The Couch Potato Report – August 15th, 2005
This week The Couch Potato Report features four, count ’em four, TV show releases, and Sin City!
I have said it before, and I will say it again, I love watching TV.
Especially good TV.
And this week I have four good television shows that are now available on DVD to tell you about.
As much as I love TV, and good TV, I love good TV shows on DVD!!
One of the greatest things about the invention of DVDs is the fact that a lot of shows that might otherwise air and then be forgotten, no matter how beloved they are, get released for us to buy!
Once such example is the show UNDECLARED. This show is beloved by many, but forgotten by many more.
UNDECLARED aired in 1001 and 2002 and it is about University freshman Steve Karp and his fellow freshman dorm-mates.
They are about to embark on one the greatest experiences of their lives…unfortunately for Steve, the girl he slept with last night has a boyfriend, and his lonely and recently divorced father is tagging along for the ride.
If you were a fan of the under appreciated FREAKS AND GEEKS then you will enjoy the humour and honesty that is front and centre in UNDECLARED.
And now UNDECLARED- THE COMPLETE SERIES is now available in a 4-disc box set with an array of extras.
Those extras include an unaired episode and a bonus director’s cut, 18 commentaries with directors, writers & cast, deleted scenes, auditions, outtakes, and a 28-page booklet!
I never went to University, but I have visited more than a few friends over the years at various schools.
In addition to its realistic portrayal of dorm life, UNDECLARED is a show that is full of a likeable and talented cast.
I do declare that I love UNDECLARED, and I am quite pleased that I now own THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD.
I don’t yet own the complete series of THE SIMPSONS, but I do proudly own seasons one through six. Six is the latest one to be released and THE SIMPSONS- THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON is another tremendous set from the creators of the show.
This set features all 25 episodes from the sixth season, including Part One of the season cliffhanger “Who Shot Mr. Burns?”, “Homer Badman” where a gummy Venus de Milo makes Homer the object of feminist protest and tabloid TV fodder, “Homer The Great” featuring The Stonecutters (“Who holds back the electric car/Who made Steve Guttenberg a star?/We do!”), “Lisa’s Wedding”, “Bart’s Girlfriend” and “Itchy and Scratchy Land”.
There are also commentaries on every episode from Matt Groening, David Mirkin, Mike Scully, Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, and other members of the creative team.
Even if you think THE SIMPSONS isn’t as funny now as it was then, this box set represents then, so enjoy!
For most of its run THE SIMPSONS has aired on Sunday nights, but at one time it was moved to Thursdays to try and compete with THE COSBY SHOW.
Happily, both shows thrived and we didn’t lose either one.
The first season of THE SIMPSONS debuted on DVD in 2001.
Now, in 2005, Season One of THE COSBY SHOW is on DVD as well.
THE COSBY SHOW ran from 1984 to 1992 and it since it is one of the most popular programs in TV history I will only briefly recap the premise:
Bill Cosby stars as a happily married doctor who, along with his attorney wife, raise their five children in an supportive, loving, very funny environment.
Okay, back to me giving you the full details, all 24 episodes from the 1984-85 season are now available in the 4-disc box set THE COSBY SHOW – SEASON ONE.
The set also includes the 90-minute 2002 TV special “A Look Back” including deleted scenes, bloopers, audition footage and more.
It was fun to go back and watch the first season of THE COSBY SHOW! I don’t think I’ve seen some of the episodes in this set since they first aired, and I especially liked how the writers changed a few things as the show went along.
For instance, in the pilot episode, the parents discuss their “four” children. That wasn’t a mistake, when the show began they had four children.
But as I mentioned above, the family has five kids.
The changes were minor because THE COSBY SHOW was good right from the start.
And this great new box set is proof of that. Enjoy it!
The final TV show to cover this week is THE OFFICE.
Now if you are thinking that maybe there are more episodes of the BBC series THE OFFICE coming out, sorry but that is not the case.
THE OFFICE that I am referring to is the American remake of that classic BBC series. A series I love, admire, respect and revere.
That said, I don’t hate this remake.
The BBC version was two and a half perfect seasons, but this version gives us some extra episodes, even if it is just a copy.
But for a copy, there are some very unique and inspired moments.
Many people will view this version of THE OFFICE with disdain and apprehension due to the fact that Ricky Gervais’ original masterpiece is so incredible, but I say watch it and give it a chance.
The writing is good, the cast is worth getting to know and even if it makes you long for the original, well so what! Funny is funny!
It made me laugh and I like it! Yes, I like the American version of THE OFFICE. But I must admit that I love the original BBC version.
And as I mentioned, I love watching TV and TV shows on DVD!
I also like reading comic books, or as many of them are known today “graphic novels”, and I very much enjoy movies based on graphic novels and comic books.
Our final release this week is SIN CITY.
SIN CITY is director Robert Rodriguez’s realistically realized vision of three of Frank Miller’s books.
This film is possibly the most faithful comic book movie ever made with many shots coming right from the books themselves.
Rodriguez has actually referred to the film as a “translation” rather than an adaptation.
Like the books it is based on SIN CITY is almost entirely in black and white, with only a few bits of colour popping up from time to time.
The movie is a treat for the eyes, unless you have a problem with graphic violence. The film is quite violent in parts, and most of the film’s population are less than reputable, and thus I can’t call it a must see, unless those sort of issues don’t bother you.
They don’t bother me, and I think this is one of the best films of 2005. It certainly is one of the most unique.
The story is engrossing and the huge cast includes Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro, Elijah Wood, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Josh Hartnett and Michael Madsen.
While not for everyone, SIN CITY is an incredible cinematic experience.
But be aware, the DVD comes with only a few special features. Robert Rodriguez is a huge fan of DVDs and his films usually are released with an incredible array of features. The fact that this one has so little means that there will be a SPECIAL EDITION coming out soon.
But if you must have it right away, like I must, SIN CITY is available in stores now. So are THE SIMPSONS – THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON DVD COLLECTION, THE COSY SHOW – SEASON ONE and the incredible UNDECLARED.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
In THE RING TWO an unmarked videotape continues its cycle of violence. This is the less than successful sequel to THE RING with the lovely Naomi Watts back in the lead role.
Amanda Peet is lovely as well but her film A LOT LIKE LOVE sinks due to the presence of male star Ashton Kutcher. They play a couple who struggle to find a way to make their relationship work.
ALF- SEASON TWO is a four disc set with all 25 episodes from the TV series about an Alien Life Form living on earth.
And the GLADIATOR – EXTENDED EDITION has an all-new, widescreen extended version of the film, including 17 minutes of additional footage, and a three hour and twenty minute documentary that includes some never-before-seen footage.
I’m Dan Reynish and I will have more on those, and some other releases in seven 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 – August 15th, 2005