Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: Man About the House - First Two Series; Solomon's Weekly Rant: ESPN Classic; Weather-Mania on Local News

Welcome to another edition of mini-DVD reviews. This week we take a look at BCI Eclipse's Man About the House: The Complete First and Second Series. Man About the House is the britcom that Three's Company was based on! See the similarities and the differences between the two series when you get this DVD. See my mini-DVD review of Man About the House:

Man About the House: The Complete First and Second Series (BCI, $29.98) brings the first 13 episodes of the Britcom that Three's Company was based on to America on DVD for the first time! In England, the seasons are usually very short. Also they don't call a season a season, they call it a series for some reason. "Series" one had 7 episodes and "series" two had 6 episodes. This britcom lasted for six series from 1973-1976. And like Three's Company here in the U.S., it gave away to two spin-offs...George and Mildred (The Ropers was the spin-off here) and Robin's Nest (Three's a Crowd was the spin-off here). This series starred Richard Sullivan as Robin Tripp (equivalent to Jack Tripper), Paula Wilcox as Chrissy Plummer (equivalent to Janet Wood), Sally Thomsett as Jo (equivalent to Chrissy Snow), Brian Murphy as George Roper (equivalent to Stanley Roper), Yootha Joyce as Mildred Roper (equivalent to Helen Roper), and Doug Fisher as Larry Simmonds (equivalent to Larry Dallas).
Most of the episodes in these first two series are similar to some episodes from Three's Company. Three's Company had based a lot of the episodes early on on Man About the House. Some of those episodes include the pilot called "Three's a Crowd" where Chrissy & Jo find Robin in the tub and he moves in. "And Mother Makes Four" where Chrissy's mother comes to town the day Robin moves in. In the U.S. it was Chrissy Snow's character whose mother came to visit...as Chrissy in this series is really our Janet Wood. "No Children, No Dogs" where Robin is lumbering a puppy, which is not allowed in the building. "It's Only Money" where the trio's rent money has disappeared. "Colour Me Yellow" is similar to the Three's Company episode "Jack the Giant Killer," where Robin battles a big bully at the saloon. So, all of Three's Company's first season episodes except for Roper's Niece were based on Man About the House episodes. Some other episodes that were similar were "In Praise of Older Men," which was similar to the season two episode of Three's Company titled "Chrissy's Date," where Chrissy dates an older man who later turns out to be married. And the episode "Two Foot Two, Eyes of Blue" was similar to the Three's Company episode from season two titled "The Baby Sitters," where Robin and Chrissy babysit.
Each episode has that Thames logo before each episode that runs like 8 seconds or so. The runtimes for each episode vary. The highest is 25:23 and the lowest is 22:20, but I doubt anything is edited. Most of the episodes run in the 23-24 min range. There are two chapter stops per episode. The first chapter is the first part of the episode and the second chapter is part two of the episode. This series had bumpers saying end of part one and start of part two...and they are intact on this DVD. The video looks good, but it isn't perfect! The audio is decent, nothing too bad about it and you can hear everything fine.
Packaging has a slip cover outer box that holds the actual case. I think that is pointless. The cover for the box has the trio with the show logo above them and above that we see Jo's pink panty, Robin's blue boxer, and Chrissy's pink bra. The color scheme is like a lime green. The back of the box has synopsis of the show with four small cool screenshots (two of them are familiar to Three's Company fans, the shaving of the balloon and Robin in that apron that looks like a bra). We also have a shot of the trio near the couch. The case's cover and back is the exact same as the box. What is the point of this slip cover box?? The case only would have been OK. Inside the case we have the two discs in a separate holder. The left side of the case has a episode guide booklet for us so we have the synopsis of the first two series. Disc one's artwork has Robin's blue boxers and disc two has the girls' pink bra and panty. The overall color of the discs is lime green, like the set.
The menu screen has Play all and Episodes. The main menu has the theme playing in the background (and it loops), with a photo of the trio in the middle and moving images above that. Episodes is where we can choose the classic episodes. They are listed in a separate sub-menu and the theme is also playing in the background there.
Unfortunately this set has no special features. Oh well, at least we can finally watch some episodes and compare them to Three's Company.
I highly do recommend any fan of britcoms or Three's Company to pick this set up. It is a fun show and hilarious, though it is not as good I think as Three's Company. It is cool to note the similarities and differences to the American version. Head on over to the Mucky Duck Saloon (their Regal Beagle) and have a blast watching this DVD!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Man About the House TV.com Page
Jack's Bistro: Three's Company Page


Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, August 25, 2007
"ESPN Classic is the Sports Version of TV Land; Weather-Mania on Local News"
By Solomon Davis

ESPN Classic needs to take programming tips from The Golf Channel because that will allow viewers to see what they are supposed to on a sports classic network which is classic sports. I never see The Golf Channel air programming about swimming or horse racing because the programmers at that network know that they are supposed to air everything that has to do with golf. So if ESPN Classic can stop trying to become the sports version of TV Land by airing programs that has nothing to do with classic sports, the channel would actually become more watchable. ESPN Classic wants to air programs like American Gladiators, World Series of Poker, and sports movies instead of classic pro sports. The network has tried to stay somewhat in the neighborhood of classic sports by airing classic bowling but that's not really something most of us want to see when we think of classic sports. So just like TV Land, the network is trying to be too creative in grabbing more viewers that they actually forgot the name of their network. So maybe the actual goal of the network in the next year will be to change the title of the network to TVandSportsLand which would be a better fit for the type of programming they like to present to viewers.

Why does it seem like whenever there is a heatwave during this time of year our local news stations turn into The Weather Channel? The last time I looked at the calender I noticed that this is the month of August so a heatwave can't be that big of a story. I strongly believe that everyone on this site has experienced being outside when the temperature is over 90 degrees so for news like this to be the very top story as soon as the news comes on is very confusing. It's not deadly stuff like 105+. We don't need to see video footage of people walking down the street wiping sweat because that's what they are supposed to do this time of year. It's a shame that these news directors don't understand that a news story about a heatwave is only major news if it's in the month of December not August.

My TV Highlight of the Week: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - Lauren Jones on the premiere of Fox's now canceled Anchorwoman.
My TV Lowlight of the Week: Monday, August 20, 2007 - Emmit Smith fidgeting and studdering on the air on his second show as a ESPN studio analyst.

Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.

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