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THE MONKEES TV SERIES: Show Facts & Speculation About Possible Future HD Releases

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Tony Bensley, Feb 22, 2015.

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  1. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Hi DeWilson!


    I've read that this Color restoration process actually involves an exact digital recoloring by reading the individual dots that make up the broadcast video transmission! If true, this would be a phenomenal innovation!


    Of course, being able to locate the original 2 inch master, or even a solid copy of the version of 33 AND 1/3 REVOLUTIONS PER MONKEE that's included on the October 1995 Monkees Video Box Set (R3 2960), and marrying its sharp video with the best audio recording should also produce a fine result!


    CHEERS! :)


    Tony
     
  2. Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    How would a kinescope (which is a 16mm film shot off a video monitor) be better than a one inch video dub made from the original Quad?
    If Rhino could not locate that original tape I'd bet you dollars to donuts it was junked after being copied to one-inch, whenever that was done -- probably around the time Quad was being phased out.
    Whatever source Rhino had for that prior release is probably still around -- I can't imagine someone copying it from VHS, what would be the point?
     
  3. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Hi Mark!


    Under normal circumstances, I would agree with you in regards to the copying from VHS. However, the 33 1/3 REVOLUTIONS PER MONKEE DVD version that derives from the two 1 inch Tape masters really is so bad visually, that in my opinion, a sharp as can be VHS Video would most likely still be an improvement, should the 2 inch Tape master no longer be extant!


    A Screenshot From the 33 1/3 REVOLUTIONS PER MONKEE Special From THE MONKEES Season 2 DVD Set:

    dvd_snapshot_13.44_2015.02.26_19.07.59.


    I should hope that this could be improved upon! With that said, any feedback from those who have the VHS version from the 1995 Monkees Series Collection would be most welcome!


    CHEERS! :)


    Tony
     
  4. Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    I have it, but it's been years since I watched it. Perhaps I'll pull it out of storage and do a comparison.
     
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  5. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    The rare Spanish opening titles from season 1. Just found this on eBay.


    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Matt.Koz

    Matt.Koz Stunt Coordinator

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    Would love an HD release with original mono, alternate summer/CBS Saturday morning tracks, and multichannel remixes of the original soundtrack (where multitracks exist, of course). I know that's potentially 4 audio tracks before adding any commentary or alt language tracks but what the heck. Not to mention uncompressed vs compressed audio tracks.
     
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  7. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    I've been watching this series a couple of times a week for awhile now and am currently in the middle of the second season. Seeing it again mostly for the first time since it originally aired when I was eight years old, I enjoyed the first season pretty much. My guess it was the nostalgia factor kicking in and making allowances for some things which rendered the adult me less than thrilled. The second season has been real tough going though for me. The cast doesn't seem to be all that interested anymore and the writing has gotten very repetitive. I'm not trying to begrudge anyone who loves the entire series and I can certainly see a case being made for that, but I wonder if anyone else has run into the blah I have in Season 2?
     
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  8. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Hi Glen!


    While I've only viewed my two Season Sets sporadically thus far, it does appear to me that the first season episodes had a zanier, Mack Sennett sort of vibe, whereas during the second season too many changes to the show that didn't quite work kept creeping in. Believe it or not, I also think that the lack of a laugh track on the season 2 episodes also somewhat hurt the show, somehow! For instance, as much as I enjoy "The Christmas Show" episode, in my opinion it begged for a laugh track!


    Thankfully, one element that remained consistent throughout THE MONKEES two season run was the great MONKEES Music!


