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Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'How It's Gotta Be'

"This show is the 2017-18 Green Bay Packer season, but it is headed to a much darker place." - Kim
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In which The Walking Dead finale is the Cleveland Browns. Shawn: I'm not going to lie - I'm just going to put out some observations and let you tie them all together with an amazing conclusion to this piece. I'm still processing some of the events and what they mean for the long term story of the show. How It's Gotta Be. Carl has to die. Not that he had to die before the episode started but they've painted themselves into that corner now. If you save him, then every time someone got barely scratched on the arm or leg

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Time For After'

"This episode brings us one step closer to ending the agony of this two-day-long half-season." - Shawn
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In which Kim and Shawn determine what they would rather do than watch next week's episode. Kim: Well, now they’ve done it. They wrote a show that was complete bullshit without one single redeeming quality. Not a one. I don’t even know where to start voicing my displeasure. And so, right now I will happily present to you a list of things I would rather do next Sunday than spend 90 minutes of my time watching complete bullshit. I would rather pull out my old craft bag and try to work on the blanket I’ve been trying to crochet for

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'The King, The Widow, and Rick'

"Why do I still watch this show?" - Kim
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In which Shawn and Kim ask "Why back after?" Shawn: What did you get for Thanksgiving? AMC was kind enough to give us a turkey. And I have a few thoughts. 1.) Rosita kicks ass. The best part of the episode was finally seeing Michonne and Rosita get to do something. The season has had some of the worst flow for side characters. Michonne is a major character and other than glimpses of her, I don't remember her contributing anything to this season. So we get to see Rosita and Michonne team up to raise some hell. And lo and

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Big Scary U'

"I didn’t completely hate the episode, but I didn’t really care for it either." - Kim
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In which Kim and Shawn aren't scared and kinda annoyed. Kim: Well, we got Negan back. Apparently, everyone did. Thank God for you, Negan. Whatever. I didn’t completely hate the episode, but I didn’t really care for it either. No, instead I liked snippets of it. Snippets that could have been far more interesting than they turned out to be. The rest? Complete garbage. Favorite moments: 1.) Daryl vs. Rick: This is not the first throw-down we’ve witnessed this season between comrades. It was, by far, the most intriguing though. Please note when I say "intriguing," I don’t mean I

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series, Volumes 1-6 DVD Review

Here's a perfect gift for Johnny Carson fans.
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Back in January 2017, Time Life released The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series in a 6-disc version that was the back half of a 12-disc set, which were labeled Discs 7 through 12 and was reviewed here. And on September 26, the front half of that set, Discs 1 through 6, was made available. Predominantly featuring programs from the 1970s, this collection allows viewers to see what made Carson and his show so entertaining. He was a congenial host, who allowed his guests to shine and didn't feel threatened when they did well. He also enjoyed verbally

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Some Guy'

"I ain't nothing. I'm just some guy."
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Shawn: I'm not your King. I'm not your Majesty. I ain't nothing. I'm just some guy." - Ezekiel I'm always fascinated by the episodes that focus mostly on the arc of a single character. It's a challenge on a show that has at any given point about 15-25 main characters. I think that it's been a mixed bag in the past. There's a challenge to give us an in-depth look at character and not bring the whole show to a grinding halt. It worked with T-Dog but it was pretty annoying when it was Morgan because it felt like an

D.C. Follies: The Complete Series DVD Review: It's Valuable to Have Shows Like This Back on the Market

Sid and Marty Krofft puppets in a vintage series that captures pop culture and politics of the late '80s.
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If you watched Saturday morning TV in the late '60s and through the '70s, then you knew all about Sid and Marty Krofft. The puppet and human combination adventures of H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monster, and Land of the Lost were familiar fixtures to children of that generation. Puppets had made the mainstream with The Muppet Show airing in syndication starting in the late '70s. As the children of the '70s became the politically aware adults of the '80s, Sid and Marty Krofft entered prime time with a syndicated show called D.C. Follies that brought them back

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Monsters'

"I’m struggling with the show. I will openly admit that." - Kim
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In which Kim and Shawn debate a character that hasn't even appeared in two episodes. Kim: Episode #3 is done. I had hopes after last week that we’d pick up some interesting stories, get moving, and find a new way for Rick to mess up a decent living situation (which is what happens every time they get comfortable somewhere). I know Negan is an integral part of the comics, and therefore the show, but I’m going to share an unpopular opinion here. Ready? I am already done with him. The story arc involving him is old and played out. I

Westworld: Season One Blu-ray Review: Do Enjoy Your Stay

HBO's new series is light on AI theories, but has an exceptional cast and storyline to keep it chugging along.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. Much like Jurassic Park did with people’s fascination of living in the time of the dinosaurs, Westworld focuses on a theme park in which people can experience what it was like living in the Old West. The robots, a.k.a. hosts, of this theme park are so life-like in their speech and reaction, the setting so impeccably crafted, that people are immersed into the scenario the minute they step foot in the park.

