TITLE: THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW - CARL REINER'S FAVORITES
DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012 (Image Entertainment)
B&W / 1962-1966
Packaging: Amaray case
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 20
Running Time: Approx. 500 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles and Captions: None
Special Features: None
Rediscover the magic of one of TV's greatest comedy series! Trip into the living room of comedy writer Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) along with his lovely wife, Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), wisecracking co-workers (Morey Amsterdam, Rose Marie, Carl Reiner) and nutty neighbors. Winner of 15 Emmy Awards, The Dick Van Dyke Show is consistenly ranked among the top TV comedies of all time and is renowned for its top-notch cast and stellar writing.
The set contains 20 favorite episodes personally selected by Carl Reiner. He notes on the packaging that he loves all of the episodes, all but one that he doesn't mention. The first episode included is "Never Name a Duck," in which when one of Richie's two pet ducks dies, it seems as if the Petrie family has lost one of its human members. A crippled jeep and a sprained ankle make Rob two hours late for his own wedding in "The Attempted Marriage." Rob has an evening of high adventure with a veteran pool shark who pretends he can't play the game in "Hustling the Hustler." Richie runs into the house screaming that he has been pecked on the head by a giant woodpecker in "A Bird in the Head Hurts." Rob begins to fear he is allergic to his own family when proximity to Laura and Richie starts him sneezing in "Gesundheit, Darling." Rob is slapped, kicked, and screamed at--among other things--by the girl he left behind when he entered the Army in "Will You Two Be My Wife?" Rob finds himself in hot water after giving a television interview in which he unwittingly portrays his wife Laura as a nut in "Ray Murdock's X-Ray."
To his great regret, Rob ignores Laura's warning to stay off the big slopes on his first skiing excursion on "Don't Trip Over That Mountain." Rob, Laura and the office gang put together a variety show to help out an old friend in "The Sam Pomerantz Scandals." Rob finds himself caught in the middle after Buddy announces he is going to divorce Pickles in "Divorce." Complications arise when Laura confesses to Rob that she lied about her age on their marriage certificate in "Laura's Little Lie." Rob and Laura learn they are not legally married and make plans to elope in "Very Old Shoes, Very Old Rice." Rob is overcome with jealousy when he meets one of Laura's old beaux and then discovers that she saved a box of love poems he sent her in "The Life and Love of Joe Coogan." A family crisis develops when Rob's and Laura's parents compete to get the couple committed to their respective cemetery plots in "The Plots Thicken."
Rob attempts to coax a legendary radio star out of retirement for a TV special in "The Return of Edwin Carp." Laura takes two of Millie's prescription pills and suffers disastrous side effects in "Pink Pills and Purple Parents." Rob helps Alan Brady by rewriting a play starring the comic in "Baby Fat." Rob and Laura recall their courtship days, when Rob almost lost Laura to another man in "No Rice at My Wedding." The Petries' anniversary party for the Helpers turns into a television documentary for Alan Brady in "A Day in the Life of Alan Brady." Rob and his writers are in big trouble for adding insults to an Alan Brady script in "Obnoxious, Offesnive, Egomaniac, Etc."
All of the episodes are presented in their entirety and in pristine quality. The episodes included range from season 2 to season 5. The runtimes are as follows:
31. "Never Name a Duck" (25:12)
33. "The Attempted Marriage" (25:37)
35. "Hustling the Hustler" (25:29)
41. "A Bird in the Head Hurts" (25:58)
42. "Gesundheit, Darling" (25:34)
47. "Will You Two Be My Wife?" (25:36)
48. "Ray Murdock's X-Ray" (25:26)
52. "Don't Trip Over That Mountain" (25:34)
54. "The Sam Pomerantz Scandals" (24:46)
58. "Divorce" (24:30)
65. "Laura's Little Lie" (25:49)
66. "Very Old Shoes, Very Old Rice" (25:36)
79. "The Life and Love of Joe Coogan" (25:21)
87. "The Plots Thicken" (25:22)
89. "The Return of Edwin Carp" (25:00)
104. "Pink Pills and Purple Parents" (25:19)
123. "Baby Fat" (25:12)
131. "No Rice at My Wedding" (25:27)
151. "A Day in the Life of Alan Brady" (25:30)
152. "Obnoxious, Offensive, Egomaniac, Etc." (24:46)
The packaging for this set is an Amaray movie-style case. The cover art features a color photo of Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke. This is the same photo that was used on the previous 50th Anniversary Edition: Fan Favorites collection. A red color scheme and backround is used this time. A short synopsis of the set, a listing of the episodes, and the DVD specs are provided on the back of the case. There's a black and white photo of the four main cast members and a small more recent color photo of Carl Reiner. The set notes that it is dedicated with love to Estelle Reiner, Carl Reiner's late wife. Inside the case, there is just blank space. An episode guide would have been a welcome addition. The three discs are stacked together on a single plastic hub. This isn't the best storage method of keeping the discs scratch free. The discs have a red background, with the show logo and the disc number noted in a vintage televsion set. Each disc holds six or seven episodes. The episodes are presented in their broadcast order.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are simple and easy to navigate. The classic theme song plays in the background as a montage of video clips from the episodes are played in a box. The video clips are sped up for some reason. I guess they wanted to include as many different scenes as possible or highlight the comedy. Different colored borders and bars are used on each disc. The same photo of Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke Show that is used on the case is used on the main menu. The menu has a red background. There are options for "Play All" and "Episodes". When you select Episodes, it takes you to another menu where the episode titles are listed vertically in yellow text. The episode you select is highlighted with a pink or green bar depending on the disc. A smaller photo of Mary and Dick is used here. There are no scene selection menus included. Chapter stops are placed at the appropriate places within the episodes.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality on the set is excellent. These episodes look the same as they did on the individual season releases. All of the episodes have been beautifully remastered with mostly crystal clear video and audio, with just a few specks of grain and debris here and there. Unfortunately, though, the episodes are neither closed-captioned nor subtitled.
Many best-of sets do not include any special features. Unfortunately, that is the case with this release. The 50th Anniversary Edition: Fan Favorites set contained around 100 minutes of special features that were previously released on the season sets. I'm surprised that they couldn't include anything specific to Carl Reiner and the episodes contained on this set for this release.
The complete series has already been released in recent years, so this set is aimed more at the casual or new fan of the show. This really could be considered a second volume of the 50th Anniversary Edition: Fan Favorites set that was released last September. It uses the same cover art, although the background color and packaging is different this time. A big plus of the Carl Reiner's Favorites collection is that none of the episodes overlap with the previous release. If you had to pick only one set as a starter collection, I would choose the 50th Anniversary Edition: Fan Favorites set because of the overall better selection of episodes and the inclusion of over 100 minutes of special features. Unfortunately, there are no special features included on this new release.
This is a pretty basic release. It could have been improved a bit with the inclusion of an episode guide, special features and better interior packaging. It would have been nice to read in a booklet why Carl Reiner selected these particular episodes. There are really no weak episodes in this bunch. I was a bit surprised that no season one episodes were included. Most of the episodes are from the second and third seasons. The standout episodes to me in this collection are "The Attempted Marriage," "Don't Trip Over the Mountain," "Laura's Little Lie," and "Pink Pills and Purple Parents." The show celebrated its 50th anniversary last fall. It's one of those timeless classics that people will still be watching and talking about 50 years from now.
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
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 04/30/12
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