Like John Ford, Sam Peckinpah was a rambunctious, self-destructive, cinematic poet who idolized the American West. His work is generally discussed in terms of graphic violence, sadism, and perversion, and these aberrant forms of human behavior do appear throughout his work.
"A guy walks into a talent agent's office.... " From that humble beginning spring 100 or so different riffs on perhaps the most vile, grotesque joke ever told. And the tellers here include everyone from Don Rickles, George Carlin, and Martin Mull to Whoopi Goldberg, Gilbert Gottfried, and Jon Stewart.
When Showtime airs a lovingly restored and digitally remastered version of Liza with a "Z" on Sunday, April 1 at 10 p.m. ET (the DVD will go on sale three days later), it will be the first time the show has been seen in more than 30 years.
I have a ritual when it comes to watching The Sopranos. Before the debut of each season, I rewatch every prior season on DVD so that I'm immersed in all the nuances that remind me why it's one of the best TV shows ever.