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The Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary Collection
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84 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2006
Born on January 29, 1954, Oprah Gail Winfrey faced a mountain of challenges as a newborn baby .. born to teenage parents, she was black, she was female, she was poor.. not just poor...po!

Oprah's mother, Vernita Lee an 18 year old maid. Her father, Vernon Winfrey, a 20 year old serving in the armed forces. According to Oprah, her conception resulted from a single encounter - one time!

Her first break, being raised on a Mississippi farm by her grandmother. Oprah credits living with her grandmother probably saved her life. She taught her to read, introducing her to her first public speaking role, reading at the local church at age 3..

At age 6, Vernita, wanted her young daughter, so Oprah got packed off to Milwaukee remaining there till age 13. She was forced to sleep outside by her mother's employer who disliked her yet favored her young sister. She was raped by a cousin when she was nine years old and later molested by a male friend of Vernita's, and by an uncle. Like many people, she repressed her anger and pain, never told anyone, and rebelled, running away repeatedly, and by her own admission was promiscuous.

Her mother, unable to cope, tried to put her to a detention home. Oprah gets a break when the home refuses her admission as there were no openings. She gets her third break going to live with her father Vernon in Nashville. She became pregnant, and gave birth to a stillborn baby boy at 14. The death of her baby devastated her and she vowed to turn her life around. Vernon's discipline and high standards helped.

Five years later Oprah Winfrey's career starts in Nashville in 1973, as WTVF's youngest and first ever African American news anchor, moving in 1976 to Baltimore. Here, she changes roles taking over People Are Talking in 1978. In 1983, at 29, Oprah moves to Chicago to host AM Chicago, which would evolve into The Oprah Winfrey Show, top the ratings, and become syndicated, changing the landscape of talk tv forever.

Her abilty to talk up a storm, together with the extraordinary ability to connect with and lead her audience emotionally would create a new breed of talk show host, which would spawn others, such as Dr Phil, and Dr Oz. Her abilty to freely discuss her own issues, would inspire others to open up. She would inspire not only women with a better dream for their lives but also men. The power of the Oprah book club endorsement, would instantly boost many authors book sales by millions.

On learning from life-- "And what I found is that every time you have to repeat the lesson, it gets worse. I call it God trying to get your attention. The universe trying to get your attention. "Sooo we didn't get your attention the first time. We are going to have to hit you a little harder this time." So I'm still doing it. I'm still learning.

And it seems worse because it gets worse. I say, the universe is always trying to get your attention. Sometimes it starts out.. any major problem you encounter.. as a whisper. By the time it gets to be a storm, you've had a pebble knock you upside the head; you've had a brick; you've had a brick wall; you've had a house fall down. And before you know it, you are in the eye of the storm.

But long before you are in the eye of the storm, you've had many warnings, like little clues. So now my goal in life is not to have to hit the eye of the storm, but to catch it in the whisper. To get it the first time. I think the thing, the one thing that has allowed me to certainly achieve both material success and spiritual success, is the ability to listen to my instinct. I call it my inner voice. It doesn't matter what you call it..nature, instinct, higher power. It's the ability to understand the difference between what your heart is saying and what your head is saying. I now always go with the heart. Even when my head is saying, 'Oh, but this is the rational thing; this is really what you should do.' I always go with that little... feeling. The feeling. I am where I am today because I have allowed myself to listen to my feelings."

The six-disc collection includes "The Beginning," featuring the early days of her show; "Heartprints," offering her most emotionally affecting interviews; "Aha!," focusing on moments that provided lessons; and the "Stars," interviews with celebrities. All of it a highlight.

As you can imagine, with nearly 18 hours of content spanning 20 years, by the time you finish watching you will no doubt reexperience many personal favorite moments, and you will probably be as gripped and moved as you were watching the show originally. If you're like me, you will discover many new moments, and fresh ahas, whether gripping, humorous, intense, or fascinating which you may have missed the first time around.

My personal big moment came after a Dr Phil segment. JoAnn Compton planned to commit suicide after the show because she could not process her daughter's violent death 10 years before. Dr Phil turned it around by changing her focus from the day of her death, to considering her daughters entire life. When Oprah said afterwards: "I could see that shift in her perceptions" that gave me a huge aha moment.

Neing stuck, I realised that all I needed to do, at any time, in any situation, is shift my perceptions, and I learned how to ask the right questions. Observe, question, change. Learning hypnosis, state changing questions and NLP offered further insights into Dr Phil's exact strategy in the situation, and how to do it for myself and others.

I loved the interview with Nelson Mandela with his tremendous charisma and presence.
Other highlights for me: her trip to South Africa, and its impressive military like precise organisation, how she got the part in The Color Purple, insights by Cameron Diaz about money, and Nicole Kidman about giving, and so much more. Yes, it has Tom Cruise, Travolta, Hanks, Julia Roberts and many others, not only the famous but also the regular people whose stories moved you the most.

