’m going by what I’ve read, since I don’t watch the show.  Being Erica has a sizable fanbase, helped by its American run on the soon-to-be-shitcanned SOAPnet.  The general consensus is that Being Erica is the only realistic series about a woman in her thirties.  Basically, Being Erica is to older women what the Degrassi franchise is to high school.  Odd how Canada needs compare-and-contrast to succeed overseas, but I don’t pretend to understand cultural attitudes.


July 12, 2010

News: Rookie Blue renewed for second season

Filed under: Newsosky,The Glory Day of URBMN — Tags: , , , , , , — Cameron Archer @ 10:25 pm
After three episodes, Rookie Blue has been given an early second-season order by both Global and ABC.  The Tassie Cameron series has been given the order after strong overall ratings over three weeks.

In Canada, Rookie Blue debuted to what Global terms “2.1 million viewers,” though the preliminary viewership was closer to 1.8 million.  The show followed this up with 1.4 million viewers on Canada Day, and 1.7 million viewers on July 8.

Meanwhile, American figures are strong enough that Rookie Blue is ABC’s highest-rated new summer drama series in six years.  It’s Canada’s most popular crossover hit since Flashpoint, which is produced by…Tassie Cameron.  Imagine that.

Canwest is being disingenuous about the “critics’ accolades” it mentions in the Rookie Blue press release.  Metacritic gives the show a 52/100, with a user score of 5.1/10.  The critics are more kind to ABC’s Boston Med and BBC America’s The Choir.

I’m actually surprised Rookie Blue has staying power.  Meanwhile, The Bridge has died over at CBS.  Gee, I wonder why a well-promoted Thursday night show has better traction than a show CBS can’t wait to burn off on Saturday nights?  Americans must not get The Bridge.  Yeah, that’s it.  That sounds like a plausible enough excuse for failure.


June 27, 2010

News: Alliance Home Entertainment TV-on-DVD Releases, June-August 2010

Alliance Home Entertainment is continuing its TV-on-DVD clusterbombing, as mentioned here and here.  The titles being monetized for late June-August 2010:

Andromeda: Season 2 (August 10, 2010)
BeastMaster: Season 2 (August 24, 2010)
Earth: Final Conflict: Season 1 (June 29, 2010) | Season 2 (July 27, 2010)
Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town: Complete Series (August 3, 2010)
Lexx: Season 2 (July 20, 2010) | Season 3 (August 24, 2010)
Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal: Season 2 (August 10, 2010)
TekWar: Complete Series (August 31, 2010)
The Outer Limits (1995): Season 4 (July 6, 2010) | Season 5 (August 3, 2010)
White Fang: Complete Series (August 17, 2010)

Amazon.ca is very spotty with its updates.  Admittedly, I use its affiliates program to drum up sales, which is why pieces like this exist.  The entries are still shambolic.  Items listed “the outer limits ssn 5″ or “Lexx S3″ are not uncommon.  An Amazon offshoot should not be that unprofessional.

TekWar‘s release date has been pushed back three times by now.  It was initially set to come out June 13.  August 3 and August 10 release dates will not be met.  I wonder what’s causing the delays, since it’s been mentioned that this set will not include the made-for-TV films.

One thing Alliance Home Entertainment needs to do is revisit TV-on-DVD sets its predecessor company, Alliance Atlantis, abandoned.  Cold Squad and Traders are two such titles, abandoned after their first seasons.  AA sat too long on Da Vinci’s Inquest, a title Acorn Media has since capitalized on.

I actually can’t believe Alliance Home Entertainment is as active as it is right now.  That’s good.  While the company isn’t perfect, this situation is a lot better than when AHE quietly released the odd Trailer Park Boys season and a few other titles.  I’m in awe that it’s keeping to its clusterbomb title strategy.  I question why shows like White Fang, but the good with the bad.