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol's Lost Christmas DVD Review

Carol and friends deliver some classic Christmas comedy and holiday hilarity that comes up a bit short.
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The packaging here states “For the first time ever, Carol Burnett has opened the CBS archives to release Christmas shows from the first four seasons of her Emmy Award-winning program.” But they were lost!? How big is the CBS archives!? Don’t they have some type of filing system!? Sigh. Well, in 2013 Time life gave us Christmas with Carol, which featured two episodes from the later years of the classic series. It was a Christmas gift better left unopened. This new release had me filled with optimism. An episode from 1967 with Jonathan Winters and Barbara Eden? That has gold

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'The Damned'

"You have to admit this episode was exactly what we asked for." - Kim
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In which Shawn and Kim get what they asked for, but not everyone is happy about it. Shawn: How are we only two episodes in and it feels like that episode was just a repeat of parts of the last year of shows. Remember oldey timey Rick from the future? Well don't worry about that because it doesn't matter this week. I vaguely remember this Negan character. Seems like he was pretty important to the story they were telling. Wasn't he stuck in a trailer with Gabriel? Must not be too important because the writers felt like we'd be interested

Frasier: Christmas Episodes DVD Review: Eight Shows for Viewing

Frasier built its success on solid performances, well-crafted scripts, and comedy that would sneak up on you in the most subtle of ways. All elements are in evidence here.
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On October 10th, just in time for Halloween, Paramount released not one, but eight Christmas-themed episodes of Frasier. Each one like a gift of laughter to be plucked from under the tree, opened, and enjoyed. Now, we all know that what we find under the tree is not always what we are hoping for. There are the occasional pair of socks. Such is the case here, but the majority of these episodes are exactly what we asked for. Ultimately, It’s hard to go wrong with one of the most successful spinoffs (from Cheers for those too young to know or

The Honeymooners: Christmas Laughter DVD Review

No denying these episodes are entertaining, but not sure who the intended audience is for this release.
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CBS/Paramount has released a few TV-on-DVD collections focused on Christmas. They include Fraiser, The Brady Bunch, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and The Honeymooners. That last one is an odd choice considering that out of the classic 39 episodes, The Honeymooners only had one related story, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" (#13). Knowing a single episode wouldn't be enough to sell many DVDs, the powers that be included five more, accessible under “Bonus Episodes.” Originating as a comedy sketch on Cavalcade of Stars / The Jackie Gleason Show, The Honeymooners was about Brooklyn bus driver Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason), whose get-rich-quick

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Mercy'

"This was one of the most artsy-fartsy episodes I’ve ever seen on this show." - Kim
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In which Kim and Shawn discuss the type of pants one might wear while watching this zombie show. Kim: “I hope you are wearing your shitting pants!” I’ve spent the past 24 hours trying to figure out how to get across my true feelings about this episode. Several things happened. Several things didn’t. I got laid at the end of the night, so at least that worked out as planned, but I digress. An interesting note about my anticipation of the season opener: I did not have a countdown. I was not suffering any type of withdrawals. There was no,

Thoughtful & Abstract Take on TV 2017

Learn what Shawn and Kim have been watching this year.
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In which Shawn and Kim take a breath before The Walking Dead starts up again to look at what is happening in their TV worlds. Shawn: Been a long time since we checked in on TV shows, my friend. Leaving out Preacher and The Walking Dead since I feel there will be more to be written on them soon - I thought I'd catch up with a list of what's been distracting me over the Summer and Fall. Making a straight up "Best" list is too easy so I thought I'd make it more of a "Best, Meh, Worst" list

