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Leave it to Beaver: The Complete Series (37-DVD Set)

Jerry Mathers , Hugh Beaumont    Unrated   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product Details


Product Description

Special Features

  • Its A Small World: The rare pilot episode that started it all!
  • Forever The Beaver - The Cleavers Look Back: Cast members Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow and Barbara Billingsley as well as renowned collector and co-creator of The New Leave It To Beaver Brian Levant reflect on the quintessential American family sitcom.
  • Ken Osmond And Frank Bank Remember: Cast members Ken Osmond and Frank Bank reunite to look back at their adventures on the set of Leave It To Beaver and beyond.
  • The Drum Major Of The Toy Parade: A conversation with composer Dave Kahn.
... And More!

Product Description

Inspired by the real-life experiences of creators Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher's own children, Leave It To Beaver follows the hilarious everyday adventures of young Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver and his older brother Wally. Whether at home, at school, or playing around their suburban neighborhood, Beaver always manages to get himself into some kind of trouble, comically learning each valuable lesson life has to offer along the way. Alongside baseball and apple pie, Leave It To Beaver reigns supreme in the pantheon of Americana. Boasting 234 episodes and spanning six iconic seasons from 1957-63, no other series on television better exemplifies the purity of childhood and importance of family in America.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best tv shows of all time Feb. 4 2014
Verified Purchase
I was on the fence about ordering this collection, although I always loved watching the show as a kid, as a teen, and as I young adult. Would I laugh and enjoy it today?
Absolutely! I find the show even more important to me today, then back in the day. Still laugh, and now I can watch all those episodes that I never saw. So pleased to have made this purchase. Now I can sit back and enjoy good, wholesome entertainment,
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good clarity, some "grain" July 1 2013
By jlkochi
Verified Purchase
Good transfer as far as sharpness is concerned, but greatly disturbed by some sort of video noise I haven't seen in any other DVD. It appears as "grain", similar to film grain. It's all over the 1st episode, but is mostly gone by the 2nd, although still there. Haven't seen the rest of the episodes yet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars When tv shows were worth watching!! March 11 2013
Verified Purchase
Absolutely fantastic!!! There just don't make sitcom's like this anymore, I'm a big fan of all the "golden oldies" of tv and Leave it to Beaver being on the top of my list.

You can't miss with Leave it to Beaver and the price was great!! Picked it up for $88.00 regular price I believe was $199.00...thanks Amazon!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Masterpiece Feb. 11 2013
By WALTER
Verified Purchase
This is a masterpiece of television sitcom art.
Although the setting is in the 1950s and 1960s
the stories and acting are superb in every way.
Although this was not filmed in colour, the cinematography
is excellent, sharp and clear. The characters are "real
people" - real boys and girls, mothers and fathers.
The sitcoms of today do not meet the excellence of
story telling, meaning and depth of understanding provided
by the "Leave It To Beaver" sitcom collection.
I recommend this collection to anyone who wants to experience
a taste the what family "reality" feels like and for those
who just want to make a trip into nostalgia and make fun
of how things were in the "pioneering days" of TV land.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  149 reviews
325 of 331 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE HOLY "BEAVER" GRAIL June 29 2010
By David Von Pein - Published on Amazon.com
QUICK DVD STATS:

Number of Episodes -- 234 (Plus the Original Pilot Episode)
Number of Discs -- 37 (Single-Sided)
Video -- 1.33:1 Full Frame (B&W)
Audio -- Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English only)
Any Bonus Stuff? -- Heck, yes! (Details below)
Subtitles? -- No (But each of the episodes is Closed Captioned in English)
"Play All" Option? -- Yes
Are These Episodes Complete and Unedited? -- Yes! (With a very minor "but"; details below)
DVD Distributor -- Shout! Factory (The set is copyrighted by NBC Universal)

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On June 29, 2010, a very pleasant thing happened -- something that many people probably didn't think would ever happen in their lifetime -- the audio and video company "Shout! Factory" released to the public "LEAVE IT TO BEAVER: THE COMPLETE SERIES", a spectacular 37-Disc DVD collection that includes all 234 episodes of what I consider to be one of the best and most rewatchable television series of all-time.

