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The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)


TITLE: THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW - THE COMPLETE SERIES (BLU-RAY)


Info:

Blu-ray Release Date: November 13, 2012 (Image Entertainment)
B&W / 1961-1966
MSRP: $349.99
Packaging: Multi-disc Blu-ray Cases in Cardboard Box
Number of Discs: 15
Number of Episodes: 158
Running Time: 3960 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: approx. 400 minutes
Audio: English mono
Subtitles and Captions: None
Special Features: Episode Reminiscing; Episode Commentaries; Episode Photos; Promos. (See special features section for the very extensive list of season specific special features)


Introduction:

The Dick Van Dyke Show is back and better than ever as Image presents The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series on Blu-ray! The fifteen disc set collects one of TV's greatest classic series in one set, in true high-definition for the first time ever. For this new set, Image has transferred everything that originally appeared on the DVD releases (with new high-definition transfers for the actual episodes) and added even more new special features (on top of the plethora of special features contained on the previous releases) to create an five star set that gives fans yet another chance to enjoy the classic series.


Episodes:

Normally, I would go through and talk about every episode on the set here. But with 158 episodes on that set, that is simply not practical, and we can only talk about so many. Instead, I'll discuss some of the highlights of the series.

Season 1 (and the series) begins with "The Sick Boy and the Sitter," where Rob talks Laura into leaving a sick Richie with a babysitter while they attend a party. Laura dyes her hair to please Rob in "My Blonde-Haired Brunette," but is that real what Rob wants her to do? Rob and Laura tell Richie about when they met in "Oh How We Met on the Night That We Danced." In "Sally is a Girl," Rob begins to treat Sally like she is a girl (as opposed to one of the guys). Richie wants to know where he came from in "Where Did I Come From?" In "I Am My Brother's Keeper," Rob's brother Stacey comes to visit and seems to have a sleepwalking problem. The story continues in "The Sleeping Brother."

In Season 2, Rob has a problem with acting drunk every time that he hears a bell ring in "My Husband is Not a Drunk." In "What's in a Middle Name," Richie is about to find out why his middle name is Rosebud. Are Buddy and Sally having an affair? Rob thinks so in "The Secret Life of Buddy and Sally." In "A Man's Teeth are Not His Own," Jerry is at a dentist convention, which causes a problem when Rob is forced to see another dentist after he breaks his tooth. A science fiction movie creates chaos for Rob in "It May Look Like a Walnut." Rob gets caught in a marital squabble between Buddy and his wife in "Divorce."

Season 3 begins with "That's My Boy??," where Rob remembers the time when he thought that he brought home the wrong painting. Laura reveals that she lied about her age on their marriage certificate in "Laura's Little Lie." Rob hires a maid for Laura who doesn't understand a word of English in "Turtles, Ties, and Toreadors." In "The Alan Brady Show Presents," the staff of the show-within-a-show puts together a Christmas show. Rob meets an old boyfriend of Laura's in "The Life and Love of Joe Coogan." In "October Eve," Laura reveals to Rob that there is a painting of her in the nude. Rob will do anything to prevent baldness in "I'd Rather Be Bald Than Have No Head at All."

Season 4 includes the two-part episode "4 1/2" and "The Alan Brady Show Goes to Jail," where the crew from The Alan Brady Show meets a prisoner named Lyle Delp (played by Don Rickles) and goes to prison to put on a show for him and his fellow inmates. Rob tries to get a raise for himself and the other writers in "It Wouldn't Hurt Them to Give Us a Raise." In the two-part episode "Stacey Petrie," Rob's brother returns, with news that he'll be getting married. Richie is being beat up at school by a girl in "Girls Will Be Boys." In "Never Bathe on Saturday," we hear the story about how Laura got her toe stuck in the bathtub drain.

Season 5 begins with "Coast to Coast Big Mouth," where Laura reveals on TV that Alan Brady is bald. Rob thinks that he sees a UFO in "Uhny Uftz." In "Go Tell the Birds and the Bees," Richie has been giving his classmates a lesson that Rob and Laura would rather he not be giving. Rob helps Mel Cooley get fired in "The Bottom of Mel Cooley's Heart." In "The Gunslinger," Rob has dreams of being in the Wild West. The series ends with "The Last Chapter," where we get to see flashbacks to the past.

