Monkees, The - Vol. 2
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Assembled in Los Angeles in 1966, The Monkees Emmy Award-winning television show spotlighted the group (featuring Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork & Micky Dolenz) as they tried to make it big in the music world. The show helped promote the band s albums and singles, helping bring songs such as I m A Believer , Last Train To Clarksville , (I m Not Your) Steppin Stone & others to the upper reaches of the chart. Season 2 features the final 26 episodes on 5 discs.
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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 ›
I will also agree with reviewers below who complain about the sound going up and down when switching back and forth from the menus to the actual episodes, but that is a minor quibble, and in the long run, hardly something to lose sleep over. The fact is...I no longer have to watch my 20-year old VHS tapes that I compiled in 1986 during the Monkees resurgence of that year when MTV ran the series three times a day.
Sure, the Monkees' individual commentaries are not overly-enlightening, but what is it about "The Monkees" television show that we already don't know? The general public needs to remember that this series was a 'day job' for the Monkees, and should not fault them for being foggy on the details of a certain episode that aired way back in 1968.
However, longtime Monkees caretakers Rhino could have treated us and included the Monkees' 1997 ABC television special, but it is nowhere to be found. It also would have been nice to collect all of the Monkees' television appearances of 1969 into a bonus feature as well--like their guest spots on the Johnny Cash Show, The Tonight Show, the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, etc. etc. (NOTE: some footage of the Monkees on Glen Campbell's show is included as a bonus, but their musical performances on that show have been edited out!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I don't like it because I thought they would sing write through the Dvd. They starting talking alot and it turn me off. And I will not be listening it every again. FrancinePublished on June 14 2013 by Francine
As with season one, Monkees fans will be familiar with this show, so I won't go into detail about what the show is about. Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2011 by TheTruth
For me, this was worth owning just for the performance of 'Cuddly Toy' at the end of the 'Everywhere a Sheik, Sheik" episode. Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2004 by David Hofstede
This is a review for season one a great DVD set. It has trivia for each episode which I found interesting and entertaining. Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2004 by Rick L. Phillips
The Monkees are great! Once you get past the fact that these shows were filmed in the '60s, they are quite enjoyable. I like the fact that these episodes contain clean humor. Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2004
I have been a Monkees fan since my childhood in the 70's. Now, as an adult in the professional entertainment business, I still find the Monkees very fun to watch. Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2004 by Dennis Draper
I enjoyed this DVD. The Monkees seemed more involved in the creative aspects of the show this season. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2004 by IC Whatyoudidthere