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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > BrtiCom > Documentary > Travelogue > History > British TV > A Bit Of A Do The Complete Collection (1989) + Visions Of New York City (Acorn DVDs)

A Bit Of A Do The Complete Collection (1989) + Visions Of New York City (Acorn DVDs)


Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C/C+ Episodes: C/B-



Two favorites of Acorn Media are revisited on two new DVD releases. A Touch of Frost is a very popular Acorn offering with David Jason so they have picked up his sitcom A Bit Of A Do for DVD. This is one without a laugh track, yet it is a sitcom about a family of two different socio-economic classes (lower and middle) seeing two of their children (David Thewlis and Sarah-Jane Holm) get married in a shotgun wedding. They like each other, but dysfunction is all around them. The show lasted 13 episodes, two seasons and some characters do not show up in the second season, but I was not as impressed as others. Even with British class politics considered, the show is not that funny, is actually rather predictable and not very memorable. It is at least unique, but even with a fine cast that also included Michael Jayston (Quiller), I was not too impressed.


Then there is the latest installment of the Visions series Acorn has issued in many editions. The HD-shot travelogue series covered so much overseas locales that the fact that is has U.S. episodes is a pleasant development. We covered the show in its DVD and Blu-ray releases so far, as this link will show:





This latest edition is Visions Of New York City (2004), which is only here as a DVD. I expected Acorn might start issuing these programs in both formats at the same time, but despite its short 77 minutes (this could not go on long enough), it is a fine look at one of the greatest cities ever and is as strong an installment in the series as any. If you think you know New York City, you are in for some pleasant surprises. They should be congratulated for making this look better than a token evening news broadcast.



The 1.33 X 1 image on Do and anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on York are both watchable, yet have their own flaws with the former showing the limits and softness of its analog PAL tapings, while the latter has detail issues and some motion blur from what looks like a 1080i shoot. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on each is about the same, with Do sounding fairly good for its age, though you can here some compression, while York is a sometimes quiet piece, but also has a fine choice of music and well-recorded narration. Extras on Do include cast text filmographies and brief interviews with star Nicole Pagett & Creator David Nobbs, while York has extras footage (roughly a half-hour) worth seeing that was not shown on TV.



- Nicholas Sheffo


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