The third season of “Hot in Cleveland” arrives on DVD this week, along with half of the penultimate season of “Perry Mason.”
“Hot in Cleveland” (TVland/Paramount, 2011-12, three discs, $29.98, 24 episodes, featurette). Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick have become a formidable comic ensemble in this sitcom that airs on the TV Land cable channel (Season 4 began earlier this week). Their comic timing is impeccable, honed well over the years on previous sitcoms.
White is the longtime Cleveland resident who lives in a house with the other three, all spoiled show-biz brats from Los Angeles who are now past their prime — but no one in Cleveland seems to care. The writing is often witty but unfortunately just as often falls back on the crude and vulgar just like every other sitcom on the air.
Guests this season include Don Rickles, Sean Hayes, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Carl Reiner, Rhea Perlman, Jon Lovitz, Joan Rivers, Cybill Shepherd, Regis Philbin and pals from their earlier sitcoms, Laura San Giacomo, John Mahoney, Georgia Engel and Edward Asner. And Susan Lucci returns as Malick’s former daytime-soap nemesis.
“Perry Mason: Season 8, Volume 1” (CBS/Paramount, 1964-65, b/w, four discs, $54.99, 15 episodes). Raymond Burr made the character of Perry Mason his own, and here the defense attorney continues to solve the murders for which his (innocent) clients are accused. This season has him dealing with brothers that own a bowling alley, a mining-company magnate and a coin collector, as well as the usual high rollers who get involved with shady characters.
Guests in this first half of Season 8 include Mike Mazurki, Julie Adams, June Lockhart, Sue Anne Langdon, Ben Johnson, Audrey Totter, Mary Ann Mobley and Lee Meriwether.
“Scooby-Doo!13 Spooky Tales: Holiday Chills and Thrills” (Warner, 1972-2012, two discs, $19.98, seven episodes). The main draw for fans is a new 22-minute cartoon titled “Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays,” about a treacherous snowman. Also included are holiday episodes from various “Scooby-Doo” shows spanning the years 1972 through 2003.
“12 Christmas Wishes for My Dog” (Lionsgate, 2012, G, $26.98). Starz cable movie (originally titled “12 Wishes of Christmas”) has Elisa Donovan being fired, then receiving 12 wishes from a magical life coach. But after she wastes them all on frivolous, and vengeful, things, she must go back and clean up the messes she’s made. Well intentioned holiday-oriented family film.
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