And Shout! has treated The Beav with expert care too, make no mistake about that fact. These 234 shows (plus the pilot episode, entitled "It's A Small World", which is also included in this mega-set) look and sound fantastic on these DVDs. All of the episodes were filmed in black-and-white, and the restored B&W prints that are presented in this collection are sensational.

To quote Brian Ward, the producer of this DVD boxed set:

"These episodes are complete and look better than you've ever seen them before. They've been restored and remastered from the original film elements. I've honestly never seen 50s television look this good. For those that bought the original seasons 1 & 2 released a couple years ago, these are leagues above those transfers. They really are something." -- Brian Ward of Shout! Factory; January 27, 2010

These shows do, indeed, look gorgeous on these DVDs, but I will add this note about the video quality --- The majority of the episodes in Season 1 and Season 2 of this set appear to me to have pretty close to the same video quality as the Universal DVD releases of those two seasons which came out in November 2005 and May 2006 [Season 1; Season 2].

Those two Universal sets have pretty good overall picture quality too, but most of the scenes that were filmed indoors are peppered with an abundance of grain. The scenes shot outdoors, however, look perfect and free of almost all grain.

This Shout! set mirrors those Universal video characteristics for the first two seasons, with the indoors footage being speckled with much more film grain than is found in any of the last four seasons. There are exceptions to this though, with one exception being the first-year episode "Brotherly Love", which looks quite a bit better in this Shout! set than it does in the 2005 Universal release, with less grain visible in the Shout! version.

Some of the shows from Season 1 also look darker on the Shout! DVDs when compared to the Universal edition (particularly the episode "Captain Jack"). So it would certainly seem as though Shout! has not used the exact same prints of the shows that Universal worked with in 2005.

But once I got to Season 3 of this Shout! set -- WOW! Simply magnificent in all respects! Almost all of the grain in every episode has been completely eliminated for the final four seasons. It's remarkable how blemish-free these new high-definition DVD prints look. Almost as if they were filmed yesterday. They look that good.

The highest praise I can muster goes to the Shout! people for taking the time and effort to do this classic TV sitcom the "DVD justice" it richly deserves.

One of the things that I immediately noticed when watching some of the episodes from Seasons 3 through 6 (which were filmed after the Cleavers moved into their new house on Pine Street in Mayfield) was the chair in the living room, the one in which dad Ward Cleaver is often seen sitting while reading the newspaper.

The chair's bold and unique fabric looks particularly bright on these remastered DVDs. The pattern practically jumps right off the screen, illustrating just how superb these DVD transfers really are. It might even be a good idea to wear sunglasses when watching those living-room scenes from now on. :)

Each episode is presented complete and uncut, just as they were originally aired on network television in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The average length per episode is about 25 minutes and 45 seconds.

A few episodes clock in at about 24:55. But then there are still others that exceed 26 minutes. So, I think it's probably safe to say that these episodes are just about as complete as we're ever going to get.

And Shout! DVD producer Brian Ward has also assured fans that all of the episodes in this set are uncut -- "The episodes are complete" were Mr. Ward's exact words on May 26, 2010 (via a post Brian made at the Shout! Factory Community Forum).

There is, however, one small section of one episode that is missing. And I'd be willing to bet that it's missing by pure accident. It's the preview (or "teaser") that was originally aired at the very beginning of the episode "The Black Eye". That short preview, narrated by Hugh Beaumont (which is when we hear Hugh say, "And that's our story tonight on Leave It To Beaver"), is nowhere to be found in this Shout! set. It is there, however, in the Universal 2005 DVD set.

The reason I said it's missing by "accident" is because of the way the order of most of the show openings for Season One have been rearranged. The short preview scenes that were part of the first-year episodes were (I think) originally aired PRIOR to the opening titles. That's the way they are presented in the 2005 Universal DVD set anyway.

