Tuesday, April 04, 2006

CODCO or not

I mentioned in passing last week that I thought the idea of CODCO DVDs was a mistake. The reason it came up at all was that I noticed on RJs blog he had mentioned it and there is a petition online to try and sway Alliance Atlantis to release them. So far, they've said no. And not to be cruel, but I just checked and there are 20 signatures on an online petition. I don't see Alliance Atlantis caving anytime soon.

Now, I'm all in favour of having more Newfoundland TV and movies come out on DVD. So far, there has been remarkably little of it. I wrote a column while with the Express saying that it is beyond me why CODCO and The Wonderful Grand Band TV shows, along with movies such as John and the Missus, Faustus Bidgood and, most importantly, Secret Nation are not out on DVD.

They are important parts of Newfoundland culture and I think there is a big enough niche market to support some of it. DVD production is cheaper these days than ever before and I thought there would be a demand for them. I would love to see a special version of Secret Nation. Imagine the movie, a making of feature, a short documentary on the 1948 referendum and Newfoundland nationalism, combined with a commentary track by Walsh, the Jones, Mercer and others. It would be fantastic.

Just as long as the negatives for Anchor Zone are quietly decaying in a vault somewhere. I still have nightmares about that movie.

However, I have thought about this more and I now have my reservations about CODCO. The normal thing is for TV shows to be released as season sets - Season 1, Season 2 and so on.

But I just don't know if it would work with CODCO. I have the sneaking suspicion that rights for the show would be a pain and expensive. It hasn't been on the air in years. Plus, the show was very erratic. Even moreso after Andy Jones left the show and Tommy Sexton's health began to decline. And I wonder how well the show has aged. It's probably been seven years since I've seen an episode.

Rather than sets focusing on seasons, I think the way to go is a "Best of" disc, or even two discs (Similar to the CODCO Uncensored tape. But it makes you wonder how well that sold if they're not willing to put it out on DVD). And not shows, but just individual skits. I respect CODCO, but even its more ardent fans have to admit there was a lot of chaff to get to the wheat. I wouldn't buy a season of CODCO just to get the skits I wanted. But I likely would buy a Best of. Hell, I want to see 'Pleasant Irish Priests in Conversation" again. I want to see the skit about all the uses for Lucky Margrine ("He gave up using the Lucky after he found out what the priests were using it for." Classic.)

But I wouldn't pay $60 (probably more) to buy a season of stuff I mostly won't like just to get to the brilliant stuff. And hell, if the Best of disc does really well, then maybe there will be a demand to the season sets for the hardcore fans. Other shows such as Buffy, Star Trek and The X-Files have done this type of set along with season discs.

So I think that's the way to go.

However, I really, really want that Secret Nation disc. I loved that movie and it's maddening I don't have it.

Currently Playing
Rabbit Fur Coat - Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins


John Mutford said...

I'm not sure that I wouldn't buy each DVD season by season. Sure some skits would be better than others, but I'd like to own them all (being the packrat that I am). I don't remember a whole lot of "chaff to get to the wheat" as you say. That said, I don't remember much except laughing my ass off. Maybe it would be good to at least get them in syndication- the comedy channel airs "Kids In The Hall" reruns, why not these? I, personally, would be less likely to buy the DVDs if they do get put back on TV but at least I'd be seeing them again in any case. As for only 20 signatures on the petition- every movement has to start somewhere. Maybe just the conversations (such as these) will start the ball rolling.

Cove Blogger said...

Agreed on Codco. D'Wife and I have always talked (me more ranted) about wanting to have WGB on DVD or VHS even. I'd also like to be able to access other NF produced stuff like Up At Hours.

Laurie said...

I loved Secret Nation too. Believe I saw it in theatre as I was often dragged to see my cousin's productions.

Anonymous said...

Your a wanker!!!
Release them all. Stay up north because if you don't want to see CODCO your not a newfie anyways.