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article imageReview: 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' season four gets the Blu-ray treatment Special

By Mindy Peterman     Jul 22, 2013 in Entertainment
The classic sitcom's fourth season gets the Blu-ray treatment. It looks great, has tons of extras and much of the humor has stood the test of time.
The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran on CBS TV from 1961 to 1966, was unique in the world of sitcoms, different from the popular fare of the day. The lead character, Rob Petrie, was a television writer and family man. A suburbanite at heart, he lived in New Rochelle, New York with his wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) and son Richie (Larry Mathews), and commuted each day to his job in Manhattan. He was portrayed as an all around good guy, but don’t forget, he was a television writer, and they are a strange and quirky breed. The fact that he was not your typical sitcom husband and dad made for a unique brand of comedy.
A TV comedy about a guy who worked in the entertainment industry was not the norm in those days. While its true we had shows featuring Danny Thomas and Desi Arnaz portraying nightclub entertainers, can you think of another show of that era to feature a character who actually worked creating television?
The show proved to be ahead of its time, mainly because its creator, Carl Reiner, based its premise on his own experiences as a writer for the classic ‘50s sketch comedy show Your Show of Shows. He is said to have fashioned the character of Petrie after himself. So not only do we get the family man story, we get a weekly look inside the writers room, where Petrie and his writing staff, the wiseass Buddy Sorrell (Morey Amsterdam) and tough-as-nails Sally Rogers (Rose Marie), worked against the clock to create sketch comedy for The Alan Brady Show (the egocentric, narcissistic Brady is played to a scenery chewing tee by Reiner himself).
All 32 episodes of the fourth season of The Dick Van Dyke Show have recently been released on Blu-ray by Image Entertainment. These aren’t the cut-up syndicated versions you will often see broadcast late at night; these are the programs as they were originally aired. They look exceptional in glorious black and white and the set is loaded with extras. Van Dyke and Reiner team up to offer amusing and informative commentaries on the episodes “Baby Fat” and “Never Bathe On Sunday”. Garry Marshall, another legendary director/writer/producer associated with the show, also provides a commentary on “Baby Fat”. There are interviews with the cast and producers, photo galleries, network promo spots, The Dick Van Dyke Show Remembered documentary and other interesting and unusual additions to the set.
Exclusive to this Blu-ray release are The TV Academy Tribute to Carl Reiner, which features Dick Van Dyke, Rose Marie, and Larry Mathews, and Mary Tyler Moore’s appearance on The Danny Thomas Show.
Image Entertainment should be commended for the care they took with the restoration process and research that surely went into releasing this and other sets of its kind. If you’re a fan of vintage TV and movies, you should check out their website here.
More about Dick Van Dyke, carl reiner, Mary tyler moore, CBS, Sitcom
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