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Sports Night - 10th Anniversary DVD review - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 10th 2008 3:00PM
Sports Night DVDFans of the short-lived ABC comedy Sports Night were disappointed when the DVD set for the show came out in 2002. We were really happy that there was indeed a complete series set for the show, but there wasn't any extras in the set at all. No commentaries, no features, no interviews, no booklet. Some people even reported that the discs didn't work that well, that they would stop and start or freeze altogether on some DVD players (I have the old set and never had this problem). Fans were happy to have the show, but still wanted more.

Well, now we do. Shout! Factory has released a new 10th Anniversary set for the show, and all of the the extras that were missing in that set are here, and then some.

Packaging: Pretty basic, though there's nothing wrong with that. There are four different plastic cases that house the eight DVDs and they just slide into the box. I like how the extras are clearly labeled and put on the end of the second disc of each sleeve. One oddity: the pictures on the DVDs don't show cast members or scenes from the shows, it's pictures of sporting events. Which makes a certain amount of sense I guess because it's a sports-oriented show (somewhat), but most DVD sets have pictures of the cast or just a logo on the discs regardless of what the show is about.

Audio/Video/Menus: Excellent on all three counts. I really don't see much of a difference from the original set (besides that glitch that some people reported that I mentioned above). As for the menus, it's an improvement over the old set. Well, actually, the old set was pretty cool too, a series of TV screens, each one playing a scene from that episode. This set is sorta set up the same way, only there's more movement to the menu, and you get to see the set of the show and props from the set used in the menu.

Extras: Creator/writer Aaron Sorkin and director Tommy Schlamme do the commentary on the pilot episode (with some great stories on how the show came about, how the casting went, and how ABC reacted to the show, especially the whole controversy about the laugh track). There are commentaries on several other episodes too, from stars Peter Krause, Josh Charles, Joshua Malina, Sabrina Lloyd, Greg Baker, Kayla Blake, Ron Ostrow, Timothy Davis-Redd, and director Robert Berlinger (sorry, no Huffman or Robert Guillaume, though they are interviewed). There are also behind the scenes features on the show, including brand new interviews with the cast that were conducted just for this set. There's also a great feature comparing the fake sports show world of Sports Night with the real sports show world of ESPN's SportsCenter.

What I especially like about the set is the 10th Anniversary booklet that comes inside. It's an episode guide, sure, but it also contains choice lines from the episodes and also little bits of trivia you've never heard before.

Bottom line: a very cool set. If you have the old set, I'd say this new one is definitely worth having too.

Here's a clip from the show, where Dan is distracted and makes an odd mistake while on the air:

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I can't justify to the spouse your comment that this set is worth having too. So bummed that I have the old one now.

September 11 2008 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did this come out yet? I meant to sell my old copy (which does have a glitch in the pilot... sometimes) before this came out to get more money.

September 10 2008 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved that show...

September 10 2008 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Has it been 10 years already? That's a lot of missed walk 'n' talks!

September 10 2008 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Shout! has been like a Criterion Collection for overlooked TV shows, can't wait

September 10 2008 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Allow me to preempt the 200 comments this thread is about to get:

Harriet Hayes was the devil.
Harriet Hayes was misunderstood.

I didn't get S60 at all.
S60 was the greatest TV show since Barnaby Jones.

West Wing wasn't all that.
West Wing was the greatest political dramedy on TV since the Carter administration.

Sorkin only writes for the culturally elite.
Pass the brie.

Sometimes I think Bob just posts these because he loves the melodrama that results in the comments section whenever someone even hints at S60 :)

September 10 2008 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to David's comment

That's good stuff.

September 11 2008 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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