Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show

Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show
Eccentric comic genius Garry Shandling honours his groundbreaking series with this remarkably comprehensive and engaging set. The Larry Sanders Show completely altered the landscape of television, influencing unconventional reality-based sitcoms such as The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage, not to mention fostering the fledgling HBO network before The Sopranos made it a household name. The characters and writing were sharp, daring and unprecedented, sending up Hollywood egoism simply by revealing a bizarre kind of truth about the machinations of the celebrity industry. Due to alleged legal issues, to this day only the first year of this monumental show has been released and fans continue to clamour for the remaining five seasons. Instead, Shandling has inexplicably given us this lovingly crafted collection of 23 select episodes spanning the entire series, plus eight hours of surprising bonus footage. Classics like "The Spiders Episode,” "Hank’s Sex Tape” and grand finale "Flip” hold up strongly, as their brave honesty still induces an uncomfortable awe at the depths of these people. The meat of this set, however, consists of feature interviews with the entire cast, as well as Shandling’s personal visits with friends and associates of the show. It’s as captivating to view workhorses like Rip Torn and Jeffrey Tambor discuss their craft as it is to hear Janeane Garofalo and Scott Thompson suggest that they lucked into the most memorable roles of their careers. Then there is the odd recluse that is Shandling, who reminisces with Alec Baldwin about his turn on the show while the two spar in a boxing gym, shoots hoops with David Duchovny, meets with close friend Sharon Stone at her house for breakfast and philosophises with neighbour Tom Petty and, later, former protégé Jon Stewart. As he suggests to Jerry Seinfeld on a Central Park bench, the reality of fascinating people being themselves could be more intriguing than any storyline, and this idea is central to Shandling’s ethos. This ingenious set was surely worth the wait. Plus: "The Making of The Larry Sanders Show”; full cast interviews; deleted scenes; audio commentaries. (Sony)