Justice League Action Season 1 Part 1 DVD Review: More Action, Less Filler

It’s like eating your dessert without having dinner.
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It’s been ten years since the last animated series of our favorite DC superheroes was regularly on the air. Justice League ran from 2001 to 2004 and was quickly followed up by its predecessor Justice League Unlimited, which expanded the roster of characters and ran until 2006. The two shows were praised by critics and loved by fans. Not only did it bring beloved characters to the masses, but it did so with well-drawn animation and quality storylines. After this ten-year hiatus and a live action Justice League feature film about to debut in theatres, it must have seemed like

Ernie Kovacs: Take A Good Look: The Definitve Collection DVD Review

A treat for fans of Kovacs and this era of television.
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Take A Good Look, Ernie Kovacs' comedic twist on the "Guess Who?" game-show genre, most notably What's My Line?, aired 53 episodes on ABC Thursday nights from October 1959 through to March 16, 1961. This seven-disc set from Shout Factory presents the 49 episodes that still exist. The show was sponsored by Dutch Masters, and Kovacs appears in commercials for them and smokes cigars throughout the programs. Coming from Kovacs, it should be no surprise that the show is a very silly affair. The celebrity panel needs to identify the mystery guests "who've done something that put them in the

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends: The Complete Collection DVD Review

At nearly 29 hours, it offers a lot of laughs for fans of Carson, comedy, and classic television.
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Over the summer, Time Life released a three-disc Johnny and Friends set featuring Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and Eddie Murphy. Those three discs (Volumes 2, 7, and 10) are part of this 10-disc set and were previously reviewed. The remaining discs focus on Don Rickles, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Burt Reynolds, Rodney Dangerfield, and Jim Fowler. As with previous Carson releases, the complete shows can be watched with vintage commercials and may have technical flaws, which are noted. Volume 1 features Don Rickles on November 14, 1973 and January 6, 1976. On '73, the insult comic followed retiring

Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland DVD Review: Singer's Final Years Explored

While the film presents a largely sympathetic portrait of the reclusive star's last years, it never quite captures Jackson's struggles during that period.
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Filming a biopic is fraught with difficulty. How can a writer and director accurately portray an international icon onscreen? Few Beatles films have adequately captured the complex personality of John Lennon, while Elvis Presley-themed movies have to walk a fine line between real life and caricature. In addition, are the screenwriters drawing from respected source material, or from authors with an axe to grind? These questions again surface while viewing the Lifetime movie Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland, set for release on DVD on October 10. While it presents a largely sympathetic portrait of the reclusive star’s last years, it

Detective Montalbano: Episodes 29 & 30 DVD Review: More Murders, Less Fun in the Sicilian Sun

Italian crime series has grown more serious since the last time I checked it out, but it's still entertaining.
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Detective Montalbano (Il commissario Montalbano) is an Italian crime drama set in the fictional town of Vigàta, Sicily. It is based upon a series of novels and short stories by Andrea Camilleri. Started in 1999 it has ran for eleven seasons. Each season normally consists of two episodes with a run time close to two hours making them more like individual movies than what you might consider a normal television episode length. Season 11 consists of Episodes 29 (“A Nest of Vipers”) and 30 (“According to Protocol”). It is brought to the United States by MHZ. The series protagonist is

Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Review: A Period of Uncertainty Awaits Team Arrow

Well worth checking out for DC Comics fans.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided us with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are the writer's own. At the end of Season Four, the heroes of Team Arrow had gone their separate ways, leaving Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) behind as the only members left. This is a comic-book series however and there are villains to be fought so, in spite of their efforts to bail on Queen, he ends up drawing them back in, albeit in somewhat different roles. Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season takes

Longmire: The Complete Fifth Season DVD Review: The Best Season to Date

Season Five continued the series' successful formula.
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Season Five of Longmire, which aired on Netflix, continued the successful formula of a twisting and turning season-long story arc along with intermittent original and intriguing cases for our beloved sheriff to solve. Starting off with a bang, Sherriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is recovering in the hospital after being shot by an unknown assailant and having no memory of what transpired. After he starts to remember what happened, he realizes his love interest Donna (Ally Walker) is missing. What started out as a search for his shooter has turned into a hunt to find her and unravel the mystery

Caïn: Season One & Season Two DVD Review: Like House Meets Sherlock, But French

French crime series is enjoyable but never quite enthralls.
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By my count there are at least 825,732.5 crime series currently running on television. In order to distinguish themselves, these shows need a hook, something to make them stand out. About half of them go with a brooding, sarcastic, and downright mean lead character, which doesn’t make them stand out at all. If your main character is going to be obnoxious, then I’ve got two rules. First, he (or she, but inevitably it's a he) needs to be a genius. He needs to be able to solve impossible cases using just his brain power. That gives the show a reason

