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Buffalo Bill - The Complete First and Second Seasons


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Buffalo Bill - The Complete First and Second Seasons + Sledge Hammer! The Complete Series + Police Squad! The Complete Series
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Product Details

  • Actors: Dabney Coleman, Joanna Cassidy, Max Wright, John Fiedler, Geena Davis
  • Directors: Dennis Klein, Ellen Falcon, Jim Drake, Tom Patchett
  • Writers: Geena Davis, Dennis Klein, Carol Gary, Gary Markowitz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 630 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A6T1KY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,017 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Buffalo Bill - The Complete First and Second Seasons" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Dabney Coleman, Geena Davis. Coleman stars as the obnoxious, ambitious host of a morning talk show in Buffalo, NY, who is aiming for a shot in the big leagues in this long-forgotten television favorite! Includes all 26 episodes on 3 DVDs. 1983-84/color/10 hrs., 30 min/NR/fullscreen.

Amazon.com

The name is Bill Bittinger. Bittinger, not "Bittinjer"--even the syllables of the name are slippery. He's a venal, self-serving, double-talking, pusillanimous, hypocritical, male-chauvinist, bigoted, quintessentially sleazy varmint, and a TV talk-show host besides. He could inherit the title "The Man You Love to Hate," except that that would connote too much stature. Make it "The Man You Love to Be Appalled By."

Buffalo Bill was, if not the best sitcom ever, indisputably the most brilliant, outrageous, exquisitely detailed and nuanced. Naturally, the network kept it on the shelf for a year, till a summer slot needed filling. An instantaneous critical hit, the show also grabbed five Emmy nominations. The following winter it was brought back and, for a few months, enjoyed a Thursday-night berth between Cheers and Hill Street Blues--part of the best two hours on weekly commercial television. All praise to series creator Jay Tarses, who specialized in comedy so offbeat, the beat could be hard to locate. (His next effort was the dramedy The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.) But if we were to name only one name in celebration of Buffalo Bill, it would be Dabney Coleman. A breathtakingly deft character actor, Coleman had already test-flown the Beta version of Bill Bittinger as Merle Jeeter, the con artist nonpareil of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Bill was a socially condoned con artist: a daily TV talk-show host in Buffalo, N.Y. He had world-class company: Joanna Cassidy as JoJo, Bill's director and sometime lover; Max Wright as the encyclopedically neurotic station manager, Karl Shub; John Fiedler as the diminutive floor manager eerily content to be Bill's yes-man even though he owned half the real estate on Lake Erie; Coleman's fellow Tootsie alum Geena Davis, who not only played Bill's daft, starstruck personal assistant but also wrote for the series; Meshach Taylor as JoJo's affable assistant director; and Charlie Robinson as Newdell, the rare character in network television who projected a scarily becalmed version of Black Rage.

The show never played to expectation, on any level. The most outrageous things could happen without the writers feeling obliged to work them into the story-proper. In one episode, dozens of imitation Jerry Lewises participating in some ill-conceived promo are rolling around the station like arrant bowling balls; open a door and another one tumbles in. That other one, incidentally, was Jim Carrey, just like he was before he was--the creepiest of the bunch, it goes without saying, and sublime. And no, the episode wasn't "about" the Jerry Lewis promo. There were uncanny grace notes--say, when Bill became instantly enamored of a musician guest. Someone referred to her as a "flute player" and Bill, his eyes turned reverently to some Elysian Field in his mind, quietly emended: "flautist." Or consider the time Bill, coping with the possibility of JoJo being pregnant, holed up in his apartment and re-enacted Lou Gehrig's farewell speech at Yankee Stadium, complete with microphone echo. An absolutely astounding episode turned on a duel of wills as Bill forced Newdell out of his job, then had to get him back to escape an anti-discrimination suit. The high point was a Black Power fantasia on Bill's part that ... well, Jamie Foxx's rendition of "Hit the Road, Jack" in Ray had nothing on Bill Bittinger's.