Considering that the DVDs of this series have been incredibly popular and nobody has said a word about anything being edited on any of them, I'm going to assume that the Blu-ray set is similarly unedited. It should also be noted that the episodes on the set are presented in production order, as opposed to air date order (although the episode "The Last Chapter" is presented last in the set). The runtimes would seem to suggest that as well. Some of the episodes have promotional spots which you can watch separately or reinserted into the episode. The runtimes, presented as follows, are all for versions of the episodes without those promotional spots (we account for those in the special features section).

Season 1/Disc 1:
1. "The Sick Boy and the Sitter" (25:40)
2. "The Meershatz Pipe" (25:35)
3. "Jealousy" (25:38)
4. "Sally and the Lab Technician" (25:24)
5. "Washington vs. the Bunny" (25:40)
6. "Oh How We Met the Night That We Danced" (25:06)
7. "The Unwelcome Houseguest" (25:38)
8. "The Harrison B. Harding of Camp Crowder, MO" (25:40)
9. "My Blond-Haired Brunette" (25:28)
10. "Forty-Four Tickets" (25:40)

Season 1/Disc 2:
11. "To Tell or Not to Tell" (25:41)
12. "Sally is a Girl" (25:42)
13. "Empress Carlotta's Necklace" (25:41)
14. "Buddy, Can You Spare a Job?" (25:10)
15. "Who Owes Who What?" (25:46)
16. "Sol and the Sponsor" (25:23)
17. "The Curious Thing About Women" (25:22)
18. "Punch Thy Neighbor" (25:14)
19. "Where Did I Come From?" (25:27)
20. "The Boarder Incident" (25:37)

Season 1/Disc 3:
21. "A Word a Day" (25:40)
22. "The Talented Neighborhood" (25:41)
23. "Father of the Week" (25:27)
24. "The Twizzle" (25:41)
25. "One Angry Man" (25:40)
26. "Where You Been, Fassbinder?" (25:41)
27. "The Bad Old Days" (25:39)
28. "I Am My Brother's Keeper" (25:17)
29. "The Sleeping Brother" (25:39)
30. "The Return of the Happy Spangler" (25:39)

Season 2/Disc 1:
31. "Never Name a Duck" (25:11)
32. "The Two Faces of Rob" (25:37)
33. "Bank Book 6565696" (25:39)
34. "The Attempted Marriage" (25:37)
35. "Hustling the Hustler" (25:28)
36. "What's in a Middle Name?" (24:51)
37. "My Husband is Not a Drunk" (25:14)
38. "Like a Sister" (25:37)
39. "The Night the Roof Fell In" (25:33)
40. "The Secret Life of Buddy and Sally" (25:38)
41. "A Bird in the Head Hurts" (25:34)

Season 2/Disc 2:
42. "Gesundheit, Darling" (25:33)
43. "A Man's Teeth Are Not His Own" (25:34)
44. "Somebody Has to Play Cleopatra" (25:35)
45. "The Cat Burglar" (25:34)
46. "The Foul-Weather Girl" (25:29)
47. "Will You Be My Wife?" (25:32)
48. "Ray Murdock's X-Ray" (25:20)
49. "I Was a Teenage Head Writer" (25:33)
50. "My Husband is a Check-Grabber" (25:33)
51. "It May Look Like a Walnut" (24:55)
52. "Don't Trip Over That Mountain" (25:31)

Season 2/Disc 3:
53. "Give Me Your Walls!" (25:08)
54. "The Sam Pomerantz Scandals" (24:41)
55. "I'm No Henry Walden!" (25:31)
56. "The Square Triangle" (25:32)
57. "Racy Tracy Rattigan" (25:34)
58. "Divorce" (24:29)
59. "It's a Shame She Married Me" (25:20)
60. "A Surprise Surprise is a Surprise" (25:31)
61. "Jilting the Jilter" (25:35)
62. "When a Bowling Pin Talks, Listen" (25:16)
63. "All About Eavesdropping" (24:27)

Season 3/Disc 1:
64. "That's My Boy??" (25:30)
65. "The Masterpiece" (25:39)
66. "Laura's Little Lie" (25:50)
67. "Very Old Shoes, Very Old Rice" (25:37)
68. "Uncle George" (25:39)
69. "Too Many Stars" (25:41)
70. "Who and Where Was Antonio Stradivarius?" (25:14)
71. "Big Max Calvada" (25:42)
72. "The Ballad of the Betty Lou" (25:36)
73. "Turtles, Ties, and Toreadors" (25:38)

