NOTE - 4 Episodes are Edited - Inexcusable for DVD
esb100 | Columbus, Ohio | 11/10/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As soon as this set came out, I posted below, enthusiastic about receiving complete, unedited episodes, even to the point of excusing the absence of extras. I was wrong. As discussed by others below and on the Yahoo Soap Group, a comparison of the DVD episodes with the complete, unedited episodes on the Columbia House videotapes shows that 4 DVD episodes are edited:Episode 2 - Edits out Jody singing "There's Nothing Like a Dame" and the tune the Godfather hums after Danny leaves the sauna.Episodes 16 and 17 are the syndicated versions, each missing 2 and 1/2 minutes from the complete episodes.Episode 19 deletes the "On the last episode on Soap" intro. It should be noted that the company issuing Soap on DVD, Columbia TriStar, also puts out Sanford and Son on DVD, and that a second season DVD episode of Sanford and Son, "Blood is thicker than Junk" incredibly edits out 2 and 1/2 minutes which appear on the syndicated version. All of this, of course, is not important in light of what's happening in the world, but it does show extrememe sloppiness and lack of care by Columbia TriStar."
Excellent Show That Deserves a Better DVD
P. Solinger | Yuma, Arizona United States | 11/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What can I say about this groundbreaking hit TV show from 1977 that other reviewers haven't already said? This is an excellent, hilarious soap opera spoof that focuses on two familes whose only link is the matriachs, Jessica and Mary, two sisters. Well, Jessica is also sleeping with Mary's stepson, so I guess there are more links. Several funny storylines are woven together in this first season, culiminating with a classic murder mystery that stretches for twelve of the 25 episodes.This is definitely a five star TV show, but the DVD production is severely lacking. Not only are a couple of episodes edited, as previously reported, but there are no extras to speak of (unless you count movie trailers). I can easily recommend this collection to purchase, just due to the excellent episodes of this series that you will get. However, Soap deserved more effort from Columbia House, and one can only hope they release season two with complete, unedited episodes. Knowing their history, however, extras will probably continue to be a pipe dream."
Television's Landmark Comedy
Jose R. Perez | Yonkers, NY USA | 09/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At long last, "Soap" comes to DVD. An avid fan of the show since it originally aired in the 70's, I own the series on VHS but am estatic about the DVD release for a few reasons. Not only do I look forward to selecting which episodes to watch over and over again, ANY extras will just be icing on this delicious cake. But beyond that, having Season One on DVD means that there's a commitment to releasing future seasons of this quinti-sensational laugh-riot-of-a-comedy. Now I know what my friends are getting for Christmas this year!Ruthlessly funny and irreverent, SOAP was like a breath of fresh air when it first made its network appearance 25 years ago. My best friend and I would literally watch each episode together - eithe rin person or on the phone, mostly to share the immediacy of the funniest gags we'd ever scene, but also to ensure one of us would remember all the lines the next day. With a cast of characters that quite honestly DEFINED the word CHARACTERS "Soap" ranks as the funniest comedy series of the past 40 years, perhaps ever. Up there with "I Love Lucy" each episode guarantees a laugh - guffaws and belly grabbing are a given. Few series have ever combined wit and wisdom the way SOAP did. Sure - it introduced prime time's first "out" gay character (Jodie, the incomparable Billy Crystal) but no show has even come close to creating some of the other situations you'll find here! A demon baby? YEP, why not, when a fallen priest (Father Tim) hooks up with the ... daughter Corinne.
A talking grapefruit? Sure...if you're imitating one crazy sibling's unique attachment to a ventriloquist dummy named Bob.
A mother in lust with her daughter's lover (and tennis coach)? Trust me, Lifetime never had it this good.
How about murder? Alien Abductions? A gay quarterback? An all-knowing scene-stealing butler (the one and only BENSON)? Yep, they're all here. And Richard Mulligan - the late great and brilliant comedian who forever channelled the character of Burt -is absolutely the funniest TV dad you'll ever meet. You can keep Bill Cosby - gimme BURT any day! And Katherine Helmond, whose bust and boundless sex-kittenish turn as Jessica Tate made her a TV staple - is an absolute joy.SOAP was - and remains - a series that breaks the rules and still works. Its humor was often raw and raunchy, but human nonetheless. Forget "Happy Days" - for pure unduplicated television laughs, SOAP is comedy heaven."
