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Showing 1-10 of 98 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 176 reviews
on July 23, 2017
This is a television show that definitely needs to be issued in "Complete Series" box rather than by "arcs" ((usually 2 per season) with some individual shows in between. Not all the arcs were included in original releases (including my favorite with Deborah Harry about pirated foreign compact disc distribution). The result is that present form leaves out important individual links as well as later arcs from the ones offered. The complete "Wiseguy" would be a must-buy purchase with several soon-to-be movie stars playing villain roles (including Kevin Spacy in a particular kinky one with Joan Severance as sister). The stories as is are fine but the whole panorama of the "undercover life" is lost. Demand complete series release and you will have a classic. Along with the cruelly cut short "Crime Story," the two best crime series of the 1980's and among all-time best (shown in proper format).
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on May 3, 2017
Something was wrong I am guessing in the manufacturing with this collection... it was jumpy and shaky which made it difficult to watch. Don't buy it you can have mine
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on January 17, 2010
Several years ago I tried to purchase Wiseguy on DVD but was sorely disappointed to find that it was sold in "arcs" for an outrageous price. This was one of THE shows of the 80's. I wanted it so I waited till a reasonable price was listed. Finally, I got it. Yes, the music is edited and yes, this version does not have any frills. Even the sound is mono but I just sat and watched, after over 20 years of only living with the memory, Vincent Terronova and Sonny Steelgrave once again. I would have gladly paid more for this treasure. If you remember sitting in your living room with tears brimming your eyes as Vinnie and Sonny "discussed" their situation locked in that old theatre then no matter what all the complaints about Knights in White Satin, you, like me, will still get a lump in the throat as the 10 episodes unfold once again on your tv screen. In fact, I suggest you watch this version on an old set, like the first time...kick back and enjoy Ray Sharkey in his very memorable role.
Life is not perfect, but it has its moments and this inexpensive version of Wiseguy is one of those moments. I have no complaints...
Thank you for bringing this most memorable series back into my life, even at the cost of a song or two.
Now excuse me as I go dry my tears and mourn for Sonny before starting the Profitt arc.
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on October 11, 2009
So like a lot of (most?) fans of this show, I saw these episodes once over twenty years ago. But this show, the first season, and these episodes assumed legendary proportions in my memory ('round about episode 7 I had decided I this was the best mob story since "The Godfather".) I have now discovered they are every bit as great as I remembered them. I found Ken Wahl growing into the part very quickly. Of course, Ray Sharkey is electrifying. Dennis Lipscomb as Sid Royce and Joe Dallesdandro as "Pat the Cat" Patrice are incredibly vivid. Jonathan Banks as our hero's boss, Frank McPike, is terrific. Sonny's murder of Patrice at the end of "A Marriage of Heaven and Hell" scared the pants off me (much more so than Robert NeNiro's similar turn in "The Untouchables".) And then there's the concluding episode: "No One Gets Out of Here Alive". Starts a little slow, because the story has to plausibly trap Vince and Sonny together, alone, for 30 minutes. But even the loss of "Knights in White Satin" from the soundtrack can't diminish the power of that final confrontation. And I rediscovered something I had forgotten entirely - this exchange between Vince and McPike after Sonny is dead...
VINCE: I wish it was you.
McPIKE: No you don't. You don't wish it was me.
I'm waiting a little to savor the Mel and Susan Profitt arc next.
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on September 9, 2009
I remember how much I loved the show, "Wiseguy", when it was on in the late 80's, and I was thrilled to finally get the first season on DVD. It is a powerful show that was very well done, in the quality of a big screen movie on the small screen. The writing is excellent. Instead of special effects and stunts, the show was character driven and the story arcs were well developed. "Wiseguy" was created by Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo. Cannell is well known for his amazing work in many successful series including "Hunter", `Rockford Files" and "A-Team".

Ken Wahl became his character, Vinnie Terranova. Vinnie, an undercover agent for the Organized Crime Bureau, struggled with the fine line between the crime he worked to bring down and the people behind it. He goes so far undercover that the work takes an emotional toll on him and with the help of his field supervisor, Frank McPike (played by Jonathan Banks) and "Lifeguard" (played by Jim Brynes)-Vinnie works through his demons.

The first season has two story arcs. The show built its'characters around a specific crime syndicate that Vinnie infiltrates and works to destroy the crime within. The first story arc centers around a crime syndicate led by Sonny Steelgrave (probably the best role of Ray Sharkey's career). Following this story, you experience along with Vinnie-the difficulties of his work, his alienation from his family and all that is dear to him. Even at the final confrontation between Vinnie and Sonny, an amazing scene well acted by Wahl and Sharkey, you see the struggle. In this scene, Vinnie tells Sonny that, "it never occurred to me that we would be friends. There is a lot in you I felt close to". In other scene with his mother, she tells Vinnie (to help him gain perspective on his relationship with Steelgrave), "What good is it when a man loves his own children but kills someone else's".

