Tuesday, April 11, 2006

TV On DVD - April 11, 2006

My bowling league ended on Monday night, so I should be able to get a few more things done - including reviewing some shows that debuted last fall. Or maybe not. All I know at this moment is that I'm bone tired, frustrated at my online Poker playing and very grateful to be able to get this out of the way. Not that I mind doing it, just that there are times when I'm grateful for a list like this one.

It is a tremendously abbreviated list this week, a mere four items, and not a sign of "kidvid" among it. Oh well the end of the month is going to be much longer. While the comments are mine alone, the source of the list itself is TVShowsOnDVD.com, and needless to say, I couldn't do this without them

The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Third Season
- This is the one where he's the pshrink and not the one where he's an innkeeper (or perhaps a pshrink dreaming that he's an innkeeper - what would Freud say about that). The series was one of the most highly regarded of its time and I think it holds up well today. For one thing, in comparison with a lot of modern sitcoms, it is entirely believable for Bob to be married Suzanne Pleshette. Then too the supporting cast is both deep and strong. Finally the writing staff, which included Lorenzo Music, Earl Pomerantz, and Jay Tarses, really understood what made Bob Newhart the stand-up comedian funny and used it to create the character for Bob Newhart the comic actor. Definitely recommended.

Farscape: Starburst Edition - Season 3, Collection 3
- Every time they release one of these Starburst Editions I ask why. It's getting a little monotonous don't you think.

In Living Color: Season 5
- By its final season (which I didn't see because we didn't have Fox on cable her when this show was on) In Living Color had become not even a shadow of itself but rather a wraith. All of the Wayans family, including series creator Keenan Ivory Wayans, had gone by the fifth season, and with them had gone the writing spark that had made the show special. On the other hand there is Jamie Fox, David Allan Grier Jim Carrie and frequent appearances by Chris Rock, which salvages it at least somewhat on the cast side, Still, I think it could be argued that the disk is for completists only.

The Merv Griffin Show: 40 of the Most Interesting People of Our Time
- Recently we've seen Episodes of Dick Cavett's old talk show released, and now it's time for Merv Griffin's show - whether we like it or not. Amazingly this syndicated afternoon show ran for 24 years and presented first rate entertainment for virtually all of that time. Along with Mike Douglas, Griffin was an afternoon version of Johnny Carson and was able to get guests the likes of which afternoon hosts today would dream about. Among those to appear on this DVD set are Martin Luther King, Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, Ronald Reagan, John Wayne, Jerry Seinfeld, Ingrid Bergman and Tom Cruise. Unlike the DVD sets of Cavett's program, this one only features excerpts rather than complete episodes . Still, probably worth having if you're a fan of talk shows or celebrities.

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