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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Food > Sandwiches That You Will Like (Documentary/WQED DVD)

Sandwiches That You Will Like(Documentary)

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C+†††† Program: B

 

 

WQED-TV is the first-ever public television station, located in Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania.It is also known worldwide for one of the most important shows in television history: Mr. Rogersí Neighborhood.However, the great programming this initial NET/PBS affiliate offers did not begin or end there.In over the last decade, and going, there has been a particularly distinctive series of specials that the station has produced that are of such exceptional quality, that they have gone beyond their brilliant job of covering the Pittsburgh area.

 

First, they expanded to the entire state of Pennsylvania, and now, they have gone all over the country.Sandwiches That You Will Like (2002) is a great, whirlwind journey all over the country to find some of the greatest and most interesting sandwiches around.Now this would sound like the same thing you could see in all the excellent programs on Food Network (Best Of, Unwrapped), but this is a one-shot program and it takes a more down-to-earth approach.

 

For one thing, there is not an on-camera host.Though the current batch of such hosts on Food Network are exceptionally likable (something that channel would be making a BIG mistake to change), the host here is only heard in voice over.He happens to be just as excellent as his cable counterparts and is also the programs producer, Rick Sebak.Though he does appear on camera in some of his shows, he is a justly award-winning coordinator of some of the best television of the last 25 years.These shows are loaded with tons of interesting items, people, history, and other information (film footage, old stills) and also have one big advantage:designed without the need for any commercial breaks!

 

Yes, your taxpayer dollars triumph gloriously here with a non-stop feast of food.The cover lists nearly two dozen sandwiches you may have never heard of, but will be more than familiar with after watching the program all the way through.Sebak and company manages to bring the hometown charm to every location they visit and the results are always compelling.

 

We meet the people who run the place.We also meet the customers, but they are not as slightly hyped by the appearance of a Food Network van or truck, so they are more laid back, more themselves.As a result, though the people interviewed on Food Network are also always chosen wisely, the people in Sebakís shows tend to open up much more and the subtle differences yield major differences in results.

 

Even if you are a vegetarian (and a few of the sandwiches offered meet that criteria), this is an impressive collection of some of the most unexpected food you may ever see.You will never underestimate what a sandwich can be again.These shows are so thorough, they do them as if they will never cover the subject again, and that go-for-broke approach is something you will not see on food anywhere else.

 

The full screen, color videotape looks good for professional analog productions, which I wish we saw more often in similar DVD releases of such material.Of course, the image has the typical variations you have to expect from documentary work, but the clarity for this kind of production is nice.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is also very clear, reflecting the recent time of the production, but I need to add that this is some of the best Dolby 2.0 Stereo in a non-music program I have heard in a while.Why canít the major DVD companies have their DVDs sound as naturalistic at this sound configuration?It is a pleasure to sit through all around.

 

The extras include some fine outtakes, which includes more sandwiches that did not make the show, and more comments from interviewees, a ton of previews of the other great Sebak/WQED shows we are finally getting on DVD, an interesting piece on what people think about PBS, and more footage within the program that we do not get when the show is broadcast.

 

It should be said that Sebakís shows are about much more than food, but are about history and culture at a Smithsonian archival level.If you are interested in getting this or the dozens of other titles in the WQED series, find out more about all of it at www.wqed.org and the more you order, the more you support public television.More of these remarkable programs are coming to DVD and we will be covering them as they hit the street.These DVDs are fun!

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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