Saturday, April 07, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show (April 17)

Welcome to another Saturday edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we have we take a look at Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The Larry Sanders Show of course was the cable comedy that took spoof of a talk show. The show is hilarious and had great guest stars. See Seth Thrasher's mini-DVD review of Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show:

Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show (Sony, $49.95) is a "Best of" compilation of 24 of the best episodes of The Larry Sanders Show, plus more special/extra features on the set than I think I have seen in every other Sony set I have ever reviewed, combined. The show stars comedian Garry Shandling as Larry Sanders, the vain and neurotic host of a Tonight Show-esque talk show entitled The Larry Sanders Show. The comedy would run on HBO for 6 years (1992–1998), then would enjoy a few years in syndication – where *I* was first exposed to this wonderful show.
This set is a sort of "appeasement" -- some factor, probably sales figures, caused Sony to decide not to release season sets of the show, so they threw together a couple dozen episodes and features to try to at least give the fans *something*. This is, however, a problem, as the people who this set is targeted toward definitely prefer season sets, and aren't just happy with "best of" releases. I myself used to have this "all or nothing" mentality as well, but I realized one day that I'm probably NEVER going to see complete season/series sets of several of my favorite shows on DVD, ever. While in some cases it's just the studios thinking with their wallets, as is the apparent case with Larry Sanders not getting season sets -- in several cases, including The Price is Right, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, etc., -- there are just too many episodes. Realizing that fact helped me come to appreciate *any* DVD release -– at least of newly-released episodes –- that gets put out, even if it's not the way I want it. It may not be exactly what fans were hoping for, but do you see even a best of set for a show as widely popular as, say, Family Matters? I think not.
Also impressing me with this set is the absolute glut of special features. Most episodes included have deleted scenes. FOUR episodes have audio commentary -- a feature I'm used to only seeing on Seinfeld and NewsRadio. There are video interviews with stacks and stacks of people, including Alec Baldwin, Ellen Degeneres, David Duchovny, and more. The final disc has even MORE, including a feature-length documentary, "The Making of the Larry Sanders Show," more interviews, Rip Torn and Jeffrey Tambor visiting Garry in his living room, etc.
The episodes themselves look fairly nice, if a bit compressed. The colors for the most part are bright and solid, without being overpowering. The audio is fine -- no problems or defects, the vocals are crisp and clear -- it is all good. My one and only problem with this set are the menus. For all the effort that went into every last facet of this release, the menus are abhorrent. The options appear as a text list -- a platinum color in front of a black background -- and that's it. It doesn't fit the style of the rest of the release, and looks remarkably simple. This is the only detraction form the release, though.
There are going to be some folks who are quite displeased the show is not getting a full series set, at least not immediately. Nothing I can say, aside from gushing into next Wednesday's blog entry about the special features, is going to change your minds -- but DO consider this set. What is here is wonderful, truly wonderful, and strong sales numbers -- or some kind-hearted folks at Sony -- could lead us to seeing the rest of the series on DVD down the run after all.

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(4/5 stars)

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Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, October 19

Superstore - "Workplace Bullying" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Tensions arise among the employees after an attempted robbery, pitting Dina (Lauren Ash) against Jonah (Ben Feldman). Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) has a tough time firing the store security guard, and Amy (America Ferrera) discovers that her coworkers have been hanging out without her.

The Good Place - "The Trolley Problem" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Eleanor (Kristen Bell) tackle a famous ethical dilemma, leading to a conflict with Michael (Ted Danson). Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) harbors a secret and confides in Janet (D'Arcy Carden).

Will & Grace - "Grandpa Jack" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jack (Sean Hayes) is stunned to learn that his estranged son, Elliot (guest star Michael Angarano) has a son of his own, Skip (guest star Jet Jurgensmeyer). Moreover, Skip needs the kind of help only Will (Eric McCormack) and Jack can provide. Grace (Debra Messing) and Karen (Megan Mullally) behave badly with the hot new guy at work.

Great News - "Award Show" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
For the first time in years, "The Breakdown" has been nominated for an American Journalism Award. Katie (Briga Heelan) is looking forward to spending the night as a peer with the very reporters she has admired her whole life. Fearing her mother will ruin it, Katie tries to stop Carol (Andrea Martin) from attending but is unsuccessful when Carol secures a position as a seat-filler. Katie is stuck babysitting her mom all night but gets distracted by Jeremy (guest star Reid Scott), a handsome New York Times reporter who looks down on cable news. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) is excited to reunite with all of his old anchormen friends, especially Len Archer (guest star Christopher McDonald), an idol of Chuck's who is receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Better Things - "Eulogy" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam demands satisfaction.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 16)

Thursday, October 19

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Catch Tracy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent) - Amy is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Carl Reinder (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Office) - Angela talks about the new season of her Netflix show Haters Back Off on the People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice) - Henry is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs) - Hayley appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - Joanna teams up with Michael Symon in the kitchen, giving the scoop on her new show and whipping up a tasty dish on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. She also talks about Kevin (Probably) Saves the World on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Redman (Method & Red) - Redman appears on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Debra Messing and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Debra and Eric are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
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