The Couch Potato Report – May 31st, 2005
This week The Couch Potato Report features TV on DVD!
All winter long many of us stay indoors to avoid the cold. A very popular companion while we are inside is the television.
As summer approaches and the weather continues to get nicer, many people turn their televisions off and head outside.
If you are one of those people, then I doubt you could call yourself a “couch potato.”
Now, since this is “The Couch Potato Report” I don’t have a list of things or activities you can do outside. No, my friend, I just have a series of things you can watch inside.
In fact, I have a series of series you can watch!
One of the greatest things about the DVD boom of recent years has been the amount of TV shows for years and eras gone by that are now available to own.
Some of the most watched programs of all time – such as I LOVE LUCY, THE SIMPSONS and SEINFELD are available. Some of the least popular shows of all time like SPORTS NIGHT, GET A LIFE, THE TICK and THE BEN STILLER SHOW are available.
And some shows that made a comfortable home in between are also now available on DVD.
From its debut in 1985 until it went off the air in 1989 MOONLIGHTING was a Top Ten show.
In my house during that time, it was Number One!
Bruce Willis and Cybil Sheppard starred in the very funny romantic comedy, yet interesting detective drama that was a mid-season replacement.
There were only six episodes in the first season, including the two-part pilot, but 18 were produced for the second.
Now, all 24 episodes from seasons 1 and 2 are available on DVD in a six-disc box set.
At its best MOONLIGHTING had witty wordplay, real chemistry between Willis and Shepherd and some good mysteries to boot.
I was and remain a huge fan of MOONLIGHTING and as I watched this box set I was surprised at how many things I say on a daily basis are direct quotes from the show.
MOONLIGHTING – SEASONS 1 AND 2 is a very welcome addition to my library!!
So is LAW & ORDER: THE THIRD YEAR.
Since LAW & ORDER – with its various incarnations and casts – is on TV at least two or three times every day, I had yet to bother with any of the DVD sets that have been released from the show.
But when I had the opportunity to pick up LAW & ORDER: THE THIRD YEAR, I jumped at the chance.
That is because this is the season that introduced Jerry Orbach as the cynical, wise-cracking Detective Lennie Briscoe.
Everyone who watches LAW & ORDER has their favourite characters and actors, Orbach is mine.
And since Orbach died last December, I really enjoyed seeing his work again!
Also, I think the writing and source material also got stronger during the third year of LAW & ORDER. Plus, they didn’t win every case or solve every mystery.
I will always give more respect to shows that feature characters who don’t always win then I will to shows that do.
The three-disc, 22 episode box set of LAW & ORDER – THE THIRD YEAR covers the 1992-1993 season and it also includes a five minute interview with Jerry Orbach and a six minute tribute to him from his fellow cast mates. It is a memorable tribute to a great actor.
His work in the 1999-2000 season of LAW & ORDER gave Orbach a third Emmy Award nomination — his first as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
He lost to James Gandolfini for his work in THE SOPRANOS.
In 1984 the nominees for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series were:
John Forsythe for DYNASTY, Daniel J. Travanti, HILL STREET BLUES, Tom Selleck for MAGNUM, P.I. and William Daniels for ST. ELSEWHERE.
And the winner was Tom Selleck for MAGNUM, P.I.
Selleck’s Emmy winning 1984 season of his hit show isn’t out on DVD yet, but THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is.
This four disc box set has all 18 episodes from the 1980-81 season plus four bonus episodes – the two “Simon & Simon” crossover shows and two 1984 episodes guest starring Sharon Stone.
MAGNUM, P.I. was a staple of Thursday night TV viewing from 1980 to 1988 because it had the right combination of smart and interesting scripts, beautiful locations and guest stars, and one Mr. Tom Selleck.
He is still regarded today by many as the only man who looks good in a mustache.
I must admit that I never watched MAGNUM, P.I. when it was originally on the air. I always watched THE COSBY SHOW and FAMILY TIES.
But over the years, I have watched the show in reruns and I really enjoyed this complete first season box set.
I also really enjoyed the friendships that Magnum and his friends T.C., Rick and Higgins share.
MAGNUM, P.I. is a great show and MAGNUM, P.I. – THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON was fun to watch.
As I am speaking about these DVD box sets of old TV shows that are all now available on DVD I am going under the assumption that you have heard of them.
If you are a fan of any of the shows I mentioned, you know what they are about, and you don’t need me to explain them.
For instance, if you enjoyed the show KNIGHT RIDER from 1982 to 1986 when it was on, you don’t need me to tell you that the show was about a lone crimefighter who battles the forces of evil with the help of an indestructible and artificially intelligent supercar.
And you certainly don’t need me to tell you that David Hasselhoff starred as Michael Knight before he went on to bigger successes as Mitch Buchannon on BAYWATCH.
So I won’t tell you any of that.
I will just tell you that KNIGHT RIDER – SEASON ONE is a four-disc box set with all 22 episodes from the 1982-83 season and that KNIGHT RIDER – SEASON TWO is a three-disc set with all 21 second season episodes.
The final thing I will say about the show KNIGHT RIDER is I liked it when it was on, and I like it now!
All of the series I have been speaking about so far are ones that have entered the public consciousness and atone time during their run they were Top Ten shows.
The final series I am going to talk about this week differs from the others as it has never been a top ten show. In fact, during the season that is now available on DVD the show was ranked Number 26.
Like LAW & ORDER, LAS VEGAS is actually still in production and the show can be seen on Monday nights.
LAS VEGAS is a high polished, very fast paced show that revolves around the life and loves of a group of people at a fictional resort and casino in the titular town.
Hollywood legend James Caan from THE GODFATHER and MISERY leads the cast.
The very attractive cast!
LAS VEGAS might not be the best written show on TV, or DVD for that matter, but lead by Nikki Cox – the most beautiful woman on television – it sure is the prettiest, and that includes the men.
LAS VEGAS is a mix of eye candy, humor, and drama and its high pace is infectious.
The three-disc SEASON ONE UNCUT AND UNCENSORED DVD set features all 23 episodes from the 2003-04 season, several with unseen footage.
Enjoy! Unless you like to go outside when the weather warms up. But that is okay too! As long as you have a little couch potato in you, you are welcome here!
LAS VEGAS, KNIGHT RIDER, MAGNUM, P.I., LAW AND ORDER and MOONLIGHTING are all available now at a store near you.
COMING UP IN THREE WEEKS ON THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
The Extended Version of the classic Bill Murray film STRIPES has 18 minutes of extra footage, a one-hour documentary with interviews with the cast and a tribute to the late John Candy.
IN BE COOL hitman-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer gets into music. John Travolta returns as Chili Palmer, but you will wish he didn’t. Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn and The Rock also star.
BEYOND THE SEA is Kevin Spacey’s biography of 1950s pop singer Bobby Darin and his wife. I say it is Spacey’s as he co-wrote and directed it and he stars alongside Kate Bosworth and John Goodman.
In HITCH Will Smith plays a “Date Doctor” who has trouble landing the woman of his dreams. The very beautiful Eva Mendes is that woman.
Finally, the aforementioned Bruce Willis stars in the surprisingly entertaining action film HOSTAGE. He is a man who has to rescue a mob accountant that is being held captive in his fortified house.
I’m Dan Reynish and I will have more on HOSTAGE, HITCH, BEYOND THE SEA, BE COOL and THE EXTENDED VERSION OF STRIPES, and some other releases, in twenty-one days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – May 31st, 2005