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)

Cameron Archer

Owner/Writer at Gloryosky
Cameron Archer runs this site, and is a freelance arts writer. He has contributed to Canadian Screenwriter since 2011. He is a CMG Freelance member.
Cameron Archer