April 26, 2010

News: Alliance Films Home Entertainment TV-on-DVD Releases, June-July 2010

As mentioned in the last Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundup, Alliance Films Home Entertainment is unleashing a torrent of its television titles.  The titles being monetized for late June-July 2010:

Andromeda: Season 1 (July 13, 2010)
BeastMaster: Season 1 (July 13, 2010)
Earth: Final Conflict: Season 2 (July 27, 2010)
Emily of New Moon: Season 3 (June 22, 2010) | Season 4 (July 20, 2010)
Lexx: Season 2 (July 20, 2010)
The Outer Limits (1995): Season 4 (July 6, 2010)
PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal: Season 1 (July 13, 2010)
RoboCop: The Series: Season 1 (July 27, 2010)
TekWar: Complete Series (July 13, 2010)

The only shows I’m interested in are The Outer Limits, RoboCop: The Series and maybe TekWar.  No Made in Canada yet?  I’m sure that show is in Alliance Films’ catalogue.  Hell, so is CODCO.  AFHE might want to take hints here.

For those following URBMN, BeastMaster and Andromeda had sets put out by ADV Films.  I’m not sure about the American home entertainment rights to Alliance Films’ shows, as these releases are Canada-only.

On a related note, Gord Lacey of TVShowsonDVD.com has reviewed Relic Hunter‘s first season.  He doesn’t like the video quality and hates the packaging.  Three discs per panel?  Yikes.  Captions and subtitles are also absent.

Thanks to TVShowsonDVD.com for breaking the news on Alliance’s TV-on-DVD slate.  I don’t know how that site can stand all the news it gets.  There’s only so much enthusiasm you can fake for shows like Jon & Kate Plus 8 and Real Housewives of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.


April 10, 2010

Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundup (April 10, 2010)

This is the first Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundup since September 5, 2009.  There are three reasons for this.  One, the TV-on-DVD market is almost dead on its ass.  Two, iTunes and on-demand are sure to take over at some point.  Three, I’ve transitioned to more dedicated news stories.

I don’t plan on continuing the Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundups for too much longer.  They will eventually be replaced by TV-on-Demand Roundups or whichever new trends come down the pike.

I’ve missed out on titles like Wonderful Grand Band due to URBMN’s format shift.  Frankly, Wonderful Grand Band whizzed right past everyone.

Here’s a clip from WGB.  I’ll probably never mention the show on URBMN again, so…here you go.  Mileage may vary depending on how much you like Tommy Sexton.

Alliance Films Home Entertainment will release a job lot of TV-on-DVD titles this spring and summer.  AFHE is releasing titles originally offered by Koch Vision in the early-to-mid-2000s.

Titles include the following, all Canadian shows or co-productions:

Emily of New Moon: Season 1, Season 2
Lexx: Season 1
Relic Hunter: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3
The Hunger: Season 1, Season 2
The Outer Limits (1995): Season 1, Season 2, Season 3

I’m most interested in The Outer Limits.  It’s uneven, like most anthologies, but the show lasted seven seasons for a reason.  I hope Alliance Films Home Entertainment can continue the series sets, as Koch Vision crapped out after Season 3.

The Hunger is a weird choice, as Koch Vision released the first two seasons less than a year ago.  Seriously, The Hunger is that important that it needs a re-release?

I hope Alliance Films Home Entertainment will bring out more series in the near future.  This is a good time to put out North of 60 season sets.  Not everyone can stand Relic Hunter, you know.

For the French-speaking Quebecers, Bob Gratton: Ma Vie, My Life has its third season come out on DVD May 18, 2010.

Bob ‘Elvis’ Gratton (Julien Poulin) is a racist, pro-American federalist/Walter Mitty figure.  He’s been an Elvis impersonator, pop star and media magnate.  His creation ties into the late Pierre Falardeau‘s Quebec separatist beliefs.

I list Bob Gratton: Ma Vie, My Life to show that French-speaking Quebec has its own Borat figure.  Hell, Gratton’s been around since 1981.  The man’s a long runner, even after death.

Having said that, I wonder if URBMN readers have ever heard of Gratton.  Well, you have now.  You can’t unremember him, at least not without drinking paint thinner or braining yourself with an I-beam.

The Best Years‘ second season will come out June 15, 2010 through E1 Entertainment.

The Best Years‘ second season was produced specifically for The N (now TeenNick.)  The late, unlamented E! network aired the second season in April 2009.

Truth be known, I’m surprised The Best Years is out on DVD in its entirety.  The show has a fanbase, but this is Exhibit A of why Canada needs to better schedule its programs.  At least the show hasn’t been off-and-on as much as Paradise Fallsyet.


