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Customer Review

on December 2, 2006
This DVD-set leaves me with very mixed emotions. On the one hand, the series was very nice. It's a cop-show with intelligent stories, a lot of humour and fine actors (with a great lead in Michael Chiklis, who has recently played a very different kind of cop in The Shield). It's particularly interesting since it depicts a cop who's trying to solve crimes and deal with people with compassion and intelligence instead of violence. That this character and some of the incidents depicted in the series are based on a real cop makes the show all the more fascinating to me. So if it were just for the series, I'd give it 4 points for being very enjoyable and nice in an "I'm having a good time" sort of way. But then there's the DVD set. I never had the chance to see the series on TV, but even so it's very obvious that it's been severely cut. In 2 episodes the complete teaser is missing, in 2 more the resolution. In one case that's already been described by another reviewer, that means that the lead, Scally, suspects a group of men of being criminals until they prove that they're singers by performing by the side of the road. In this DVD, he demands proof, then grins happily and tells them they can go. In another case, a cop's just explaining why they haven't kept a criminal in prison when the episode stops in the middle of his sentence. We never find out if the rapist the cops were looking for during the whole episode gets caught, what happens to the victim, or even the resolution to a gag in which Scally left a trap for his brother-in-law in the bathroom closet. With the missing teasers, I can only guess that the crimes these episodes deal with would have been shown. The cuts are up to approximately 4 minutes in length, so we're not talking about minor missing pieces. For me that pretty much ruins 4 out of 22 episodes, and who knows if there aren't any more cuts that aren't as easily noticed since they don't ruin the show completely by doing away with the beginning or ending. This set is only part of a trend where the company that publishes a series on DVD can't be bothered with (or is uncapable of) purchasing the soundtrack copyrights and either replaces the original music with some awful replacement, thereby ruining the atmosphere (Quantum Leap), or simply leaving out scenes or even whole episodes (Profiler, The Commish). Apart from the fact that the Commish-set is expensive enough that you could expect to get the complete show for your money, I'd generally be more than willing to pay a little more to actually get the complete show. And if they do sell it like this, I think they shouldn't advertise selling the "complete series" when it's actually a mutilated version of it. This is simply cheating the customer. Being from Germany, where it's unlikely that I'll be able to see this series on TV (and even if it's broadcast, it will be the dubbed version only), I can say that I at least got to see large parts of it by buying this box set - as opposed to none. But if you're from a country where you can get a decent (and uncut) recording from TV, I would recommend that you save the money Anchor Bay want for this cut version and record it from TV. If the DVD companies realise that they can't cheat customers out of their money with their rip-off versions, maybe in the future they'll think twice about cutting out scenes to save on copyright fees or avoid going to the trouble of finding who has the rights to the music. And one last information: Sometimes a non-US version has the complete episodes and music (e. g. Quantum Leap series 1, 2 and 3 from the UK or Profiler Season 1 in the Dutch DVD-set). But the only non-US version that I know of in the case of the Commish, which would be a Chinese set, contains exactly the US-version, only in a cheaper package and at a lower price. So unfortunately, there's no alternative there.
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