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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Leave It To Beaver – Season Three (1959 – 1960/Universal/Shout! Factory DVD Set)

Leave It To Beaver – Season Three (1959 – 1960/Universal/Shout! Factory DVD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: B



When Universal started to personally issue the first seasons of Leave It To Beaver a few years ago, they were so good, we thought we might see a revival of such classic TV via DVD.  However, they took a break after 2006 and fans wondered if that was the end of the releases.  You can read our coverage of The Complete First Season at this link:





Four years later and we are finally getting Season Three and the rest of the series, but more on that in a minute.  This season had no less than 39 half-hours and at this point, the energy and smooth free flow of the actors as the characters was flawless.  You believe they are a family and it built up what was the “perfect” TV family and one so many shows tried to imitate with few succeeding.  The stories leaned more towards the kids, where the likes of Father Knows Best was balanced a little more towards the adults, but still leaned towards their kids too.  Beaver was not as serious a show.  Unlike sitcoms starting in the 1980s, children were not made out to be precocious robots or the biggest problem in the world, but with respect as young and growing people in healthy ways.


Richard Deacon (Dick Van Dyke Show) and Madge Blake (the Adam West Batman series) show up as occurrent characters and Jean Vander Pyl (the voice of Wilma on The Flintstones) shows up as two different characters entirely.  Also look for Ann Jillian, Rory Stevens (De Palma’s Carrie in Wally, The Businessman), Veronica Cartwright, Majel Barrett (both in Beaver & Violet) and character actors Paul Bryar (Beaver’s Bike) and Bill Baldwin (Wally’s Weekend Job) in a shows that hold up shockingly well a half-century later.


The 1.33 X 1 black and white image is from excellent prints materials as shot on 35mm film with fine Video Black and detail for this format, on par with Season One and even a tad better throughout.  There are still some issues with softness here and there, plus some print flaws at times, but the show has never looked better and this is not even High Definition.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also very clean and clear for its age, even when it shows its age.  This was a well-recorded show for its time and Universal made sure it was top quality as they built their TV empire to go with their motion picture studio.  Extras include a booklet with an episode guide for this season and a more recent radio interview with original series co-stars Jerry Mathers and Frank Bank from Stu’s Show.


The show ran six seasons and a Complete Series set is scheduled only a few weeks after this set’s release.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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