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TV DVD Commentaries Deserve Some Time, Too

18 Oct, 2004 By: Stephanie Prange

I thought it appropriate to talk about a recent experience I had with TV DVD commentaries, as Video Store Magazine the week is producing, along with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and The Hollywood Reporter, the second annual TV DVD conference.

A producer and a writer — who shall remain nameless — did a commentary for an episode on one of my favorite shows. It was a rather pivotal episode, and I would have expected a lot of enthusiasm from at least the writer.

But no.

The commentary felt like a college seminar in which the participants hadn't really read the book. Between long silences came comments on how beautiful the dresses were, how cute people looked and personal information that had little to do with the series. I can honestly say I gained absolutely no insight into the episode from these two commentators. To top is all off, the two mumbled — sometimes incoherently — through the commentary.

Now, I know the writers and directors aren't getting much moneywise out of DVD, but is it too much to ask for them to at least do 15 minutes of homework before babbling through an episode? Anyone can find a few useful things to say.

They may not know it, but as I have mentioned in a previous commentary on commentaries, many are listening.

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