Season 3/Disc 2:
74. "The Sound of the Trumpet of Conscience Falls Deafly on a Brain That Holds Its Ears... or Something Like That!" (25:37)
75. "The Third One From the Left" (25:29)
76. "The Alan Brady Show Presents" (25:30)
77. "My Husband is the Best One" (24:45)
78. "Happy Birthday and Too Many More" (24:45)
79. "The Lady and the Tiger and the Lawyer" (25:26)
80. "The Life and Love of Joe Coogan" (25:21)
81. "A Nice, Friendly Game of Cards" (24:30)
82. "The Brave and the Backache" (25:25)
83. "The Pen is Mightier Than the Mouth" (25:11)
84. "My Part-Time Wife" (25:33)

Season 3/Disc 3:
85. "Honeymoons are for the Lucky" (25:26)
86. "How to Spank a Star" (25:30)
87. "The Plot Thickens" (25:25)
88. "Scratch My Car and Die" (25:15)
89. "The Return of Edwin Carp" (25:02)
90. "October Eve" (25:30)
91. "Dear Mrs. Petrie, Your Husband is in Jail" (25:25)
92. "My Neighbor's Husband's Other Life" (24:56)
93. "I'd Rather Be Bald Than Have No Head at All" (24:42)
94. "Teacher's Petrie" (25:31)
95. "My Two Showoffs and Me" (24:56)

Season 4/Disc 1:
96. "My Mother Can Beat Up My Father" (25:28)
97. "A Ghost of A. Chantz" (24:46)
98. "The Lady and the Babysitter" (25:03)
99. "A Vigilante Ripped My Sports Coat" (25:25)
100. "The Man from Emperor" (25:27)
101. "Romance, Roses, and Rye Bread" (25:32)
102. "4 1/2" (25:12)
103. "The Alan Brady Show Goes to Jail" (25:32)
104. "Three Letters from One Wife" (25:34)
105. "It Wouldn't Hurt Them to Give Us a Raise" (25:31)
106. "Pink Pills for Purple Patients" (25:20)

Season 4/Disc 2:
107. "The Death of the Party" (25:36)
108. "Stretch Petrie vs. Kid Schenk" (25:19)
109. "The Impractical Joke" (25:32)
110. "Brother, Can You Spare $2500?" (25:28)
111. "Stacey Petrie (Part 1)" (25:17)
112. "Stacey Petrie (Part 2)" (24:54)
113. "The Redcoats are Coming" (25:05)
114. "Boy #1, Boy #2" (25:08)
115. "The Case of the Pillow" (25:22)
116. "Young Man with a Shoehorn" (25:23)
117. "Girls Will Be Boys" (24:31)

Season 4/Disc 3:
118. "Bupkis" (25:29)
119. "Your Home Sweet Home is My Home" (25:34)
120. "Anthony Stone" (25:26)
121. "Never Bathe on Saturday" (25:08)
122. "100 Terrible Hours" (25:27)
123. "Show of Hands" (25:08)
124. "Baby Fat" (25:14)
125. "Br-room, Br-room" (25:30)
126. "There's No Sale Like Wholesale" (25:11)
127. "A Farewell to Writing" (25:36)

Season 5/Disc 1:
128. "Coast to Coast Big Mouth" (25:30)
129. "Uhny Uftz" (24:30)
130. "The Ugliest Dog in the World" (25:17)
131. "No Rice at My Wedding" (25:27)
132. "Draw Me a Pear" (25:40)
133. "The Great Petrie Fortune" (25:03)
134. "Odd But True" (25:15)
135. "Viva Petrie" (24:59)
136. "Go Tell the Birds and the Bees" (25:40)
137. "Body and Sol" (25:12)
138. "See Rob Write, Write, Rob, Write" (24:48)

Season 5/Disc 2:
139. "You're Under Arrest" (25:08)
140. "Forty-Two, Forty-Five, or Work" (25:32)
141. "Who Stole My Watch?" (24:56)
142. "Bad Reception in Albany" (24:57)
143. "I Choose Not to Run" (25:18)
144. "The Making of a Councilman" (25:04)
145. "The Curse of the Petrie People" (25:30)
146. "The Bottom of Mel Cooley's Heart" (25:26)
147. "Remember the Alimony" (25:30)
148. "Dear Sally Rogers" (24:58)

