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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by David Von Pein, Jun 22, 2009.
That color pic in the post...
It's so bizarre to see the Dick Van Dyke set in color. In fact, from the looks of the kitchen, the colors were very appropriate for the times... and god awful ugly.
Anyway, I have nothing to add except this show was one of the high points of both sitcoms, and TV on DVD. It's worth the money, whether you get the complete series or season by season.
This is a retro review! Thanks for reminding everyone this terrific series is still available...bargain hunters may want to check Sam's Club as I've seen the individual seasons there at low prices.
My personal favorite episode is the SAM POMERANTZ SCANDALS. It's got an affectionate L&H tribute (Stan was still alive when this aired) and each cast member gets to shine. Dick and Mary do a great CAROLINA IN THE MORNING duet, Rose Marie rocks along with "When I was a litty bitty baby..."; and we get a glimpse of Morey's stand-up routine. This episode also has the first appearance of the FINE MUSICIANS song.
Sitcoms never got any better than this in my opinion....these DVDs are well worth having in your collection.
Thank you David for a stellar review! This collection, and the similarly brilliant work Image did on Twilight Zone, is the standard by which all TVonDVD releases should be measured. They have never been topped IMO, and years from now when we've moved well beyond the DVD medium, these discs will still proudly remain in my library!
Ditto. VP, for Steve & Gary's posts. I've had the complete set in my library for a while. I'm viewing S3 at present.
One of the best episodes for me was that "baby-swapping" ep with Greg Morris as the guest. Classic moment when "Rob" answered the front door
I agree with Gary about the 2 Image sets. This set & the (orig) Twilight Zone Def Version sets were the top quality TV/DVD sets imo. I rate the Image "Combat!" sets high although the episodes weren't as good video transfer Q as the other 2 sets.
Thanks I had'nt been aware that it's been available as a megaset. I DL a few DVD episodes from Itunes On sale and ever since been searching for the series at a good price. I'll still keep my eyes out...
Great review, David. Thanks for this wonderful reminder of this brilliant series on DVD.
But you didn't quote the best (IMO) line from Draw Me a Pear: "That's too big for a pear, but that isn't too big for a mouth??!"
Or from The Lady and the Babysitter: "Will you never learn?? This is a milk cake!"
MELVIN COOLEY -- "You want a drink of water, Alan?"
ALAN LESTER BRADY -- "No, a glass of dust!"
LAURA: "Rob, I worry about you. All alone up there with that hat."
LAURA: "Oh no, Maria. Muy attractivamante!!"
ROB: "Oh, that's not the coat that looked so good on me."
Thanks for the review, David! You are the main reason I went ahead and started buying the sets, because of your reviews and suggestions. As a matter of fact, I just purchased Season 4 yesterday, the only one I was missing because I had been trying to get all 5 seasons for about $20.00 a piece....turns out Amazon has this season now for $16.99! So, with the exception of Season 5 which I paid full retail price for, I made my goal of every season under $20!! WOO-HOO!!
I'm just wondering though, David, did you actually purchase this full set considering you all ready had the individual season sets?
Sad to say it, but for me The Dick Van Dyke Show does not stand up when I revisit it. I bought the complete series DVD, and I just can't get through it. I liked it as a kid, but not as much now. Maybe I'm looking at it too seriously, I don't know. Despite what most people say, the show is dated; in fact, it was becoming dated by 1966. Everything on the show is glamourized to the n-th degree. The actors, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore especially, are too pretty and young for their roles. The characters are all petty, self-absorbed, insecure people, The plots of the episodes are repetitive; every episode seems to be about jealousy, a petty insult, insecurity, or a misunderstanding. It gets boring. There's no emotional realism, no substance; it's perfect people finding silly things to complain about. It just leaves me cold.
The show was based on the life of Carl Reiner. It would have been much more true to that vision if for Rob and Laura Petrie they would have cast slightly older, less pretty people. But American audiences wouldn't accept such realism, so they prettied it up.
As another example, take The Honeymooners. Despite it's drab settings, it too is glamourized, in the casting of Alice Kramden. If for that role they had cast an older, rounder woman, like the first ever Alice, Pert Kelton, it would have made that show's premise a lot more believeable and understandable. Same with The Dick Van Dyke Show. It was always Dick Van Dyke pretending to be a comedy writer. He never truly fit the show's premise.
^ That's why it's a TV show and not a documentary.
Other things that are not realistic about TV: People are not as funny or ready with a well timed joke in real life as they are on TV. Real people's lives are not as dramatic as they are on TV. A cop's life is not as exciting as it is on TV and on and on and on.
Yes, I did purchase it a few years ago. I was curious as to how the thing was packaged. The individual season packages are much nicer (and less cumbersome; easier to handle). The complete-series box jams all the discs next to each other, and they're hard to remove.
The box I received was dented badly. The large slipcase is not too sturdy; certainly less sturdy than the single-season boxes, which I like much better.
So, I returned the set for a refund. But at least I got a good look, first-hand, at the complete-series set.
Try watching "Empress Carlotta's Necklace" and "The Sick Boy And The Sitter" and the last scene of "The Life And Love Of Joe Coogan" and the tail-end of "The Square Triangle" again. Those shows should be able to thaw anyone out.
A plug for one of my favorite episodes which has one of the longest titles in the history of TV, "The Sound Of The Trumpets Of Conscience Falls Deafly On A Brain That Holds Its Ears (Or Something Like That)". Watch Rob try to explain the difference between a man's height and his "running height" as he describes what may have been a hold-up man fleeing the scene of the crime.
Brilliant review David!
Thanks very much for all the work ~ very pleased to pick this set up at the recent DVDPlanet "fire sale" thank to your review, I've bumped this up a few notches on the "to watch" pile.
Carl Reiner (1922) is only three years older than Dick Van Dyke (1925). Why should the character have been older than Carl's real age? Especially when it was based on his life 5 years prior, when he was writing for Sid Caeser.
And why should a writer's wife be "less pretty"?
This has always been my number 1 sitcom of all time. To me, most of the gags and jokes hold up very well. DVD's facial expressions and physical comedy were priceless. Some of my favorite moments:
1. The episode about the birth of Ritchie when Rob perfects his timing on putting on his hat while in bed, and when he drops the phone down his pants.
2. When Laura has to face Alan after telling the whole country that he wears a toupee and Alan sits there talking to his toupees.
3. When Rob and gang are at an art auction and Rob (kidding around) starts making bidding gestures not realizing he's actually bidding on a painting!
I haven't watched these in a while, I think I'll watch a few episodes tonight!
Now I know why I like watching the show. I enjoy watching pretty people in an upbeat world versus watching ugly people in a down beat world such as in many of today's shows.
And although Audrey Meadows was an attractive woman she wasn't unrealistically pretty for the part she played on the Honeymooners IMO.