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Hazel - The Complete First Season


TITLE: HAZEL - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: August 1, 2006 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
B&W (1 episode in color - as it was originally shot)
MSRP: $29.95
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 35
Running Time: 910 Minutes
Languages: English
Subtitles: None; Closed Captioned.
Special Features: Bonus Preview (of future and current Sony DVD releases)


Introduction:

Everyone's favorite housekeeper comes to DVD!

HAZEL debuted on NBC in the fall of 1961 and was an almost immediate hit. It followed the on-going situations of the Baxter family, and their sassy straight-talking housekeeper, Hazel Burke. Hazel is played by Oscar Winner, Shirley Booth, who also went on to win two Emmy Awards for her portrayal of the wise-cracking housekeeper. Also starring in the series is Don DeFore as corporate lawyer, George Baxter, who is always challenged by Hazel. Whitney Blake stars as his wife, Dorothy "Missy" Baxter, and Bobby Buntrock plays Harold, George and Dorothy's young son. The series ran for 5 successful seasons and aired on both NBC and CBS.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

In many older shows, I feel nearly every episode is a classic in its own right, but I'll attempt to give my list of episodes you should take a little extra time out to watch.

"Hazel Makes a Will" in which Hazel gets another lawyer to write up her will, making George think she's going to sue him. "What'll We Watch Tonight" in which George buys Hazel a color TV in the hopes she'll finally leave him alone. "Hazel's Christmas Shopping" in which Hazel uncovers a shop-lifting racket while moonlighting as a sales clerk. "Hazel Quits" in which Hazel pretends to quit in order to appease George's new client. "The Burglar in Mr. B's PJs" is the one in which Hazel takes pity on a burglar and allows him to spend the night ... in George's PJs. "Heat Wave" in which Hazel pressures George to air-condition the house. "Hazel's Day" is the one in which the Baxter’s take Hazel out for the evening to celebrate Hazel's day.

Some guest-stars this season includes: Maudie Prickett, Howard Smith, John Astin, Alan Hale and more.


Packaging:

The set is the typical slip-sleeve set in which two slip-sleeve cases hold the discs for the set. The main box art design is a huge picture of Hazel pouring coffee in front of a blue background. Underneath that is a cut-out picture of the family, plus Hazel, together. The back of the box lists a description of the series as well as a few photos of the series from the episodes. Also on the back is a nice shot of the family, plus Hazel, together. The box is in all color, even though the series is in black & white (except for one episode).

The two slip cases each feature a shot of Hazel. The first case features Hazel holding a cake and licking some icing off of her finger. The second case features Hazel holding a flower over her ear and day-dreaming. The back of the cases lists the episode title and descriptions as well as which episodes are on which disc.

The first case holds Discs 1 and 2. Disc 1 features a picture of Hazel and contains episodes 1-9. Disc 2 features Hazel and the cake and contains episodes 10-18. The second case holds Discs 3 and 4. Disc 3 features Hazel and the flower and contains episodes 19-27 and Disc 4 features George, Missy and Harold and contains episodes 28-35.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu is simple and straight to the point, which I love. The design is more or less a copy of the box art, and features a huge shot of Hazel, with the family, the same picture on the box art, on the bottom. There are two options, Play All Episodes, which lets you, repeat it with me, play all of the episodes at once. The second option is Episode Selections, which of course takes you to another menu screen to choose the episode you want to watch. That menu lists three episodes (then you go on to three more, and then three more) and there is a little TV set that features a still shot of the episode, and when you select the TV, it takes you to the episode.


Video and Audio Quality:

The audio is actually really good, which surprises me, as most sound quality on older show releases is quite low. That wasn't the case here, which was great. The video quality is good, for a black and white show, but some episodes there is noticeable grain, especially in the "What'll We Watch Tonight," which was originally shot in color. It was the only one of the first season shows to be filmed in color. The episodes *appear* to me, to be uncut, running at over 25 minutes in length, and yes, there are chapter skips available.

Disc 1
1- Hazel and the Playground (25:43)
2- Hazel Makes a Will (25:41)
3- Hazel Plays Nurse (25:42)
4- Matter of Principle, A (25:41)
5- Dorothy's New Client (25:44)
6- What'll We Watch Tonight? (25:28)
7- A Dog for Harold (25:43)
8- George's Niece (25:43)
9- Everybody's Thankful But Us Turkeys (25:42)

Disc 2
10- Winter Wonderland (25:43)
11- Hazel's Winning Personality (25:42)
12- Hazel's Christmas Shopping (25:42)
13- Dorothy's Obsession (25:42)
14- Hazel's Dog Days (25:42)
15- Replacement for Phoebe (25:42)
16- Hazel's Famous Recipes (25:41)
17- Hazel's Tough Customer (25:41)
18- Hazel's Secret Wish (25:41)

Disc 3
19- Hazel, the Tryst Buster (25:41)
20- The Investment Club (25:42)
21- Hazel's Mona Lisa Grin (25:42)
22- Hazel and the Gardener (25:41)
23- Dorothy's Birthday (25:41)
24- Number, Please? (25:40)
25- Them New Neighbors Is Nice (25:41)
26- Hazel's Pajama Party (25:41)
27- Three Little Cubs (25:41)

Disc 4
28- Bringing Out the Johnsons (25:41)
29- Hazel Quits (25:42)
30- Hazel the Matchmaker (25:42)
31- Rock-a-Bye Baby (25:40)
32- The Burglar in Mr. B's P.J.'s (25:41)
33- Heat Wave (25:41)
34- George's Assistant (25:39)
35- Hazel's Day (25:40)


Special Features:

Nothing, unless you want to count a bonus preview that's a given on all Sony releases. They pimp their shows on DVD. Not much else to tell, unfortunately. How I wish we had bonus features!


Final Comments:

I'll start off by saying how great it is to have such a rarely shown TV sitcom finally on DVD! Talk about a nice surprise! I was very happy with Sony's release of it. The box art is great, and although some episodes are grainy at times, they appear uncut, which is a major plus. The set is great but it lacks in bonus features. I realize with the main cast all gone, it's probably very hard to include extras, but surely, there's got to be SOMETHING out there? A writer to do commentary? A producer? Some bloopers? Anyway, it was a good release, and I really hope the sales are good enough to warrant at least a second season, so please, run out and buy this show because it looks like Sony got this set right and gave it to us UNEDITED!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 (Shawn Eaton) on 07/14/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000FSMEB0/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=177969


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