    CHEERS! :)


    Tony
     
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  9. Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    I have always been much more a fan of the Monkees music than the TV show that led to its creation in the first place. I think the music holds up 10,000X better than the show, but I do revisit the show from time to time. I have always been partial to the second season shows, maybe because those were the ones I saw first -- when our local station started showing the reruns, for some reason they started with the second season. But beyond that, I think the music they were doing (once the Monkees asserted at least some creative control) was a little better than the Boyce & Hart/Jeff Barry dominated material that preceded it (though it was mostly quality stuff too). Also, I liked the "Rainbow Room" song segments mimed by the "three hippies and a businessman" in the second season shows -- like I said, it's all about the music for me. To this day, when I think of the Monkees, that's the image in my head. Having watched some of the shows recently though, I think for the most part, the first season shows probably go down a lot better with a general audience (i.e. not necessarily Monkees fans). It went from being a by-the-numbers sitcom to, well, look at their eyes in some of the second season shows... Still, some of the best shows are Season 2 ones. Everybody can probably name their own, but "The Devil And Peter Tork," "Fairy Tale," "Christmas Show," "The Frodis Caper," Frank Zappa's guest appearance in "The Monkees Blow Their Minds," etc.
     
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  10. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    Tony, I too miss the laugh track in the second season, though I hear it was a demand of the cast? Some laugh tracks are out of control (e.g. THE ADDAMS FAMILY), but others, when used relatively judiciously, really do add to the overall atmosphere of spontaneity and cheer in some comedy shows. I remember a very good essay about the value of laugh tracks in an issue of FILM COMMENT from the mid-1980's which showcased the effective use of the tracks in series like THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW and GREEN ACRES. If memory serves, the author stated that neither of these shows would have worked as well without the laugh tracks or in front of a live audience, which I totally agree.
     
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  11. Dave Lawrence

    Dave Lawrence Supporting Actor

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    My feelings are similar to Mark's. While I do enjoy the 1st season ("Monkee vs. Machine" is among my favorite episodes of the whole series), Season 2 is my favorite.


    The 2nd season is the source of most of my favorite episodes, including "The Devil and Peter Tork", "Monkee Mayor", "Monkees Blow Their Minds", "Fairy Tale", and "The Frodis Caper".


    With Kirshner gone and the guys taking at least a little more creative control over the direction of both the show and their music, there seems (at least to me) more of a sense like anything could happen. Also, as someone who is cool with studio audience laughter but finds canned laugh tracks annoying, I appreciated the willingness to ditch the laugh track.


    The only downside to Season 2 is that there are a few episodes where Mike (my favorite) is missing for all or almost all of the show.
     
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  12. Mark Y

    Mark Y Screenwriter

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    Nesmith is also my "favorite Monkee" (if I have one). Watching the shows as a kid, it was jarring to see the episodes where he doesn't appear -- in one of them ("99 Pound Weakling") the others call attention to it by saying "I wish Mike were here" every so often. But he does appear in some form in all those episodes, either a brief appearance in one scene (like in "Monkees Watch Their Feet" and "Hitting The High Seas") or else his songs are used and he appears in the Rainbow Room sequences. Oddly enough, I think there's one episode each where either Davy or Micky didn't appear (or again, didn't appear much) and I barely even noticed it.
    I like "Monkee Vs. Machine" as well and it's also one of my favorites. Stan Freberg is great in that one. It appears on the DVD "Our Favorite Episodes," where each of the four introduce their favorite episode of the series. Speaking of that DVD -- Davy Jones introduces "Hitting The High Seas," but the episode he's actually describing is "Royal Flush."
     
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  13. MartinP.

    MartinP. Supporting Actor

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    In case any of you were not aware of this, the Emmy nominees for

    Best Comedy Series of 1966/1967 were:


    Bewitched
    Get Smart
    Hogan's Heroes
    The Andy Griffith Show
    The Monkees


    THE WINNER: The Monkees

    (Emmy Clips have been provided as extras on other releases.)

    _______


    The Monkees hold a great nostalgia for me as I was thirteen when it premiered. I collected

    some memorabilia at the time like gum cards (they had "banana" flavored gum!), viewmaster

    reels, TV Guide, fan club items, fan magazines, an official Monkee shirt and the like. (And

    the music of course.)


    During their reunion tour in 1986 I attended a concert and later saw them receive their star on

    the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which would be a nice clip to provide as an extra on a release.

    (The Monkeemobile was also there.) I have since even talked to a woman who dated Davy Jones

    at the time! (She was a foot taller!)


    I am enjoying your new thread, Tony. It would be fantastic to have options for what songs

    were played during some episodes. I remember when watching one of the first reruns of the

    series in the summer of 1967 and a "different" song was played than had been originally.

