Best TV Show Ever Comes to DVD End of April

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Karl Shoottheglass, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The entire run? I remember NUVO, must have been Lt Calletano and Jesus Martinez that caught their market niche screen, was showing the first couple of seasons only.
     
  2. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, in the first place, none of the instances I cited above had anything to do with music related issues. One of them dealt with an incompetent video transfer, and others with Shout offering inferior quality episodes on a set after being deceitful and dishonest aforehand as to the quality of those episodes.

    “Non-debacle?” The issue of the music on the original DVD issue of The Fugitive was one of the greatest debacles in the history of DVD television series releases, for both the fans of the show and ultimately for Paramount/CBS, who wound up having to sink way more money into the project than they would have had they released the series properly in the first place.
    Imagine this scenario: go back to when Paramount is releasing Star Trek the original series for the first time ever on DVD. Imagine that those DVDs come out, and it turns out that the original music scored for those episodes by Alexander Courage, Fred Steiner, George Dunning, Gerald Fried, et. al. has been replaced by a score consisting of some synthesizer music drummed up by some hack musician. And if the end credits of each episode were altered to replace the name of the original composer with the hack musician. Do you think fans of the original Star Trek would have stood for that for one second? If that had happened, would you still call it a “non-debacle”? I don’t know, maybe you would.
    And again, the whole thing about the music replacement on The Fugitive was not so much that it happened as that Paramount did it in an extremely sneaky, underhanded way, making no public announcement about it prior to release and refusing to respond pubically to the public criticism in its aftermath.
    Those of us who “sat on our bums and complained” forced Paramount to eventually re-release The Fugitive with the original score intact. What have those of you who have sat on their buns and complained about US done, other than hamper our efforts to preserve classic television the way it was meant to be seen?

    I'd say that you should ignore posters like Shaku Zulu, but I don't think they're that big a deal.
     
  3. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It wasn't NUVO. It was some "oldies" cable station up in the triple digits. I don't know if they did entire runs insofar as I changed cable packages a few months in and no longer had the channel.
     
  4. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, I'd love to have the incidental music replaced in the original Star Trek (not the theme, obviously) as an experiment. I would love to see what a modern synthesizer composer (say, Christopher Franke, the composer for Babylon 5) would do with TOS, or even TNG. Why not? There is a precedent for this; people have composed different soundtracks for films like Metropolis, Birth Of A Nation, and Nosferatu (this last one done by a local impresario in Toronto to Radiohead's Kid A album, which he shows at his cinema/house.) All that it would take is being open minded, but being close-minded is all that people can be, I guess.

    The complaining (which in most instances consisted of death threats and nasty insults issued to executives and reviewers) didn't really accomplish anything beyond The Fugitive being issued on DVD and likely nothing else older except for Star Trek, Perry Mason, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible, Hawaii Five-O and I Love Lucy plus some more recent shows being on DVD. What was accomplished other than making Paramount leery of doing old shows?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  5. JWPlatt

    JWPlatt Commodore Commodore

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    You're talking about an experiment that would be available for optional purchase in addition to the current releases with all the original music. That's a LOT different. I assume you would not promote the idea that it should be released as THE official release of the entire original series without warning as a surprise for the fans?
     
  6. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Why not? I'd offer it on Blu-Ray DVD with the option to hear the original soundtrack, the same way the Star Trek:TOS redo was offered with the option to see the original unaltered version.
     
  7. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    While I certainly don't condone the use of death threats, if I had been responsible for something like the Fugitive music atrocity, I would certainly expect to receive them. And whatever "nasty insults" the perpetrators of such a betrayal of the public trust received were well and fully deserved.
    As to this whole "Let's not make the companies mad my criticizing them, they might stop releasing old shows altogether!" line of argument - well, there's a term for individuals who adopt such an attitude. It was originally coined by a Miss Harriet Beecher Stowe as part of the title of a novel she wrote in the 1850's. (Although Stowe's titular character was noble and self-sacrificing in her original book, the term has come to be identified with those who act with fawning sympathy towards individuals in power in order to curry favor with them.)
     