Harpo Productions, donates its full share of the net profits from this DVD's sales to Oprah's Angel Network.

2011 update: Oprah repeated the whisper in the storm segment quoted here on her final show. I hope she will do a follow up dvd of the last five years, and include bonus segments from the previous 20 such as the full Nelson Mandela interview.

If you have enjoyed Oprah, I think you will enjoy this, and I hope you found this helpful.
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83 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2005
I was able to get a peek at an advance screening copy and I have to say no fan will be disappointed. Not only are all of the best moments included

but Oprah talks, reminisces, laughs and walks you through all of it. I heard things I've never heard before and found out what Oprah was thinking

during all the big shows I watched over the years.

This is so much more than a "best of" collection. Oprah gives it up!
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2005
From her earlier beginnings as a field reporter, to the superstar and host of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," this
DVD set shows the incredible evolution Oprah Winfrey has gone through. It's packed with hours of footage, including some that never made it to air, of the past 20-years of Oprah's nationally syndicated show.

Some highlights include: Oprah talking about her role in "The Color Purple," non-celebrity guests who have left a deep impact on her life, her audition reel when she tried out for the Chicago news station, and the original theme song that played at the start of the show (an instrumental song composed of flutes or pipes--somehow I can't seem to get that song out of my head!).

Of course there's so much more on the set including celebrity interviews, behind the scenes footage, etc.

The one thing that I really liked about the dvds was Oprah setting up many of the clips--that viewers are about to watch-- which she explains what was going on in her mind during that time, how and why she reacted the way she did, how the audience reacted, why she chose to do that partcular story, and whether she learned anything from that segment.

I wish she did that with all of the segments, like on certain celebrities so we would learn what she thought of each one, but that would probably take way too long. For the most part, she does provide very poignant and honest commmentaries on the stories that seem to have impacted the American people.

I agree with another reviewer who wrote that one should be prepared to cry. Because there are many highlights on this box set that will move you to tears.

More than just a collection of pop culture-voyeuristic shows, "The Oprah Winfrey Show-20th Anniversary DVD Collection" is a reflection not just of the hostess herself, but also on American life. It exemplifies how far we have come from 1986, and in 2005, how much further we must still go.

UPDATE: 09/14/2010
The theme song with the flutes that I was referring to was from the 1989 season, LOL. I guess that's when I started watching so I thought that was the original show opening. Hahaha!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2006
This review is written by someone who has seldom had the time or interest to watch an Oprah Show, but was at least aware that her show had become quite BIG.

The other day I was channel surfing and something about her show caught my attention. It was not only the subject, but also her ability to capture and hold the person she was interviewing. She did this with her eyes, her body language, her warmth, and her sincere desire to understand what it was like to be inside that person.

It meant asking hard questions, the answer to which we all wanted to hear--including me. So I "gave it up" for a minute to check it out. The minute became the show including the promo for her 20th Anniversary Collection.

Her compassion and honesty prompted me to order the DVD's for my daughter-in-law who I thought might enjoy them. Then, wouldn't you know, I decided I'd order myself a set to see what it was that she was going to see.

Well, hang on to your seat!!! Bring your box of tissues; be prepared to WANT to watch the whole six DVD's uninterrupted. Not only will you cry, but you will weep and sob. Not only will you chuckle, but you will laugh out loud and even find yourself belly laughing. It will pull out of you some of your own deepest memories and feelings. It will tweak you and prod you and most of all give you hope and make you smile.

This one person who you watch grow from a little nobody with a dream into one of the most interesting and interested persons in this planet today will captivate you with her charm, her "realness", and her ability to communicate the "humaness" and feelings of real down-to-earth people who live on this planet.

Her belief in her mission from God to make others happy and improve their lives with the fame and wealth with which she has been entrusted is more than noble. She is an Ambassador with a Mission--move over and let her through!

Am I glad I bought the set? Yes, I guess that would be an understatement. Do I think you will benefit from watching this set? Yes, I guess that would be an understatement too. Enjoy and be blessed.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 13, 2007
A demotion from the 6:00 news to a talk show, to one of the most successful and well-known women in the world, Oprah is here!

From author Alice Walker, "when someone makes an impression on your soul, it is a heartprint". It is stories of human connection and those who truly inspire.

Inspirational people
Oprah's 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Duncan, created a spark for learning. Rudine, a human skeleton living on God's will; At 98, George Dawson learns how to read.

The most emotional story comes from Jacqui, burned alive in a horrific car accident. Oprah said she defines survival and is a living example of inner beauty. Others include a woman who encountered Oprah as a child and said Oprah was "pretty as a speckled pup"; and Mattie Staponek, 11, poet and peacemaker.

Aha moments - "getting it, changing moments" -
Oprah's desire for the role in The Color Purple; devastating seduction of children; teenage girls in violent relationships; relationship experts speak, like Gary Zukav; Dr. Robin; and a show inside a prison with women who have killed their children.

