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The DVD's: What works, what doesn't

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Marine Biologist

PostPosted: November 28, 2004 3:03 PM 

Well, most of us have had a few days to watch and ponder over these DVD's, and I thought I would post my views on what works and what doesn't in this much-anticipated and much-hyped release ... with the full expectation that there will be many who have violently different views, especially in a forum like this where pretty much everyone is a dedicated Seinfeld fanatic; I guess that includes me but still, one can try to evaluate things with a critical eye... Smile

These are indeed fantastic DVD sets, far better than have ever been produced for any other sitcom, and deservedly so. But as for what works and doesn't:

What works

- Obviously, the shows themselves -- beautifully re-mastered and encoded, and as Jerry said in one commentary track, the material doesn't seem dated; the clothes and fads and computers might be, but the scripts are as fresh as ever

- The commentary by Michael Richards, Julia Luis-Dreyfus, and Jason Alexander. The chemistry in this trio is clearly evident, along with Michael's typically dedicated approach to really doing the job well, Julia's perception and intelligence, and Jason's typical dry wit.

- The bloopers -- a fascinating look behind the scenes (although many are not new -- we saw some of them in the two-part retrospective in "The Clip Show" I believe, or else it was "Highlights of a Hundred")

- "The Making-Of" documentary -- very informative for the true Sein-fanatic, otherwise though sort of a mundane story of startup talent and network politics.

- Oddly enough, the NBC promotional spots -- these old commercials really take you back in time to when this was still an evolving prime-time series.

What doesn't work

- "Notes about nothing" -- unfortunately a very apt description. They convey very little real information and have an annoying tendency to wander off into profuse irrelevance (example - some at one point mentions "Oswald", and the notes take off into an incredibly protracted discussion of Lee Oswald and the whole Kennedy assassination story -- what's the point?).

- Most of the other commentaries. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that the directors and writers try hard but seem to have fairly few real insights to offer. Seinfeld and Larry David are a particular disappointment. Their commentaries have a certain interest level just because of who they are, and inevitably some good nuggets of information get passed along. But they spend an inordinate amount of time just chuckling to themselves, making obscure references that only they would understand, and asking totally inane questions like "which episode is this?". At one point Larry says "I have a hard time coming up with anything to say". Right on, Larry.

- The photo gallery -- the question here is, why? It's just stock public relations material. Some real shots behind the scenes, in the wings or whatever, during rehearsals or actual performances would have been cool, but if these don't exist, why bother at all?

Having said all that, I also have to say that the overall impression of these DVD's is a combination of the pleasure of actually owning this superb material in high-quality format, and being able to experience a tiny bit of what it was like to have actually been there, the latter being largely the result of the Richards/Luis-Dreyfus/Alexander commentaries plus the making-of documentary.

Marine Biologist
Hipster Dufus

Posts: 51

Reply: 1

PostPosted: November 28, 2004 3:06 PM 

oops, I didn't mean to post the above anonymously, my presets got screwed up in the browser.....

Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 2

PostPosted: November 28, 2004 5:17 PM 

I agree with all your "what works". I enjoy the Larry David/Jerry Seinfeld commentary, although not nearly as much as Michael Richards, Julia Luis-Dreyfus, and Jason Alexander, and I dont really care for the commentary by Larry Charles. I wish they could have done more commentaries with the trio instead of writers.

Totally agree on "Notes About Nothing". I thought it would be pretty cool, but just ended up annoying me. I wanted notes about the show, not about things that really arent related at all.

I dont really care either way about the photo gallery. It doesnt interest me, but others may like it.

Im hoping they can improve the "Notes About Nothing" in the next release.

Little Jerry Seinfeld

Posts: 31

Reply: 3

PostPosted: November 28, 2004 5:38 PM 

Lol...overall the dumbest and most annoying thing about IT ALL is the Spider-man 2 wtf is that. a little out of place one would think. Any thoughts? Surprised

Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 4

PostPosted: November 28, 2004 7:43 PM 

Oh man I cant believe I forgot about the Spiderman 2 preview. That'll just be slightly outdated in a few years Wink

Tor Eckman

Posts: 77

Reply: 5

PostPosted: November 30, 2004 10:42 PM 

I just got my set today and haven't come across the Spiderman 2 thing yet. It's odd because Spiderman 2 came out on DVD today. Anyway, I hate when we as consumers spend an arm and a leg (and believe me, almost $80 for 3 seasons of any show - even Seinfeld - seems much to me) for these DVDs, we shouldn't have to be subjected to commercials. I can see if it's a rental DVD or on television, but when we buy it, we should be advertisement free. Anyone else agree?

Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 6

PostPosted: November 30, 2004 11:26 PM 


you didn't have to spend $80 (you got the gift set), you could have spent under $60 on just the dvd's... quit complaining, you made the choice

Tor Eckman

Posts: 77

Reply: 7

PostPosted: December 1, 2004 11:16 AM 

No, I'm not complaining about the price. I think it was money well spent. I'm just making the observation that we shouldn't have commercials on DVDs that we buy. It's really bad on children's DVDs. Sometimes you can FF past them and other times, you cannot. But I don't regret spending the money on the gift set.

Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 8

PostPosted: December 2, 2004 9:00 PM 

I disagree, i reckon the notes about nothing are great. Its more than just explaining references, it goes with script changes and cast and crew comments on their characters and the show. As im Australian and the show is ten years old i dont get all the references, its good to find out about them. It gives longetivity to the sets for future generations, if say in 30 or 40 years if someone young watches the set their not gonna know any of the references. I also love the idea of the kramer entrance counter, ive watched the eps in order up to about the start of season 3 and hes up to about 35. The commentries are ok, larry and jerry are pretty quiet. They should combine larry charles in with larry & jerry so he can fill in the silences with his interesting comments, yet it will still be funny with larry and jerry.

Marine Biologist
Hipster Dufus

Posts: 51

Reply: 9

PostPosted: December 2, 2004 9:58 PM 

I also like the "Inside Look" spots that I forgot to mention earlier and no one else has brought up, they serve their intended purpose of providing a bit of behind-the-scenes insight
Very Happy

cousin jeffrey
Pimple Popper, MD

Posts: 1821

Reply: 10

PostPosted: December 2, 2004 10:40 PM 

the "inside looks" are probably my favorites of the extras on these dvd's. it really gives us a sense of how an episode is put together and the many options that the writers go through before they finally settle on what they're gonna use.


Posts: 22

Reply: 11

PostPosted: December 3, 2004 12:12 PM 

Why do the DVD's have to have that blank screen in the middle of each episode where the commercials used to be? I think it should play straight through. Oh well, still the best thing money can buy.

Cockeyed Optimist

Posts: 527

Reply: 12

PostPosted: December 8, 2004 6:50 PM 

The blank screen is integral, it was originally edited that way and it should play as intended.

Mr. MV

Posts: 16

Reply: 13

PostPosted: December 8, 2004 8:31 PM 

quoted by Chris:

"Why do the DVD's have to have that blank screen in the middle of each episode where the commercials used to be? I think it should play straight through..."

Jeez, how impatient can you get? The black is only a quick 2 second pause.

Cockeyed Optimist

Posts: 527

Reply: 14

PostPosted: December 9, 2004 1:50 PM 

I love the notes about nothing, lots of juicy bits of information like the Nielsen ratings and share for every episode or the revelation about Jerry's bike on the wall Smile

Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 15

PostPosted: December 12, 2004 10:40 AM 

Marine Biologist, and others. You complain about how irrelevent the notes are. Hello? It's called NOTES ABOUT NOTHING. That's the whole point!!! And it is VERY VERY educative, like the leo oswald thing that teaches things to kids and even more to people outside of America, like me. Many times in Seinfeld they say names and I don't know who they are talking about, cuz it's not part of my culture, but with the note i now know who they are and it adds a new dimension to the jokes.

Quality Man
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 16

PostPosted: December 17, 2004 2:28 PM 

I can't believe you guys think this is a high quality DVD transfer. There are tons of specs and noise when I watch the DVD. The version of Seinfeld sent over cable TV is of higher quality. Look closely at the image and you'll see what I mean.


Posts: 2

Reply: 17

PostPosted: December 17, 2004 7:17 PM 

I am uber excited to have these on DVD. I love the inside look. The notes about nothing are pretty much worthless. I was hoping for info about goofs, or like what the chinese delivery boy says in the episode where George gets the hair cream. I was also not that impressive with the audio commentary, some of it was insightful, but I lot of it seem like random chatter. The best audio commentary I have ever heard was on the Sex in the City video.

White Poet Warlord
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 18

PostPosted: December 18, 2004 11:25 AM 

I love Seinfeld, always have. I always will watch it.

Regarding the DVDs?

Well, other than having very high quality copies of the episodes, the long anticipation and hype far outweighed the final product.

Bad Breaker Upper

Posts: 3273

Reply: 19

PostPosted: December 18, 2004 12:23 PM 

What are you talking about? How can you sit there and tell me that... Don't you have any sense? Don't you have a brain? Are you so completely senile that you don't know what you're talking about anymore?

White Poet Warlord
Bob Sakamano

Posts: no

Reply: 20

PostPosted: December 19, 2004 8:35 AM 

I am quite mad you know.

[Elaine: But, but, he's in the Burmese jungle.

Ipswitch: Yes, and quite mad from what I hear.]

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