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!
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Although I grew up on this show I think this is probably the first time I have seen the episodes in proper order, and doing so I found them even more enjoyable than ever.
I was surprised to find that during the first 22 episodes the story actually develops in something of a logical progression, and while each episode is a self-contained story, the ridiculousness just continues to build from week to week as certain developments in one story are then further expanded upon in subsequent episodes.
The cast is fabulous and I especially love the cute hired hand Eb and shameless con man Mr. Haney. And although I recalled Eva Gabor as something of an airhead, viewing this show again as an adult I realize just how talented of a comedienne she truly was.
One of the things I really love about the show is the warm and loving relationship shown between main characters Oliver and Lisa. No matter how much at odds they may be during an episode, in the end it is their love for each other that makes everything alright and keeps them together in the face of every outlandish adversity that “Hootsersville” can throw at them.
And after having been bombarded with it throughout the subsequent decades of comedy, it now seems almost unbelievable that a show could be as funny as this and not have had to resort to a single joke about sex for the year’s entire 32 episodes. I doubt that today’s so-called comedy writers could manage that feat for more than about 2 minutes!
The first 22 episodes detailing the couple’s first 6 months on the farm are very, very solid and gut-bustingly funny. Definitely classic comedy! I think that they must have all been plotted out before the series went into production and show a wonderful cohesion. Beyond that point, the show’s scripts seem to lose a bit of their direction and become more of a hit or miss kind of affair for the season’s remaining 10 episodes.
But Green Acres would go on into even zanier territory, and I hope we will eventually see all episodes on DVD. (I remember one in particular where Eb dreams of having a conversation with the Jolly Green Giant that is one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen on TV!)
As for the DVD itself, for some reason episodes 1 & 2 and 22 & 23 seem to be much more dirty and scratched than the rest and should have been cleaned up first. Also, as another reviewer mentioned, the same opening credits which are also dirty and grainy have been used by MGM for every episode. Quit cutting corners like this MGM!! But other than this the remaining episodes all look quite good. I did get a bit sick of seeing that MGM lion roaring so loudly before every single episode though. How about just once at the beginning of the disc, MGM?
It was somewhat of a challenge trying to get the double-sided discs out of the package the first time without damaging them since the clips in the case are especially stubborn and don’t release easily. Be careful!! But when you pop them back in don’t push them as far in and they will come out easily after that.
So overall I would have to say that I’m overjoyed to have been reunited with an old favourite of mine. I give the show itself 5 stars, but the DVD only 3 stars due to the problems mentioned above.
I eagerly await further seasons on DVD, and also want to see season boxed sets of “The Beverly Hillbillies” and Green Acres’ sister show “Petticoat Junction”. For me they represent a kind of golden age of TV, when comedy didn’t need to resort to being crude or offensive to be funny. Viewed from our jaded world of today, they seem to hold a kind of almost childlike innocence that I have to say I truly miss.
I won’t attempt to describe the content of the Green Acres TV series except to say it is like a very strange comic book filled with parodies and satire.
I first heard about this DVD in October and I counted down the days until it was available from Amazon. I was expecting a product only slightly better than VHS quality, but I was pleasantly surprized. The video and audio qualities are quite good.
This comes as 2 disks in a moderately deluxe case. There are indeed 32 episodes including the pilot episode. I am sure I have never seen the pilot and despite what it says on the packaging, I have doubts it was ever broadcast. I know I wouldn’t have bought the series based on it. However by Episode 3, the familar format is established.
In order to fit all the content on just 2 disks, the disks are double-sided, double-layered and this might be the cause of some problems with some DVD players. As other reviewers have mentioned, the selection menu requires you to select and view each episode separately. On my cheap DVD player I could only select the first episode on each side. However, there was no problem selecting all the content when I viewed the disks on my computer DVD drive.
I think this DVD set is bargain when compared with the pricing of newer TV series DVDs and I would like to see more of this content available.