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The Doris Day Show - Season 1



DVD Release Date: June 28, 2005 (MPI Home Video)
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 28
Running Time: 780 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 1 hour
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English subtitles
Special Features:
• 1968 Doris Day Show commercial
• Two 1968 promotional greetings by Doris
• New videotaped actor interviews with Philip Brown (who played Doris' son Billy) and James Hampton (who played handyman Leroy B. Simpson) with series highlights and outtake clips
• Textless Main & End Titles
• Season 2 preview
• 1954 & 1957 appearances of Doris Day on What's My Line?
• DD Animal League/Foundation Promo 'A Message from Doris Day'
• Original movie trailer for Lover Come Back

My Thoughts:

Que sera, sera... whatever will be, will be... and this time, it is Season One of The Doris Day Show Day, on DVD! MPI Video has released a set that is complete with all 28 episodes from the first season of this forgotten sitcom, as well as some great special features!

Many shows from the past are heavily aired in syndication--The Doris Day Show has not received this kind of treatment; so as a result, there are many people that have never seen the show or people that have simply forgotten the show. The show stars Doris Day as Doris Martin, a widow that leaves the city to go live on a farm with her father Buck (played by Denver Pyle). She has two young sons, Billy and Toby (played by Phillip Brown and Tod Starke), and they also have a handyman for the farm named Leroy (played by James Hampton). The show began on CBS in 1968, and although it underwent many changes throughout the years, it ran for five seasons. The show is a very simple show (as many were in that time period) and mainly focused on problems that individual members of the family were having. Prior to reviewing the set, I had never seen the show, though after seeing it, I must say it kind of reminds me of a bizarre mix between The Andy Griffith Show and Julia. It is kind of an interesting show though.

Season One contains many great episodes. The first episode, "Dinner for Mom," involves the children taking Doris out to dinner for her birthday and insisting on paying for it by hiding her money—which only backfires when she realizes that they don't have enough money to pay for the dinner. In "The Friend," Doris has to do a milk commercial with her kids and their "sisters," which she instructs her sons to pick female classmates to be in the commercial--only to find that Toby has picked a black girl to be his sister. Doris finds herself helping her sons on an egg delivery route in "Let Them Out of the Nest." Doris incriminates herself while trying to help two elderly ladies get rid of their moon-shining business in "The Still."

The cover art has a picture of Doris Day herself. This set uses a digipak inside of a somewhat flimsy cardboard box. For some reason, I couldn't get the digipak to fit in the box quite right. The digipak contains four panels--one panel for each disc. Two of the panels contain a listing of each episode that is on each disc, complete with episode descriptions and original airdates. The set contains four discs, and the first three discs contain eight episodes. The fourth disc only contains four episodes, but it also contains the special features.

The menus on the set are fairly simple. The main menu has the options Play All, Episodes, and Subtitles. Additionally, Disc Four has a Bonus Features menu option. The Episodes menu takes you to a menu where you (simply put) select the episodes. There is no Scene Selection menu nor are there any chapters within the episodes. The Subtitles menu allows you to turn on the English subtitles. There was one thing that bothered me with this set in regards to the menus. Whenever you finished watching an episode, the next episode on the disc would begin playing immediately instead of going back to the menu screen! For people (such as myself) that do not always necessarily want to go to the next episode after watching one episode, it is kind of odd how it is necessary to hit the menu button to return to the menu after watching an episode.

I wasn't overly impressed with the video quality on this set. It appears to be a bit dated. Of course, the show is nearly 40 years old so that would account for many of the video problems. The picture wasn't perfectly clear, but it was sufficient. The main problem I had, however, is the fact that the picture tended to jump around a little it in certain places. The audio quality was adequate, and I didn't really find any real problems with it. It is in mono, of course. While there is no closed-captioning, there are English subtitles on the set. The episodes appear to be unedited, with each episode running at almost exactly 24 minutes.

Typically, with a forgotten show like this and a company that many have not heard of, you can expect to receive absolutely no special features--wrong! This set is surprisingly loaded with special features. In fact, about the only thing that is missing is commentary on the episodes. The set includes two clips from What's My Line? (one running 10 minutes and the other running 5 minutes) from where the panel had to guess who she was while they were blindfolded. Both of these clips are from the 1950s, and the openings of these shows are included in the clips, complete with the sponsorship intact. There is also a one minute promo taken straight from CBS in 1968 advertising the premiere of the show, which is a very nice feature to see (I don't understand why more sets can't include these...). There is a two minute Sponsor Greeting where Doris talks to the people attending a Ralston-Purina sales meeting talking about how she is proud that they are sponsoring her show--a very unusual and interesting feature! There is also a one minute CBS affiliates greeting where Doris talks to CBS affiliates about the show--again, another unusual feature in a DVD box set! There is also a two minute trailer for the movie "Lover Come Back," a film that Doris Day starred in with Rock Hudson. For sitcom fans out there, Tony Randall was also in that movie, and is featured in the trailer. Also included are the opening credits and closing credits without the text, as well as a bumper that would have been used during commercial breaks. Additionally, there is also "A Message from Doris" special feature, which is a one minute spot where she talks about the Doris Day Animal Foundation (I don't think that this was filmed exclusively for this box set but I could be wrong). However, there were two interviews done exclusively for this set! There is a 20 minute interview with James Hampton and a 10 minute interview with Philip Brown! And I'm not even done with the special features yet--that's right, there is still one more! There is a 6 minute Season 2 preview, which basically shows a few minutes from what appears to be the first episode of the second season. The opening credits from the second season (which are quite different) are also included in this preview, AND at the end of the preview, it is indicated that Season Two of the show will be coming soon! If Season Two only has half the special features though, it would still be better than most DVD sets!

Overall, I thought that this was a fairly decent show, and if you are a fan of classic sitcoms, this is definitely the show for you. This was perhaps one of the last shows of the "innocent" times of comedy where there was never any real controversy on television, and I honestly believe that fans of shows such as The Andy Griffith Show would really enjoy this show.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4.8/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 5/5/2005.

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