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This encyclopedic TV-on-DVD set comes pretty darned close to being a definitive chronicle of this iconic series....
Timeless Media Group / 3780 Minutes / 1953-1961 / Unrated / Street Date: February 12, 2013
Loretta Young's career was really something - the icon started her career as a stand-in during the silent era, went on to become a successful film actress, then turned her back on the silver screen for a lucrative deal with NBC and became one of TVLand's most admired (and watched) presences. She even won an Oscar on the way – for The Farmer’s Daughter. Loretta’s been around the block.
When it comes to her eponymous show, however, one must weigh realities, at least as far as this DVD box set is concerned. First and foremost, it’s a doorstop, containing no fewer than seventeen discs: there’s a lot of material here, to be sure. But NBC didn’t hold onto their original negatives of the show, and the transfer versions utilized on this set don’t do the show too many favors – The Loretta Young Show, alas, could look better.
Also, this is by no means a Complete Series set. Young spent the majority of the third season of her broadcast ill, and while it might have been nice to watch the guest-hosted episodes that ran in her absence, rights and availability will likely make that impossible for a long while. So die-hard fans of The Loretta Young Show should know that this long-beloved series does indeed arrive on standard-def here, but not in its entirety. Yet even assessed in fits and spurts, this is fascinating old-fashioned television – no wonder Young was such a well-known presence.