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The Munsters - The Complete Second Season


TITLE: THE MUNSTERS - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: October 25, 2005 (Universal Home Video)
Color
MSRP: $49.98
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 32
Running Time: 825 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English, Spanish Subtitles
Running time of Special Features: approx 176 minutes
Special Features: "America's First Family of Fright," "Fred Gwynne: More Than a Munster" Biography, "Yvonne DeCarlo: Gilded Lily" Biography and "Al Lewis: Forever Grandpa" Biography.


Introduction:

America's first family of fright returns to DVD in this final season boxed set. On this set are all 32 episodes from the second - and final - season. Join the boisterous and child-like Herman, lively Lily, wacky Grandpa, "black sheep" Marilyn and howling Eddie for another season of spine tingling laughter. For this set, each episode is presented restored and uncut, and for the first time in years, you'll see the episode TV Land (and previously Nick@Nite) never showed: #53 "Herman's Peace Offensive"!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Some of the memorable episodes from this season include: "Happy 100th Anniversary", "Just Another Pretty Face," "The Fregosi Emerald," "Cyrano De Munster," "Herman's Driving Test," "Will Success Spoil Herman Munster?," "Herman's Peace Offensive," "Eddie's Brother," and "A Visit From This Teacher."

Memorable guest stars include Bill Quinn ("Herman's Child Psychology" & "Operation Herman"), Emmaline Henry ("Herman, Coach of the Year"), Jackie Coogan, Jr. ("A Man For Marilyn"), Dom DeLuise ("Just Another Pretty Face"), Charles Lane ("The Most Beautiful Ghoul In the World"), Harvey Korman ("Prehistoric Munster"), Frank Gorshin ("Herman The Tire Kicker") and Bonnie Franklin ("Herman's Sorority Caper").


Packaging:

The cover art is a huge face shot of Herman. It's green in color and the logo is splashed on top of his forehead. It's a very unique design that presents a few issues. One, when pulling the box out of the case, the bolts on Herman's neck get in the way and it's packed a little too tight and requires some effort to remove it. The pack of the case includes a description of the series and the special features available. No sign of any episode listings at all on the back. In Herman's Head, we get a list of the episodes and what discs they are located on. No descriptions, just titles.

The discs themselves are plain, because they are double-sided discs. Although Disc 3 isn't double-sided, it's still presented like the other two discs. On the discs themselves is a little tiny green ring around the center that explains this is "The Munsters - Season 2." Overall, a very plain design and if you are someone who likes fancy designs, there definitely aren't any, but that's expected with a two sided disc. On the first disc, side A is episodes 1-8. Disc 1/Side B contains episodes 9-16. Disc 2/Side A contains episodes 17-24. Disc 2/Side B contains episodes 25-32. Disc 3 contains the every bonus feature included on this set.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu is nearly identical to the first season's menu. It has the family (in color) front and center with the Munster house behind them. The theme music plays in the background and loops continuously. There are several selections you can choose from. The first is "Play All" which, simply put, is the option to play every episode continuously. The next one is "Episode Index." This selection takes you to another menu that lists the episodes you can choose to watch. On each disc is a "Bonus Materials" menu that, on the first two discs, just lists the bonus features and tells you they are on disc 3. In the final selection, "Languages" that menu allows you to pick English as the spoken language and either English or Espanola for subtitles.


Video and Audio Quality:

Despite the series being in black and white and nearly 40 years old from the debut date, the picture is crystal clear. Every so often you encounter dust or a little fuzziness, but overall, a great picture. The audio is Dolby Mono but is fairly audible, when compared to some older show releases, which are notorious for having a decreased volume. As for each episode, it runs approximately 25 to 26 minutes in length. So, rest assured, they are uncut episodes. Each episode is presented in original airdate order (which means the order they aired while nationally broadcast on CBS in the 1960s). There were no chapter skips available. If you do try to do a chapter skip, it takes you back to the menu screen to select a new episode.


Special Features:

Basically, all of these special bonus features were once aired on A&E. They are biographies of the cast as well as the series itself. They are fun and informative and if you've never seen them, than this will be a huge treat. I'll give you a small rundown for each as to not spoil it for those who haven't seen them.

* "America's First Family of Fright" (44 minutes) - This special definitely can answer just about any question you might have had about the Munsters. It goes into detail as to just how uncomfortable being in makeup for 2 hours was, to the real reason Pat Priest wasn't asked back to do "The Munsters" feature films. It's a really nice summarization of the series and answers some burning questions.

* "Fred Gwynne: More Than a Munster" (44 minutes) - This was original aired on the A&E channel as part of their popular "Biography" series. Interviewed in this are Al Lewis, Butch Patrick and Gwynne's daughter. It details Gwynne's life as a struggling actor, determined not to be typecast as Herman, all the way through to the Munsters and onto his career afterwards, where he published several children's books.

* "Yvonne De Carlo: Gilded Lily" (44 minutes) - Just like the above feature, this was also aired on the A&E channel as part of their "Biography" series. Interviewed in this set are Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, Pat Priest, the president of her fan club and DeCarlo's son. It details her life from the beginning, all the way through to her Munsters days. To give an example of the extremely talented DeCarlo, we learn she was first a dancer, then a singer, then a very successful movie actress, then of course The Munsters. All this and even a few more facts you might never have known are included!

* "Al Lewis: Forever Grandpa" (44 minutes) - Just like the above features, this was also aired on the A&E channel as part of their "Biography" series. It details Lewis' life, from a successful comedy actor to his attempt at becoming a politician in the early '90s.


Final Comments:

Wow, what a wonderful way to end a series. The Munsters is such a fun show that always makes me laugh. It's definitely a series that you can watch over and over again. Unfortunately, my biggest disappointment was that there was no commentary. With several actors still alive, to my knowledge, it's such a shame there weren't any tracks recorded. For the bonus features, I was happily surprised all of those "Biography" specials were included. They give a true insight to each actor as well as the popular series. Overall, a great release from Universal, but "darn, darn, darn, darn, darn," as Herman would shout that it's all over with!


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

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

- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 on 11/07/05.

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000ATQYX8/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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