In 1980, NBC president Fred Silverman signed Japan's top recording stars Pink Lady to host a prime-time variety hour, convinced they were the next big thing. Only then did he discover that Pink Lady didn't understand a wor... more »d of English--they had memorized every word they spoke on their U.S. tour. Enter stand-up comic Jeff Altman just for laughs; major music acts Roy Orbison, Blondie, Teddy Pendergrass, Alice Cooper, and Cheap Trick to pick up the pace, the scantily-clad Peacock Dancers and an onstage hot tub for spice, and NBC had the making of a real broadcasting disaster which premiered on March 1, 1980--the last, worst variety series! Episodes 1-6.« less
The *Worst* TV Show Ever? It's Better Than You Remember!
Michelle S. | Shinagawa, Tokyo Japan | 10/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I know, I know, I know...This series is regularly regarded as one of the worst (if not THE worst) television series in US history (yada, yada, yada). If you are looking at this page, then you know that's *not* true!
Sure, this is one of the most bizarre TV shows ever made, but it's highly watchable! The comedy skits aren't very funny, but you will find yourself laughing at the disco-era outfits and the Ed Wood-like atmosphere that permeates the entire production. You'll be wondering *why* NBC and the Krofft brothers made this show, but glad that they did!
The bonus materials are pretty sparse. While the recent interview with Jeff Altman is insightful, it would have been a treat to catch up with Mie and Kei themselves. (Maybe they're finally learned some English over the years since the show was made!)
The picture quality is good for a 20+ year old videotaped show. The DVD transfers aren't that bad, and it's almost like being tuned in to NBC for those magical few weeks back in 1980! (Now, all we need are DVDs of "Supertrain" and "The Big Show" to truly re-live the "glory" days of NBC! And while we're at it, how about DVDs of David Letterman's morning show, which premiered a few months after Pink Lady!)"
One of the Best Shows Ever!! [ Contrary to popular belief ]
theboyathome2 | Baltimore, Maryland United States | 05/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Have all of the skits on Saturday Night Live been funny? NO. Have all of the musical numbers on SNL been great? NO. Okay so here was a show with skits that weren't always funny and musical numbers that weren't always great. But when Pink Lady and Jeff was good it was VERY good. It seems as if Jeff Altman was paid money to say bad things about the show on the DVD intros like it was important to distance himself from this "disaster" as he put it. Whatever Jeff. Unless you did those intros for free, you were paid to say negative things as if everything was tongue in cheek like you were smart enough to think at the time that you were doing a bad show. Again, I refer to SNL. I can't tell you how many of the sketches in the early years when the show was supposed to be "cutting edge" that were not funny in the least. At least Pink Lady and Jeff was fun to watch at all times. Jerry Lewis was funny. Red Buttons was funny. Jim Varney and Anna Mathias were funny. Sid Caesar was funny. Roy Orbison performing Live....what a treat. Yeah, the show missed the mark a few times but did anyone see that stupid episode of Seinfeld that wasn't funny. Which one? Yeah...my point exactly. Too many unfunny episodes of Seinfeld to name but THAT was named the best comedy ever. The Pink Lady and Jeff DVD will have you in stitches... irrespective of what Jeff says in his paid intros. You would think he would be smart enough to embrace the show. If you buy the DVD's go past Jeff's intros. He contributes nothing of value. Mie and Kei were VERY GOOD at singing corny American songs like Macarthur Park and Yesterday. But they are even better at singing their own songs. Especially UFO. The studio audience goes nuts at the end of that one. This DVD will be a collector's item soon. Buy it now, keep it in good condition and make those fools who don't have it now pay out the nose for it later. I have 3 copies."
