Any Reviews of The Brady Bunch: Season 4?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jack Platt, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. Jack Platt

    Jack Platt Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys,

    I did hear some disaapointing news that we have a line trimmed from the "Pass The Tabu" Hawaii episode according to a poster on the Brady Bunch board at Sitcoms Online. He claimes a line (which I remember) when the boys are trying to decide what to do with the Tiki Idol is NOT on the DVD. Mike has a line which goes, "Take it home and show it to your friends." This poster claims that this is NOT on the DVD. I wonder what's up?

    WHY AREN'T WE GETTING VERBATUM UNCUT EPISODES????

    These DVD's are supposed to be taken from the master tapes.

    Oh, this poster also claims that the fill-in squares, absent on the Grand Canyon episodes are also absent on all Hawaii episodes. In addition, there is no voiceover saying, "Don't miss part_________ of the Brady Bunch Hawaii adventure, next week at this same time." I hope this guy is wrong about this! We want our classic TV shows uncut!

    Jack
     
  2. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    I viewed some of the Hawaii episodes from a tape I have and Mike's line is there but I don't know how it could have been cut because it is in the middle of a shot. There is no voiceover for the next week's episode, but the squares are there. Funny, though, the footage underneath the squares on Part Two fades to black, so maybe the squares were added later.
     
  3. Jack Platt

    Jack Platt Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott,

    I don't have the Season 4 DVD yet. But someone was telling me this over at the Brady Bunch forum at Sitcoms Online. The Hawaii episode in question is the "Pass The Tabu" episode. Like I said, I hope they are wrong about the line cut!!!

    How old is the tape that you are looking at, and is it from a syndicate or cable channel print?

    Jack

    PS. Maybe they didn't do a voice-over for the Hawaii episodes during the original run. But we might have another "SQUARES MYSTERY!!!" Oh, BTW, did anyone hear anything from Paramount about the squares not being on the Grand Canyon episodes for DVD?
     
  4. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    I haven't heard back..I'm going to contact them again. I was editing my post when you wrote. The line is on the syndication tape from TBS in 1992. I don't think the squares were there originally....I think they were added for re-broadcasts on ABC. But I will try to get an answer.
     
  5. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Jack, "tell your friends" line IS on the DVD, I remember it distinctly. The "next week" voiceover is not. I don't think the squares are there in the trilogy.

    My review is here.

    Whether there is anything cut, I can't tell you definitively, as I don't have a copy of the original broadcast, but it appears that the set is intact judging by the run time (which is accurate in the review).
     
  6. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    Jack,I think you misunderstood...the guy on the other site said that the Brady boys had dialogue after Mike and Carol left the room, and that part of it is missing....I checked the same tape and the dialogue is there. Jeff, The boys are asking each other if they should believe in the tabu. Are those lines cut?
     
  7. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I checked that scene and it seems intact. Mike and Carol leave, and the three boys continue to talk about what to do next, ie take it back. Peter says mom and dad would never let us do it (or to that effect), ending with Greg saying "not if they knew about it", music cue, then wipe to the boys with the girls talking about the cover up. Nothing odd about this, the guy must be mistaken.
     
  8. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer

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    Not only are the squares again edited out, as they were on the Grand Canyon episodes, but they actually cut out the middle commercial break on "Pass The Tabu" so that it plays as one long episode. The break came when Peter wakes up and sees the spider on him, but before he starts yelling.

    And yes, there is a cut after Mike & Carol leave the boys' room. The lines about "who believes in the tabu" are NOT on the dvd.

    I don't know what idiot at Paramount thought editing these 2 sets of "travel" episodes was a good idea, but I wish they'd just left them the way they were when they first aired.
     
  9. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I may have a partial solution to the editing mystery. In the mid-70s, when BB was in full-swing syndication, both the Grand Canyon and Hawaii trilogies were edited into little 90 minute "movies" and offered to stations that regularly aired BB. Perhaps the trims were made to fit that 90 minute format. It makes logical sense then, for the squares to be cut out, especially from the middle episode of each trilogy. However, it doesn't excuse any dialogue alterations or cuts.