Season 5/Disc 3:
149. "Buddy Sorrell, Man and Boy" (25:28)
150. "Long Night's Journey into Day" (25:30)
151. "Talk to the Snail" (25:25)
152. "A Day in the Life of Alan Brady" (25:33)
153. "Obnoxious, Offensive, Egomaniac, Etc." (24:25)
154. "The Man from My Uncle" (25:06)
155. "You Ought to Be in Pictures" (25:21)
156. "Love Thy Other Neighbor" (25:16)
157. "The Gunslinger" (24:51)
158. "The Last Chapter" (25:36)


Packaging:

The packaging for this set is nothing spectacular (especially when compared to the DVD releases), but it is very professional. The set comes in a cardboard box that has Dick and Mary dancing on the cover with the series logo above them, with a blue color scheme (for Blu-ray, I assume). On the back, you'll find a brief description of the set, a cast photo, and a listing of all of the special features (new special features are listed separately). Inside, you'll find five multi-disc Blu-ray cases, with each case containing one season. The cover art for each of these individual cases is of a similar style to the cover art on the outer box, but each one has a different cast photo. Inside the case, you'll find the discs, which have the artwork seen on the outer cardboard box (for all 15 discs) and a list of all of the episodes on the disc. Inside the case, you'll also find a printed list of all of the episodes on the disc, along with a listing of any special features associated with the episode. Unfortunately, unlike the DVD version, there are no nice episode booklets here with episode descriptions.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus on the set are very nicely done, and are in typical Blu-ray fashion. On the main menu, we have a version of the theme song (it seems to be a newly "reimagined" version) with clips from episodes playing on the screen. Options on the main menu include Play All Episodes, Episodes, and Special Features. Selecting Episodes brings up a pop-up menu that lists all of the episodes on the disc. Once you select an episode, you get an option to play it, as well as to go to any episode related special features. The Special Features option on the main menu lists all of the general special features on the disc. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality on this set is very interesting. The episodes themselves (what we're really interested in here) look excellent, and I would even go so far as to say that they look as good as they ever possibly could. Despite the series being remastered and looking so great on the previous DVD releases, they seem to have gone through yet again and cleaned up the episodes for a perfect looking Blu-ray release. There are specks of grain and debris still, and I think the otherwise crystal clear picture makes them more obvious than ever... but these episodes really do look excellent, almost like newly filmed episodes with the color removed. Image didn't mess with the aspect ratio either, so the episodes are all presented in their original full screen aspect ratio. The special features do not look so great as far as video quality is concerned, but much of this was never really designed to be preserved anyway. The audio mostly sounds good and is presented in Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, but it can be a tidbit too low if you don't have such an advanced setup. Unfortunately, they did NOT include English subtitles on the episodes.


Special Features:

The set has numerous episodes that feature these segments called "The Cast Remembers..." in which cast members look back at some of their memories of the episodes. I'm pretty sure these were all done in the early 90s, because they look very dated and the cast members all look as they did back then. The episodes that include these are as follows:

"My-Blond Haired Brunette" (5:37), - Mary, Dick, Carl
"Where Did I Come From?" (2:00) - Carl and Dick
"Bank Book 6565696" (0:54) - Mary
"A Bird in the Head Hurts" (0:23) - Carl
"Gesundheit, Darling" (1:12) - Carl
"That's My Boy??" (3:54) - Carl, Mary, Sheldon, Dick
"The Ballad of Betty Lou" (0:44) - Dick
"The Life and Love of Joe Coogan" (0:27) - Mary and Dick
"October Eve" (0:46) - Carl
"Pink Pills for Purple Patients" (1:07) - Mary
"Never Bathe on a Sunday" (4:17) - Carl, Mary, Dick
"Baby Fat" (1:31) - Carl
"Br-room, Br-room" (1:21) - Dick and Mary
"Coast to Coast Big Mouth" (2:07) - Carl, Mary, and Dick
"Buddy Sorrell - Man and Boy" (0:39) - Morey
"The Gunslinger" (0:55) - Dick

Additionally, the set features commentaries throughout all of the seasons. They're very fun and insightful to listen to. Episodes that include these are as follows:

"Where Did I Come From?" - Carl and Dick
"The Sleeping Brother" - Carl and Dick
"The Attempted Marriage" - Carl and Dick
"My Husband is Not a Drunk" - Carl and Dick
"A Bird in the Head Hurts" - Rose Marie, Larry, Ann
"All About Eavesdropping" - Rose Marie, Larry, Ann
"That's My Boy??" - Carl and Dick
"October Eve" - Carl and Dick
"Never Bathe on a Sunday" - Carl and Dick
"Baby Fat" - Carl and Dick; second commentary by Garry Marshall
"Coast to Coast Big Mouth" - Carl and Dick
"Dear Sally Rogers" - Rose Marie, Larry, Bill Idelson
"The Gunslinger" - Carl and Dick

Many of the episodes on the set include episode photos. Since there are so many, we won't go through and discuss each and every instance of them. Basically, these are just a bunch of publicity photos that were taken for the episodes, with a handful of them on the episodes that have them.

