I added this topic as a poll, but it's not getting any interest so I figured a blog post was in order.

I recently finished watching a DVD set with some horrible, horrible commentaries, and that got me thinking; do people like commentaries?

I enjoy a good commentary track, such as the ones on The Shield season 1, or the NewsRadio DVD sets. I asked Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield, if he went to "commentary school" a few years ago; he has mastered the ability to moderate commentaries to make them both fun, and informative. He allowed the discussion to drift off course, then gently brought it back to a discussion of the show. The NewsRadio commentaries were a blast; Any Dick discussed his drug use, while Vicki Lewis talked about the affair she had with a producer. Those commentaries were almost as entertaining as the episodes.

But I've also heard some horrible commentary tracks, ones that were more "play-by-play" of the events on screen than informative. I strongly believe that a commentary track should feature more than one person, unless that person has the ability to talk non-stop for the entire episode (Paul Stupin - Dawson's Creek - has that ability). Commentaries with one person can become extremely boring, very fast. It's up to the DVD producer to stop the recording and prompt the participant if things are going poorly; many of the commentaries we hear are edited together, at least the good ones are.

So, what are your thoughts on commentaries? Have you heard some good ones, or do you feel commentaries are a waste of time?

Gord