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The Brady Bunch - The Complete Second Season


TITLE: THE BRADY BUNCH - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: July 26, 2005 (Paramount Home Video)
Color
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: Approx. 10 hours
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Here's the story... of America's grooviest TV sitcom family! It's the story of The Brady Bunch, and in Season Two of this best-loved comedy series, there are plenty of high jinks underfoot in split-level suburbia. Greg? He's got a far-out new bachelor pad to impress all the chicks. Marcia? She's embracing Women's Lib. Peter? He's headed for the doghouse after breaking Carol's favorite vase. Jan? She's gone from "hair of gold" to hair of black - via a brand-new wig. Bobby's pet parakeet may help him overcome his fear of heights, and Cindy's plagued by a schoolyard bully who's been making fun of her lisp. On the adult front, Mike's architectural firm plans to build right on top of a beloved neighborhood park; Carol tries her creative hand at writng for a women's magazine... and Alice the housekeeper has called the exterminator on "Myron" - Greg's science project! There are 24 episodes in The Brady Bunch: The Complete Second Season... all featuring laughter, tears and Day-Glo colors. It's the way they all became The Brady Bunch!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The show really started to come into it's own in season two (1970-71) with some classic episodes. With Alice away and Cindy developing sniffles, Mike and Carol are set to cancel their night out on the town - until Greg and Marcia argue that they are responsible enough to look after their siblings in "The Babysitters." Peter breaks Carol's favorite vase and after his attempt to fix it fails, the other Brady kids decide to take the blame so Peter will still be allowed to participate in a weekend camping trip in "Confessions, Confessions." Mom always said don't play blal in the house! Greg's band is practicing a groovy new song ("Clowns never laughed before...")- but there's discord all around when Jan and Cindy catch him smoking and Marcia tells their parents in "Where There's Smoke." Tired of being a golden-haired Brady girl and fearing she's too "plain" to attract boys, Jan decides to break out of her shell by buying a curly brunette wig to wear to a party - much to the amusement of the other partygoers in "Will The Real Jan Brady Please Stand Up?." Greg decides to leave childhood behind by dressing "mod," wearing tinted "shades," turning Mike's converted den into a swinging bachelor pad, and trying to hit on older girls at school in "Our Son, The Man."

Some well-known athletes and past and future sitcom stars made guest appearances during the second season. Don Drysdale, a future Hall of Fame pitcher, appeared as himself in "The Dropout." E.G. Marshall, Hope Sherwood (Sherwood Schwartz's daughter), Barbara Henderson (Florence Henderson's daughter), and Carolyn Reed (Robert Reed's daughter) appeared in "The Slumber Caper." Gordon Jump played the Mechanic in "Call Me Irresponsible." Marcia Wallace appeared as the Saleswoman in "Will The Real Jan Brady Please Stand Up?." Deacon Jones, a future Football Hall of Fame member, appeared as himself in "The Drummer Boy." Julie Cobb, who played the mom on the first season of Charles in Charge, appeared as the Girl in "Our Son, The Man." Hal Smith guest starred as the Cartoon King in "The Winner." Jackie Coogan appeared as the Man in "Double Parked."


Packaging:

The packaging is very similar to the season one set. It features the famous Brady Bunch checkerboard grid with a hologram type cover. When you turn it from side to side and you are in good light, you can see the cast's faces move in different directions as you saw on the show's opening credits. They used the same opening grid (but different theme song) for season three. The overall color theme of the set is purple and green. The back of the box gives some details on the set and has 4 small photos from the show. All 24 episodes are listed on the back of the box - organized by disc. There are 2 slimcases inside the box. The front of the cases feature 5 different photos on each, and the backs of the cases list the episode titles with some pretty detailed summaries and the original airdates. The first slimcase is purple while the second is green. Two single sided discs can be found in each case. I don't think the two discs per slimcase is the best idea. The discs seem to pop out of their cases too easily, and they can be easily scratched. Inside the cases, there are a few quotes from the episodes with various photos of the cast in the green or purple background. Disc 1 is purple with photos of Carol and Mike and has episodes 26-31. Disc 2 has photos of Marcia and Greg with episodes 32-37. Disc 3 is green and shows photos of Peter and Jan and includes episodes 38-43. Disc 4 is green and has a shot of Bobby and Cindy and contains episodes 44-49.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus feature various photos and different colored backgrounds on each disc. Disc 1 has a photo of the Brady Bunch grid and logo with a blue and green flower background. The episode titles are listed vertically in white. There is a squiggly line under the episode you select. Disc 2 has a photo of Peter, Bobby, and Greg with a red and blue background. Disc 3 has a shot of Jan in her wig with Marcia and Cindy watching with a red and purple background. Disc 4 offers a photo of Marcia, Alice, and Cindy with a green and pink background. Once again, there is no theme song played on the menus which I think would have been a nice touch. All discs have a Play All button and there is a Previews option for some other Paramount DVD releases (Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, MacGyver, Charmed, and The Brady Bunch - Season 1) on the first disc. There are chapter stops within the episodes, but there are no separate menus for scene selections.


Video and Audio Quality:

The episodes look pretty good considering their age. It seems like Paramount used a variety of prints to get the complete, unedited episodes. Some scenes look great with no video problems. Other scenes look like they have some dirt and debris, and the color looks a little faded or the picture is not as sharp. The scenes with the poorer quality generally seem to be the ones that were cut out of syndication and re-inserted for these dvd sets. The episodes are well spread out over 4 discs, so there are no compression problems. All episodes appear to be unedited, running around 25 minutes in length. There is approximately 3 minutes of footage in each episode that isn't shown in syndication. The original bumpers "The Brady Bunch - In Color" are once again shown at the start of the episodes. The bumpers featured a still photo of the cast on the stairs with about 7 seconds of music playing in the background. These haven't been shown in syndication in a number of years. There are no commercial break bumpers saying "The Brady Bunch will return in a moment" though. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is the red, white, and blue closing Paramount logo that was used at the time. I noticed some episodes had the 1970 copyright date on them while others did not. The episodes are presented in their original airdate order.

The audio track is standard Digital 2.0 Mono. There really are no major problems with the audio, and I don't think what was originally recorded could be improved that much. The volume is at a good level and easy to hear. Season 2 featured the debut of The Brady Bunch kids singing the opening theme song. Closed captioning is available on all episodes.


Special Features:

After a nice amount of special features on the season 1 set including 3 audio commentaries and a featurette with new interviews with the cast and crew, this season 2 set is a bit of a disappointment with no extras included. According to Barry Williams Official Website, he did episode commentaries with Susan Olsen and Christopher Knight for seasons 1-3. I don't understand why Paramount chose not to include them here. The commentaries on the season 1 set were fun to listen to and added some enjoyment to watching the episodes. I thought they would do it like the Seinfeld DVDs and record all the interviews and commentaries over the course of a few days for all the season sets. There's no question the complete uncut episodes are most important to me, but it would be nice to see some special features if they went to the effort to make them. How about some bloopers or other vintage material such as network promos?


Final Comments:

This is another nice set by Paramount. I'm not sure why the audio commentaries weren't included if they recorded them. Maybe something suddenly came up. The suggested retail price of the 2 sets is the same - with or without special features. I would say the fact that the episodes are complete and unedited is the most important thing for me. To see whole scenes and lines that are cut in syndication is great to watch even though some of the re-inserted material is sometimes lower quality video. Season 3 is less than 2 months away! Look for that to be released on September 13th with season 4 possibly in late 2005 or early 2006.


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 Navigation/Design: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 07/11/2005

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0009I7NH6/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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