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The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Complete Series



Release Date: July 2, 2013 (Shout! Factory)
MSRP: $139.99
Packaging: Cardboard Case with Viva Cases
Number of Discs: 21
Number of Episodes: 147
Running Time: 3600 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 150 minutes
Audio: English Mono
Subtitles and Captioning: Closed-captioned
Special Features: Dwayne Hickman Interview; Original Pilot; Episodes from Love That Bob! and The Stu Erwin Show; Clip from The Coke Time Special; Color Dobie Skit; Scripts and Notes from the Max Schulman Vault


"Hello, I'm Dobie Gillis, and I love girls - tall ones, short ones, blonde ones, dark ones, any kind of girl.." That about sums up the premise of the CBS series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Based upon a series of short stories by humorist Max Shulman, the series starred Dwayne Hickman as Dobie Gillis, the boy next door, constantly out to get the girl of his dreams. Of course, every guy has a best friend, and Dobie's was Maynard G. Krebs, played by a pre-Gilligan Bob Denver.

The series went through many changes over the years. The first season followed Dobie as he was living at home with his parents while attending high school, although he was rarely seen at home. Rather, he was usually seen with his parents at the grocery store that they owned or at school. As the series progressed, he graduated from high school and went into the Army... but with it only being 1960, it wasn't quite the Vietnam-era Army just yet. After his very brief time (six whole months!) in the Army, he went on to college for the remaining two seasons (where his English teacher from high school just so happened to transfer to... wait, didn't that happen on Boy Meets World?). The series ran from 1959 until 1963 on CBS, and now it is available on DVD for the first time ever as a complete series release.


There are a lot of episodes on this set (147 to be exact), so we can't go into detail on all of them. But we can go through a few highlights. The first season begins with "Caper at the Bijou," where Dobie is desperate to do anything to win money so that he can take Thalia (Tuesday Weld) to the dance. We're introduced to Dobie's nemesis Milton Armitage (Warren Beatty) in "The Best Dressed Man." In "Love is a Science," Thalia wants Dobie to become a doctor, except he has to pass science first... and he enlists the help of Zelda (Shiela James, who makes her first appearance in THIS episode). Maynard is drafted into the military in "Maynard's Farewell to the Troops." Dobie's father wants Dobie to admit to him that he hates him in "Couchville, USA." In "The Gaucho," the son of an Argentinian general has come to stay with the Gillis family and poses a threat to Dobie's relationship with Thalia, unless he and Maynard can successfully sabotage that. Dobie falls in love with a girl (Yvonne Craig) whose family is a bunch of health food eating acrobats in "The Flying Millicans." A poor understanding of measurements causes chaos in "The Chick from Outer Space." Rose Marie guest stars in "The Prettiest Collateral in Town," where Dobie's father sets Dobie up on a date to help secure a loan. Dobie proposes marriage... to Zelda... in "Here Comes the Groom." Dobie becomes a father... almost... in "Rock-a-Bye Dobie," where Don Knotts guest stars.

In the second season, Maynard discovers an abandoned baby in the park in "Baby Talk," and decides to take charge. Dobie changes his whole style in "Dobie Goes Beatnik." Maynard is having a Christmas party for his friends in "Jangle Bells," but it may be Chatworth's party that Dobie attends instead based upon Zelda's advice. Maynard's new friend is a cool cat... literally... in "What's My Lion?" Maynard decides that it is in Dobie's best interest to end their friendship in "The Bitter Feud of Dobie and Maynard." In "The Second Childhood of Herbert T. Gillis," Dobie's father is about to finally finish his high school education. Dobie is about to join the Army in "Baby Shoes." Maynard's beard is threatened in the Army in "The Battle of Maynard's Beard." Dobie pretends to be a colonel to impress a girl in "Like Father, Like Son, Like Trouble." Norman Fell guest stars in "Be It Ever So Humble."

