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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bryan^H, Aug 28, 2015.
Just tryin' to keep up with you, dude!
Thanks, Father Knows Best is a little expensive and rarely discounted but I'm really happy to own it. That's a great list of comedy shows, four of my top five sixties sitcoms.
Cheers, Steve! I'm curious...what's the fifth of your favorite 60s sitcoms that isn't on my list? Hazel?
My top five would be:
My Three Sons
The Andy Griffith Show
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Lucy Show
Ah. Yes, season 1 of I Love Lucy is about all the Lucy I can stomach, personally...and I mostly have it for my wife. But I know The Lucy Show has a lot of fans around these parts.
Thanks for the response!
It's hard to go wrong with those 5, Steve. Personally I wouldn't include The Lucy Show simply because, to me, it feels pretty much like a retread of I Love Lucy with slightly different characters. That's in spite of watching it during those years - along with every other show she starred in. It was Lucy and even when it frequently felt like I'd already seen it it was funny and as good as anything else on at the time.
When it comes right down to it I'd have a tremendously difficult time selecting my top 5 comedies from the 60s because there was soooo much good product that decade.
I hear that, when I was building my collection I would think I was almost done then two or three more comedies from the sixties would emerge that I didn't have. Half of my enjoyment watching the Lucy Show is watching it with my wife who absolutely loves it so I make sure She's home when I play it.
The thing that gets me most about some 60s comedies are the ones that, at the time, I watched "just because" and really didn't think I cared for them much. I'll see some of those today and it really takes me back PLUS I often find I really enjoy them now, far more than back then. I see things in them my younger self never saw.
And some of the "bad" shows are incredibly good to be considered "bad." My Mother the Car and It's About Time are a couple in that vein.
Over the years I'd often heard My Mother the Car mentioned as the "Worst TV show in history." I didn't see but an episode or two during the original airings as it came on opposite Daktari, a show my sister and I agreed on watching. After getting the DVD set I found it's actually a pretty good show needing only a small amount of tweaking if any. In a decade of off-the-wall and far-out concepts I still wonder why this one was considered *too* far out there to survive. IMHO it's one of the best things Jerry Van Dyke has ever been in.
I *did* see the first half of most episodes of It's About Time (it came on ~15 minutes before we left for church so I couldn't see it all) during the original airings and liked it. While it's not held up quite like I'd want I *did* find it enjoyable enough when I was finally able to see it all via the DVD release. Most certainly as good as many current "comedy" offerings and not nearly as mean spirited. I *do* prefer the first half of the series before they brought the "cave men" back to "modern" times. It also helps that I like most of the principals of that series.
I'm at a point where I'll purchase any 60s comedy series that sees a release whether or not I've ever seen an episode before. They speak to me in a way the current shows will never be able to do. Call it nostalgia if you wish but I call it good clean fun programming.
My top five:
Leave It To Beaver
Father Knows Best
Dick Van Dyke Show
My Three Sons
Danny Thomas Show
Ozzie and Harriet
No Way, Jose:
Dennis the Menace
Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie probably fit somewhere in between, depending on what season and how many martinis I've had.
Of course my favorite drama is..well, my avatar says it all.
Thanks for the recommendations, Howie! I'd love to pick up Mr. Ed, but most all of the sets are out-of-print and going for outrageous prices...all except Best of Mr. Ed, Volume 2, which is around $10-11. I'm getting that Jeannie complete series set ASAP. Dobie Gillis is a possible, too; remember liking that show when I caught it Saturday mornings in syndication. I like Walter Brennan and rural sitcoms in general, so I might give The Real McCoys a chance sometime. Ditto The Patty Duke Show and Car 54.
I know a LOT of people like Get Smart, but I've never been much of a fan. Gilligan's Island is one I thought was pretty stupid back when I was a dumb kid myself...not sure how that one has aged for me. Am curious about it, though...may give the B & W season 1 a try if I can find a cheap copy. Hazel is one I'm still cogitating upon. I watched a few scenes from the show on YouTube and while I thought Shirley Booth was fine, the little kid was pretty annoying. Whitney Blake's presence might eventually sway me at some point, though...we'll see.
I haven't watched the Mill Creek I Dream of Jeannie discs but if you're not a big fan of their video compression the 2013 Sony release of I Dream of Jeannie can still be found at good prices and it was a 20 disc set as opposed to Mill Creek's 12 discs. Season one of the Sony release is colorized though.
I had *no* idea Mr. Ed had gone OOP! I really thought it'd be around a bit since Shout! did that "Complete series" release. That really stinks!
