WKRP in Cincinnati: The Not Actually Complete First Season

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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 2024-02-02 4:37 AM EDT