Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Are you ready for the summer?, take two

Okay, so after pondering this over Memorial Day weekend (when I wasn't busy with best man duties at my best friend's wedding, or with beating Guitar Hero III), I've decided on a few things for the summer plans:
  1. Because the original, bare bones "Sports Night" DVD is out of print, and because the nice people at Shout Factory! won't be releasing a spiffy, extras-laden new set until the fall, I'm going to table those reviews (again). Maybe instead of waiting until summer of '09, I'll sprinkle them throughout the season during dead spots (December, for instance).
  2. Though I can't promise I'll always be able to stick to this schedule (especially during press tour in July), I'm going to attempt to post my reviews of "The Wire" season one every Friday morning, starting this week.
  3. After I struggled with the question of how to tailor the reviews -- and the comments that follow them -- to be inclusive to both "Wire" newbies and fans of all five seasons who are just looking for a little nostalgia, someone in the comments to the previous summer post came up with a brilliant, non-labor intensive solution: two posts, nearly identical, save that one will have a bonus section at the end where I comment on foreshadowing (ironic or otherwise), and where anything goes in the comments, while the newbies can have their own spoiler-free environment.
  4. With "Sports Night" off the table, I'm not sure yet whether I'll be taking on a second DVD rewind project this summer. Let's see how my schedule starts playing itself out over the next few weeks, whether there's a SAG strike (which would scuttle press tour), etc.
That is all. Resume partying.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

SAG strike? Let's hope not. Hopefully the AMPTP will learn their lesson from the WGA strike and get a contract through as quickly and painlessly as possible. Can't wait for the "The Wire" reviews.

Dave said...

How about "Wonderfalls" as a second DVD series? It's terrific and it's only 13 episodes. Though I suppose if the actors strike that may not be long enough.

renton said...

My So-Called Life is another terrific complete series with not a lot of episodes that's recently arrived on DVD.

It would reward the Shout! Factory for bringing back so many good titles.

But I'll enjoy reading whatever you pick, Alan (as long as it's not According to Jim)

Adam said...

Can I recommend a series that too few here (I'm guessing) have seen? HBO's Rome. Hoo, boy. The history. The gratuitous nudity. The fairly good attempts at historical accuracy. The ridiculously large budget. And some damn good acting.

This is fun, occasionally funny, and always entertaining pop history, and after 22 episodes, you're done.

the2scoops said...

Revisiting "Kitchen Confidential" would be a quick hit - 13 episodes, only a few of the episodes aired on Fox, and likely not in the right order. Some funny work from Bradley Cooper and company. It's funny though - I see the Nolita facade pop up in the street scene of shows like "How I Met Your Mother" - guess 20th Century Fox never tore it down.

Perhaps a theme - One Season Wonders.

Anonymous said...

Alan,
Any word on when Season 5 DVD for the Wire will be available? I have the rest, and even before you planned on doing the re=wind, I had planned on watching one episode minimum a week just to start it all over again. As much as I loved the Sopranos, I do agree with you that it was the greatest serial drama in the history of television, and definitely worth re-visiting.
Thanks for making the summer interesting.

renton said...

Amazon lists S5 of The Wire as going on sale 8/12/08.

They don't currently have an "all seasons" pack listed.

Andrew said...

How spoiler-y will the spoiler posts be? Do you expect that eventual viewing of, say, seasons 4 and 5 might be affected by the material in the bonus section?

nfieldr said...

Alan, I'm really looking forward to your re-reviews of The Wire. Just one quick question... did you give any thought to maybe doing two reviews a week. I don't know that I can contain myself to just episode a week. :-)

Dark Tyler said...

From the 'Completely Irrelevant' Department, Alanms, are you going to review HBO's 'Recount'?

PamelaJaye said...

more completely irrelevant - I want season 2 of St Elsewhere! (i think it's where the "in" jokes kicked in)

renton said...

Pamela, that's #1 on my DVD wish list, too.

That First Andrew said...

Is "The Corner" on DVD, or the first season of Homicide? You can make this your summer of Simon...

Or what about Hills Street Blues? Barney MIller? I know you like to do stuff that is fairly recent, but very few shows reward close viewing. In fact, that is why I vote against NewsRadio, as much as I love the show. Other than bullet points on funny bits, there isn't much to write about, is there?

Grunt said...

I actually second the "Wonderfalls" idea. It was a great little 13 episode arc which had a lot going on. Also I want to renominate NewsRadio seasons 1-3. With something like "The wire" I'd like the second show to be a little frivolous.

Julie Nelson said...

I forgot to suggest this back when you were taking offers, Alan, but The Corner could be a review option. I just watched it this weekend and found myself sucked in... wondered if you'd ever reviewed it here.

I love that the principal from season 4 started out as a supervisor at a crab plant. I love her voice!

Anonymous said...

Alan,

I third Wonderfalls!

dez said...

From the 'Completely Irrelevant' Department, Alanms, are you going to review HBO's 'Recount'?

"Recount" was quite good. I'd love to hear your take on it, Alan. "Andromeda Strain" as well even though I skipped it because one review I read made it sound beyond awful.

Jamil said...

