ABC’s classic panel game show Take A Good Look is one of the most important yet underappreciated programs in broadcasting history. Shout! Factory will prove that this fall when it releases the program’s most comprehensive collection to date in the form of Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection in stores and online. The seven-disc collection presents 49 episodes from the short-lived late-night series. The episodes presented here are collectively the set’s most important element, and for multiple reasons, too. They will be discussed shortly. The liner notes included with the set are just as important to the set’s presentation as its episodes and will be discussed later. The set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements. Each element is clearly important in its own right to the set’s overall presentation. All things considered, Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection proves in the end to be an important watch for any lover and student of broadcast history.
Shout! Factory’s forthcoming Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection is an important collection for any lover and student of broadcast history to own. It brings to light a program that is one of the industry’s most important yet underappreciated game shows as is evidenced through its episodes. While the series ran for a total of 53 episodes over two seasons on ABC, only 49 of those episodes have ever been available, and Shout! Factory has made all 49 of those episodes available here, giving audiences here the fullest run of the show possible. This is only one part of what makes the episodes so critical. The show’s very format presented in these episodes is important to discuss, too. That is because of the influence that it clearly has played on so many series since. One part late night talk show and one part light-hearted panel show, one can easily see (and hear) the series’ influence on the likes of Whose Line Is It Anyway, National Public Radio’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and even so many of today’s late night talk shows. Even CBS’ classic Saturday morning cartoon series Garfield & Friends paid tribute to Take A Good Look in one of its U.S. Acres shorts.
On yet another level, the episodes featured here are important to note because of their historical and cultural importance. Audiences will see here that along with the fun games, the episodes also feature the original Dutch Masters cigar ads that ran with the show in its original run. It reminds audiences on one level of a time when tobacco companies were allowed to advertise on a wider scale than they can today. On another level, the ads will surprise audiences in the fact that they apparently even targeted children. One of the ads encouraged children to buy Dutch Masters cigar boxes for their fathers as Father’s Day gifts. That in itself is certain to generate plenty of discussion as will some of the other ads featured here.
While the ads included with the set’s featured episodes add their own depth to the episodes’ presentation, they are not the last important part of what makes the episodes so important. The episodes’ production values are just as important to note as the ads and the episodes’ content. The production values (its audio and video) make watching the episodes like opening a virtual time capsule of sorts. That is because audiences get here, the episodes’ original audio and video playback. In other words, no effort was taken to re-master the episodes in regards to the audio or video. In this case, this is a great thing. That is because it shows how far television production technology has come since television’s golden age. In turn, it shows how much production values have improved as a result of those technological advances. Considering this element, the ads that run with the episodes, the show’s clear influence as a result of its format and the full episode listing, it becomes clear why the episodes featured here are so important to the overall presentation of Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection. The whole of those aspects leads the episodes collectively to form a solid foundation for the set; a foundation on which is strengthened even more through the bonus liner notes included with the set.
The liner notes included with this collection, composed by film & TV historian Ben Model, enhance the set’s presentation even more because of the depth of information provided therein. Audiences learn through Model’s notes that apparently host Ernie Kovacs, who was known largely for other film and television work, that he apparently was not fond of Take A Good Look. Just as interesting to learn is why exactly Kovacs even agreed to host the show and the possible reason that the show even managed two seasons. These tidbits and so much more paint a vivid picture for the series even before audiences put in the first disc. Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear why the set’s bonus liner notes prove to be just as important to this set’s presentation as its episodes. The liner notes are not the last of the set’s most important elements either. Its packaging rounds out its most important elements.
The packaging used for this set is everything that audiences have come to expect from Shout! Factory in regards to its box sets. Each of the set’s six discs is placed on its own plate inside the set’s box, protecting the discs from each other and also minimizing the box’s size as much as possible. The set’s episode listing is printed clearly on the inside of the box’s art, too and includes the episodes’ air date, guest name and the episodes’ specific discs. That listing once again provides a clear guide for audiences as they select the episodes that they want to watch, proving once more why this set deserves such high praise. When this is considered along with the set’s in-depth liner notes and just as deep episodes, it becomes perfectly clear why this set in whole is such an important collection for any lover and student of television history. What’s more, it becomes just as clear why Take A Good Look is itself such an important part of not just television history but broadcast history in whole. Keeping all of this in mind, one can’t help but agree that this set deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new DVD/BD box sets for grown ups.
Shout! Factory’s upcoming release of Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection is a must see for any lover and student of the broadcast arts and their associated history. That is due to episodes that show their own depth and value along with liner notes and production values that are just as critical as the set’s episodes. Keeping all of that in mind, the set in whole proves that it deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new DVD/BD box sets for grown-ups. It will be released in stores and online Oct. 17 and can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:
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