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Customer Review

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Few Episodes Fall a Little Flat--Otherwise, Get It !, November 8, 2012
This review is from: Alice: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
I ordered my copy of ALICE: The Complete Second Season as soon as it was announced on the Warner Archive site a few weeks ago to be sure I got pressed discs (instead of DVD-Rs) just like I did for Alice: The Complete First Season. The price was a few dollars cheaper than here too and the cover art and discs follow the same design as the first set--no complaints whatsoever. (**NOTE** The limited-run of pressed discs for Season One has long since sold out and only DVD-Rs are now available--you MUST order early!).

During its' second season on CBS during 1977-78, ALICE was still finding its' footing with a revolving door of producers, writers and directors. Several of the installments this season seem somewhat static and flat compared to Season 1 (see "The Indian Taker" or "The Reporter"). Ironically, this is the year the show jumped into the Top Ten finishing at #8 among all prime-time series for the 1977-78 season, no doubt helped by its' cozy new Sunday-night timeslot following "All in the Family" which was enjoying one of its most brilliant seasons ever. The ALICE cast are still delivering on all counts, but the writing and direction lets them down a little. Despite this, ALICE is still ten times better than any of the current sitcoms and there are indeed some series highlights this season. If you don't already own it on the 2006 Best-of disc, "Close Encounters of the Worst Kind" is ALICE at its' best when Alice's psychology has the gang at each others' throats; Mel insists he doesn't want any fuss made for "Mel's Big Five-0"; Jerry Reed makes his first guest appearance in "Star in the Storeroom" and Mel is trapped at Alice's apartment with an injury in "That Old Back Magic"--all classic episodes. This set also boasts guest appearances from George Burns, Desi Arnaz and Morey Amsterdam.

Two episodes that were held back and originally aired as part of Season 4 ("The Reporter" and "The Bus") are included here--as they should be--rounding out the episode total for this set to twenty-four half-hour shows. The video quality is about as good as it was on Warner's Season One set and the great news is they've already announced that Season Three is in the works and we should see it in the first-quarter of 2013! This is when the show REALLY get's cookin'!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 5, 2012, 5:50:57 AM PST
C. Phillips says:
Well put!

Watching these episodes in production order, as opposed to air date order, the creative shake ups you mention are very easy to see. The first handful of episodes for this season focus less on the cast as a surrogate family and more on the diner as a backdrop for some bittersweet realities of working class lives (both the employees and the patrons). In fact, "The Reporter" and "The Bus" especially play out less like episodes of ALICE and more like episodes of BARNEY MILLER. This isn't a dig; I actually enjoy this brief period in the show's history. But these episodes also help illustrate how and why the more lighthearted approach was the best one for this ensemble.

Looking forward to the season three set...

Posted on Feb 20, 2013, 4:34:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2013, 4:35:42 PM PST
i ordered season 1 recently ( 1 / 13) and got pressed discs; maybe smaller sellers still have some in their stock. you can always ask a used seller if their copy is pressed or burned; they don't usually tell you on the package if it's dvd-r.
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Location: Toronto, ON

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