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

Wednesday, July 15

United We Fall - "Pilot" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Series Premiere)
Bill and Jo juggle a typical day that starts with a parent-teacher conference and ends with a trip to the ER. After defending their parenting style, or lack thereof, to teachers, doctors and social workers, they find comfort in the fact that their kids are healthy and happy and that they’re all in this together.

United We Fall - "The Biter" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
At Chuy’s insistence, Bill and Jo finally enroll Lulu in preschool only to discover she is a biter. While they navigate incident reports and overprotective parents, Sandy explores their family history with an ancestry DNA kit.

The Conners - "Brothers, Babies and Breakdowns" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dan avoids coping with a death in the family, only to be confronted by it head-on. Ben and Darlene address Ben’s baby fever and have “the talk.” The Lunch Box is officially open for business, and Dwight gets the jitters when he has to fill in for the chef who suffers an accident.

American Housewife - "Wildflower Girls" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Katie grows concerned when Anna-Kat is invited to join Westport’s elite scout troop, The Wildflower Girls. Meanwhile, Taylor learns her Carnegie Mellon interview is scheduled with famous alumnus and Broadway star Brecken Phillips (Ian Gomez); and, Oliver befriends the school recluse, Trevor (Tenzing Norgay-Trainor).

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 13)

Wednesday, July 15

  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Watch Kelly on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ricky Gervais (After Life/The Office) - Ricky appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) - Constance is a guest on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Mark Feuerstein (9JKL/Good Morning, Miami/Conrad Bloom/Fired Up) - Mark will be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Mike Epps (Survivor's Remorse/Uncle Buck) - Mike appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Marlo and her husband Phil Donahue talk about their new book What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets to a Happy Life on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • David Schwimmer (Intelligence/Friends) and Nick Mohammed (Intelligence) - David and Nick talk about Peacock's Intelligence on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Will Sasso (United We Fall/Less Than Perfect) and Jane Curtin (United We Fall/Crumbs/3rd Rock from the Sun/Kate & Allie) - Will and Jane talk about ABC's United We Fall on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. Will and Christina Vidal (United We Fall/Taina/Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher) are guests on People Now at 1pm.


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06/23 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
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06/30 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Seven
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07/21 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Tenth Season
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