This is the fifth of seven seasons, so we are well into the series. Its groundbreaking nature (an unmarried, professional woman as a central character) has obviously long since ceased to be a novelty, and the show is, by this point in its existence, what one might call a fixture. This is merely by way of observation, and not a criticism, because the writing remains as strong as ever, and the show has stood up well to the test of time. Not every joke is a winner, of course, and there are plenty of situations whose outcomes are visible a mile off. So name the sitcom for which this isn’t true. But it was the characters more than anything else that won audiences over, and the terrific chemistry of eccentricity and camaraderie is very much in evidence here. A good example of that camaraderie is in “The Outsider,” where a consultant is brought in to boost the ratings, and disrupts the easy functioning of the newsroom by imposing all sorts of unpopular changes. The wrap-up, which emphasizes humanity over ratings, is typical of the show’s philosophy and spirit.
Though there is nothing wrong, as such, with the picture on display here, let’s just say that this isn’t a set to haul out in order to show off the capabilities of your big-screen TV. The picture quality is that of the original broadcast, essentially. So there’s some flicker, some grain, and the image is a bit soft. The colours are decent, if tending a bit towards an overall tinge of brown.
Similar deal with the sound. No candidate for the stereo setup here. This is mono that probably sounds best coming over an older TV’s speaker. The dialogue is clear, but the sounds a bit harsh, some of which comes from the sense of the actors projecting to the back of the hall.
An unremarkable package: no extras, just a no-frills presentation of the show.