The Larry Sanders Show: The Complete Series is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us Larry Sanders, Cybermen, women in prison, midwives, Charlie Chaplin, Bette Midler playing Janis Joplin, and more.
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“This is the theme to Garry’s show / the theme to Garry’s show / Garry called me up and asked me if I would write his theme song.” 

That’s the opening lines to the theme song to The Garry Shandling Show.  It goes on like that, referencing itself and describing how the singer came to write the song.  The show does that too, references itself, the characters seem to know they are on a television show and often bring the audience in on the gag.  It was a great show.  Or at least I think it was.  I watched it years ago when it came out.  I liked it then.  My brother loved it.  But honestly I don’t remember much of it beyond that song.

I’m singing it now when I’m supposed to be writing about The Larry Sanders Show.  That one starred Garry Shandling too.  Was supposed to be great as well.  I really don’t remember that one though.  Not even sure I ever watched it.  I want to believe I did, but I might just be mixing it up with The Garry Shandling Show.  I did watch a few episodes on Netflix a couple of years back, and I definitely didn’t remember any of the bits.  But again, it's been years.

Come to think of it the only thing I really remember Garry Shandling in is that Mike Nichols movie from many years back in which Garry played an alien.  The one where he had a vibrating penis.  It wasn’t a very good movie.  So I barely remember his two big TV shows and didn’t really like the one movie I do remember him being in yet I really rather like Garry Shandling.  Go figure.

The complete Larry Sanders Show was previously issued by Shout! Factory in 2010.  Though it's still available for purchase on Amazon, that set has been discontinued and will no doubt disappear soon.  If you're the sort of person who wants lots of extras including deleted scenes, commentaries, cast interviews, and a big 60-page book, then you should rush out and get that set before it's gone.  But if you are like me and you want to see what all the fuss is about without dropping a hundred bucks in the pot, this new set from Mill Creek will more than set you up.  From what I can tell it just has the the entire series without any extras.  But the price is much cheaper, and presumably it will continue in production for some time.

Whatever way you want it, I suspect there is plenty to make you laugh.  I’m anxious to find out.  Maybe then I can be a fan of Garry Shandling with good reasons.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

Orange is the New Black Season 2:  I really enjoyed the first season of this Netflix prison comedy/drama.  It has a huge cast of characters but does a remarkable job of fully developing all of them and making me care for a bunch of people I’d normally not think twice about.  Though it's been on Netflix streaming for a while now I’ve only watched a couple of episodes.  It's not my wife’s sort of thing and there’s already a huge list of stuff I have to watch while she’s not around to keep up.

Call the Midwife: Season 4:  Speaking of shows I need to catch up on, this PBS drama looks quite wonderful and from the first few episodes it's something me and the wife would enjoy, but for some reason we’ve not really dived into it.  Maybe soon.

Doctor Who: The Cybermen:  A fun-looking collection featuring the iconic Doctor Who villains.  Details are pretty sparse but it says it contains three episodes from New Who and one Classic story with the Cybermen.  Plus a documentary on the creation of the metal monsters. I’ve got all the new stuff so I’m holding out to see which classic story gets tossed in and maybe some reviews of the documentary will show up before I purchase.

Boardwalk Empire The Complete Series:  I’ve always been surprised at how little attention this show got.  It seems like the sort of show that should have been huge, but while it got a lot of critical praise, it never quite seemed to hit the masses.  I can’t say much since I’ve only seen the first season though.  This new collection features all the previous extras from the individual season releases plus a half-hour feature on making the show plus several five-minute or less featureettes.

Limelight (Criterion Collection:)  It stars Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.  If you need to know more then we’re not likely to be friends.

The Rose (Criterion Collection:)  Bette Midler plays a very Janis Joplin-esque character.  For some reason that concept really turns me off.

Leviathan: Mixes the biblical character Job with contemporary social issues in Russia.  It's gotten lots of critical love.

Strange Magic:  Randomly caught this with the wife on one of our few date nights.  Should have stayed home and watched Call the Midwife.

American Sniper:  This based on a true story biopic from Clint Eastwood garnered huge box office and lots of criticism (our own Nils Florman rather liked it).  The story itself doesn’t really interest me, but I trust Eastwood as a director to give it some nuance and meaning beyond ruthless killing.

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