The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 2 - Boxed Set
DVD | Box Set
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Trip into the living room of comedy writer Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) along with his lovely wife, Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), wisecracking co-workers and nutty neighbors. Consistently ranked among the top TV comedies of all time and renowed for its top-notch cast and stellar writing, this groundbreaking series is presented fully restored and uncut!
It's time to acknowledge those unsung heroes, The Beverly Hillbillies, for helping to rescue The Dick Van Dyke Show, which, incredibly, was nearly canceled after its first season. Executive producer Sheldon Leonard championed the series, and CBS moved the Petries to follow the top-rated Clampetts. The rest is television history. Unlike the high-concept Hillbillies, the more sophisticated Dick Van Dyke Show's appeal was in its more grounded situations and three-dimensional characters, each of whom are given ample opportunities to shine in this second season. Son Ritchie (played by Larry Matthews) gets too attached to baby ducklings (the touching season opener "Never Name a Duck"). Sally Rogers (Rose Marie) gets engaged to an opportunistic comedian ("Jilting the Jilter"). Buddy Sorrell (Morey Amsterdam) is reunited with his black sheep brother ("Hustling the Hustler"). Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) is revealed to be the alien Lolac from Twilo (the classic "It May Look Like a Walnut," which contains the sublimely surreal line, "Danny Thomas put walnuts in my hat"). And Rob (Van Dyke) becomes a psychosomatic drunk ("My Husband Is Not a Drunk"). On the flashback front, we see how Rob proposed to Laura ("The Attempted Marriage"), dumped an old flame ("Will You Two Be My Wife?"), and was installed as head writer of The Alan Brady Show ("I Was a Teenage Head Writer"). Rob's deft and daft juggling of his glamorous career and harried home life inspires some of the best episodes, including "Somebody Has to Play Cleopatra," featuring the late Bob Crane as the neighborhood lothario, "Father of the Week," and "Ray Murdock's X-Ray," in which Rob unwittingly portrays Laura as his nutty muse. But at the heart of this series' timeless appeal is the palpable chemistry between Rob and Laura, as witness their sudden embrace at the moving conclusion of "The Square Triangle." --Donald LiebensonSee all Editorial Reviews
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Anyhow, my fav. episode is All about eavesdropping.. and I could watch it over and over.. Not sure what it is about this that I love so much.. it's Laura and Rob getting ready to go to dinner party at Millie and Jerry's. .. while waiting for Laura to get ready , Rob accidentally turns on Richie's intercom toy.. him and Freddie had hooked up between 2 house.s. Rob and Laura hear Jerry and Millie make some disparaging remarks about them.. starting with the dip that Millie mad .. it is Laura's recipe and Millie is certain Laura had left something out.. she did.. anyhow one thing leads to another, Rob and laura go, they are very rude the whole evening... it's hysterical to see two mature adults pouting and acting like 13 yr olds... the charades scene is hilarious..
This episode alone is worth the price of the season.
This collection of Dick Van Dyke on DVD is a real treasure. The second season is fantastic, as you can feel how relaxed the cast was with one another. Rob and Laura look and act like an old married couple and seem genuinely comfortable with one another. The special features on the DVD are invaluable for baby boomers such as myself. The predominant "bonus feature" for the second season are the Kent Cigarette commercials which are a stitch.
But back to what I love about the second season of Dick Van Dyke: There is a simplicity to this show that I thoroughly enjoy. The set is simple, the directing is simple and the acting isn't polished, polished and polished some more. And that is its charm.
Watch closely and you'll both hear and see Rob, Laura, Sally and Buddy make a few foibles and missteps and mispronounciations. The fact that these scenes were not redone (again and again) is the beauty part of the show and gave each episode a down-to-earth reality that I love and enjoy.
The other interesting aspect are the camera shots. Watch modern TV and you'll see that the camera shots never last more than six seconds before it's switched to another camera from another angle. It creates television programs that are so frenetic and frenzied, yet it's also the very thing that holds your attention (and not in a good way).
The Dick Van Dyke program had single camera shots lasting for 30 seconds at a time. This must have been challenging for the actors, as they had to remember more dialogue and keep it going and keep everything flowing smoothly.
And the other amazing thing is Dick Van Dyke himself. Whether he's tripping over an ottoman or hurdling over an overstuffed chair in a single bound or tripping over one of Richie's toy trucks, it's Mr. Van Dyke doing all his own stunts. I've watched many of these trips and falls and hurdles on slow-motion and it's phenomenal to watch Mr. Van Dyke as he sails through the air. And the dancing! As Carl Reiner said in one of the bonus feature documentaries, "Dick doesn't have any bones in his body."
Dick Van Dyke did his own dancing and and soft shoe routines and when he sang, it was his own voice and this was true for Mary Tyler Moore, too.
I believe that all the above are the reasons that The Dick Van Dyke Show was (and is) considered to be the gold standard for sitcoms by which all other sitcoms are judged. The talent - the amazing, raw, funny talent of the whole staff - and the energy and the joy that emanates from each episode is something that no modern sitcom has yet to replicate.
(In the second season, there's an insert that explains that the actors - most notably Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam and Dick Van Dyke - had a heck of a time remembering to call each other by their stage names. All three got their start as stand-up comics and knew each other before the show went into production. That warm familiarity and friendship is what made this show so delightful.)
I can't say enough good things about this program and I'm unspeakably delighted to see it's been preserved on DVD (and enhanced!). There will never be another sitcom that can measure up to the shirtwaist of The Dick Van Dyke Show.
I recommend buying all of five years of this program. You won't regret it.