on April 17, 2004
What a pleasent surprise when I first saw the "Green Acres 1st Season" DVDs on display, one day at a shopping mall! It was one of my favorite TV shows in my youth, which I've nearly forgotten about until that shopping day. I'm happy to read EVERY comment made on IMDB is highly favorable of the show! With no second thoughts and its rather low sale price, I eagerly snagged it up to watch every show. It only took a week or so till we got to see every episode, laughing and enjoying each one. Definitely worth the money, though I must say the discs have left me with a few disappointments.
First, all 32 episodes are written on only two double-sided discs. A personal pet-peave, true, but having two grade-school-aged boys that get into everything, I don't mind having one side for any potential "unwanted abuse". Further, since this leaves no room for labels, there ends up being no way to identify what side of what discs has the first episode, ect.... You must either guess or use the 'trial and error' method.
Next, perhaps one of the reasons for the lower price tag than most other TV-Show-DVDs, is that it looks as though little or even no time was spent on restoring the quality of the video. Each episode was plagued with dirt spots, dust, scratches and other poor quality film elements, even an occasional hair popping up on the screen from 'projecter lint'! In episode 22 "The Day of Decision" for instance, is very grainy-looking as if it was taken from a poor quality 16mm film print. The focus and audio isn't quite as sharp and clear as say, even older TV-Show-DVDs like 'I Love Lucy" or 'Dick Van Dyke'.
A surprising oddity; we couldn't use our computer mouse to click on any of the 'menu' or 'episode' selections. We could use our keyboard at least. We've never encountered such a situation on any other of our DVDs. Hopefully they'll fix that on future releases.
Lastly, no 'Bonus features' - Biographies, Trivia, Behind-The-Scenes, Audio Commentaries or anything atall like that!
"Green Acres 1st Season" DVD is still a good package for the price and a real treat for any 'Green Acres' fan. Hopefully the following seasons will be out soon. Although I wouldn't mind waiting a little longer or maybe paying a little more for the many potential improvements these discs could use. After all, that is why we have gone to DVDs in the first place.
on February 17, 2004
I sincerely hope that someone at MGM sees this!! Can we please now have all the other wonderful episodes of Green Acres on DVD (the other five seasons)?? It is so great to have the entire first season on DVD, epecially since most show's early episodes are usually the best ones. But, Green Acres was a rare exception to that rule. The show was consistently and quite joyously weird and wacky and unpredictable throughout the six seasons it was on CBS. CBS also prematurely cancelled the show, despite it's still high ratings and popularity, along with it's other "country" shows, "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction", reportedly in an effort to offer more "sophisticated" fare. I can't help but wonder just how many of those replacement shows are still even remembered, let alone have been released on DVD!! Now if only "Petticoat Junction" would be offered the same way on DVD, as well!! The packaging of the two, two-sided Green Acres DVDs is adequate, but is somewhat spartan. But, the price makes up for it. There are no extras, not even chapter selections, but the episodes themselves more than make up for that. Especially since the episodes are complete and look great!! This DVD set is a bargain and I'll be on the lookout for the last five seasons of Green Acres to hopefully follow soon!! I can't recommend this purchase highly enough to any fan of Green Acres, who like me, grew up watching the show during it's original run from 1965 to 1971 and who like me, is a lover of classic, clean, family television entertainment.
on January 19, 2004
First, I must say I am biased, as I have always considered "Green Acres" to be one of the most underrated sitcoms of all time. The surreal sequences make it unlike any other "rural" show, and it is funny yet today.
But, alas....the transfers on these DVD's leave something to be desired. The primary fault is during the opening sequence....the classic theme song. The opening sequence is spattered with scratches and dirt. It also appears they used the same source for the opening for all of the shows, as the dirt and scratches are amazingly alike on every episode. Given the classic status of this opening sequence, I am surprised they didn't put more effort into making it spotless.
I am not through every episode yet, but the majority of the episodes have average at best transfers....not as dirty as the opening, but not spotless either.
