TITLE: HERE COME THE BRIDES - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
DVD Release Date: February 28, 2012 (Shout! Factory)
Packaging: Viva Case
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 26
Running time: Approx. 1340 minutes (20.5 hours)
Video: Full Screen 1.33:1
Audio Tracks: English Mono
Special Features: Select Episode Introductions By Author Jonathan Etter
The Bolt brothers - Jason (Robert Brown, "Primus"), Jeremy (Bobby Sherman, "Getting Together") and Joshua (David Soul, "Starsky & Hutch") - are back for another season of classic pioneering adventures and laughs in the second season of Here Come the Brides!
It's the 1850s, and while the cries of "timber" echo through the forests of Seattle, so do the sounds of 100 young ladies recently arrived from San Francisco to lay claim to a mass of loggers starved for female attention. Highlights of the show's second and final season include a conflict with pirate trappers, the search for Bigfoot, a battle with a rogue sniper and a fire that threatens to burn down the whole town.
Also starring Academy Award-nominee Joan Blondell ("Topper Returns"), Bridget Hanley ("Harper Valley") and Mark Lenard ("Another World"), Here Come the Brides is a perfect blend of drama and humor earning lasting adoration from fans and critics alike.
All 26 episodes from the second season are included. The show moved to Friday nights at 9:00pm on ABC for the final season. The season begins with "A Far Cry From Yesterday," in which Clancey's boat brings Candy's young sister and brother to town. Clancey is beside himself when his brother, a Catholic priest, makes plans to visit in "The Wealthiest Man in Seattle." Clancey is mauled by a bear while making his way back to his ship at night in "The Soldier." Candy has arranged for The Green Western Shakespeare Company to give a perfromance in Seattle in "Next Week, East Lynne."
Clancey brings to Seattle a group of Irish visitors who wish to start a business in "A Wild Colonial Boy." The Bolts discover an Indian boy who has been injured by trappers who killed his entire family in "Hosanna's Way." Lottie receives an urgent message from a missionary and his wife; they need her help in delivering their child, due at any moment in "The Road to the Cradle." Seattle's people are paralyzed by fear after a local named Jed claims that he has been attacked by Bigfoot in "The Legend of Bigfoot." A group of Greek settlers have moved to Bridal Veil Mountain believing they own the land because they bought a grant for it in "Land Grant."
Bob kidnaps Jason and uses him as his "eyes" in order to recover stolen cash that he had hidden before being jailed 11 years earlier in "The Eyes of London Bob." Seattle wants to secure the services of "The Swedish Nightingale" for its Admittance Day celebrations in "The Fetching of Jenny." Aaron Stempel's younger sister visits Seattle and is chafing at the bit for some independence in "His Sister's Keeper." An unseen sniper on a ridge above the Bolt logging camp begings to fire on the men without warningin "Lorenzo Bush."
Josh is going off to San Francisco on a buying trip in "Obie Brown and the Black Princess." Gambling at the Red Rose Saloon in Tacoma, Jeremy and Joshua win the saloon itself after the owner eggs them on to keep playing the roulette wheel in "To Break the Bank in Tacoma." Holly returns to Seattle, to live in "Debt of Honor." Joshua and Jeremy visit the town of Clearwater to hire a man who can translate for their newly hired Chinese workers in "She Bear." When some new girls arrive in town, it can only spell disaster for Lottie and the brides in "Another Game in Town."
Enjoying a beatuful Seattle day while walking alone back to town, Jeremy hops on a log to walk on top of it in "Candy and the Kid." Jacob and Callie ride into town to pay a visit to the Bolt brothers in "Two Worlds." The Greeks are back in Seattle to celebrate their first harvest in "To the Victor." Lottie only has one bottle of whiskey left in "How Dry We Are."
Jason, Joshua and Jeremy's Uncle Duncan - their father's twin brother and head of the Bolt clan - arrive in Seattle in "Bolt of Kilmaron." Jeremy gives a bright future to a young boy by teaching him to speak in "Absalom." Jeremy tries to win a watch for Candy and almost loses his life in "The Last Winter." An old flame of the Bolt's father returns to Seattle and almost burns down the town in "Two Women."
