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"Night Court" (1984 - 1992) on DVD (1 Viewer)

The Drifter

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Hi everyone. I just searched, and couldn't find a discussion thread devoted to the entire Night Court series on DVD (just individual seasons), so decided to create one. Mods, I hope this is OK.

Though I missed Night Court when it first aired (primarily in the 1980's), I've been catching up with this on DVD, and last year saw the first three seasons.

Hilarious series! I laughed out loud numerous times while watching the show. The characters & situations on NC are very quirky & unusual, which makes the show somewhat unique - among what I would consider many of the more "mainstream" comedies at the time.

One of the running "jokes" throughout the whole series was that this was a court that took place at night, which was ludicrous in and of itself - i.e., I've never heard of a night shift for a courtroom - LOL.

Also like the opening theme; thought the show was obviously filmed on sets, these seem to be actual late night NYC street scenes, which kind of sets up the night-time vibe/tone for the series.

Very funny that most of the "audience" in the night court were obviously winos/bums/street-walkers, who looked like they just came off the street for a place to sit down and get out of the elements, and didn't really give a crap what went on in the courtroom one way or another - ha ha.

The late Harry Anderson as the casual, laid-back judge Harry Stone was hilarious; but, the show is really an ensemble series, and the other characters like Bull, Dan Fielding, Liz Williams, Selma Hacker (the chain smoking female bailiff in the first couple of seasons), were great as well - and, the show wouldn't have been the same without them. Fantastic casting here.

Note: Anderson was also very funny on the first two seasons of "Cheers", as Harry "The Hat" Gittes, the good-natured con-artist - LOL.

I thought it was funny how some of the characters on NC kept the first names of the actors portraying the characters, i.e. Harry Anderson as Harry Stone, Selma Diamond as Selma Hacker, etc.

I was quite disappointed that Lana Wagner (actress Karen Austin) was only in the first 10 episodes of S01, and then left for good. She was great - gorgeous, sexy (without trying to be) & very funny - especially the episode where she had a bad reaction to medication - LOL. Since she & Judge Stone had an obvious attraction it would have been nice to see the relationship progress in future seasons. But, I guess she had to leave the show early on - for some reason.

The show definitely had a lot of humor, but also had a large amount of poignant life lessons as well - without being preachy. Refreshing to see this on a sitcom.

Also liked the great guest stars on the show:

Terry Kiser as "Al Craven", an obnoxious reporter. Kiser later played the ill-fated Bernie Lomax in the hilarious & iconic comedy "Weekend at Bernie's" (1989) - LOL.

I also recognized the late Barney Martin as a wino/bum in the court's audience. Martin was one of the actors who played Jerry Seinfeld's father on that iconic '90's series.
 
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The Drifter

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Continuing my review of Night Court:

The gorgeous Markie Post made a couple of guest appearances in S02, but ended up as a regular cast member in S03. She's probably my favorite actress in that role (as the defense attorney), and has excellent chemistry with the other cast members.

Another cast change was the role of the bailiff alongside "Bull" Shannon. Selma Hacker (played by Selma Diamond) passed IRL & on the show, and was only in S01-02. They then replaced her with Flo Kleiner (played by Flo Halop) in S03. Unfortunately Halop also passed, and was only in S03. Though Kleiner was funny & it was hilarious when she would laugh at people (especially Bull), Hacker was much funnier & had a much drier sense of humor
wink.gif


It was hilarious to see actor Brent Spiner as a poor vagrant who had a destitute family in a couple of S03 & S04 episodes; his pretending to speak & understand Spanish in one scene was extremely funny - LOL. Spiner is best known for his later role as Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994), a completely different role from what is seen here - LOL.

S03 also had some sad/poignant moments:

-A good-hearted, homeless street kid is taken in by Harry Stone, and later has the opportunity to be adopted by a good family. However, he can't handle the family (and/or the restrictions), and ends up running away at the end of the episode. Living on the streets, you know he will almost certainly end up in dire straits or dead, but there is nothing that anyone can do about this. I found this a realistic portrayal of an unfortunate real-life tragedy that happens all the time. Very deep for an '80's sitcom. Though, this kid makes an appearance in a later season - and, his situation has improved.

-Bull ends up naively dating a "lady of the night", not realizing her actual profession - or that she's taking financial advantage of him. When this is explained to him by his friends, he ends up confronting the woman, who puts him down. He ends up forgiving her & then says he feels sorry for her. Again, fairly unconventional ending - especially for a sitcom from this era.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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The Drifter

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Wow - truth is stranger than fiction. How bizarre. I can't imagine having to go to court that late @ night - or extremely early in the morning - the judges/jury/lawyers will probably all be half-asleep - ha ha.
 
