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TV On DVD September

In 2009 Fall Season, 30 Rock, ABC, ABC Family, BBC America, Being Erica, British TV, Brotherhood, Brothers and Sisters, Castle, CBC, Contest, Crash, Criminal Minds, CSI, Daybreak, Desperate Housewives, Doctor Who, Fox, Fringe, Ghost Whisperer, Greek, Grey's Anatomy, Harpers Island, Heroes, Homicide: Life On The Streets, How I Met Your Mother, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, ITV, Kings, Law and Order SVU, Life On Mars, My Name Is Earl, NBC, Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Parks and Recreation, Primeval, Private Practice, Rescue Me, Sanctuary, Sci-Fi, Showtime, Stephen Fry In America, Supernatural, SyFy, Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Big Bang Theory, The Game, The Mentalist, The Office, The Unit, Top Chef, TV on DVD, Two & a Half Men, Ugly Betty, Worst Week on 08/26/2009 at 5:43 pm

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Along with being the biggest month of the year for both series and season premiere’s for TV, September is also one of the biggest months for TV on DVD releases.  Don’t ask us why.  We think it’s kinda stupid to wait until September as, like we’ve already pointed out, the month is crammed with plenty of stuff to watch on TV AND it doesn’t give people much time to catch up before the next season begins, beyond the fact that it’s a wallet-buster.  It’s a massive month of overload, in our book.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t still be excited!  We’re especially looking forward to Fox’s mind-bending first season of Fringe, the fourth season of The CW’s cult-hit Supernatural (on blu-ray to boot!), Canadian sci-fi lite dramedy Being Erica‘s first season and, of course, the third season of NBC’s comedy giant 30 Rock.

In anticipation of the release of Fringe‘s first season on September 8th, they setup a cool website in which you can enter to win a visit to the show’s set in Vancouver, among other things.  Once you enter  you can watch a video about the difficulties of filming the episode The Ghost Network and then play a game which, if you answer correctly, gives you five extra entries into that set visit contest.  And here’s a little hint for our readers: you may wanna brush up on some episodes of ABC Family’s Greek for some help on the game.  Check out the site: Completethepattern.com

See September TV on DVD releases after the jump:

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Being Erica Returning Stateside

In Being Erica, Canadian TV, CBC on 06/29/2009 at 8:31 pm

Hollywood Insider got a pretty good tip this afternoon: SOAPNet will be picking up season two of Canadian dramedy Being Erica. The show is a hit in it’s home country and apparently did well enough for SOAPNet to return for a second round.

Read the article here, which gives some very slight spoilers, and read my post about Being Erica season one here.

No word on a return date, but we at DVR Life are looking forward to this so we’ll keep you updated.

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Make It Or Break It

In ABC Family, Being Erica, Canadian TV, Flashpoint, Friday Night Lights, Gossip Girl, Make It Or Break It, Summer Schedule on 06/23/2009 at 2:39 pm

Caught last night’s premiere of ABC Family’s newest scripted series Make It Or Break It. Last time I watched the premiere of a scripted series on the network I was pretty much horrified by the blatant born again preaching and swore off the network and it’s shows (the series was The Secret Life of the American Teenager, if you were wondering). Then I started hearing about Greek and how awesome it is and kind of regretting my decision not to watch it (and don’t want to start now without catching up), so I thought I’d at least give the Make It Or Break It pilot a chance before just saying no.

The fact that Slate.com compared it to Friday Night Lights didn’t hurt either.

The series revolves around a group of Olympic hopefuls at a well-to-do, well known training center, Rocky Mountain Gymnastics Center. Things at the center pretty much revolve around three young girls, Payson, Kaylie, and Lauren, who are all a lock to make it to the national competition and, hopefully, continuing to the worldwide games.

But then Emily shows. Emily isn’t as rich as the other girls and she hasn’t been coached all her life. She’s a scholarship case, discovered at a park. She’s wearing leotards off the rack and shows some fear when approaching the vault. Her little brother is in a wheelchair and her mother is unreliable when it comes to keeping a job or picking her up on time.

Despite the cold front from the mean girls, a small case of sabotage, and a job at local the pizza joint featuring stoned customers and a meth head manager, Emily’s got heart and she don’t quit, two ingredients all good family dramas have.

The writing is consistently the highlight of the series. There’s a few good quips here and there, and even some language I was a bit surprised to hear on ABC Family. The acting is acceptable, nothing to praise nor disapprove of, though Cassie Scerbo, acting as Lauren, manages to inflict the perfect rich girl sneer of disapproval. The spoiled brat squeal when things don’t go her way is also pitch perfect. Scerbo also delivered my favorite line of the evening when she describes her teamate Kaylie’s floor excercise routine as “flipping your hair and pulling it out of your ass.”

