Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show Complete Series|
Actors: Bill Hudson, Brett Hudson, Mark Hudson
Genres: Comedy, Television
Hey Margolis! For the first time on any format comes sixteen zany half hours of family programming from the 70's. It's the Hudson Brothers - Brett, Mark and Bill, shticking and singing through a full season along with seri... more »
A Mini And Full Review
Brian Himes | 06/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I say mini review because I've only wached the first disc in this set.
Well...where do I begin? This show is...well...very 70s and very silly. I know it was a kids show and I do remember watching this occasionally when I was a kid. However, to be perfectly honest, the show is better in hindsight. Unlike other kids shows, there really isn't much here for adults to enjoy. Any kid over the age of 12 would probably find this to be very boring.
Don't get me wrong. The show (at least what I've seen of it so far) does have its moments. Rod Hull and his Emu are quite funny at times. The Hudson Brothers are certainly fun to see again, but the main problem I have with the show is that it doesn't vary from the formula. At least not much. Every episode is practically the same as the one before it. Which doesn't make for marathon viewing all that enjoyable.
The picture quality is pretty good for a 30 year old 70s kids show. There doesn't appear to be any color bleeding. And speaking of the color...good lord the colors on this show are loud. This show makes those Krofft shows like HR Pufnstuf and The Bugaloos look dull in comparison. I mean, honestly. Really bright, eye popping color(think Brady Bunch Variety Hour and you'll get a pretty good idea of the color scheme used on this show). You almost need to wear sunglasses while watching this. Or ear plugs because the colors are so loud. Which is one of the things that I'm really enjoying about this show. Visually it is certainly not dull. The only issues I noticed with the video were the animated segments just before and just after the commercial breaks. These were a bit on the grainy side and there is quite a bit of visible dirt on the prints. This clears up once the picture disolves back into the 'live' portions of the show so this grain and dirt appears to be something that was present even during the shows original broadcasts and not due to age of the source material.
The sound is crisp and clear. I don't have to have my TV volume up really loud to hear and understand everything that is being said. With one small exception. During the opening segment when the cast is being introduced I still can't quite catch the name of the young lady in the cast. This might be more the fault of the announcer talking so fast versus any audio faults in the source material.
The Hudsons do sing one song at the beginning of each show. Sometimes these are cover tunes or songs from their albums. Since their album Hollywood Situation came out while this was on the air, the brothers perform several songs off the album. If you are wondering which episode has their hit 'So You Are A Star' then watch episode 4 on disc 1. The song is performed complete and uncut. Their album Ba-Fa was also in production while the Hudsons were doing this show (I believe that it was also released during the run of this show) but I don't know if their 2nd top 40 hit, Rendezvous, is also performed on the show. I certainly hope so as this is my favorite of the Hudson's songs.
All in all I'd give the release a four star rating (out of a possible 5). I would give it 5 stars if the show was just a tad bit more humorous but again this was for kids and not adults. I give the picture quality and sound 5 stars.
I'm really glad that this has been released on DVD inspite of the fact that I really can't believe that it was even released in the first place. If you watched this as a kid then it will definately bring back some fond memories for you. While I doubt that I will be rewatching this show all that much, it's still nice to have in any 70s TV collection. Young kids will certainly enjoy watching it because the colors will keep their eyes glued to the set and adults may (and probably will) find most the antics a bit silly. The bottom line is that it's a great piece of nostalgia but not much more than that.
On a side note, I checked with Amazon this morning and they are already sold out of their stock of this set. Looks like this was a bigger seller than I anticipated. Shows how much I know about the power of a really silly 30 year old kids show.
I finished watching the entire set (including the bonus features) and well, all I can say is that was an experience. By the time that I got to the final disc I was getting pretty bored with this show.
The picture quality started to show a bit of wear on a couple of episodes on the second and third dics. There were noticible...glitches isn't the right word...but more like scratches in the picture. Not big enough to be a problem when viewing because they were contained to just a couple of spots and not the whole picture.
