TITLE: LIFE WITH ELIZABETH (8 EPISODES)
Release Date: June 29, 2010 (Timeless Media Group)
B&W / 1953-1955
Packaging: Amaray case
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 8
Running Time: 200 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English mono
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: None
Betty White is a celebrity on the small screen these days (and perhaps her celebrity status is bigger now than it ever has been), but long before she was Rose Nylund or Sue Ann Nivens or even the celebrity on Password, she was a housewife named Elizabeth in the low-budget syndicated series from 1953-1955, Life With Elizabeth.
Life With Elizabeth was produced by Don Fedderson (later known for hit series such as My Three Sons and Family Affair) and starred Betty White as Elizabeth, a young (and believe me, she is very young here) housewife who always seems to get in trouble doing the most innocent of things. Think of I Love Lucy, with an even less competent Lucy. Del Moore plays her husband Alvin. Betty White eventually went on to win an Emmy for the series, but of course, her legacy goes far beyond that one Emmy... this is just the beginning of her long career that doesn't appear to be coming to an end any time soon!
Each episode of the series is structured to contain three unrelated stories. Among the segments that we see on the first disc, Elizabeth meets an old friend of Alvin's (who happens to be able to help with housework), Elizabeth turns the living room into a jungle, Elizabeth tries to hide a black eye from house guests, Elizabeth becomes terrified after reading a book, and Elizabeth sees a fortune teller--and comes home with strange ideas.
On Disc 2, Elizabeth becomes a mother (temporarily) when her niece visits, she becomes terrified of a spider, her mother visits the house, Elizabeth and Alvin have trouble understanding a letter from Elizabeth's mother, and one of Alvin's friends is fired from his job--only to have Elizabeth and Alvin help him find a new one.
Episode 1 (25:47)
-Moosie in the Kitchen
-Jungle in the Living Room
-Underhills for Dinner
Episode 2 (24:24)
-Momma for Breakfast
Episode 3 (26:08)
Episode 4 (25:41)
-Car Repair for Dummies
Episode 5 (26:16)
-First Business Trip
Episode 6 (25:44)
Episode 7 (25:48)
-Of the Honeymoon
-Numb, Deaf, and Blind
Episode 8 (25:52)
The set comes packaged in a single Amaray case that holds two discs. On the cover is a photo of Elizabeth holding some flowers. On the back, there is a more current photo of Betty White with one of her dogs (it appears to be about ten years old or so), and a description of the series. There is also a listing of each of the episodes on the disc, and a title for each of the segments contained on the episodes. The disc artwork is very simple, with other photos of Elizabeth holding flowers. There are four episodes on each disc.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very basic, with the main menu displaying the series logo, and showing all of the episodes, with a brief description of the first segment used as text and video from each episode being displayed as well. The harp theme music plays in the background. There are spelling errors on the menu, unfortunately. There is no scene selection menu, and chapters are not placed within the episodes.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality is fairly standard public domain fare, but it isn't a total disaster. Sure, there is grain and debris, and the picture isn't always steady, but I've seen much worse looking public domain DVDs. The audio is a little dull, but is a standard mono audio track. The episodes are not closed-captioned.
The set contains no special features at all. Of course, I wouldn't really expect any on a set like this one.
This seems to be a fairly standard public domain set, but it is a great way to enjoy the series on DVD. I enjoyed the series much more than I expected, and I honestly think that it is too bad that this series hasn't had more exposure on TV (aside from low-budget public domain networks). What would really be nice, though, is to see a complete series collection of this series. With only 65 episodes, and considering that the series was syndicated (meaning there should be copies of the episodes out there), it seems like such an option would be feasible. In the mean time, this set is an adequate set to enjoy Betty White's break in the television business.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 2/5
Audio Quality: 3/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 2.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 11/10/10
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