DVD Reviews: The Nanny, Hill Street Blues & When Calls the Heart

The biggest group of people that enjoy purchasing their TV shows on DVD are fans of shows that have continuing storylines from episode to episode. They’d rather not deal with anxiety that their local channel would get the airdates in order. The fear that the DVR will crash mid-recording. Or the frustration that the streaming service can deny them that crucial episode. Buying the show on DVD is the only way a viewer has true control over their viewing pleasures. Shout! Factory has releases that nearly wrap up The Nanny, bring an end to Hill Street Blues and expand When Calls the Heart.

The Nanny: Season Five is the penultimate go around for Fran’s time with the Sheffields. The love Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) feels for her boss, Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy) has hit critical mass. She had flown to London to get him to commit. But instead she was knocked back with Niles (Daniel Davis) having a heart attack.
“The Morning After” has Niles recover while Fran and Max feel things out. Max does want her to redo the kitchen so she brings in her cousin (Roseanne). That star power gets eclipsed by a visit from Ray Charles. “First Date” takes Fran and Max out on the town. Who do they encounter on a romantic night? How about Elton John. “The Bobbie Fleckman Story” brings back her character from This Is Spinal Tap. Fran does double duty while the Brian Setzer Orchestra brings out the musical fun. “The Ex-Niles” guest stars the only Dr. Joyce Brothers. “Not Without My Nanny” finally gets Max to declare his feelings for Fran without claiming a Mulligan. “Homie-Work” makes us remember that there was once a Coolio in the world. “The Best Man” features the second Mrs. Donald Trump. Marla Maples must confess to her time with Max. The season wraps up with “The Wedding.” Just what fans of The Nanny were waiting to experience. The final season of The Nanny is scheduled to be released on March 16.


Hill Street Blues: The Final Season brings to an end one of the greats of TV. After seven seasons, cop drama was ready to make a final roll call. The show had saved the soul of NBC with its critical praise and pile of Emmy Awards. Nothing had come close to capturing life inside a police station. The show was one of the first non-Soap Operas that had storylines that continued between episodes without them being two part events. Viewers had to watch week to week to follow the action inside the precinct building. This wasn’t Hawaii Five-O or Dragnet. You had to pay attention. Buntz (Dennis Franz) becomes a big figure this final season as he works undercover. “Suitcase” has him on the prowl for a bag full of cocaine. Things get a little wilder from their. The shooting of a suspect puts one key member of the force in serious trouble. There’s a lot of politics that keeps things from going smoothly. The final episode “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over” drastically changes the familiar locations. It’s the proper ending for a beloved show. When a viewer gets hooked on Hill Street Blues, the DVDs become the essential viewing experience. Each episode turns into a chapter of a book. This is where we get The Wire. For fans who bought the single season sets when they were originally released, they can now complete their collection.


When Calls the Heart is a popular series on the Hallmark Channel about life in Canada from a time when Mounties mounted. Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) is a posh girl who dreams of becoming a school teacher. She receives a bit of shock when her first assignment is a remote part of Western Canada. Royal North West Mounted Police Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) isn’t too thrilled to be sent to protect her from the frontier life. Her family is that well connected. Shout! Factory has released the two movie length episodes that kicked off the second season. When Calls the Heat: Trials of the Heart – Movie 1 features what happens when Thorton finally puts down his defenses around Elizabeth. But their love must play second to a trial involving a coal mining disaster. When Calls the Heat: Heart and Soul – Movie 2 complicates the romance with deals to tame the frontier around their enclave of humanity. A con man arrives in town and gets mistaken for a preacher. The only difference between a preacher and a conman is that a conman has to pay taxes on his loot. This is one of those shows you can share with your mother.

The video is 1:33:1 full frame for The Nanny and Hill Street Blues. When Calls the Heart movies are 1.78:1 anamorphic. Hill Street Blues was shot and edited on film. The transfer brings out the gritty quality of the rundown station. The Nanny was taped on video and doesn’t look too bad. The audio is Dolby Digital Mono for HSB. The Nanny is Dolby Digital Stereo. You’ll hear all of Fran’s vocal range. All shows are Closed Captioned.

No bonus features.

Shout! Factory presents The Nanny: Season Five. Starring: Fran Drescher, Daniel Davis, Lauren Lane, Nicholle Tom, Benjamin Salisbury and Madeline Zima. Boxset Contents: 23 Episodes on 3 DVDs. Released: December 22, 2015.

Shout! Factory presents Hill Street Blues: The Final Season. Starring: Daniel J. Travanti, Veronica Hamel, Bruce Weitz, Betty Thomas & Charles Haid. Boxset Contents: 22 Episodes on 5 DVDs. Released: January 12, 2015.

Shout! Factory presents When Calls The Heart: Trials Of The Heart. Starring: Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing, Lori Loughlin, Jack Wagner. Running Time: 88 minutes. Released: May 26, 2015.

Shout! Factory presents When Calls The Heart: Heart and Soul. Starring: Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing, Lori Loughlin, Jack Wagner. Running Time: 88 minutes. Released: June 23, 2015.

Tags: , ,