The success of Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon recently inspired me to assess the ten best movies about television. TV has been a fertile source of entertainment for filmmakers. The TV turf is also a popular setting for TV shows, and there have been some all-time great shows about the tube. Here are nine that I think warrant special recognition -- in no special order.
1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
It all started at WJM-TV in Minneapolis. The Mary Tyler Moore Show was the perfect sitcom blend of home and work, and work happened to be the local TV news team. As Mary Richards, the associate producer, Mary Tyler Moore was the single girl America loved because she was real, funny, gorgeous and lovable. At work, the news was mangled nightly by Ted Baxter, the quintessential news reader anchorman who loved every dulcet tone of his voice and had no idea what he was reporting. In perfect irony, when the show came to an end, most everyone at WJM -- Lou Grant, Murray Slaughter, Sue Anne Nivens, Mary -- were fired. Only Ted was spared!
"Extreme Makeover: Baghdad Edition": A new wall for the folks in Baghdad... and they don't seem to be too happy about it. The timing of "That wall is totally impenetrable -- oh, boy" made me laugh a little too hard. However, the Dennis Al-Menace joke caused me to feel a little foolish because there was a five second delay before I understood it.
I don't think I've ever heard news that this was coming to DVD, but fans can be happy that this special set comes out on April 17.
It's not a first season set (is there a first season set out?), it's more of a "best of" from all six seasons, even if it is titled "Not Just The Best of The Larry Sanders Show." The four disc set will include 23 episodes, a making of featurette, deleted scenes, a cast reunion, and interviews with several stars and guest stars: Jeffrey Tambor, Rip Torn, David Duchovny, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Carol Burnett, and Alec Baldwin.
The interviews were done a year ago by Garry Shandling himself, with a handheld video camera, so you know they're not going to be just DVD filler interviews and footage.
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