Monday, January 24, 2005

Beverly blogs.

Twenty episodes for five dollars, or one measly quarter per episode. That was today’s impulse purchase at Walgreens, a cheap collection of the Beverly Hillbillies on DVD. My DVD collection is burgeoning. I must have about ten disks all together.

The BH first disk includes the first episode of the show, and while it’s asking too much for comic hillbillies to be anything much like real hillbillies, even for that show it’s quite a stretch to suggest that anyone, anywhere in North America in 1962, had never seen or heard of airplanes. Still, it’s a necessary device to get Granny out of the house with a shotgun to shoot at a helicopter.

Minor quibble. The shows hold up well, and I bought the DVDs as much for Lilly as me. Her education in comedy has to grow beyond the Three Stooges. A few weeks ago, I checked some compilations of The Dick Van Dyke Show out of the library, and she watched some of those with me, and even once when I was doing something else.

Two brief observations on the DVD show (which was on videotape). I’d forgotten, or never appreciated, Dick Van Dyke’s remarkable range of gestures, from facial ticks to pratfalls, that liven up the show. Also, at least in most of the episodes I saw, Laura Petrie comes across as a terrific worrywart. Rob just wants to have some fun, while she’s positive that something bad will come of it, which it always does—but not bad enough to go beyond the realm of comedy. There’s probably a subtext here I’m not plugged into, but I’ll leave that to more astute pop-culture critics.


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