February 5, 2010

News: CBC renews The Ron James Show, picks up Men with Brooms and Insecurity

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Etan Vlessing reports that The Ron James Show has been renewed for a second season.  CBC has also greenlit two new sitcoms, Men with Brooms and Insecurity.

Men with Brooms is based on the 2002 Paul Gross film, which tries to marry curling with blue-collar comedy.  The show will be produced by E1 Entertainment.  Insecurity will be mounted by Vérité Films, the company behind Corner Gas, Incredible Story Studio(s) and renegadepress.com.

The Men with Brooms pickup doesn’t surprise me, but it does bother me.  The film’s not that great, and I’d like to know how the hell a working-class male sitcom can be set around curling.  If Men with Brooms turns out better than a dreary, middle-of-the-road dramedy, I’ll eat Sugar Sammy.

I gave a pass to The Ron James Show‘s premiere, but the show is so aimless.  The Ron James Show has no format beyond “monologue, sketch, monologue, sketch, cartoon segment, Ron James utters polysyllables.”  Does The Ron James Show have a target audience?

The Ron James Show‘s not terrible, but it’s not good enough to warrant a second season.  Its ratings are fair-to-middling.  CBC should have greenlit Guerilla Monsoon and kept Ron James to specials.


January 21, 2010

‘da Kink in My Hair‘s first season on DVD January 26, 2010

‘da Kink in My Hair, Trey Anthony and Ngozi Paul’s Afrocentric Global dramedy, will have its first season out on DVD January 26, 2010.  Paradox Entertainment Group and E1 Entertainment will put the set out.

I came across ‘da Kink‘s first season DVD on January 20, buried here.  Even Air Farce compilations are listed before ‘da Kink in My Hair.

Global gave ‘da Kink in My Hair the college try for two seasons, to disappointing ratings.  The series averaged around 250,000 viewers its first season.  ‘da Kink dipped below 200,000 viewers its second season.

I’m amazed Global stuck with ‘da Kink in My Hair for as long as it did, despite low ratings.  ‘da Kink always came across as a show Global would greenlight to fill a diversity quota.  It should have been on a specialty channel from the start.  ‘da Kink is a show about Jamaican hairdressers.  If that doesn’t scream “niche audience,” then I don’t know what a niche is.


November 22, 2009

TV Review | Kenny vs. Spenny 6.1 – “Who Can 69 the Longest?”

Warning: spoilers.

Kenny vs. Spenny (Showcase: Friday, 9:00 PM ET) is gloriously dumb and offensive.  The reaction to the show ranges from “entertaining trainwreck” to just “trainwreck.”

Granted, Kenny vs. Spenny isn’t dumb by accident.  Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice know exactly what they’re doing.  Kenny is the devious, cheating frat boy, while Spenny is the sanctimonious fair fighter.  The show works due to the relationship between the two protagonists, The Odd Couple meets jackass.

I can’t even review “Who Can 69 the Longest?,” Kenny vs. Spenny‘s sixth-season premiere, properly.  I just spent twenty-odd minutes of my life watching two people huddle themselves in a well-known sexual position.  How can you review that objectively?  Not that I review anything objectively for URBMN, but still.

This is one of those Kenny vs. Spenny episodes where both Kenny and Spenny are in pain.  Spenny even tries to give the audience pain, with his didactic global warming speech.

“Who Can 69 the Longest?” reaches another level when the Kenny vs. Spenny crewmembers, figuring the show’s latest stunt is boring, abuse Kenny and Spenny any way they can.  The two are thrown into a skydiving simulator, stuffed into a hearse and doused with a fire hose, among other things.

One rarely sees the crew take it out on both participants.  Kenny still lobs random potshots at Spenny despite the crewmembers abusing them.  I wasn’t sure if Kenny vs. Spenny still had the ability to be audacious.  “Who Can 69 the Longest?” put that theory to, uh, bed.

“Who Can 69 the Longest?” makes me wonder if the rest of Kenny vs. Spenny‘s sixth season will be tame by comparison.  I wasn’t laughing much at this episode, yet I won’t soon forget it.  I’m just amazed an episode titled “Who Can 69 the Longest?” doesn’t feature a sex act, yet isn’t flagrantly false advertising.  Only Kenny vs. Spenny could get away with such a blatant bait-and-switch.

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