Original cast commercials (i.e. cast members, usually Dick Van Dyke himself, promoting the advertiser for the episodes) are scattered throughout the set, and there is nothing controversial about them at all in the first season. It was sponsored by Cheer, and we see some of those spots. Things get a bit dicey in the second season though, as another sponsor came along... Kent Cigarettes. There are other sponsors in the second season though, primarily soap companies. These disappear completely by the third season. Since there are so many of these, we won't time each one individually. For the most part, these are just 15 second sponsor billboards, though occasionally we'll see longer commercials featuring the cast in their roles.

Throughout the set, you'll find many MeTV Promos. Episodes that include these are as follows (see the Season 5 section for more non-episode specific promos).
"The Twizzle" (0:34)
"Never Name a Duck" (0:34)
"That's My Boy??" (0:34)
"The Life and Love of Joe Coogan" (0:34)
"Coast to Coast Big Mouth" (0:34)
"My Blonde-Haired Brunette" (0:34)

Now, we'll go into season specific special features.

Season 1 special features include, as expected, a lot of stuff about the original pilot for the series. This begins with "Head of the Family Pilot" (26:35), which is the original pilot for the series in which Carl Reiner plays the leading role instead of Dick Van Dyke. That isn't the only change, of course. The entire cast on this original pilot is completely different, and to be totally honest, we should all be thankful that they made the changes that they made after this pilot. The video and audio quality on this isn't as bad as one would anticipate, although it probably is the roughest looking thing on the set, and it doesn't seem that there was even a slight effort to transfer this to HD (it is understandable). "Carl Remembers Pilot" (2:05) is a feature where Carl Reiner looks back at his experience of creating the pilot, while "Carl and Sheldon Remember the Pilot" (4:32) is a similar feature where the duo talks about how Sheldon Leonard came along and convinced Carl Reiner that he was wrong for the star of the series, but perfect for the job of producer. "CBS Promo" (1:02) is a cast promo that aired on CBS for the series during the January 26, 1962 episode of the game show Password. "The Cast Remembers Buddy" (2:06) has Carl and the entire class (including Morey Amsterdam himself) looking back at the character of Buddy Sorrell. The episode "I Am My Brother's Keeper" includes a promo for the next episode, "The Sleeping Brother" (0:14). In "Carl, Rose, and Morey remember Dick's physical comedy" (3:53), we get to see the cast (including Dick) look back at the physical comedy of the star of the series. "Emmy Awards 1961-1962 Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy" (1:12) allows fans to see Carl Reiner accepting an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing, as presented by Lucille Ball. In "TV Academy Tribute to Carl Reiner - Paul Reiser" (10:21), we get to see some footage of Paul Reiser giving his tribute to Carl Reiner. Finally, on season 1, we have "50th Anniversary Q&A" (29:14), where Dick Van Dyke, Carl Reiner, and Garry Marshall all get together for a Q&A session just in time for the 50th anniversary of the series.