My sister and I watched The Real McCoys just about the entire run. For me it fell off after "Kate" (Kathleen Nolan) was written out (S6 - contract dispute after it moved to CBS). I purchased the first 2 seasons but stopped as the later ones had gone OOP and come back in print but with higher prices (~$40/season - ouch!). I've been looking at the complete series set as it's more reasonable on a per season basis but hate the thought of double-dipping for 2 and getting a season I really don't like. They're the syndicated cuts too so that's a bit of a factor. I really liked Brennan in the series. Of all the work Richard Crenna's done, this series is what I remember him for most. Crenna was in the earlier Our Miss Brooks but I don't remember him at all. Then again, I only vaguely remember that one as it ended not long after I was born so had to have seen it as a very young kid in syndication. It's another I'd like to see get a release.
The Car 54 releases suffer from horrible packaging and out-of-order episodes. OK... it's not an "episodic" show so order doesn't matter much (at all?) but I'd rather have episodes in air order rather than "Fan Favorite" order as was done with the 2 seasons. In spite of that I really enjoyed finally seeing the series. It came on at a time that made it impossible for us to see it at all and is one I really wanted to see so I snatched up those DVDs when they came out (somehow I never caught it in syndication). I really enjoyed the series. It's only 2 seasons but doesn't feel like it was given a short run. It's fun to see Fred Gwynne in a role other than Herman Munster.
Patty Duke is just a good, fun, show. Her playing both "Patty" and her cousin "Cathy" is very well done. The visual effect of them appearing on screen at the same time rivals movies of the era. It doesn't hurt that William Schallert (I've always liked him since first seeing him in Dobie Gillis - it was after that when I saw him in some classic SF movies) and Jean Byron (yep... another "hottie" and also a Dobie Gillis alum) are in the series as "Patty's" parents. Interestingly, Shallert played a dual role as both "Patty" and "Cathy's" fathers in 3 S1 episodes. Seems their fathers were identical twins too which explains them looking alike. He also plays an uncle in a S3 episode. Whew!
Get Smart - I like Mel Brooks and this one screams Brooks' humor - at least the first couple of seasons. I'm not much of a fan after Agent Smart and 99 got hitched (a recurring dislike of mine).
I watched Gilligan's Island almost every afternoon in college. It was syndicated and the only thing on other than soaps so... I purchased the S1 DVD set when they came out and found I actually liked it - still - so purchased the rest.
Hazel is one I wasn't sure about. During its original airings I felt that every episode was "the same" after the first season or so. I still kind of feel that way but enjoy it far more now than back then. And, yes, Whitney Blake does make it more palatable. Don DeFore does a good job as well. I, too, don't care for "Harold" (Bobby Buntrock) - the kid. He came off rather whiny most of the time.
You can get S1 of IDOJ in BW. Amazon has it listed under the color version of S1 (select the color one and look for the other release from that same year - it'll be the BW version). Of course you can always just get the color one and turn off the color - what I thought I'd do at first. I found the color on it (and Bewitched's first 2 seasons) distracting, not very well done, and turning off color to be somewhat a nuisance so I just purchased BW versions. Problem solved!
Thanks, I don't really mind the color versions for those shows but it would be nice to also own the BW version.
Here's Boomer (Season 1)
1st Special - A Christmas for Boomer (or, Boomer in Love) - 12/6/79
Episode 1 - "Molly" - 3/14/80
Episode 8 - "The Stableboy" (I) - 5/23/80
Episode 9 - "The Stableboy" (II) - 5/23/80
Yep. I've found the grandkids will ask for color sometimes and it's nice to have both versions on the shelf just in case. I realize the BW versions are supposedly those colorized ones desaturated and not the true, original, BW versions but they look good so I don't know that I really care.
No, that was proven false enough in a Bewitched thread here a while back.
There was no demonstrable difference between the look of a 1993 Bewitched Columbia House videotape, and the Sony colorized DVD with the color turned off. Or maybe it was the B&W DVDs. Or both. But either way, the whole "Its not right!!!" thing was proven wrong.
JohnMor and Josh Steinberg have posts that contradict this:
There is an Japanese extra (an interview with the colorists) that unfortunately I haven't seen uploaded. I would be interested in it.
That absolutely supports how I've always read colorized versions of BW programs/movies were done. A remastered BW copy is created which is used as the base for creating the colorized one. When done, both versions exist.
That's the first time I've seen those posts. Were those in the thread where that was argued at length? IIRC the overwhelming conclusion there was the BW ones were "decolorized" (which, as those comments you posted indicate, and what I know of the process, makes absolutely no sense).
That statement from the Japanese extra seemingly contradicts itself and what the Sony rep said.
This one line in particular:
It says that the BW versions had color applied on top and were then decolorized to make the BW versions. That means grey scale values could have changed due to the color applied on top. The only way for it to *not* change would be for the colorists to check the grey scale result of a color against the original to be sure those matched.
That's why I said "supposedly" as there's no 100% accurate information with everyone quoting someone else. I know how it's normally done so the Sony rep quote/information should be accurate.
