Sports Night: The Complete Series
10th Anniversary Edition
DVD | Box Set
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With breakout and memorable performances by Josh Charles (In Treatment), Robert Guillaume (Benson), Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives), Peter Krause (Six Feet Under), Sabrina Lloyd (Sliders) and Joshua Malina (The West Wing), this was writer/producer Aaron Sorkin's (A Few Good Men , The American President) first television series. And it was director Thomas Schlamme's first collaboration with Sorkin. The pair, who would continue to click brilliantly with The West Wing and Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip, may not have known it at the time, but with Sports Night they defined a new style and raised the bar for all television programs to follow.
Critically acclaimed when it debuted on ABC in 1998, Sports Nigh was an innovative half-hour program about a team of funny, smart and likeable people who put on a daily live sports cable newscast, much like ESPN's SportsCenter. They are a group of consummate professionals whose personal lives operate in apparent chaos, communicating every uncensored thought and feeling through a libretto of witty and honest chatter over the hum of the separate-but-integrated live show-within-the-show.
10th Anniversary Special Features:
*The Show: An in-depth look back at Sports Night with creator/writer Aaron Sorkin, directors Thomas Schlamme and Robert Berlinger, cast members Felicity Huffman, Peter Krause, Josh Charles, Joshua Malina, and Robert Guillaume, Emmy(r) award-winning editor Janet Ashikaga, Emmy(r) award-winning director of photography Peter Smokler, producer John Amodeo, and set designer Thomas Azzari. Includes never-before-seen behind-the-scenes home movies shot by John Amodeo.
*Face Off: ESPN's SportsCenter vs. CSC's Sports Night - Sports Night's real-life ESPN counterparts discuss what the series got right and wrong.
*A Conversation with Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme
*Inside The Locker Room - A look at the innovations of Sports Night with Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme, Robert Berlinger, Janet Ashikaga, Peter Smokler, John Amodeo, and Thomas Azzari.
*Season Gag Reels
*8 Episode Commentaries including creator/writer Aaron Sorkin, director/executive producer Thomas Schlamme, director Robert Berlinger, editor Janet Ashikaga, and cast members Peter Krause, Josh Charles, Joshua Malina, Sabrina Lloyd, Greg Baker, Kayla Blake, Timothy Davis-Reed, and Ron Ostrow.
*36-Page Booklet including an introduction by creator Aaron Sorkin
TV wunderkind Aaron Sorkin s first series finally knocks it out of the ballpark on DVD --Video Business
At the-top-of-their game actors and bouncy dialogue make Sports Night the most pulse-quickening show since ER... --Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly
Sports Night has finally been given the treatment it deserves on DVD. It'll entertain you, amuse you and even move you. More than a few of the episodes in this set will leave you with chills. This is superior television in every respect --Digitalbits.com
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The show follows a team of newscasters, producers, and writers who work on a late night sports news show called "Sports Night", a mock up of ESPN's SportsCenter. The interpersonal relationships this small group of people have are always fascinating and fun to watch, and one of the best things about this show is that even if you have no real knowledge about sports, you can *still* watch this show and not get lost at all! As a woman with very little knowledge of most sports, I *still* fell in love with this show, and I imagine it's even more awesome for a man who actually *knows* what they're talking about when it comes to all the sports lingo and statistics they ocassionally throw out there.
This show even has a little star power, and some very recognizable faces among the cast. The most obvious of which is Felicity Huffman, who is now starring on the hit show "Desperate Housewives" as the strong-willed soccer mom, Lynette Scavo. Felicity's husband, William H. Macy, also guest stars in a few episodes of "Sports Night".
This half-hour dramedy only lasted 2 seasons before it's cancellation (which was a very sad day in television), but it lives on through this incredible DVD box set. Since each episode is actually a little less than a half-hour (since there are obviously no commercials on dvd), it's really easy to start watching them and get so drawn in that you don't realize you've gone through half a season in no time at all!
Bottom line, I highly recommend this show, and I still cling to the tiny hope that network execs might someday realize their mistake in cancelling it, and bring it back on the air....but alas, that will probably never happen.
Three things make this show one of television's best ever. The first and foremost is the dialogue writing. Throughout the whole DVD boxed set, one can count the physical jokes on one hand. In this show, the humor is in the dialogue, and it is very fast paced and very witty. Because of this, the writers of "Sports Night" are not limited to typical sitcom rhythm.
The second great thing about 'Sports Night' is that, for the most part, the plot is driven by the characters rather than by the situation. In the strictest sense of the word, I wouldn't call 'Sports Night' a sitcom. This is a show about people dealing with their problems such as intra-office romance, competition, loneliness, illness, uncertainties, and various other neuroses.
Third, I was really impressed with the acting on the show especially that of Josh Charles (Dan) and Peter Krause (Casey). The series has many emotional scenes where I felt that a lesser actor would have not shown the restraint required for the show to remain believable.
Another good thing about this boxed set is that they didn't include a title and theme song with each of the 40+ episodes in the set. The show wasn't meant to have a laugh track, and unfortunately some of the first season episodes have one included. Also I think the fans of the show would have enjoyed some bonus feature material, but unfortunately none were included. But if you're a fan of innovative television, don't let those minor flaws deter you from getting this boxed set. Just be glad that it was released.
With a mix of characters ranging from the elderly and very (albeit grudgingly) fatherly managing editor played by Robert Guillume, to the neurotic executive producer played by Felicity Huffman, the shy and tightly wound pair of associate producers (Josh Molina and Sabrina Lloyd) to the two byumbling but not superficial anchors of Peter Krause and Josh Charles. You can't get a better conglamoration of characters or better actors to play them with the right amount of comedy and splendor this side of "The West Wing".
From a slow news day to personal feelings about ethics in sports as well as the role sports play in society this show covers them all in conjunction with the everyday office gossip, problems with management and interpersonal relationships. That this show is still funny and smart at the same time is a true testament to the writing skills of Aaron Sorkin.
Notable guest appearences include Peter Reigert, John de Lancie (for all you Star Trek fans) and William H. Macy (who is married in real life to Felicity Huffman).
Don't bother yourself getting up early on Saturday mornings to catch the re-runs on Comedy Central, get the series and watch them all as often as you like and basque in appreciation of what real television should be!