    As for the set itself: I've only watched 3 eps so far. From what I see, video quality, resolution and image is at an all-time high for the BB releases. Artifacting is minimal, especially compared to the first season dvd. Colors are vibrant. We still have the problem of low-res scenes throughout the episodes (scenes that were cut for syndication and reinserted later). I am told that restored scenes came from 16mm and that explains the lower quality. However, the lower-res scenes are not as noticeable in this set as they have been.

    There was some controversy over whether pop songs would be cut...In the "The Show Must Go On" episode, I checked to see if Marcia and her mom singing "Together Wherever We Go" (a number borrowed from the musical "Gypsy") had been cut. It's not! Many people have a very fond memory of that scene; somebody at Paramount must have paid the royalty fees, and here it is on dvd forever.
     
  10. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Where exactly is this line supposed to be? There is a reasonable amount of dialog after Mike and Carol leave the room. Can someone post the missing text in context?

    I'm also curious as to what people are using as a reference for determining this was cut? Does anyone actually have a copy of the original broadcast version, or is this based on memory or syndicated versions?
     
  11. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    I've watched the whole first disc, and again I'm very, very impressed with what Paramount has done to preserve and release this show on DVD. Yes, the squares are missing at the end of the first two parts of the Hawaii shows, but again, this is a very minor detail to me. I can't wait to watch the rest of the season. Season 4 is my favorite of the entire series. The first part of season 5 is ok, but it starts to go down hill and once Cousin Oliver arrives, well that spells the end. One more season and I'll be finished with this show. Yeah!!! I'll be so glad to have all of the Brady's on DVD.
     
  12. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    Jeff, on the copy I have, Greg asks Bobby and Peter if they believe in the tabu and they both say yes, and then Bobby asks "What are we gonna do?"
     
  13. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Okay, then I guess that part is missing, because the DVD has Mike and Carol leave, and the first line is Bobby asking what are they going to do about it.

    I am going to give Paramount the benefit of the doubt that there was a good reason to leave that out. It's quite possible that there weren't elements for it that wouldn't be far below the pristine quality of the scene, it could be an oversight, or that dialogue could have shown up after the first run, I don't know. The same goes for the commercial break in the spider sequence, which could have been put in for syndication. Unless someone can produce an intact copy of the episodes as they aired in 1972 (which is doubtful, since VCRs were not widely available until 1977), then I will cut Paramount some slack and assume that what we have is the way it was originally. Why would they purposefully chop these inconsequential bits just for the hell of it? There are no rights issues, or anything else other than availability of master elements. It makes no sense.
     
  14. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    I just know that the syndication cuts I've seen have the scene intact and they actually look really good!I'm compiling a list of "mistakes" with these sets and sending them to Paramount, just so they know about them.

    Season One:
    1. "To Move or Not to Move"...the sound effects are so low that they are inaudible.

    Season Three:
    1. All three "Grand Canyon" episodes are missing the cast boxes before the tag scene.
    2. "Getting Davy Jones" ...has a glitch which may have been caused by freezing frames during the restoration.
    3. "The Teeter-Totter Caper"...is 30 sec. shorter than the other episodes in the season.

    Season Four:
    1. All three "Hawaii" episodes are missing the cast boxes before the tag scene.
    2. "Pass the Tabu" is missing about :20 sec.
     
  15. Jack Platt

    Jack Platt Stunt Coordinator

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    Good work Scott!

    You know, this reminds me of what happened with Paramount's work with I Love Lucy. I understand that there were about 3 episodes on the Season 4 DVD that had small cuts on them. The producers found that the sets presumed to be CBS uncut masters were missing about a minute of footage on these select episodes when they comapred them to the back up 16mm prints. I understand that Paramount quickly redid the Season 4 DVD's complete with the missing footage instact and if customers returned their proof of purchase that a new disk would be sent to them. I don't know how good the inserted footage looks. But this shows that people CAN get action.

