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It's Garry Shandling's Show: The Complete Series

Garry Shandling , Molly Cheek    Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 159.95
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This is the review of Shandling's Show / My review of Shandling's Show / Amazon called me up and asked me to review the box set / I've only just got started / How do you like it so far? / This is my review of Shandling's Show. It doesn't get more meta than Jerry Carbone's irresistible theme song to this game-changing 1986 sitcom that paved the way for The Simpsons and Seinfeld (several of the writers went on to work on those series), Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, and others. Broadcast on Showtime to critical acclaim and later on Fox to abysmal ratings, It's Garry Shandling's Show is an audaciously original self-reverential sitcom starring Shandling as endearingly vain, insecure, and whiny standup comedian Garry Shandling, whose life is a sitcom. "You must lead a very interesting life," someone observes in season 4. "No, I don't," Shandling responds, "and it's been a stumbling block through the whole series." From the opening monologue in each episode to asides that thoroughly demolish the fourth wall between performer and the audience ("You didn't get to meet Jackie last week because we hadn't cast her yet"), It's Garry Shandling's Show turns the sitcom format on its head. Most times the actors go about their business, and other times, their characters, too, get in on the postmodern act. "Thanks a lot for the big part in the show this week, Uncle Garry," a character sarcastically comments in one episode. In other surreal developments, Shandling one time departs for New York to star in a new cop series, leaving his show to be fronted by venerable comedian Red Buttons. At one point, audience members make themselves at home on the set while Shandling is out, and at the beginning of season 4, the network president (Richard Fancy, the future Mr. Lippman on Seinfeld) disapproves when Shandling announces his new girlfriend (the charming Jessica Harper) will be joining the cast. He suggests instead that Shandling hire a butler (a comic premise to which Seinfeld later paid homage when Jerry and George pitched their own sitcom to NBC in the fourth season).

Comedy greats, old and new school, from Steve Allen to Martin Mull and Chevy Chase, appear as themselves. An episode to cherish is "Mr. Smith Goes to Nam," which features the last television appearance of Gilda Radner, whose final wink to the camera is perhaps reason enough to purchase this set. Others include the prodigious bonus features, including outtakes, a series retrospective, and very honest commentaries (writers Al Jean and Mike Reiss likewise express reservations about giving Shandling a steady love interest, "a conventional sitcom move for an unconventional sitcom"). It's Garry Shandling's Show enjoys a mystique among comedy buffs, but it has not been seen in syndication or ever been released on home video. How does it hold up? As Shandling's mentor, comedy club owner Mr. Peck (Danny Dayton), describes Shandling's first stage appearances, "It's as good today as it was in those days." He did not mean it as a compliment; we do. --Donald Liebenson



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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny show, quality DVD release Oct. 29 2009
Format:DVD
I have enjoyed "It's Garry Shandling's Show" since they originally aired on FOX. This DVD collection captures all the funny moments plus the extras are pretty good. The commentaries are so-so since some writers/creators (even Shandling himself) don't have good recollections of certain episodes but I have no issues with that.
The packaging is very good and the book is mainly an episode list with what episodes are on what discs and where to find the extras. Very helpful. There are two discs in each slim DVD case.
Overall, I have found it to be worth the money spent.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are these the original episodes Jan. 13 2010
Format:DVD
Showtime is a pay TV network so why are the episodes so short? As if to fit network TV schedules.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great At ANY Price Oct. 8 2009
By Jazz Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
What's the problem here?

Not sure why anyone could think the listed Amazon price is too high. Here's the facts:

1) This is a 16 disc complete set loaded with brand new extras.

2) It's from Shout! Factory who always produce high quality box sets.

3) It retains all the guest stars and music. For every guest star that walks into Garry's home, the producers of this set have to negotiate with them or their estate. This costs a lot of money. Now they could have gone the inexpensive way and eliminated scenes, certain music, even entire episodes. But they didn't.

4) It's a landmark cult TV series that probably wouldn't be seeing the light of day if not for the folks at Shout! Factory.

I agree that it is a lot to shell out. But as a fan who has very fond memories of this blowing my mind 20+ years ago, it's a small price to pay to have the the entire complete series in one big box with Shandling's participation. This set is certainly a specialty item and not one to appeal to a mainstream audience. It's aimed at the serious collector of the offbeat and unusual.

