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Reappraising Larry Sanders

Started by dr beat, October 01, 2021, 10:25:18 AM

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Bennett Brauer

Some of the interactions in the extras are strange but compelling, mainly because of Shandling's unique intensity. The ones with Linda Doucett and Alec Baldwin in particular.

Magnum Valentino

Quote from: Blue Jam on October 01, 2021, 06:31:17 PM
The box set was my birthday present from dr beat (because he's lovely) and I went for the UK edition because I'm not that arsed about DVD extras these days, and I'd read that with this particular show the best/cheapest way to get everything was to buy the region 2 boxset plus that region 1 DVD with all the extras. Only got one optical drive in the house now, the Xbox One S drive which I assume is set to region 2.

Weird that all this classic comedy getting a renewed interest like The Larry Sanders Show , It's Garry Shandling's Show and Mr. Show appears to have its copyright owned by people who don't have an awful lot of love for it and don't give a shit about making money.

Yeah, that Region 1 DVD (the best of, that one) is actually region free, plays on my PS4 and PS4. This is indeed the best legitimate way to do it. There's only a handful of extras that are exclusive to the later complete US set but nothing major

Vitamin C

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on October 01, 2021, 01:21:04 PM
Larry Sanders is still only fractionally less rewatchable than golden era Simpsons. It's slightly spoiled because of the stories of workplace sleaziness, which is worse because Linda Doucett is one of the pillars holding the whole thing up so its shit to imagine that were being bastards to her.

For what it's worth in the doc on Shandling she appears to have forgiven him and was clearly devastated by his death. Not that that excuses it or anything, but there was some kind of resolution between them later in life.

Quote from: wrec on October 01, 2021, 04:11:24 PMOn a less positive note, some aspects are uncomfortable especially considering the background sleaze and misogyny. One particular example was
Spoiler alert
Darlene pivoting to "poor Hank" immediately after he lunged at her and the general attitude to that - a bit too close to home
[close]
- and a couple of seasons in I remember feeling there was a general thread of that kind of stuff.
Spoiler alert
The pat resolution to Phil's homophobia towards Brian was particularly weak I thought
[close]
.

This part though, I dunno. As awful as it seems through a 21st century lens, this was probably pretty close to how it was to work on a show like this back then (or most likely much, much worse), so why would they shy away from showing that?

wrec

Quote from: Vitamin C on October 01, 2021, 08:20:45 PM
This part though, I dunno. As awful as it seems through a 21st century lens, this was probably pretty close to how it was to work on a show like this back then (or most likely much, much worse), so why would they shy away from showing that?

I don't mean portraying it is a problem, just found it very jarring how it was framed, with Darlene almost immediately feeling worse for Hank than for herself. Even allowing for the character's  empathy and loyalty I thought that betrayed a very old school perspective.

I remember thinking something in a later season seemed to reflect real life issues on the show in a more sensitive way - maybe it was the plot with Sarah Silverman's character.

Vitamin C

Quote from: wrec on October 01, 2021, 09:05:43 PM
I don't mean portraying it is a problem, just found it very jarring how it was framed, with Darlene almost immediately feeling worse for Hank than for herself. Even allowing for the character's  empathy and loyalty I thought that betrayed a very old school perspective.

Yeah, I hear you. I can't decide, honestly. It might be a brilliant piece of writing that shows just how fucked up interactions like that were back then, and generally illustrating how people who were in those assistant roles were expected to behave. Just bending to every fucking whim to cling onto your job. But maybe not? Hard to tell.

I wouldn't make too big a deal of it but its notable to me that Linda Doucett and Penny Johnson are fantastic in this but the change in attitude comes with the inclusion of the 'new generation' of younger characters - Silverman, Garofalo, Rajskub not the show taking a different tack. Its a pretty unique example of a piece of media capturing a shift in attitudes. You got the secretaries, who are written as smart but in thrall to their bosses then the alt girls who get more respect and aren't 100% define by their relationship to Larry, Hank and Artie

Larry Sanders is a bit like Star Trek: TNG and Simpsons insofar as its obviously trying extremely hard to keep on top of things but that just makes the clangers stand out more than in a show that didn't give a fuck.

gilbertharding

Here I am a useless idiot who wants everything spoon fed me: Which episode is the Seinfeld crossover one?

