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Mot Morenzi

"I Love Lucy" Australian DVD Set

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Mot Morenzi    1,496

With my original discs still back in the states, and missing having every episode at my disposal, I got the Australian DVD boxset for Christmas. I thought you might want to see what it looks like.

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This particular release was issued by a company called Shock Entertainment back in 2016. http://www.shock.com.au/product-details/dvd/i-love-lucy-collection/1/4091

They're similar to the likes of Mill Creek and Echo Bridge in that they only release content licensed from other studios, oftentimes at very affordable prices. Note that I did not pay the SRP suggested on their website. It was on sale and a very good deal.

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You'll see that Shock chose to use the key art used for the original CBS releases. The cardboard slipcover is rather flimsy but it looks nice. The bonus disc containing the movie is included in the comedy hour case.

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The overall design is very uniform and clean. If I had to quibble about anything, it'd be that the photo montages on the back don't match up to each individual season. Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 5 all use the same photos from season 1, while season 4 uses stills from season 6. Season 6 and the hour-long set, meanwhile, use comedy hour photos. It's a little slapdash feeling but not a huge issue. Sorry if it isn't really clear in these photos; I'll try to upload better ones later on.

Additionally, the cases are very cheap plastic, like the kind you'd find on public domain or dollar store DVDs in the states.

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One thing this set does have going for it is the color artwork printed on the discs, rather than the flat grey motif most American companies now use. The theme matches the cover art for each individual season. 

As for the discs themselves, they're identical to the American CBS pressings. Same menu art and all. This surprised me, for the CBS logo appears nowhere on the packaging but is prominently displayed on the menus. I was a tad disappointed at this, as I was looking forward to seeing a new menu design after all these years.

Being identical to the American release means the discs are NTSC standard (Australia primarily uses the PAL standard). This is actually a good thing, as it means no PAL speedup (PAL runs at 25 FPS, so anything shot at 24 FPS plays back slightly too fast, which raises the audio pitch). The only difference I've noticed is that these discs are region 4 instead of region 1, so they won't play back on a North American DVD player. Region locking isn't an issue here, as pretty much all DVD players released in Australia are region free, but I'm guessing it was done due to Shock's licensing agreement.

When I got the set home, I found that the season 6 case included two copies of Disc 2 by mistake, omitting Disc 3. I contacted Shock about this and they very kindly sent out a replacement disc at no charge, so I'm impressed with their customer service. Their materials might be on the cheap side, but I'd gladly buy any other shows they may license. 

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Freddie2    842

Thanks for sharing- I find this very interesting! Why is it that non-American DVDs always seem to have a big honking rating in the corner? That green "G" looks to be on the slipcover, the front, back, and side of each individual case, and on each individual disc! I agree that the light gray discs are a bit annoying. The CBS sets that I've purchased within the last few years- Laverne & Shirley, Andy Griffith, and Evening Shade, all are the exact same color with the "translucent" wording. I guess this saves time and money on designing and printing specialty labels for discs, but when they all look like that it can be difficult to discern between them (Jeez! The hardship of it all!). My I Love Lucy DVDs are old enough that they're the color coordinated ones with individual pictures on each disc- not to mention each disc has its own case, but I suspect that all of the releases since then have had the similar homogenous look to them. 

This makes me wonder- how popular is I Love Lucy, or Lucy Herself for that matter, in Australia? I remember an interview was shared here awhile back with a popular actor from South Asia (or Franistan or something) who cited Here's Lucy as the end-all be-all in classic TV comedy. Does ILL hold a legendary status like it does in the states? And is Lucy such a familiar face around your part of the world?

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Mot Morenzi    1,496
4 hours ago, Freddie2 said:

Why is it that non-American DVDs always seem to have a big honking rating in the corner? That green "G" looks to be on the slipcover, the front, back, and side of each individual case, and on each individual disc!

It's true, other countries tend to be far more strict about advertising ratings. The Australian ones didn't used to be as intrusive, but then the government cracked down and implemented the color-coded scheme you see today. It is incredibly excessive and I think most people find it ridiculous. I know the American ratings system is subject to mockery for double standards and being too harsh at times, but it tends to be worse overseas. You can read more about Australian classifications here: http://www.classification.gov.au/Guidelines/Pages/Guidelines.aspx

4 hours ago, Freddie2 said:

My I Love Lucy DVDs are old enough that they're the color coordinated ones with individual pictures on each disc- not to mention each disc has its own case, but I suspect that all of the releases since then have had the similar homogenous look to them.

Yes, the American re-releases all have the grey labels. I, too, much prefer the color artwork and wish The Lucy Show could've gotten that treatment for its first releases.

4 hours ago, Freddie2 said:

This makes me wonder- how popular is I Love Lucy, or Lucy Herself for that matter, in Australia? I remember an interview was shared here awhile back with a popular actor from South Asia (or Franistan or something) who cited Here's Lucy as the end-all be-all in classic TV comedy. Does ILL hold a legendary status like it does in the states? And is Lucy such a familiar face around your part of the world?

No, I Love Lucy does not have the same impact or legacy here that it did in the states. Television wasn't officially launched in Australia until 1956, so Oz didn't get to see I Love Lucy in its original run. Furthermore, colour television wasn't introduced until 1975. Here's Lucy is more popular in Australia than I Love Lucy, as it would've been their introduction to her. Here's Lucy has also been released on DVD here, licensed by MPI to a company called Madman. The Lucy Show, meanwhile, has never been released here and never seems to be acknowledged.

Max greatly prefers Here's Lucy. He finds the characters more "realistic" and the stories less outlandish <_<. No, I'm not kidding. Different hemisphere, different sensibilities, I guess.

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Freddie2    842
6 hours ago, Mot Morenzi said:

 

Max greatly prefers Here's Lucy. He finds the characters more "realistic" and the stories less outlandish <_<. No, I'm not kidding. Different hemisphere, different sensibilities, I guess.

Wow! Do you have Gorboonas in your part of the world or something:lucydaze:

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Mot Morenzi    1,496
5 hours ago, Freddie2 said:

Wow! Do you have Gorboonas in your part of the world or something:lucydaze:

I thought I saw a wombat crawling through the woods the other night, but I suppose it could've been...something else ;)

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