Of course, given that this is the one and only time these episodes will probably ever appear on DVD...snatch them up if you want them. Just be forwarned....it's not perfect.
on January 25, 2004
Well... I've been waiting for this First Season DVD set ever since I ordered the Columbia House video releases of Green Acres (late 1999-2001). Columbia House chose to release the "best" of Green Acres in no particular order, which was disconcerting to a fan. BUT, this new DVD set is released in broadcast order! It's great to see the development of the characters and it's quite satisfying to see that by the 14th episode ("What Happened in Scranton") all the characters have found their niche.
Some of the episodes have a few film scratches, but they are really minor. The sound is brilliant (no scratches there!) and the color VERY vibrant! I remember watching Green Acres re-runs as a kid, and didn't realize that the hay shoveled by Eddie Albert in the beginning credits was a green color.
Another reviewer mentioned the chemistry between Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor and I must also mention it. Interestingly, upon seeing the two actors names, one would think that Albert and Gabor would have nothing in common and be a disaster, but... something "clicks" between them just right. As the episodes move along, one can see that Eddie and Eva clearly TOTALLY ENJOYED each other and played off each other wonderfully. In fact, watch closely at the conclusion of one of the episodes (I kick myself for not remembering which one), where Eddie and Eva are in bed and Eddie goes to turn off the light (and theoretically conclude the episode). Eva leans over and TICKLES Eddie and he knocks the lamp off the table and he and Eva both laugh in an "out of character" way, all while the scene fades out and the end credits role. You can just see that they had FUN while making these episodes.
The surreal comedy starts to "creep in" to these first season episodes, although it wouldn't be fully explored until later seasons. By "surreal" I mean where the characters "poke fun" at their own show or others similar. One episode starts with Eb milking Eleanor the cow while humming the theme song to the show! Then at the conclusion he "sings" in Eva's voice, "Dahling, I love you but give me Park Avenue!" It's in the later seasons that things like the names of the director and producers appear in the opening credits on Eddie's towel (as he exits the shower), or appear in the darkness in Eddie and Eva's bedroom where she asks him who the names are, etc.
So, watch these episodes... enjoy them. And notice that they are really sophisticated "pokes" at society as we know it. Finally... these episodes (well, the ones halfway through the first season and onward) are REALLY FUNNY! Don't be ashamed to LAUGH OUT LOUD!
Let's hope MGM releases all the other five seasons!
on February 13, 2004
This is a show people seem to either love or hate, very few are on the fence. I fall in the first group. I saw the show when I was young, and almost 40 years later, it is still as funny as ever. When I saw the price, I was afraid of a substandard product, but was happy to see that was not the case. The big kudos goes to MGM for putting closed captioning on this classic. It is not advertised as such and at first I debated whether to order it. I was very happy to see that closed cation symbol on the box when I opened the package. Classic VHS tapes often lacked this feature, even MGM products. A number of the cheaper DVDs still lack this feature. With over 25 million Americans suffering some degree of hearing loss, and a population that is getting older, it is nice to know the companies are getting better about including the closed captioning on these classics so we can all enjoy them again.
on January 15, 2004
Despite a complete lack of editorial input (no featurettes, behind the scenes pieces, trivia, etc.) this collection of the first season of a truly eccentric '60s TV sitcom is a long-overdue gem.
Some of the more astute reviewers have mentioned the show's meta-satirical tendencies, its surreal sight gags, oddball characters, and such. Always a big fan of the GA thing, it was great to refresh myself with the sly absurdity that governs the universe of this show.
One GREEN ACRES 'tic' that I truly love is the repetition of a certain phrase, such as in the second episode, in which one character is taking bets for a pool to guess how many days Oliver and Lisa will stay in Hooterville. One character scoffs at the "fool pool," and soon everyone is referring to the pool as "the fool pool." Such wordplay accelerates the tempo of the show, and I admire the blend of visual and verbal nonsense at the heart of GREEN ACRES.
Having watched just the first 2 episodes, I anticipate the many hours of mind-mangling pleasure ahead for me with this set. I really do wish they'd done at least a short documentary on the creators of the series. I'd love to know how Jay Sommers and Dick Chevillat, the best writing team on the show, came up with the dynamic absurdity in their characterizations and dialogue. With at least some of the show's stars still alive and well, it would have been easy to interview them about their memories of being a citizen of the hayseed Hellzapoppin' that was Hooterville. Perhaps future sets will have some extras.