But in this Shout! set, the majority of the preview clips are shown AFTER the opening credits. There are seven exceptions, however. The following seven episodes are presented as they originally aired, with the teaser coming prior to the opening titles: "Music Lesson", "The Perfect Father", "The State Vs. Beaver", "Beaver Runs Away", "Party Invitation", "The Bank Account", and "Lonesome Beaver".

This is a real mystery to me. I can't figure out why in the world the people who were responsible for remastering these episodes would have decided to reverse the order of the teasers and opening credits for about 80% of the first-season episodes in seemingly willy-nilly fashion, while choosing at the same time to leave the teasers where they should be in the first place (at the very beginning of the show) on 7 of the 39 episodes. It doesn't make a bit of sense. It almost looks like somebody at NBC Universal was being deliberately spiteful.

~big shrug~

Anyway, my guess would be that when someone was fiddling around with the chronology of most of these show-opening segments, somehow the preview/teaser clip for the "Black Eye" episode was never re-inserted and was inadvertently cut out completely.

Here's another oddity that I noticed about the first-season previews -- In this Shout! set, the preview segment for the episode "Brotherly Love" is completely different from the one that can be found on the 2005 DVD. The narration by Hugh Beaumont is identical in both DVD versions, but the video is totally different. Weird, huh? I had no idea that more than one preview segment existed for any of the episodes in Season 1. (It kind of makes the 2005 Universal DVD set for the first season of LITB seem a tad more valuable now, since there's something unique about a portion of it.)

-------------------------------------------

THE SHOW:

"Leave It To Beaver" premiered on CBS-TV on Friday, October 4, 1957, and continued on network television for a total of six seasons, finishing up in 1963. Each of the six seasons consisted of exactly 39 episodes, a hefty number when compared to current seasonal standards.

CBS carried the show for the first season only. For the final five years, "Beaver" was a part of the ABC-TV schedule.

The LITB storylines were always very simple and uncomplicated, which is probably a big reason why it is so charming and appealing. No major earth-shattering disasters ever befall the Cleavers. Nobody ever gets hurt (except an occasional scraped knee), the parents (Ward and June) rarely fight about anything serious and never threaten to leave each other, and above all, these characters really seemed to care about each other, without getting too sappy about it.

All of the above-mentioned traits helped make "Leave It To Beaver" what it was each week in 1957, and what I believe it remains today: a good, clean, fun, uncomplicated half-hour of entertaining television.

Starring Jerry Mathers as Theodore (Beaver) Cleaver, Tony Dow as his brother Wally, Barbara Billingsley as June, and Hugh Beaumont as Ward, the excellent cast of "Leave It To Beaver" was a well-chosen group in my opinion.

While it's true, I suppose, that the acting was a bit on the "stiff" side on many occasions, I still think that this ensemble did quite well on this show. A sense of true believability and realism finds its way quite comfortably into each of these episodes.

Toss into this cast grouping the very funny Richard Deacon, who portrayed Ward's friend and co-worker, Fred Rutherford, plus Ken Osmond as the ever-sarcastic Eddie Haskell, Frank Bank as Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford, Rusty Stevens as Larry Mondello, and all of Beaver's and Wally's other various friends, classmates, and schoolteachers, and you've got a really first-rate supporting cast of characters to build stories around.

Right out of the gate in Season 1, a whole bunch of top-notch episodes are on tap, with some of my favorites from the first year being: "The Black Eye", "Tenting Tonight", "Beaver's Short Pants", "Party Invitation", "The Bank Account", "Train Trip", "The Perfect Father", "Beaver Runs Away", and my #1 fave from the rookie season, "The Haircut", which has Beaver getting scalped by barber Wally in one of the funniest episodes of the whole series.

There's also the funny "Captain Jack" episode -- which was the very first show to be filmed; but was the second program to be aired. "Captain Jack" has Wally and Beaver sending away for a pet alligator, and includes the very funny scene where Minerva (the maid who is never seen again in the series) comes running up the basement stairs screaming "Help! A monster! There's an alligator in the basement!" .... This is followed by Ward's skeptical -- "An alligator?!" (LOL.)

"Captain Jack" also has the distinction of being the very first episode in television history to show a toilet on screen. (The "tank" portion of the Cleaver toilet is shown, not the [~gasp!~] "bowl" itself.) :-)

In fact, it was the "toilet" scene in "Captain Jack" that kept that episode from being aired by CBS as the debut show of the series in late 1957. But LITB show executives, including writers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher (who authored a great number of the episodes during LITB's six-year history, including "Captain Jack"), stuck by their guns and won the "toilet battle" with CBS bigwigs, and thus "Captain Jack" (toilet scene intact) was approved for network broadcast one week later, being aired on October 11, 1957, as Leave It To Beaver episode #2.

And yet another winning Season-One entry is entitled simply "Lumpy Rutherford" -- where we get our first look at Clarence Rutherford, known to most people as "Lumpy" (or "The Lump"). You'll note how Lumpy goes from being one of Wally's feared enemies to one of his best friends as the series progresses.

As mentioned, the original "Leave It To Beaver" pilot episode ("It's A Small World"), which originally aired on April 23, 1957, has also been included in this Shout! set. It was first aired as an installment of the syndicated anthology program "Studio 57". And it's a darn good pilot too, in my opinion, with a good storyline (unlike a lot of other series-launching pilots).

I know that a lot of people don't particularly like the Beaver pilot very much, but I myself think it's a pretty good show, which does a nice job of introducing the series and the characters. I actually find myself returning to watch this pilot show quite a bit.

I will say, though, that it would have been nice if Hugh Beaumont could have been included in the pilot's cast too. His presence would certainly have made it a better program, to be sure. Because Hugh's portrayal of Ward Cleaver will live on forever as one of the top "TV dad" performances there ever was.

Both Barbara Billingsley and Jerry Mathers co-star in the "Small World" pilot, but different actors played the parts of Wally and Ward. Paul Sullivan portrayed Wally and Casey Adams (aka Max Showalter) filled Ward's shoes.

A 13-year-old Harry Shearer (famed voice actor on "The Simpsons") also was featured in the cast of the pilot episode. It's a small part for Shearer, but he was very good as "Frankie Bennett", an Eddie Haskell-like smart-aleck. I was impressed by the naturalness of Harry's performance.

LITB veterans Richard Deacon and Diane Brewster are also part of the "Small World" cast, although not in the same roles that they ended up playing in the series. Deacon's part, in fact, is a fairly extensive one, as an executive for the "Franklin Milk Company".

Some of my other favorite episodes from Seasons 2 through 6 are listed below. You'll notice a preponderance of episodes centering on Wally here, especially in Seasons 5 and 6. The shows that focused primarily on Wally and his friends in the latter years of the series are, in my view, a tad bit better than the "Beaver"-oriented shows from those same seasons.

The writers/producers of the series, Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, obviously realized that Tony Dow was becoming somewhat of a teen heartthrob, and therefore wrote many episodes featuring Wally as the center of attention during the last two or three seasons:

Season 2 --- "Happy Weekend", "Wally's Haircomb", "The Shave", "Wally's New Suit", and "Most Interesting Character".

Season 3 --- "Teacher Comes To Dinner", "Beaver Takes A Bath", "Larry Hides Out", "Ward's Baseball", and "Beaver Takes A Walk".

Season 4 --- "Eddie Spends The Night", "In The Soup", "Beaver Won't Eat", "Wally And Dudley", and "Chuckie's New Shoes".

Season 5 --- "Wally's Car", "Wally's Chauffeur", "Wally's Big Date", "Wally Stays At Lumpy's", and "Beaver's Long Night".

Season 6 --- "Wally's Dinner Date", "Wally's Practical Joke", "The All-Night Party", "Wally's License", and "Wally's Car Accident".

-------------------------------------------

DVD BONUS MATERIAL:

Shout! Factory has produced an entire disc of supplemental bonus material for this monster-sized DVD collection, and there's some very good stuff in here too. Let's have a gander:

>>> "It's A Small World" -- The original "Leave It To Beaver" pilot episode (discussed earlier). Running time: 25:07.

>>> "Forever The Beaver: The Cleavers Look Back" -- This is a 74-minute featurette made in 2005, with some of the cast members from the show (Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow, and Barbara Billingsley) looking back on the series. Also featured in this bonus is Brian Levant, one of the co-creators of "The New Leave It To Beaver" (aka "Still The Beaver") TV series, which aired in the 1980s.

>>> "Ken Osmond And Frank Bank Remember" -- This featurette, which was made in April 2010, allows us to visit with two members of the LITB cast who weren't part of the "Forever The Beaver" program -- Ken Osmond and Frank Bank. Running time: 29:54.

>>> "The Drum Major Of The Toy Parade: A Conversation With Dave Kahn" -- Dave Kahn, the composer of the LITB theme song, is interviewed. Kahn was 94 at the time of this very brief interview. He passed away in July 2008. The person conducting this interview is Tony Dow. And Tony makes a mistake when he says that Kahn's theme song (entitled "The Toy Parade") was jazzed up in the third season of the LITB series. But it wasn't until the sixth and final year of the show that the "jazzing up" of Mr. Kahn's famous theme song was done for the opening and closing credits. The length of this bonus supplement is 3:16.

>>> U.S. Treasury Film -- This bonus is sort of a "mini" episode of "Leave It To Beaver". It was produced during the third season of the series, in cooperation with the United States Treasury Department. Beaver learns a valuable lesson about saving money in this rarely-seen 15-minute advertisement for U.S. Savings Bonds. This program hasn't been restored or remastered like the other episodes in this set, so the video quality is a little rough around the edges. It also doesn't include a laugh track, and the absence of such a track here serves to emphasize the importance and necessity of the "canned" laughs that we hear throughout all of the regular episodes in this series. Because after hearing an episode without any laughs at all, it becomes painfully obvious that those laughs coming from a "canned" audience are definitely better than hearing dead silence instead.

>>> Original Promos -- Two ABC-TV promotional ads for LITB. Some episode clips from various seasons of the show are included in these two brief television ads. And watch out for an alternate take of a scene from the fifth-season episode "Wally's Weekend Job". When Wally is getting chewed out by Mary Ellen Roger's father, LITB aficionados will instantly be able to tell that the dialogue being spoken is from a different take of that scene which ended up on the cutting-room floor. The picture quality for these ABC promos is really terrible. No cleaning up of this material was done at all (which is understandable, since these TV ads are merely a bonus anyway). But when watching how these promos have deteriorated as they have, it makes you appreciate the exceptional quality of the episodes in this set. The running time for these two promos is 2:01.

>>> Another cool bonus included in this collector's set is a very unique and rare item -- a replica of an original board game called the "Leave It To Beaver Money Maker Game". The paper replica of the game comes folded and tucked underneath the tabs that are affixed to the inside front cover of the slim plastic case reserved for the "Bonus Features".

>>> DVD Trailers -- A collection of promo spots for some other TV-on-DVD sets marketed by Shout! Factory. These same promos/trailers are also on Disc 1 of each of the six seasons in this LITB set (but they can easily be skipped on those six discs by pressing the Menu button).

More --- In addition to the full disc of extra stuff, there are also six radio shows included in this massive DVD set too (one show per individual season set). These radio programs all come from "Shokus Internet Radio" and are all episodes of "Stu's Show", which is an online program hosted by Stu Shostak. Stu is the owner and operator of Shokus Video and Shokus Internet Radio.

Shostak's show regularly features guests from the world of 1950s and 1960s television, including several shows with "Leave It To Beaver" cast members, six of which can be found scattered throughout this DVD mega-set. Most of the radio programs in this set are pretty lengthy too, running for about 1 hour and 45 minutes each.

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THE PACKAGING:

The packaging that Shout! has put together for this LITB Complete Series set is very nicely done, adding just one more element of "near perfection" to this outstanding DVD release.

The outer slipcase box is fairly thick and sturdy, and it looks cool too. The way Beaver seems to be snagging "The Complete Series" with his fishing pole is a clever design.

Each of the six individual seasons has its own case, with all six seasons then sliding comfortably (but not too tightly) inside the outer slipcase box. The one disc full of bonus material is housed in a separate plastic "slim" case.

The individual season cases are standard-sized (half-inch wide) Amaray type plastic keepcases, which means that this set has a fairly small overall footprint on your shelf (considering there are 234 episodes, plus a disc of extras, contained in this box). The total width of the whole package is just a shade under 4 inches.

The discs in each of the six seasonal cases (which are all single-sided! Yay!) are colorful and are arranged nicely too, in that the DVDs don't overlap one another at all. There are two swinging "leaf" pages hinged to the center of each plastic case, with each of these pages holding two discs (one on each side of the page/leaf). Discs 1 and 6 are attached to trays that rest in the front and back covers of the case.

Each of the seasons features a different promotional picture on the front of the plastic case and on the six discs within that set.

A 12-page booklet is included for each of the six individual seasonal sets, which is kind of a "bonus" unto itself, since a lot of DVD products have gone "paperless" entirely nowadays.

The six booklets, like the rest of this collection, are attractive and nicely put together too, with information about all 39 episodes for each individual season, including writing and director credits, show descriptions, and original airdates for each episode. Plus, the booklets are sprinkled with a few LITB publicity photos too.

-------------------------------------------

THE MENUS:

The menu structure for these DVDs is pretty simple and non-gimmicky, which is always a good thing (IMO). All of the menus are laid out in a "wet cement" fashion, giving the impression that all of the words on the screen have been written in wet cement (to mimic the opening titles from Season 1 of the series).

The main menu and all of the sub-menus have the LITB theme music playing in the background, and it plays on a continuous loop. I'd prefer silent menus myself, or possibly a one-time playing of the music and then silence.

Each disc's main menu is adorned with various promotional pictures taken from the individual season contained on that disc.

There are sub-menus for "Episodes" and "Bonus Feature". The "Bonus Feature" option only appears on Disc #1 for each season (the single bonus item on those discs is one of the radio shows mentioned previously). There are 6 or 7 episodes per disc.

All discs include a "Play All Episodes" option. From the main menu, this continuous playback feature is simply labeled "Play". From the Episodes sub-menu, it's listed as "Play All".

A few chapter breaks have been inserted for each episode, and they are nicely placed, including a break right after the opening credits, which is always a good place to put a chapter stop, IMO, allowing a quick bypass of the main titles in order to get right to the beginning of an episode.

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FINAL THOUGHTS:

"Leave It To Beaver" is an American institution. Although extremely simple and unsophisticated in nature, the show never fails to entertain.

What other television show could possibly produce entire half-hour episodes that revolve around nothing more than getting a ring stuck on your finger, or buying a new suit, or writing a grade-school poem....and yet make these seemingly mundane occurrences come out so charming and realistic on our TV screens?

Not many shows could accomplish this task as nicely and skillfully as "Leave It To Beaver" managed to do.

This 37-Disc set is a little like placing a piece of mid-20th-century Americana right into your living room. And having the whole series in one box is enough to make any Beaver fan do a few cartwheels.

I think possibly the thing I treasure the most about having all 234 "Leave It To Beaver" episodes in my DVD library is being able to revisit Mayfield and the Cleaver gang anytime of the day or night by simply popping in one of these discs. Knowing that I can do that is kind of a comforting thought all by itself.

David Von Pein
June/July 2010
106 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gee that's a lovely box set they are selling, Mrs Cleaver July 7 2010
By Phil J. Levine - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Allow me to begin by paraphrasing Sir Edward of Haskell...
"Hey Sam...so you're thinking about whether or not to buy the Complete Leave it To Beaver series box set? Well, Gertrude, let me tell you, don't think twice and just do it!!!"

