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Love, American Style - Season One, Volume Two


TITLE: LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE - SEASON ONE, VOLUME TWO


Info:

DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008 (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Entertainment)
Color/1969-1970
MSRP: $35.98
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 12
Running Time: Approx. 10 hours, 22 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Love American Style returns for Volume Two of the groundbreaking first season! This collection of comedy shorts features even more great guest stars, and the stories go where no other television show dared to go. Loaded with laughs and love, marriage and mirth, dating and double-entendres, this 3-disc collection features twelve episodes with thirty-five hilarious stories.

Tales of romance have never been funnier, and the style of the 70's is now hipper than ever. Bold and brash yet sweet and sentimental, Love American Style Season One, Volume Two is the grooviest good time going, and truer than the Red, White and Blue!


Show History / Notable Guest Stars:

Love, American Style was an hour-long television anthology which originally aired between September 1969 and January 1974. For the 1971 and 1972 seasons it was a part of an ABC Friday prime-time lineup that also included The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Room 222, and The Odd Couple. Each week, the show featured different stories of romance, usually with a comedic spin. All episodes were unrelated, featuring different characters, stories and locations. The show often featured the same actors playing different characters in many episodes. Each episode generally featured three or four segments. There were 10-20 second drop-in silent movie style "joke clips" or "blackouts" between the featured vignettes. In addition a large and ornate brass bed was a recurring prop in many episodes. Charles Fox's delicate yet hip music score, featuring flutes, harp, and flugelhorn set to a contemporary pop beat, provided the "love" ambiance which tied the stories together as a multifaceted romantic comedy each week. The reportory company and regular players in the first season were Mary Grover, Stuart Margolin, Buzz Cooper, Barbara Minkus, Bill Callaway, Lynne Marta and Tracy Reed. The first season of Love, American Style was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Television Show - Music/Comedy and an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Music, Lyrics and Special Material.

It is like a Who's Who of Hollywood appearing on the show. The cavalacade of guest stars in these twelve episodes include Vivian Vance, George Gobel, Penny Marshall, Imogene Coca, Shecky Greene, Mariette Hartley, Dick Sargent, Pat Harrington Jr., Ray Walston, Wally Cox, Jerry Van Dyke, Julie Newmar, Tony Randall, Paul Lynde, Bob Denver, Joey Heatherton, George Lindsey, Adam West, Burt Reynolds, Kurt Russell, Tom Bosley, Darryl Hickman, Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows, Bill Dana, Jim Backus, Bernie Kopell, Donna Douglas, Gary Collins, Meredith MacRae, Darren McGavin, Suzanne Pleshette, Carolyn Jones, Red Buttons and many, many more. The guest stars are conveniently listed inside the case:

Episode 16 - December 29, 1969
Love and the Medium - Vivian Vance, George Gobel, Dorothy Konrad, Paula Stewart
Love and the Bed - Roger Perry, Naomi Stevens, Carla Borelli, Sue Lyon
Love and the High School Flop-Out - Barry Gordon, Melodie Johnson

Episode 08 - December 5, 1970
Love and the Pick-Up - Edd Byrnes, Patricia Harty, Dorothy Lamour, Penny Marshall
Love and the Proposal - Warren Berlinger, Joe Besser, Joan Hackett, Ron Harper, Joan Van Ark
Love and the Fighting Couple - Imogene Coca, Shecky Greene, Mariette Hartley, Dick Sargent

Episode 15 - January 12, 1970
Love and the Boss's Ex - Whitney Blake, Pat Harrington Jr., Ray Walston, Virginia Wood
Love and Mr. Nice Guy - Wally Cox, Ray Danton, Alexandra Hay
Love and the Gangster - Steve Franken, Lewis Charles, Marianna Hill, Mike Mazurki, Nehemiah Persoff, Jerry Van Dyke

Episode 18 - January 23, 1970
Love and Those Poor Crusaders' Wives - Monte Markham, Dorothy Provine, Gino Conforti, Bryan O'Byrne
Love and the Big Night - Ann Elder, Buddy Lester, Julie Newmar, Tony Randall
Love and the V.I.P. Restaurant - Kaye Ballard, Julie Bennett, Shelley Berman, Connie Kreski, Carole Shelyne, Dick Whittington

Episode 19 - January 30, 1970
Love and the Nervous Executive - Carol Wayne, Paul Lynde, Herb Voland
Love and the Hitchhiker - Bob Denver, Joey Heatherton, Howard Storm
Love and the Great Catch - Pat Carroll, Nanette Fabray, George Lindsey, Adam West, Mary Charlotte Wilcox

