Anybody Else Disappointed With Time/Life?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I would like to sample Laugh-In as I've never really watched it. I've heard comparisons between it and Hee-Haw, with Hee-Haw being the countrified version. I can watch Hee-Haw to this day and it doesn't seem dated at all, even the 70's shows.
     
  2. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Can't agree with all that, Joe. I saw a tribute to Laugh-In at the museum here in L.A. a few years back and it was packed and the audience had a great time. There was a lot of fine sketch comedy in there, along with oh-so-mod bits that are more entertaining as time capsules than anything else. But Mama's Family was to me nothing but an insult to the fine "Family" sketches done on TCBS. Not one laugh to be had in it for me.
     
  3. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I think "The Family" sketches from TCBS rank with "The Honeymooners" on "The Jackie Gleason Show" as the best "series" sketches in TV history. I know both of them can be depressing, because they show lower class people living sad lives and taking out their frustrations on each other, but unfortunately, that's how life is for millions of people. They were certainly more true to life than "Leave It to Beaver" (which I also like, but it's a fantasy to me).

    I don't think "Laugh-In" had anything to remotely compare to that. It was just a series of vaudeville sketches. Is someone looking into the camera and saying "Sock it to me" or "Here come de judge" really funny? I didn't think it was even in 1969.
     
  4. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I completely agree with your assessment of "The Family" sketches. I think they are truly brilliant. My point was that Mama's Family is not the original, and nowhere near the same quality. In fact, as I said, I find it actually insulting to the memory of the great work done on TCBS.

    I also agree that Laugh-In is not of the quality of the "The Family" sketches. But what is? And while I agree that the catch phrases and routine bits on LI aren't funny (and lets not forget the idiotic "Farkle Family" bits!) there is much more to the series than that. To me, that's like the people in another thread who reduce All in the Family to nothing but the sound of a toilet flushing.
     
  5. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    "The Family" sketches were a world apart from this show. The "redneck" humor and Mama's quips worked a whole lot better when she had Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman as foils. Without Carol and Harvey, the show was reduced to a wisecracking old lady (tired out sitcom stereotype) insulting the other characters with no one that can match wits with her. Mama works best as an ensemble character with players of equal talent. This is not a character that should be carrying a show. Picture Estelle Geddy (same basic character/different venue) carrying her own show sans Arthur, White, and McClenahan. Wouldn't work. And this didn't either. IMHO
     
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  6. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I do agree that "Mama's Family" was inferior to "The Family" sketches. Vicki Lawrence herself originally said she didn't like how they changed the Mama character. If you can believe Wikipedia, here's what it says:

    "Lawrence originally disfavored Mama's change in character from The Family sketches to the series version, believing that toning down the character's grumpy, spiteful nature in exchange for a kinder nature, capable of humor and high spirits wasn't funny."

    I might have a soft spot in my heart (or head) about the series because I once met Vicki Lawrence and I asked her if she'd say something to me in Mama's voice, and she said: "Don't just stand there with that stupid expression on your face, bring me a beer!"
     
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  7. JMFabianoRPL

    JMFabianoRPL Stunt Coordinator

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    I have nostalgic memories of both shows, actually.

    Maybe the Carol Burnett sets were choppy because of music rights? (speaking of CBS, the master of bombing out because of such rights) I don't think you'll ever see a complete version of any variety series because of this, not to mention clearing various celebrity appearances.
     
  8. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    You know what--I love Mama's Family. I really am disappointed in the forum members for taking the time to post all this vitriol over it.

    Usually, when they release a show I don't like--I say nothing. I can't imagine why I'd trash someone else's favorites. There's no benefit in that for me.

    Yet here we stand.
     
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  9. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    There was no offense intended with regard to someone's interest's. One of the problems here on this forum is the exact thing you are talking about. The "unwritten" rule that you are not permitted to voice your opinion when you don't like a show and that your only option to say nothing. IMO, if you express your opinion is a respectful way, it is perfectly acceptable to voice your disappointment when a show you dislike is released if favor of something you do like. If is not an affront to another collectors or there preferences., it is simply one's opinion on a particular show and that personally they should be able to express it without fear of being 'trashed" themselves for disagreeing. It is nothing personal at all. As an example, if you spot a favorite show of mine,like Barnaby Jones for example, on the release schedule and you don't like it or are waiting for another favorite of yours from that distributor, there is absolutely nothing wrong with voicing your displeasure. You wouldn't offend me one bit. Anyway, that's my diatribe. Again, no offense intended or implied. Thanks
     
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  10. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Exactly. On this forum I've read many of my favorites being pilloried by fellow HTF members, including I Love Lucy, All in the Family and Bewitched. That's life. People have opinions that differ from mine. They were simply expressing theirs, not insulting me.
     
