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 / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Wednesday, February 28

The Conners - "Shrinks Don't Talk and Kids Don't Sing" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mark adjusts to his first day of college as a commuter student; meanwhile, Becky gets into a disagreement with Beverly Rose’s music teacher over a song.

Not Dead Yet - "Not Polite Yet" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Lexi combines the first two floors of the newsroom, leaving Nell to share a cubicle with T.J., a popular sportswriter who’s friends with everyone … except her.

Abbott Elementary - "Breakup" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Barbara’s church choir uses the gym for rehearsals, Ava notices tensions in the group. Jacob’s eagerness for a full social calendar worries Gregory. Melissa and Janine investigate a new substitute.

That Girl Lay Lay - "Lay Lay Goes Away-Way" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Needing a best friend to talk to, Sadie wishes that phone avatar Lay Lay was real and could help teach her how to stand out; when Lay Lay is magically brought to life, the two friends learn that when they are together, they can accomplish anything.

That Girl Lay Lay - "Out the App 2: E-Lay-Lay-tric Boogaloo" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Needing a best friend to talk to, Sadie wishes that phone avatar Lay Lay was real and could help teach her how to stand out; when Lay Lay is magically brought to life, the two friends learn that when they are together, they can accomplish anything.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 26)

Wednesday, February 28

  • Bob Odenkirk (The Larry Sanders Show) - Watch Bob on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Carrie Preston (Crowded/Happyish/Emeril) - Carrie is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She talks about Elsbeth on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Austin Butler (Ruby & the Rockits/Zoey 101/Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide) - Austin appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenny Slate (The Great North/Big Mouth/Married/Bob's Burgers) - Jenny is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever/Final Space) - Fred sits in with The 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Fortune Feimster (Kenan/Bless the Harts/Champions) and Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Fortune and Tig are guests on After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Son of Zorn/Suburgatory) and Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Broad City/Baby Boom) - Cheryl and Susie are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 10pm on Bravo
  • Zendaya (K.C. Undercover/Shake It Up) - E! News has an interview with Zendaya at 11pm on E!.
  • Alan Cumming (Schmigadoon!) - Alan is joining Drew and Ross Mathews at the Drew'ss News desk to discuss headlines like the Romy and Michele's High School Reunion sequel in the works and the American alternative to the Irish exit on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kim Fields (The Upshaws/Living Single/The Facts of Life/Baby, I'm Back) - Kim discusses her wellness retreat and the upcoming new season of Netflix's The Upshaws on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Vivica A. Fox (Mr. Box Office/Getting Personal/Arsenio/Out All Night) and Michael Beach (The Game) - The cast of Soul Food reunite and discuss Hulu's new Black Stories Always on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
  • Diane Farr (Splitting Together/Like Family/The Job) - Diane discusses the CBS drama series Fire Country on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November-February)

Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Father Knows Best - The Complete Series The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

11/07 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/14 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One

That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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