TITLE: GET SMART - SEASON 2 (HBO HOME VIDEO)
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009 (HBO Video)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 30
Running Time: 750 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Audio Introductions by Barbara Feldon for all episodes, Commentaries for two episodes
Get ready for more KAOS vs. CONTROL as Season Two of Get Smart heads for DVD! The spy-spoof series that turns international espionage into fun and games returns to DVD for 30 more fun-filled episodes. CONTROL is the organization that is based within the United States government and includes our main cast members, particularly Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) and Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) and KAOS is that international organization that they are headed up against. But when both sides demonstrate a certain level of incompetence, it all somehow manages to get botched up here and there! The series ran for five seasons, the first four on NBC and the final season on CBS, and has become a pop culture icon and even led to the 2008 film starring Steve Carell. Here, we get to see classic Get Smart, as creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry had intended.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
A robotic assassin is on the loose in "Anatomy of a Lover." In "Strike While the Agent is Hot," Maxwell becomes a union negotiator for CONTROL during a breakdown of employee relations. Is it possible for KAOS and control to kidnap so many people that they've all of a sudden kidnapped all of each other? Find out in "A Spy for a Spy." Vic Tayback and Howard Morton guest star in "Maxwell Smart, Alias Jimmy Ballantine." Agent 99 and Maxwell are on a KAOS submarine in "Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Three Spies in a Sub." The CONTROL spies are stranded on a KAOS island in "Island of the Darned." Where is the best place to find hidden secret plans? As we learn in "The Whole Tooth and...," it is in jail, and Max is going there to retrieve them! Love really does hurt (and kill) in "Kiss of Death," where Max has somebody that is interested in him that really wants to kill him! CONTROL has to make some cutbacks in "Cutback at Control," so what are some other places the cut spies can go? How about KAOS? Could Sigfried possibly defect? Find out in "How to Succeed in the Spy Business Without Really Trying." Some scientists are disappearing, and Max and Agent 99 are going to find out why in "Pussycats Galore." The season ends with the three-part episode "A Man Called Smart," where KAOS has found the perfect way to gain control in the United States--by drying up the water supply!
This set somehow takes a basic Amaray style case and turns it into something that almost looks impressive. Basically, it starts with an outer sleeve that has Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 tied up on the cover, and another picture of Agent 99 and some basic show information on the back. If you remove the outer sleeve, you have the Amaray case that has the same artwork, but with no text at all. When you open up the case, you'll find the four discs. There really isn't any artwork on the discs, just a nice background that is difficult to describe. Disc 1 and Disc 2 each contain eight episodes, and Disc 3 and Disc 4 each contain seven episodes. There is also an insert that lists all of the episodes and original airdates, though it does not list descriptions for the episodes. If you open up that insert, you'll find a "Top Secret" memo from Agent 13 where he gives a nice narrative about the second season of the series. It is a very interesting read. Overall, this set takes basic packaging and makes the best of it.
Menu Design and Navigation:
There really isn't anything TOO impressive about the menus. Each disc just has a main menu that plays the theme music and has some video from the episodes playing with options of Play All and Episodes (you'll also find Commentaries on Disc 4). Once you select an option, you'll get a menu that shows a snapshot from every episode on the disc, along with episode titles. Once you select an episode, you'll be introduced to the episode that you selected with a brief (around 20 seconds) audio introduction by Barbara Feldon. You have the choice to skip the introduction, but why would you want to do that? They are very nice to listen to. There are no scene selection menus, but chapters are placed appropriately throughout.
When you put the disc in, after the typical FBI warnings and production company logos, you'll get a menu that plays the theme music and gives you options of Play All, Episodes, and Commentaries. All of these are self-explanatory. When you select an episode from the Episodes menu, you'll get a menu that has Barbara Feldon's audio introduction. You can play the episode immediately if you'd like, but if not, it will play as soon as her introduction is finished.
Video and Audio Quality:
This set is rather impressive when it comes to video quality. Everything looks so beautiful and crisp all around! There are some very minor issues with grain at times, but other than that, I see no real issues of concern on this set. The episodes are all presented in color this time (the first season included one black and white episode if you'll recall), and the colors are very vivid and bright, and make the episodes almost appear to be brand new at times. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital mono, which doesn't sound that impressive when written out, but you'll learn to appreciate that even mono can be good with this set. Each episode is closed-captioned for those that require closed-captioning. I'm just very impressed with how great this series turned out on DVD as far as quality. Of course, quality wouldn't be complete without unedited episodes, and as far as I can tell, this set has achieved that standard as well, with each episode appearing to be unedited. Runtimes are as follows:
1. Anatomy of a Lover (25:20)
2. Strike While the Agent is Hot (25:27)
3. A Spy for a Spy (25:28)
4. The Only Way to Die (25:21)
5. Maxwell Smart, Alias Jimmy Ballantine (25:20)
6. Casablanca (25:26)
7. The Decoy (25:25)
8. Hoo Done It (25:24)
9. Rub-a-Dub-Dub... Three Spies in a Sub (25:04)
10. The Greatest Spy on Earth (24:53)
11. Island of the Darned (25:24)
12. Bronzefinger (25:19)
13. Perils in a Pet Shop (25:13)
14. The Whole Tooth and... (25:16)
15. Kiss of Death (24:19)
16. It Takes One to Know One (25:14)
17. Someone Down Here Hates Me (25:21)
18. Cutbacks at CONTROL (25:17)
19. A Man From Yenta (25:17)
20. The Mummy (25:18)
21. The Girls from KAOS (25:25)
22. Smart Fit the Battle of Jericho (25:17)
23. Where-What-How-Who Am I? (25:15)
24. The Expendable Agent (25:12)
25. How to Succeed in the Spy Business Without Really Trying (25:16)
26. Appointment in Sahara (25:17)
27. Pussycats Galore (25:19)
28. A Man Called Smart, Part 1 (25:21)
29. A Man Called Smart, Part 2 (25:23)
30. A Man Called Smart, Part 3 (25:24)
Much like Season One, we don't have all of the special features that were included on the Time-Life version, but there is no need to panic because there still are a few nice things included! First, we have two audio commentaries. The first one is on the episode "How to Succeed in the Spy Business Without Really Trying," and the commentary is done by Bernie Kopell. The second is on the first part of the episode "A Man Called Smart," and that commentary is done by executive producer Leonard Stern. They are both very nice to listen to. But, you can get a little bit of commentary for each and every episode on the set from Barbara Feldon, as she gives audio introductions for each and every episode on the set! Who is to say that a stripped down version has to be without bonus features? Of course, if you want more special features, you'll have to look to the Time-Life release of the series.
There is no need for anybody to say "missed it by THAT much." This set hits it right on the nose, and is perfect for any casual fan of the series. Of course, more dedicated fans will be more satisfied with the Time-Life version, which includes the extra disc worth of bonus features, but for the average fan and fans of classic TV, this is the perfect way to own these episodes on DVD. The episodes all look and sound great, and the special features, while not necessarily as plentiful as they are on the Time-Life version, are still very plentiful for what is to be a "stripped down" set. Honestly, as much as I love special features on DVD sets, I'm usually more into the DVD sets for the episodes, and at an MSRP under $25, this is more than worth it for what we have here. This series is one of the few that nearly meets the standards of "perfection" when it comes to quality on DVD, and it should come as no surprise as it is produced by Paul Brownstein. Personally, I have been discovering this series on DVD, and I have been pretty impressed with the plots of the episodes and the series in general. So call your friends on your shoe phone and tell them to Get Smart today!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 03/12/09
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