Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista Entertainment
Twenty-one years ago, one of the greatest television series in the modern era of television came to an end after six seasons. The series in question is none other than ABC’sThe Wonder Years. The Wonder Years was and is today one of the greatest series in the network’s history. Few shows have made as much of an impact for ABC as The Wonder Years before or since. That’s not to say that there are none. There are those that obviously have. But for that network alone, The Wonder Years remains today one of the network’s absolutely most beloved series. While The Wonder Years did see some VHS releases after it ended its initial run, it had not seen the light of day since then. That is until now. Next Tuesday, October 7th, StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment will release the first season of this hugely acclaimed series to audiences alongside a pair of full series set for the series’ most diehard fans. The complete series box sets are a bit pricey, needless to say. That means that many fans will be aiming more for the first season box set that will be released alongside those boxes. There is just as much to appreciate about the stand-alone Season One box set as those full series sets. The most obvious factor that audiences will appreciate is the inclusion of all six (yes, six) episodes from the series’ first season. The companion booklet included in the box set adds to the enjoyment factor even more. And last but not least is the bonus material included with the set. All three of these factors together make The Wonder Years: Season One one of the most welcome new box sets this year.
The Wonder Years was one of the greatest series to ever come to television. It is still one of the greatest in television’s modern era to this day. The series worked so well because like so many series of its time, it had such substance and originality. There was also so much heart to the show. It all showed through clearly thanks to the hard work of the series’ writers. This is the case even in the series’ debut season. Audiences that pick up Season One will hear the cast and crew discuss in the bonus features that heart and substance among many other topics. That will be discussed at a later point. Getting back to the point, the writing within Season One’s episodes is the most important of factors in this season’s enjoyment and success. That’s especially the case considering the fact that Season One lasted all of six episodes. Audiences are taken back to 1968, well before most of the show’s audiences had even been thought of. Despite this fact, the themes carried within each episode are timeless. Families having to deal with personal loss, young love, and the general coming-of-age themes are ones to which even today’s audiences can relate. Given, times have changed. So the situations portrayed in these episodes might have evolved in a manner of speaking. But by and large, they still remain just as relatable today as they were in the episodes’ original broadcasts.
The themes presented within each of Season One’s episodes are timeless. They are themes to which audiences of all ages can relate even today. That in itself is quite the statement to the work of the series’ original writers. Collectively, they make up what is just one part of the whole that is such a joy for all audiences in The Wonder Years: Season One. Another part of Season One that audiences will appreciate is the set’s companion booklet. Yes, that’s right. The booklet carries just as much weight as the episodes themselves presented in this season’s set. The reason that the set’s companion booklet is so important is that it serves as far more than just another ordinary, run-of-the-mill episode guide. Audiences get in the double-disc set’s companion booklet an episode guide. They get a thorough history of the show, too. There are in-depth notes about the show’s production, from Kevin (Fred Savage) and Winnie’s (Danica McKellar) first kiss to personal thoughts on the episodes and even music listings from each episode and more. Audiences that might not have known will be interested to learn that Kevin and Winnie’s kiss in this season was also the very first for Fred Savage and Danica McKellar. Both actors offer more insight on that moment in the bonus features included with the set. And the show’s runners offer their own insight into the episodes and specific characters throughout Season One both in this booklet and the bonus features included in the set. Again, the bonus features will be touched on later. The music listing included in the set’s companion booklet is especially important to the whole as it was in fact that music rights that held up the series’ release for so many years. Now, audiences get to hear all the great classic music from the series’ setting and even learn about said songs thanks to their listing and a brief history on those that performed said songs in each episode. The inclusion of that brief history on the songs makes for a great introduction to a whole new world of music for audiences of all ages. It helps to introduce them to music to which they might not have otherwise previously had knowledge or interest in those songs. All of the collective information and insight provided in Season One’s companion booklet enhances the overall viewing experience. Together with the timeless, solidly written episodes, the two factors make this set all the more of a must have for anyone that grew up a fan of this modern classic.
The timeless, solidly written episodes that make up The Wonder Years: Season One are themselves more than enough reason for fans of this modern classic series to add this set to their personal collections. The companion booklet that comes with the set heightens the enjoyment of the box set even more. That is because of the amount of information and insight included throughout the booklet. It isn’t just another run-of-the-mill episode guide. In direct connection to both the episodes and the set’s companion booklet, the bonus material included in Season One’s box set rounds out the package. The most important of the bonuses included in this set is “With A Little Help From My Friends: The Early Days of the Wonder Years.” This feature includes interviews with the cast and crew, including the show’s creators Neal Marlens and Carol Black, and from lead actors Fred Savage and Danica McKellar. There is also some insight from actor Daniel Stern (Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, City Slickers, Bushwhacked) in regards to narrating the series and how closely certain episodes actually mirrored his own personal life. As noted before, both McKellar and Savage discuss that first kiss. McKellar laughs as she discusses the slight discomfort at having an audience for the scripted kiss. That was the case being that it was the first kiss period for both actors both on screen and off. Co-stars Josh Saviano (Paul) and Jason Hervey (Wayne) share their own thoughts on the show’s early days alongside Dan Lauria and Alley Mills who played Kevin and Wayne’s parents Jack and Norma. The cast reunion highlights and personal interviews also included as bonuses each offer their own enjoyment. But the look back at the series’ early days offers the most enjoyment of the bonus features. That is because it is a direct compliment to the episodes themselves and the set’s companion booklet. Together with the booklet and Season One’s timeless, solidly written episodes, that one bonus feature alone serves to make this box set complete. It is that proverbial cherry on the banana split that is The Wonder Years: Season One. Audiences will see that for themselves when they purchase this box set or order it for themselves when it is made available next Tuesday, October 7th.
The episodes that make up the first season of The Wonder Years are some of the most impressive from the debut season of any series in television’s modern era. Their themes are timeless. The result is a group of episodes that audiences of any age will appreciate today. The companion booklet included with Season One makes this box set even more enjoyable because it isn’t just another run-of-the-mill episode guide booklet. It offers an episode guide, yes. But it also offers a history on the series, on the series’ music, and a certain amount of insight on the season’s episodes in particular. That depth makes the episodes even more enjoyable for viewers. And the bonus features pick right up where the companion booklet leaves off, rounding out the whole package. The people at StarVista and Time Life obviously went to great lengths to make sure that each of these elements would make the biggest impact possible for fans of The Wonder Years. They did that and more. All three factors together prove The Wonder Years: Season One to be one of the most welcome new box sets of 2014. The Wonder Years: Season One will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, October 7th on DVD. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Wonder-Years-Season-1/dp/B00L9OPFTC/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1412286805&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Wonder+Years+Season+One. More information on this and other releases from Star Vista and Time Life is available online at:
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