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  11. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I disagree. I see no point to do it. It's not like they promised the Jack Benny Program, took it away, and said, 'Oh, we're doing Mama's Family instead." Then I could see people being upset. But I see no point in starting a thread to trash a very successful show and say stupid things like "WHY are they putting out Mama's Family?? WHY do they put out this kind of junk when Judd for the Defense languishes in a vault somewhere? WHY??"
     
  12. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Screenwriter

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    I really can't be disappointed in Time/Life, because whatever they release is usually so out there and "impossible" that it's not something I think I'll see on DVD.

    If their release is something I want to see, like China Beach or Mama's Family, then it's a bonus.

    If it's something I'm not really interested in, like the Carol Burnette Show or the Smothers Brothers releases, well, it's not like I'm out of anything, because I wouldn't have been buying those sets anyway.

    Time/Life's releases are added bonuses in the world of TV on DVD..
     
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  13. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Oh, not only are we not entitled to express our opinions (in a SEPARATE thread, no less), but they're "stupid" to boot. Nice Ethan. Very nice. I put down the series, NOT the fans who liked it. (I even said I was happy for them that Time-Life was treating the series so well.) It's too bad you feel the need to attack people who dislike the series, instead of just defending the series itself.
     
  14. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    John, you are absolutely wrong. It's not that you're not entitled to express your opinions--it's that you chose to do so in a negative way.
     
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  15. Kasey

    Kasey Second Unit

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    I was never disappointed in Time-Life in the past, but this being my first purchase from them, I am certainly thrilled they chose to release one of my top three favorites in such a deluxe package.

    While I understand many people may find this show "lowbrow", "immature" or "an insult" to the Carol Burnett 'Family' sketches, I certainly don't see how it's "offensive". I would reserve that word for something like Jersey Shore or the Kardashians or any of the filthy, stupid 'reality' shows that have overprivelaged women cursing at each other with expletives bleeped out every other second. IMO watching those shows is the equivalent of swimming in a toilet bowl and more deserving of critcism than a fun guilty pleasure such as Mama.
     
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  16. rmw650

    rmw650 Screenwriter

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    I never even thought to see the day that we'd finally see this show, let alone the entire series, be released onto DVD plus the additional bonus footage versus that garbage that WB released a few years ago in Season One. Just happy someone decided it was time to release the show as again, it was one of the most-requested shows to be released onto DVD next to the 1966 Batman series. Happy TL/Starvista is actually doing this.
     
  17. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Cinematographer

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    I'm not upset with Time-Life, just a bit disappointed with the series chosen as I've never been a fan of this series (skits, yes - series, no). BUT I *do* hope it sells well enough they'll consider releasing another complete series next year (or sooner). If sales of this don't do so well they might consider just dropping support of the format and I do not want to see that occur. As long as TL is releasing full series on DVD I'll never be disappointed with the company even if it is a series for which I have no interest.
     
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  18. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I agree totally -- and that's why I purposely bashed "Laugh-In" in this thread, to show what it feels like (although I meant every word I said about "Laugh-In.")

    I find about 97% of what's released on DVD positively repulsive. If I entered every thread to announce my dislike of the show or movie being discussed, that's all I'd spend my time doing.
     
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  19. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    What you're saying is true to a certain extent, but there always seems to be an underlying message that anyone who likes a certain show or movie that the poster doesn't like has to be some kind of idiot, so there is an element of the "personal" about it.

    The opposite is true, too. I think anyone who doesn't like "Mama's Family" has to be some kind of idiot. :P
     
  20. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Hey, I just thought of something. If Time-Life has put out "The Carol Burnett Show" and now "Mama's Family," why don't they put out a set of all "The Family" sketches from "The Carol Burnett Show"?
     

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