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The Partridge Family - The Complete First Season



DVD Release Date: May 3, 2005 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $29.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: approx. 655 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: approx 28 minutes in special features (plus another 44 minutes for the two animated episodes; commentary is not included in runtime)
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: Spanish & English Language; Spanish Subtitles; Closed Captioned
Special Features: Jump To The Musical Performances; "Boarding the Bus: The Sound of the Partridge" featurette; Audio Commentary with stars Shirley Jones and Danny Bonaduce; Includes a 4-song music sampler CD from the "Ultimate Partridge Family" CD in stores now.

My Thoughts:

Come on, get happy! TV's favorite family of rock 'n' rollers who would hit the road in their multi-colored bus is driving their way to DVD in this 3 disc set. The show debuted in September of 1970 and made a teen idol out of star David Cassidy, selling millions of records along the way. The premise of the show is a six-member family who form a rock band. Mom, Shirley (Shirley Jones), and her five kids: Keith (David Cassidy), Laurie (Susan Dey), Danny (Danny Bonaduce), Tracy (Suzanne Crough), and Chris (Jeremy Gelbwaks). And you can't forget the family's very exasperated manager Reuben Kincaid (Dave Madden). Catch all the groovy action on Sony Pictures/Columbia Tri-Star’s PARTRIDGE FAMILY - SEASON 1 DVD release!

The first season featured quite a few memorable episodes that will likely go down as the fans favorites. Some of those more popular or memorable episodes are "What? And Get out Of Show Business?", "The Sound of Money," which features a guest appearance by Harry Morgan of MASH and sexy 70’s bombshell Farrah Fawcett. "When Mother Gets Married," which features a guest appearance by another ‘Angel,’ Jaclyn Smith, "Danny and the Mob," "My Son, The Feminist," "Star Quality," "Mom Drops Out," "Old Scrapmouth," "Soul Club" which features guest appearances by Richard Pryor and Lou Gossett, "A Partridge Up a Pear Tree," and "A Knight in Shining Armor," which features a guest appearance by Bobby Sherman.

As stated above, the first season also includes many guest appearances, such as Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett, Harry Morgan, Richard Pryor, Lou Gossett, and Bobby Sherman.

The packaging for this set is multi-colored (like the Partridge bus) and features a cast photo from season 1. Inside the box, there are two individual cases. In each one is two different discs. Each case is designed like the main box and has three photos on each. The first one has Shirley, Laurie and Keith and the second one has Danny, Tracy and Chris. On the discs they are simple colors with a partridge bird on it. Disc 1 is yellow and features episodes 1-8, Disc 2 is blue and features episode 9-16 and Disc 3 is red and features episodes 17-25. The fourth disc is designed like the main box art and is a special disc that features music. On the back of each case, there is a list of each episode that is included on that disc. The descriptions themselves are a couple of sentences. Chapter skips are available, like all of Sony’s releases.

There are three discs in the set, two in each individual case. There are eight episodes per disc (nine on the third disc). The menu screen is simple and is exactly the same design as the box art. It features a cast shot from season one. The main menu does have music playing but it's not the theme song. There are five different selections on the main menu. The first one is Play All Episodes. The second selection is Episodes Selection which takes you to another menu screen and it lists the episodes with a screen shot of the episode next to it. The second selection is Jump to the Musical Performances which lets you pick from the various musical performances in the episodes and skip directly to them. The second one is Special Features which lists all the special features available. And finally, Previews which lets you select some promos for various releases such as the upcoming "Bewitched" set, "80s TV," and "Classic Urban TV Series" (the previews are only available on Disc 1).

The video is very good, and to my surprise, the audio was very good as well. The picture is actually very good and the audio is surprisingly loud enough, unlike older TV show releases which are quite low in sound. Each episode runs about 24 to 25 minutes (or more), which means you get almost four minutes of extra footage you can't see in syndication. UPDATE: Episode #25 is edited. There's a scene after the family performs "Stephanie" that is missing. It's where Bobby and Lionel are saying goodbye to Reuben and the family.

Special Features on all of the three discs, which is explained in more detail below.

Disc one - The first special feature is the "Boarding the Bus" featurette which is overall, just the cast talking about their time on the show and what it was like to film the show. It features interviews with Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Danny Bonaduce, Susan Dey, and more (such as Bernard Slade, a writer) and runs approx. 20 minutes, as well as the "The Sound of the Partridge" featurette which features interviews with the cast and crew about the musical aspect of the series and it runs approx. 8 minutes. The rest are a selection of the commentary: "What? And Get Out of Show Business" with commentary by Danny Bonaduce and "When Mother Gets Married" with commentary by Shirley Jones. Disc two features an episode of the animated series "The Partridge Family 2200-A.D." titled "Car Trouble" and it runs for approx. 22 minutes. And Disc three features another episode of the animated series "The Partridge Family 2200 A.D." titled "My Son, The Spaceball Star" and also runs for approx. 22 minutes. And finally, Disc four is a special music disc that has four songs from the "Come on Get Happy: The Very Best of the Partridge Family" CD. The songs are "I Think I Love You," "Point Me In The Direction of Alburquerque," "I Can Feel Your Heartbeat," and "Come On Get Happy."

Overall, a surprisingly well put together release from Sony/Tri-Star. I can't boast enough how nice it was that two episodes of "Partridge Family 2200 A.D." were included on this release. Here's hoping Sony/Columbia continues to put the animated series onto future releases. The box art is fantastic, the disc designs are great, the audio and video are very good and overall, and it was just a well put together release. I am eagerly looking forward to more releases and being more ‘happy’ and here is hoping Sony/Columbia does even better next time!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 on 4/25/2005.

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