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BARNEY MILLER:COMPLETE SERIES
The sprawling, 25-disc presentation of Barney Miller: The Complete Series pays proper and long-overdue tribute to what is arguably one of the best sitcoms ever produced on television. All 168 episodes of the groundbreaking series, which ran between 1974 and 1982, are included in the set, as are a respectable, if not abundant, number of extras. But bells and whistles cannot improve upon Miller's chief attribute--the humor and humanity inherent in each episode, which detailed the life of a police captain (Hal Linden) at New York's dreary 12th Precinct, which was populated by a squad of offbeat but hardworking detectives. Time has not dampened the show's smart, honest writing by series creators Danny Arnold and Theodore J. Flicker, among many others, or the theater-quality acting of Linden and the talented cast, which began with Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass, Max Gail, and Jack Soo before adding Steve Landesberg and Ron Carey in season four. As with other blue-collar "workplace" shows like M*A*S*H, Hill Street Blues, and St. Elsewhere, viewers came to care about the characters (real-life police, in particular, applauded the show's portrayal of working law officers) because they accurately reflected the steady, unyielding stream of joys and heartbreak that made up every day in a job where people's lives were at stake, and how that experience affected the personalities that worked there. Barney Miller was a rare series, one that has not been duplicated (though emulated by shows like Rescue Me and Homicide: Life on the Street) or, thankfully, remade, and this impressive set from Shout Factory serves as its best and most complete presentation to date.
Like the show itself, the extras on The Complete Series are heartfelt and often hilarious. Series writer-producers Tony Sheehan, Jeff Stein, and Frank Dungan, all of whom continued to collaborate on series like Mr. Belvedere and King of Queens, are featured on commentary tracks for the show's final three-part episode, "Landmark," which concerned the closing of the 12th Precinct. The commentaries are informal but informative--the show's notorious late shoots and last-minute rewrites are discussed--and often very funny. Stein and Dungan also appear on a trio of overlapping making-of featurettes that additionally include new interviews with Linden, Gail, and Vigoda. More important to Miller completists will be the entire original pilot, "The Life and Times of Captain Barney Miller," which aired on an ABC comedy anthology series in 1974. Linden and Vigoda are featured in a cast that includes Charles Haid (Hill Street Blues) among the One-Two's detectives. The complete version of the series pilot, "Ramon," which essentially tells the same story as "Life and Times," is also included in an uncut version that adds two minutes of footage. In addition, there's an excerpt from You Don't Know Jack, a 2009 documentary about Jack Soo that includes interviews with Landesberg and Gail about their well-loved fellow actor whom the entire cast feted in a special 1979 episode (included in the set). For many, the set's curiosity piece is the first season of Fish, the short-lived spinoff series that featured Vigoda's character riding herd on a quintet of foster children (including Todd Bridges of Diff'rent Strokes). The 13 episodes included here are largely laugh-free affairs and the complete antithesis to the intelligent comedy of Barney Miller. Image quality on many episodes remains as murky as they appeared on the three stand-alone DVD releases from Sony, though this is the case with shows created on videotape rather than film. Such issues, however, should not prevent fans and newcomers alike from spending quality time with the men of the 12th Precinct. --Paul GaitaSee all Editorial Reviews
New interviews with cast (Linden, Gail, Vigoda)
First season of the spin-off show, Fish, starring Abe Vigoda
Original unaired pilot
Writers commentary on select episodes
I am amazed at this series and the quality of writing and acting. It was produced and filmed in southern California, but the setting is New York City. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Scott M. Kruse
There isn't much that can carry me away like older episodes of Barley Miller. It was a program that clearly celebrated the differences, rather than insist everyone think and act... Read morePublished 7 days ago by denims buddy
Shows a human side that most people never see. Some incidents show that offices have real emotions. Some are funny and some hurt.Published 26 days ago by Bradley McGuin
Saved me in a pinch. Bought it for my Dad and he's having a great time watching this show 30+ years later. Thinks it's funnier now.Published 1 month ago by Aaron
Another "gem" of an ensemble . . . but for me the standout was James Gregory as Inspector Luger . . .Published 1 month ago by Richard C. Kress
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|English Subtitles Or Closed Captioned Only?||
Closed captioning only.
Jan 1, 2013 by John LaMantia | See all 10 posts
Jan 1, 2013 by John LaMantia | See all 2 posts
|Nobody born gay --mygenes.co.nz (Harvard supports this webpage info)||
Bob Forapples:Hilarious name!-And I'm sure this book won't be used to prove being gay is a choice and therefore punishable by death-Of course,places like Uganda aren't waiting on any darned book,anyway-Thanks,''Harvard people''!
Apr 17, 2014 by SATURN2 | See all 5 posts
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