April 2, 2009

Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundup (April 2, 2009)

I haven’t done one of these Canadian TV-on-DVD entries for a while, purely since there hasn’t been much movement on that front.  I also grew disinterested with the “new box art for Season 1 of Flying Pig-Dog Hour!” entries on TVShowsonDVD.com.

In fact, TVShowsonDVD.com hasn’t been making with the truly interesting news as of late.  Sure, The Dana Carvey Show and American Gladiators, we all want that.  Was the world clamoring for more Brothers & Sisters and California Dreams, though?  Sheesh, give me Automan and Manimal.  I want to see Simon MacCorkindale fail to act, damn it!

The complete Zeroman series out on DVD June 2, 2009 via kaBOOM!/Peace Arch.  I honestly never expected this to come out on DVD, although Teletoon shows frequently merit series sets.  Then again, Zeroman isn’t exactly Delilah and Julius or Cybersix.  Nothing could be Cybersix.

Zeroman isn’t the worst thing Leslie Nielsen’s ever done.  Liocracy, Dracula: Dead and Loving It and 2001: A Space Travesty are all worse than Zeroman, although that’s damning Zeroman with faint praise.  At this point, Leslie Nielsen should retire the deadpan humour he used to be so good at with Airplane! and The Naked Gun.

Ron MacLean and Don Cherry have recurring roles on Zeroman, as do Ryan Reynolds and Kevin McDonald.  Did I mention Zeroman was shit?  At least the show’s animation was surprisingly decent.

Corner Gas‘ sixth season set will come six weeks after the show’s series finale airs.  The June 9, 2009 release will have the retrospective behind-the-scenes filler It’s Been a Gas and “footage of the final read-through,” at least according to CTV press bumf.  Not a bad deal, especially since CTV is pimping Corner Gas‘ final episode out.  It’s Canada’s greatest-ever mainstream comedy series.  Canada will fall apart when Corner Gas ends, right?  Won’t it?

Corner Gas II, also known as Little Mosque on the Prairie, will see its second and third season sets come out in the fall of 2009 through Morningstar Entertainment.  The information comes from CBC Shop, so let’s just vouchsafe that the discs will come out.  After all, if The Collector can come out on DVD…

In a related segue, The Collector‘s second season set comes out May 26, 2009 through Morningstar Entertainment.  I’m rather surprised The Collector sold well enough to merit a second-season DVD set.  It just goes to show you how people like certain Canadian programs, but CityTV aired The Collector.  Murdoch Mysteries and Less Than Kind fans know CityTV is where Canadian shows go to die.

Acorn Media releases Murdoch Mysteries‘ first-season set on June 16, 2009.  There are many hardcore Murdoch Mysteries fans out there, so I have a feeling this will sell well.  Why is it that an American company can cherry-pick shows like this and gain a reputation for quality releases?  If Acorn Media snaps up Less Than Kind, I’m going to lose my shit.

Blood Ties “Season 1″ out June 2, 2009, while “Season 2″ might come out September 2009.  The reason I quote the seasons is that the show aired worldwide as a 22-episode season.  Lifetime split Blood Ties in two seasons for U.S. consumption.  Eagle Vision is releasing this since, you know, strong fanbase.

Yeah, another Canadian show’s home entertainment rights snapped up by an American company.  If nothing else, Peter Mohan stands to make serious bank off the DVD releases.  Vampires are trendy these days, so he might as well profit from the trend.

Critical Mass Entertainment and Anchor Bay Canada released another Hilarious House of Frightenstein DVD set on March 31, 2009.  It’s an Igor-centric compilation, for those Fishka Rais fans.  It’s hard to fault Anchor Bay for putting the Frightenstein comps out, since they come out with some regularity.

If Critical Mass gains DVD rights to Maniac Mansion, John Hemphill fans are going to have an epileptic seizure.  Watch, I’ve now set in motion events that are going to culminate in Maniac Mansion season sets, at least in my mind.  After all, I am Turner Edison.  You think “Cameron Archer” is a real person?  Bullshit!


January 9, 2009

Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundup (January 9, 2009)

Gord Lacey reviews The Border‘s first season for TVShowsonDVD.com.

