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Wiseguy: Season 1

4.0 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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DVD
(Aug 25, 2009)
"Please retry"
4
$13.97 $3.37

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Editorial Reviews

Long before Donnie Brasco brought similar drama to the big screen, Ken Wahl brought charisma, credibility, and chutzpah to his small-screen role as Vincent Terranova, a handsome 30-year-old agent with the FBI s Organized Crime Bureau. As conceived by co-creators Stephen Cannell (of The Rockford Files and The A-Team fame) and Ken Lupo, Wiseguy followed an innovative story-arc structure, allowing Vinnie s deep-cover missions to last only as long as necessary to bring each case to a sensible conclusion. Since copied by countless TV shows, this unique approach to storytelling attracted a devoted following of viewers addicted to the self-contained plots that forced Vinnie, his sourpuss OCB handler Frank McPike (Jonathan Banks), and disabled covert liaison Dan Lifeguard Burroughs (played by double-amputee Jim Byrnes) to achieve their objectives.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ken Wahl, Jonathan Banks, Jim Byrnes, Kevin Spacey, Ray Sharkey
  • Directors: James Whitmore Jr.
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009
  • Run Time: 960 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002DHACTC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,180 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Herman on August 28, 2009
Format: DVD
Having picked up the original WISEGUY releases a few years ago from Ventura Distribution, I was naturally curious to see what Mill Creek has done with the property in the new release (The Complete First Season) that came out this week. If you don't have the previous sets, I recommend it and give it 4 out of 5 stars on the strength of the material moreso than the set itself. Here's my initial observations, positives and negatives...

-Price is MUCH more affordable (It's $9.99 on Amazon for the complete first season, whereas the previous releases were around $40 for each half of the 1st season)
-Release is indeed the entire 1st season (the previous releases split it in half, with one DVD set of Steelgrave, and another DVD set of Profitt)
-"Knights in White Satin" song has still been replaced in the Steelgrave finale (it was replaced with the same instrumental music in the original DVD as well)
-The song originally used in the first part of the Mel Profitt arc as Vinnie and Roger arrive at the yacht party was substituted with generic music on the original release, but in this DVD, that particular song HAS BEEN RESTORED!
-The prints used appear to be the same remastered prints from the original release, but they don't look as sharp (in fact, they look fuzzier) simply because there is more compression and probably a lower bit rate being used in the disc authoring (they have placed 5 episodes each on Discs 1 and 2, and 6 episodes each on Discs 3 and 4)
-The audio is Mono, compared to the 5.
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Format: DVD
Studioworks oversight of the missing 'setup' feature on the bonus disc is simply inexcusable. However, Tony Mills, who is the account executive at SW sent me this response about a possible replacement...

Thank you for purchasing Wiseguy: Between the Mob and a Hard Place. We have received your correspondence regarding the box set.

We apologize for any inconvenience and will gladly send replacements.

Please email info@studioworksent.com with your mailing information including phone number. Your replacement should arrive within 3-4 weeks.

Sincerely,

StudioWorks Entertainment

Hopefully, there won't be any technical 'oversights' on the replacement copies.

After reading some of the other reviews, hopefully I can answer a few of the questions other fans have posted here.

The 'official' story behind the first 15 minutes of "A Rightful Place" is that the original master tape was in extremely poor condition. What is on the disc now is the best that Studioworks could do as far as cleaning it up.

Yes, the 'music arc' was to come after the 'garment district arc', but due to all of the copyrights that have to be obtained to keep the music in those episodes, SW decided to release that box set last, so that no legal issues hold up the release date.

No word yet on whether or not those rights were obtained.

Visit the alt.tv.wiseguy newsgroup for further information

and/or discussion about the best dramatic series ever made.
Comment 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Despite music omissions, I bought the earlier 3 volumes of this fantastic show and enjoyed them immensely, particularly the first 2 sets, which had some great extras. It was all downhill from there, as this set was vomited out of the factory and onto the store shelves by Cannell Productions and Studioworks!

As others have pointed out, disc 1/episode 3 has practically unwatchable video due to poor compression, and disc 4 has no option for show only audio, you are stuck with Ken Wahl's audio commentary and nothing else. Even Ken Wahl must have been frustrated by this when he got his comp set, as the 2 episodes on the set are 2 of his most favorite, and even he can't watch them without listening to himself talk over it!

The only good thing about this set is disc 3, which has the great Washington, DC story arc. However, Cannell messed that up, too, as the opening title credit sequence features the one from the prior storyline, whereas I clearly remember that the DC episodes had a title sequence featuring characters from that arc!

And finally, more music has been replaced, as Ken Wahl HIMSELF points out on his commentaries!

What a cheap, shoddy job--I will not be fooled into buying further volumes of this series (and there are supposedly 2 more to come!) I will be sticking to my own VHS tapes instead!

(And by the way, I've read on Studioworks' own site that the manufacturers'suggested retail price was something like $39.99, so I'm not sure how other sites are charging more for it)
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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