The network suits never did figure out what to do with Buffalo Bill; inevitably, they killed it--and yes, more Emmy nominations followed its demise. Never mind. Dabney Coleman and his sainted ensemble are assured of seats on Parnassus. And happily, life eternal on DVD. --Richard T. Jameson

Customer Reviews

This show is truly worth a "look see".
R. D. Wallace
Everything about it was excellent...from the cast to the writing to the acting to the directing.
G. Merdalo
Bill's character was so self-centered and obnoxious that he really irritated me.
TV Show Aficionada

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By G. Gratto on October 8, 2005
Format: DVD
Bought this expressly for THE classic sitcom scene of all time, "Hit The Road Jack." Instead of this scene, a written apology appears, saying the scene has been excised due to licensing problems. Thanks for the apology ater you got my dough. Be warned, America!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ellafan on November 4, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this show when it was on. The ensemble of terrific actors,all lead by D.C.,was way ahead of its time in the early 80's. Actually...not too many shows have had the edge that "B.B." had.So,all in all I am very happy to have these episodes available when I need my quota of sharp-edged humor,and darn fine acting.

But..I specifically wanted to see the episode where Bill is speaking with a ventriloquist,and makes a really off-color,and hysterically funny comment about the courage it takes to "operate" the dummy. Or sock puppet,I can't remember. I watched all of the episodes over a three day period,and didn't see that particular scene. Anyone remember that one? Is it on the "Hit the Road Jack" episode??

Well..if I cannot laugh myself sick over D.C.'s delivery of that one line,then I am glad to at least be able to have a million other laughs with this set of DVD's. D.C. is a terrific actor.The entire cast was/is. I only wish the network would have realized what a gem they had in this show.

Now..I will wait patiently for "Slap Maxwell" to come out on DVD. Another treasure short-shrifted by the network ostriches.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bob Rousseau on September 3, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for this one! Coleman was brilliant in the show. I'm looking forward to the episode where a news crew shows to do a story on Bill which he thinks is going to be a tribute, but which is really an expose of how bad it is to work with him. He keeps rehearsing how he majestically wants himself shown- then finally gets so tired of waiting for his time on camera, he imagines himself telling the woman interviewer off and her forcing herself on him. This show pioneered the concept the Seinfeld show later embraced about a flawed character who demonstrates no emotional growth or 'warm fuzzy' moments. Can't wait for the release!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marivaux on June 2, 2007
Format: DVD
It was said that Brandon Tartikoff who was in charge of NBC's programming always regretted that he pulled the plug on the show. Supposedly he later included the show in his "dream schedule", when he took on a "TV GUIDE" assignment of providing his ultimate TV programming schedule. I used the show in a "History of Television" course I taught to illustrate some of the changing programming trends of the 1980s. Like others, I also was disappointed about the missing "hit the road Jack" sequence, as I had read so much about that particular episode.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Milner on November 12, 2005
Format: DVD
I'd happily give it 5 stars had it included the "Hit the Road, Jack" sequence (a squeamish NBC shelved the original broadcast for several months, and I assume the Ray Charles estate charges a lot of money to use the song on a DVD today), but this is a brilliant dark sitcom. Dabney Coleman gives a still-stunning lead performance, and he's surrounded by one of the great ensemble casts in TV history. Much better than the vastly overrated "Murphy Brown" and a major influence on "The Larry Sanders Show."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stacy Smith on October 22, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Oh wow! I finally found it! I've been looking for The Buffalo Bill Show for years!! I hope the missing sequence everyone is talking about isn't the one of Newdell as the menacing jungle native of Bill's fevered imagination. Brilliant. I will also be watching closely for the little moment where someone gave Bill a handful of raw bacon for some reason, which he passed on to Woody, and then to remedy his greasy hands, he rubbed them on Woody's suit jacket as he pretended to pat him on the arm for helping him out. That's so Bill. He thinks he's putting one over on everybody and they're all rolling their eyes behind his back. Some very subtle stuff in this show. I wonder if Rick Gervais ever saw Buffalo Bill...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Pilieri on May 9, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was thrilled when I found out one of my favorite all time series was on dvd, I have no idea why this show isn't recognized as one of the funniest sitcoms ever. Dabney Coleman was brilliant and the whole cast is great, I truly recommend buying this dvd set.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Captain Cuttle on March 8, 2012
Format: DVD
One of the best shows on television, and a favorite with my family for decades now. From reading the negative reviews, it's obvious that the humor is not for everyone. It's probably not an acquired taste--you either chuckle, or you don't. Do NOT expect jokes or typical joke rhythms (set up, punch line; set up, punch line). It's situational, and wry, and off-beat. Like jazz, the joy is in the unexpected riffs and silences. The acting is top-notch, of course, and the mixture of poignancy and fun is justly famous. The character of Bill is just too abrasive for some people, I know. Try it: you've never seen anything quite like it.
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