Well, one good thing is that if you are angry because you bought the individual season DVD sets (like I did) and wished you waited to buy the complete series box set for the extras and corrections, you need not sweat it. The missing epilogue and minutes to “The Darlings Are Coming” and the missing epilogue to “Barney Mends a Broken Heart” from season 3 were not restored to this set. The laugh tracks to a few episodes from season 4 have been restored, but that wasn’t a big deal to me.
The “extra extras” you get from this series box set are available individually elsewhere if you look around. The pilot “Danny Meets Andy Griffith” is available edited on the “Make Room for Daddy” 5th season DVD set. The pilot included here is also edited. You can also find “Return to Mayberry” on DVD online and the other bonus is the episode “Opie Joins the Marines” where Opie visits Gomer on “Gomer Pyle USMC,” which will be released in that series’ second season set in a few months. I wish Paramount could have gathered some behind-the-scenes stuff or commentaries or interviews (the actors are not getting any younger and in just the past few years, many important TAGS people have died like Howard Morris and Don Knotts). That would have made this set worth it, but nothing like that is included.
What bugs me the most, though, is the crummy packaging: Cardboard folders and pockets with cut-out photos on the characters printed on it. At least make it the same as the individual sets with the plastic, easy-to-use holders and the bold and colorful illustrations. It’s a great series, I love the shows (even the color episodes), but if you have already bought the seasons and are wondering if the series set is worth it, I would vote, ‘no.’ In fact, if you haven’t bought anything from this series yet, I would still choose the indivdual seasons to this set.
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If you waited until now to purchase any of the Andy Griffith Show season sets, this is a decent deal. For those who already have one or more seasons, the new extras in this new all-season set are no big whoop and in my opinion is not worth purchasing.
The pilot episode included in this set is a syndicated version which is edited by about 2 and a half minutes. This is the same version already available on the Make Room For Daddy – The Complete Fifth Season DVD set. The full length pilot had been released on VHS, but has been out-of-print for a few years now. Why couldn’t Paramount include the full length version? We know it exists.
The two edited episodes in Season 3 remain edited. “The Darlings Are Coming” is the heavily cut syndicated version. “Barney Mends A Broken Heart” is still missing its epilogue. Source material does exist that would restore these episodes.
The episodes on discs 1 and 2 of Season 4 that were missing the laugh tracks have been corrected (with the odd exception of the last few minutes of “A Black Day For Mayberry” and “The Sermon For Today”, where the laughter has still not been re-inserted), but this was done way before this new box set was ever announced. If you have these discs without the laugh tracks, I believe Paramount is still replacing them with the corrected ones. See my review of Season 4 for more details.
The “Opie Joins The Marines” episode of Gomer Pyle, USMC has been included. However, this will be released anyway when Season 2 of that series rolls around in a few months.
The TV movie, “Return To Mayberry” finally makes it’s way to DVD as a bonus feature in this set. It is uncut and presented just as originally broadcast in 1986. Hopefully it will be released as a separate disc for those who already have some or all of this series.
Without even going into the packaging issues, this new box set is already somewhat of a disappointment. If you can afford it, stick with the individually released seasons.
Let me start out by saying I love the series, I bought all 8 seasons individually, and when it was released as a large box set I figured I would buy it and sell off my indivdual sets to save room in my DVD collection. I preordered the set and sold off all my individual sets.
My new set came in today, and I was thrilled to open the box, but once I opened it my thrill went away, This is by far the worst packaging of a DVD collection that I have ever seen. Each season is in a cardboard folded sleeve, and you slide the dvd into a cardboard slot, its cheap and flimsy and I am worried about the disks sliding in and out of these slots getting scratched, the individual season sleeves dont even fit nicely into the box. The whole box is a real mess when you look at it where the dvds slide in. and that is right out of the box from amazon. So if your thinking of upgrading your sets to this box set I would say keep what you got and dont upgrade, to the manufacture I would say the box set deserves better packaging than this. Most public domain packaging is better than this. MY review the show is a 5 the presentation/packaging is a 1.