  8. JWPlatt

    JWPlatt Commodore Commodore

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    "The option." That's how I would do it. It's a nice idea. But the comparison between The Fugitive and your increasingly hypothetical experimental Star Trek release still fails because there was apparently no option for the misrepresented The Fugitive release until significant complaint. The hypothetical experimental release still does not equally compare to The Fugitive, so the example is pretty much a paper tiger.
     
  9. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't see the drama. If a company misrepresents its product, I agree that is serious and should have significant ramifications for them. If the video release was not misrepresented and simply doesn't meet your expectations, you get your money back. But when the mere possibility of a home video set not meeting ones expectations is considered worse than having HIV, that's a whole different level than I'm operating on.

    It's been seven years since Fox Video decided not to release HSB seasons 3 through 7 on DVD. That's plenty of time for someone to negotiate home video or streaming rights, and Shout!Factory has apparently been the one to put the deal together. As I said before, I have other sets from the company and have been satisfied. If the HSB release is substandard I'll get my money back and be no worse off than before.
     
  10. Mele Kalikimaka

    Mele Kalikimaka Be Here. Aloha. Premium Member

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    Todd seems to have his hyperbole generator dialed up to 11. Releasing The Fugitive without the original music is a "betrayal of the public trust"?

    The NSA tracking our phone calls for no good reason is a betrayal of the public trust. Congress holding the nation's good faith and credit hostage to make a political point is a betrayal of the public trust. Ignoring a national health crisis in the 1980s because gay sex made certain politicians feel icky was a betrayal of the public trust. Substituted music on a DVD... yeah, not so much.

    The "Uncle Tom" reference: not very cool, either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    (Post deleted).
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  12. Bah Humbug

    Bah Humbug Admiral Admiral

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    When Wiseguy was finally released on dvd they had to replace a lot of background music. The worst instance was when they had to replace "Knights in White Satin" with an instrumental on the last episode of the Sonny Steelgrave arc. Sure it was a little upsetting but I never regretted buying the set since the alternative was probably never seeing the show again.
     
  13. Karl Shoottheglass

    Karl Shoottheglass Commodore Commodore

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    NORTHERN EXPOSURE and WKRP IN CINCINATTI in particular suffered from similarly altered music. When Howard Hessman was informed of the changes, his reaction was essentially ''get over it.'' But it's harder to do so when you tamper with a classic. Les Nessman was deprived of his ''Hot Blooded'' song. WKRP fused the music with the humor. It's insane to separate them under any circumstances.

    The original HSB ''complete'' Season One omitted a ten-second clip of characters singing ''Mr. Sandman.'' As old as that song is, could the rights have been that prohibitive?
     
  14. Mele Kalikimaka

    Mele Kalikimaka Be Here. Aloha. Premium Member

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    Possibly. There's a segment on the very first episode of Sesame Street where Gordon sings "Consider Yourself" (from the musical Oliver!)with a bunch of Everything Muppets; when this episode was released as part of the first Sesame Street: Old School collection, the segment was dropped.
     
  15. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    THIS (minus the part about the NSA tracking phone calls-that's its job, and it's been misinterpreted by a whiny crybaby so-called 'whistleblower' who could commit treason under the Obama administration, but not under the Bush one.)

    The whole affair has most likely damaged any future attempts by Paramount to put old shows on DVD in other than a pressed format besides The Fugitive, as I've said before-who will want to bother doing that again other than for the crown jewels Star Trek, Hawaii Five-O (1968 series, now on Blu-Ray!), I Love Lucy/The Lucy Show, and maybe a few other old ones I can't remember now?

    The music replaced probably wasn't as important to the show as the missing songs from WKRP In Cincinnati are to that set of DVD's because the songs were inserted by the writers (Hugh Wilson & co.) as part of the plot (the episode about the hairy time with the new transmitter and a possible storm with a crucial scene set to the coda of Foreigner's song ' Urgent' comes to mind)-I doubt that incidental music taken from stock cues in a music library come to mind.

    Want to get angry? Get angry with the RIGHTS HOLDERS of said music for being such obdurate dicks and forcing CBS and Paramount Home Video to not be able to use said music (the same thing applies to any other DVD's from any other show that has music from other sources in it.) Paramount Home Video did not want to pay a lot of money for music rights for the DVD of an old TV series that might not sell a lot because it cost too much (although they've since rectified that situation.) That's all there is to it.
     
