Paramount // 2004 // 42 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // June 21st, 2005
"I'm so glad we had this time together."
I'm one of the millions who loved The Carol Burnett Show. It was, and still is, a fantastically funny show with an amazing ensemble of actors. Starring Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, and Lyle Waggonner, the show allowed these people to entertain us -- and each other -- for years. I do remember watching this with my family when I grew up, and I've always been on the lookout for reruns or the series released on DVD. In both cases, I've stumbled across neither. Yet there have been a few dribblings of related Carol Burnett Show goodies to DVD over the past few years, teasing us with the merest tantalizing morsels of what could be.
This disc, a special aired on CBS in 2004, is a reunion show with a special focus. During the Carol Burnett Show, one of the hallmarks was the question-and-answer session Burnett would do. She would stand up and answer many serious and silly questions from her audience, often with wonderfully zippy responses. This show brings back all the principal players, sits them onstage, and allows them to reminisce about those famous Q&A sessions. Coming in at a lean 42 minutes, the special allows us to watch as a new batch of audience members ask questions, which propels the cast to relate tales about the old Q&A sessions.
I did enjoy the program, and I laughed out loud many times. It was nice to watch these old friends, still sharp and funny as ever, recount those fabulous days. The show isn't perfect, and it drags in a few spots, but it was a treasure to see any part of the show again.
This is a bare-bones disc with nothing more than the "one hour" of television on it. The full frame video looks good, a spot healthier than what you'd catch on the boob tube itself, without any defects or problems. A Dolby Digital 2.0 mix allows the viewer to clearly hear everything without any hiss or distortion.
Despite it all, I wanted it to go on for longer. I wanted more jokes, more stories, and more recollections of that great show. And that's what this disc truly highlights: the lack of a season-by-season release of the superb Carol Burnett Show. I can't believe I'm the only one who would love to see those sketches again, and with so many other shows being released these days, where's this one? Who's holding things back?
As much as I may have enjoyed this brief look back, I am not going to recommend this disc. It's too small and too focused a look at a great show. We need to hold out for the full release of the series and spend our money and time on revisiting that great, old friend. Additionally, when Paramount still thinks it's a good idea and a selling point to boldly label their discs as part of the "Full Screen Collection," those discs -- even if the original material is full frame -- need to avoided and definitely not encouraged.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 42 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated