I first saw Get Smart when it was shown in reruns during the seventies in the afternoons. I must have seen every Get Smart episode at least a hundred times and I have especially fond memories of it. Then it disappeared from the air, only to return all these years, and several technology formats later, on DVD. I was a little worried when I bought the DVD, as it is rare for something to be as as good one remembers it from childhood. I didn't watch the DVD until one day, stuck home with the flu, I watched all the episodes of season one. I am happy to report that I found that I still liked Get Smart and that I laughed aloud at all the old gags. (Perhaps it was also the cold syrup)
Made the late sixties during the cold war as a parody of the spy genre and especially owing a lot to the popularity of the James Bond movies, Get Smart added many phrases to the English language. Even people too young to remember the series know such expressions as "sorry about that chief" or "missed it by that much." Don Adams is wonderful as bumbling Control agent 86, a role which won him three Emmy Awards. Barbara Feldon holds her own as Smart's alluring and more intellegnet partner Agent 99. Was there any woman in the sixties so fashionably dressed and as competent as 99? Each episode usually had Max being given an assignment by his frequently exasperated chief and then, somehow manages to bumble his way through the case to solve it. For me, one of the pleasures of the DVD besides seeing 99's parade of sixties high fashions is the commentary by Ms. Feldon and also by series creaters: Buck Henry and Mel Brooks. The one thing that dates the series for today's audience is some mild racial stereotyping. For example, there is an episode which parodies Charlie Chan called The Amazing Harry Hoo. Even with this to consider, I was amazed how well the series holds up. The DVD includes the black and white pilot episode and the rest of the episodes are in colour.