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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: "Sports Night: The Complete Series" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 30, 2002.

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  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Ronald Epstein
    [​IMG]

    Sports Night
    The Complete Series




    Studio: Buena Vista
    Year: 1998
    Rated: NR
    Film Length: 1260 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Full Frame (1.33:1)
    Subtitles: English



    Let's get this out of the way. I don't watch
    sports and I generally do not enjoy shows about
    sports -- but send me an entire television series
    on DVD for free and I'll review anything.
    [​IMG]
    With that out of the way, let me firmly state
    that I was quite surprised by this television series
    created by Aaron Sorkin, who serves as the show's
    principal writer. This show does for Sports News
    as what Larry Sanders did for talk shows -- and
    it's no wonder -- Thomas Schlamme, who directed
    episodes of The Larry Sanders Show contributes to
    this series bringing with him his experience with
    unconventional TV comedies about TV.
    [​IMG]
    The show takes place behind the scenes of a cable
    program that greatly resembles ESPN's SportsCenter.
    The lead characters are the co-hosts of the fictional
    Sports Night: Casey McCall (Peter Krause) and
    an junior anchor Dan Rydell (Josh Charles). Casey is
    in love with producer Dana Whitaker (Felicity Huffman),
    who is the most remarkable presence on this show.
    Robert Guillaume is his usual feisty self as the
    show's executive producer, Isaac.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    The show offers a humorous, and often engaging view
    of intelligent, human and witty career professionals
    working in a high-pressure environment. Every week
    characters are confronted with challenges to their
    professional and personal integrity. The banter
    flows out of the actors mouths in a rat-a-tat rhythm
    that ultimately puts a smile on your face as you
    soak it all in. Though this isn't a show filled
    with rapid-fire jokes, there are plenty of moments
    that merit a chuckle.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Sadly, despite huge critical acclaim, Sports Night
    failed to attract the mass audience ABC were seeking.
    The show was abruptly cancelled after only two seasons.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Sports Night arrives in a 6-disc set that
    contains all 45 episodes from the first and
    second season, including the show's original
    pilot. Each show runs about 22 minutes. I was
    surprised that Buena Vista decided to skimp a
    little on this set, putting a total 6 discs in
    3 standard cases. The shows are presented without
    any sort of chapter stop breakdowns. In addition,
    other than the fact that brief episode descriptions
    appear on the back of each case, there's really
    no descriptive program guide here that lists guest
    stars or air dates.
    How is the transfer?
    Presented in its original 1.33:1 broadcast ratio,
    the picture looks very clear and detailed. The
    only problem I found was that there was a little
    too much redness exhibited in the facial tones
    from time to time. Otherwise, the transfer
    probably looks somewhat better than what you would
    see on cable or satellite television.
    The Dolby Digital surround track is very effective
    in that the show's music is evenly distributed across
    the front and rear channels with dialogue remaining
    firmly in the center. You never quite know where
    the next laugh is going to come from as these tracks
    get thrown randomly into either the center or rear
    channels. Otherwise, sound is very clean and strong
    with no noticeable background hiss.
    Special Features
    Surprisingly, there are none.
    Final Thoughts
    [​IMG]
    I learned something very valuable here today.
    You don't have to know a damn thing about sports
    to enjoy Sports Night. With its more-universal
    subject matter, this show actually gives you a
    little something to chew on. I am happy I had the
    chance to view something original like this.
    Release Date: November 5, 2002
     
  2. Wes C

    Wes C Well-Known Member

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    This short lived sitcom is one of my favorite of all-time. Thanks for the review Ron and even more thanks to Buena Vista. I'll be picking this one up first thing November 5th.
     
  3. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Well-Known Member

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    Same here...I can't wait until my copy ships!
     
