Monday, February 25, 2008

Thank God For Movie Tie-Ins

Sony hardly ever releases TV shows on DVD any more, so we can be thankful for the Sex and the City movie (a phrase I didn't expect to utter), because their desperate search for Sarah Jessica Parker-related material has led them to announce a DVD release for SJP's cult flop series "Square Pegs".

This show used a bunch of music, which has been the hold-up on releasing it in the past. Sony has been better than most studios about not cutting or changing music (Paramount and Fox are the worst, while Warner Brothers seems to be the one that won't release any show if they can't clear the music), but we will have to wait and see if they've followed that policy with this release.

The lesson is clear: if you want any show to be released, you have to hope and pray that somebody on that show has a big movie or new TV series coming out. (For example, Paramount had pretty much written off the Cheers DVD releases until Ted Danson resurfaced in Damages.)

Square Pegs, created by SNL writer Anne Beatts -- who assembled a nearly all-female writing staff at a time when there were even fewer female sitcom writers than today -- was also one of two mid-'80s cult flop sitcoms that were shot one-camera, with a more movie-like look and fewer hard jokes than most sitcoms, but still had to use a laugh track. Buffalo Bill was the other. I don't mind laugh tracks for some shows but they did not work at all for these shows, and at a time when M*A*S*H had mostly dropped the laugh track, it was anachronistic.


Griff said...

The show was uneven but had energy and a certain attitude. For some reason, I cherish the memory of one episode which featured a montage of student newspaper headlines -- one of which read "Kane Builds Opera House."

Mike Tennant said...

"The lesson is clear: if you want any show to be released, you have to hope and pray that somebody on that show has a big movie or new TV series coming out."

This, I have found, is the only good thing about movie remakes of old TV shows. I wouldn't even go near the movies, but they do have the benefit of causing DVDs, soundtrack CDs, books, and other paraphernalia related to the original shows to be released.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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