I don’t normally point things like this out as I am the king of generalization, but Lacey begins his review with the “I don’t watch Canadian television even though I’m Canadian” and “most Canadian TV is cheap and cheesy” caveats.

Considering that I talk about Canadian television for this site, I’m curious to know why Lacey makes this comment.  The “low production values” argument is weak in the age of Tripping the Rift, Heartland et al.

Canada is the king of badly-tweened Flash cartoons, I’ll grant Lacey that, but the Canadian television industry knows how to put out a good-looking show these days.  I’m not saying the industry’s a torrent of wonderment, but it’s not like it was in the 1980s or 1990s.

Canada’s just not releasing more of its good shows on DVD.  Someone should pick up the SCTV ball that Shout! Factory unceremoniously dropped.  You Can’t Do That on Television better come out on DVD before the tape masters rot.

The Los Angeles Times reviews the Fraggle Rock complete series set.  There’s no mention of the set’s shoddy packaging, the review sticking hard and fast to the basics.  Newspapers are free advertising, after all.

Spider-Man vs. The Vulture earns a stand-alone release.  This disc was originally part of the Villains Showdown box set, and I just love stand-alone releases!  These discs never go into the bargain bin within a year!

I should draw attention to the horrible cover art.  That image is almost on par with public-domain cartoon compilation artwork.  The Vulture’s face in particular is wretchedly drawn.  The Vulture is supposed to be ugly, but what the hell?

This seems to have slipped past the radar.  I know Imavision’s promoting a Chaotic volume set on Teletoon.  The title is one of Imavision’s best sellers.  What I didn’t know is that My Goldfish is Evil has had a first-season set out since November 2008.

My Goldfish is Evil is one of those post-modern cartoons where the fish being out of water isn’t a detriment to its survival.  No one knows the fish is evil or capable of building machinery aside from a ten-year-old conspiracy theorist.  It’s the timeworn “pet has a secret life” premise currently employed by Phineas and Ferb and Kid vs. Kat.

Surprisingly, My Goldfish is Evil is not animated in Flash.  I know, crazy!

John E. Mitchell of The Last Visible Blog reviews The Starlost.  He likes it!

Todd Erwin of Home Theater Forum reviews Super Dave’s Super Stunt Spectacular.  He hates it.

Press release for the upcoming Goosebumps DVDs, “Return of the Mummy” and “The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight.”

This Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundup entry has been the weakest yet.  Some Canadian television shows are going to make DVD debuts shortly, right?  Come on, Canada.  You’re killing me here.  A country where Beastmaster has season sets and CODCO doesn’t is not a country I’d like to live in.


October 20, 2008

Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundup (October 20, 2008)

The first season of the new George of the Jungle series is being released in Canada on October 28th.  The “Jungle Bells” Christmas special will be available as a stand-alone release.  I’m sure the Christmas special will make appearances in $2.99 budget bins within a year, since stand-alone releases are so necessary.

This is on a list of Canadian TV-on-DVD releases as the new George of the Jungle is a Teletoon “Original Production.”  Teletoon has a habit of calling properties “Original Productions” if a Canadian animation studio involves itself with a certain show.  I would be more partial to the new George of the Jungle if it was funny or watchable.

Hi-res box art for Morningstar’s Villains Showdown and Heroes sets.  Aside from a name change (Heroes Unite to Heroes), nothing has changed about the box sets.

Some news about The Collector‘s first-season DVD set, to be released November 4 through Morningstar.  I admit I missed this one until now, since I didn’t know The Collector was a Canadian series.  Every time I think I know a lot about Canadian TV, a story like this comes and slaps me upside the head for being stupid.

This is becoming a Morningstar-centric edition of the Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundup.  Ron James: Back Home, James’ fourth one-hour comedy special, comes out tomorrow.  As much as I like the man, I think his “I’m from the Maritimes but I work somewhere else” schtick wore itself out after his second comedy special.  He’s drained that well by now.

Now Stewart Francis and Jon Steinberg, those guys are hilarious.  I know I’d buy a Jon Steinberg DVD if it came out.  Russell Peters endorses Steinberg, and that has to count for something.