With all that in mind I'm looking forward to this set and have no problem shelling out around $100 to show my support for this wonderfully creative show. Who knows, maybe good sales will encourage Shout! Factory to tackle 'The Complete Larry Sanders Show' next?
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the review of Gary's Show Aug. 5 2009
By C. Gregory - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Obviously this isn't out yet, so this review isn't about the set it's about the show. I remember some of Gary Shandling's standup from specials I had watched on late night tv. So when I heard Fox was gonna run episodes of this after Married With Children I figured I'd see what the show was about. He didn't seem like the perfect choice for a show, he was hilarious in standup but I wasn't sure how an actual show would pan out. I didn't have cable at the time so it wasn't until Fox started showing it that I got my first glance. Some people I had heard talk about it, said it was hilarious, while others said they just didn't get it. Gary's humor can be a bit dry at times, but he's usually pretty funny. So I decided to find out for myself. I'm glad I did. The sitcom within a sitcom idea was a bit quirky but worked. Generally, though if you watched the series week to week you would be rewarded with more running jokes/gags. Stuff casual watchers may not pick up on. The only other series I ever watched that got rid of the fourth wall was the Monkees and they were funny too. But, this show picks up on that idea where it left off and pushed it to the limits without really being over the top. The jokes were great, the actors were all in on the joke, and gave great performances. There really isn't much to dislike by the show. If you are a fan of comedy, I mean a true fan you will at least enjoy this show if not love it. Gary's jokes, like I said can be a bit dry, but they are clever and hit the mark every time. Usually when a joke doesn't hit it's intentional and watching the reactions of a bad joke can be just as funny as the really good jokes. I do not understand why anyone would say at $2 an episode it's not worth it. Not because of the show itself but because tv shows can be overpriced. Seeing as this is four seasons, a complete series with extras, I can't really say the price is all that bad. i remember when tv shows came out on dvd for the first time, i was just glad they did and had paid way higher prices than I would pay today. I love a good deal too, but one can't complain too much for what you are getting for the price. Besides, without this show shows like Seinfeld never would have been dreamed of. It's the clever little twists on the classic sitcom genre that sells this show the most, it was very inventive, and has been imitated in many ways since it went off the air, so much that you might think this show isn't all that original, but it is THE original. I would highly reccomend this set at any price. You'll be laughing so much you won't remember how much you paid for it
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Garry Shandling's DVD Review Dec 8 2009
By N. Nayar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is one of my ATF shows ever!!! And keep in mind I watched this show when it was Fox in 1987 and I was 9. Sure, the adult humor I didn't get, but the audience interaction and the 4th Wall that he broke was something I did get. So when the DVD went on sale, I got it for myself as a gift to myself.

What I liked:
-all the episodes in tact; FOX viewers might remember these were edited, and even during it's 2am run on LIFETIME TV, they were chopped up further. But all episodes are shown since not all of em aired unless you had SHOWTIME.
-semi-decent dvd menu, sound quality is just about average, but loved the features and commentary from the cast.
-great dvd case and covers. Good conversation piece if placed on bookshelf
-the shows!!! groundbreaking. My top three are: Garry and Jeff Goldblum, Grant goes to Hollywood, and when they're waiting for the Schumaker baby to arrive. Great comedy, laughs, and you really get to see the inner workings of a great comedian pre-Larry Sanders. Some great one-liners throughout. When it rains, it pours. Morton Salt, we salute you!!!
-EXCEPTIONAL cast and guest stars: Scott Nemes, cameos from Tom Petty and Rob Reiner, and especially seeing Gilda Radner(bittersweet)

Why no fifth star:
-price!!! still a lot at 100-150+. Maybe divided it up into volumes at $20-40 each.
-would've been great is if they had the GS 25th anniversary special(loved that parody special)
-video-wise, straight from TV, nothing had been upgraded or restored.

So for Garry Shandling or Larry Sanders fans, I'd check it out!!! Although a bit expensive, it's worth it to have the entire series!!!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love this quirky show Jan. 14 2010
By Thelonious - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I caught a few fleeting glimpses of this show in reruns on broadcast TV many years ago. At the time I was avoiding anything that smacked of "appointment television" so I never followed it, but things stuck in my mind for years - in particular, I caught the episode where garry turns on his own show on TV (which is live footage of him watching himself watching himself) and quickly proclaims "It's just a guy watching TV - who wants to watch that?....Oh, that's me!" - the sheer meta-ness of that stuck with me. So I welcomed the chance to see the show from the beginning.

These DVDs are superbly produced and packaged, picture and sound are clear and there are interesting extras (though I'd have loved more - where is the 25th Anniversary Special, the bridge to the Larry Sanders show?).

That said, I do think the price is a bit high. It's a fun show, but not always great - some episodes are kind of flat and I winder if I'll go back and watch many of them a second or third time. In contrast, I'd gladly pay these prices for Larry Sanders, but that show was much more densely packed and stands up much better to repeated viewings.

Bottom line: The show is well worth seeing and these DVDs are superbly produced, but as an investment I think it's really for die-hard fans until/unless the price drops.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Garry Shandling BoxSet Worth Every Penny Oct. 22 2009
By DVD Profiles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Having just received this set, I have to say I am very happy with it. There are a good amount of extras and, as always, Shout! has produced the DVDs and packaging well. The DVD menus are visually interesting but not overdone to the point of distraction as in the case of some sets. This ground-breaking series was well overdue, and I think most of us who wished it was available in the past are happy to see the entire series released at once. It's pretty frustrating and often more expensive to wait and purchase single seasons at a time; and often problems occur along the way that slow or prevent season releases when done individually (think Mary Tyler Moore). To those of us who had a few surviving VHS episodes, the DVD quality is so refreshing to watch! If you've not ever been exposed to this show, I don't think you'll be disappointed - it stands up remarkably well given how long ago it aired originally. A little smart shopping will net you a lower price anyway - so take a moment to check prices amongst the top internet retailers.
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