Episode 20 - February 6, 1970
Love and the Banned Book - Elizabeth Ashley, B.J. Mason, Burt Reynolds, Garrison True
Love and the First-Nighters - Jackie Coogan, Kurt Russell, Debbie Watson
Love and the King - Herb Edelman, Kathie Browne, Ron Masak, Leslie McRae, John Myers, Herb Vigran

Episode 21 - February 13, 1970
Love and the Coed Dorm - Johnny Collins III, Don Grady, Karen Valentine, Hank Jones
Love and the Optimist - Jo Anne Worley, Hal Buckley, Don Diamond, David Ketchum
Love and the Teacher - Bridget Hanley, Orson Bean, Clint Howard, Anita Mann

Episode 10 - February 20, 1970
Love and the Safely Married Man - Beth Brickell, Judy Knaiz, Leslie Perkins, Tracie Savage
Love and the Uncoupled Couple - Tom Bosley, Darryl Hickman, Janee Michelle, Greg Morris
Love and the Many Married Couple - Steve Allen, Jack Cassidy, Jayne Meadows

Episode 22 - February 27, 1970
Love and Las Vegas - Nellie Burt, Jim Connell, Bill Dana, Edward Everett Horton, Ann Prentiss, Patricia Stich
Love and the Good Samaritan - Kenneth Mars, Sandy Baron, Hope Holiday, Maggie Peterson
Love and the Marriage Counselor - Jim Backus, Bernie Kopell, Ken Murray, Joan Shawlee

Episode 12 - March 6, 1970
Love and the Other Guy - Donna Douglas, Gary Collins, Corbett Monica
Love and Grandma - Hal K. Dawson, Paul Ford, Meredith MacRae, Ruth McDevitt, Patrick Wayne

Episode 23 - March 13, 1970
Love and the Fly - James Millhollin, Darren McGavin, Suzanne Pleshette, Herbert Rudley
Love and the Millionaires - Jonathan Harris, Jane Kean, Forrest Tucker
Love and Double Trouble - Phyllis Davis, Steve Franken, Johnny Brown, Sean Garrison, Trish Mahoney, Pamela Mason, Joanna Phillips, Malachi Throne

Episode 24 - March 27, 1970
Love and the Minister - Richard Long, Claudine Longet, Van Villiams
Love and the Geisha - Carolyn Jones, Red Buttons, Nobu McCarthy
Love and the Singles Apartment - Joyce Van Patten, Kathleen Freeman, Mort Sahl, Mel Torme, Julie York


Packaging:

This three-disc set includes the final 12 uproarious hour-long episodes (35 segments) from the first season (1969-70). These episodes aired from December 1969-March 1970. The packaging is an Amaray movie-style snap case with clear, plastic edges. The red, white and blue Love, American style log is featured on the cover. The blue and red in the logo is a bit darker this time. Fireworks are around the logo and there are some red silhouetted people at the bottom. On the back of the case, there is a leggy woman sitting in an egg chair and various props to the right. There's even some shag carpeting! A synopsis of the set and the DVD specs are listed. Episode numbers, original air dates, vignettes, and guest stars are listed for each episode by disc inside the case. It's a nice touch that they list the guest stars for each vignette. That makes it very handy to look for a guest star in a specific episode. It would have been nice to see them list some short summaries, but there wouldn't have been a lot of space for it. They could have included a booklet with the episode summaries and additional information. There is a white plastic holder that holds discs 1-2 back-to-back. There is an embedded holder that holds disc 3 that makes some of the guest stars difficult to read unless you move the packaging. The disc numbers are listed in light blue text. The vignettes are listed in pink text. The guest stars are in black text. The discs are silver and have the show logo on them. Some color on the discs would have been better. Disc 1 has episodes 16, 08, 15 and 18. Disc 2 holds episodes 19, 20, 21 and 10. Disc 3 rounds out the set with episodes 22, 12, 23 and 24.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are very simple and easy to navigate. The main menus feature a static image of the red, white and blue Love, American Style logo (although the stars are blue). Fireworks surround the logo like the cover art. The disc number is listed near the top. Episodes titles are listed vertically in white text. There are two gold stars on either side of the episode that you highlight that turn blue upon selection. It would have been great to hear the opening or instrumental ending theme on the menus. When you select an episode, it takes you to a sub-menu where you can play each individual vignette or the episode in its entirety. These sub-menus feature the show logo and list the original airdate for the episode. Chapter stops are available after the opening theme song and in their usual spots.


