DVD Review: WISEGUY – The Collector’s Edition

Mill Creek Entertainment
Release date: March 9th, 2010
MSRP: $44.98

WISEGUY starred Ken Wahl as Vinnie Terranova, an agent for the FBI agent with the Organized Crime unit. Vinne goes deep undercover to bring down the bad guys. To give him legit street cred, he is sent to prison for 18 months…talk about dedication. As a result of this, the series starts with him estranged from his mother.

The show ran from 1987 to 1990 and was innovative in that it carried a story arc as long as need be, not for merely one or two episodes. Later on, that would become a more regular occurrence, but it was not a common thing on television. Usually stories were wrapped up every week. It delivered a gritty, well-written story that could be enjoyed by the general public as well as those looking for something with more substance.

This set is NOT the complete series. The show had nine story arcs and only eight are contained here. The Dead Dog Records storyline, from season two, is missing because of music copyrights. While that may bother so, it is worth keeping in mind that this contains 67 episodes, some not previously released, and retails for $44.98. The copyrights alone would likely more than double the price. To the best of my knowledge, that storyline has not previously been released (likely for that very reason).

The show contained some impressive actors with Kevin Spacey, Joan Severance, Jerry Lewis, Stanley Tucci, Ron Silver, Chazz Palminteri, David Strathairn and Billy Dee Williams all having regular roles on various story-lines.The picture quality is mixed. There certainly is some pixalation present as well as some fuzziness. But the set is still very watchable. In fact, I have seen worse quality from the biggest studios. I review using a 51″ Sony and that may well have made things a little more noticeable. But nothing was bad enough that it detracted from my viewing pleasure.

Because of the music copyright issues, this is as complete a set as we are likely to get. It sucks to miss out on a good story like Dead Dog Records, but there is still a hell of a lot of good times to be had with this collection. It is certainly worth picking up.

Order WISEGUY: The Collector’s Edition