The Muppet Show S1
Unfortunately, some episodes in this set are missing musical numbers for whatever reason (notice the box set doesn't claim to be "The Complete First Season", although that may be a case of semantics). From extensive research, I was able to notice five episodes with cuts; four were edited to remove one musical performance each, the other trimmed episode has oddly lost a couple of Muppet Newsflash segments. I assume the deletions are not a simple case of overlooking or mishandling, but the result of tangled or especially pricey song rights
*. The missing Vincent Price song was at least advertised as appearing on one of the Time-Life DVD releases, so its exclusion is especially disappointing. While the incomplete nature of it is troubling, I don't think we'll see an uncut set in our lifetime, and this set otherwise pleases in every way.
The Cosby Show - S1
The episodes included on this 4-disc set ... they're the syndicated versions. Yes, seriously.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of "syndicated" episodes, here's a really short primer: "extraneous" footage is dropped from each episode so that extra (or extra-long) commercial breaks can be played. And these are the versions included in the inaugural DVD collection? Of one of the most beloved situation comedies of all time??
Personally, I think that sucks.
Hey, anyone want to buy the "network broadcast version" of Scarface? Didn't think so. And I find it more than a little disconcerting to realize that, even though I may have just dropped 40-some bucks to own one of my very favorite sitcoms on DVD ... they're not nearly the original cuts; two to three minutes have been chopped out of each 20-some minute episode. OK, this approach might work fine where UHF reruns are concerned, since you're getting those for free. But if a studio is asking you to drop some solid cash on the first season of one of televisions' (very) finest sitcoms -- I don't think it's asking too much to get the complete, unaltered, unedited episodes.