Additionally, the last two episodes have repeat parts from earlier episodes. The song Coochie Coochie Coo is seen in episodes 12, 15 and 16. Additionally, episode 15 repeates the same Rod Hull skecth as seen in episode 12. Episode 15 is the most noticeable of the substitutions that were made when, I'm guessing, that music couldn't be cleared. In fact episode 15 starts out with the Hudson's starting to sing a song (and they are wearing pink, yellow and white striped sweaters) when they stop singing because Mark is thirsty and wants a strawberry soda. Then a weird bit happens. Mark gets his soda and then they say something like 'Let's sing' and there is a really quick edit. Suddenly the Hudsons are now wearing yellow, green and white striped sweaters. Very noticeable. On episode 16, the same opeing from episode 12 (after the Razzle Dazzle opening of course) is used again (including the same jokes with Fabulous Freddie) and the Coochie Coochie Coo song again. However, the Rod Hull sketch is one that hadn't been seen before.
So, all in all episode 15 is missing the original song and original Rod Hull sketch and episode 16 is missing the entire opening segment and original song is missing. In each case the opening song from episode 12 is used.
Again, I don't know if this is because they couldn't get music clearance or not. It could also be that since the single for Coochie Coochie Coo was released during the run of this show they wanted to take advantage of the show and just use the same performance three times as a cheap way to promote the single. The Bugaloos did this a couple of times as well. This would also cut down on production costs since new opening segments wouldn't have to be filmed. Especially if this close to the end of production they were running out of money. I don't know the real story behind this, but what ever the reason when watching these episodes back to back things like this really stand out. I'd like to think that this was just a cheap way to save costs and promote the Coochie Coochie Coo single at the same time. With the small budget that childrens TV usually gets, I can totally see them cutting corners whenever and wherever they could.
As for the bonus features on the set, well the extra Chuckie Margolis segments from the primetime Hudson Brothers Show were much more fun than the Razzle Dazzle segments. 'The Best of' moments from the Hudson Brothers Show weren't all that great. If these segments are considered 'the best' then I can see why CBS decided to put the Hudsons on Saturday Mornings. They certainly were more kid friendly. And they worked better as a Saturday Morning kids act then they did as a primetime family show. I'm sure adults were bored stiff watching The Hudson Brothers Show.
I do find the set to be a fun trip down memory lane, but it's really not much more than that. Kids under 12 will like it but adults will probably be bored. It works best as just a bit of nostalgia. To be honest, for me, the show was better as a memory and I didn't have all that much fun revisiting it. However, that is just my opinion. I'm sure others will feel differently."
Hudsons Dazzle at Last!
Autumn Music Man | Albany, GA | 06/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was hoping someone would get around to releasing this series - at last, they have. Saturday mornings during the 1974-75 tv season were spent with the Hudson Brothers. Viewing the series today, I STILL laugh at the catchphrases from the show ("No thanks, we're trying to cut down. Frrm!" to Freddy, the kid tv exec). Like The Flintstones, the Jetsons, or Bullwinkle, this was a show aimed at the younger set but was filled with humor that older folks could appreciate as well. Top it off with great power-pop music by the Hudson Brothers (many of which were recorded specifically for the show and did NOT appear on their records) and this is one great set! The bonus is terrific: several of the funniest sketches from the Hudsons original summer replacement Wednesday night series. (I HOPE they get around to releasing THAT complete set...it may have been only four or five weeks long...but it has a few tunes I have never heard since then that I have been searching for SINCE 1974!).
To answer reviewer Brian's question: the girl cast member is Avril Chown (a junior high crush for me!), a talented, energetic gal who did a lot of stage work before joing the Hudsons gang of merry makers.
So go ahead - make the buy - if you've never been exposed to the Hudson Brothers music or comedy, it will be a great treat (think the zaniness of the Marx Brothers crossed with the musical sensibilities of early Beatles). If you watched it then...it'll be a blast of nostalgia that holds up well today."
It's great to see the Hudson Brothers again!
Douglas J. Wulf | Manassas, VA USA | 07/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a kid, I waited eagerly each week to see the next installment of The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show on Saturday morning. Then, after the short run of 16 episodes were shown and repeated perhaps once or twice, the show left the airwaves and left me high and dry. For more than three decades, it seemed as if virtually all memory of this show had vanished. The Hudson Brothers themselves also rapidly faded from the scene. Thus, it was indeed a delightful surprise to see these shows resurface again in any form.
When I put in the first DVD, I was quite worried that the quality of the video and audio might be abysmal, but was pleased to find them amazingly well preserved. As was noted in another review, there is one episode in particular that exhibits a few video faults early into the program, but these clear up relatively quickly. There are also some odd edits or issues in the final two or three episodes that make one wonder if something might be missing from them. My suspicion is that perhaps the network was just getting a bit slapdash in how these were assembled toward the end of the show's run.
