Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment
StarVista Entertainment released its latest collection of classic episodes from The Carol Burnett Show last week in the new single-disc DVD presentation The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again. The DVD features three classic episodes from what is one of television’s greatest sketch comedy/variety shows. While the episodes have already been presented in StarVista’s previous Carol Burnett Show box sets, there are those audiences that have not picked up said box sets to this day or have not been able to add those box sets to their own personal collections. Keeping that in mind, The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again proves to be a good starting point for any viewer regardless of said viewer’s familiarity with The Carol Burnett Show. While it is for all intents and purposes a re-issue of three previously released episodes the episodes presented on The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again serve as a good starting point for anyone that has yet to start their collection of Carol Burnett Show episodes. The reason that the episodes included on this disc prove to be a good starting point is the collective work of the show’s writers and its cast. The largely family-friendly sketches will leave audiences of all ages in stitches at some points and move them deeply at others thanks to the work of all involved. And the inclusion of a fully in-detail episode guide completes the presentation. The guide in question has been a standard of every one of StarVista Entertainment’s Carol Burnett Show releases. They have always been a highly important part of each presentation, too. That is still the case even in this presentation. Because it has been included once again here along with so many wonderfully entertaining moments, it is one more part of the whole of The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again that makes this DVD a welcome watch for anyone looking to start their Carol Burnett Show collection.
The episodes that have been collected for StarVista Entertainment’s new Carol Burnett Show compilation are nothing new for many fans of the classic sketch comedy/variety series. There are those out there that have wasted no time criticizing StarVista for this. Those same people have not taken into consideration that not every fan of The Carol Burnett Show own any of StarVista’s previous Carol Burnett Show compilations or even the show’s complete series collection. Anyone that takes this into consideration will hopefully see that even though the episodes on this disc have been previously released, they make for a good start for any Carol Burnett Show fan that has yet to start their collection of episodes. Because the episodes culled for this compilation have already been presented before, it can obviously be said that they are presented exactly as they were presented in their original broadcasts on CBS back in 1973 and 1978. And just as in their previous resurrections, all three episodes look and sound just as good as they did in their original broadcasts. So anyone that has not yet started their collection will understandably be impressed at least by this much.
The quality presentation of the episodes chosen for The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again is by itself plenty of reason for the series’ fans to pick up this DVD or order it online. It’s just part of the reason for fans that are looking to start their collection to purchase this collection. The work of the writers across all three episodes gives even more reason for fans to pick up this DVD if they haven’t already purchased any of the series’ previous DVD sets. Even roughly thirty years or so after their original broadcasts, these episodes will still have audiences laughing uproariously at some points, and moved almost to tears at others. Some of the laughs even come as a result of the writers’ tributes to Hollywood’s golden era as in the set’s final episode “High Hat.” The skit pays homage to the great films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It actually takes its name directly from the pair’s 1935 hit film Top Hat. Ken Berry even provides a surprisingly entertaining tap number and his own singing performances. Anyone that is a fan of Top Hat or classic song and dance films in general will truly appreciate this sketch for both its historical and its comic value. The sketch “Raised To Be Rotten” offers just as many laughs as it spoofs all of the trashy soap operas of the day. Ironically enough, it could even be considered a spoof of many of the soap operas of the past twenty years or more. That continued relevance and comic value make it yet another prime example of how the work of the writers on this show makes these episodes so entertaining even today and in turn why their work makes this collection so enjoyable for anyone looking to make the first of maybe many additions to their Carol Burnett Show collections. On the opposite end of that spectrum, Carol’s portrayal of her beloved Charwoman character in Show # 705 is certain to put both a smile on fans’ faces and maybe even a tear in their eyes. The Charwoman discovers in this episode’s sketch “Silence is Golden” an old seemingly abandoned room loaded with classic silent films and even a projector that magically seems to work. When turned on, the projector seems to transport the Charwoman into what is supposed to be a classic Charlie Chaplin film. In this case, actress Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard) plays the part of Chaplin. And she does so quite convincingly, too. There’s something about both Swanson and Burnett’s acting here that makes this sketch enjoyable and charming in so many ways. The Charwoman’s reaction in realizing she might actually have been in the film and her interaction with “Chaplin” in realizing it makes for a truly sweet moment that is sure to have any viewer tearing up at least a little bit. Whether for that moment and the more lighthearted laughs offered in the sketch, the smiles and laughs brought on by the tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or any of the laughs and smiles brought on throughout the presented episodes, every single episode and every sketch proves in its own inimitable way why the work of the writers behind The Carol Burnett Show makes this compilation just as worth the purchase as any of the show’s previous DVD releases. This is especially the case for anyone that has yet to start their collection of Carol Burnett Show collections.
The episodes that StarVista chose to include as part of the whole that is The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again, their presentation, and the work of the writers in each episode collectively shows why this new DVD release is a good starting point for anyone looking to take the first step in starting their collection of DVDs from what is one of the greatest series in the modern history of television. While the noted elements each make for so much enjoyment, one more element should be noted of the whole package that adds to its enjoyment. The element in question is the disc’s companion booklet. The booklet included with the DVD is, like the episodes themselves, nothing new for StarVista’s Carol Burnett Show DVD sets. The companion booklet outlines each show in just enough detail to give viewers a relatively vivid idea of each episode and sketch. It outlines the highlights of each show and notes the title and cast of each sketch within the episodes. It even notes each show’s original air date as part of the full outline. All of the details noted of the disc’s companion booklet are also part of the booklets included with each one of StarVista’s previously released Carol Burnett Show collections. This is so significant because it shows once more the careful approach taken by those charged with assembling the episodes and the package in whole. It shows that those people wanted to pay proper respect to the show and its legacy one again as well as to the show’s legions of fans, too. So many television shows’ DVD collections either come with standard, straight-forward episode listings or nothing at all. Those that do include the list include no background or any other extras for fans. That’s not the case for any of StarVista’s Carol Burnett Show DVD sets including this single-disc presentation. And it continues to show in this situation, too. The end result of such lengthy efforts being taken to honor both the legacy of the Carol Burnett Show and the fans of The Carol Burnett Show is one more layer of depth to what on the surface seems a simple DVD yet is a DVD in which audiences and critics alike will find plenty to like.
The fact that those charged with assembling The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again would go to such lengths to continue paying homage to both the legacy of what is one of television’s great modern series and to its fans says plenty about those individuals and of StarVista in whole. The same can be said of all involved merely by examining the episodes included in the set in terms of their writing and their production values. By themselves, each of the noted elements plays an important role in the enjoyment and success of the DVD in whole. Collectively, they prove once and for all why this disc is a wonderful starting point for anyone looking to take that first step in building their Carol Burnett Show collections. The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles available from StarVista Entertainment is available online at:
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