Pink Ladt At Their Best!
craignc | Reynoldsburg, Ohio United States | 10/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A wonderful, 3 DVD boxed set containing the complete 6 Pink Lady variety shows from 1980. Easily the most exciting DVD release of the year.The image quality and sound quality are average for an early 80s television show. However, be warned: Oddly, the discs' chapter stops are spaced mainly to give the viewer easy access to the terrible comedy skits. To find the brilliant musical numbers, you'll have to scan past the skits to locate the musical numbers. The included index card doesn't even list the song titles. But rest assured- the discs do contain the complete shows, with all musical numbers intact.One of the most exciting moments of the entire series was guest star Greg Evigan's solo number, "People I Know", in which he not only sings but plays saxaphone. He later duets with Mie and Kei in the same episode.The bonus interview with Jeff Altman is entertaining. However, as was the case in 1980, he's easier on the eyes than on the ears. It's wonderful to see him shirtless in the hot-tub sequences at the end of several shows. If only he'd have done the skits that way...Other bonus features fail to show Pink Lady to their best advantage. There are seveal websites devoted to Pink Lady which offer more interesting information.However, this set remains an incredible value. No fan will be dissapointed. Place your order at once!Craig"
Could've Had a Lot More Potential
smctopia | 08/03/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've always heard that words couldn't describe how awful this show was. Curiousity got the better of me and I decided to subject myself to all six episodes in this set. There's no doubt about it that this is hands down one of the worst variety shows ever made. It make the Brady Bunch Variety Hour look like an Emmy award-winning masterpiece. One thing that makes this a nice period piece is the guest stars. Where else but on an early 1980s variety show could you see Donny Osmond, Larry Hagman, Boomer the dog, Hugh Hefner, Sherman Hemsley and others?Pink Lady are actually a very interesting piece of Japanese pop culture but NBC failed when they brought them to the American television audience. Instead of letting the girls do what they do best-singing in Japanese and dancing with cloned robotic precision, the writers tried to give Mie and Kei distinct personalities and made them sing mostly in English. Add in the fact that they were paired with unfunny supporting actors and that the girls could barely speak English and you have a recipe for disaster. NBC could've truly had an usual cult show if they would've created a different format for Pink Lady. They could've shown it late at night (perhaps in the timeslot for SNL or David Letterman) and had a Neo-Tokyo Anime style set. Mie and Kei could've spoken in Japanese with subtitles (like Kaga in early episode of "Iron Chef") or with a futuristic robotic translator. The real show featured some early video clips from Blondie and Cheap Trick. Perhaps if Pink Lady had introduced video clips instead of guest stars, MTV (which didn't even exist when this show was aired) would be very different today. As you watch these episodes, try to image what could've been. If you want to minimize your exposure to Pink Lady, check out Episode 3. It has Mie and Kei singing their Japanese hit "UFO" with great dance moves and it has Greg Evigan from "BJ and the Bear" performing a halfway decent song.Audio commentary from Sid and Marty Krofft and Jeff Altman should've been a MUST on this set. I'd love to hear their explanations for putting this on the air and how they would've reacted after having to view these shows after 20 years. A "Behind the Music" style documentary could've helped U.S. viewers to see how popular Pink Lady were in Japan and presented a different side to them from their variety show.The extras in the set are minimal. Jeff Altman introduces each show and there is a small gallery of TV print ads. The box promises the history of Pink Lady as one of the extras but some of the text pages seemed to be missing when I viewed them.
There only 2 episodes on each disc and the box is very bulky; it's thicker than some VHS cases. There are also no captions. Sometimes Mie and Kei are hard to understand and subtitles would've helped. Chapters for each Pink Lady song would've been useful also. The curious who wish to watch this are warned to take it in small doses. If you are looking for something to clear out a room of partygoers that have overstayed their welcome, this is the DVD for you."
Oh Mie oh my!
smctopia | 10/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's not much to be said about this set except that it is truly awful and worth every penny. The skits can be ignored, but the musical numbers are sheer brilliance. The disco version of '42nd Street' done by Donny Osmond and the girls is captivating. The best part of it all is the canned applause: shouts of approval and deafening clapping are heard, but, mysteriously, the audience in view is sitting quite still. It doesn't get better than that. Maybe it does when Bert Parks forgets to start lip-synching with a number from 'Mack and Mabel.' This is too good for words. Buy it and make everyone you know watch it. Learn from it. Embrace it."