Shout Factory Drops The Ball (Review of SCTV The Early Years DVD)

Let me explain this one star review right out of the gate. These shows are GREAT, this boxed set is NOT. SCTV was a classic in studio (and dare I say better performed and a more creative) alternative than the charter cast edition of SNL. The celebrity impersonations are all classic, the skits were ground breaking and when familiar characters reappeared, the new sketches were refreshingly different. That being said, the desire to see all of the earliest 30 minute length shows should have resulted in a stronger demand than just this one set.
SCTV’s 30 minute shows ran from 1976 to 1981 with Candy and O’Hara (all but omitted from this set’s content but featured on the cover) involved with the show until ’79, Ramis (also missing) from ’76 to ’78 and Thomas, Levy, Flaherty Martin, Rosato, Duke. The majority of these short shows clearly come from the last two years (1980-1981) because Candy, O’Hara, and Ramis are all but missing completely from ever show included in the box. The sad reality of this set is that it is now three years old.
There are two possible reasons why Shout failed to release ALL of the 30 minute shows. The first reason is that Shout just might not be in a position (be it copyright issues or show availability) to release all of the shows. The second possibility is that Shout decided it was against their interest to release all of the earliest shows because of lackluster sales of the previous four 90 minute DVD sets.
I am willing to believe that Shout only has the right to the 1980’s shows but that does not make this set “The Best of the Early Shows.” I recommend purchasing the 90 minute sets and waiting for Shout to release all of the earliest shows in sequential order from 1976 to 1981. The likelihood of this happening in the near future is not likely because the barrage of Shout Factory SCTV releases now 3 years old.

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