WKRP in Cincinnati: The Not Actually Complete First Season

[Amazon Link]

Yesterday brought the release of a long-awaited DVD set of the first season of WKRP in Cincinnati. The show was an unusual combination of sharp writing and cast chemistry that just doesn't happen very often. The episode where Bert Parks played Herb Tarlek's dad may be the best thirty minutes of sitcom ever; it's definitely in my top five.

So I hopped over to Amazon, cursor poised over the "Two-Day 1-Click®" button, but then read the customer reviews.

Aieee! They are incensed over there. (Click the box to check for yourself.)

Sin one: much of the original music used in the series would have cost additional money to reproduce on a DVD set. The solution: use cheaper songs instead. Wince! No "Hot Blooded"? No "Great Pretender"? (And Jennifer's doorbell no longer plays "Fly Me to the Moon.") A mishmash of cuts and redubs attempts to restore coherency in some episodes.

Sin two—the killer for me: at least a couple episodes are syndicated versions, with scenes completely cut from the original so that TV stations could pack in a couple extra minutes of commercials. This is [please imagine a couple dozen filthy words here] idiotic and unacceptable.

Hence, I backed away from the mouse button. I don't think I'll even bother to put this in my online Blockbuster queue. (More details on the DVD surgery here.)

So: yay for Amazon, for making honest customer reviews available even when (as in this case) it will almost certainly hurt sales. And brickbats and boos for 20th Century Fox, who shouldn't even have thought about pushing this product out the door.

I mean, I can't believe, as God is my witness, how they thought this turkey would fly.


Last Modified 2012-10-19 1:50 PM EST

Yale Gets Its Sane On

In followup to a previous article: The Yale Daily News reports that Yale's ban on realistic-looking stage weapons in theatrical productions has been rescinded.

The article quotes Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg, originator of the ban (speaking before the reversal was announced):

"I think people should start thinking about other people rather than trying to feel sorry for themselves and thinking that the administration is trying to thwart their creativity," Trachtenberg said. "They're not using their own intelligence. … We have to think of the people who might be affected by seeing real-life weapons."
Dean Betty really is a gift that keeps on giving, at least to those of us who appreciate arrogant cluelessness. Had she not Done Something, out of motives of the purest kind? How dare she be questioned? Don't they see she cares ("a whole awful lot")? Those people can't be very smart, can they? At least they're not "using their own intelligence."

Via the Volokh Consipiracy, where both Eugene and Ilya have comments. Betsy Newmark also weighs in with insights on Yale's recent struggles with free expression and common sense.

Self-Refuting Quote of the Day

I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with the administration's chief attack dog.
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), referring to Vice President Dick Cheney.