TITLE: DORIS DAY - CHRISTMAS MEMORIES
DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008 (MPI Home Video)
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 3
Running Time: approx. 120 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English subtitles
Special Features: Commentary on “It’s Christmas Time in the City” episode; Vintage Newsreels; Highlights from Doris Day radio show; Original Promos; Original Spnsor Bumpers
Ahh, the holiday season, a time for family, a time for peace, a time for happiness, a time for love, a time for Doris Day... wait... a time for Doris Day? That’s right, Doris Day! And you can enjoy some Christmas moments from The Doris Day Show in the Christmas Memories DVD, available from MPI Home Video.
The Doris Day Show ran for five seasons in the late 60s early 70s on CBS. The series changed dramatically through the years, but in the end, it was basically about Doris trying to make it, wherever she was. Of course, some of the changes that occured along the way included her own kids disappearing from the cast without being mentioned every again, but it did help the show stay fresh throughout the seasons. This DVD brings you all of the Christmas episodes of the series, along with some decent special features.
There are only three episodes on this disc, but they are all good ones. We start with “A Two Family Christmas,” where it is Christmas time and Doris’ family has not (at least not by this season) mysteriously disappeared, even though the show mostly takes place at her office in San Francisco. We get to see the office gang come back to the farm to have a typical farm Christmas in the episode. In “It’s Christmas Time in the City,” we finally have Doris living in San Francisco, but her landlord is a real Scrooge. Can the family come together to get him into the Christmas spirit? Finally, in “Whodunit, Doris?,” we have a very unusual episode where Santa commits a murder... or at least that is what Doris thinks at first. Did he? To warn you in advance, this is a very odd episode that ends with a person being taken away by the police for murder and a laugh track for this moment. Very odd, to say the least...
We only have one disc, so all we really have is a standard DVD case. On the front, we have Doris in front of a Christmas tree, and on the back we just have some basic information about the set. And inside, the one (and only) disc has the same artwork as the cover art.
Menu Design and Navigation:
There really isn’t a lot to the menus. Basically, the main menu has an instrumental version of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” playing with a picture of Doris in front of a tree, with options of Play All, a listing of all of the episodes, Setup, and Special Features. Setup allows you to turn on subtitles (and play the commentary), and Special Features does exactly what you would expect it to do. There are no scene selection menus, nor are there chapters within the episodes.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality on this disc is actually pretty good! The season sets were sometimes atrocious in this area, but the DVD producers decided to go back to the original negatives for this set and completely restore each episode. And they did an AMAZING job! These episodes are crystal clear with vibrant color, and unlike the season sets, they aren’t sped up, at all. There is still a little grain here and there, but it is nothing compared to the versions used for the season sets. The audio is generally pretty good as well, being presented in mono. The episodes are unedited, with “A Two Family Christmas” running at 25:25 and the other two episodes running at 25:00.
For a single disc release, this thing is LOADED with special features! First, we have a commentary track by Doris herself, on the episode “It’s Christmas Time in the City.” It is always great to hear from her, especially since she typically does not get out and about to discuss the series (or anything for that matter) anymore.
“Vintage Doris Day Newsreel Footage” (9:46), which, as it sounds, is newsreel footage of Doris Day, mostly at Christmas time doing things for soldiers overseas. A lot of it (if not all) is from the World War II era.
Next, we have “Holiday Highlights from The Doris Day Show on Radio” (22:10), where we just have highlights from a radio show from 1952. It is mostly just a lot of singing, and of course, there is no actual video (other than photos on the screen), but is interesting to listen to anyway.
“Doris Day Silent Night Music Montage” (1:19) is merely a montage of photos of Doris while she sings “Silent Night.” Basically, this is very similar to the radio show highlights already mentioned.
“Doris Day Holiday Promos” (1:39) has Doris preparing Christmas promos for her TV show. These are not promos for CBS, however, as she mentions Canada in some of these. This actually includes several outtakes within the feature.
Finally, “Original Sponsor Bumpers” (0:32) is basically just the sponsorship bumpers from the series. We already saw many of these within the season sets, though.
Although I’m usually not a fan of single disc releases such as this one, I have to say that this one was well done and worth owning even if you already have the season sets. The episodes have been beautifully restored for this DVD and the special features are great to watch. It is also great that this series, unlike many, actually has great Christmas episodes. So many series get away from what the show is about when it comes to Christmas episodes and end up with an out-of-place and boring storyline, but the Christmas episodes of this series go along very well with the other episodes. I still find the “Whodunit, Doris?” episode to be a little weird though. Still, you’ll want to make sure that you have Doris in your home for this holiday season!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 3/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 10/29/08
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