As for the production, I’m sorry Slate but you are WAY off base with the FNL reference. Perhaps with the story telling aspect, but the acting is very rehearsed, unlike FNL and it’s famous freedom the actors are given. There’s also none of the breath taking camera work or awe-inspiring soundtrack we’ve come to know and expect from this shows’ football-tossing brethren.

The production does have the usual modest budget, filmed in Vancouver or Toronto sort of feel to it. Not that Canadian shows have low quality: check out Being Erica or Flashpoint to dispel that myth. It’s just that U.S. productions that don’t have the highest of budgets tend to move production up north and TV nerds can usually tell. That’s nothing to be ashamed of – many great TV shows rely on this to get renewed come budget-cut time at networks.

Oddly, though, the pilot was reportedly filmed in Los Angeles, Ca., so go figure. Beyond the young girls, the series has also made regular cast members of some recognizable faces, including Peri Gilpin of Frasier, Strong Medicine‘s Rosa Blasi, and, believe it or not, Candace Cameron (now known as Candace Cameron Bure), little sis to 80’s teen hearthrob cum born again christian Kirk Cameron and big sis on Full House.

I’m looking forward to more Make It Or Break It, but I don’t see myself missing the characters like I do the first three or four weeks after the latest season of Friday Night Lights ends, nor do I see myself ever gasping in anticipation or marvelling at the images before me. What I do see is chuckling with delight everytime Lauren releases her inner Bitch (much like I do when Blair on Gossip Girl let’s it fly) or flashing back to crappy food service jobs or cracking a smile when Emily lands that perfect dismount, pissing off the rich kids and wowing the coaches.

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ABC Moves Cupid, The Unusuals/Southland Does Well For NBC

In ABC, Being Erica, Cupid, NBC, Southland, The Unusuals on 04/18/2009 at 12:52 am

ABC has high hopes for their new quirky cop show The Unusuals so they’re playing around with it a bit. This week the one hour show will air two new episodes, bumping Cupid on Tuesday night and then also sticking with it’s usual Wednesday night airing. Not a good sign for Cupid fans, but great for The Unusuals.

The move is to see if a Dancing With The Stars lead-in will help the new show as it’s current lead, Lost, isn’t doing much for it. In the long term I’m not sure where that leaves Cupid, but in the short, it’ll be back next week.

In other news, NBC‘s new cop drama, Southland, managed to keep it’s ratings the second week just as high at it did for the premiere. That’s a feat, considering NBC has been offering the show on demand and it’s Thursday 10pm slot was previously filled by ER. ER may have gotten a ton of hype this last season with old characters returning and it being the final season and all, but if I recall correctly, this time last year when they announced the show would finally end most people replied “That’s still on?”.

I’m happy to hear Southland is doing well, too. If the rest of the season is as good as the first two episodes, I think NBC may have a long runner here.

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Just Finished: Being Erica

In Being Erica, Canadian TV, CBC on 04/14/2009 at 4:29 pm

Just finished watching season 1 of Canada’s Being Erica. I was a bit sketchy about pushing play on the pilot episode because it’s being broadcast stateside on Soap Network. Not exactly a go to network for quality viewing. My only other experience with the network was MVP, which was overly soapy at times but watchable in a time-filler sort of way. I learned quickly, though, that the CBC really stepped up this time. I was glad to be proven wrong.

The star character, Erica Strange, is a thirtysomething woman who loves literature, sucks at dating and keeping jobs and is full of regrets. She knows what she wants: a good relationship, a job she enjoys, preferably in the publishing world, a happy family life. She believes, though, that her life has been nothing but constant mistakes each one blocking her hopes from coming to fruition.

In comes Dr. Tom. A mysterious psychologist (or analyst?) set on proving that a mistake made a decade ago may not be what’s holding her back. And so it begins. Erica trips into Dr. Tom’s office when needed most and off she goes to right the wrongs. Or not. Usually not.

The show ended up being wonderfully smart with a wit that’s distinctly Canadian and a style of charm that woman can love while not chasing away the boys. Erica seems to be the kinda girl anyone could fall in love with or just love to grab a beer with. Either way, she seems pretty cool. There’s a bit of a dark side to her, obviously, with all the regrets and looking to the past, but she’s also pretty good at living life, too.

She’s not exactly the innocent little girl you may expect at first – there’s wisdom thrown in and keen insight and some of the regrets in her past are…well, truly painful regrets. She’s definately comfortable with her body and loves sex. Basically, she’s 32 and acts that way, yet is also ready to plug in the Wii or (though slightly hesitant) to jump on the karaoke stage.

I’m quite to happy to have found such a well developed character. It’s a rare trait in a TV show and the writers and producers should be proud.

I’m looking forward to season 2, though judging by the end of season 1 there seems to be some changed afoot. I’m not sure how the show was recieved in the U.S., being on Soap and all. I think this would have done pretty well on USA or a channel of that nature. Oh well, I’m guessing it was a pretty big hit in Canada.

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