Merry Christmas, Sarca!

Christmas came early to the house of Sim…my Christmas Amazon order came in today!

The hubs and I did something a little different and unconventional this year. We decided to allow ourselves to buy our own Christmas presents. We had a price limit imposed, and we each went to town…virtually-speaking – he on eBay, me on my wish list on Amazon. I know it doesn’t sound very romantic to some people, but the hubs wanted retro video games and knows what he wants and where to get them from…and I knew what I wanted, so there. The holidays can be so stressful, and this is the perfect solution to the spousal gift-giving problem. Seriously, it was perfect for us!

And look at all the loot!

Corner Gas Full Tank (Complete Series)
NYPD Blue Seasons 6 and 7 (YES!!)
Graphic novels, New York Drawings and Sleepwalk and Other Stories by Adrian Tomine
As well, I added Quebecois graphic novelist Michel Rabagliati’s Paul Joins the Scouts (from the “Paul Got a Summer Job” series)
Last, but not least, The Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely Limited Edition CD, DVD and booklet! (Drool!)


So good!

One little snafu, though. My copy of New York Drawings arrived damaged, so now I get to exchange it. Looks like I have a bit of a procedure to go through with Amazon. Wish me luck on that adventure!


And on a different note, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank a couple of peeps from my WP email circle that graciously gifted me some great stuff:

Thank you to Brian Z for sending me Ray Lyell’s Desert Winds on CD. It was very nice of him to think of me when he found it. He sent it to me without wanting anything in return. Thank you so much!

Then, a couple of weeks ago I got a package in the mail – full of smurfs!


Aaron from keepsmealive caught wind that I have a smurf figurine collection from the 80s…and found me a whole box full of more smurf figurines! These are Happy Meal Smurfs released to promote the new Smurf movie that came out a few years ago, so they are bigger in size than my vintage smurf figurines. Some of the smurfs Aaron sent are pretty rough looking, and we joked between us how he sent me dirty smurfs, haha! (I’ve since washed some of them). A big thank you to Aaron for this surprising and thoughtful gift.

At any rate, I am officially on my Christmas vacation. I will be doing some traveling up to Sudbury and hopefully get to spend some quality time with my Mom, Step-Dad and the rest of my fam whom I haven’t seen in a year. That said, I am going to take much needed time off to recharge and renew for the New Year.

To my good WP friends: Mike, Aaron, Heavy Metal Overlord, 1537, Deke, Geoff, and Brian – it’s been fun (and hilarious!) getting to know you guys. Best wishes to you and your families this Christmas! Give ‘Er x-mas-style! \m/ \m/

To the gamer guys on YouTube: The Cartridge Bros, Ram Vox, Duke and his kidlets from Retro Nonsense, Dean Lasagna, JRock, Lo, and anyone else I missed…Merry Christmas!! See you on Twitter!

And to my followers and faithful readers of Caught Me Gaming: Janna, Donna P, Jen, Gretchen, Angie, Bradley, Yvonne and anyone else I missed – thanks for your support. Merry Christmas!

See you all soon! Now I’m off to drink some coffee and Baileys!

NYPD Blue’s Neglected Fanbase: Where is the Love?

When NYPD Blue premiered in 1993, TV audiences were introduced to a few new things, notably shaky camera angles and posterior nudity. I didn’t enjoy the show when I first watched it, but appreciated it a lot more when the hubs and I started binge watching them in 2003 (before binge-watching was an actual thing…). A friend lent us his copy of Season 1 NYPD Blue to try, and we were instantly hooked: interesting cases, salty language, the edgy lines of row-houses panning to the familiar outlines of the Twin Towers, the rough and sullen Andy Sipowicz played by actor Dennis Franz, and of course, David Caruso before he took off his glasses at every hook-line on CSI Miami (yaaaaaahhhh!). We were into NYPD Blue big time and couldn’t get enough! 


We bought our own copy of Season 1 NYPD Blue, and we were happy to know Seasons 2 and 3 were also on the shelves. We made fast work of those too, and then waited with baited breath for Season 4 to be released. Then in 2006, we bought a copy of Season 4. Awesome! It gave us an excuse to watch Seasons 1-3 again!

After finishing up Season 4, we hoped Season 5 of NYPD Blue would come out. There was no news on the internet about release dates, but there certainly was a demand by fans of the show (I mean, there were at least TWO fans hoping…). Several years pass, and every once in a while I’d wonder whether the rest of the seasons would be released. My internet searches were coming up fruitless other than finding out that Fox had abandoned releasing any subsequent Seasons of NYPD Blue due to poor DVD sales. I couldn’t believe it! It couldn’t be true! But, the evidence was there…no new NYPD Blue sets anywhere!

Feeble attempts to garner anything NYPD Blue even led me to torrent sites, but there was nothing up. Nothing on Netflix. Nothing on HULU. No back catalogue on network websites. Man, it was sad.

A ray of hope shone brightly the day I was doing some online shopping on Amazon this past November and found a release date of February 2014 for Season 5 of NYPD Blue!! I couldn’t believe it! The series was in pre-order which I put money down for immediately.

February 10 was when NYPD Blue Season 5 would arrive in my mail box, and I was over the moon! At last!


Season 1’s offerings

Before I go on about Season 5, let’s talk about the presentation of NYPD Blue Seasons 1 through 4. You could tell some serious care had been taken by Fox to release a decent box set for fans of the show. To start, Season 1 and 2 are in nice packaging with six DVDs. It’s obvious there was some thought put into the design, including having a sleeve with a fold-out DVD case. The extra features were impressive as well which included several featurettes, interviews and commentaries. Seasons 3 and 4’s packaging was a condensed version and not as elaborate in design giving us 4 DVDs instead of 6. With the reduction of DVDs, the quality of the shows suffered a bit. Mini DVD cases in a sleeve replaced the fold-out seen in previous seasons, but similarly, featurettes and commentaries are included in Seasons 3 and 4 of NYPD Blue.

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When I opened that shipping box from Amazon and pulled out the Season 5 set of NYPD Blue, I noticed immediately how the packaging is a far departure from the elaborately clean fold-out presentation of the first two seasons.  Season 5 has a clear plastic DVD case, six DVDs and no extra features. When playing the episodes back, I couldn’t help but notice the reduction of quality of sound and picture. The hubs, who is a TV guy, remarked the episodes weren’t cleaned up at all as the commercial cue dots were left on, which could very well indicate these DVDs were straight dubs from the original broadcast tape to DVD. One more notable thing: this was not a Fox release, but Shout! Factory, which I am not familiar with. Whether this release is a result of Shout! Factory expediting the release to get it out there as soon as possible, that they didn’t have the means or licensing to clean it up a bit… or perhaps fans shouldn’t expect any better (I mean, how dare we?). Really, it’s anyone’s guess. But this situation for me comes down to this:


NYPD Blue fans are finding themselves in an Oliver Twist situation right now. We are willing to put up with a sub-par unpolished release…and still feel grateful to get another season of NYPD Blue on the shelves.

Now that Seasons 1-5 of NYPD Blue have been watched, it begs the question whether more seasons will ever be released in North America. A search online reveals some shocking information: all 12 Seasons of NYPD Blue are currently for sale on Amazon in the UK! I also learned there is no intended release date for their release this side of the pond. Why no NYPD Blue love? Perhaps the series is more popular in the UK than here? I can’t say, but I am very jealous. Until more seasons of NYPD Blue get released in North America, I guess I continue to hang out in the gruel queue asking for more…