  4. Nathan_W

    Nathan_W Well-Known Member

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  5. Scott_J

    Scott_J Well-Known Member

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    When this show first premiered, I didn't watch it because I assumed it was going to be a 30 minute infomercial for SportsCenter, in the form of a sitcom. Then a few weeks into season 1, I caught an episode, and boy was I wrong. I was hooked from the first episode I saw. Great show. Can't wait to get my copy of it, which shipped today BTW. [​IMG]
     
  6. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, Ron said there are 45 episodes on the set, but weren't only 42 episodes shown on ABC? Did Comedy Central air episodes 43-45 or will episodes 43-45 be first seen on this DVD set?
     
  7. Scott_J

    Scott_J Well-Known Member

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    Matt, according to Comedy Central's episode guide (http://www.comedycentral.com/tv_show...ht/sn_episode/), there were 45 episodes. As far as how many episodes ABC aired, I don't know.
    BTW anyone who has not seen the show and is getting the DVD, do NOT read CC's episode guide, as it contains major spoilers for the episodes.
     
  8. ThomasC

    ThomasC Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    thank you so much for reviewing this, ron! i had no idea this was coming out until now, so as soon as i get enough money, sports night is mine! [​IMG] thanks again!
     
  9. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Well-Known Member

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    I watched Afew eps of this and thought it OK, I really Hate ESPN's Brand of Sportscasting so maybe that's why I Was turned off by it.
     
  10. Scott_J

    Scott_J Well-Known Member

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    {off-topic nostalgia)
     
  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Well-Known Member

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    So does the DVD feature the laugh track version, or the original without the laugh track? Can you select?

    -V
     
  12. Wes C

    Wes C Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand the laugh tracks are there, and you can unfortunately not turn them off. Buena Vista just slapped the episodes on to 6 DVD's and shipped it out. But I am not going to complain, I cant believe they even did that.
     
  13. Craig S

    Craig S Premium
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  14. ThomasC

    ThomasC Well-Known Member

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    most, if not all, of the shows in the second season did not have the laugh track, so if buena vista stuck them on, i'll be really ticked. i'm not sure how many shows in the first season had it, but i don't think they did it for the entire season.
     
  15. Michael St. Clair

    Michael St. Clair Well-Known Member

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    I was told many months ago by a genuine insider that the laugh track issue was raised, but discarded by the powers that be due to 'expense'.

    So what we have is basically the NTSC broadcast master.

    I'm disappointed, as the creators did not want the laugh track from the beginning, but I'll be picking up this set.
     
  16. Adam_S

    Adam_S Well-Known Member

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    just a quick question on the packaging, are the 'standard cases' double alphas or slim double amarays? thanks, can't wait to get this set, great show [​IMG]
    Adam
     
  17. Runar_R

    Runar_R Well-Known Member

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    I have had this pre-ordered for a couple of months now. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I want Sorkin to write the dialogue to my life![​IMG]
    [During a bomb scare.]
    Casey McCall: Is there anyone who can say anything that will make us feel like the smart thing to do is to stay in this building right now?
    Dana Whitaker: In ten minutes, three and a half million people will tune in to watch the two of you on television. Many of them will be women.
    Casey McCall: ...All right.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. Bryan Farris

    Bryan Farris Active Member

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  19. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Well-Known Member

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    Glad to see someone put up a review for this. This series deserves all the exposure it can get. I wouldn't hesitate to call this one of the best shows of the last 20 years [​IMG] To bad it only lasted a couple of seasons. I look forward to receiving my set next week.
     
  20. KevA

    KevA Well-Known Member

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    I'm a big fan of this show as well and I'll be picking this DVD set up as soon as it comes out.

    However, I never did see the final few episodes. Can someone who did please indicate (without giving away the details of what happened) if they managed to wrap things up, story-wise? Or, did the show just end without forewarning, not giving the writers the chance to wrap things up?

    It will be great seeing the final episodes for the first time on DVD; however, it will be disappointing if the series just ended abruptly in the middle of "continuing" storylines, etc.

    Kev A.
     

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