On Season 2, we have "Remembering the Ottoman" (1:35), where Carl, Dick, Morey, and Mary discuss the new opening credits for the second season, and how they needed some sort of gimmick to get people at home to watch the series... and of course, in came the gimmick of sidestepping the ottoman vs. tripping over it. "Remembering Rob and Laura" (4:07) is a cast interview where everybody talks about the two main characters in the series, while "Remembering Buddy and Sally" (1:51) is a feature where the cast talks about Rob's co-workers. "Emmy Awards (1962-1963) Outstanding Directorial and Program Achievements in Comedy" (4:27) shows John Rich being given an Emmy from Carol Burnett, and then later we see Fred MacMurray presenting the entire series with an award (with Carl Reiner accepting). "Remembering Jerry Paris" (2:21) talks about Jerry Paris being cast to the series, and how he was also interested in directing episodes... something that he was eventually able to do. "Making It May Look Like a Walnut" (22:53) is a retrospective of the famous "It May Look Like a Walnut" produced by the people at The Walnut Times. We get to see the cast here discuss the episode in great detail. "It May Look Like a Walnut Color Test" (3:46) gives us a very brief look at some clips from the episode as they would look if the episode was colorized. I'm assuming that this must be pretty old, because the colorization technology doesn't seem to be very significant. You'll also find a CBS promo (0:58) under the "It May Look Like a Walnut" episode menu. "Emmy Awards (1962-1963) Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy" (2:00) has the cast of The Beverly Hillbillies (sans Donna Douglas) presenting an Emmy Award to Carl Reiner. "Family Cavalcade Promo" (0:18) is a promo found on the last episode of the season, where Dick Van Dyke advertises the upcoming reruns that will be airing in the summer (he makes them sound much more exciting than they actually are). "Remembering Oh, Rob" (1:24) is a retrospective where Carl and Mary look back at one of the most familiar phrases from the series: "Oh, Rob!" "Safety Council Reel" (1:47) is a reel of clips for the National Safety Council featuring Dick Van Dyke (the first one also features a brief cameo from Mary Tyler Moore). I'm assuming that these aired on TV during the time that the episodes aired, perhaps just after the closing credits (there were many PSAs that aired like these after Beverly Hillbillies episodes during this same year). "Dick on the Danny Kaye Show" (16:41) is an extended skit from The Danny Kaye Show, where we get to see Danny perform with (who else?) Dick Van Dyke.

On Season 3, we have "Remembering Sheldon Leonard" (2:14), where Carl, Dick, and Mary all reflect on the career of Sheldon Leonard. Sheldon speaks for himself in "Sheldon on the role of Executive Producer" (1:34). We get a full episode of The Danny Thomas Show (a series that was executive produced by Sheldon Leonard) entitled "The Woman Behind the Jokes" (25:36), in which Morey Amsterdam makes a cameo appearance as Buddy Sorrell. This episode aired in the eleventh season of the series. "Remembering Alan Brady" (0:38) is just a brief featurette where Carl talks about the character Alan Brady. "Mary on The Danny Kaye Show" (10:17) is yet another clip from The Danny Kaye Show, where she performs in a series of skits called Father Knows Nothing, Father Knows Plenty, and Osaka Hillbillies. "Dick and Mary on Van Dyke and Company" (3:16) is a brief clip from Dick Van Dyke's variety show that aired on NBC in the '70s featuring Mary Tyler Moore (by the way, the whole series is on DVD from MPI). "Emmy Awards (1963-1964) Outstanding Continued Performance by Actor/Actress in a Series" (2:33) gives us a chance to see Dick Van Dyke collect yet another Emmy for the series, this time for his acting, and Mary Tyler Moore collects another one after that for her acting on the series. "TV Academy Tribute to Carl - Steve Martin and George Clooney" (5:58) is yet another tribute to the iconic producer and actor from those stars. Finally, Nick at Nite promos (2:10) is a series of promos for the series from Nick at Nite, some of which are nearly two decades old by now.

On Season 4, we have "Remembering Don Rickles" (1:00), which is where Dick looks back at Don Rickles and his appearance on the series. "Clip from the Animated Alan Brady Show" (2:11) is a brief clip from the TV Land pilot for the animated spinoff (which never exactly took off). It would have been nice to have seen the entire special, of course. "Mary on The Danny Thomas Show" (2:32) is a bit of a confusing special feature to me. I kind of expected this to be a clip or episode of the sitcom, The Danny Thomas Show, but instead, this appears to be some sort of variety show from 1965 (after the sitcom was off the air). But I couldn't find anything to show that any such series existed! So this one remains a bit of a mystery to me (if anybody out there does know what it is all about, I'd be glad to know). "TV Academy Tribute to Carl - Dick Van Dyke" (11:14) is a tribute to the creator from Dick Van Dyke, while "TV Academy Tribute to Carl - Ray Romano and Brad Garrett" (1:53) is a similar special feature where those two actors give Carl Reiner their own salute. "DVD Exclusive Awards: Season One" (3:14) shows where the first season of the series won an award (accepted by Paul Brownstein and Dick Van Dyke) for "The Best Overall TV DVD Award." It beat out DVD sets such as The Simpsons, The Shield, The X-Files, and ER. "TV Academy Tribute to Carl - Rose Marie, Larry Matthews, Bill Persky" (13:04) is yet another one of those tributes to Carl Reiner. We get to see something a bit surreal in the very brief clip from Diagnosis Murder in "Diagnosis Murder: Dr. Mark Sloan Meets Rob Petrie" (0:36). In "Dick Sings the Theme Song at the Hollywood Bowl" (2:28), we get to see a 2001 performance where Dick (and others) sing the series theme song at the Hollywood Bowl. "The Dick Van Dyke Show Remembered" (46:28) is a very length feature where we get to look back at the entire series, from the perspective of the cast. "Emmy Awards (1964-1965) Outstanding Program Achievement in Entertainment" (3:02) lets us see the series earn yet ANOTHER Emmy Award. Finally, the fourth season ends with even more really old Nick at Nite promos (2:18). All of these are from the days where Dick Van Dyke was the "Honorary Chairman" of Nick at Nite, at least as far as promos for the network were concerned.

