TITLE: HOLIDAY TREATS - TV SETS
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008 (CBS DVD)
B&W and Color/1955, 1956, 1960, 1969, 1978, 1983, 1990, 1993
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 8
Running Time: 198 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Animated CBS Christmas Promos
What holiday season would be complete without a celebration from our favorite sitcoms? We relive these classic sitcom episodes each and every year through syndication, but now, CBS DVD has put together a DVD contain eight classic episodes from their own collection, ranging from the 1950s all the way up to the 1990s. Holiday Treats: TV Sets contains classic Christmas episodes from I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Andy Griffith Show, The Brady Bunch, Taxi, Family Ties, Frasier, and Wings. It is certain to get you in the mood for the most wonderful time of the year!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
I Love Lucy: “The I Love Lucy Christmas Show” (29:23) - The Ricardos and Mertzes spend Christmas Eve decorating the tree and reminiscing about the birth of Little Ricky. This episode was considered to be a “lost episode” for many years, although it has found some airplay in recent years.
The Honeymooners: “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” (25:57) - Ralph wants to buy Alice a nice Christmas present, but there is only one way he can afford it, and that is by selling his treasured bowling ball.
The Andy Griffith Show: “Christmas Story” (26:00) - Andy and Barney are forced to put a man in jail on Christmas Eve, but not wanting to keep him from his family, they are forced to come up with a creative solution to let him spend Christmas with his family.
The Brady Bunch: “The Voice of Christmas” (25:31) - Carol is supposed to be singing at church on Christmas but suddenly gets laryngitis. Can Cindy and her friend Santa help?
Taxi: “A Full House for Christmas” (24:32) - A game of high stakes poker interrupts a Christmas party at the garage.
Family Ties: “A Keaton Christmas Carol” (24:06) - Alex gets visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future and discovers a lot about who he is, and who he would much rather be.
Frasier: “Miracle on Third or Fourth Street” (22:13) - Frasier is about to have a pretty rough Christmas, but a little Christmas spirit from some strangers may go a long way.
Wings: “A Terminal Christmas” (22:57) - Everybody is stuck at Fay’s house for Christmas when their skiing plans fall through.
We don’t have much for packaging, just a standard plastic DVD case with cover art that shows several presents, each bearing logos from the shows presented on the disc. On the back of the case, we have a listing of all of the episodes and original airdates. Inside, we have the single disc, which, like most other CBS DVD products, has no artwork other than a gray “Holiday Treats” logo.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are a little unusual, because when you first put in the disc, you’ll get this whole animated bit about Christmas. Basically, it shows this animated character getting sad by watching disasters on TV, but suddenly finding his favorite sitcoms on TV. It is hard to explain, but you can definitely skip past it. Once you get past it, you have options of Play All as well as a listing of the episodes. Once you have made your selection, it plays immediately. Chapters are placed throughout the episodes.
Video and Audio Quality:
It would be foolish to think that the quality of the episodes will be the same throughout the set. After all, these episodes come from five different decades, and technology changed so much throughout each of the decades that things naturally improved over time. Basically, the quality of each episode is the same as the quality of the episodes when they were presented as season sets. And we have reviewed the “season set” versions of all of these series. Generally speaking, though, there aren’t any MAJOR issues with video and audio quality on any of the series, although there are minor ones here and there. Each episode is closed-captioned.
The big question that one might ask is whether or not the episodes are edited. The short answer to that question is that the episodes are essentially unedited, but the long answer is that, much like any other CBS DVD product, there may very well be some minor edits. It should come as no surprise that the infamous disclaimer about episodes possibly being edited is placed on the packaging. However, I seriously doubt that these edits affect the older series on the set, and are probably limited to the more contemporary series. Besides that, I have a feeling that the versions of the episodes that we are seeing here are probably the same as the versions that we saw on the season sets, and many of these were released on season sets before CBS DVD began their atrocious editing practices. Runtimes for each episode can be found in the Episodes section.
There aren’t really any special features, although some could argue that there are. At the end of each episode, you’ll find these animated bumpers relating to Christmas that originally aired on CBS in the 1960s. Unfortunately, there are only two different bumpers, and you’ll see the same ones over and over again. Each of these comes in at about one minute.
For those that completely appreciate Christmas episodes, this DVD will be a treat, for certain. But, and this is not to be a Scrooge or anything, the simple fact is that each of these episodes can already be found on DVD, and anybody that wants this DVD simply because they are a fan of a few of the shows on DVD would probably be better served to simply buy the season sets that are already out there. The set really doesn’t provide that special “extra touch” to justify having in addition to the season sets. However, this DVD may be useful for those that love Christmas episodes, as well as those that love classic TV but aren’t interested in collecting entire seasons of a series. One thing that this DVD strikes me as being is a great stocking stuffer for that classic TV fan in your life. In any event, this DVD is certain to get anybody in the holiday spirit.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 11/27/08
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