The third season kicks off with "The Ruptured Duck," where Dobie and Maynard are honorably discharged from the military after their six months of duty and are now headed off to college... where they find their old high school teacher is now a professor. Maynard gets his hand stuck in the gum ball machine at Gillis Grocery's in "Move Over, Perry Mason." In "The Second Most Beautiful Girl in the World," Dobie has to compete with Chatsworth for a girl, but is there any hope for him at all? Dobie's father runs for political office in "I Do Not Choose to Run," and Dobie is proud of him... until he falls in love with the daughter of his father's opponent. Dobie is trying to escape from Zelda in "For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls," but surprisingly, stowing away on a cargo ship heading to South America is NOT the way to do it. Maynard stumbles into a hidden cave during a field trip in "It Takes a Heap o' Livin' to Make a Cave a Home," and befriends a stone age caveman.

The final season begins with "A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to a Funny Thing," where Maynard is accidentally committed to a mental hospital. Dobie has to pretend to be an alcoholic to help his cousin impress a girl in "A Splinter off the Old Block." Maynard and Duncan are driving a truck filled with explosives... not knowingly... in "Like Hi, Explosives." Dobie has been turned down for marriage by the same girl 61 times in "Flow Gently, Sweet Money," so how can the 62nd time be a charm? Maynard and Duncan are convinced that they killed Dobie's father after locking him in a freezer in "The Iceman Goeth," and are on the run from the law... except the disappearance of Duncan also causes trouble for Mr. Gillis. An escaped convict holds the Gillis' hostage in "All Right, Dobie, Drop the Gun." Chatsworth moves in with the Gillis family after his mother asks him to leave the nest in "There's Always Room for One Less." The series ends with the episode "The Devil and Dobie Gillis," where Dobie may be able to rig a raffle at a charity bazaar and win a big prize... much like in the very first episode!

Shout! Factory has done an excellent job with this set, giving us a full set of UNEDITED episodes. Even the original 20th Century Fox logo is on the end of each episode. Runtimes are as follows:

Season 1:
Disc 1:
1. "Caper at the Bijou" (25:45)
2. "The Best Dressed Man" (25:39)
3. "Love is a Science" (25:46)
4. "The Right Triangle" (25:49)
5. "Maynard's Farewell to the Troops" (25:44)
6. "The Sweet Singer of Central High" (25:47)
7. "Greater Love Hath No Man" (25:39)
8. "The Old Goat" (25:40)

Disc 2:
9. "Dobie Gillis, Boy Actor" (25:48)
10. "It Takes Two" (25:45)
11. "Dobie's Birthday Party" (25:52)
12. "Deck the Halls" (25:47)
13. "Couchville, USA" (25:52)
14. "The Gaucho" (25:47)
15. "The Smoke-Filled Room" (25:47)
16. "The Fist Fighter" (25:45)

Disc 3:
17. "The Hunger Strike" (25:47)
18. "The Flying Millicans" (25:43)
19. "Room at the Bottom" (25:49)
20. "The Power of Positive Thinking" (25:42)
21. "Dobie Spreads a Rumor" (25:46)
22. "Love is a Fallacy" (25:46)
23. "The Chicken from Outer Space" (25:50)
24. "Dobie's Navy Blues" (25:43)

Disc 4:
25. "Taken to the Cleaners" (25:48)
26. "That's Show Biz" (25:43)
27. "The Prettiest Collateral in Town" (25:51)
28. "Live Alone and Like It" (25:48)
29. "The Big Sandwich" (25:43)
30. "Soup and Fish" (25:50)
31. "Where There's a Will" (25:45)
32. "Put Your Feet in Our Hands" (25:38)

Disc 5:
33. "Competition is the Life of Trade" (25:47)
34. "The French, They Are a Funny Race" (25:46)
35. "The Unregistered Nurse" (25:48)
36. "The Long Arm of the Law" (25:51)
37. "Here Comes the Groom" (25:45)
38. "A Taste for Lobster" (25:47)
39. "Rock-a-Bye Dobie" (25:47)

