Monday, September 03, 2007

Unkind Cuts

One thing I like about the DVD reviews at Sitcoms Online is that they provide timings for the episodes. (TV Shows on DVD does this too, but they don't review as many shows.) This is useful because it helps identify which episodes have had musical sequences cut, or had syndication versions included by mistake.

CBS/Paramount is the most notorious studio these days when it comes to edited releases. The Sitcoms Online reviews of some recent releases indicate that The Odd Couple Season 2 probably hasn't had any major edits (all the episodes run over 25 minutes), Sabrina the Teenage Witch Season 2 has probably had a few episodes hacked up (there are a few episodes that run 30-60 seconds shorter than the rest, which usually means that they cut a scene with someone singing a song), and Bosom Buddies Season 2, apart from the expected absence of "My Life", has a couple of musical sequences missing -- people on the message board have identified one of the missing sequences as the cast singing "Yakkity Yak." (Paramount also cut Yakkity Yak" from a couple of Happy Days episodes.)

The upshot is, if you see any favorite old show in syndication, record any episode with any musical content. You can't be sure that your favorite scene will make it onto DVD.

Also, Paul Mavis at DVD Talk shares my affection for Bosom Buddies season 2, pointing out that it was one of the first mainstream sitcoms "to incorporate the whole ironic, self-reflexive, pop-culture referencing humor then found only on Saturday Night Live or at comedy groups like Second City or The Groundlings, or in movies like Animal House and Caddyshack."


Anonymous said...

You mean there was a time when all comedy wasn't "ironic, self-reflexive, pop-culture referencing humor"?

Personally, I'm sick of "ironic, self-reflexive, pop-culture referencing humor."

Jaime J. Weinman said...

Personally, I'm sick of "ironic, self-reflexive, pop-culture referencing humor."

Now, that's just wacky talk. Everybody loves reflexive humor, and if the reflexive has some self in there, well, that's just icing on the cake.