Our Final Reviews/Evaluations of The Brady Bunch DVD Sets

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jack Platt, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. Jack Platt

    Jack Platt Stunt Coordinator

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    FINAL REVIEW/EVALUATION OF THE BRADY BUNCH DVD's

    The transfers were good. But not great. This is primiarly because of the source material not being cared for as well as it should have been. With Paramount doing their syndicated edits from the master tapes very early on, much material had to be brought out from the vaults, taken from 16mm/35mm back up prints. The result is painfully obvious on all Season DVD's with some parts of prints looking near digital quality, and others looking like they were shot from an old Super 8 movie camera.

    While Paramount should be credited with the speed of these DVD releases, there were instances that perhaps they were released too quickly. I had two defective Season 1 disks from Best Buy that I had to replace with a shipment from Amazon. (Got them almost immediately after the March 1st, 2005 release date. I now wait 30 days before purchase of new releases to get the bugs out.) The missing dialogue from Pass The Tabu, edited fill in squares from Love and the Older Man, and mysteriously a blended in tag sequence on Greg Gets Grounded instead of the fill in squares, I attribute to very sloppy oversite on Paramount's part. Why should ANYTHING be cut or modified, or even given the perception of a half-hazzard fix? We should be seeing these shows EXACTLY as they originally appeared in the ORGINAL primetime 1969-1974 ABC broadcast. With this DVD set, it's as if we got 95% there. But potential purchasers should know about these things. We also may have unconfirmed edits on:

    "The Subject Was Noses": Possible no longer seen line of Peter or Bobby telling Marcia, "Use your hands to catch the ball, not your head", right after she gets hit with the football. (Update: This line DID exist, but was inserted as one of the scenes by Nick at Nite as a joke with the "Lost Brady" Phoebe Brady charactor.)

    "Adios Johnny Bravo": Possible extended scene of Greg looking over the contract papers before signing them

    "Call Me Irresponsible": Possible extended scene with Randy and her drama teacher before Greg gets to the school to ask about Mike's missing designs.

    I and several others snail mailed Paramount for explanations about the small but nagging issues that would be upsetting to a collector of this classic series. Others called, e-mailed, tried to contact Paramount through the website information. To my knowledge, we (they) received no explanation for the instances described above.

    Except for Season 1, there are no extras in the set, which is also disappointing. While I prefer having the series uncut, with the exceptions of what is described above, some bonus footage would have been a nice feature.

    Here is my review:

    Grade: B-

    Overall Quality 7/10

    Jack
     
  2. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    My only regret is that they didn't wait a few years for this release. Maybe they could have found better prints of the series, who knows what could have happened there. Maybe technology would improve in a few years. Most likely it will. I also regret the lack of extras. I think a do-over is needed in the case of BB.
     
  3. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    Maybe we should contact Paramount and request a re-release with more bonus features and all of the episodes remastered. The digital noise reduction artifacts on these shows make them almost unwatchable. They need to be re-transferred. Better materials might exist.
     
  4. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I doubt a re-release would happen any time soon, but maybe as technology improves there will be something they can do about it.
     
  5. Jack Platt

    Jack Platt Stunt Coordinator

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    Brought this up as an answer to a question on another board. A poster asked about the lack of fill-in squares on the Grand Canyon episodes, the Hawaii episodes, "Love and the Older Man," and "Greg Gets Grounded." Here is my response, thought you would like to see it:

    ***********************************

    The only way to know for sure (if the fill-in sqaures were originally there) would be to get a copy of the original ABC broadcasts of the episodes in question to varify exactly what you mention. I do have some theories however:

    It is known that in the mid 80's Paramount sold the vacation episodes of The Brady Bunch to cable stations as special 90-minute packages with the squares removed because someone thought the episodes werebetter that way for continuity. In addition about 15 seconds of dialogue was also removed from the Hawaii episode, "Pass The Tabu."

    I believe that whoever did the engineering on the DVD's also thought that the continuty was better with out the squares and left them out. Someone apparently forgot about the 15 second cut on Pass The Tabu and only restored the obvious of what had been missing from back up prints.

    But on those other episodes, the mystery deepens. I learned that TV Land gets their shows from their distributers uncut and than does their own edits to fit into a 22 minute time slot. (This is why you see different edits than the syndicated prints.) So obviously Paramount HAS the original master tapes with the closing squares before the tags for "Love and The Older Man" and "Greg Gets Grounded." Because TV Land does not use syndicated prints for its showings. So why not insert them on the DVD? For Paramount not to do this makes them seem thoughtless, careless, or stupid! You can even hear the first few notes of the mood music before the fill in squares for Love and the Older Man than it goes to black followed by the end credits.

    On Greg Gets Grounded, I have NO explanation for the strange editing with the blended fade out of the drive-in scene to the tag sequence with no fill in squares. THIS could have been taken from the original airing, was realized on the first syndication cycle and corrected. The strange thing is that on TV Land's print, Greg's final lines, "I don't think we'll be eating this tonight." "And he was in 34th place too" are edited BY the fill-in squares, followed by a commercial ,and the tag. Syndication includes his final lines and than the squares fill in. (But two small earlier scenes are cut to compensate.)

    These would be questions for Paramount and/or the Schwartzs to answer.

    On Greg Gets Grounded in particular, what do think happened with regard to the DVD version of that episode?

    Jack
     
  6. mickeyTOR

    mickeyTOR Agent

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    There were no complaints from me about the transfers. Everything looked pretty crytsal clear. And if there were any edits, I didn't notice them. Where I would concur with this review would be on the lack of extras. There was tons of potential for this series. The audio commentaries in the first set were great and I'm sorry they weren't carried on into the subsequent sets. Also, a few documentaries detailing the behind the scenes or the making of would have been nice - considering also that there is so much material out there, there'd have been no reason to break the bank on creating anything new.
     
  7. Lecagr

    Lecagr Stunt Coordinator

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    I think Greg Gets Grounded is correct on the DVD. The fill in squares appear as Mike and Carol kiss, that is correct. The question is whether the episode originally had a tag scene as there is no tag on the DVD. The episode ends with the fill in squares. The only other episode on the DVD's that doesn't have a tag scene is the series pilot episode- The Honeymoon. I guess the main edits of note are the 15-20 seconds missing from Pass The Tabu, and the fill in squares missing from Love And The Older Man. Another episode that might contain an edit is The Teeter Totter Caper. The episode runs a little shorter than normal which raises my suspicions, but as to what may actually be cut from the episode I'm not sure.

    Overall, Paramount should be commended for going the extra mile to put the original, uncut episodes on the DVD's. The amount of missing material is minor. I am very satisfied with these discs.
     

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