Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “T.V. Sets: Forever Funny”

(CBS/Paramount. 2009. B&W and Color. 2 hours, 53 minutes. Not Rated. Various directors.) I Love Lucy (1951), The Honeymooners (1955), The Brady Bunch (1969), The Odd Couple (1970), Taxi (1978), Cheers (1982), Frasier (1993).

Paramount continues its reissues apace with “T.V. Sets,” this entry containing the first episodes of seven classic sitcoms. Most striking is how young everyone is (except for Odd Couple Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, in middle age when their show started). Oldsters like me remember that Cheers ranked dead last in the ratings its first season, but found its footing and enjoyed an 11-season run (even more remarkable was that its spinoff Frasier, my favorite of this group,also ran 11 seasons). I was impressed by Cheers’ first episode, “Give Me A Ring Sometime,” in which Ted Danson’s Sam and Shelley Long’s Diane were already pretty well-formed characters. Carla, Norm, Cliff and Coach are also on hand. The actors’ pacing is a bit off but they would solve that in time. Another reminder when watching Taxi is that Danny DeVito’s Louie was the definition of smarmy; he was the master. You’ll enjoy this nostalgic trip to sitcom-land.

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