Video and Audio Quality:

For a show that is nearly 40 years old, the episodes look pretty good. Love, American Style was shot on film and without a studio audience. The episodes are in their original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. The color is decent, although it looks a little faded and washed-out in some areas. Since the show was shot on film, there is some dust, dirt, debris and other digital artifacts in some episodes. In some scenes, the picture appears to be a little shaky and there is some graininess. I don't have any original episodes on tape other than the Happy Days pilot, so I don't have anything to compare them to. Overall, the episodes are very watchable and look as good as can be expected given their age and source material. Most of the episodes appear to be unedited. The running times are between 51-52 minutes in length. On the back of the packaging in very small text, it says "Some episode may be edited from their original network versions." For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is just the CBS Paramount Television logo. The Paramount red split box is nowhere to be seen.

The audio is your standard Engish Dolby Digital Mono track. There is little or no hiss in the episodes. The volume is at a good level and the dialogue is easy to understand. A laugh track is used in the episodes. There was some debate whether they would use the original theme song version by The Cowsills. After comparing the opening on the DVD with a clip of the opening from a season 3 episode, I am sure that the original Cowsills version is used on this release. It has a different melody than the other version, and it also has clapping at the beginning that isn't present in the seasons 2-5 version. The Cowsills performed the theme song for only the first season. After the first season, a more uptempo version by the "Charles Fox" or "Love American Style Singers" was used for seasons 2-5. In syndication, the season 1 episodes generally have the seasons 2-5 version instead of the original Cowsills version. I love Charles Fox's hip score that set the mood in the episodes. I have the Love, American Style LP that features some of the score and theme song, which he wrote. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes.

Although the episodes are presented in their original broadcast order, they are numbered according to their production (the order in which they were made) number. Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the running times:

Disc 1
---------
16. Love and the Medium/Love and the Bed/Love and the High School Flop-Out (12/29/69) (51:54)
08. Love and the Pick-Up/Love and the Proposal/Love and the Fighting Couple (01/05/70) (52:00)
15. Love and the Boss's Ex/Love and Mr. Nice Guy/Love and the Gangster (01/12/70) (51:55)
18. Love and Those Poor Crusaders' Wives/Love and Big Night/Love and the V.I.P. Restaurant (01/23/70) (51:53)

Disc 2
---------
19. Love and the Nervous Executive/Love and the Hitchhiker/Love and the Great Catch (01/30/70) (51:52)
20. Love and the Banned Book/Love and the First-Nighters/Love and the King (02/06/70) (51:54)
21. Love and the Coed Dorm/Love and the Optimist/Love and the Teacher (02/13/70) (51:51)
10. Love and Safely Married Man/Love and the Uncoupled Couple/Love and the Many Married Couple (02/20/70) (51:51)

Disc 3
---------
22. Love and Las Vegas/Love and the Good Samaritan/Love and the Marriage Counselor (02/27/70) (51:50)
12. Love and the Other Guy/Love and Grandma (03/06/70) (51:44)
23. Love and the Fly/Love and the Millionaires/Love and Double Trouble (03/13/70) (51:54)
24. Love and the Minister/Love and the Geisha/Love and the Singles Apartment (03/27/70) (51:49)


Special Features:

Unfortunately, there are no special features included. Since I'm not overly familiar with Love American Style, I would have liked to see a featurette on the history of the show. They could have highlighted some of the show's many guest stars over the years. Some original network or syndication promos would have been fun to see.


Final Comments:

More of what you love! More sizzle! More fun! Love, American Style returns to DVD after only a little less than four months. While some fans may not have been crazy over the fact that they split the first season into two separate volumes, at least the wait for them was not very long. Look for Vivian Vance, George Gobel, Penny Marshall, Imogene Coca, Shecky Greene, Mariette Hartley, Dick Sargent, Pat Harrington Jr., Ray Walston, Wally Cox, Jerry Van Dyke, Julie Newmar, Tony Randall, Paul Lynde, Bob Denver, Joey Heatherton, George Lindsey, Adam West, Burt Reynolds, Kurt Russell, Tom Bosley, Darryl Hickman, Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows, Bill Dana, Jim Backus, Bernie Kopell, Donna Douglas, Gary Collins, Meredith MacRae, Darren McGavin, Suzanne Pleshette, Carolyn Jones, Red Buttons and many other guest stars in these 12 episodes.

There are no real differences between these two volumes besides the packaging and the actual episodes. I really only have two minor complaints with these sets. The episode numbering is a bit confusing because they go by the production number. The other minor issue is that some of the episodes may be edited from their original network versions. Still, most of these episodes are 51-52 minutes in length, so any edits appear to be very small. Can you believe there was a time when there was only 8 minutes or commercials during a hour of programming? It will be interesting to see how they break up the second season. For the first part of the season (September 1970-January 1971), it was a 30-minute show. Then in January 1971, it went back to being a one-hour show. I guess that we can expect to see the seasons split into two separate volumes for the remaining 4 seasons, although it wouldn't shock me to see the second season as one release.


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

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 03/09/08

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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0011NVC9S/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=221275


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