Sports Night: The Complete Series
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Taut, exciting, realistic dramedy about the lives of sports journalists. It's a show about a show about sports, that isn't about sports at all.
Before there was Aaron Sorkin's West Wing, there was Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night, which followed the trials and tribulations of a smart, energetic television staff as they scrambled to put on a nightly cable sports show, not unlike ESPN's SportsCenter. Sports Night was every bit as good as its political successor--and in some ways, even better--even though it didn't have the gravitas of, say, running the country on a daily basis. You don't need to know anything about sports to appreciate the dynamics of the Sports Night news room (which bears more than a passing similarity to His Girl Friday), and the issues the cast grappled with every week ran from the serious to the frothy, always peppered with snappy Sorkin dialogue. And sadly, as befalls most quality television (TV Guide dubbed it "The Best Show You're Not Watching"), Sports Night was canceled after two seasons. But the trajectory of 45 episodes on this DVD set allows you to watch one of the best and most groundbreaking half-hour shows ever put on television.
Those familiar with Sorkin's writing style will revel in the unabashed comedy and interoffice romance on display here, and the way it's set in motion by a powerhouse cast, including Felicity Huffman's Dana (sexy, neurotic show producer), Peter Krause's Casey (goofball anchor guy), Joshua Malina's know-it-all Jeremy (staff nerd and information repository), Sabrina Lloyd's efficient Natalie (Dana's mostly unflappable assistant), and the show's two secret weapons: Robert Guillaume as executive producer Isaac, who was to Sports Night what Martin Sheen was to The West Wing, and the superb Josh Charles, who as co-anchor Dan, a man as complex as he was funny and heartbreaking, was the heart and soul of Sports Night. Damn, they just don't make TV this good anymore! --Mark Englehart
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Top Customer Reviews
From the beginning, ABC had no clue of how to handle this show. First, they insisted that the producers ad a laugh track, because you don't know when to laugh. Then, they started to promote it like a soap opera, because it had serious issues to deal with at times.
Ultimately, the quality of the show came through. A fabulous cast provided excellent performances. Josh Charles ("A Few Good Men") and Sabrina Lloyd ("Sliders") are the MVPs here, consistently giving the show it's heart. Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under"), initially stiff in his "on air" role as Casey McCall, settled in well mid-first season.
The real gem here is Robert Guilamme ("Benson"), his Issac Jaffe is an excellent character brought to life with his gentle touch. Guilamme's real-life stroke was written into the series, and when he returned in the second season made for some wonderful moments and sly dialogue delivered by the veteran actor.
If you've not yet experienced this series, you may want to catch a rerun on late night Comedy Central. But, I whole-heartedly endorse adding this DVD set to your personal collection.
The only warning that I have for those of you who haven't experienced Sports Night...is be prepared to be disappointed in the final episode because that is when the show was just getting its legs. It's a shame that this show got cut down in the prime of its life.
"Sports Night" is about an eponymous fictitious hour sports news show on the fictitious Continental Sports Channel. It's a sit-com targeted at an audience who knows what "eponymous" means without consulting a dictionary. But this comedy isn't really about sports at all. It's about intelligent, articulate people who use humor to relieve the pressures that their demanding jobs entail.
Aaron Sorkin is the creator of "Sports Night". He also created "The West Wing" a year later, and when he realized that it was a lot easier selling viewers a fictitious White House administration than a fictitious sports news crew, he dropped "Sports Night" like a hot potato. Most everyone knows that "The West Wing" isn't really about Washington politics; instead it's about intelligent, articulate people who use humor to relieve the pressures that their demanding jobs entail. But few people have even heard of "Sports Night". It's a shame, though, because "Sports Night" may be the funniest show you never watched.
There are plenty of valid criticisms of "Sports Night". For supposedly intelligent people the characters adopt a large number of unreasonable prejudices. These are all politically correct prejudices, of course. In the world of "Sports Night" when a homeless man flicks open a switchblade he's only cutting a sandwich to share. Aaron Sorkin certainly has trouble writing multiple character voices. Without seeing which characters recite which lines you'd be hard pressed to match characters with dialog from a script; the phrasing and delivery are largely interchangeable.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Confession: Aaron Sorkin could re-write "May Had A Little Lamb" and I would love it. Objectively, the show isn't great, but it's a lot better than most schlock on tv. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Thomas B Mulligan
It's a shame this show only lasted two seasons. I can't understand why - Sorkin's is the smartest, snappiest, funniest stuff on TV. Read morePublished on April 26 2006
The show was wonderful and I still mourn its cancellation. It is great to finally have the DVDs so I can get my _Sports Night_ fix anytime. Read morePublished on July 5 2004 by T. Spackman
Before West Wing Aaron Sorkin brought us this great show about a group of people putting on a sports news show for a fictional cable network. Read morePublished on June 22 2004 by T. Bratz
I do not own the DVD boxed set but caught as many episodes as i could during a bout of insomnia when it was aired on Comedy Central. Read morePublished on June 12 2004 by M. R. Chateauvert
Sports Night was an amazing show that combined both a drama and a comedy into a half-hour time slot. Read morePublished on May 17 2004 by Nick
Like many of the other reviewers, I did not see this show when it first aired. Mostly because I could never find it, because it never seemed to air when it was supposed to. Read morePublished on April 30 2004 by Bill Holloway
.. this show was brilliantly written - suffered the same fate as a number of shows that were just too much for the american public that seems to want to be dumbed-down at every... Read morePublished on April 22 2004 by Ronald C. Fazar