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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Petticoat Junction – The Official First Season (1963 – 64/CBS DVD)

Petticoat Junction – The Official First Season (1963 – 64/CBS DVD)


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



The first spin-off of the wildly successful Beverly Hillbillies was sold on an idea without even a pilot show, ran seven seasons beginning in 1963 and was one of the earliest examples of how popular and profitable spin-offs could be.  Petticoat Junction is the classic comedy about a widow (Bea Benedaret) who runs a family business of the Shady Rest Hotel along the train line in Hooterville, along with her brother Joe (aka Uncle Joe, played by Edgar Buchanan) and her three pretty daughters Bobby Jo (Pat Woodell), Billie Jo (Jeannine Reilly) and Betty Jo (Linda Kaye) in this classic sitcom.


The first season racked up no less than 38 episodes and they are all here, funny, well written and the cast (so well cast) had its chemistry early on.  Though I like the full color shows later, these tend to be a bit more serious by comparison and had to be good at the time if the show expected to last.  They were and it did, with Adam West, Dennis Hopper and Rosemary De Camp among those showing up in cameos.  It is also hard to believe how much more the show took itself seriously, respecting the audience more and making the laughs pay off better than just about anything you’d see now.  Though there is some repetition in the set-up, Petticoat Junction is fun and the set is worth a look if you have never seen the show.  This also has extras.


The 1.33 X 1 image has some grain, but looks good for its age and better than the previous DVDs we’ve seen.  Prints are consistent and Video Black is good, along with the detail.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is a bit more worn throughout, showing its age, the quiet nature of the show (even with laugh track) and limits of the recording of the dialogue then.  Still, it is clean for its age.  Extras include Woodell and Linda Kaye Henning reuniting to do intros to each episode, into to a photo gallery by them, additional interview pieces by them, archival Paul Henning (1990) interview introduced by them and a by-default introduction (they did not know this was coming despite talking about it) to the ads they appeared in supporting products of their sponsor.  They make the set a good one and this will hopefully lead the way for the whole series to be issued.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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