No matter... I'm happy with the BW DVDs.
Quick Draw McGraw
3.2 "Dynamite Fright" / "Outer Space Case" / "Growing, Growing, Gone"
Watched one of the episodes of this 1959-1962 Hanna-Barbera cartoon series that's on my Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960s, Vol. 1 set. These cartoons really show the transition between the more lush, theatrical animated shorts of the '40s and '50s, and the more minimalist TV cartoons which became the norm in the '60s and '70s. These are short (about 7 minutes), colorful and best of all, funny. The animation and backgrounds are simple but the colors are bright and vivid, and the scripts and voice work are strong. The show was made up of 3 different cartoon series: a Quick Draw McGraw short for the opener, then a Snooper and Blabber, and ending with Augie Doggie and Doggy Daddy. I found all three of these amusing; I especially enjoyed Quick Draw's little burro pal, Baba Louie, and his sarcastic little asides to camera.
Bat Masterson - 3.7 "High Card Loses"
Jack P's recent marathon focusing on curvaceous beauty Joan O'Brien inspired me to give this episode (one of three she appeared in for this series) a spin. When a pair of cold-blooded bank robbers clean out his recent deposit of poker winnings and kill the tellers, Bat, in need of cash, agrees to help escort three (unbelievably good looking for the Old West) mail-order brides to a mining camp. It seems like an easy gig at first, but the robbers have a dastardly ransom plot in mind...
It's a fast-paced ride of an episode, with a really nifty scene that sees Bat pull a sneaky, badass move to turn the tables on the would-be kidnappers. Ms. O'Brien does a fine job as the tough-minded one of the brides-to-be trio. Paul Fierro also gives a memorable turn, as the comanchero leader of the robbers, who's more principled than he at first lets on.
The Avengers - 4.18 "The Thirteenth Hole"
Is there any '60s TV actress sexier than Diana Rigg as cat-suited Emma Peel? I'd venture not. This is one of the few black-and-white Mrs. Peel episodes of the show that I'd not yet seen; many Avengers fans feel the black-and-white season is the show at its peak, just eccentric enough to be charming, but still with a serious edge. While I do enjoy the subsequent, more outre color seasons, I tend to agree that the B & W Riggs are the absolute tippy top this show has to offer. This one revolves around some traitorous baddies (including Patrick Allen) at an exclusive golf club, who are willing to kill to protect their plan to sell secrets to an enemy power. Steed and Mrs. Peel join a golf tournament to investigate. As good as Rigg is as the confident, insouciant Mrs. Peel, she's matched step-for-step by Patrick Macnee as John Steed, the ultimate gentleman adventurer.
Decoy - 1.11 "Two Days to Kill"
Finally dipped into the (very nice) DVD set of this late '50s crime drama. A very young Diane Ladd guest stars as a floozie who witnesses her gangster boyfriend kill a man and is put under police protection. Police woman Casey Jones (Beverly Garland) is assigned as her bodyguard, and the two hole up in a hotel to hide out till the thug is behind bars. Of course, Ladd's floozie decides to reconcile with her slimeball lover, and so sneaks a letter out to him by flirting with (and bribing) a hotel porter. This all leads to a dramatic final showdown between Jones' sensitive yet well-trained cop and the knife-wielding killer. Pretty terrific, hard-boiled stuff. Ladd is very good - and surprisingly sexy - in a showy part, but she can't hold a candle to the luminous Ms. Garland, despite the producers' best efforts at plain Jane deglamorization.
Night Gallery - 2.13 "The Messiah on Mott Street" / "The Painted Mirror"
Somehow it had slipped my mind that "Messiah on Mott Street" was a holiday-themed episode...oh well, guess it's a good time to celebrate Christmas (or Hannukah) in July. Nevertheless, this was a treat - an uplifting 36 minute story, with a meaty part for the great Edward G. Robinson, as an ailing grandfather to a little boy (Ricky Powell) in a Jewish tenement. Tony Roberts (rocking his white man 'fro, as usual) is the old man's cynical but caring doctor. Hearing his grandfather's talk about a promise of the Messiah's visit, the boy runs out into the street in a desperate search...and bumps into a mysterious yet kindly stranger (Yaphet Kotto). Will the Angel of Death claim the old man, or will the Messiah intervene? The optimistic, seasonal flavor of this one goes against the grain of most Night Gallery episodes, and it's a deliberately-paced but powerful piece of work, nicely scripted by Rod Serling.
"The Painted Mirror" is a much slighter tale, but still amusing, with the titular mirror giving gentle antiques restorer Arthur O'Connell the opportunity to remove his domineering, mean-spirited business partner (Zsa Zsa Gabor). As usual with this show, the bright visuals dilute the spooky atmosphere, but the central idea (of a mirror that acts as a portal to a hostile alien environment, adapted from a Donald Wandrei short story) is a sound one.