Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sports Night The Complete Series 10th Anniversary Edition|
Actors: Peter Krause, Felicity Huffman, Josh Charles, Robert Guillaume
Director: Thomas Schlamme
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
With breakout and memorable performances by Josh Charles (In Treatment), Robert Guillaume (Benson), Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives), Peter Krause (Six Feet Under), Sabrina Lloyd (Sliders) and Joshua Malina (The Wes... more »
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One of the BEST too-early-canceled series EVER
K. Rickson | SF Bay Area/Barbary Coast, USA | 07/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I of course cannot comment on the actual box set, since there is little information provided by Amazon on disc details at time of writing (early July 2008).
However, this was one of my favorite shows when it was on in the late 90's (I cannot believe it's been 10 years already!!!). And, it is still in my top 5 of all time to this day.
Why? Well, for one thing, just look what some of the key people involved have gone on to do after making Sports Night: The West Wing (Creator/Writer/Producer Aaron Sorkin, actor Josh Malina, plus guest spots by many SportsNight regulars), Six Feet Under (Peter Krause), Desperate Housewives (Felicity Huffman). For each of these pros, 'Sports Night' was a key launchpad for the rest of their careers.
(And, of course, the already well-respected Robert Guillaume was a key member of the cast. He suffered a debilitating stroke mid-production and still gave bravura perfomances on his return.)
This show is one of the rarest of TV gems: a comedy that does not pander, that challenges you to keep up. Anyone who regularly watched the first few seasons of 'The West Wing' will recognize one of Sorkin's favorite devices, the fast-talking, no-pauses, walking-down-the-hallway conversation. This device is not to everyone's taste, but it's a great one for the right actors and writers, and a certain species of TV viewer.
And yet, the show rewards even casual viewers with witty, incisive, insightful commentary and critique of just about everything. It's just plain funny most of the time.
The tagline was "It's about sports. The way Charlie's Angels was about law enforcement". And that about sums it up. Its focus is on human relationships in that most volatile environment, the workplace.
This workplace just happens to be an even more of a pressure-cooker than most: a TV studio producing live sports news shows. Think 'ESPN SportsCenter'. Yet, it's not supposed to actually be SportsCenter, since they wisely wink to reality and refer to "Bristol" (the actual city where ESPN is headquartered) as their competition. I always thought this was a clever device, since ESPN is a sister company to ABC, the network 'Sports Night' ran on. Eveyone else (Fox, CNN, et al) has tried to beat ESPN at its own game, and lost, and 'Sports Night' keeps that feeling of being a decided underdog.
Though the stakes aren't as high for the rest of the world, the pressure of the environment to the people in it (and therefore by extension to the viewer) is much like Sorkin's 'West Wing' -- not as many dramatic world crises, but still plenty of "must react NOW!!!" raw material that Sorkin and team mine for sublime comic effect.
Yes, it's funny, very funny in fact. But what appealed to me most is that quite often Sports Night could be poignant, even at times dramatic. Again, not the faux-gavitas that most sitcoms try to attain with that corny, "a very special episode of...", ripe-for-satire phoniness. When there is deep human emotion to be felt, the show portrays it in just the right quantities. Breakups, lost career opportunities, even some of the ficitious "real world" storylines have just that much more feeling of real human emotion than do just about any other TV comedy, or even many TV dramas. Most of that reality is due to the characters being portrayed as fleshed-out human beings, at least as much as can be done in a 30-minute TV format. They aren't exactly true to life, but they aren't just cardboard cut-outs either. An excellent example is how Robert Guillaume's real-life stroke, and subsequent return to the show, was handled onscreen: brilliantly, of course.
In the end, if you are like me, you will love Sports Night mainly for the charcaters themselves. I really came to like them, a lot. I wanted to know more about them. Even the guest spots were intriguing, like Felicity Huffman's real-life husband, William H. Macy, as a show "fixer". That's why the cancellation was so painful for so many. I had to wait another five years for another TV comedy that could rival it -- 'Arrested Development', another cult fav that was killed too early. I think if a show like 'Sports Night' was pitched today, it would probably find a comfy home on cable, and live for many seasons. However, it was at least five years ahead of its time for that. And network TV is notorious for handling quality shows badly.
If you watched it while it was on, this box set is a great chance to relive its greatness. If you never had the pleasure, please take the opportunity now to explore something very special."
Great show, great box set
J. C. Matelli | Somerville, MA | 03/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had bought the original box set several years ago. While the show is one of the best ever, and still holds up over time, the earlier DVD set was not worthy. There were no features, there were no commentaries. It was just the episodes, nothing extra. Admittedly, it was an improvement over the videos I'd recorded when the show was rebroadcast on Comedy Central in 2001, but....
Then I loaned the set to someone, and they never returned it (wise of them, foolish of me). This loss was a blessing in disguise, because it gave me an excuse to buy this anniversary edition. What am upgrade!
Seriously, this is one of my favorite possessions; I might need to buy a second set in case i wear this one out. get it, watch it, rewatch it a few times until you catch all the jokes and witty asides."
Why no subtitles... WHY!?!?!?
christopher dewberry | birmingham, AL United States | 02/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I absolutely love love love this show. I followed it while it was on the air (even though I was in junior high school) and I purchased the original DVD release when it came out. I fell in love with it again and my wife lost her Sorkin virginity. When I heard that a new anniversary edition was coming out, and from Shout Factory, I got excited. Shout Factory did a great job with the Freaks and Geeks set, so I had high expectations. I sold my old set and pre-ordered this new one. When we went to watch it we discovered that unlike the previous bare-bones release, this one does not have subtitles. I have no idea why the definitive collection of a work would choose to omit this standard feature. I cannot recommend the series highly enough, but I am disappointed by the lack of subtitles."
Just good television!
Michael A. Brown | Salt Lake City, UT USA | 09/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Writer/creator Aaron Sorkin and director Thomas Schlamme went on to develop NBC's "The West Wing" during the second season of this wonderful series.
From the beginning, ABC had no clue of how to handle this show. First, they insisted that the producers ad a laugh track, because you don't know when to laugh. Then, they started to promote it like a soap opera, because it had serious issues to deal with at times.
Ultimately, the quality of the show came through. A fabulous cast provided excellent performances. Josh Charles ("A Few Good Men", "SWAT") and Sabrina Lloyd ("Sliders") are the MVPs here, consistently giving the show it's heart. Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under", "Dirty Sexy Money"), initially stiff in his "on air" role as Casey McCall, settled in well mid-first season.
The real gem here is Robert Guilamme ("Benson"), his Issac Jaffe is an excellent character brought to life with his gentle touch. Guilamme's real-life stroke was written into the series, and when he returned in the second season made for some wonderful moments and sly dialogue delivered by the veteran actor.
Unfortunately, try though they may, Shout! Factory has been unable to provide the option of killing the laugh track in the set. Fortunately, they have provided a great new set which beats the original cheap, no-frills set that Disney provided several years ago."