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Jeffrey D

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John Laroquette was a funny guy in the show- his sexual humor and escapades.
 

The Drifter

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Continuing to make my way through the Night Court DVD's. I recently finished the 7th season.

If anything, the later seasons are even funnier than the earlier ones. The "new" female bailiff (from S04-on) was Marsha Warfield as Roz. She was hilarious - her dry sense of humor was as funny - if not funnier - than Selma & Flo's (in Seasons 1-3). What also cracked me up was her intentionally?! skewed fashion sense - she would typically wear white (or red/maroon) socks with black shoes - LOL.

One of my favorite episodes/sequences from this era was the extremely slow guy who suffered from "tortoise nervosa" - LOL.

It's interesting that I never even heard of the singer Mel Torme prior to watching NC; Judge Harry Stone is a huge fan.

Trivia: The picture of the female movie star in Harry Stone's office is of actress Jean Harlow. (When I first saw the show, I thought it was Marilyn Monroe).
 
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David Weicker

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Continuing to make my way through the Night Court DVD's. I recently finished the 7th season.

If anything, the later seasons are even funnier than the earlier ones. The "new" female bailiff (from S04-on) was Marsha Warfield as Roz. She was hilarious - her dry sense of humor was as funny - if not funnier - than Selma & Flo's (in Seasons 1-3). What also cracked me up was her intentionally?! skewed fashion sense - she would typically wear white (or red/maroon) socks with black shoes - LOL.

One of my favorite episodes/sequences from this era was the extremely slow guy who suffered from "tortoise nervosa" - LOL.

It's interesting that I never even heard of the singer Mel Torme prior to hearing about him in Night Court (Judge Harry Stone is a huge fan).

Trivia: The picture of the female movie star in Harry Stone's office is of actress Jean Harlow. (When I first saw the show, I thought it was Marilyn Monroe).

Mel Torme was a fantastic singer.

His most lasting claim to fame will likely be as the co-writer of The Christmas Song (“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...”)
 

The Drifter

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Finally finished with Night Court. Extremely funny series, and it was too bad to see it end (even though it actually ended 27 years ago - LOL). This is one sitcom that did not get weaker as the series continued; the later seasons were just as funny - and probably funnier - than the earlier seasons. That being said, I'm glad they ended they show when they did since it may have gotten old - if it had continued past S09.

There were a couple of episodes that referenced a cinema verita "art" film (ha ha) that Mac shot of Bull's wedding called "Connubial Bliss". Bull hated it, but Mac said that was "artistic". It later was so popular that it was shown in theaters; in one of these episodes, a group of theater goers came to the court, and they were the "Bizzaro" versions of the Night court crew - hilarious. In any case, "Connubial bliss" sounded so funny that I was disappointed it wasn't at least partially shown in the episodes where it was being referenced. I actually looked for it as a possible "special feature" on the DVD sets, but then realized the sets didn't have any special features - LOL. So, I guess this was never actually filmed.

As in previous seasons, this show continued to have recognizable guest stars. Among many others, I recognized the late Nancy Marchand in S09, as a politician who was running against Christine Sullivan (who was running for office). Marchand is probably best known for later playing Tony Soprano's elderly mother on HBO's iconic The Sopranos. Among many other roles, she was also in an episode of the great '90's crime drama Homicide: Life on the Street.

Re: these NC DVD sets: As great as the show itself was, the DVD PQ was fairly sub-par, and was not much better than an old VHS tape. I'm not sure if it was the limitations of the original print and/or the amount of episodes on each disk, but it's possible there isn't a lot of room for improvement here. That being said, I don't mind that much because the sets on this show were fairly simplistic & you really didn't need to see that much detail. And, even if were possible to remaster this show in HD - I'm not sure it would really add to my enjoyment.

Here's an interesting retrospective on the series from 2017:

https://tv.avclub.com/night-court-was-the-black-sheep-of-nbc-s-sitcom-dynasty-1798262560

Mel Torme was a fantastic singer. His most lasting claim to fame will likely be as the co-writer of The Christmas Song (“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...”)

Good to know. There is a very funny scene in the S09 Christmas episode when Mel Torme is singing this song with a group of carolers that Roz is conducting. And, Roz berates him for not knowing the lines - hilarious & sarcastic ;)
 

John*Wells

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Theres one episode I thought was particularly funny. Theres one where There's a Substitute Judge. Dan and the judge get along well and he Seems happy that He is going to have lunch with the judge. He then says "And I dont have a Dime on me" He looks at Christine "Not a Chance Dan" looks at Bull "No Dan" And then looks at Roz who says "Die Dan!!!" LOL
 

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