OK. On a more serious note, it's not for nothing that Leave it To Beaver has remained one of the most popular, beloved and copied sitcoms for more than half a century. Sure, it's all too easy to mock or stereotype the show as the quintessential prototype of the Faux Fifties Americana. And, perhaps to some degree, there is something to that argument. But only to a small degree.

However, the REAL reason for the show's enduring success is that it had all the core elements of great television, and most notably, intelligent writing.
Let me personalize this to illustrate the point: when I was a kid, back in the late 60s and early 70s I first began watching the show, already in reruns. I enjoyed the show for many reasons, not the least of which was that even then, almost 10 years after it originally aired, it seemed to have timeless childhood themes. Perhaps the lexicon was a tad dated ("Gee, Wally, why are girls so goofy?") but the fact that the show never mocked the children, but seemed to empathize with them, appealed to me (even if I didn't know why at the time.)

Over the years, as the show (obviously) remained the same and I matured (well, mostly) and especially after I became a professional writer, I came to truly appreciate the nuances of the show's writing and the timeless themes of 'growing up' that transcended the arrival of the technological age.

Sure, there's an element of nostalgia in the show's popularity, but the fact is that very few shows in the annals of television history have achieved the level of loyalty that LITB ever did--so nostalgia alone cannot be the dominant reason for its enduring success. There was (and still is) a timeless humanity, an "American" humanity if you will, reflected in the writing, the acting and casting that became a televised version reflecting what Lincoln referred to as our "better angels".
Yes, the boys screwed up, and yes Eddie Haskell was a sanctimonious and duplicitous "creep", but beneath that shallow exteriors you could always see a frailty and a desire to simply "fit in" to a crazy world not of their making.

That is something that every kid, everywhere, had/has/will always strive to do.

The quality of the DVDs is superb, as close to flawless as you can get for 50s television, and the DVD bonus 'stuff' is great too. Sure, Eddie, Lumpy, Wally and the Beav look like they could be in line at the Walgreen's for their senior's discount medications--whereas just FYI the timeless Barbara Billingsley remains as always a beatific beauty even in her 90s--but that's the shallow way of seeing things. We all age, but it's not whether you age that matters, it's whether you age with dignity.

Bob Dylan once asked in song "have you seen dignity?" And, aside from being endlessly entertaining, if there is one thing that this box set achieves it's that it reminds us that there was a time when human 'dignity' was not merely a marketing device but a core value worth portraying and striving for.

So, bottom line, as a wise (ass) man might have opined, "lighten up, Sam, and buy the thing.
I mean, what are you, a goof or something?"

Leave it to Beaver...long may it (re) run.

*a sad addendum: we learned today of the passing of the eternally graceful Barbara Billingsley. Words fail to do justice to how beloved a maternal icon "Mrs Cleaver" was, is and will always be to those of use who grew up with her as our favorite 'TV mom.' By almost all accounts, she was every bit as genuinely gracious and sweet in real life as she was on the small screen. So on behalf of all of us who spent almost as much time in our formative years with "june" as we did our real moms, our heartfelt condolences to Ms. Billingsley's family. She will forever live on in the black and white television screen as well as our multi-hued dreams. And yes, Eddie was right--that was indeed a most lovely sweater, Mrs. Cleaver.
75 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreams do come true !!!! Feb. 19 2010
By Robert Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a "dream come true" for fans of the classic "Leave It To Beaver" series.All six seasons of the series to be released in one complete set by Shout! Factory.With reports that the episodes will be re-mastered to pristine quality from original film elements...this is reason to celebrate for all the fans of this classic 1950's tv series.Thanks very much to the Shout! Factory for making this dream finally become a reality.At a great pre-release price from Amazon,it does not get much better than this.I can't wait to spend my summer in Mayfield and own literally every episode of this great show.They simply don't make shows like this anymore!!. It will be a welcome addition to my classic television library.I can't wait !!!.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy happy happy for the Leave it to Beaver DVD's!!! May 12 2010
By Lori J. Lynch - Published on Amazon.com
I have been waiting for this for a long time! I can't wait to get this complete set! Every time I start feeling stressed out by today's fast paced nastiness I put in my Leave it to Beaver DVD's and I can instantly feel all the stress and anger slowly draining away!!

