The Mothers-In-Law Complete Series on DVD is an Extras Delight


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
Hello Movie and TV Fans! Today I'm announcing a new venture here that, should you enjoy it, will be continued in the future. Let's call it Orry's DVD Corner for now. What I'm going to do is give you my take on various movie and TV DVD releases. You are welcome to request a review and, if I have it in my collection, I'll be happy to write about it. Unfortunately, I can only write about the products I currently own.

Keep in mind the reviews will focus just on the DVDs and won't necessarily be critiques of the individual programs. You can that elsewhere, however (look for the appropriate links).

First up on the menu is a DVD collection made possible by the wonderful mind of Desi Arnaz. After his divorce from Lucille Ball, their Desilu production company had to be dismantled. The new Desi Arnaz Productions quickly continued to keep on the TV bandwagon, though, including presenting a new comedy series on NBC called The Mothers-In-Laws.

The half hour comedy starred Eve Arden, Kaye Ballard, Herbert Rudley, and Roger C. Carmel (best known as Harry Mudd in the original Star Trek). Carmel, however, was replaced by Richard Deacon of The Dick Van Dyke Show for the show's second season after having refused to forgo a contractual pay raise as the rest of the cast had. The end result not only got him fired, but essentially blackballed for much of his career.

The show was about two bickering couples whose children get married, making them in-laws. The newlyweds are played by Jerry Fogel and Deborah Walley, perhaps best known as Gidget in Gidget Goes Hawaiian.

The Complete Series: The Mothers-In-Laws DVD set is comprised of 8 DVDs. They are delightfully single sided (I hate those duo things) and they are presented like a flip book, so it's easy and convenient to grab whatever DVD you want to watch at the moment. Each DVD is clearly labeled with the episode numbers, too. The overall case pictures Ballard and Arden on the front with other cast shown on the back and on the interior.

The worst aspect of the DVDS is that there isn't a 'play all' for the contents. Also, when you return to the main menu, you have to manually point it down to the next show; it doesn't jump there automatically as some do.

What was the most annoying is that unless I was actually in the process of watching a show, when I turned off my player and started it again, it would revert to the very beginning of the DVD play, versus just going to the menu where I'd left it. I found that strange, and in fact, it's never happened before.

The first DVD has an unusual beginning, a little greeting by Desi Arnaz Jr. which I thought was so cool and different. Arnaz Jr. appeared in two episodes, both times in shows in which his dad guest starred in as well. What an unexpected treat this was.

Some shows actually contain original commercials and some include the product promotion ads that include various cast members, such as Arden and Ballard raving over Camey Soap.

The final DVD is all special features about the show, including behind the scenes footage, with two unique extras. The pilot episodes for The Carol Channing Show and Land's End are included in their entirety. It's unusual to see something like that included in a DVD set. I rather enjoyed seeing both shows.

There are interviews with some of the cast from way back when. The most up to date one was with Kaye Ballard. The specials include a multi-part radio interview that Eve Arden did with Lucille Ball. Now that was different. I didn't even know Ball had a radio show.

The comedy is classic, with some terrific guest stars that included Arnaz, Jimmy Durante, Larry Storch, Ozzie Nelson, and even a young Rob Reiner. As much of a comedy as The Mothers-In-Laws was, it was almost equally a musical variety series in that many of the episodes had the couples involved in performing all kinds of song and dance routines.

I love this DVD set. I purchased it on a whim over Black Friday weekend because I remembered the show and it just called out to me. I'm glad I answered because I had hours and hours of fun watching the shows and all of the extras.

If you are interested in reading individual reviews for the episodes, you can begin with the pilot episode. Many others have been reviewed there as well so once you read the first review, just look for 'related content', click on my 'Orrymain' name at the top, or simply search it out.

I hope you enjoyed this initial entry of Orry's DVD Corner.




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