Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner (March 20)

Welcome to another Saturday edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we have we take a look at The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner from Comedy Central/Paramount DVD. This roast salutes the TV legend, who has starred on shows like Star Trek & TJ Hooker and currently stars on the hilarious Boston Legal. See Seth Thrasher's mini-DVD review of The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner:

The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner (Paramount/Comedy Central, $19.99) brings us another in a series of roasts that Comedy Central has done over the last several years. These roasts have in the past featured such individuals as Chevy Chase and Denis Leary - this installment is a roast of TV icon William Shatner, best known to most as playing James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek series, and who currently plays Denny Crane on the hit ABC comedic drama Boston Legal.
For those reading this that has had the pleasure to see the old Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, you know how this SHOULD be done. A group of people, most of whom know the person to be roasted, get together and thoroughly embarrass and humiliate their friend, and all have a good time. Well, the Comedy Central roasts are a lot like that. There is a group of people, and they do their best – at least in theory – to humiliate the person. There is a key difference here, which has especially become apparent in the more recent roasts (Pamela Anderson, William Shatner, etc). Most of the roasters don't even personally know the person they're roasting; they only know them from having at best having played Janitor #3 in an episode of a TV show the other appeared in eons ago. Most – not all- but most of the roasters at these things are simply B and C-list "comedians" who Comedy Central brings in for these things due to HBO no longer returning their phone calls. Why is Andy Dick here?
Admittedly, this roast does have more people that know Shatner than I originally expected, which is a relief. You have Betty White, currently working with Bill on Boston Legal, who is as funny as ever. You have filmed "tributes" from folks like Sandra Bullock and Ben Stiller. Jason Alexander is your roastmaster, and does fairly well – though this wasn't evident in the original version. In addition, most of the living original Star Trek cast was here, including George Takei and Nichelle Nichols. Between Takei’s jokes himself, and jokes directed at him, there is certainly no shortage of gay jokes in this one.
Leonard Nimoy appeared in a pre-taped bit...except it is not here. Either Mr. Nimoy didn’t clear his appearance for DVD initially, or revoked it after seeing what kind of show the rest of the roast turned out to be, or something else happened, but the bit with Leonard is gone. Further slapping the face of the concept of releasing material uncut, several of the musical pieces are gone, as has become the standard for Paramount releases lately.
As far as the technical side, things are dull and expected. Black case with the Shat-man on the front. Video quality is fine, and audio – aside from the music replacement issue – sounds fine. Technically, the only fault with the set is the replacements. There are a couple of features – a quick "Making of the Roast" segment that goes nowhere and does nothing, behind the scenes footage, and red carpet interviews. Also included are three short segments from Reno 911, Drawn Together, and The Colbert Report – easily funnier than 90% of the DVD content.
Folks, I am a huge fan of William Shatner, a huge fan of Boston Legal, a huge fan of Star Trek, and a huge fan of the "roasting" concept – and I honestly had trouble sitting through this. While funny in places, a lot of the show was just painful. If you're THAT much of a fan that you need to own everything Bill has ever done, then by all means buy the set. If you want to see it that badly, rent it. Between the overall quality of the roast itself, and the deletions – one of which is to the severe detriment of the set, the score of the set is simply dragged down. From a technical standpoint the set is fine, but the material is just not that good. There are a few moments, which might warrant a rental, but that is about it. Strong recommendation to avoid.

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(3/5 stars)

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New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)

2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Hot in Cleveland - Season Five Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show - The Complete Series
Family Ties - The Complete Series Happy Days - The Sixth Season The Jeffersons - The Complete Series Mister Ed - The Complete Series Mork & Mindy - The Complete Series

10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - TARGET="_blank">Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 21

Selfie - "Nugget of Wisdom" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Eliza accepts Henry’s challenge to do something helpful over the weekend and reluctantly offers to babysit Charmonique’s young son on a Saturday night. Little does she know that young Kevin has a lot to teach her about having fun.

Manhattan Love Story - "It's Complicated" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Dana and Peter continue to enjoy New York and each other, but when they realize they still haven’t had sex, both decide tonight’s the night following a sexy and swanky dinner at an upscale oyster restaurant. But when the couple finds their reservation is pushed, Dana and Peter head elsewhere, not knowing that their romantic evening is about to go from intimate dinner to disaster. Meanwhile, Amy and David spend an evening babysitting and make a decision that will impact their future forever.

Marry Me - "Move Me" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jake (Ken Marino) moves into Annie’s (Casey Wilson) apartment and she begins to feel the pinch of having to share her space with someone. She confesses her claustrophobia to her dads Kevin 1 (Tim Meadows) and Kevin 2 (Dan Bucatinsky) but her stress continues to mount. Meanwhile, Gil (John Gemberling) discovers an all-you-can-eat buffet where he can eat for one low price all day – as long as he never leaves the restaurant.

About a Boy - "About a House for Sale" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
In an effort to fix his money problems, Will (David Walton) is advised to sell his house in San Francisco. Faced with his impending absence away from Fiona (Minnie Driver) and Marcus (Benjamin Stockham), Will focuses all of his energies into finding Marcus a new best friend. Meanwhile, Sam (guest star Adrianne Palicki) flies out to help Will pack up the rest of his belongings, only to discover a few surprises when she arrives.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 20) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, October 21

  • Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Catch Krysten on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Dana visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Cristin Milioti (A to Z/How I Met Your Mother) - Cristin stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family/Back to You/Out of Practice) - Ty is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls) - Kat appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
  • Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah drops by ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Julie is a guest on HuffPost Live at 2:30pm.
  • Eric Andre (2 Broke Girls/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Eric appears on HuffPost Live at 3:00pm.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Ken Marino (Marry Me/Party Down) - Ken talks about Marry Me on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • B.J. Novak (The Office) - B.J. is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 2am on BET.
  • Tori Spelling (Mystery Girls) - Tori will be on Big Morning Buzz on VH1 at 9:00am.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil can be heard on Morning Mash-Up on SiriuxXM Hits 1 channel 2 at 8:15am.
  • Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York - Jim shares some of his favorite food adventures, and dishes on what it's like raising five kids in a New York City apartment on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.