HTF REVIEW: The Munsters - The Complete Second Season (RECOMMENDED)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Steve Tannehill, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1997
    Messages:
    5,547
    Likes Received:
    215
    Location:
    DFW
    Real Name:
    Steve Tannehill
    XenForo Template  The Munsters - The Complete Second Season Studio: Universal Studios Home Video Year: 1965-66 (2005 Release) Rated: Not Rated Aspect Ratio: 1.33x1 Audio: English DD 2.0 (mono) Captions/Subtitles: English SDH; Spanish Subtitles Time: 824 minutes Disc Format: DS/DL (DVD-18x2, DVD-9x1) Case Style: Herman Munster  The Feature: I was too young to watch The Munsters when it originally aired (by a few weeks) but thanks to the miracle of syndication, the series has played ever since the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder put the kapow on Herman, Lily, Grandpa, Marilyn and Eddie by airing in the same time slot. That was in 1966, after a two season run that started in the fall of 1964--the same time The Addams Family and Bewitched made their television debuts. The Munsters was conceived as a way to utilize the Universal Monsters and put them into a situation comedy like Leave it to Beaver. With TV veterans like Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis in the respective roles of a fatherly Frankenstein and a grandfatherly Dracula, and screen siren Yvonne DeCarlo as the frightful matron, the material transcended the concept and provided laughs despite the laugh track. (Personally, I never liked laugh tracks, but at least this one was on a funny show!) It is a shame that such campy competition like Batman spelled the doom of the Munster family, but both shows were geared for kids, and Batman was in living color. The kids ruled. Heck, I watched Batman. But The Munsters will continue in syndication (in a number of languages around the world) and on DVD. Universal Home Video's DVD release of The Munsters - The Complete Second Season includes all 32 episodes across the four sides of two DVD-18 discs. The set was manufactured in Mexico, so this may be a cause for concern for those of you who, like me, have had problems with DVD-18 product from Universal. I did not have any problems with this set, however (knock wood). A third disc, DVD-9, contains the discs supplements. The packaging is a little less than pleasing. It's cute--a top-to-bottom tri-fold package in the shape of Herman Munster's head--using digipaks to hold the three discs. The head slips into a plastic cover that is just slightly too tight to fit. Recommendation? Put the discs into separate packaging and put the original package on the shelf to forget about it. You can see the episode guide listing here. These shows are great fun. And yes, I ordered the first season to go along with the second. Now if I can only find the time to watch them all... The Feature: 4 / 5     Video: Video quality is surprisingly good. For a black and white show shot some 40 years ago, it has held up well. There are white speckles, nicks and the occasional scratch in the presentation, and infrequent bits of soft focus, but the picture by and large looks great--even large (on the equivalent of a 50-inch RPTV). The supplemental documentaries also look outstanding considering their mix of vintage footage and recent interviews. Video: 4 / 5     Sound: The DD 2.0 mono sound is also very good. Only an English soundtrack has been provided. English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired, along with Spanish captions have been provided. I guess that Universal has forgotten that Canada is part of Region 1, and that a French subtitle track would have therefore been appropriate. Sound: 4 / 5     Extras: The extras were a real treat. Four documentaries from the A&E Biography series have been included, in slightly truncated form. They are:
  2. The Munsters: America's First Family of Fright
  3. Fred Gwynne: More than a Munster
  4. Yvonne DeCarlo: Gilded Lily
  5. Al Lewis: Forever Grandpa Directed by Kevin Burns, these documentaries have more depth than most of the fluff pieces that grace DVD sets. This has to be due to the fact that they originated as programming on A&E. Extras: 5 / 5      In Conclusion: Apart from packaging and DVD-18 concerns, The Munsters - The Complete Second Season is an entertaining package, with interesting supplements, and an affordable way to own these classic TV shows. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. Overall Rating: 4 / 5     Recommended
    Display calibrated by Steve Martin at http://www.lionav.com/
  6.  
  7. Darrell S.

    Darrell S. Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    The episodes look and sound pristine and the extras are really wonderful -- however the packaging is abominably flimsy and almost impossible to extract the inside from the tight cover. What happened to the original head-shaped design box package that was advertised?
     
  8. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1997
    Messages:
    5,547
    Likes Received:
    215
    Location:
    DFW
    Real Name:
    Steve Tannehill
    Good question... was this supposed to be more like the Homer Simpson head on the last Simpsons set?

    - Steve
     
  9. ChrisBEA

    ChrisBEA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    I reviewed this set recently and I concur with your statements. The show looks and sounds wonderful and the extras a great! I did not know they were from A&E although I suspected that they were originally broadcast on TV.
     
  10. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,124
    Likes Received:
    25
    We can thank Image for the extras. If I remember correctly these were part of a documentary that was to be released at the time S1 was released. All Universal did was hi-jack it.
     
  11. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1997
    Messages:
    5,547
    Likes Received:
    215
    Location:
    DFW
    Real Name:
    Steve Tannehill
    The extras in this set are A&E Biography shows. They may contain elements that were going to be included on the separate Image DVD, but they ended up on A&E first.

    In fact, you can buy them on VHS for (much) more than the cost of this one set:

    http://store.aetv.com/html/product/index.jhtml?id=17620

    - Steve
     

Share This Page