Solid Writing, Acting Form A Solid Foundation For Maude: Season Three

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Maude is back again!  Fresh on the heels of Season Two’s release late this summer Shout! Factory released the hit dramedy’s third season in its own standalone season set this week.  And in going through Season Three, it is just as entertaining as the series’ second season in every way.  The central reason for that is the work of the series’ writers once again.  Throughout the course of Season Three’s twenty-three total episodes, the writers fill each episode with a solid balance of heart and humor once again.  The work of the show’s cast is just as impressive throughout each episode, too.  Last but hardly least of all worth noting in regards to this collection’s overall presentation is its bonus episode guide.  Each element in its own right plays an important part in the overall presentation of Maude: Season Three.  Combined, they make Maude: Season Three one more welcome addition to the personal DVD library of any of the series’ fans.

Maude: Season Three is the second of the classic series’ standalone series sets to be released so far this year.  It can be said in watching this latest collection of episodes that it is yet another welcome addition to the personal DVD library of any of the series’ fans.  The central reason for this is the work of the series’ writers.  Yet again, Maude’s writers succeeded in entertaining audiences in a big way.  That is thanks to their work in crafting episode after episode that expertly balances both heart and humor throughout.  This applies both to the stories and their minutia (I.E. the jokes presented within the episodes, etc.).  “Maude Meets The Duke” is one example of how this season’s writing makes it so entertaining.  The episode sees The Duke himself make an appearance.  Wayne comes to Maude’s house to promote his new movie as part of the episode’s plot.  As Maude and everyone try to convince Arthur that Wayne is only there promote his movie, Arthur’s blind idol worship of Wayne brings its own share of laughs.  Maude constantly spouting her feminist views in comparison to Wayne’s more conservative values makes for even more laughs, especially when the pair comes face to face.  The ultimate outcome is the sort of classic punchline that audiences will remember long after the episode ends and will in turn leave audiences wanting to watch and laugh along time and again.  It’s just one example of the strength in this season’s writing.  “Nostalgia Party” is another clear example of the strength of the show’s writing in this season.

“Maude Meets The Duke” is a prime example of the importance and strength of the writing behind Maude’s third season.  It is just one example of that strength and importance, too.  “Nostalgia Party” is another episode that can be cited in the explanation of the writing’s strength and importance.  This episode sees Maude planning a special New Year’s Eve party with Walter, Vivian, Arthur, and Carol.  She even asks Phillip to get involved.  That will be discussed shortly.  Maude’s idea is for everyone to dress up as his or her favorite year.  While everybody agrees that this is a great idea, the end result of the group’s reminiscing is arguments among the group.  Of course even with those arguments, everyone is reminded that they should just be happy that they have “now” by one of the guests, leading everyone to make up and disagree to disagree.  The story itself is great in its own right.  But the smaller elements that make up the episode are just as worth noting such as Maude asking Phillip to dress up in a diaper as the New Year.  Phillip’s reaction won’t be given away here.  But it is timeless to say the very least.  Vivian revealing the truth of Maude’s college days is just as much of a laugh riot, as Vivian reveals that Maude wasn’t that popular.  Rather, she was called the “Zit Queen” and that the only man that actually chased after her at any point was a young man that had been dubbed the “Zit King.”  This leads to a great back and forth between Maude and Carol in which Maude cautions Carol that she could have been the “Zit Princess.”  It is just a great moment.  Walter reminiscing about his favorite year is just as funny as he recalls having no responsibilities and having plenty of women to pursue.  Maude’s reaction to this memory is just as funny.  It’s yet another example of how the writing in all of its aspects remains so strong here in Maude’s third season.  And it is hardly the last example of that strength, too.  “Walter Gets Religion” is one more example of the strength of this season’s writing.

“Maude Meets The Duke” and “Nostalgia Party” are both clear examples of the strength and importance of the writing in Maude’s third season.  While both episodes clearly show the talent of the show’s writers thus far into the series’ run, they are hardly the only episodes that could be cited as examples of the writers’ talents.  “Walter Gets Religion” is one more wonderful example of that talent.  This time out Walter is the star of the show.  As Walter and Maude attend church Walter begins to discover that maybe he could make some money of his own from his fellow congregants.  That in itself is actually a bit of commentary on people’s real motives for attending church.  And it is just as relevant today as it was in the episode’s initial run so many decades ago.  On another level, Bea Arthur’s physical comedy early in the episode’s run is just as hilarious.  The satirical jab at people’s reactions to certain aspects of church (such as yawning and fighting to stay awake) is spot on.  And Arthur’s delivery of those moments is the main reason why.  It leads into another reason that the third season of Maude is such a hit—the acting.

The writing behind Maude’s third season is in itself more than enough reason for audiences to check out this collection of episodes.  Of course what would the writing be without a cast to interpret said work.  The work of the show’s cast is just as solid as ever in Season Three.  Bea Arthur is perfect with her jabs, jokes, and one-liners throughout the season’s run.  From spouting off Maude’s uber liberal views to shooting off said jabs at her cast mates, her timing is perfect in every episode.  What’s more the way in which she delivers her lines adds even more enjoyment to each episode.  Bill Macy is just as much of a laugh riot when he gets to share time on camera with Arthur.  The chemistry between the pair is just as obvious in these episodes as in those in the series’ first two seasons.  That is, just as with Arthur, because of his expert comic timing.  And while they remain mainly supporting cast, Rue McClanahan and Conrad Bain generate their own laughs as Vivian and Arthur respectively.  That is exemplified clearly in “Nostalgia Party” as Vivian reveals the truth of Maude’s college years and as Arthur presents his favorite year.  The pair’s reaction to the other kissing their neighbors—Vivian kisses Walter and then Maude ends up kissing Arthur—is equally entertaining.  The examples cited here are just a collective handful of examples of why the work of the show’s cast this season is as strong as the series’ first two seasons.  They are hardly the only examples that could be cited.  There are plenty of other examples that could be cited among the season’s twenty-three total episodes.  All in all, that multitude of examples makes clear once again why the work of the show’s cast is just as important as its writing to its overall presentation.

The writing and acting that went into Season Three’s twenty-three episodes collectively paints a picture of a series that was in its prime at the time of its original airing.  While both elements are equally important to Season Three’s overall presentation, they are only a portion of its presentation in its new standalone DVD box set.  The bonus episode guide included in the three-disc box is just as important to its presentation as the writing and acting that went into each episode.  Once again Shout! Factory has included a complete episode guide with one of Maude’s standalone season sets.  The episode guide features a complete episode guide noting the episodes in relation to their respective discs.  Also included once again is a short but concise summary of each episode. Shout! Factory took the same approach in the series’ second season DVD set. So it is nice to see this inclusion yet again. It makes choosing and following the season’s episodes that much easier and enjoyable. Together with the series’ continued expert writing and acting, all three elements make Maude: Season Three a fully welcome addition to the home DVD library of any of the series’ fans.

The third season of CBS’ classic dramedy Maude is a fully welcome addition to the home DVD library of any of the series’ fans regardless of said audiences’ ages. The series’ writing and acting combine to give audiences plenty of entertainment throughout the season’s twenty-three total episodes. The bonus episode guide included with the three-disc set makes the set’s presentation even more impressive. That is thanks to its concise episode summaries and direct connection between the episodes and their respective discs. Each noted element proves important in its own right to the set’s overall presentation. Collectively, they make the presentation in whole a collection that any of the series’ fans will want to add to their own DVD libraries. Maude: Season Three is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:





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