Notable season two guest stars included Jayne Meadows, Ed Asner, Alan Hale Jr., Cicely Tyson, Harold Gould, Larry Linville, Bill Mumy, Pat Harrington Jr., Vic Tayback, Meg Foster, Denver Pyle and James Sikking.
All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of over 51 minutes. They are presented in their original broadcast order.
I don't know if the show used any songs originally, but there isn't anything on the packaging to indicate that any music was changed. Here is the breakdown, including the original aridates and runtimes:
A Far Cry From Yesterday (9/26/1969) (51:33)
The Wealthiest Man in Seattle (10/3/1969) (51:35)
The Soldier (10/10/1969) (51:30)
Next Week, East Lynne (10/17/1969) (51:35)
A Wild Colonial Boy (10/24/1969) (51:31)
Hosanna's Way (10/31/1969) (51:34)
The Road to the Cradle (11/7/1969) (51:22)
The Legend of Bigfoot (11/14/1969) (51:05)
Land Grant (11/21/1969) (51:22)
The Eyes of London Bob (11/28/1969) (51:13)
The Fetching of Jenny (12/5/1969) (51:31)
His Sister's Keeper (12/12/1969) (51:00)
Lorenzo Bush (12/19/69) (51:31)
Obie Brown and the Black Princess (12/26/1969) (51:05)
To Break the Bank in Tacoma (1/16/1969) (51:35)
Debt of Honor (1/23/1970) (51:26)
She Bear (1/30/1970) (51:07)
Another Game in Town (2/6/1970) (51:37)
Candy and the Kid (2/13/1970) (51:35)
Two Worlds (2/20/1970) (51:31)
To the Victor (2/27/1970) (51:12)
How Dry We Are (3/6/1970) (51:35)
Bolt of Kilmaron (3/13/1970) (51:33)
Absalom (3/20/1970) (51:38)
The Last Winter (3/27/1970) (51:38)
Two Women (4/3/1970) (50:57)
The packaging of this release is different from the first season set. The 6-disc second season set comes in a clear plastic Viva case. The cover art features a color cast photo of Bridget Hanley, Robert Brown, Joan Blondell, David Soul and Bobby Sherman. The beautiful blue sky, trees and mountains of the Pacific Northwest can be seen in the background. Three additional photos are featured on the back of the case: the Bolt brothers, Joan Blondell and another cast photo of the five main cast members. A synopsis of the set, a listing of the bonue feature and the DVD specs are provided. Inside the case, the episode titles and short summaries are listed by disc. The text is in white against a brown background. The episode summaries appear to be the same as used on the TV.com episode guide with a few edits. Discs 1 and 6 are in embedded holders in the front and back of the case. Discs 2-5 are in plastic holders that you flip in the center of the case. A few bits of the plastic hubs arrived broken in my review copy, so it's not really that sturdy. The discs feature the Here Come the Brides logo with a fuzzy background of the sky and an unknown location. It just looks like a generic stock shot that may have not been featured on the show. Each disc holds 4-5 episodes. I think the season one set had nicer packaging, but season two is decent overall and takes up less space.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are colorful and easy to navigate. The main menu features the same cast photo that is used on the case on the left side of the screen, with trees and mountains in the background. An instrumental end credits version of "Seattle" plays in the background before looping after about 24 seconds. There are options for "Play All" and "Episodes" on the right side of the screen. Your highlighted option is in white and turns yellow upon your selection. When you choose Episodes, it takes you to a sub-menu where the episode titles are listed vertically in white text. The same instrumental version of "Seattle" is also played on this menu and it has a background of trees. The episodes which have the introductions by Author Jonathan Etter are noted. There's no option to play the episodes individually without the introductions, but you can skip them using your remote. The "Play All" option will play the episodes without the introductions. Chapters are placed at the appropriate places throughout the episodes.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality seems slightly improved from the first season set. There were really no major video or audio problems (except for the lack of the vocal version of the theme song) with that release. Season two offers more of the same very good quality. These episodes are remastered and look as good as expected given their age. The colors look quite good and not faded. There's really not much dirt or debris that you would expect to see for a show from this era. Many of the scenes were shot outside and under the clear blue sky. I've read that parts of it were shot at the Columbia/Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California. The scenery and cinematography
is just beautiful. While the season one set didn't include any original closing logos, this release has the red Screen Gems logo with black text and a yellow background.
