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Why "best ofs" stink

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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Mark To

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Posted January 07 2005 - 03:52 PM

Because for one thing, they are never a "Best of" anything. They are never the best episodes. Take any best of collection and then go to the experts on that particular show and they will tell you the great episodes left off and the horrid ones included. Who picks these so called best ofs? Certainly not people most familiar with the series. What best of usually means is most well-known guest stars. And many times those are not the best episodes or in the case of Here's Lucy, not even very good episodes. Before someone replies with the "well they need the big name guest stars to sell it" how about selling it with good episodes? Especially if a company plans any future releases. Putting out so so episodes, even if there are big names in them, will not bring back people to buy future releases. But if they put out the best shows, then people might buy more of the series. I don't know who is doing this Petticoat Junction set. The show is syndicated by Paramount, was produced by Filmways and the copyright is owned by Paul Henning's estate. But if they have any sense or knowledge, they should contact Dave Stein, who runs a Petticoat Junction website, is friends with the Henning family, and is the foremost expert on the series. If they gave him some input, then maybe they might have a shot at a decent package. And please, no post-Bea Benaderet episodes.

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Eric Paddon

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Posted January 07 2005 - 04:24 PM

Actually, I think a lot of fans of Incredible Hulk would say that the Best Of set for that particular show got most of the key episodes included.

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Joseph Miller

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Posted January 07 2005 - 05:28 PM

I agree with Mark, and would like to add that the worst thing about them is that I'd rather have "Season Sets." And since I want Season Sets, I go around hoping they'll have them some day -- so I skip the "Best Of" sets, because I don't want to have to buy them all over again if they DO get around to doing Season Sets. Actually, with a show like "Here's Lucy," even the "best" is none too good. Can you think of a truly good episode in that dismal series? I'd say the weakest "I Love Lucy" episodes were still better than the "best" of "Here's Lucy."

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Eric Paddon

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Posted January 07 2005 - 06:26 PM

I'd rather have season sets too overall, but to be honest the Hulk set was a case where the idea worked in that someone like myself who didn't have much exposure to the series before was able to get all the major episodes covered in one set and as a result I can enjoy the series a lot more than I would have if it had just been Season 1. Now that I like the show as a result of the Best of set though, I do hope it gets to season sets someday to supplant this one.

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Matthew Green

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Posted January 07 2005 - 09:04 PM

Not having Married on there was the biggest hole in that set...

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Kevin L McCorry

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Posted January 08 2005 - 12:33 AM

There are better episodes of The Incredible Hulk than the ones that made it to the Best-of set. "Kindred Spirits" is very average, and its first Hulk-out marred by some appalling lapses of continuity (just what clothes are Banner wearing anyway?), and I've never seen what it is about "Rainbow's End" that appeals to the fans. It strikes me as average. "Equinox" on the other hand has three Hulk-outs, a confrontation between McGee and a masked Banner in a waredrobe room whereupon the circumstances of the lab fire in the premiere episode are discussed, and an excellent feeling throughout of edge-of-seat tension. "A Child in Need" is a sterling example of a episode dealing with weighty social issues. "Terror in Times Square" is an iconic episode in the series, with Banner Hulking out in a taxi (with some excellent demi-Hulk effects) and the Hulk running about in NYC. Other episodes that could have made it to the set: "Interview With the Hulk", "Bring Me the Head of the Hulk", "Death Mask", "A Rock and a Hard Place", "The Slam", "Homecoming", "The Snare", and "A Quiet Room" (Banner Hulking out in a straitjacket- classic!). Oh, well. At least we have "Prometheus", "The First", "Married", "Mystery Man", "747", and the pilot.

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted January 08 2005 - 12:54 AM

I agree with Mark and Joe. "Best Of" sets are something that I won't purchase. It's too dependent on different opinions of what's the best eps of a series. With the Season's set, that issue is not a problem. - Jeff Willis

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#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Eric Paddon

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Posted January 08 2005 - 03:07 AM

"Not having Married on there was the biggest hole in that set..." Since "Married" is on the same disc as the pilot movie with a commentary track, I don't see why it should have been done again on the Best of set. The only episode that I would have included on the Best Of set that wasn't in it was "Interview With The Hulk" since it was the last episode in the series that saw David Banner open up about his past. I have not seen "Equinox" but based on the description above, that too should have been added if it My qualifier in the initial post was "most" of the key episodes. The people who put it together can't be accused of succumbing to the "guest star" gimmick because if they were thinking on those lines they in all likelihood would have thrown in the Ray Walston episode which is regarded as one of the weakest.

