UPDATE: I notice Amazon has attributed this (and the reviews of many others) to the forthcoming ‘Shout Factory’ release of Kojak Season 2 – please note, my comments aren’t in relation to their set. My comments are in relation to the European release via ‘Mediumrare Entertainment’ – I live in hope that ‘Shout Factory’ will remaster their set to the standard this show deserves!
The disclaimer at the start of each DVD did, I must admit, give me cause for concern – “Please note that whilst every care has been taken to ensure the quality of the programme, due to the age of the original materials the technical quality of the programme may be slightly impaired in places” Translation, “Due to us being lazy and wanting to maximize profits, we simply couldn’t be bothered to spend any money on remastering any of the episodes of this classic series” – sorry, call me cynical but “the age of the original materials” – erm… this season is only 36 years old..! I’d expect to see such a disclaimer on material from the 1930s but not on a show from 1974! Sorry, as a fan of classic television, i.e. Perry Mason; Hawaii Five-0; Mannix and the like, I expect to see better!
Given the history of Kojak on DVD (a 5 year hiatus between the release of series 1 on disc and this season); I’d have expected them to be spending that time on cleaning up the episode prints for this release.
So, a word on the `quality’, the episodes are simply washed out – they have the appearance of something you would have taped on VHS back in the days when the show was being re-run. Print wise, the episodes are watchable, but they lack any vibrancy and, in the main, appear washed out. Colours are dull and the images lack any crispness. I mentioned `Perry Mason’ earlier and I should point out that season 2 of that particular show was from 1958 and the print transfers of those episodes are superb – as are the other shows I mention and all of which began before Kojak!
I’m not sure if there have been any edits of the episodes themselves, but at an average of 48:30 per show, these episodes are a couple of minutes shorter in length than any of the other programmes from that era for which I’m familiar i.e. 5-0; Perry Mason and Mannix
I believe a review on here should be a balance between the show itself and the actual product. This season of Kojak, i.e. the show itself, merits 5 stars; the DVD release merits only 1.
Not sure why such an excellent series is given such a poor run when it comes to being released on DVD, but I must say, this release has made me appreciate remastering on other classic shows even more.
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Shout! Factory does it again! They have listened to consumers and have invested in Kojak. “Who Loves ‘Ya Baby?”!
Please do not confuse the lower rated opinions of Kojak Season 2 on this thread with the upcoming Season 2 release by Shout!.
As someone who has purchased several Shout! Factory releases (Adam-12, Simon & Simon, Dennis The Menace, Mr. Ed) you will not be disappointed because they offer the original network run episodes and do not replace any music. The video transfers are in mint condition.
You will not have any problems with these Kojak DVD’s because the Shout! releases are specifically made for equipment made in the United States, not for overseas machines.
The only way to have the three remaining seasons of Kojak released is to purchase each season as it becomes available.
Simon & Simon has fallen victim to fans not stepping up and rewarding Shout! by purchasing seasons 2-5. Now, Shout! has stated they have no plans to release the three remaining seasons of that wonderful series.
Shout! Factory invests a lot of money to give fans what they ask for. Let’s show them our appreciation by purchasing these guality television series when they become available.
Seasons 2 and 3 are available in Europe (Amazons UK site has it a little cheaper than the one here). These DVDs do not appear to have been remastered so if Film quality is critical, you will be disappointed. The DVDs are very watchable, just don’t compare them to other releases of old TV shows that have been remastered. These old Kojak episodes are better than anything new being offered on TV today, in my opinion anyway. You will need an “all region” DVD player to watch this on an American DVD player.