- Complete Series: 45 episodes on 6 discs
Sports Night - The Complete Series
DVD | Box Set
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Taut, exciting, realistic dramedy about the lives of sports journalists. It's a show about a show about sports, that isn't about sports at all.
Before there was Aaron Sorkin's West Wing, there was Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night, which followed the trials and tribulations of a smart, energetic television staff as they scrambled to put on a nightly cable sports show, not unlike ESPN's SportsCenter. Sports Night was every bit as good as its political successor--and in some ways, even better--even though it didn't have the gravitas of, say, running the country on a daily basis. You don't need to know anything about sports to appreciate the dynamics of the Sports Night news room (which bears more than a passing similarity to His Girl Friday), and the issues the cast grappled with every week ran from the serious to the frothy, always peppered with snappy Sorkin dialogue. And sadly, as befalls most quality television (TV Guide dubbed it "The Best Show You're Not Watching"), Sports Night was canceled after two seasons. But the trajectory of 45 episodes on this DVD set allows you to watch one of the best and most groundbreaking half-hour shows ever put on television.
Those familiar with Sorkin's writing style will revel in the unabashed comedy and interoffice romance on display here, and the way it's set in motion by a powerhouse cast, including Felicity Huffman's Dana (sexy, neurotic show producer), Peter Krause's Casey (goofball anchor guy), Joshua Malina's know-it-all Jeremy (staff nerd and information repository), Sabrina Lloyd's efficient Natalie (Dana's mostly unflappable assistant), and the show's two secret weapons: Robert Guillaume as executive producer Isaac, who was to Sports Night what Martin Sheen was to The West Wing, and the superb Josh Charles, who as co-anchor Dan, a man as complex as he was funny and heartbreaking, was the heart and soul of Sports Night. Damn, they just don't make TV this good anymore! --Mark Englehart
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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.
This show's casting was sublime, headed by Josh Charles and Peter Krause portraying two highly likeable, complicated and passionate sports anchors. The rest of the main cast, rounded out by the excellent Felicity Huffman and Robert Guillaume as well as Sabrina Lloyd and Joshua Malina inhabit characters who are eminently watchable, even as they struggle to conquer their own faults and everything from poor ratings to network pressure, personal tragedy and women named Sally. Effortless performances and unique, intelligent writing powered this series, and elevate it above mere cult status or a footnote in the careers of people who have and will go on to bigger things. Though a couple storylines in the last half of season 2 are not entirely up to par, the show thankfully has an agreeable finale which provides enough closure to dampen the sting of a premature cancellation by ABC.
The DVD is bare-bones, with 7 or 8 episodes per disc and chapter stops at the beginning of each episode. The picture and sound quality is very good, and highlight the award-winning technical prowess with which every episode was crafted.
Indeed, this show has received an enormous amount of critical praise, for rarely is television's writing so focused, so smartly realized onscreen and so refreshingly different. It deserves to be sought out and enjoyed by the curious and those weary of conventional and generic television.
While there are good special features on this release, they aren't really 10 year worthy, they're what I would have expected on a first release. I checked it out and this set was released in 2008, yet it has annoying DVD menu navigation that I thought had died out (Stupid fake animations, you have to select episode by episode to see if has director's commentary. It shows each episode on a "fake" control room monitor....)
I like the set but it is overpriced and misnamed. A must for a Sports Night fan but be aware, like everything else with the show, some executive meddling will annoy you.