In the second story, Kevin Spacey portrays Mel Proffit, a psychopath, who heads an international drug and arms business with his sister, Susan. Vinnie gets entangled with these two and their hired gun, Roger LoCocco (played well by William Russ). The best way to describe Mel Proffit-Sonny Steelgrave is a saint compared to him. This character will give you chills and Spacey nails him beautifully.

Re-watching the first season of "Wiseguy" was very enjoyable-very intense and compelling series that I am thrilled to have in my library. If you like a well written and well acted crime drama that will keep your attention, you can't go wrong with "Wiseguy".

One note of caution, the packing of this newly released first season is not very good. All you get is a box with the four enveloped DVDs-there are no bonus materials or extra text with the set. I watched it all and the DVDs play fine. The 22 episodes are complete and I am pleased with the quality. As with the sound, I didn't have any problems. Even without all the "bells and whistles", the show is worth purchasing this set.
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on August 1, 2010
I might be a little biased, but I have to say I love Wiseguy and the Sonny Steelgrave arc is my all time favorite! I remember being in high school and having to tape episodes on my VCR :-), so I could watch them after my basketball games. Then I remember going off to college and making the girls in my dorm watch Wiseguy in the lounge. They all wanted to watch China Beach, but I had different ideas.

Anyway, I loved the show then and loved it as much watching it about 20 years later. I am now married with 2 children and watching the series evokes all of the same old emotions. I love the complex and emotional relationship that develops between Vinnie and Sonny. I also love Frank and his "quirky" personality. The writing and acting are superb and I would give the set more than five stars if I could. I also enjoyed the interviews with Stephen J. Cannell and Jonathan Banks. It is so fun to hear in their own words how they felt about the show.

I also purchased the Mel Profitt arc and enjoyed it. I especially appreciated the bonus interviews with Kevin Spacey and William Russ (among others). I remember being so intrigued with Wiseguy when I was younger and that same intrigue holds true today. It amazes me all of the talented guest stars they had that went on to do so well. It is definitely worth every penny and I would recommend both arcs to anyone. I am looking at getting the next set and will hopefully be as pleased with those. Thanks Stephen J. Cannell Productions for these awesome DVD's!
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on March 25, 2013
Sometimes I'm leery of trying to watch a program that I adored when I was younger. I have found that as an adult, it doesn't seem nearly as compelling (such as Land of the Lost, which I found stressful and terrifying as a child. However, as an adult, I was shocked to see that the special effects were very rudimentary (not good) and the aliens didn't even look convincing). So I was nervous about purchasing Wiseguy. I was obsessed with this show when it was on the air. I'm relieved to say that it is still good. Yes, the technology is old school but the premise and the acting and the chemistry between the characters still works. Whew!
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on September 12, 2014
Loved it the first time around. Ken Wahl & Jonathan Banks' characters started out slow, but their chemistry got better and better as the season wore on. Ray Sharkey (who was sadly taken before his time by AIDS) was amazing in the role of "Sonny Steelgrave." Kevin Spacey's ("House of Cards") perormance in the second half of season one one was very good, too. The technology of the show is pretty cheesy by today's standards, but the show itself is timeless. The quality of the show dropped off a little after the first season, but for the price it's well worth it, especially if you haven't seen it before.
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on December 28, 2016
One of the best TV series of all time. The arc format was a ground breaker at the time, and the characters are believable, vulnerable, and far from perfect, meaning that they have depth, complexity and believablity. Jonathan Banks is just stellar through the whole series. I still watch this, even though it is 30 years old. It still holds up.
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Okay, the packaging of WISE GUY is ticking a few off. In the day when they are releasing whole years of a series in a block on DVD at once, WISEGUY is optioning (more money honey) to package the WISEGUY in the Arcs. They were conceived to follow one storyline for around 13 episodes. The first of the arcs was Sonny Steelgrave (Ray Sharkey). Sharkey gives his roll of a lifetime performance as the mobster Vinnie Terranova is assigned to investigate. Vinnie comes from the background where mobs were the norm, so his gaining Steelgrave's confidence is not hard. Keeping it is another matter. Steelgrave is paranoid when anything is mentioned about the FBI and sees agents lurking everywhere. Soon Vinnie is getting sucked into actually liking the man he is sent to bring down.
Keeping Vinnie on the even keel and reminding him what he is there to do is Frank McPike Jonathan Banks and his check-in contact Lifeguard or "Uncle Mike" Jim Byrnes (Highlander). The writing is crisp and incisive, no black and whites drawn in characters, just a thousand shades of grey.
Forewarned, music changes were made due to contacts which hurt the anticipation of people who know the series well...ie...NO Nights in White Satin ending. Was back in the days artists were thrilled to see the songs used - now it's show me the money...sigh!
It's still a brilliant bit of work that was way ahead of it's time.
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