UPDATE: Because my "review" keeps popping up first, here's a real one now. Hope it helps. (I'll leave an edited potion of my original post at the end.)
Got an early Christmas gift this month. Essentially raised on Barney Miller, I had a couple of lost weekends after the complete series landed on my porch. Here's what I got on Shout's treatment of my favorite series....
The First Three Seasons--Unfortunately, Shout! Factory used what Sony created for their season sets; other than the packaging, they're the exact same discs, menus and all. That means the first season still looks woeful and that two of its episodes (Ramon and The Bureaucrat) are the syndicated cuts. However, Shout has included a complete version of Ramon with the extras (Harris in drag!). The video quality of that version is pretty bad, which should indicate the kind of job Shout faced in getting complete episodes. Which brings me to....
Completeness of Episodes--I wish I could say that...
Looks like I am the first reviewer here on Amazon to have actually viewed these discs, so hopefully people will find my initial reactions useful.
So much has been said about the series itself I won't repeat any of it here. Just be assured that Barney Miller is one of the best written, best acted sitcoms (or any TV series for that matter) ever. I've seen every episode multiple times and have been collecting recordings of this show on commercially available VHS tapes, broadcast sources, and DVDs for many years. So I was very glad to see Shout Factory pick up the baton where Sony left off and release the show as it should have been from the beginning, as a complete series set.
I have not seen all the episodes in this set yet, but the ones I have seen run about 25 minutes instead of the 22-minute syndicated versions most often seen on TV since the show's original run. The picture quality is great for a TV series shot on video in the 1970s. About as good as it...
I loved this show when it was originally broadcast, and now, almost 40 years later, it is just as good as before. Both hilarious and poignant. I hadn't realized how many episodes I had not seen before until I worked my way through the entire series.
One thing I really loved about "Barney Miller" is that the producers cast a huge number of then-well-known character actors in the secondary parts, including both victims and perps. Some actors returned as several different characters over the years. In what I have to call an unexpectedly grand gesture, the writers found a way to bring back most if not all of those folks in the series two-part finale. What a class act!
The only thing disappointing has to do with the inclusion of season one of "Fish," the spin off series starring Abe Vigoda. The show itself, while not as good as "Barney Miller," is not the problem. "Fish" only lasted two seasons. So why include only the first season in...
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