Image / 1611 Minutes / 1963-1965 / Unrated / Street Date: June 11/July 2, 2013
Image Entertainment is going through the motions of making season-long sets of The Dick Van Dyke Show available here – these TV-on-BD sets are thin follow-ups to the studios Complete Series edition that was released last year – but response to these episodes are the same as ever: this is history, people. The Dick Van Dyke Show was never the most provocative sitcom on television, and there’s very little narrative notoriety to it (especially fifty years after its debut), but even a casual viewing of these Complete Third and Fourth Seasons manifests that, well, it’s all here.
Any story, scenario, lark, non-sequitur that a legitimate sitcom-lover can imagine has a seed here. Carl Reiner’s outlandishly popular comedy is, quite simply, the kind of institution one can’t imagine the landscape of television being without. Balancing the robust home life of Rob Petrie (Van Dyke) and the world of the comedy show he himself is a head writer for, these episodes showcase both aw-shucks simplicity of a dramatic era gone by and some seriously funny scenarios that are just as funny today as they must have been in the mid-60s.
But here’s the question with capable Blu-ray sets like these ones: are they worth it? I mean, if you’re in it for the long haul, there’s no need to go out of your way to invest in just a few seasons of The Dick Van Dyke Show (look for a deal on The Complete Series and invest the $150), but that being said, these compilations are nevertheless a lot of fun. And everything is better with a little Mary Tyler Moore in it – just saying….