The audio is a Dolby Ditigal 2.0 Mono track. The volume is at a good level and the dialogue is easy to hear. One important difference between the season one and two releases relates to the theme song. Sony's season one set used the instrumental version of "Seattle" in all of the opening credit sequences, although the show had switched to a vocal version by the mid-season of the first season. Shout! Factory's second season release includes the original vocal version of "Seattle" that was performed by The New Establishment. I knew many fans were disappointed when they didn't hear the memorable vocal version on the first season set, but they will be pleased to hear it on all of the season two episodes. Unfortunately, closed captioning isn't available on any of the episodes.
The Complete First Season included no special features. This time we get select episode introductions by Author Jonathan Etter. He wrote the book, "Gangway, Lord, (The) Here Come the Brides Book," which was published by Bear Manor Media in 2009.
The episode introductions run about one minute or less and provide some trivia and background information for 14 of the 26 episodes. They provide some interesting information for fans, but they could have easily been more detailed and several minutes longer. There's no doubt Mr. Etter is a passionate fan of the show. The introductions are available for the following episodes:
A Far Cry From Yesterday (1:09)
The Wealthiest Man in Seattle (:47)
The Soldier (:31)
A Wild Colonial Boy (:39)
Land Grant (:28)
The Eyes of London Bob (:33)
The Fetching of Jenny (:31)
His Sister's Keeper (:33)
Lorenzo Bush (:34)
Obie Brown and the Black Princess (:48)
Two Worlds (:36)
Bolt of Kilmaron (:24)
Two Women (1:07)
It would have been nice to have interviews and audio commentaries with the cast. Many of the main cast members are still living, with the exception of Joan Blondell and Mark Lenard. After such a long wait for the second season, the lack of special features probably won't be that big of a deal to most fans.
The bluest sky you've ever seen, in Seattle
And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle
Like a beautiful child
Growing up, free and wild
Full of hopes and full of fears
Full of laughter, full of tears
Full of dreams to last the years
The second and final season of Here Come the Brides is finally on DVD! And, yes, you can hear the original vocal version on this release. Sony just used the instrumental version on their first season release, but Shout! Factory includes "Seattle" by The New Establishment on this set. One of the most memorable theme songs in TV history can now be heard in its full glory. It's been a very long wait for the second season. Sony released the first season nearly six years ago on May 16, 2006. Due to a heavy amount of requests by fans on Shout! Factory's site and message board, they acquired the rights to release the second season. This show only ran for 2 seasons, but it seems to have quite a loyal following. There are just so many reviews you can read on Amazon or comments that you can read on forums from fans across the internet. They just don't make these types of family shows these days. People are very nostalgic for shows they grew up watching in their youth.
Although the quality of the show and storylines wasn't as strong in the second season compared to the first, this is an improved DVD release in most areas. Only the packaging of this release isn't as good. Season two features slightly improved video/audio quality and menus. The lack of special features is a bit disappointing, but I'm sure fans will just be happy to have the complete second season in very good and unedited quality and at a good price. The biggest change that some fans may appreciate is that they included the original vocal version of the theme song. I was shocked in revisiting the show to see that The Complete First Season is now out of print and selling on the secondary market on Amazon.com for around $125 used and over $200 new! It can be found a bit cheaper on eBay, but the prices these sets are going for is incredible. This must have been a recent development in the last few months. It seems like there would be a golden opportunity for Shout! Factory to re-release the first season for fans who missed it in recent years. I'm glad that they didn't bundle this as a complete series set and force people to repurchase the first season in order to get the second season, but I feel bad for those who never got around to purchasing season one and can't afford to pay the huge amounts they are selling for now. It's wonderful to see Shout! Factory release shows that were abandoned by Sony over the years. Hopefully they continue that pattern with more classics from the 1960s-1980s this year.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 1/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 02/25/12
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