After reading everybody's reviews on this so far, I do have to ask a question though...Why...did you actually print that review by that idiot "Jim Walsh"??? What kind of an idiot writes a review about a show he hates?? Does he not get the difference between a review and a chat room? And what is with the nasty remarks about Leave it to Beaver? Anybody who is from that era (myself included) knows that that IS how people were then! Children were raised with manners, something so sadly lacking in today's children. Even Eddy, even though he was supposed to be a "bad" kid still had manners. He wasn't snotty nasty and rude.

If I would have spoken to my parents like the kids today speak to their parents...I would have had my mouth washed out with soap!!

I truly miss the way the world was when I was a child. People were nicer. I remember that we never locked the door to our house! When my mother went to the store she never locked her car door. If somebody saw someone drop a twenty dollar bill on the ground they picked it up and ran after them to return it to them! It wasn't so rare that became front page news!! It was just the right thing to do. When somebody new moved in next door, everybody got together and brought them a basket of food and stuff to welcome them to the neighborhood. If something bad happened to somebody, then the whole neighborhood chipped in to help them out. Sigh...I miss the days of Leave it to Beaver.

I for one can't think of anything better to spend my money on than this wonderful stress relieving DVD set!
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a REVIEW from an OWNER of the set! June 30 2010
By Richardson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Hi Folks,

this isn't a review of the series...or a debate with those who want to argue about its place in the history of TV etc...but one of the DVD set...which I received today and can't stop viewing...although I can't resist mentioning what a wonderful reminder of my childhood and the joy I had sitting around a black and white TV with my folks and little sister this brought back. Simple stories told with great emotion and humor...much different than the current fair of completely over stimulated shows kids are subjected to today.

1) packaging...
1st class all the way
each season is housed in its own multi disc case WITH a helpful booklet with episode information. They are all housed in a sturdy and attractive box...
this is just 1st class and something SHOUT Factory is building a reputation for...I know many who are excited to see them take over series like Garry Shandling, Larry Sanders and Dragnet to name a few because the quality goes way up!!

2) tech stuff...the DVDs are all dual layer single sided , which is a huge improvement over the Universal "flipper" discs originally issued for seasons 1 and 2
the image on the discs are first rate and a big improvement over the previous editions. Another reviewer said they are "darker" but the Universal sets were what we call "washed out" in photo terms..meaning the highlights were far too light so these DVDs are far richer and with much greater depth...just stunning. Nice menus..great music of course
OH and to the nut job who thinks its a waste because you can record them off TV
...the episodes are over 25 minutes so cutting is going into the versions being aired and besides...they just look better on this set than they do on TV...like the ultimate Lucy episodes..

3) Bonus features..
a whole bonus DVD (for me I like putting the bonus features on a bonus Disc instead of dividing them up among other discs) and while the features are amateurishly shot , edited and assembled but they do have a ton of interesting interviews with the living participants/actors and I found them to be fun and informative. there are audio bonus features on the individual sets but I haven't checked them out as of yet..

as a "Baby Boomer" myself I grew up with the Nelsons and Leave it to Beaver so this has been a trip down memory lane (I haven't seen these since they originally aired) in the best sense. Its sad that so many prime time network shows now feature bleeping of dialog .. this makes me happy to remember my youth but sad that things have gone so far afield since.

Bottom line, if you are a fan..you will be rewarded by purchasing...(for gosh sakes 235 episodes plus a bonus disc...WOW that is a lot of wonderful programming over 37 DVDs and less than a buck a show even at FULL LIST price).
if your not...maybe try season three which is now available as a stand alone, but really if you aren't already a fan I doubt you'd be reasding this....and to paraphrase Eddie Haskell... "My that's a beautiful box set Mrs Cleaver...er Shout Factory"!
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