An invite to her 40th birthday party, generous trips for the audience, surprising other people; Stevie Wonder surprises a star search contestant; one of Oprah's inspirations, Mary Tyler Moore.

Many of Oprah's surprise stories involve her generosity toward the common people, like the extraordinary Fanny and the show about teachers who become the recipients of Favorite Things. Along with a tour of her beautiful home, designer Nate does his magic in home makeovers;

Honorables and some favorite celebrities
Joining Oprah honorables such as Elie Wiesel, Nelson Mandela, and more memorable people. You will see the clips & interviews with the very popular celebrities.

Very interesting is a look back into the headlines of the nation; 911; Tsunami; Simpson Verdict; Betty Broderick, Susan Smith;, etc. etc. Oprah has certainly been there.

Makeover changes
Specific makeovers were selected because they were huge changes in one's life, and Oprah critiques her style from early days. I can recall way back in the 90s when that she was dressing bad and it wasn't just the 80s or 90s, it was HER style, It was bad at that, but she admits it!

Also included is the weight issue, the many books reviewed, the Angel Network, Oprah's 50th Birthday Bash, Fun, Day in the Life, and behind the scenes.

Nate the designer shares his survival story of the Tsunami and the gripping story how he lost his partner in the Tsunami.

This is an amazing collection of joy, laughter, sadness, and feeling for special people. Enjoy a tour down memory lane with this wonderful collection. ....Rizzo
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
For years I have been inspired, entertained, moved and enlightenedy by watching Oprah on tv. This collection of some of her show's past 20 years evoked the same emotions in me. Even so, I was surprised at how often I needed the Kleenex (being moved to tears) in watching this dvd. These are slices of real life in the best sense: Oprah is not afraid to show the audience that she learns from other people's stories along the way. In doing so, in inviting us on her journey of learning, she teaches us profound lessons in humanity. Oprah is often fun to watch, but she's not just entertaining. Oprah heals.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2006
I have grown up watching Oprah with my mother, so I bought this 20th anniversary DVD collection. Surprisingly, there are only a handful of episodes that I'd seen before, so I have LOVED watching the "new" ones.

There's one section on the 2nd disc called "Surprise!" The clip called "Sing it, Jake!" is now my cheer-me-up thing to watch. When I'm feeling frustrated or sad, I put on that clip, and it makes me feel SO good! I'm sure everybody can relate to SOMETHING on these DVDs--there's so much!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2008
Let me make something clear. I think that Oprah is a prime example of the American Dream. She was born a poor black girl in the South and survived the odds including rape/sexual abuse, poverty, and a miscarriage when she was a teen. She is perhaps one of the richest black women in the world. Here's the bad part. I think that her ego has blown out of proportion in the last couple years. She acts like she's an expert on everything and she's not as gracious as she used to be. Luckily, old and new O can be found on this 6 disc, 20 year retrospective dvd set. Yep, it's a mouthful. Present day Oprah guides us through the clips, sharing her thoughts during the interviews and even her regrets. This is a good and not so good thing. I was very interested to hear what she thought about particular shows, but not all of them. Her commentary is sometimes lengthier than the actual set of clips and there's only so much of "expert" O I can take.

Her 40th and 50th birthdays are also here and are complete opposites of each other. Oprah seems genuinely surprised when she discovers that Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, and the audience are throwing her a party. She's even affectionate with Stedman and is nicer to Gayle. Her 50th is another story. Over the top doesn't even describe it. The most annoying part is when tapes from celebs pals extolling O's greatness are played and Oprah isn't even paying attention. Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, and Josh Groban stop by to perform, but it all seems so forced. Thanks, but no thanks.

Oprah seemed alot more humble and likeable circa 1986 to the mid 1990s. She seemed genuinely invested in what her guests had to say and she actually let them finish their sentences. She was funny and didn't mind letting herself be silly. Just more real. The most real moment is her 1990 interview with Truddi Chase, a woman who experienced a childhood of horrific physical and sexual abuse and dealt with her pain by splitting into a number of distinct personalities. While reading the teleprompter, Oprah breaks down and faces her own painful childhood. No wonder people really liked her back then. Anyway, all of O's most memorable moments are here, from her 1988 fat in the wagon show to her 2004 "you get a car!" surprise. There are no extras here since this entire set is a huge extra in itself. Pick it up.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Oprah is a living angel for helping and giving advice and making wishes come true for those in need.

It's good to see a real person who is not only talented, gifted with intelligence and caring and who has unselfish needs in the industry. Oprah is willing to help those who are in need and who deserves a better future.

Oprah is a great woman role model for the young and old, of all ethnicities and all over the world cultures and right now, for women, we need that.

Thank you to Oprah Winfrey for making 20 yrs. a learning and growing experience!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2011
The product was used @ a much lower price - there were several used listings with the condition of the product and price - but the reason I chose this listing it stated: new never opened. The package came with 6 DVD's and I am enjoying watching the series.
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