  16. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Anyway, back to Hill Street blues. Was Hill Street the best TV show of all time? Probably not. As groundbreaking as it was, like a lot of network television it went a few seasons longer than it should've and the producers lost their way at times.

    Overall I have to say there are number of TV shows that are technically better shows. The Sopranos, the shield, breaking bad, to name a few examples.

    However, the first few seasons of Hill Street are every bit as good as those shows and sometimes maybe better. And not a single one of those shows probably would've gotten made if Hill Street hadn't started convincing people that television didn't have to appeal to the lowest common denominator to be a hit
     
  17. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Of course there is no way to declare the best TV show ever, that's harmless hyperbole. But I'd say the above assessment is fair. In HSB's favor: Its originality, blazing the trail that other shows could follow, and the fact that it did it on a rigid network season schedule, which the other shows mentioned above did not. HSB produced more episodes in less than five calendar years than The Sopranos did in eight and The Shield did in seven. Daniel Travanti said he felt a show could only be really good for about four seasons on that schedule, it burned everyone out.

    I've said this before, but the main thing that stands out about HSB to me is the breadth and depth of its character development. There were 13-14 so main ensemble (up to 15-16 in season 5!) and the viewer knew every one of them: their family and home life, their career ups and downs, who they got along with and who rubbed them the wrong way. And in addition, there was a whole stable of recurring characters who were almost as well developed: Irwin Bernstein, Chief Daniels, Jesus Martinez, Leo Schnitz (moved up to the main cast for part of S5), Al Wachtel, Jerry Fuchs, Robin Tataglia, Sid the Snitch, Ozzie Cleveland... Much of this was established with deft touches of dialogue, sometimes a minute or two of characters' non-plot-related conversation. I'm afraid this may make HSB seem slow and "talky" compared to the pace of more recent TV, but it really works for me. The only shows I've seen that could rival HSB in that respect were St. Elsewhere and The Wire.

    Personally, I thought The Shield was OK but don't rank it with the greats. It started out unfocused, had a lot of filler, suggested some interesting ideas and then never explored them, and had some preposterous stuff, even for a TV cop show, that was just unbelievable. Take a career investigator with no managerial experience and one day make them the precinct captain, really? Some really great performances, though.
     
  18. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Welcome to government work.

    ;)
     
  19. Karl Shoottheglass

    Karl Shoottheglass Commodore Commodore

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    One thing that HILL STREET and THE SOPRANOS have in common is their convention-defying final episodes. Not that their approaches were THAT similar, but in different ways both endings suggested that ''life goes on'' by avoiding major conclusions. THE SOPRANOS did this visually, by withholding shots in the diner. Life may still go on for Tony.

    As for HILL STREET, besides the firing of Dennis Franz's Lt. Buntz, the remaining plots of the final episode were in keeping with the show's general style, so overall we didn't get the feel of a final episode a la ''M*A*S*H'' or ''Mary Tyler Moore.'' In a strange way it made me accept the show had now ended. One year later ST. ELSEWHERE ended in with several major resolutions, and I was literally suffering withdrawal symptoms for months. Still, I don't think the autistic snow globe concept really worked as a whole.
     
  20. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I would also have to say that Alliance/Echo Bridge (formerly Platinum Disc Corporation) are the worst. On their release of "Bordertown" (1988-1991 CTV-CBN), which is suppose to be a "Complete Series" release, the 2nd episode of Season 1 is completely missing it's Teaser and opening credits; the Teaser sets up the whole plot for the episode. However, on an earlier "Best Of" release, the episode is complete. But, unlike the earlier release that only had 28 episodes across 4 discs (one disc has 2 episodes, the other discs have 7 or 8 half-hour shows), this complete series has 78 episodes crammed onto just 6 discs (13-14 episodes per disc).

    But for Shout the worst I've seen has been "The Hardy Boys" Season 3 that was just released last-year. I don't blame Shout for the washed-out Syndication prints that were used, I blame Universal. Universal has not touched the original 35mm prints for these 10 episodes since 1979, and as a result, unless someone meets their high demands, all the broadcast and home video releases are derived from 16mm Syndication prints that were made in the 70's, and this is why the episodes look so terrible.