Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Two more special unoffical Season 11 Battys

The following are two personal but unofficial Batty Awards I want to give out for Season 11.

As I have mentioned, I read multiple books in preparation for/in conjunction with this past season. The nominees for Outstanding Season 11 Book Rick Read are:

A Prime-Time Life by Aaron Spelling with Jefferson Graham
MASH: The Ultimate Guidebook by Ed Solomonson and Mark O'Neill
MASH: The Exclusive Inside Story of TV's Most Popular Show by David S. Reiss
Various Dennis the Menace collections by miscellaneous creators
The Sweeps: A Year in the Life of a Television Network by Cameron Stauth and Mark Christensen
Starsky and Hutch (A Golden All-Star Book)
Dallas: The Complete Story of the World's Favorite Soap by Barbara S. Curran

And the Batty goes to...

The Sweeps! This contemporary account of the 1983-1984 TV season is a television history book so good and so impactful that I regret not knowing about it sooner. Yet it was an invaluable resource for our special '83 NBC episode. It is not just insightful, though; it is one of the most entertaining TV books you will find. It is worth tracking down a used copy and adding it to your library.

Next up, I want to praise a DVD set. We watch the shows we cover by various means: streaming, home media, maybe sometimes over the air/cable sources. In this season, we made good use of an older DVD set I bought used:

The Batty for Outstanding Season 11 DVD Set Rick Watched goes to...

The Sonny and Cher Ultimate Collection (3-DVD set)

This 2004 set is an excellent compilation of various episodes of the different incarnations of Sonny and Cher. There are bigger collections and different versions, but this one gives you a good look at the show (one you can supplement with online uploads, many of them from old TV Land showings) with complete episodes. The old shot-on-video show isn't gonna look great on your giant HD TV, but the material is the thing.

Also, the set has a generous selection of extras, including selected scene commentary from Cher herself and a revealing set of interviews with producers Allen Blye and Chris Bearde. Anytime you see Paul Brownstein's name on a disc set, you can expect some bonus material, and this is no exception. I believe the set is out of print, but you can still find it at a cheap price if you don't want one of the pricy Time Life box sets.

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