“Sports Night” on DVD

I buy more books than I can read, and more dvds than I can watch. But dvds of television shows are especially difficult. They seem like they’ll be fun, easy and enjoyable, yet they actually require sustained attention. Then, when I lapse, I feel the need to go back to the beginning and start again, consuming even more time.

In 2002, ABC released a dvd set of Sports Night, Aaron Sorkin’s half-hour comedy that ran for two seasons before he decided to focus on The West Wing. I’d seen the episodes before, taping them on VHS from some rerun marathon. G. Grod and I started watching them again on DVD but stopped somewhere in season 1. Then Shout Factory announced last year that they’d do a 10th anniversary collection, with better quality transfers and extras. Did I buy it even though I already had the set from six years ago that I hadn’t finished?

What do you think?

I was encouraged because tv critic Alan Sepinwall is re-watching and posting about the episodes during summer reruns. (So far he’s done “Pilot” and “Apology“) Because of that, and because I’ve set up a semi-regular watching schedule with friends, I stand a chance of watching all the episodes again.

If you didn’t catch Sports Night in any of its go ’rounds, I recommend it highly. It’s about the crew of a third-rate sports show on a low-rated network. The banter is fast and funny, and the characters quickly endear themselves. It’s one of the few shows that many argue never jumped the shark. (Perhaps its secret was that Ted McGinley was in the cast from the get go, not brought in later.) If you like Sorkin’s writing (The American President, A Few Good Men, The West Wing), or if you just like good television, check it out.

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