I really don't mean to carp. Getting 13+ hours of this insanity for such a low price is a real treat. I hope they'll do the entire run of the show. It got weirder and weirder in passing seasons. Does anyone remember the episode about the beeping rock from outer space that makes Oliver's life hellish? Or the show in which Oliver keeps seeing an irate shotgun-wielding hillbilly, played by Percy Helton, who may or may not be real? Or Lisa's duck? Or am I just having a Hooterville hallucination??!?!?
on January 10, 2004
Oliver Wendell Douglas, a Manhattan attorney who has long wanted to be a farmer decides to buy a rundown farm from con man Eustice Haney. He then returns to New York City to get his stuff and bring his beautiful socialite Hungarian wife Lisa with him. Once they are in Hooterville, Oliver hires Eb and they try to build the farm into a useful venture. In the meantime, Lisa becomes acclamated to her surroundings and attempts to bring some form of civility and at the same time spice up the down-home backwards place she was forced to live in. She ends up becoming friends with all the neighbors and even strikes up a friendship with Arnold, the pet pig of Fred Ziffel, who treats Arnold like a son. Arnold even watches TV and is in many ways smarter than the Hootervillians.
Frank Cady aka Sam Drucker played that same character on Petticoat Junction and whenever the Beverly Hillbillies went back home.
Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide.
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.
New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.
You are my wife.
Good bye, city life.
Green Acres we are there.
on April 12, 2004
I didn't hesitate to buy this thanks to the VERY reasonable price. I loved this show as a kid in the 70s so when I started watching the episodes in order on this set I was at first a little concerned that the show wasn't as funny as I remembered it, then around episode 15 it starts to truly resemble the wacky show I remembered as a kid. So if you're new to the show just keep in mind it took the producers a while to get their footing.
It's been said that GREEN ACRES was critically unappreciated when it originally aired and I can't say for sure if that's true but I do know the show is overflowing with priceless character actors, including Sid Melton, Mary Grace Canton, Alvy Moore, the incomparable Pat Buttram, Hank Patterson and last but not least the incredibly funny Barbara Pepper as Doris Ziffel.
I've seen some websites complaining about the video quality but I can't complain. The shows are bright and clear and are vastly superior to the ones I see occasionally on tv land.
on March 12, 2004
Green Acres is without a doubt the GREATEST TV show of alltime! Well it's not the greatest of alltime, but it's one of the best! I've never had so much fun watching any DVD as I've had with this set! I can't wait for the other 5 seasons to be released! This show has so much comedy, and fresh characters, that one only wishes shows like these could be done again today. It's a slice of life on the farm...Well it's not really a slice of life, more like a microcosm...well it's not really a microcosm. Mr. Douglas wants to fit in on the farm so badly, but everything always seems to go wrong for him, it's more like a fish out of water story...well it's not really a fish out of water story, more like a Park Avenue goldfish trying to become a country guppy. The colors on this DVD are spectacular...PLEASE OH PLEASE buy this set, you won't be disappointed, and then we can see the rest of the show be released! If you want the best comedy the 60s had to offer, look no further than Green Acres. I can watch these forever! Well, not forever, more like, until I die...well not really until I die....You get the message.
This is a very helpful series. For all those people that read "Home and Garden" you now have a program that shows the upside to farming.
This is the Complete first season, consisting of 32 episodes or 13 hours and 40 minutes; so I suggest that you start early in the day if you have to work tomorrow. And do not be too impulsive and rush out to buy that farm. The package comes with two DVDs and a pamphlet describing in brief each episode. However you better have good eyes as both sides of the DVD are recorded on, leaving no room for labeling.
Fort many this is the first time to be introduced to such strong acting characters as Arnold (rumor has it became dinner at the end of the series). For the rest of us, we have an opportunity to visit old friends and see an episode or two that may have been missed. With any luck we will have the opportunity to buy the next season.
Oliver Wendell Douglas, born on a farm, and stayed there for two days, wants to get back to his roots. Th opportunity arises and he purchases the Haney place from Eustace Charleton Haney himself. His wife gets the opportunity to share with him the challenges to adjust to the farm life?
If you appreciate this fine program than you will enjoy reading "Under the Tuscan Sun" by Frances Mayes, where the story is retold Italian style.