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

Tuesday, July 17

The Middle - "Bat Out of Heck" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Frankie is surprised but relieved when Dr. Goodwin (Jack McBrayer) agrees to buy all of the peanut brittle that Brick needs to sell for school. But the good doctor displays a bit of Mr. Hyde behavior when Frankie doesn’t deliver the product in an expeditious manner. Meanwhile, Axl is getting sick and tired of having Mike tell him how to run his life; and things go off the rails when Axl attempts to trade in the Winnebago and buy a car. Sue is more determined than ever to win a very prestigious and competitive hotel scholarship; and Frankie swears that she’s seeing something mysterious flying through the house.

The Middle - "Great Heckspectations" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Frankie has to force Brick into asking Cindy to the high school prom but worries that his quirkiness could spoil the happy event; Lexie talks a clueless Axl into giving Sue a belated 21st birthday present; and Mike becomes frustrated over how to get used to a new TV remote.

black-ish - "Things Were Different Then" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dre reluctantly helps Junior plan Pops’ 65th birthday party and starts to see his dad’s past in a new light. Meanwhile, Bow decides to say “yes” to everything for a whole year and Jack & Diane take advantage of her.

black-ish - "Elder. Scam." (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Ruby gets scammed and Dre begins to suspect that she isn’t as sharp as she used to be, particularly because she was the one who used to scam other people. Zoey’s friend Aaron visits and Diane develops an instant crush on him.

Younger - "Sex, Liza and Rock & Roll" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Liza is called in for reinforcements when Charles runs into trouble with a rock-star author on Shelter Island. Maggie reaches a career milestone.

Teachers - "Wake and Blake" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Ms. Bennigan tries to win over Blake on a camping trip, and Ms. Snap decides to give back to the community.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 16)

Tuesday, July 17

  • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - Catch David on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Joel McHale (Community/The Great Indoors) - Joel appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Eva Longoria (Telenovela) - Eva is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. She will also be on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Tichina Arnold (Survivor's Remorse/Happily Divorced/Everybody Hates Chris/Martin) - Tichina visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Niecy Nash (Getting On/The Soul Man/Reno 911!) - Niecy stops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Trial & Error: Lady, Killer/Sherri/Less Than Perfect - Sherri appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jon Bernthal (The Class) - Jon is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Deon Cole (grown-ish/black-ish/Angie Tribeca) - Deon guest co-hosts a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Eddie Griffin (Malcolm & Eddie) and Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) - Steve's favorite Hollywood hunks are featured on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa Leo (I'm Dying Up Here) - Melissa talks about The Equalizer 2 on Chatter on PeopleTV at 8pm.
  • Daveed Diggs (black-ish) - Daveed will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Vivica A. Fox (Mr. Box Office/Getting Personal/Out All Night) - Vivica talks about The Last Sharknado: It's About Time on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace talks about her health secrets on The Doctors, so check your local listings.
  • Bobcat Goldthwait (Unhappily Ever After/Capitol Critters) - Bobcat talks about Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


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

New Girl - The Complete Seventh Season Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
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