They're baaaack! The Addams Family, TV's most frightfully funny family returns for more creepy capers and hair-raising hilarity, terrifying their neighbors and delighting viewers like never before! The Addams Family Volume 2 features the ghoulish gang in
Based on the original Goth cartoons by Charles "Chas" Addams that ran for decades in the New Yorker magazine, The Addams Family television sitcom portrayed a monster family whose moribund physical appearances were counteracted by each family member's exuberance for passion and adventure. This Volume Two DVD contains twenty-one episodes, including the last of season one and the whole of season two, plus commentaries, and a featurette about the cinematic impact The Addams Family had on American television culture. Premiering the same year as The Munsters, this short-lived series was one of the first two shows to take issue with the Leave It To Beaver aesthetic that dominated television throughout the 50s, in which perfect families narrowly defined normality in the American home. Instead, it starred a family feared by neighbors, who within the boundaries of their haunted Victorian mansion invented their own thriving, not to mention fun, culture. The Addams Family proved that outsiders could be extremely gracious, educated, and interesting, even if eccentricities rendered their looks a threat.
These episodes include the original cast: Gomez (John Astin) and Morticia (Carolyn Jones), Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan), the two children Wednesday and Pugley, butler Lurch, hairy Cousin Itt, and the enigmatic hand, Thing, who plays castanets for the married couples' cha cha parties, and looks up things in phone books. Macabre humor in each episode reverses average, expected logic. Flower arranging, for Morticia, involves de-budding and stripping roses of all but the thorns. In "Morticia, The Sculptress," Gomez bribes a local art dealer to buy Morticia's hideous art at the Addams Family's own expense, revealing Gomez to be a strange but loving husband. In most episodes, such as "Lurch, The Teenage Idol" and "Cousin Itt and the Vocational Counselor," The Addams' aim to help their loved ones succeed, in these cases Lurch, as a harpsichord-playing pop star, and Itt, on a career search for an unintelligible, hair-covered little person. The Addams Family house interior still looks exquisite forty years later, full of taxidermied animals, antique furniture, carnivorous plants, and medieval charm. One watches this show not only for its sets and costumes, but also for its refreshingly wide take on what successful families can look like. --Trinie Dalton