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ďThe Beverly Hillbillies - Season Two"
Reviewer:
Taylor Carlson
Studio: Paramount
Genre:
TV- Series
Release Date:
10/7/08
Special Features:

Sponsor openings/closings, Irene Ryan screen tests, series creator Paul Henning interview, promo spot, starsí address spot

Review:

The Beverly Hillbillies Second Season gets its release on the DVD format. At long last, this series is getting the ďseason setĒ releases it deserves. ***

Itís unlikely that you donít already know the basic premise of The Beverly Hillbillies (the intro song pretty much tells the entire story!), but here it is just in case youíre one of the few people who has been living under a rock for the last half century. Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen) was a b ackwoods hillbilly who struggled just to put food on the table for his family. During a hunt, though, one of his fired shots struck oil. Selling his oil-rich land, Clampett becomes a millionaire overnight. Along with his daughter Ellie May (Donna Douglas), nephew Jethro (Max Baer, Jr.), and Granny (Irene Ryan), he buys a lavish mansion in Beverly Hills, and begins a life of luxury. Nancy Kulp and Raymond Bailey have minor roles as officials of the bank Clampett chose to store his money with, and the now-iconic opening and closing theme songs are performed by the classic duo of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs (who have occasional appearances on the show.) ***

The multi-disc set contains all 36 episodes that aired as a part of the showís second season. Unlike the various lackluster collections that have been released over the years on DVD, the episodes are presented here in order, and to the best of my knowledge, uncut (donít quote me on this, though Paramount has been infamous for replacing music and using syndication edits in season sets.) These sets are the definitive home video representation of the series. ***

Fish-out-of-water stories are nothing new. Hell, they werenít even anything new back in the 60s. But The Beverly Hillbillies is pulled off so well with its lovable cast of characters and wacky plotlines. The show holds together considerably better than other situation comedies of its era. The show enjoyed a well-deserved lengthy run on the air, until it ultimately fell victim to CBSí ďrural purgeĒ of the early 70s. With season sets being released, what better time than the present to rediscover this television classic? ***

Just to clear up some confusion, this set was NOT preceded by a Season One set. Apparently, there are legal issues with the episodes and many of them are in the public domain. ---

Image and Sound:

Not the greatest production quality, but it will do. The black and white image is generally clean throughout, though some scenes are a bit grainy. This, however, is to be expected from a show this old. Picture quality is noticeably better than on the oh-so-many public domain DVD releases out there that you find in budget bins so often. Sound fares equally, better than the budget sets, but nothing out of this world.

Special Features:

Quite a few features here, actually, though nothing thatís an absolute necessity. We get the original sponsor spots from when the show first aired back in the 60s, which while nothing too important, are a nice little piece of history rightfully included. More interesting are interviews with Paul Henning, creator of the show, and the original screen tests from Irene Ryan. Topping things off are pieces of CBS promo material. Again, nice little featurettes, though at the same time, itís nothing you canít live without. Just the same, Iím grateful the set got ANY kind of bonuses included.

Final Words:

Itís great to see this television classic get the DVD treatment it has been in need of for so very long. If youíre a fan of the series, youíll want to pick up this collection.

 

 
 
 
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