    Since "I Love Lucy" is on average 15 years older than the Brady Bunch, it can be presumed that more time was spent on the restoration process. As much of a cult following as Brady Bunch has, "Lucy" seems to have an even greater impact. The downside is that if Paramount spent the time looking to go through frame by frame, inch by inch to look at what is there and what might have slipped through the cracks, they probably wouldn't be releasing the Brady Bunch disks at the fantastic rate that they are being released.

    This DOES NOT condone the slight edits. But it is probably the best Paramount could do UNLESS Loyd or Sherwood Schwartz has the time to open the vaults and look at the 16mm back up prints to see how those above episodes originally aired and comapre them to the DVD. How else is one to know, because VCR's were not avaliable in 1971-1972? A tape of the original broadcast will tell us what's up. Could that section of tape had been damaged between the original run, cleaned up, and reinsterted for syndication? If they couldn't find the original negatives for that roughly 20 second cut, the 16mm back ups should have been used.

    Scott, are you waiting for Season 5 to complete your list, or are you going to contact Paramount beforehand? What is funny is that I remember that scene from sliced and diced TV Land edits!!! TV Land acquired exclusive Brady Bunch rights (and different edits) from the old TBS/Syndicated versions in June of 1998. You notice 16mm back ups on TV Land's versions of Brady Bunch episodes which were obviously inserted by Paramount. It is believed that Paramount sent TV Land their master tapes and because TV Land needed their Brady Bunch prints to be a different length than the TBS/Syndicated versions, that TV Land did their own edits. So what I would ask Paramount is, why does this 20 second scene show up on TV Land, which is a non-syndicated property, and not on the DVD?

    But we should still be very pleased with 3 minutes plus of footage on most episodes we can't see anywhere else and (for the most part) a good job of scene restoration.

    Jack
     
  16. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    I would encourage others to at least write to Paramount, or call, and let them know about the cuts. Don't be rude about it...it could simply have been an oversight on their part. I'm sure they would appreciate the feedback.
     
  17. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Although having footage missing sucks, I think a bigger complaint with this set is that the first two discs have the chapter marks 3 minutes in, rather than immediately following the opening credits. While the theme is great, having to sit through it 23 times in a few days is a bit much.

    As I pointed out in my review, paramount HAS been listening to the fans, as the once forced opening trailers are now easily skpped with a menu option right after the Paramount logo. The set may not be perfect, but there is obviously some care being put into these releases, despite being fast tracked.

    Compared to a couple of the other major studios (who can't even manage to place chapters after the credits, let alone present episodes mostly intact), Paramount is doing a great job.
     
  18. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    I agree, Jeff...I'm so glad they included the original closing logo as well. I wrote them a letter last year requesting it. They do listen to fans, and that's why I encourage them to write. I'm almost positive the missing footage is just a simple mistake that they just might fix (ala Lucy.)
     
  19. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I still suspect that the missing squares has more to do with the 3 eps being edited into one movie during the 70s. I do recall seeing it that way, and I do recall some cuts that were made for better flow, including dropping narrative "last time" intros and the squares from the ends of acts one and two. The edits were all made to make the eps seem like a movie with one continuous flow. Does anyone else recall them being shown this way? I wonder if somehow the current edits on the dvd were made for the "movies."
     
  20. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer

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    First of all let me say that the edits on these eps are not that big of a deal to me. I just think people should be aware so that they know what they're getting. The one thing I *do* find frustrating about the edits is that they MUST have 16mm prints of the Vacation eps that are as good (or almost as good) as the ones they use to restore the footage on all the domestic episodes. Someone at Paramount obviously feels that they play better this way, and that does bother me a bit because that's not reason enough to tamper with the original versions. I have audio tapes of the original broadcasts, but they're packed away in Houston, TX and I'm in LA now, otherwise I'd post the missing dialogue and the missing music cues that played under the cast boxes.

    It's not a big deal, but I am gonna call and email Paramount, just so that they hear about it.

    That being said, I thought the video and audio quality on this set was well above the previous three. This set was really well done on the A/V front. I don't regret buying these for a minute, but I would prefer the original broadcast versions of the Vacation shows.
     

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