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

Monday, September 27

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Intervention" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When a member of the community’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Calvin and Dave step up to help. Also, Marty undergoes a dramatic makeover to impress a longtime crush.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "Bowango" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
It’s wedding time! With a traditional Nigerian wedding approaching, the Wheelers are formally introduced to Abishola’s family. Also, while Bob sets out to the market to fulfill Abishola’s bride price to demonstrate his serious intentions of marrying her, Abishola tries to keep the peace between her mother and Auntie Olu.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 27)

Monday, September 27

  • J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Mapleworth Murders/The Millers/'Til Death) - Watch J.B. on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hearts Afire) - Billy Bob is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Leslie Odom Jr. (Central Park/Love in the Time of Corona/Big Day) - Leslie talks about The Many Saints of Newark on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan (check your local listings) and chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Billy Gardell (Bob Hearts Abishola/Mike & Molly/Yes, Dear) and Folake Olowofoyeku (Bob Hearts Abishola) - Billy and Folake are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Vanessa Lachey (Truth Be Told/Dads) - Vanessa talks about NCIS: Hawaii on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Glenn Howerton (A.P. Bio/It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/The Mindy Project/That '80s Show) - Glenn is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Max Greenfield (The Neighborhood/New Girl/Modern Men) - Max appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch/Clarissa Explains It All) - Melissa will be on The Doctors, so check your local lisitngs.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa talks about Netflix's My Little Pony: A New Generation on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Natalie Zea (The Detour) - Natalie talks about NBC's La Brea on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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

Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/07 - No Activity - Season 2
07/13 - The Unicorn - Season 2
07/20 - Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season
07/27 - Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - The Neighborhood - Season Three
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Deluxe Edition (100 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Standard Edition (50 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/24 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season 2
09/07 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
09/21 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
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