Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: The Best of The Price is Right (March 25); Solomon's Weekly Rant

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini-DVD review and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up, are the mini-DVD review. Today we take a look at BCI's The Best of The Price is Right. The Price is Right of course is the long-running daytime game show hosted by Bob Barker where you guess the prices of various products via different pricing games. See skees53's mini-DVD review of The Best of The Price is Right:

The Best of The Price is Right (BCI, $39.98) gives you a chance to come on down and enjoy 26 episodes of one of the greatest game shows in American history! The four-disc set features four episodes from the 1960s, 17 episodes from the 1970s, and all five episodes from Bob Barker's final week as the host from 2007.
The set begins with Disc 1, which features the "beginnings" so to speak of the series. On here, we have four episodes of the version of the show that was hosted by Bill Cullen in the 1960s. Despite the fact that the version we all know aired (and still does) on CBS, these aired on NBC originally, and later on ABC. But don't expect the flashy colors or a few rounds of Plinko on these episodes. These are all in black and white and basically it is a much different game. On this version, the only thing contestants do is bid on items, and the one that comes closest to the actual retail price without going over wins... this part is only the first step in winning on the current version! Watching these episodes will seem boring to some fans, as that version didn't have the pricing games and excitement as the version we all know does, but if you imagine it as a different series, it really isn't all that bad.
The other three episodes on Disc 1 are episodes from the first week of the show as we know it that was hosted by Bob Barker, and you'll see that the games Bullseye and Grocery Game were VERY popular in the early days. This Bullseye game is NOT the one that we currently have on the series, and in watching these episodes and hearing the rules, you'll discover why this game was retired VERY quickly... it was virtually impossible to win! You almost have to feel sorry for the few unfortunate people that were invited to "come on down" and got stuck playing that game. You'll notice on these episodes that the contestants and audience are nothing like what we see on the show today. They are all calm and subdued, it seems very weird!
On Discs 2 and 3, we have 14 episodes from 1972-1975, and on these episodes, we find all of our classic games that we know and love from the series, like Clock Game, Any Number, and Plinko, as well as some that we have since forgotten, such as Give or Keep and Double Bullseye (a new version of that flawed original Bullseye game, this one featured two players). Throughout these episodes, we start to see a change in the series, and it starts to evolve into how we know it today... the contestants and audience are finally starting to get excited, all the time. Up to this point, all of the episodes are half hour episodes, but on Disc 3, we get to see the first hour long episode (which was part of an experimental week of hour long episodes) as well as the first regular hour long episode of the series. We get introduced to the Showcase Showdown for the very first time, and the Big Wheel... except on the experimental one hour episode, the Big Wheel looks NOTHING like the one we have today! But the rules are still the same.
Finally, Disc 4 contains Bob Barker's final five episodes as the host of the show. Most of these episodes are somewhat uneventful, but we do get to see contestants play the games one last time with Bob Barker as the host. We also get to see the most expensive prize ever offered on the series, valued at over $100,000... and to think, on the first week of the series, contestants were bidding $30 on items while in contestants row!
The video and audio quality on the set can tend to be a little rough, but it is understandable, as game shows were really not intended to be preserved when they originally aired. Besides, this show doesn't exactly need the greatest quality in the first place... I think if it had been preserved too well, it would remove the nostalgia factor from the older episodes. The Cullen episodes look very rough, but again, like the 70s episodes were never really intended to be seen again 30 years later, these Cullen episodes DEFINITELY were not intended to be seen again. The episodes have varying runtimes, with the Cullen episodes running around 26 minutes, the 70s half hour episodes running around 22:30, 70s hour long episodes running around 45 minutes, and the 2007 episodes running around 35 minutes. I have no clue if these runtimes are what the series should be, but daytime shows often tend to be shorter anyway. It appears that many of the sponsorship elements and ticket plugs are in place.
One thing that is annoying about the set, though, is the lack of VARIETY of episodes. The set neglects over 30 years worth of episodes! Where are the late 70s? All of the 80s and 90s? And the early 2000s? There are many great episodes in those years, and many great pricing games within those episodes... some that had a lasting impact, some which were quickly retired. And how can you have a Price is Right DVD set without that infamous incident of Yolanda Bowsley coming on down and having her, err, wardrobe malfunction? That isn't to say that the episodes on here aren't fun to watch, because they are, but a wider variety would have been nicer. We don't even get to hear Rod Roddy announce on a single episode on this set, yet he was the announcer for a majority of the years that the show was on. I seriously hope that there are more sets on the way that might include some of these other episodes!
Another thing that is annoying is the total lack of bonus features on the set. The box mentions Bob Barker's last week as a bonus feature, but how is that a bonus feature? Those episodes are already included in the episode count! It is great that these were included, because they are an important part of the history of the show, but I'd hardly call it a bonus feature. I don't understand why they couldn't get some bonus footage or interviews together. There have been plenty of people involved with the show over the years, and somebody would HAVE to be willing to be interviewed for the set, even if it was just a contestant talking about their experience on the show. It may be a little boring if it was just a contestant, but it would still be better than nothing! The BCI release of Match Game was great as far as special features were concerned, and it is disappointing that a series that is several times more popular than Match Game would be left in the dark on special features.
Still, even though many fans would probably like a more "diverse" selection of episodes than what is on here, as well as more bonus features, this is a great set and it is fun to see the older episodes of the series. I think any fan is certain to appreciate this set, and will want to get it as soon as possible. Personally, I haven't been watching the series that often since Drew Carey has taken over, and it is refreshing to see Bob Barker back in action, if only for a few episodes. It would be nice to see more releases, perhaps with episodes from the 80s and 90s!
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Official CBS Website
The Price is Right TV.com Page


Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, March 22, 2008
"TV Guide Changes; Abdul Needs To Leave Idol; Why More Dancing?"
By Solomon Davis

I noticed in the new issue of TV Guide that the print is smaller in the TV Highlight section for what's coming on TV. Up until now the print was bigger and easier to read but now you need a magnifying glass to read what's coming on TV. And instead of all the days of the week having its own TV Highlight section, all the TV highlights of the week are now jammed together into one section. What is TV Guide trying to accomplish with this sudden change? They should just give up and stick to online listings.

It's just amazing how stupid Paula Abdul sounds everytime she opens her mouth on American Idol. Seriously what in the world is wrong with this woman? Is she on something? I mean every time she critiques someone's performance s just suddenly stops talking in mid-sentence like she forgot what she was going to say. And this is someone's opinion that American Idol contestants should take it seriously? Not only that but she is always afraid to tell someone the truth who had a bad performance and just compliments their outfit instead. This isn't Top Model or a fashion show. I know there is another woman that can replace her since she is nothing but a buffoon who Simon and Randy makes fun of every week.

I'm so sick of seeing the promos for Dancing with the Stars which I'm surprised hasn't been played out yet. Exactly how many more new dances can someone do on that show that viewers haven't seen yet? Hasn't everything been done that can be seen on a dance floor? So I guess the intrigue for this show is the NEW faces each season instead of the new dance moves. Maybe they will plan another collapse this season by one of the dancers to keep it fresh?

Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, July 3

The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now in Living Color! - (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
CBS will honor the memory of legendary actor, producer, director, writer, comedian and Emmy Award winner Carl Reiner with THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW – NOW IN LIVING COLOR! A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO CARL REINER, featuring two colorized back-to-back classic episodes of the beloved 1960s series, Friday, July 3 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. As series creator and co-star, Carl Reiner personally supervised the original colorization of the episodes.

The special features “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” which ranked #8 on TV Guide’s list of the “100 Greatest TV Episodes of All-Time,” and “October Eve,” which Mr. Reiner considered to be one of the series’ funniest episodes. Both were written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff.

In “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” Laura Petrie blurts out a top secret on a national television quiz show, revealing that comedian Alan Brady wears a toupee. The episode, which was the show’s fifth and final season premiere, was originally broadcast on Sept. 15, 1965. “Coast to Coast Big Mouth” won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1966.

In “October Eve,” a painting of Laura returns to haunt her when, despite her having posed fully clothed, the artist (played by Carl Reiner) takes the liberty of “undraping” her. The episode was first presented on April 8, 1964, during season three.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 29)

Friday, July 3

  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Watch Kevin on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:35am on ABC.
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Tina appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Laura Dern (Enlightened) - Laura is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark Duplass (Togetherness/The Mindy Project/The League) - Mark appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa guest hosts a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brett Gelman (Camping/Fleabag/Love/Married/Go On) - Brett appears on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Tika Sumpter (mixed-ish/The Game) - Tika talks about the season finale of mixed-ish and her latest project helping new moms on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Peter Gallagher (Grace and Frankie/The Secret Lives of Men) - Peter talks about Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Grace and Frankie on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April/May/June)

Martin - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season Head of the Class - The Complete First Season Modern Family - The Eleventh and Final Season

02/04 - Martin - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
02/11 - Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season (WBShop.com)
02/18 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/25 - Better Things - The Complete Third Season
03/17 - Crashing - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/07 - Cheers - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
04/14 - Police Squad! - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/14 - The Righteous Gemstones - The Complete First Season
04/21 - Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season (WBShop.com)
05/05 - Kidding - Season 2
05/19 - The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season
05/19 - The Good Place - The Complete Series - Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Series
06/02 - Work in Progress - Season 1
06/09 - Head of the Class - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
06/09 - Letterkenny - Seasons 3 & 4
06/09 - Modern Family - The Eleventh and Final Season
06/23 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Third Season (Blu-ray)
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