New to Blu-ray/DVD: Haven: Season 5, Volume 1 & The Hee Haw Collection


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Editor’s Notes: Haven: Season 5, Volume 1 and The Hee Haw Collection are out on their respective formats September 8th.

Haven: Season 5, Volume 1

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Haven: Season 5, Volume 1 (E One), based on the Stephen King novella The Colorado Kid, follows former FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), who became a cop in the small town of Haven, Maine, and quickly found herself involved in the return of “The Troubles,” a series of supernatural afflictions that have plagued the seaside village for generations. Partnered with local residents Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant) and Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour), Audrey began to realize that Haven’s fate was linked to her own, and only she can save the town and the people she loves from the weight of their curses.

Season Five picks up with the aftermath of the victory over William. After having successfully banished him into the Void, Nathan and Duke are devastated to discover that the Audrey they know and love has disappeared. In her place stands Mara, the malevolent “original” person responsible for creating the troubles many centuries ago. Mara proceeds to unleash a wave of chaos over Haven.

This Sy-Fy Channel series departs considerably from the King original but does offer some nice mystery and eerie goings-on. There’s a creepy sense of foreboding, thanks to the direction, but Ms. Rose is a rather bland protagonist in the role of a strong, intelligent woman. What’s missing in her performance is resolve. Too often, her character seems to be just going through the motions.

The beauty of this set is not having to sit through the endless commercials on the Sy Fy Channel. Bonus extras on the 4-disc Blu-ray release include13 “Inside Haven” featurelettes, audio commentary, and 2 featurettes on the show’s origins.

The Hee Haw Collection

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The Hee Haw Collection (Time Life) contains five episodes never previously available of the country music show that premiered in 1969 as the summer replacement for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Each week, co-hosts Buck Owens and Roy Clark and a cast of comedians and musicians welcomed the biggest stars in country entertainment to perform their songs and deliver corny one-liners. Though successful, the show was dropped in 1971 by CBS, in an attempt to “de-countrify” the network’s programming. Other shows CBS canceled around this time were Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Mayberry R.F.D. Hee Haw was quickly picked up by other outlets and became the longest-running weekly syndicated series in television history.

These vintage episodes from the late 60s and early 70s feature all the Kornfield Kounty regulars plus Conway Twitty singing “Hello Darlin,” Merle Haggard singing his classic “Okie From Muskogee,” Donna Fargo singing “Funny Face,” and Tammy Wynette singing her Number 1 hit “Ways to Love a Man.” Also included: Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn dueting on “Pickin’ Wild Mountain Berries,” plus other country legends like Charlie Rich and Hank Williams, Jr. Tennessee Ernie Ford performs the gospel numbers “I Saw the Light” and “I’ll Fly Away.”

Bonus extras include interviews with show regulars Roy Clark, Lulu Roman, George Lindsey, Charlie McCoy, and Jim and John Hager. Additional bonus programming includes favorite comedy routines from the early years in “Hee Haw Laffs,” featuring “Board Fence,” “Cornfield,” “Moonshiners,” “Old Philosopher,” “Schoolhouse,” among many others.


About Author

For over 25 years, I was the Film and Home Entertainment Reviewer for "The Villadom TIMES," a New Jersey weekly newspaper, and have written for several other publications. I developed and taught a Film Studies program for two New York City high schools that included Film History, Horror/Fantasy, and Film Making.