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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > My Three Sons – The Second Season, Volume One (1961 – 1962/CBS DVD Set)

My Three Sons – The Second Season, Volume One (1961 – 1962/CBS DVD Set)


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



Watching the further episodes of the early years of My Three Sons, there are a few things to consider when watching the show starting with how it slowly gets better and more interesting as you start form the beginning.  For one thing, it followed other similar hit series like The Donna Reed Show, Father Knows Best, The Goldbergs and Ozzie & Harriett in that they start to follow the lives of the child characters as they grow.  That does not stop the other characters from being interesting or developed, but it is a logical approach that keeps the weekly TV grind at bay.


No doubt Fred MacMurray helped sell the show, but it is rarely thought of as William Frawley’s second big hit TV show, though he was there for the whole ABC/black and white era.  Still a funny comic actor, he found a different character who could be abrasive, then had to rely on different writers and a different type of comedy.  When color TV had all the channels ignoring and skipping showing black and white episodes of hits that later when to color, such legacies were lost in the shuffle.  CBS DVD has 18 episodes for the first half of the Second Season and it is as good a show with Frawley as the later also-great shows with his successor, William Demerest (who played a different character).


The scripts are very smart, the cast chemistry grows, the title brothers are as believable as they ever would be, the resulting shows hold up very well and respect the intelligence of the viewer and when I was done watching these shows, realized fans of shows like The Brady Bunch and later family comedies might be very surprised how much fun and how well realized this series really is.


As far as such shows go, it is one of the less phony, less melodramatic, less sappy series in the TV sitcom realm.  Many have not seen these early seasons for years, so their arrival on DVD is a good thing.


The 1.33 X 1 black and white image throughout has surprisingly good detail, even when the prints show some wear.  Video Black is good for the format and I would like to see the show on Blu-ray sometime among the first black and white shows that would show how great monochrome film can look in HD.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono can be compressed in parts, but has some good clarity more often than not throughout.  Though some restoration and cleaning is needed, these are new transfers that will surprise many viewers.


The only extras are two clips for the opening and closing shows of this season that promote the show’s main sponsor, Chevrolet.  Even without these clips, you can see their vehicles of the time prominently displayed in the end credits of all the episodes.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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