TITLE: THE GOLDBERGS - TWO-DISC SET
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008 (Timeless Media Group)
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 10
Running Time: Approx. 250 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English
Special Features: None
Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Bloom! The Goldbergs are on DVD in a release from Timeless Media Group. The two disc release presents 10 episodes of the TV series that started in the very early days of television (1949) that was based upon a successful radio series that began decades earlier. The series stars Gertrude Berg as Molly Goldberg and Robert Harris as her husband, Jake, and is about a Jewish family trying to make it in New York while balancing traditional Jewish ideas and contemporary American society.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Even though the series started in 1949, all of the episodes on this set appear to be from the final season, in 1955. And, if you do research on the series, you’ll discover that this is where the series actually “jumped the shark.” Of course, it is very much likely that older episodes simply do not exist.
The first episode on the set is “Social Butterfly,” where, after the Goldbergs move, they find it hard to adjust in their new neighborhood. Molly gets jury duty in “Member of the Jury.”
Molly may find youth in poetry in “The Poet.” David could be going back to the old country in “David’s Cousin.” Molly’s loving and adoring husband decides that she is too fat and sends her to a fat farm in “Milk Farm.” Can you tell that this is the 1950s yet? Divorce may be on the horizon in the Goldberg extended family in “Silence is Not Golden.”
The DVD set that I received for this review is said to not contain the final packaging, so what I have may differ from what is actually released. Essentially, there is just an outer box that contains a description of the series on the back and two Amaray cases with the two discs. The case artwork is the same as the outer box artwork. Each disc contains five episodes. The discs in my set had disc artwork on paper labels. I hope this is NOT how the real set will be.
Menu Design and Navigation:
We have a very plain main menu that gives us a listing of all of the episodes. You simply select the episode and it plays. To be honest, the menus are very cheap looking, and while they are perfectly functional, they do not seem appropriate at all for anything that is being sold for over a dollar.
Video and Audio Quality:
The packaging for this packaging does not use that typical DVD catchphrase “restored” or anything similar to that anywhere... and when you see these episodes, you will REALLY be able to tell that there is NOTHING restored about these episodes. In all fairness, these episodes are well over 50 years old and this show has mostly been in obscurity, so we can’t expect the best, but these episodes look terrible. Grain is everywhere, there are problems with the film in many places, the video is extremely washed out, and those are just the MAJOR issues. The audio isn’t that impressive either, as it tends to be pretty low and tends to fade in and out. The set is not closed-captioned.
I am assuming these episodes are unedited, as each episode runs around 25:50. However, the episode “Silence is Not Golden” runs at 28:00 for some reason. I’m not sure what is behind this longer runtime, as I was unable to watch the complete episode. What exactly do I mean? I had MANY problems getting the episodes to play, on SEVERAL DVD players. They would cause the DVD players to lock up several minutes into theepisode. I hope that this isn’t a widespread issue that will affect every set out there, because if it is, this set will be very difficult for anybody to watch. Hopefully this is just a problem with the review copies.
There isn’t a single special feature, but for a series this old and rare, I would imagine that it would be difficult to come up with much anyway.
I’ve always wanted to see this series, but this DVD set is very disappointing. However, I don’t think the blame can be placed TOTALLY upon Timeless Media Group. After all, these episodes would have looked bad even if a major company had released the episodes. We should actually be thankful that this company was willing to take a chance on releasing this series. Still, the quality of the set and these episodes is about at the level of a public domain DVD release, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if this was a public domain release. I haven’t seen anything to indicate otherwise. But despite all of that, this set is priced at a real bargain price, and it is definitely worth giving the set a shot. It is kind of fun to watch these TV shows of the distant past.
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: 3/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 04/14/08
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