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Mark To

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Posted January 08 2005 - 05:02 AM

Okay, so one collection got it right. Still, most times that's not the case. When Turner put out 44 episodes of Man From UNCLE on VHS in the early 90s, they didn't include Mad Mad Tea Party Affair, which most UNCLE fans consider the best episode of the series. Why? No name guest stars. They did include a healthy chunk of the horrendous third season though. And, not that I would buy it anyway, but look at the selection on the Mad About You best of. That's a show that went downhill fast and should have never even stayed on past the third or fourth season. But most of the picks are from seasons 5 thru 7.

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted January 08 2005 - 05:11 AM

I agree with Mark as well and in large part because I don't find the best ofs to have that many of what I would consider the best episodes of a given series as was already mentioned. However, I also hate it because if a studio uses a best of to test the market for a regular season set like what Columbia did with the 2 Married with Children releases than you might be stuck if its a show you really absolutely want. I bought both of those discs, thought the episodes were alright but probably could've thought of a lot more that should've been included instead, and when the first 2 seasons came out I got rid of the best of collections. I think in the case of Mad About You and why you see more episodes from the later seasons has to do in part with the fact that seasons 1 and 2 are already available. I'm not a fan of the show, so I can't say what I would've rather seen. So, yeah there are plenty of reasons to hate best ofs.

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Amy Mormino

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Posted January 08 2005 - 09:03 AM

While I generally agree, best-ofs could be a valid idea for shows that have completed their run. I wish that Paramount would go ahead with more best of collections for Star Trek: The Next Generation, particularly one that collected the Borg episodes. It would also be great if there could be concurrent releases of season sets and best ofs from that particular season for more casual fans. I think the Dick Van Dyke Show did that to general satisfaction. Unfortunately, it often seems to be an either/or situation and the selection of episodes is frequently haphazard.

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Josh LM

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Posted January 08 2005 - 10:18 AM

I keep hoping they will release full seasons of Spin City. I love the show, but refuse to buy the 2 best of sets. I hat best-of sets.
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#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Lynda-Marie


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Posted January 08 2005 - 02:44 PM

I believe that I am with the majority of you that I would rather have the season sets, rather than the "best of" sets." Rarely have I agreed with the choices in the "best of" collections, but on the other hand, I like some of the shows that perhaps critics, other fans of the show, or even stars of the series did not think were so great. Maybe there was a particular line I liked, or scene, that I just adored, even though the ep might have been mediocre otherwise. I just wish it were financially feasible for the studios, or whoever owns the copyrights [such as the creator's estate or whatever] to offer a subscription service for the shows we like, and get either the bare bones season sets, such as the episodes, fully restored and uncut, or the "bells and whistles" packages with all of the extras for the extras fans.
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#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Andrew Radke

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Posted January 08 2005 - 03:20 PM

I'm in the same boat. I refuse to purchase "best-of" discs. When the 2 "Married...With Children" discs were released, I didn't purchase them with the hopes that eventually season sets would follow. It was a difficult decision to make however, considering I'm a huge fan of the show. But still, it paid off. When the first and second season sets were released, I promptly purchased each immediately. It's obviously that season sets have become the norm where TV on DVD is concerned. 7 years ago, I would have jumped all over those MWC "best-ofs" because the idea of season sets never would've entered my mind. Hell, 7 years ago I was on the verge of purchasing all of the "Simpsons" VHS compilations. Glad I didn't. I'm torn however in regards to "The New Scooby-Doo Movies" soon to be released. It's a "best-of", but only because rights issues got in the way of Warner releasing a complete set, or so I'm led to believe. Mind you, 2/3 of the series will be intact. I'm at a crossroads as to whether it would be worth purchasing, because the likelihood is, it's as good as it's going to get.
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#15 of 15 OFFLINE   RichardLoomis



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Posted January 08 2005 - 08:44 PM

I'll be the first (ok, 14th in this case) to agree that Season Sets are a much better option. However, that is not to say that "Best ofs" don't have their value. Best Ofs provide an entry level for new fans to jump on board. I just bought the Miami Vice "Best of" here in Australia, as means of testing the water for a possible season set purchase. Warner had that great rebate system with the pilot episodes of various series (Gilligan's Island; Flintstones etc). It would be nice to see a similar system with a Best Of, perhaps. Secondly, there is - shock horror - a section of the market who don't want to have the whole season. I'm sure there are Seinfeld fans who would be content to have The Contest and other famous episodes on a short collection and be done with it. The release of both would be ideal, catering to all markets. Finally, there are cases where Seasons sets are just not possible. Look at the early Doctor Who, where half of them are missing. Or many of the animated Disney series - Ducktales has 65 episodes in the first "season". Volumes cut off at a convenient point (e.g. Batman: TAS) would be a more logical choice there. While I am on the subject of kids shows, I would go so far as saying that there are many parents who would rather buy a few 'best ofs' for the kids, than trust that they will still be into Ducktales by the end of 65 episodes. Having said all that, I will always choose a Season set over a best of, especially when I like the series.
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