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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Complete Series - DVD review

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 20th 2007 1:02PM

Studio 60I almost didn't want to review this DVD set. Did I really want to go back into those murky waters again and bring up all those old disagreements? But here we go...

Actually, the DVD set for Studio 60 is much like the TV series itself. It starts out brilliantly and then as it goes on it starts to get worse and worse. But then it ends nicely!

Packaging

Pretty standard packaging, just a regular box containing three plastic holders housing two DVDs each. The artwork on each plastic holder is fairly interesting. Instead of a large pic on the front and the info on the inside, all the episode info is on the front and back of each individual holder, including pics from episodes and promotional pics.

Sound/Video

I'm impressed by both of these, for two reasons. One, the sound and video are good, period. And two, the sound and video are both better than I remember them from the NBC versions, if that's possible. Picture-wise, it just seems cleaner (you can see things in the background a lot clearer than I remember from the original run) and the sound isn't as "loud" as I remember. The sound seems to have a better balance and you can hear all the dialogue now (a must for any Aaron Sorkin show). I remember the pilot especially being really loud and busy originally. It's not that way on the disc.

Extras

Now here's where the disappointment I mentioned comes in. There's only one commentary. That's right, just one. And that's a shame, because if there's any short-lived show that needs a lot of commentaries to find out what creators, cast, and crew think of what happened it's this one. The one commentary is on the pilot, and it's done by Sorkin and director/producer Tommy Schlamme. It's fairly interesting, as they explain how and where the pilot was shot and how certain actors got their roles and how Amanda Peet juggled a Broadway show with filming the pilot, but the lack of commentaries on the other episodes really stands out. It would have really been nice to get some commentaries from some of the stars.

There is a feature on the last disc (this is what I mean by the disc ending nicely like the show), called "The Evolution of Studio 60". It's actually pretty good. It's hosted by Timothy Busfield, who gives a tour of the set. Interestingly, it was filmed while the pilot was filmed, so it's long before they knew the show would only last one season. When Busfield introduces Matthew Perry, he says "you might remember him from The Whole Ten Yards," and when he introduces Bradley Whitford he says "he's probably best known for Revenge of the Nerds 2." The feature also includes interviews with all of the cast members and a time-lapsed view of the set construction.

So...if you liked the show, you'll like the DVD. It's nice to have the whole series in one set and know that it actually has an ending to the story. You can watch the first few episodes and say "wow, this show is fantastic!" and then watch the "Harriet Dinner" two-parter and say "these are two of the worst episodes of any series I've seen this year." But overall Studio 60 was quite a good show. Certainly one that deserved a second season. More commentaries would have been really welcome on this set, but all of the episodes are here uncut and unedited, so we can be thankful for that.

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RevJonathan

Sigh, I guess this will be the last Studio 60 post here on TVS. Such good actors, writers and direction somehow came together in all the wrong ways. It really was a bad show, but I'm positive that I'd keep watching if it had gotten Season 2. Oh well.
Bob Sassone, your Studio 60 coverage has come full circle, you stand relieved.

October 21 2007 at 2:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

I enjoyed the show... until the kidnapping plot happened. Then it suddenly turned into The West Wing: Hollywood and was too serious for a show about sketch comedy.

October 20 2007 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Buckley

I can't say that in the end that I really liked the show, but I definitely enjoyed watching it every week. Seeing how each episode would be like it came form a different show, not knowing what style to go with. You would think that it had many writers and a bad show runner, when only on guy was really in charge of it all. It didn't just go down hill after the pilot, it went all over the map. We started with a behind the scenes look at at SNL like show, stoping of in some rom com territory,(where did all the com go), and we ended with a kidnapping in Iraq? Talk about schizophrenic. I don't think it could've jumped the shark cause it had no firm leg to jump from. I'm not just hating on it, cause I watched every episode and bought it on it's release date. When it focused on the behind the scenes stuff it was good, then it would trail off onto other areas, not so good. I just wish we could've seen a series that was based on the pilot, that would've been a great show.

October 20 2007 at 9:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

Too me the plot of the show went everywhere. The FCC and saying "F***" when getting blown up, to a kidnapped brother, to just really odd things.

I'm not sad to see it go, but considering what is on now they should have kept it.

October 20 2007 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Veronica

Yay! Just got the DVD on eBay.

The show started amazingly well, and I completely agree that it really went downhill after the Harriet Dinner episodes (although after a second viewing, those two weren't as bad a I remembered, at least the Danny/Jordan and Tim Busfield parts). The Disaster Show episode was hilarious (how great was it to see CJ and Danny together again), and the final episodes were alright, although very repetitive, it seemed that in every scene we had to be reminded of the kidnapping and the negotiations. Overall I think the show would have fared better if the focus was switched from the sketch show, to NBS.
I also agree that the show deserved a second season, but on the other hand, I understand why it wasn't renewed.

The fact that there's only one commentary is really disappointing, but, since I don't think WB are gonna be double-dipping this one, I guess I'm gonna have to settle for this release.

October 20 2007 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dorv

I would have loved to seen more commentaries myself, but do you blame WB? I mean, it would have been more of an opportunity for people to hate on the show!

October 20 2007 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
segsig

I will be disappointed with the extras when I GET the dvd (I've seen that Busfield tour somewhere else long ago). What is with WB not being able to get it out?

I SO miss this show! And it's lovely to see nbc tanking the entire schedule this year.

October 20 2007 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Benjy

What? I was expecting the Sarah Paulson haters to be flooding this thread by now! :-)

As I said week after week in my comments, I never felt that this show jumped the shark once, and I enjoyed all of the characters thoroughly (YES, including the much hated Harriet).

May this show rest in peace. Like Bob, I really felt it deserved a second season.

Oh... and I hope Jay Black is reading this too. He'll be all over the fact that Tim Busfield hosts the DVD documentary! :-)

October 20 2007 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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