The newly re-issued Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Series is one of the most welcome box sets of 2012. This fifteen disc box set brings together the show’s full five-season run from 1961 to 1966. At a time when so much programming on television today is anything but family friendly, this re-issued set resurrects one of television’s greatest programs for a whole new generation of audiences.
This new Blu-ray release isn’t the first time that the Dick Van Dyke show has been released to the public. But it’s a welcome return for one of television’s most revered names and sitcoms. From funny episodes such as ‘All About Eavesdropping’ and ‘Never Bathe on Saturday’ to the hilarious ‘Coast to Coast Bigmouth’, the show had more than its share of laughs throughout its run on CBS. The show’s episodes have never looked better. What’s makes it even more of a joy to watch is that it is a relic of a bygone era in television. Add in a bevy of special features, and any true classic television buff will find this a welcome gift under the Christmas tree this year.
The Dick Van Dyke Show is one of the most respected and revered sitcoms in television history first and foremost for its writing. Unlike so much of today’s programming, this is a classic sitcom in which every episode was a stand-alone episode. Viewers didn’t have to worry about missing an episode or another to be able to enjoy the show. Every show was a different episode all in itself. In comparison to so much of what is on television today, being able to enjoy each episode without having to know what happened in the previous episode is a breath of fresh air. It’s something which today’s generation knows next to nothing about as so many network programmers have leaned more in favor of serials. With any luck, the resurgence of shows such as this and The Carol Burnett Show among others will prove to those programmers the value and importance of this style programming.
That fans can enjoy The Dick Van Dyke Show without worrying about each episode’s storyline from one to the next is one of the most important values of this show. It isn’t the show’s only value, though. The show’s writing also goes into its general content, too. Again, in comparison to so much of today’s programming, this show is one of those breaths of fresh air in that it’s something which the entire family can enjoy together. It mixes great physical comedy with family friendly jokes that will get the entire family laughing from one episode to the next. The proof is in the pudding. The show’s episode, ‘Never Bathe on Saturday’ earned the show a Primetime Emmy in the “Outstanding Comedy Series.” That’s just one of its accolades. For those who have never seen this classic episode, Rob and Laura go to a hotel for a romantic honeymoon. But when Laura goes into the bathroom of the couple’s hotel room to try out the tub, she gets her toe stuck in the tub’s faucet. The resulting jokes and comedy are proof of why the show won its Emmy for this episode. Like so many other episodes from this classic sitcom, it’s a simple story with a simple and family friendly story that is still one of the show’s most beloved episodes to this very day. And it’s just one tiny piece of evidence of what makes this show so timeless. Thanks to Image Entertainment, families and fans can enjoy every episode and find their own favorite with every watch.
The show’s writing exhibits both intrinsically and extrinsically, the show’s value. The writing makes all the difference in the show’s continued success nearly five decades after it ended. Now on its new Blu-ray release, the writing continues to play a major role in the show’s continued success. The show looked great on its original multi-disc DVD set. Now on its new Blu-ray re-issue, the footage has never looked better. It looks even sharper than ever. It is crystal clear. Given, the older grainy footage of the older DVD release is great for creating an extra sense of nostalgia. But seeing it cleaned up so precisely without losing any quality from the original masters is incredible in its own right. There are those who will and have had their own say about how the footage has been cleaned up. But the very fact that there are those who want to preserve the show should make those critics change their minds. Keeping in mind the outstanding quality of this show’s transfers to HD, its overall writing, and the equally interesting bonus features that have been carried over from the previous DVD release, The Dick Van Dyke Show on Blu-ray will be a great addition under the tree for any classic television buff this holiday season.
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