October 2, 2008

Canadian TV-on-DVD Roundup (October 2, 2008)

I’ve been reviewing some TV-on-DVD releases for “my sister’s site at http://www.currentmoviereviews.net/,” as I’ve been saying to publicists for far too long.  It would be nice if the reviews I have written for her would be on the site, but I have written them and they might be reworked for sweetposer.com soon, just to prove to people that I’m not continuing to blow smoke out my ass.  Also: that I actually post reviews here.

Canadian TV-on-DVD releases tend to be overlooked.  I remember first noticing that John Callahan’s Quads! had a season box set when I was doing Christmas shopping at Wal-Mart two years ago.  Granted, it’s John Callahan’s Quads! and the audience for sketchily drawn, poorly-animated cartoons about disabled assholes isn’t that big.  Canadian TV-on-DVD titles are far more likely to hit the bargain bins or be heavily discounted than American fare in this country, in my opinion.  When I look in discount stores like Giant Tiger and Liquidation World, I’ve seen titles like Atomic Betty and Jimmy Macdonald’s Canada there.  Is it because Canadian titles are almost always shit or are the wrong titles being released?

Maybe Canadian TV-on-DVD is just a weakly tapped market.  I’m amazed there isn’t a Four on the Floor box set, since there are Frantics fans out there.  I can see a market for The Tommy Hunter Show, and there are even hardcore fans of The Vacant Lot.  CODCO has yet to see a release.  There’s a lot of good stuff left untouched.  Even the titles that are out on DVD seem to suffer from poor marketing.  I didn’t know the first two seasons of This Hour Has 22 Minutes – make no mistake, that show was great in its early years – were even out on DVD until I received an e-mail from CBCShop.ca selling the first two seasons for $19.99 each.  Did CBC broadcast commercials for the box sets last year?  It’s not like I’ve gone out of my way to watch the Gavin Crawford/Geri Hall/Mark Critch era of the show, since I only watch shows I find funny.

All I have to say is, I’m glad there’s a TVShowsonDVD.com, otherwise my knowledge of home entertainment-related Canadiana would be even smaller than it is now.

Announcement for the complete series set of My Pet Monster.  Global used to air this show for years on end, since Nelvana produced it and the show counted as Canadian content.  I’m sure there are fans of this show, but this is the sort of title I wish would not be released on DVD.  kaBOOM!’s releasing a couple of these industrials lately – this and Tales from the Cryptkeeper.  Meanwhile, other Nelvana titles like Eek! the Cat and Beetlejuice lack proper DVD releases – the 20th anniversary Beetlejuice DVD has three episodes from its spinoff cartoon, which is inadequate.  Those two titles need more of a DVD release than a show based on a fad toy that was constantly rerun on Saturday afternoons for at least ten years.  I have memories of My Pet Monster that I wish would erode faster.  I want to forget about Mr. Hinkle and his dog Princess.

Review of Friday the 13th: The Series.

Corner Gas Season 5.  This is one of the rare Canadian series that’s marketed properly, given decent season releases and has television commercials advertising it.  I’ve never liked this show, but it has its fans and it’s being sold the right way.

Grantray-Lawrence titles Spider-Man and The Marvel Superheroes in grab-bag DVD sets.  I question the legality of these releases – I’m sure Disney owns the rights to the 1967 Spider-Man series and it put the entire three-season run out on DVD a few years ago, so I’m not sure what’s going on here.

Both seasons of The Tudors out on Blu-Ray November 11.  The second season of The Tudors is coming out in standard DVD format on the same day as the Blu-Ray releases, at least in Canada.

The Border‘s first season and Robson Arms’ third season on DVD.  Video Service Corp. seems to be the company that best exploits the Canadian TV-on-DVD market.

Mutant X and BeastMaster complete-run DVD sets cancelled.  This is due to ADV Films losing the home video rights to Tribune Entertainment’s shows, and aside from Farscape this isn’t much of a loss.  I always felt releasing these shows was a lousy way to wean the company off anime and manga.  I know the anime market is not nearly what it was a few years ago, but ADV could have done a better job of diversifying.

Also coming out in November and December: Fraggle Rock complete series (November 4), Super Dave Super Stunt Spectacular Volume One (November 25)