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Customer Review

on March 1, 2005
If you're looking for a super-sensational, tantalizingly-terrific, and spectacularly-massive DVD set containing some of the greatest comedy moments in TV history, then look no further than this colossal 25-Disc DVD set containing every last episode of "The Dick Van Dyke Show", the multiple Emmy Award-winning CBS-TV comedy series which ran from 1961 to 1966.

This Complete-Series mega DVD collection houses all five seasons of the very funny and perpetually-entertaining Van Dyke Show, encompassing 158 total episodes, all restored and remastered by Image Entertainment and Paul Brownstein Productions, with each episode exhibiting darn-near perfect video and audio quality. And every single episode is complete and unedited. Not a single second of any show has been cut out. Average running time per episode is a shade more than 25 minutes.

All 158 shows have been bundled together here to form one gigantic and money-saving 'Complete-Series' collection. Each of the twenty-five discs gets its own individual "ThinPak" (slimline) plastic case. Each case has unique and nicely-designed cover art (featuring a different publicity still photograph on every one of the 25 cases). Additional photos grace the back cover of each case, as well as more Van Dyke Show pictures (and a complete "Scene Selections" list for each of that platter's 6 or 7 episodes) on the inside of every case. (These plastic cases are the "clear" type, so you can read the "Scene" listing on the inside front covers right through the plastic.)

The back of each of these slim cases provides quick at-your-fingertips info about each show on that disc -- such as: Full episode titles; Film dates; Original CBS-TV air dates; Brief episode descriptions; Plus some crew credits ("Written by" and "Directed by" notations). The 158 episodes are arranged here by "Production" (or "Film Date") order, instead of an "Air Date" chronology.*

* = With one (very wise) exception being Episodes 157 and 158. "The Gunslinger" was actually the last (158th) Van Dyke episode to be filmed; with "The Last Chapter" being the final episode that was aired, in June 1966. So, for proper continuity sake, Image Entertainment has flipped the order of these two episodes on the last disc of Season #5 -- with "The Last Chapter" being presented as the final show of the series.

More Packaging Notes -- The 25 individually-cased discs in this Mega-Set are placed side-by-side inside a large outer "slipcase" box.

Image Entertainment distributed five separate season-by-season "Dick Van Dyke Show" DVD boxed sets in 2003 and 2004, with each of those five sets featuring a 5-Disc slipcase box. However, those individual seasonal slipcases from each of the previously-released Van Dyke seasons are NOT included in this Mega-Set.

Many, many supplemental bonus features are also included on these twenty-five Digital Discs, including: Audio Commentary tracks for many episodes, along with cast interviews, original TV commercials, Emmy Award snippets, documentaries, featurettes, photo galleries, behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, Easter Eggs, trivia games, CBS-TV promos, and gobs of other little interesting extra tidbits besides! A 12-page booklet, packed with interesting info about the series, is also a part of this Dick Van Dyke Show bonanza too.

There are even full-length TV-show bonuses included on selected discs, including a complete episode of "The Danny Thomas Show" (which has Van Dyke Show character "Buddy Sorrell" popping up).

Other complete TV-show extras include the original "Pilot" episode for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (called "Head Of The Family"); plus a full-length 46-minute CBS-TV documentary made in the mid-1990s ("The Dick Van Dyke Show Remembered"); and an absolutely-outstanding and ultra-fun-to-watch TV game show entitled "Stump The Stars" (aka: "Mike Stokey's Pantomime Quiz"), which has several Van Dyke Show cast members playing a lively charades game. Great, great fun!

If you want to know the full details regarding each and every little bonus extra you can expect to find on these 25 discs, you can seek out my extensive reviews for each of the separate Van Dyke Show boxed sets here at Amazon.com. If you type in "VAN DYKE SHOW SEASON" while searching under "DVDs" here at Amazon, you'll get a convenient and handy search result that places links to all five of the Van Dyke seasonal sets on just one webpage for easy reference.

Pull out any one of these 25 discs and you'll have some great shows, including all of Rob Petrie's inimitable physical comedy bits -- not to mention Dick Van Dyke's unsurpassed ability to act out a "one-way telephone conversation" (which always amazes me when I see him do this -- and there are many such "telephone" moments during the series). Then, too, via this amazing boxed set, you'll also get every one of Laura Petrie's (Mary Tyler Moore) "crying jags", plus all the standout "Rob & Laura dancing and singing" scenes. And don't forget about all those "Buddy insults Mel" gags (which must number in the hundreds over the course of the series).

Just suffice it to say that I love this television program. .... Its humor is timeless. The characters seem "real" and "non-phony". And the writing is remarkable. And you'll be able to see why when you pop in any of these wonderfully-restored Digital Versatile Discs.

"THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES" DVD collection is, without fear of argument, a "complete treasure".
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