'Streets of San Francisco,' 'Mannix' on DVD this week
Posted May 11
Before going on to an Oscar-winning film career, Michael Douglas earned stardom with his TV series “The Streets of San Francisco,” which is on DVD this week, along with another vintage crime-stopper show, “Mannix,” starring Mike Connors.
“The Streets of San Francisco: The Complete Series” (CBS/Paramount, 1972-77, 32 discs, 120 episodes, featurettes). Karl Malden is the seasoned street cop promoted to detective and Michael Douglas is his up-and-coming, college-educated partner in this well-written police procedural, which is bolstered by filming on scenic San Francisco locations and an array of impressive guest stars, including Tom Selleck, Leslie Nielsen, Nick Nolte, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Martin Sheen, Robert Wagner, Mark Hamill, Sam Elliott and many others. The fifth season finds Douglas jumping ship after two episodes and being replaced by Richard Hatch, which marked the show’s death knell at the end of the season.
“Mannix: The Complete Series” (CBS/Paramount, 1967-75, 48 discs, 194 episodes, audio intros/commentaries, featurettes, promos, photo gallery, excerpts from “Diagnosis: Murder” and “The Mike Douglas Show”). Mike Connors stars as tough-guy private eye Joe Mannix in this enjoyable eight-season crime series, which is more violent than most during this era. In the first season, Mannix works for a company that relies on computers, but from the second season on he’s a more typical private eye, with help from his assistant Peggy (Gail Fisher, who won an Emmy and was one of the first African-American regulars on a major TV show). Guests include Tom Selleck, Diane Keaton, Martin Sheen, William Shatner, Darren McGavin, Gloria Grahame, Tom Skerritt and pop singers Neil Diamond and Buffalo Springfield.
“Shark Week: Shark ’N’ Awe! Collection” (Lionsgate, 2015-16, six discs, 32 episodes). Are you into Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” specials so much that you’ve been wishing you could have them on your shelf? If so, you’ll enjoy this collection of documentaries that follow marine biologists as they trek across the globe looking into shark attacks and finding great whites in unexplored seas. (This is exclusively at Wal-Mart for the first few weeks.)
“2016 World Series: The Complete Game 7: Ultimate Edition” (MLB/Shout!, 2016, two discs, featurettes). The first disc here has the complete game described in the title, with four audio options for English, for Spanish, and for both Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians radio broadcasts. Disc two features highlights and raw footage from the World Series parade.
“Plants Behaving Badly” (PBS, 2013, two episodes). Two hourlong episodes, titled “Carnivorous Plants” and “Orchids,” examine the intriguing behavior of the title vegetation, whose uniqueness attracted the attention of Charles Darwin a century and a half ago.
“NOVA: The Origami Revolution” (PBS, 2017). This 60-minute episode explains the centuries-old tradition of folding two-dimensional paper into three-dimensional shapes and how engineers are using them to reshape the world around us.
“All About Allergies” (PBS Kids, 2017, five episodes). Collected here are five episodes from four children's animated programs that have delved into various allergies: “Arthur,” “Peg + Cat,” “WordWorld” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”
“Rake: Series 1” (Acorn, 2010, three discs, eight episodes). Yet another highly dysfunctional crime show, with Richard Roxburgh as a charming but self-destructive lawyer defending the utterly hopeless and known for being a rogue. It’s Australian, so you may need the subtitles. It contains violence, language, nudity, drugs and sex. (Seasons two through four have already aired in Australia.)
“Divorce: The Complete First Season” (HBO, 2016, two discs, 10 episodes, audio commentaries). This is a dark, satirical, profane examination of a divorcing couple (Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church) after 10 years and two children. (A second season will begin on HBO in the fall.)
“Orange Is the New Black: Season Four” (Lionsgate, 2016, three-disc Blu-ray, four-disc DVD, 13 episodes, audio commentaries, featurette, bloopers). Taylor Schilling heads the cast of this gritty Netflix series set in a women’s prison, with Laura Prepon, Kate Mulgrew and Natasha Lyonne. It contains HBO-level violence, sex, nudity and language. (The fifth season begins June 9 on Netflix.)
“Inside Amy Schumer: Season 6” (Comedy Central, 2016, nine episodes, deleted scenes, featurette). Schumer’s raunchy “skitcom” continues with eight episodes and a clip special. Guests include Liam Neeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julianne Moore, F. Murray Abraham, Louis C.K., Harvey Keitel and many others. (The show has been renewed for a fifth season on Comedy Central but no date has been announced.)
“Kingdom: Seasons One and Two” (Shout!, 2014-16, nine discs, 30 episodes). Frank Grillo stars in this rough drama as the owner of a Southern California mixed martial arts gym where he trains fighters, including his two adult sons. These are soap opera stories punctuated by graphic violence, sex, nudity and language. (A third and final 10-episode season begins May 31 on the AT&T Audience channel, which is exclusive to DirecTV.)
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." He also writes at www.hicksflicks.com and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.