Wiki says that Jason Alexander is in S3 E3, and S6 E6. Michael Richards is in S1 E6. Julia Louis-Dreyfus isn't in it at all. Jerry is in S2 E17 and S6 E11 (which looking at the list of guest stars is probably a clip show).

Unfortunately the kind person who's uploaded a lot of these to YouTube has missed a couple of them out, including S2 E17.

Do I really have to buy the DVD? In 2021?

QDRPHNC

Yep, it's 2-17, The Grand Opening.

BeardFaceMan

Quote from: gilbertharding on October 06, 2021, 02:14:39 PM
S6 E11 (which looking at the list of guest stars is probably a clip show).

That's not a clip show but the final episode, and it was twice the length of other episodes so there were a lot of guest stars in that ep.

gilbertharding

Cheers, both.

I wonder why the youtuber hasn't uploaded them all... I notice they recorded them off of ITV4, so perhaps they were out that week.

Ah well... maybe I'll have to buy the DVD after all. Almost a shame I'm back at work full time now...

Blue Jam

Quote from: gilbertharding on October 07, 2021, 11:01:21 AMI wonder why the youtuber hasn't uploaded them all... I notice they recorded them off of ITV4, so perhaps they were out that week.

Watching the episodes on DVD now I'm seeing the whole thing in order for the first time, and I'm noticing a lot more musical performances than I remember from when I watched the ones that are on YouTube, so I'm guessing there's a copyright issue here. The uploader possibly did upload them all but certain musicians, record labels etc may have put in a few copyright claims and had YouTube take them down. Perhaps certain non-musical guests also objected, who knows.

Endicott

I'm pretty sure that music clearance issues were the reason that the UK only had the smaller Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show set available to start with, which is why I went and got the full series set in region 1 several years ago. I think that the complete series is available in region 2 now? I don't know if it has anything missing.

QDRPHNC

Quote from: gilbertharding on October 07, 2021, 11:01:21 AM
Cheers, both.

I wonder why the youtuber hasn't uploaded them all... I notice they recorded them off of ITV4, so perhaps they were out that week.

Ah well... maybe I'll have to buy the DVD after all. Almost a shame I'm back at work full time now...

Sent you a PM.

More than any other show, I'd kill for a brand new HD reissue of this. The behind-the-scenes bits were all shot on film, so they could look amazing. The DVD releases are fine, but to me they look dim and muddy due to the muted lighting and colour palette (I think intended to contrast with the garish video look of the broadcast segments).

colacentral

On the subject of the DVDs, I'm dying for a blu ray release of this because I find the transfer on the DVDs painful to watch on a modern TV. Maybe it just looks that bad at source, I don't know, but I find it overly dark and grainy most of the time.

Blue Jam

Quote from: MortSahlFan on October 01, 2021, 02:19:05 PM
To me, Rip Torn was the funny guy. But he's always funny in the movies I've seen from the 70s.

Quote from: Blue Jam on October 01, 2021, 02:59:43 PM
Same. Seems to get most of the lines I smile at.

Just watched the one with Bobcat Goldthwaite, where Artie aggressively warns him not to do anything too destructive to the set, especially not to his precious plants, then when Bobcat predictably ignores this threat and starts going ape and trashing the set
Spoiler alert
Artie nonchalantly scoops him up and throws him down like an annoying naughty child and steals the fucking show right from him
[close]
. Fuck me... yep, Artie is still my fave.

Endicott


Quote from: colacentral on October 07, 2021, 03:31:43 PM
On the subject of the DVDs, I'm dying for a blu ray release of this because I find the transfer on the DVDs painful to watch on a modern TV. Maybe it just looks that bad at source, I don't know, but I find it overly dark and grainy most of the time.