Season 2:
Disc 1:
40. "Who Needs Elvis?" (25:45)
41. "You Ain't Nuthin' But a Houn' Dog" (25:45)
42. "Baby Talk" (25:42)
43. "Dobie Goes Beatnik" (25:38)
44. "The Mystic Powers of Maynard G. Krebs" (25:42)
45. "The Face That Stopped the Clock" (25:40)
46. "Maynard G. Krebs, Boy Millionaire" (25:42)

Disc 2:
47. "Around My Room in 80 Days" (25:40)
48. "Drag Strip Dobie" (25:39)
49. "Jangle Bells" (25:40)
50. "Parlez-Vous English?" (25:39)
51. "The Day the Teachers Disappeared" (25:37)
52. "What's My Lion?" (25:42)
53. "The Big Question" (25:36)

Disc 3:
54. "Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife?" (25:36)
55. "The Bitter Feud of Dobie and Maynard" (25:41)
56. "Zelda, Get Off My Back" (25:37)
57. "I Was a High School Scrooge" (25:41)
58. "Will Success Spoil Dobie's Mother?" (25:39)
59. "The Second Childhood of Herbert T. Gillis" (25:39)
60. "Dobie Versus the Machine" (25:39)

Disc 4:
61. "Baby Shoes" (25:37)
62. "I Didn't Raise My Boy to be a Soldier, Sailor, or Marine" (25:38)
63. "The Chicken Corporal" (25:40)
64. "The Solid Gold Dog Tag" (25:38)
65. "The Battle of Maynard's Beard" (25:38)
66. "Spaceville" (25:40)
67. "Like Mother, Like Daughter, Like Wow" (25:38)

Disc 5:
68. "Dobie Plays Cupid" (25:41)
69. "Like Father, Like Son, Like Trouble" (25:38)
70. "Be It Ever So Humble" (25:42)
71. "Aah, Yer Fadder Wears Army Shoes" (25:37)
72. "Everything But the Truth" (25:39)
73. "Goodbye, Mr. Pomfritt, Hello, Mr. Chips" (25:39)
74. "Take Me to Your Leader" (25:40)
75. "This Ain't the Way We Used to Do It" (25:37)

Season 3:
Disc 1:
76. "The Ruptured Duck" (25:32)
77. "Dobie, Dobie, Who's Got Dobie?" (25:32)
78. "Move Over, Perry Mason" (25:28)
79. "The Fast White Mouse" (25:29)
80. "The Gigolo" (25:30)
81. "Dig, Dig, Dig" (25:30)
82. "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry... for Tomorrow Ker-Boom!" (25:14)

Disc 2:
83. "The Richest Squirrel in Town" (25:31)
84. "The Second Most Beautiful Girl in the World" (25:31)
85. "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Me and Robert Browning" (25:34)
86. "Have Reindeer, Will Travel" (25:33)
87. "Crazyleg Gillis" (25:31)
88. "Blue-Tail Fly" (25:33)
89. "I Do Not Choose to Run" (25:32)

Disc 3:
90. "Happiness Can't Buy Money" (25:30)
91. "Magnificent Failure" (25:33)
92. "For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls" (25:31)
93. "Girls Will Be Boys" (25:32)
94. "The Marriage Counselor" (25:32)
95. "The Big Blunder and Egg Man" (25:28)
96. "Birth of a Salesman" (25:29)

Disc 4:
97. "Like Oh, Brother" (25:33)
98. "Dobie Gillis: Wanted Dead or Alive" (25:30)
99. "Names My Mother Called Me" (25:31)
100. "An American Strategy" (25:31)
101. "The Truth Session" (25:33)
102. "I Remember Muu Muu" (25:34)
103. "The Sweet Success of Smell" (25:30)

Disc 5:
104. "When Other Friendships Have Been Forgot" (25:34)
105. "I Was a Boy Sorority Girl" (25:28)
106. "It Takes a Heap O' Livin' to Make a Cave a Home" (25:31)
107. "Back to Nature Boy" (25:19)
108. "How to Cheat an Honest Man" (25:33)
109. "Bachelor Father... and Son" (25:32)
110. "Like Low Noon" (25:32)
111. "The Frat's In the Fire" (25:32)