TV Review: Star Trek: Discovery: 'The Vulcan Hello'

Star Trek: Discovery seems better suited for those who know little about Star Trek and those without hard, fast rules of what it should be
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Set 10 years before The Original Series, which makes no sense in terms of continuity with the technology, aliens, and characters for longtime fans, Star Trek: Discovery debuted on CBS before the series moved to the streaming channel CBS All Access. The episode "The Vulcan Hello" set forth some interesting premises and expands the boundaries of what a Star Trek series will deal with, which may be too far for some. After a brief reveal of yet another variation of Klingon, Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) of the USS Shenzhou are on a

Supernatural: The Complete Twelfth Season Blu-ray Review: An Enjoyable Comprehensive Season

The Winchesters may know how to deal with monsters and demons, but have no clue how to handle the return of their mother.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. In Season 11, the Winchester brothers took on one of the most powerful beings in the universe, Amara (Emily Swallow), who is God’s sister. But even teaming up with angel Castiel (Misha Collins), the King of Hell Crowley (Mark Sheppard), and Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino), they couldn’t stop her. It took a heavenly intervention by God (Rob Benedict) himself to stop the omnipotent threat. So what possibly could follow an entity that big

Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray Review: An Exciting Final Season Filled with Action and Surprising Twists

If you like pirates, it is very authentic to the genre and is certainly worth watching.
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At the end of Season Three, most of the pirates had been run out of Nassau by the new governor Woodes Rogers (Luke Roberts) and his British soldiers. Licking their wounds, Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and John Silver (Luke Arnold) had made an alliance with a hidden city of former slaves that had escaped and formed their own community. At the beginning of Season Four Flint, Silver and the slave leader Madi (Zethu Dlomo) have returned with an army, a fleet of ships, and the most feared pirate of all, Captain Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach (Ray Stevenson) to retake Nassau in

The Flash: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray Review: The Fastest (and Best) Superhero Show On TV

Season Three had some growing pains and is overloaded with characters but is still the shining star on The CW.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. The Flash is by far my favorite of the CW superhero shows. I’m not alone in this as it routinely beats all the other super shows in ratings. For good reason too, it's action packed, has a great cast of characters, it generally nails its tone of lighthearted action adventure with a dash of romance, and is a joy to watch. Grant Gustin brings an innocence to Barry Allen/the Flash, along with

Peanuts by Schulz: School Days DVD Review: I Still Highly Recommend This Series

Another three hours of new animation based on the classic strips.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. The third collection of Peanuts by Schulz shorts has arrived on DVD from Warner Bros. The two-disc set collects over three hours of material from the recent show on Boomerang in 29 shorts. It's interesting that Warner Bros has gone against form to release the episodes by theme instead of the order in which they aired. Previous volumes based around Snoopy and Sports have earned high marks in previous reviews of mine.

Just Shoot Me!: The Complete Series DVD Review: A Classic Sitcom That Should Be Known As One of the Greats

Even 20 years later from the airing of the first episode, this show holds up.
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Releasing today by Shout! Factory, Just Shoot Me! is a television series that ran for seven seasons on NBC from March 4, 1997 until its series finale on August 16, 2003. The show was based around a fictional fashion magazine called Blush, much like Vogue or Cosmopolitan. The story begins when Maya Gallo (Laura San Giacomo) is fired from her job as a television editor when she decides to get back at a snotty reporter by replacing her teleprompter script with some inappropriate dialogue. With her rent due and no other employment offers, she decides to turn to her estranged

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete First Season DVD Review: Highly Recommended for the Comedy Fan

While the first season has a late-'60s sensibility and some of the references might slip by modern viewers, Laugh-In remains fresh and delivers a lot of laughs.
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After previously releasing the Complete Series in June, Time Life will be releasing Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In as Complete Season sets. The First Season, now available, was only 14 episodes, airing between January 22 and April 22, 1968, and is spread across four DVDs. Disc 1 has all the Bonus Features. They are the Laugh-In Pilot Episode; a George Schlatter Interview (41 min) where the co-creator/producer discusses the show; 25th Anniversary Cast Reunion Highlights (15 min), which is a Q&A, although not clear who the people asking the questions are, with the cast in 1993; and Laugh-In Bloopers (24 min),

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