    All summer I watched the reruns for a chance to hear a new song! I thought: What a simple

    and fantastic way to get you to keep watching! (In the area I grew up in we could watch the

    same show twice each week. One station aired it on Mondays, it's official slot, but another

    aired in on Fridays.)


    I remember when the 33 1/3 special aired the first time. I didn't get to see it, because NBC

    aired it opposite the Academy Awards!
     
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  14. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    I was refering the the process where the Chroma Signal from the video tape was overlaid on the Luminance of the kinescope, then processed by live-feed to restore as close as possible to the original.

    The British process are actually two different - this one,(Used to restore color to 15 episodes) as well as the one that involves recovery of chroma dots embedded into the British Telerecordings (12 episodes) - this is only possible on PAL sourced material and not NTSC. (and if the filters were not turned on when the Telerecordings were made)

    Short of this - The need to go back to the best existing video elements - the aired and unaired- and have fresh 2015 transfers done. (DC Video is the leading house for 2" and 1" Transfers)


    Because the existing VT masters are of poor visual quality but still has decent color, but by overlaying the chroma signal from the videotape with the luminance of the kinescope, then processing the kinescope to restore the live-look (LiveFeed) of the original video tape. - you'll send up with a sharper looking copy. Plus the audio, although optical on a kinescope can be mixed with the best audio of the VTs to create the most stable, clean version.

    Here an example of LiveFeed - This was from a 16mm kinescope (A print, not a negative)


     
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  15. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Watch out for this limited Blu-ray set!


    Main details from monkees.com:


    • All 58 episodes, newly remastered in stunning HD from the original negatives for the very first time, plus the 1969 TV Special “33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee”
    • Bonus material featuring commentaries from all four Monkees, original Kellogg’s Monkees commercials, and more
    • The 1968 Monkees film “HEAD” in HD with never-before-seen outtakes
    • Unique packaging including a 7” of two previously unreleased TV mixes
    • Strictly limited to 10,000 individually numbered sets
    • Only available at Monkees.com




    I've pre-ordered mine.




    I just found the above posted in a new HTF Topic!


    http://monkees.com/article/the-monkees-the-complete-series-on-blu-ray-at-last


    Thanks to "moviefanatic1979" for the original post! :)
     
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  16. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    I sure wish I could purchase the above, but at $199.98 U.S, it's just way too steep for me, especially with our lousy CAN/U.S. rate of exchange! :P


    Ah well! :rolleyes:


    CHEERS! :)
     
  17. moviebuff75

    moviebuff75 Supporting Actor

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    Ordered!
     
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  18. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Having finally viewed every episode from both seasons, I realize that the 15 second Kellogg's commercial spots that follow the show opening within the Season 2 episodes themselves are included, as they are for Season 1.

    The above aforementioned is in reference to the previous DVD releases, not the limited edition Blu-ray MONKEES series set!

    CHEERS! :)
     
  19. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Having now viewed every episode from both seasons, I wish to make one important correction.

    Exactly half of the Season 2 episodes feature laugh tracks, which include the following:

    Episodes 33 - 43. On the last few of these from episode 39 ("Hillbilly Honeymoon") on, the laugh tracks seemed to be strictly of the heavily muffled variety.

    Episodes 49 and 52, which were Season 2 episodes that had been filmed earlier in the season, but were held back. These are "The Monkees Watch Their Feet" and "The Devil And Peter Tork" episodes. The laugh tracks aren't heavily muffled on either of these episodes!

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  20. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    While my recent viewings for most of THE MONKEES Episodes remain fairly fresh, I will try to post some observations (Along with a few DVD screenshots!), as they relate to the series, the Kellogg's commercial spots within the select episodes (Along with the Season 1 Bonus Features, which also include a couple of Yardley's Of London spots!), and the 33 1/3 REVOLUTIONS PER MONKEE (1969) TV Special.

    For those who were able to purchase the ultra expensive limited edition Blu-ray series sets, please feel free to weigh in with comparisons!

    CHEERS! :)
     
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