One of the big TV on DVD titles being released this year is the WKRP Season 1 set.
As a huge fan of the show, from back when it first aired in the 70's, to watching reruns every afternoon in the 80's, I loved it. And, I have been anxiously awaiting the set.
Despite the popularity of the show, one thing has kept it from being released sooner. Since it was set at a radio station, there was a lot of music used in the series. And, to get the rights for all those songs would be very expensive, let alone impossible in some cases.
So, when it was announced that the series would be released, everyone expected there to be music changes. And, as review copies are going out, we are beginning to read that there are A LOT of music changes.
Even though we expected this, the reaction is a bit much, I believe. In looking at various DVD forums, I have been reading this like:
"I can't believe the idiots at Fox! How could the do this to us?"
"My pre-order is cancelled!!"
"This is my favorite show of all time. Now I refuse to buy it!!"
I have to say, I don't quite understand it.
While some of the changes seem like they could be worked out (Foreigners "Hot Blooded" is cut, despite the fact the song was used in episodes of THE SIMPSONS and KING OF THE HILL, also from Fox, and are on the DVDs), we all knew changes were going to have to be made.
But, most of all, do you watch a show for the music, or for the characters?
When I think of WKRP I think of Les, and Herb, and Venus, and Johnny. I don't think of the music they played. Was there music playing when Les did the play by play of the turkey's falling from the sky? No. That scene is intact.
And also, what choice do fans have? I haven't seen the show in syndication in ten or fifteen years. It isn't like I can just tape the episodes off of TV. The DVD set will be the only way to see it.
While I am disappointed by the music changes, I'll still be buying it.