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     " Give it a try and you too may be floundering in vain attempts to still seem manly despite liking it. "

      Title: Sports Night; the DVD collection by Buena Vista

      Format: TV series on DVD.

      Reviewing Monkey: Our Ape Masters

      The Hype: A self proclaimed "Dramedy", Sports Night is essentially a soap opera for men. Set in the backstage of a daily sports show, Sports Night follows the lives and interactions of "a show about sports that isn't about sports at all".

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Story and Acting: All right, I'll admit it (and risk losing my Monkey status) I love this show. While, yes- technically it is a drawn out, rather overly dialogued drama, the sharp writing and sincere performances really got me. Set on mimicry of ESPN's Sports Center, Sports Night actually does a really great job of capturing life, love, and the hassles of working life from a guy's perspective. The series focus' on the show's two anchor men (Peter Krause from "Six Feet Under" and Josh Charles of "Dead Poets Society" fame), how they got to be where they are, and what it's like being a single guy. Contrasting them are they show's production staff which include Felicity Huffman ("Magnolia"), Sabrina Lloyd ("Sliders"), and- best of all, Robert Guillaume (anyone remember "Benson"?). Excellently acted and superbly written, most of the interaction occurs behind the scenes and involves lots of dating mishaps, emotional crises, and personal growth.
          Okay, okay…I know what you're saying: It's chick flick stuff, right? Well, yes- it is. But it's done so well, so solidly, and from enough of a guy's point of view that I actually really enjoyed it. Not only did it make my life's own bizarreness seem tame by comparison but it also gave me all kinds of smooth new pickup lines and jokes to woo the opposite sex. Okay, so now I'm reaching…but it was good. Really. Give it a try and you too may be floundering in vain attempts to still seem manly despite liking it. 4.5 out of 5

      Action: Further evidence that I'm out of "the club". There's none. Nadda. Zip. It's all talking…and I'm banished.

      Visuals and Directing: One of the pioneers of the what is now current "Followcam" technique, Sports Night does a great job of dropping you visually into the office of a sports show. Lots of bustling followed by huge dead spans it really does feel like you're right there. Added to that are some great shot choices and easy interactions that really do drop the glass wall that is your TV. Great work. 4 out of 5

      DVD Extras: But we were doing so well until now. Let me ask you a question. This show was a comedy, that must have had tons of bloopers, behind the scenes, and background generated. It was also produced more than two years ago and, thus, has been sitting on a shelf collecting dust since then. So, my question is, how do you manage to find NO BONUS MATERIAL to include? None. Nadda. How can that be? It's so disappointing that I actually cried into my wine cooler…No! Beer! Beer! I meant beer. Dammit….0 out of 5

      Value vs. Price: The DVD set is the whole series- 2 seasons worth plus the pilot (45 episodes total) and retails for just under $44.99. That's a buck an episode! Sweet! 5 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       It may not be the usual guy fare but it sure is cool. Smart, funny, and very clever- I really enjoyed the hours spent with this show. It may not gain me much respect but that's okay- I'll always be able to curl up and share my feelings with this fine boxed set.

      The Good: Great series presented for cheap in its entirety.

      The Bad: No extras? What the!?!

      The Overall Ugly: Check it out- even if it means hiding it from your buddies.

      What it's Worth: Market

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