clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chris Hicks: 'Doris Day,' other releases to leave viewers 'Bewitched'

Lots of new-to-DVD TV series and shows will debut Tuesday, led by "Hart to Hart" and second seasons of "Bewitched," "Doris Day" and "3rd Rock."

"Hart to Hart: The Complete First Season" (Sony, 1979-80, not rated, $49.95, six discs). Self-made millionaire Jonathan Hart (Robert Wagner) and his journalist wife Jennifer (Stefanie Powers) are world-traveling amateur sleuths in this glossy series (think "The Thin Man's" Nick and Nora Charles on a global scale). Max (Lionel Sander) is their wisecracking butler/chauffeur. Most of these episodes are enjoyable romps, with Eve Arden, Dee Wallace-Stone, Markie Post and other familiar faces in guest spots.

Extras: Full frame, 23 episodes, audio commentary (on pilot), making-of featurette, trailers, language and subtitle options (English, Portuguese), chapters.

"Bewitched: The Complete Second Season" (Sony, 1965-66, not rated, b/w, $39.95, five discs). This second season begins with Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) finding she is pregnant, and her husband Darren (Dick York) being turned into a chimp. Later in the season, baby Tabitha is born. This is also the season that introduced scene-stealer Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur — though Agnes Moorehead, as Samantha's mother Endora, still holds her own in this funny and charming show. (Look for Richard Dreyfuss as an obnoxious warlock.)

Extras: Full frame, 38 episodes, bloopers, trailers, optional English subtitles, chapters. (Also available in Colorized edition.)

"The Doris Day Show: Season 2" (MPI, 1969-70, not rated, $39.98, four discs). For her second season on this sitcom, Day left the rural life and traveled to San Francisco to work as a secretary for publisher McLean Stevenson, along with co-worker Rose Marie. Gentle, enjoyable series, given a boost by Day's effervescent presence.

Extras: Full frame, 26 episodes, new interviews, vintage greeting from Day, bloopers, promos, screen test, trailers, optional English subtitles, chapters.

"3rd Rock From the Sun: Season 2" (Anchor Bay, 1996-97, not rated, $39.98, four discs). The second season of this hyper, over-the-top sitcom about four aliens — John Lithgow, Kristen Johnston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, French Stewart — living among humans (including Jane Curtin) gets so wild it makes Robin Williams' "Mork & Mindy" zaniness seem calm. But it's also quite funny. There is a two-part 3D episode (glasses included) and guest stars include Mark Hamill, George Takei and Randy Newman.

Extras: Full frame, 26 episodes, alternate ending (of 3D episode), new interview with Lithgow, making-of featurette, bloopers, highlight clips, trailers, optional English subtitles, chapters.

"Best of MADtv: Seasons 8, 9 & 10" (Warner, 2002-05, not rated, $14.97). This collection of skits is, like the show, somewhat hit and miss, and occasionally more vulgar than it needs to be — but it's definitely funnier than anything "Saturday Night Live" has done lately. Celebrity impersonations and goofy recurring characters dominate the proceedings here, focusing primarily on Michael McDonald, Aries Spears, Stephnie Weir, Frank Caliendo and Bobby Lee.

Extras: Full frame, audio commentary (by McDonald), bloopers, optional English subtitles, chapters.

"Tales From the Crypt: The Complete Second Season" (Warner, 1990; not rated but with R-level violence, sex, nudity; $39.98, three discs). More very dark comic episodes of this HBO anthology series, based on the comics, with some stories that are scary, others that are funny and a few too many that are disappointing. Still, there's Teri Hatcher, Demi Moore, Kelly Preston and Don Rickles among the guest stars.

Extras: Full frame, 18 episodes, making-of featurettes, subtitle options (English, French, Spanish), chapters.

"Alias: The Complete Fourth Season" (Touchstone, 2004-05, not rated, $59.99, six discs). Jennifer Garner continues to be a strong presence in this action series that has her working with a covert CIA group. This season was hampered by former villain Arvin Sloane (Ron Rifkin) becoming a "good guy" — and being put in charge of the operations! But there are still some good individual episodes.

Extras: Widescreen, making-of featurettes/interviews, deleted scenes, bloopers, subtitle options (English, Spanish), chapters.

"The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction Ultimate Christmas Collection" (MPI, 1962-63, not rated, b/w, 14.98). Three holiday episodes gleaned from "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction." Amusing hijinks for fans of the shows.

Extras: Full frame, three episodes, new introductions, cast commercials, chapters.

"Here's Looking at You" (WGBH, 2004, not rated, $19.95). This 60-minute documentary looks at body art in all its various forms, from elaborate hairdos to tattoos to piercings to cosmetic surgery, etc. Occasionally painful to watch.

Extras: Full frame, chapters. (If you can't find this title in a local store, it can be ordered by phone at 800-949-8670, or on the Web at shop.wgbh.org.)

"Tripping the Rift: The Complete First Season" (Anchor Bay, 2004; not rated but with R-level violence, sex, nudity; $29.98, three discs). Think "Futurama" by way of "South Park" and you have an idea of this very "adult" animated series, with lots of movie/TV spoofs and even more sleazy sex gags. A few amusing moments but mostly this isn't as funny as it thinks it is.

Extras: Full frame, 13 episodes, character/artwork galleries, scripts, language options (English, French), chapters.

"The Legend of Zelda: The Complete Animated Series" (Shout, 1989, not rated, $29.98, three discs). This animated show was part of "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!" and coincided with the release of the first "Legend of Zelda" video game, as Princess Zelda and evil wizard Ganon battle over the kingdom of Hyrule.

Extras: Full frame, 13 episodes, live-action segments (from "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!"), interactive games, character-sketch gallery, chapters.

"My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas" (Hasbro/Paramount, 2005, G, $16.99). Animated holiday cartoon based on the beloved toy.

Extras: Full frame, bonus episode: "Dancing in the Clouds," sing-alongs, optional English subtitles, chapters.

"The Wheels on the Bus" (Scholastic, 2005, not rated, $14.95). This disc's four animated stories are "The Wheels on the Bus," "Dem Bones," "Over in the Meadow" and "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," along with the bonus episodes "I Want a Dog" and "The Chinese Violin."

Extras: Full frame, four stories, two bonus stories, chapters.

"The Shushybye Dream Band Live on Tour" (WGBH, 2005, not rated, $14.95). Seven-piece band performs for small fry; an hourlong live concert with the puppet Sushies.

Extras: Full frame, how-to-dance featurette, chapters. (If you can't find this title in a local store, it can be ordered by phone at 800-949-8670, or on the Web at shop.wgbh.org.)

"Doggy Daycare" (Doggy Daycare, 2005, not rated, $28.95). This DVD features more than 60 dogs of various breeds, and is actually for dogs — to watch when their owners are away. (How they work the remote, I don't know.) The idea is a calming device for canines, with 100 percent of the profits going to animal charities, such as Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and the Humane Society.

Extras: Full frame, three segments, chapters. (If you can't find this title in a local store, it can be ordered on the Web at www.doggydaycareDVD.com.)


E-mail: hicks@desnews.com