Season 4:
Disc 1:
112. "A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to a Funny Thing" (25:39)
113. "What's a Little Murder Between Friends?" (25:38)
114. "Northern Comfort" (25:42)
115. "The Ugliest American" (25:40)
116. "A Splinter Off the Old Block" (25:40)
117. "What Makes the Varsity Drag?" (25:39)
118. "Like Hi, Explosives" (25:40)

Disc 2:
119. "Where is Thy Sting?" (25:34)
120. "Flow Gently, Sweet Money" (25:40)
121. "Strictly for the Birds" (25:39)
122. "The Iceman Goeth" (25:34)
123. "Doctor Jeckyll and Mister Gillis" (25:38)
124. "Will the Real Santa Claus Please Come Down the Chimney?" (25:38)
125. "Who Did William Tell?" (25:32)

Disc 3:
126. "Too Many Kooks Spoil the Broth" (25:36)
127. "Vocal Boy Makes Good" (25:34)
128. "All Right, Dobie, Drop the Gun" (25:35)
129. "And Now a Word From Our Sponsor" (25:35)
130. "Two for the Whipsaw" (25:38)
131. "The Moon and No Pence" (25:35)
132. "The Beast with Twenty Fingers" (25:38)
133. "Thanks for the Memory" (25:35)

Disc 4:
134. "Three Million Coins in the Fountain" (25:35)
135. "Beethoven, Presley and Me" (25:34)
136. "The Little Chimp That Couldn't" (25:40)
137. "There's Always Room for One Less" (25:39)
138. "The General Cried at Dawn" (25:38)
139. "Now I Lay Me Down to Steal" (25:36)
140. "Lassie, Get Lost" (25:39)

Disc 5:
141. "The Rice and Old Shoes Caper" (25:31)
142. "Requiem for an Underweight Heavyweight" (25:37)
143. "I Was a Spy for the F.O.B." (25:39)
144. "There's a Broken Light for Every Heart on Broadway" (25:35)
145. "Beauty is Only Kin Deep" (25:37)
146. "The Call of the, Like, Wild" (25:37)
147. "The Devil and Dobie Gillis" (25:36)


The set uses a rather simple packaging style that is very much in line with Shout! Factory's other complete series releases. On the outside, there is a large outer box that contains four standard Viva cases inside, one case for each season. On the cover art of the outer box, you'll find a picture of Dobie with Maynard, and a description of the series in general on the back. Each of the cases inside has pictures of Dobie with a different girl in each of the different phases of his life (and, on these photos, they've got the hair color appropriately adjusted for each season!). The back of each of these cases contains a description of the season, and guest stars from the seasons. Inside each case, you'll find a listing of episodes on each disc. Unfortunately, no episode booklet is included. All special features can be found on the bonus disc included in the Season Four case.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus on this set are very nice... and completely devoid of color! This is one of the few sets that I've seen with no color on the menus, but it is actually perfect for this set. All of the drawings on the menus are similar to the artwork seen in the opening credits of the first season. The closing theme song plays in the background. Main menu options include Play All and Episodes. Selecting Episodes brings up a menu that lists all of the episodes on the disc. The episode plays immediately upon selecting it. Chapter stops are available for each episode.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality of the episodes is not necessarily perfect, but it is far better than what I was expecting. I'd say, for the most part, that it is along the lines of the releases of Dennis the Menace from Shout! Factory. There is some minor grain and debris, so it doesn't look perfect, but at the same time, this set is about as close to perfect as you'll ever get for a 50 year old series. The closing credits look pretty rough, but those aren't as important anyway. With that being said, two episodes on the set do have "quality" disclaimers about being from the best source available. Usually, this means syndicated episodes, but it fortunately does NOT for this set. These episodes have a few technical defects in the video, but they are nothing major, and to be honest, I wouldn't have really thought to have put something like that on the episodes if I were producing this set. The audio is loud and clear, but there is some occasional crackle in the audio. Each episode on this huge set is closed-captioned.

