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America's quintessential family returns with all 39 original, uncut episodes of Leave It to Beaver Season 2! Return to Mayfield for a warm welcome from its most charming family -- the Cleavers: wise pop Ward (Hugh Beaumont), resourceful mother June (Barbara Billingsley), curious older brother Wally (Tony Dow), and lovable, scruffy Theodore "Beaver" (Jerry Mathers). From building a boat to beating a bully to dealing with girls (cooties!), there's nothing the two Cleaver boys can't handle with a little luck and a lot of wholesome, homespun advice. Digitally remastered for optimum picture and audio quality, critics declare "…this 1957-1963 sitcom is as enjoyable today for its '50s nostalgia as it was then for its modern, understated humor" (David Bianculli, New York Daily News). Gee whiz!
The second season of Leave It to Beaver finds the Cleaver family happy and wholesome as ever, with most episodes involving the Beaver getting into a scrape, or hearing the from-the-mountaintop advice from Mom or Dad afterwards. Despite the formula, the episodes hold up well, because of the earnestness of the actors and the delivery of their lines, which is, well, swell. Mom June (Barbara Billingsley) is the matriarch who makes it all look easy in her well-pressed frocks and pearls (pay close attention to those necklaces--there are actually several; some plain strands and some with pendants), and Dad Ward (Hugh Beaumont) is thoughtful and a little monolithic. But it's the adventures of boys, older brother Wally (Tony Dow) and the Beav (Jerry Mathers), that make the show so fun. One episode involves Beav and pal Larry (Rusty Stevens) playing hooky (they're late to school anyway, and they figure they may as well get "killed" later as opposed to today), and then winding up on live TV, on a show which June just happens to be watching. Moral? Golly gee, there's more than one, and they're delivered by both parents and Beav's teacher--and echoed earnestly by Beaver himself. The chuckles come in a ready stream, even if sometimes inadvertently. Sample exchange: Wally: "Mom, can I get tattooed?" June: "Tattooed!? Absolutely not!" Wally: "Oh, OK. Bye." No wonder people are so nostalgic for the '50s--teenagers never gave anyone any lip. This season, 1957-58, contains 39 remastered episodes on three double-sided discs, and is a treasure box of nostalgia, in the absolute best sense. --A.T. Hurley