Judd Apatow's recent Shandling documentary uses outtakes from the show that indicate he had access to at least some of the source materials and unfortunately they still look like soft blurry dogshit. Seems likely that the master source materials weren't well preserved and that only broadcast tapes remain of some of it. A shame, but it seems unlikely that the earlier series will ever look any better than the current releases

mhmhmh

It was shot on 16mm I think so may not look super duper. Still a superb show.

The non-'show within a show' bits were indeed shot on 16mm, and anyone's who's seen the recent Blu-ray of Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz will see that shooting on 16mm in low or natural light levels doesn't leave you with a lot to work with if you want a sharp and clear picture years later

QDRPHNC

Ah, I heard "film" and I assumed 35mm. That explains it then.

Blue Jam

Just watched the one where Stevie starts sleeping with Paula, supposedly so she'll book more of his clients. Never thought I'd feel sorry for Stevie Grant... just an early glimpse of The Bob doing that thing of going from revolting sleazebag to overemotional woobie that he does in BCS, damn, he was great even then. I'm not sure I believe he got the part of Saul Goodman because a lot of the Breaking Bad casting peeps were Mr. Show fans, they must have been Larry Sanders Show fans too, surely?

Great choice of Beck song for his performance too- "Is he making it up as he goes along?" before Artie's
Spoiler alert
"He's telling an American story"
[close]
absolutely floored me. That and
Spoiler alert
"He's an artist."
[close]
as an explanation for the swearing.
Spoiler alert
"Say the word and I can get you Hole..."
[close]
was delightfully shuddersome as well.

Blue Jam

Quotegoing from revolting sleazebag to overemotional woobie

Could that also describe Hank? Nah, I'm not sure Hank's a character you're ever supposed to feel sorry for, he's so gloriously pathetic and it's great seeing him at his most pathetic lows.

Mr Jam and I have been trying to figure out who "The American Alan Partridge" might be and for a while we thought it might be Larry David but now we think Hank Kinglsey may be the closest equivalent we've seen so far. He's definitely the character most likely to end up living in a travel tavern motel.

Neomod

I heard Spinning Wheel last night and the first thing that came to mind was Hank's Bwahhh!


Blue Jam

Quote from: Tony Yeboah on November 07, 2021, 11:48:08 AM
https://www.theringer.com/tv/2021/11/2/22758733/the-larry-sanders-show-tinderbox-book-excerpt-james-andrew-miller From this article the show sounds like it was horrible to work on.

QuoteGarry was not low maintenance.

Oooof... thanks for that, interesting stuff. I knew about the unfair dismissal of Linda Doucett after she and Garry broke up and I knew season 6 was beset with fallings-out and legal wrangles, but it sounds like this stuff was happening throughout. The whole book sounds like it could be a cracking read, I'll check it out, cheers.

the science eel

That Burt Reynolds story is a peach.

Like others, I'm waiting for the show to come out on blu-ray. I had some sort of compilation on DVD a few years ago and the aspect ratio or whatever you call it (not that I ever bother about these things normally) was fucking ridiculous.

McChesney Duntz

Quote from: the science eel on November 07, 2021, 06:12:37 PM
That Burt Reynolds story is a peach.

Like others, I'm waiting for the show to come out on blu-ray. I had some sort of compilation on DVD a few years ago and the aspect ratio or whatever you call it (not that I ever bother about these things normally) was fucking ridiculous.

The first few seasons look atrocious, and Blu-Ray is not likely to help matters. Fortunately, the quality of everything else about it makes up for the poor visual presentation.

Neomod

It's not really a surprise Rip Torn was difficult. He'd had that reputation for decades.

Goes full Roy Batty on Norman Mailer in this clip.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AzmhorISf4

But there's a prophetic mention midway through the bundle..


McChesney Duntz

I'm familiar with that particular scrum (see avatar). Mailer almost bit his fucking ear off, so he got as good as he gave. (Also, that's one of the few sequences in that whole film that have any dramatic juice to it.) I always wondered if they named Tambor's character Kingsley as a subliminal hostility trigger for ol' Rip.

timcooke1982

That HBO book looks great, especially if the rest of the book is anywhere near as interesting as the Larry Sanders excerpt.