There’s no question about it. Paul Brownstein is the best producer of DVD boxed sets in the industry and he’s proved it once again with PERRY MASON: THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION, which includes twelve episodes (featuring future stars like Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, James Coburn, and Burt Reynolds) and is loaded with special features that, on their own, are well worth the purchase price. The extras include the original audition/screen tests for Hamilton Burger and Perry Mason, two Charlie Rose interviews with Raymond Burr, and a late 1950s episode of "Person to Person" in which Burr gives viewers a tour of his L.A. home. As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve also got interviews, featurettes, and the "Perry Mason Returns" TV movie. I wish they’d included an episode of THE NEW PERRY MASON, starring Monte Markham, for the hell of it. If you you’re a TV geek like me, you’re going to love this boxed set. I also strongly recommend Brownstein’s amazing GUNSMOKE, DICK VAN DYKE SHOW and WILD WILD WEST sets.
STINGRAY: THE COMPLETE SERIES, the Steve Cannell series that starred Nick Mancuso, arrived in
my mailbox today from Amazon in Canada, which sells it for half as much as Amazon stateside ($22 vs $44!). It’s a quirky series that I loved when it aired and that is probably not as good as I remember it, but I’ll let you know.
2 thoughts on “The Verdict is In”
I for one liked re-encountering Stingray. (Though it’s kind of too bad that the pilot is shown in a split-up version from a repeat on NBC, rather than the original two-hour movie version.) It’s uneven but Nick Mancuso’s performance really holds up well, with that sardonic edge he brings to everything. He’s like an unusually interesting and timeless character dropped into the middle of a normal ’80s action show. And because Ray has a sense of humor about himself and Cannell’s writing (as usual) has a lot of Rockford-ish humor and role-playing, it holds up a bit better than some of those action shows where the heroes were totally grim and humorless.
I have a feeling it would have done better if it had come along a few years later when shows had ongoing arcs and mysteries. I kind of find myself waiting for us to find out more clues about Ray and his past, but since every episode is completely self-contained, we never get any closer at the end of the series than we were at the beginning.
I agree with you. Having this set on DVD is really sweet. The show really does hold up. I think some of the plots, etc towards the end of the run got a bit ragged, but the first dozen or so are gems and the others are entertaining too. I just wish we had a commentary from Mancuso or Cannell.
I reviewed the set at TV Squad: