The Monkees: Season 2
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BUT, this DVD set has many, many shortcomings that are unacceptable in this day and age.
1) AUDIO & VIDEO: the quality of these film prints is, in many cases, abysmal. Dirt, scratches and other damage abound. I find it TERRIBLY difficult to believe that Rhino couldn't find a better copy for transfer. Rather, I suspect they didn't want to spend the money 'cleaning' up the picture. I work in TV & Film and ALL of these scratches and dirt marks COULD have been removed digitally. But, they were not. Likewise, the audio is often muddy and at very inconsistent volume. Some passages are soft while others are way too loud. A little quality control would have corrected this problem.
2) AUDIO COMMENTARY: With the sole exception of Mike's commentary on "Fairy Tale Monkees", all the commentaries on the episodes are 99% worthless. We're lucky if, in a given 28-minute episode, there are 5-10 minutes of actual commentary. Most of the time, Davy or Peter just seem to be silently watching the episode alongside us. And most of their comments are of the "Hmm. I remember that shirt!" variety. Just totally inconsequential and very few and far between. If your major contribution on an audio commentary is, "Hmmm, I remember that shirt!", why bother even doing it? It boggles my mind that Rhino even included these commentaries. That's how inconsequential they are. One would expect slightly more insightful commentary given that the commentators are, in fact, the Monkees themselves.Read more ›
The axe I have to grind is not with the show, the music, or the (1960's) Monkees themselves. Those aspects of the show get a 5-star rating from me. (And if you are reading this, then I assume you are also a big fan.) It's just that while Apple was able to wonderfully restore the Beatles' legacy in the "Anthology" DVD collection, Rhino chose not to do the same thing here...
My first problem is the fact that Rhino (or more precisely, AOL Time Warner, which bought Rhino in 1998) did not bother to spend any money to restore & clean up the audio or video of any of these episodes. If you bought the mid-90's VHS box set and were expecting an audio & video upgrade, you're going to be in for a disappointment. Rhino seems to have used the same video masters they used for the earlier collection (the 1994, 1995, & 1996 "program content" copyrights on the DVD boxes would support this theory).
The audio portions of each episode sound much softer than the title screens. As a result, you have to crank the volume up when you watch an episode. When the episode is finished, and you go back to the title screen (and forget to reset the volume), it's almost like being hit on the head when you are blasted by the *very* loud Monkee's Theme that will greet you there. Granted, this is a minor annoyance, but after you are startled a number of times, it starts getting to you.
The video quality is also rather poor. The episodes appear *very* dark and murky. Lots of details cannot be seen as they have faded into the shadows.Read more ›
And, by the end of season 1, critics were complaining that the mnusic wasn't "theirs". As a result of this and Mike Nesmith's subsequent prodding, the music used in this season was done BY the Monkees and not behind-the-scenes artists. Many songs that even bested some of the "legit" music of the time, include "Salesman", "For Pete's Sake", "Randy Scouse Git", "The Door into Summer", "Zor and Zam", "Daily Nightly", "Pleasant Valley Sunday", "You Just May Be The One", "You Told Me", and there are many others...
The best episodes include:
* Monkees Marooned (Peter sells his guitar for a treasure map and, after being berated by the others is joined by the others to see what it's about. The one liners in this one are great...)
* The Picture Frame (The group is conned into pulling a bank robbery by a "producer" who is actually a crook!)
* Monkee Mayor (Mike Nesmith runs for mayor in an attempt to drive out the corrupt incumbant. One of my top 5.)
* Hillbilly Honeymoon (A spoof of The Beverly Hillbillies and ironically more realistic... One of my top 5.)
* Fairy Tale (A surreal and outrageous spoof on old fairy tales; Mike also dresses up in drag and there's a lot of fun to be had here. The lack of laugh track is also intriguing. Another top 5.)
* The Devil and Peter Tork. (A great plot, which contains one of their best-ever songs, almost banned by NBC because of a hidden drug reference (though the song is clearly AGAINST drugs...). It's my absolute favorite. (the 5th one being, of course, "Monkee vs Machine" but that's season 1...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Definitely a fun show, fun music. It was before my time, but find its still the same fun concept. however, season 2 lost the charm, and many of the episodes are crazy themes such... Read morePublished 2 months ago by A. Sprank
Female star Arlene Martel is a sexy vampire (what a babe!) and Pat Paulsen warns us about UFOs! Add "The "Frodis Caper" and "Wild Monkees" and those episodes... Read morePublished 3 months ago by silicone test pilot
Lots of fun since I always liked the music but missed most of the shows.Published 6 months ago by NC writer
While I don't think that Season 2 holds the same fun and magic of the first season, this is still a great show, and one that the whole family can enjoy. Read morePublished 8 months ago by David Girod
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