BUT, this DVD set has many, many shortcomings that are unacceptable in this day and age.
1) AUDIO & VIDEO: the quality of these film prints is, in many cases, abysmal. Dirt, scratches and other damage abound. I find it TERRIBLY difficult to believe that Rhino couldn't find a better copy for transfer. Rather, I suspect they didn't want to spend the money 'cleaning' up the picture. I work in TV & Film and ALL of these scratches and dirt marks COULD have been removed digitally. But, they were not. Likewise, the audio is often muddy and at very inconsistent volume. Some passages are soft while others are way too loud. A little quality control would have corrected this problem.
2) AUDIO COMMENTARY: With the sole exception of Mike's commentary on "Fairy Tale Monkees", all the commentaries on the episodes are 99% worthless. We're lucky if, in a given 28-minute episode, there are 5-10 minutes of actual commentary. Most of the time, Davy or Peter just seem to be silently watching the episode alongside us. And most of their comments are of the "Hmm. I remember that shirt!" variety. Just totally inconsequential and very few and far between. If your major contribution on an audio commentary is, "Hmmm, I remember that shirt!", why bother even doing it? It boggles my mind that Rhino even included these commentaries. That's how inconsequential they are. One would expect slightly more insightful commentary given that the commentators are, in fact, the Monkees themselves.Read more ›
The axe I have to grind is not with the show, the music, or the (1960's) Monkees themselves. Those aspects of the show get a 5-star rating from me. (And if you are reading this, then I assume you are also a big fan.) It's just that while Apple was able to wonderfully restore the Beatles' legacy in the "Anthology" DVD collection, Rhino chose not to do the same thing here...
My first problem is the fact that Rhino (or more precisely, AOL Time Warner, which bought Rhino in 1998) did not bother to spend any money to restore & clean up the audio or video of any of these episodes. If you bought the mid-90's VHS box set and were expecting an audio & video upgrade, you're going to be in for a disappointment. Rhino seems to have used the same video masters they used for the earlier collection (the 1994, 1995, & 1996 "program content" copyrights on the DVD boxes would support this theory).
The audio portions of each episode sound much softer than the title screens. As a result, you have to crank the volume up when you watch an episode. When the episode is finished, and you go back to the title screen (and forget to reset the volume), it's almost like being hit on the head when you are blasted by the *very* loud Monkee's Theme that will greet you there. Granted, this is a minor annoyance, but after you are startled a number of times, it starts getting to you.
The video quality is also rather poor. The episodes appear *very* dark and murky. Lots of details cannot be seen as they have faded into the shadows.Read more ›
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