Special Features:

There are many nice special features that can be found on the last disc of the set (in the Season Four case). These begin with the original pilot presentation (29:52). Essentially, this was the pilot as presented to the network, complete with an introduction of all of the "regular" characters at the end. One of my favorite ones here was Herbert Anderson... it seems that he would have been a regular on the series, but it started in 1959, as did another series that he found a much bigger role on... Dennis the Menace!

"Interview with Dwayne Hickman" (13:00) is a new interview with Hickman (who is much older now... mind you, he doesn't look OLD, but he certainly looks older than Dobie) where he talks a lot about the beginning of the series and what he has done in life since then. It is just too bad that some of the other cast members couldn't be part of it, but in all fairness, most of them are either deceased by now or long since moved on from acting.

There are three episodes of the series "Love That Bob!" on here, the series that Hickman played on before Dobie. This is at least the third DVD set that I've ever seen to include episodes of that series, and I would love to see a full release from somebody at some point in time! Until then, these bits and pieces will do. Episodes include "Bob Digs Rock and Roll" (25:10), "Bob Becomes a Stage Uncle" (25:55), and "Bob Butters Beck: Beck Butters Better" (25:36). The quality of these episodes tends to be very rough, but what else would you expect?

"One of the Boys" (26:11) is an episode of the mostly forgotten Stu Erwin Show, a sitcom that aired 1950-1955 on ABC. This episode guest-starred Dwayne Hickman, of course, but what makes it even more special is that one of the regulars on this series was Sheila James, who played Zelda on Dobie Gillis. So in a sense, we have kind of a reunion of Dobie Gillis... before the series even started! This one episode made me curious to want to see more of this forgotten series, a series that opens with credits featuring the father turning the page of a photo album with a lit cigarette in his hand... a true reminder that this was the 1950s!

"Clip from The Coke Time Special" (4:51) is a clip that features Bob Denver as Maynard in his classic beatnik style from... a Coca Cola special? I'm not really sure, to be honest. Nonetheless, it is fun to see.

"Color Dobie Skit" (6:56) is a musical skit that appears to be from The Dinah Shore Show (it is never exactly spelled out, but there is a "courtesy of the Dinah Shore estate" disclaimer at the end). This gives us an idea of what the series would have looked like in color in a way, although it was 1960 color, so it wasn't terrific.

Finally, there is a "Scripts and Notes" DVD-ROM feature. If you place the bonus disc into your computer, you'll find an interview with Max Schulman, scripts for "Caper at the Bijou," "Love is a Science," "Love is a Fallacy," and even a script for a spinoff featuring Zelda that never quite materialized.

All in all, this set does well on special features, but more interviews are needed... even the one with Hickman wasn't that major!

Final Comments:

I have never really watched this series too much, and I spent a lot of time trying to get caught up on it for the sake of this review. I really came to enjoy this series as I watched it, though. It was a bit different from a lot of other sitcoms at the time, and was a bit ahead of its time. A series like this could certainly work in the modern era, and to be honest, I don't think that it would be as funny as Dobie Gillis, as the show had the additional challenge of working in the humor without going into any sort of sexual jokes... and somehow, it worked. The series influenced a lot of other future series that were about the lives of teens and young adults, but managed to do it without necessarily pandering to that same group (and thus made the series enjoyable for the entire family), such as Happy Days or Boy Meets World. I am really glad to see this series on DVD, and surprised that I've missed out on this excellent series for so many years.

I'm even happier to see the treatment that Shout! Factory has given this series on DVD. For years, it seemed that this series would never come to DVD, particularly as there were rumors out there that "unedited episodes didn't exist" and that there were "copyright nightmares." There is no telling what (if any) truth there is to those statements, but this is a fine set that has absolutely no serious problems, and the special features are very nice as well. If you have any level of appreciation for classic television, this set is one you'll want to own. I think it is even worth investing in if you've never seen the series, as it appeals to so many different audiences. Now, we just need to see if we can get some of the reunion movies out on DVD... hopefully Shout! or Fox can follow up on that.

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

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 3/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 06/28/13

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