Season 5 special features begin with more Emmys, with "Emmy Awards (1965-1966) Outstanding Comedy Series" (2:09). This time, we get to see Peter Falk, Carol Burnett, and Bill Cosby making the presentation. We get another tribute to Carl Reiner with "TV Academy Tribute to Carl - Garry Shandling" (2:29). "MeTV Promo Package #1" (1:50) is a series of promos for the series in general from MeTV. All of these promos are from the days before MeTV was a national network. "Remembering 4 1/2 and The Alan Brady Show Goes to Jail" (7:06) relates to a two-part episode from the fourth season, but this special feature didn't quite make that set. Here, we have a look back at that episode with Carl Reiner and Don Rickles. I should note that there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the video quality of the archive footage on here. I'm not quite sure what the problem is, but the video quality isn't smooth at all. "Remembering Richard Deacon" (3:40) is a look back at Richard Deacon with Dick, Sheldon Leonard, Morey, Carl, and Rose Marie. In "Remembering Sally" (3:18), we get to here about the character of Sally from the cast, including the story of how she was loosely based upon Selma Diamond. "Emmy Awards (1965-1966) Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series" (2:57) shows the series winning even more Emmy Awards. "MeTV Promo Package 2" (2:05) shows some more promos for the series from MeTV, while Nick at Nite Promos (1:30) gives more promos from that network. "Comic Relief (1992)" (6:15) gives us yet another look at the cast at a Comic Relief event, with some of the biggest comedians of the day. "TV Land Awards (2003)" (15:15) shows extended footage of the cast of the series when they accepted their TV Land Award in 2003. "Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman: If Men Could Cry" (5:26) is footage that Dick Van Dyke did for a special after the series in which he looked back at the series. Mary Tyler Moore appears in this as well. "TV Land Promo for The Dick Van Dyke Show" (0:33) is a promo for the series from when TV Land began airing the series about a decade ago. "Theatrical Trailer: The Art of Love" (0:51) is a trailer for a 1965 film that featured Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner. The trailer is in black and white, even though the film itself is in color. Finally, "The New Dick Van Dyke Show Preview" (0:34) is a CBS promo from Dick Van Dyke's second sitcom that he did for CBS.

I'm going to be perfectly honest here: I think that I included all of the special features that are included on this set in this section, but with this many, it is entirely possible that one or more may have been overlooked. But that is a good thing... it is very rare that we can honestly say that about anything that we review.


Final Comments:

Wow... Image (and let's not forget producer Paul Brownstein) have done it again! They've taken one of the greatest series of all time, and put it in what is one of the greatest home media releases of all time! But with that being said, I'm sure fans will have one big question: is this worth an upgrade from the DVD releases? I would love to answer that question with a yes, but I'm not so sure about that. The set has a few new special features and the video quality looks even better on this set than it did on the DVDs, but those DVDs are more than good enough for most fans. But there are still plenty of people whom I would recommend this set to. If you don't already own the DVDs, I think it is really worth just skipping on picking those up and jumping straight into this set instead. While the MSRP on the set is very frightening looking, the reality is that many online retailers are already discounting it by more than half that price, so it isn't that much more expensive than the DVDs. Of course, if you are a die-hard fan of the series (and I know that many people are), it could be worth owning both the Blu-rays and DVDs for the series. In any event, this is by far the best release of any sitcom that I've ever seen on Blu-ray (and really all of home media for that matter), and it just goes to show that the people at Image aren't getting tripped over any ottomans!


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

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 5/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 12/20/12

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http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=307218


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