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The Goldbergs - Two-Disc Set

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The Goldbergs - The Ultimate Goldbergs

Buy The Goldbergs - The Ultimate Goldbergs on DVD

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Old 03-12-2010, 01:32 AM   #1
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Default The Goldbergs - The Ultimate Goldbergs DVD Review

Yoo-hoo! The Goldbergs is on DVD once again, this time from Shout! Factory in The Ultimate Goldbergs, a six disc set containing all 71 episodes of the series known to exist. The Goldbergs began in 1929 as a radio program. It was a series that was described as a “domestic serial,” and later went on to become a “televised domestic serial” in 1949--or as we would call it today, a television sitcom. Each week, viewers would be invited into the apartment of Molly Goldberg (Gertrude Berg), a Jewish housewife trying to keep her family in one piece in the Bronx. But The Goldbergs was no typical sitcom as we know it today or even a sitcom as we knew it in the mid ‘50s. The Goldbergs had a theatrical quality to it and lacked a studio audience and a laugh track. The characters didn’t seek attention with quick wit or snappy jokes as is common in later sitcoms, but had a strong emphasis on plot and developing storylines within each episode.

The series is largely forgotten today, but it has the distinction of being one of the first truly successful series on TV. It was also unique in that it featured a Jewish family as the central cast, bringing a religion other than the dominant one in America into American homes. Even more fascinating is the fact that the series was able to make it through a time period of anti-Semitism in America, as well as the blacklisting of one of Berg’s co-star in the series, Philip Loeb, although the blacklisting did eventually lead to CBS canceling the series and Loeb committing suicide.

The television series began in 1949 on CBS, and moved to NBC in 1952 after the blacklisting of Philip Loeb and sponsors refusing to sponsor a series that featured an alleged communist. The series didn’t last long on NBC before moving to the already failing DuMont network in 1954. Gertrude Berg saw the move to DuMont as a ploy to help the network survive, but as the network could no longer afford to pay her salary, The Goldbergs left DuMont, and the network soon went under, as expected. In 1955, The Goldbergs came back for one last season, this time airing as a syndicated program. The series underwent several changes in this season in an effort to sell the show in syndication. Specifically, by this time, advertisers were looking for a more “typical” American family, something like the Nelsons of Ozzie & Harriet or the Cleavers of Leave it to Beaver, and as a result, the family moved from the Bronx to the suburb of Haverville. The series lost some of the charm that made it what it was by then, and the series only made it through one final season in this format.

The Ultimate Goldbergs is the second release of the series on DVD, the first being a release from Timeless Media Group a few years ago that contained a handful of episodes from the syndicated era of the series. The Ultimate Goldbergs, however, contains every known episode of the series to exist from all of the eras of the series, including seven from CBS, three from NBC, 22 from DuMont, and all 29 episodes that aired in syndication. The episodes are from the archives at the UCLA Film & Television Archive and have been significantly enhanced and cleaned up for DVD, although considering that many of the episodes on the set aired live and were presented from kinescopes, there are certain limits to the quality. The set also contains several special features, including 12 episodes of the radio series of The Goldbergs.

Read our review by Skees53 here:
http://www.sitcomsonline.com/thegold...dvdreview.html

Please post any questions or comments about this set.
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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Kudos to all involved in the preparation of this excellent, historically important release.

This is the level of care which should be afforded to all classic series...but since it is not and sadly never will be, when such an effort is made, it should be applauded.
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDRyan
Kudos to all involved in the preparation of this excellent, historically important release.

This is the level of care which should be afforded to all classic series...but since it is not and sadly never will be, when such an effort is made, it should be applauded.
I agree. It would be great if all classic shows were released like this.
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