The picture that you used at the top of the article is awesome. It gets me psyched up about "The Wire" just looking at it, especially since I know what happens to the characters. Can't wait to lurk on this site during the summer for those hits!

Dark Tyler said...

"Recount" was quite good.
That's what I've been hearing as well. Haven't seen it yet, but I'm definitely gonna, mostly because I just can't get over the fact that JONATHAN FROM BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER has written a well-received political drama for HBO. It's one of these things that you just can't make up!

Alan Sepinwall said...

How about "Wonderfalls" as a second DVD series?

As I mention every time someone makes that request, I wasn't a fan of "Wonderfalls," or of any Bryan Fuller series pre-"Pushing Daisies."

Also, while I appreciate the suggestions, I was feeling iffy on my ability to do two series at once even before I found out about the "Sports Night" re-issue. As of now, the plan is to just do "The Wire," and if my schedule starts to seem really barren as the summer goes along, at that point I'll consider adding a second show, and what that show might be.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Revisiting "Kitchen Confidential" would be a quick hit

Already did it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

HBO's Rome.

That one really didn't do it for me the first time out, other than the stuff with Vorenus and Pullo. I have both boxed sets, though, so maybe one day I'll revisit it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

My So-Called Life is another terrific complete series with not a lot of episodes that's recently arrived on DVD.

I already rewatched them all when I reviewed the Shout Factory re-release and don't want to do it again so soon. Plus, I felt it would be too thematically similar to the Freaks and Geeks reviews. (For the same reason, I don't think I want to touch Undeclared anytime soon.)

Alan Sepinwall said...

How spoiler-y will the spoiler posts be? Do you expect that eventual viewing of, say, seasons 4 and 5 might be affected by the material in the bonus section?

Yes. If something happens in a season one episode that has ramifications on something that doesn't happen until the series finale, I'll likely be mentioning it in the Advanced Readers version. If you haven't seen the whole series, you'd best stick to the Newbie edition.

Alan Sepinwall said...

From the 'Completely Irrelevant' Department, Alanms, are you going to review HBO's 'Recount'?

No. Didn't have time to watch it before it premiered, and the subject matter depresses me.

Alan Sepinwall said...

did you give any thought to maybe doing two reviews a week. I don't know that I can contain myself to just episode a week. :-)

Greedy much?

Seriously, given how much time it took me to do the season five reviews, ain't no way I can do more than one a week (or less, depending on press tour), even in the summertime.

BigSis said...

Thanks, Alan. As a Wire newbie, I'm looking forward to the spoiler-free posts. Happy summer!

Chris said...

I know it's been said a thousand times on this site and others, but a really comprehensive review of Firefly would greatly be appreciated. It meets the criteria (good, cult status but not widely watched, available on DVD, and 1 season long). With the ending of BSG and the new Whedon series starting in the fall, I think it would be timely as well. Plus, you've never really done a detailed scifi analysis other than BSG...which is pretty much in a league of its own. IMHO, up until Firefly, the only worthwhile scifi that dealt with big-picture morally-gray issues (as all great scifi does) was a few episodes of ST:TNG and the later seasons of Deep Space Nine. Plus it was just funny as hell. All right...that's it. I'll never mention it again.

Anthony Foglia said...

Alan wrote "How about "Wonderfalls" as a second DVD series?"

As I mention every time someone makes that request, I wasn't a fan of "Wonderfalls," or of any Bryan Fuller series pre-"Pushing Daisies."


Hey, Alan, how about "Wonderfalls?" I've been meaning to eventually watch my DVD.

Seriously, I don't know what to suggest. You'd want something light, to balance the heaviness of "The Wire", but not so trivial that it doesn't reward repeat viewings. The only thing (other than "Wonderfalls") that comes to mind is "Hustle." Did they ever release US DVDs? Also, each season is only six episodes, so if you don't have time till August, you'll still have time to finish it before the end of the season.

But honestly, you might be better off just adding "Burn Notice" to your weekly rotation.

(Or "Rescue Me." I know last season was bad, but the mini-episodes will probably be all comedy, no tragedy.)

Matt said...

I actually rewatched "Wonderfalls" recently, and it cemented my fandom. Yes, the main plotlines were sometimes overwhelmingly twee and there are a couple of big misses in there (in particular, "Totem Mole" doesn't work), but the Aaron-Majandra relationship really works well, even if it doesn't show up until well after the episodes that were aired, and the Heidi arc at the end of the season is quite good. Interestingly, several of the late episodes were written by Krista Vernoff, who's now co-running Grey's and Private Practice, and you get a little of that flavor.

BrĂ¼nnheather said...

I'm not quite sure how your summers normally work, as I'm relatively new to your blog (less than a year)...but since you blog AI, I wondered if you'd be at all interested in So You Think You Can Dance? It's INFINITELY better...
just a thought :)
thanks for the columns!

dez said...

@Alan re: "Recount": Didn't have time to watch it before it premiered, and the subject matter depresses me.

It won't depress you so much as anger up the blood. I hate Joe Lieberman's guts now :-D

James said...

Long shot, but "The Wire" paired up with "Arrested Development" would make me beyond happy.

Anonymous said...

I'd also love to see "Arrested Development" even though 53 episodes is a lot of ground to cover...