Great TV Show Finally On DVD
Slade Simon | Scottsdale, AZ USA | 10/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1977, this show was very controversal. It is somewhat tame by today's standards, but the humor still works. It's just less likely to offend people. This show is a soap satire. It is a comedy soap opera. This was the first series to have a cliffhanger at the end of each season. It might have been the first series with a non-stereotypical homosexual male. ...although Jody Dallas (Billy Crystal) is almost a stereotype at first. The plot of each episode can get as insane as the daily soap operas. Soap lasted 4 seasons with a 5th season planned. There was a spin-off, Benson, which had one episode that was used to tie-up the loose ends. The series focuses on two sisters, Jessica Tate (Katherine Helmond) and Mary Campbell (Cathryn Damon). Jessica and Chester (Robert Mandan) are the rich couple. Jessica can be a little slow-witted at times during the comic moments. Chester is a stockbroker who is always cheating on Jessica. Mary and Burt (Richard Mulligan) aren't rich, but they have their share of troubles too. The Major (Arthur Peterson), Jessica's and Mary's dad, still believes World War II is going on. There is plenty more, but I'm only sticking to what's established at the very beginning. I don't want to spoil anything. In response to a previous review, the summary of past events at the start of each episode may mention something or use clips that happened a few episodes earlier. It reminds you of what you need to know for the episode about to be shown. I remember the scene the reviewer claims was missing. Burt Campbell and Jessica Tate are my personal favorites in the series. Other characters improve as the series progresses. Danny Dallas (Ted Wass) becomes more of an idiot in later episodes. I wish the box for this set was more sturdy like the box Fox uses for The Simpsons. There are also no cutouts in the outside case to help you grab the insert to get the discs out. I keep thinking I'm going to tear the box when I try to pull the DVDs out. The first couple of times I had trouble getting the insert that holds the DVDs out. It does begin to come out easier each time. None of the Columbia/TriStar DVDs of old TV shows seem to have many extras. The most you can expect are previews related to something about the show. This Soap set has an ad for other retro TV DVD sets and a trailer for America's Sweetheart (because Billy Crystal stars in it). TRIVIA BITS:
Rod Roddy of The Price Is Right ("Come On Down!") provided the narration at the beginning and ending of each episode. Richard Mulligan is also known for his role in Empty Nest.Katherine Helmond also starred on Who's The Boss and has appeared more recently on Everybody Loves Raymond as Lois. Robert Mandan appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in "Cardassians.""
Fantastic show, barely adequate release
James R. Curry | Louisville, Kentucky United States | 06/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In today's entertainment climate, it's hard to imagine how the content of Soap was enough to warrant the flood of letters received by the network in criticism of the show, but in 1977, Soap was quite a scandal; before the first episode even aired!It's also hard to believe that Soap's quirky, off-beat premise has never been duplicated, as over 25 years later, it still stands as a completely unique take on the traditional sitcom format. That's not to say that Soap hasn't dated at all - it does show its age in a number of places, although certainly much less than many of its contemporaries in the television world; Soap remains, overall, a breath of fresh air.The formula is remarkably simple: Take two families so dysfunctional that they make The Simpsons seem like paragons of fine social behaviour, and throw them into insane soap-opera-esque situations, with each episode following on from the last and the plots gradually getting more and more exagerated, ridiculous, and labyrinthine, blatantly parodying the numerous soap operas that plague network TV, even to this day.It could have been an unmitigated disaster, as attempts to create "wacky" TV often result in an unintelligent, directionless mess that seems like nothing more than a series of failed attempts to elicit a laugh from the audience. Not so with Soap. It's partly because the writing was sharp, and often witty with some fantastic one-liners. It's partly due to strong characters that you could actually feel for, when the show took one of its more serious turns. It has a lot to do with an incredible ensemble cast who each provided perfectly timed deliveries and a neverending array facial expressions that were often as entertaining as the writing itself.Based upon the quality of the material, I won't hesitate to recommend this DVD set, particularly to those who've never experienced the show. Its very nature does, after all, require it to be viewed in order, for maximum enjoyment, and this boxed set offers the opportunity. (While TV Land insist on only purchasing the rights to a group of episodes from the second season, and airing them incessantly).So whilst fans of the show should rush out and buy this set, and those who have never seen it should pay the (very reasonable) asking price to get a first look, the set does have a number of problems.MOST forgiveable is the lack of extras. Most of us buy these things for the episodes, after all, but some decent extras can make what is a good set into an outstanding one.STILL forgiveable is the cramming of 25 episodes onto 3 disks. Ordinarily, this might provoke a little more aggrivation, but the show was shot on videotape in the 1970s. A little less compression isn't going to do much to improve the picture, which is still the best this show has looked in a long while.ANNOYING is the fact that a few episodes have been slightly edited. I understand that this isn't for time, nor content, but due to non-cleared music rights, which I can understand. These edits are small, and shouldn't disuade you from this purchase.MOST DISGUSTING, however, is the fact that syndicated versions of two of these episodes were included, instead of the original, uncut versions. There's absolutely no reason for this, and it seems wholely sloppy. Thankfully, it's limited to just two episodes, but the producers of this set should be ashamed of themselves. I seriously hope this won't happen again for the second season set.So, overall, a set with a few annoying quirks, but nevertheless the first 25 episodes of a show that would easily have been worth a five star rating should a little more care been taken with the release. At the asking price, it's a steal!"