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Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Taking A Nothing Day
Twice a year, Deep Discount DVD offers a big across-the-board 20% Off sale, which is always a choice opportunity to nab some larger-ticket DVDs you've been holding off on. One of my shipments arrived today, and inside was THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON. I already have the First Season and I believe Seasons 3 and 4 are out now too.

I've written before about THE MTM SHOW (and may again), and you should know by now how brilliantly warm and funny it was. I took a look at some of the extras and found something interesting and likely obscure. Before the series started its fourth season on CBS, THE BOB NEWHART SHOW creator David Davis took a crew, including MTM creator James L. Brooks, and cast members Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper to Minneapolis (where the show was set) to film a new opening title sequence. A local Minneapolis news crew tagged along with its cameras and filmed the filming for a WCCO-TV documentary. It's interesting to see how the MTM crew spent four days and $15,000 on a title sequence, to see the level of commitment and care they demonstrated to prevent the show from getting stale. Nowadays, nine out of every ten shows don't have opening titles, and the shows that do cobbled them together in a couple of hours. I believe good opening titles can really help an audience grow comfortable with a TV series, particularly shows with lots of characters who need introductions or shows with an elaborate premise that a title sequence could explain. Network TV ratings are about a third of what they were when THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW was on the air, but, hey, what the hell do I know?

My big Deep Discount DVD purchase was THE AVENGERS: THE COMPLETE EMMA PEEL MEGA-SET, which is a 17-disc box set including all 51 episodes of THE AVENGERS in which Diana Rigg appeared as Mrs. Emma Peel, the slinky spy sidekick to Patrick Macnee's John Steed. Macnee had several female co-stars, but Rigg was the most famous, the most popular, the sexiest and the best. THE AVENGERS was a major success in its native England before ABC imported it to play in prime time during the late 1960s. Most of the episodes, which veered from straight espionage to out-and-out fantasy during the Rigg years, hold up quite well today, and it's cool to have them all together. Now I just have to figure out where to store the damn thing.

I will likely be away from the Crane Shot this weekend. I'm heading to Cincinnati for the Reds/White Sox series at the Great American Ball Park. I expect a really good time...and some Reds victories!

P.S. Shit. I just realized that my AVENGERS box set is the original release, which contains just 16 discs. The more recent version has a Bonus Disc with some really interesting extras, plus the discs are in easily storable thinpaks. Ah, well, at least I have the shows, which is what's important.

Posted by Marty at 10:45 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, June 15, 2006 10:49 PM CDT
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