Summary of "The Complete Series - Simply the best single-season series, ever!": I was worried that my memories of this show would betray me, that I wouldn't enjoy it as I had 13 years ago. Well, they did betray me a bit because I didn't remember the show being as good as it is. Maybe now, 13 years later, I'm able to appreciate more of the jokes, more of the witty lines, and more of the story. I loved this show when it first aired, and I love it more now.
The road to getting Brisco on DVD was a rocky one, but the journey was fun. I think it started about 3 years ago when I had a meeting with some executives at Warner Bros. I went there to talk to them about a few shows, and brought up Brisco near the end of the meeting. They didn't seem too familiar with the show, but said they'd look into it. About 8 months later there was a shift at the company and the people I met with had moved on to other positions, and my hopes of seeing the show released on DVD moved with them. I made contact with the new person in charge of their TV titles and started talking up the show. Bruce Campbell has a large fan base, and they love to own his work. I was sure that Brisco would sell well if they released it; Bruce's books and other movies have done quite well. I started mentioning Brisco when we talked about shows that were doing well on the site, and my new friends at Warner Bros started to take notice of the show. Brisco has always performed well on the site, and that helped my case a lot (so thanks to everyone that voted for it).
I bugged them for a few years about releasing Brisco, but it wasn't until last summer that I really stepped up the pressure. I started researching how many copies of his books were sold, and how well his DVDs did. Bubba Ho-tep did okay in theaters, but sold really well on DVD, proving there was a market for Bruce's stuff. I started receiving reports from fans and friends that Bruce was talking about Brisco and Jack of All Trades at his book signings around the US; he wanted the shows released. A week or so later I was talking to my Warner person and they told me they received a call from Carlton Cuse, creator/executive producer of the show. He was wondering if the show would be coming to DVD soon, and this was another nudge for Warner. The timing was perfect because 3 weeks later I was leaving to go to Hawaii for a Lost season 1 DVD release party, and Carlton happened to be an executive producer on the series. My mission, besides hanging out in Hawaii and meeting the cast of Lost, was to find Carlton and tell him that I had been working to get the show released for 2 years. I found him at the party, and, with a few drinks inside me, I decided to go talk to him about the show. I ambushed him as he stood talking with his wife and son, and we started talking about the show and how it should be on DVD. He gave me his email address and we would trade emails whenever there was news to pass on. I think it was a month or so later that I received the semi-official word that the set was going ahead and work had already begun. I was so excited!
In early January I was invited to fly down to LA to attend filming of some bonus material; the "Brisco County Writers' Room." The timing was horrible because I already had a trip with my girlfriend planned, but I figured I could make both trips happen. I flew down on a Friday, stayed the Saturday and then arrived home very early on the Sunday morning. I was home for less than 24 hours before I left on my vacation - it was pretty crazy, but I'm glad I did it. I knew Carlton would be at the "Brisco County Writers' Room" thing, but I had no idea who else would be in the room. I certainly wasn't ready for the group I met! I watch a lot of TV, I always have, and the people that walked into the room were responsible for some of my favorite shows. There was Tom Chehak (Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Alien Nation and Diagnosis Murder), John Wirth (Remington Steele), David Simkins (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Spy Game, Vengeance Unlimited, Roswell, FreakyLinks, Dark Angel, Charmed and Blade: The Series), Brad Kern (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, New York Undercover and Charmed), John McNamara (Profit, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Vengeance Unlimited, The Fugitive, Fastlane and Eyes), and Carlton Cuse (Nash Bridges, Martial Law, Black Sash and Lost). The people in that room contributed hundreds and hundreds of hours to my TV viewing schedule. For three hours I stood there and listened to them talk about the series, crack jokes, and reminisce about the season they worked together. This featurette wasn't planned to be 40+ mins, but the material was so great they made it longer. Sure, the three hours I was there was edited down to 40 mins, but I can't think of anything that's missing from the featurette. These guys were so funny that I almost burst out laughing a few times (and I wasn't the only one), which obviously wouldn't have been a good thing to do while they were recording. It was an amazing day for me, and I've kept in touch with a number of the guys interviewed. Here's a photo I snapped from the event:
You'll likely spot some familiar faces while watching Brisco; there were some great guest stars that appeared in these episodes. The wonderful R. Lee Ermey (who appears in just about every war movie) played "Brisco County Sr," M.C. Gainey went on to Lost, Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager), Xander Berkeley (24), Janel Moloney (The West Wing), John Hawkes (Deadwood), Andrea Parker (The Pretender), Sheena Easton (the singer), Obba Babatundé (Dawson's Creek), Michael T. Weiss (The Pretender), Richard Herd (Star Trek: Voyager), Casey Siemaszko (NYPD Blue), Debra Jo Rupp (That '70s Show), Timothy Leary (yup, the drug guy), Tzi Ma (24), Terry Bradshaw (ex-NFLer) and Michael Jace (The Shield). I also got a kick out of the writers' subtle nods to various things (casting Timothy Leary; for example), and how characters always seemed to return to the show (Todd is a perfect example).
Brisco may well be the best single-season series ever produced. It's full of episodes that will make you laugh, an excellent cast, and now it's available as a wonderful DVD set. Some people claim the set is too expensive, and while "too expensive" varies from person to person, I think there's a lot of value in the set. 28 TV-hours of material, great bonus material, and a show that is better now than it was when it aired on TV. Don't take my word for it, pick this up and you can see for yourself.
Now I must head to bed because I have an early flight to San Diego to catch tomorrow where I'll take in the San Diego Comic Con, and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. panel they have on Saturday. (read entire review)
Canadians: Missing your booklet? Here's what to do...
Warner Canada has issued a press release about the missing booklet in the recent release of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. Canadians were the only ones affected by this issue, so this information... (read entire news item)
Poor Canadians - Missing a booklet?
It appears the dreaded booklet goblin has struck The Adventures of Brisco County Jr sets in Canada. We've received reports that ALL the sets are missing the booklets, and we've passed the information... (read entire news item)
Check out Brisco's Backside
Warner Bros has released back artwork for the upcoming The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. set, coming on July 18. Just look at all those juiicy extras! You can preorder the set from Amazon.com for $69.99. (read entire news item)
Brisco date, art and tons of extras!
First we had rumors, then we had news that it was being considered for release by Warner Bros, followed by early information on the set, and the ability to vote for your favorite DVD artwork, but this... (read entire news item)
Vote for your favorite cover!
We've told you that The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. is coming to DVD (it still hasn't been announced yet), and now we have something special for fans of the show; the ability to vote for the box art... (read entire news item)
Brisco in Summer, not Spring + Bonus material
We've received a number of emails from readers pointing us to an interview where Bruce Campbell says The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. would be out on DVD in Spring, 2006. We love Bruce, too, but I... (read entire news item)
Brisco in 2006? Most likely
After years of rumors and finger-crossing, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. will likely come to DVD in 2006. Warner Bros have given me the go-ahead to post the news that it's strongly being considered... (read entire news item)
It's coming in 2002...
From Dark Horizons:
"Last, but certainly not least, Bruce said that next year there is going to be an issue of the entire run of "Brisco County Jr" on both VHS and DVD!!!!!! That's the good news, the... (read entire news item)