I disagree with the comment in another review that there really isn't much here for adults to enjoy. The issue is just that such a show as this must be approached with the right perspective to enjoy it.
First of all, the DVD set presents us essentially with an artifact of 1970s kid's programming. We are given the show just as it was. Either the viewer will find this entertaining to witness again (as I certainly do) or may not be all that captivated.
Secondly, this is variety-show entertainment from a different era. This show, like other variety programs of the time, tends to aim at leaving the viewer with a pleasant experience, but the style of humor may seem simple (i.e. corny) to some modern viewers. Also, since this is a variety show aimed at kids, it is probably even a bit more gentle in its format that other variety shows of the era. However, the entire cast here is quite talented (e.g. Scott Fisher is an excellent child actor and does his bits like a pro), and the writers were good too, so there are some decent laughs in every episode.
Third, the show is indeed rigidly formulaic in the extreme. However, a strict formula worked very, very well for a kid audience who watched the program for exactly 30 minutes once a week with commercial breaks. As a kid, I looked forward to these different, predictable components of this show's formula as they came up after six days and 23.5 hours of time in between. I would have been rather disappointed if everything I had expected to see that week had not been there. (The highlight for me each week was definitely Rod Hull and Emu, and I also particularly enjoyed whenever there was a Chucky Margolis segment.) However, a formulaic program works less well for a modern adult audience who may attempt to watch several episodes in immediate succession from this DVD set. Again, the program was never intended to be seen in this way, so it doesn't seem entirely reasonable to fault it on those grounds. The fun of these episodes is lost if you overdose on them as modern DVD technology can allow you to do. Watch one episode a week every Saturday morning and you'll love them!
The bonus features from the Hudson Brothers' prime time show make me hope that the full episodes might also see separate release if the Razzle Dazzle set sells well enough. There were several segments that were quite good, including a funny twist on the Marx Brothers, Chucky Margolis, and another Rod Hull and Emu routine.
I also hope that the third show starring the Hudson Brothers -- Bonkers! -- will also see release on a DVD set. I know of this show, but have never seen it. I would certainly be intrigued to see these episodes as well.
The Hudson Brothers were an incredibly likable trio, especially when singing some silly 30-second song dressed in identical uniforms of one sort or another. Rod Hull could do more with what was essentially just his right sleeve than anyone in history. The entire supporting cast is also great with everyone contributing something good to the show. Lastly, I still find something really funny about how the Hudsons are treated like property in the opening and closing credits of the show (which make a sort of infinite loop out of their lives if you join up the end of each episode with the start of the next). It's a sort of surreal and slightly subversive humor that I really enjoy. Of course, the cleverness of it can easily be overlooked because of its slapstick execution.
In short, I'm so glad that this show has at long last been pulled out of oblivion and made its appearance on DVD! I hope others will give it a try too."
I'M RAZZLE DAZZLED
Lauree | Whittier, CA USA | 01/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"TO SAY THAT EVERY HUDSON BROTHER FAN HAS WAITED YEARS FOR THIS COMPILATION, WOULD TRULY BE AN UNDERSTATEMENT. STRIP AWAY ALL THE COLORFUL SETS, THE SLAP-STICK GAGS, THE BRIGHTLY COLORED SWEATERS, AND WHAT WAS LEFT WERE THREE GENUINELY TALENTED MUSICIANS...THREE OF THE NICEST, MOST GORGEOUS GENTLEMEN I HAD EVER MET. IF YOU EVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THEM IN CONCERT, YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND. BUT, BACK TO THE SHOW. FOR ME, THESE EPISODES BRING BACK WONDERFUL MEMORIES, MUSIC, I STILL REMEMBER THE WORDS TO, AND CHUCKY MARGOLIS, WHOM I NEVER TIRED OF SEEING. THOUGH THE MATERIAL MAY SEEM DATED NOW...BACK IN 1974, THERE WAS NOTHING I LOOKED FORWARD TO MORE, THEN SPENDING SATURDAY MORNINGS WITH BILL, MARK, AND BRETT. THEY ARE TRULY A WELCOME ADDITION TO MY OTHER TELEVISION COLLECTIONS. I REALLY LOVED THESE GUYS, AND THEY WILL ALWAYS HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART. THEY BROUGHT ME LAUGHTER, MUSIC THAT WAS FUN AND CATCHY, AND GOOD TIMES I WILL NEVER FORGET."