TITLE: MY THREE SONS - THE FIRST SEASON, Volume One
DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008 (CBS DVD)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 18
Running Time: 463 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: None
Steve, Mike, Rob, Chip, and of course, Grandpa “Bub,” are together again as a family, in Volume 1 of The First Season of My Three Sons! The three disc set contains the first half of the first (of many seasons) of the popular 60s sitcom. Like most other family series of the decade, the series demonstrated all of the important values of being the perfectly functional family, but with a different type of family. In the series, Steve Douglas (played by Fred MacMurray) is a widower that is left with his three sons, and a little help from Grandpa Bub (played by William Frawley) who fills the role of cook, housekeeper, and nanny for the boys. The series evolves over the years, with all of the boys eventually growing up (much like the boys on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) and many other changes, but these episodes show how it all started out.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Chip’s got a girl that wants him and so does his dad in “Chip Off the Old Block,” but do either of them want a girlfriend right now? A neighbor is determined to save Chip from his supposedly dysfunctional family in “The Little Ragpicker.” Mike finds a girl that he likes in “Brotherly Love,” but what will happen when Robbie also likes the same girl?
In “Lady Engineer,” Steve has a new co-worker that he likes, but can he get her beyond being just strictly business? It’s turkey day with a power outage in “Chip’s Harvest.” Steve finds a TV star (George Gobel) lying in his bed in “Lonesome George,” and can’t quite figure out how to respond to that. When the boys don’t get a raise in their allowance, they go on strike in “My Three Strikers.”
Remember on The Brady Bunch when Jan was upset because it was all about Marcia? Well Robbie is tired of it being all about Mike in “Mike’s Brother.” Bub leaves home when Steve’s cousin comes in “Bud Leaves Home,” but will he stay gone?
Packaging is... very standard. We have a basic Amaray style case that holds all three discs, with Steve smoking a pipe on the front cover (which is surprising to see in these days where anti-smoking initiatives are promoted). The discs are the standard gray discs with no artwork other than the show title. Also, inside the case, there is a listing of all of the episodes, with descriptions and original airdates. Each disc contains exactly six episodes.
Menu Design and Navigation:
This is a CBS DVD product, so there isn’t much to say about the menus. Basically, we just have a main menu with a cast photo and options of Play All and a listing of all of the episodes for that disc. You select what you want, and get it right away. There are chapters placed at all of the appropriate places in each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
The picture quality on the set is great for a show that is approaching the half-century mark. It is very clear and mostly free from any grain and debris. Maybe the only real problem is the lighting, but it isn’t that significant. The audio quality is pretty decent, but it has a tendency to be a tad bit low, as is a common problem with many DVDs. It is presented in mono, with closed-captioning available.
The set, as one would expect, has the ever-famous CBS DVD disclaimer about episodes being edited for music. However, I couldn’t find any of these edits personally, and the runtimes for the episodes seemed rather consistent. They are as follows:
“Chip Off the Old Block” (25:55)
“The Little Ragpicker” (25:47)
“Bub in the Ointment” (25:46)
“Brotherly Love” (25:46)
“Adjust or Bust” (25:46)
“Lady Engineer” (25:46)
“Chip’s Harvest” (25:47)
“Raft On The River” (25:43)
“Lonesome George” (25:46)
“Spring Will Be a Little Late” (25:41)
“My Three Strikers” (25:43)
“The Elopement” (25:41)
“Mike’s Brother” (25:43)
“Domestic Trouble” (25:41)
“Bub Leaves Home” (25:43)
“Mike In a Rush” (25:43)
“The Bully” (25:42)
There are NO special features on the set, at all. Interviews would be a very appropriate special feature for this set. I don’t know why they didn’t try to get any, particularly from one of the “sons.” Oddly enough, if you want to see a commercial featuring the cast of the series, you’ll find that... on The Complete First Season of Route 66. So if CBS DVD says they couldn’t find anything, obviously they weren’t looking hard enough. But if it is any consolation, the closing credits for each episode have the Chevrolet being driven around in the background.
I’ve watched this show quite a bit throughout the years, but the versions I have always seen in syndication were the color episodes. Seeing these black and white episodes was a new experience for me. But all in all, I have to say it was a positive experience, as I found myself enjoying these episodes and anxious to see more of the first season. Which brings me to my one real complaint about the set: why does CBS DVD insist on doing half seasons for this series? Did anybody bother to tell them that, with 12 seasons, it’ll take 24 half season releases to release the series in full? Who is going to buy 24 DVD sets? Will there even be enough time before the DVD format is obsolete to release 24 DVD sets? And why is CBS DVD able to release The Beverly Hillbillies, which had more episodes than the first season of My Three Sons, in ONE set? In any event, this is a fine DVD set, even if it is overpriced for a half season set.
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 skees53 on 09/24/08
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