A tastefully done and thoroughly likeable situation- comedy
Shalom Freedman | Jerusalem,Israel | 05/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was a funny show, one of the best. Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore (Oh Rob) were a great team. And they had two especially good minor characters played by Morey Amsterdam and Rosemary. These were the days of 'healthy clean' humor, done with real intelligence and taste.
Have You Got 15 Minutes (Maybe 20 Or 25) To Read Something K
David Von Pein | Mooresville, Indiana; USA | 08/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 5-Disc DVD set ("The Dick Van Dyke Show Collection") includes six episodes of the Van Dyke Show, plus lots of other stuff as well. In addition to the half-a-dozen Van Dyke episodes on the first three discs, there are six episodes from a like number of other vintage "Golden Age" TV sitcoms included in this unique DVD package too.
There's one episode each from these TV series: "The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet", "The Andy Griffith Show", "Love That Bob", "The Lucy Show", "The Beverly Hillbillies", and "Petticoat Junction".
Plus, on Discs 4 and 5, an assortment of "Behind The Scenes" and "Hollywood Remembers" programs are presented (focusing on TDvDS co-stars Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore).
Many fans of "The Dick Van Dyke Show", however, might be disappointed at the discovery that there are a mere six Van Dyke eps. on tap within this five-disc collection (and, given the product's title, I couldn't really blame them).
For true-blue fans of the great Dick Van Dyke Show, I'd highly recommend picking up any (or all) of the five excellent and lovingly-produced full-season DVD boxed sets that have been issued by Image Entertainment. Those sets contain uncut episodes, in virtually-pristine video quality, and also are packed with many excellent bonus features to boot.
Here now is that "Meaningless Fun Stuff" I mentioned.........
The comments below are aimed at die-hard fans of "THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW", whom I think might get a kick out of the trivial trivialities that I'm going to go on and on about. The following hunks of long-windedness are born exclusively out of my fascination and repeated viewings of every episode in the 158-show history of "The Dick Van Dyke Show". ......
Have you ever watched certain episodes of a particular television program over and over so many times that you start nit-picking little "goofs" and oddities and things that just don't add up logically?
For me, the fabulous "Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-1966) fits that bill. Make no mistake, this TV show is my all-time favorite for a variety of reasons (the writing, the excellent cast, the era it was made, and the show's re-watchability factor, which is unparalleled IMO) -- but I, over time, have noticed some flubs and errors that should have probably been corrected before the shows were ever telecast.
I thought it would be kind of fun to compile a casual list of "Goofs & Flubs & Writing Gaffes" for some of the Van Dyke episodes. And here's my list of such things (all in fun of course; with no offense intended to the Creator/Writer/Producer of this all-time TV classic, Mr. Carl Reiner):
>> In the episode "The Two Faces Of Rob" (From Season 2), in the scene where Rob (aka: Dr. Bonelli) agrees to meet Laura for a date at 4:30, there's an error in the script -- because Buddy and Sally repeat the time to Rob. But neither could possibly have heard Laura say she could meet Bonelli "at 4:30". This blunder could, of course, have easily been avoided if the script had called for Rob to say to Laura: "4:30 will be fine" -- instead of the line we hear: "That will be fine".
>> In "It's A Shame She Married Me" (Season 2), there's a major writing error. .... Rob has just hours earlier told Sally that he's "not gonna tell her [Laura] about it" (a party with an old flame of Laura's -- Jim Darling [Robert Vaughn]). But in the next scene, what happens? Sally, out of sheer spite it would seem from the way it's written, calls up Laura and asks her what she's going to wear to the Jim Darling party. Ultra-silly. Sally, KNOWING of Rob's not wanting Laura to know of this affair, would never have made that call. It should have been Mel, or someone other than Sally, to have spilled the beans over the telephone. Having Sally make that call only makes her look stupid and just plain mean.
>> In "The Brave And The Backache" (Season 3), Rob suffers a recurring back injury, which forces him (at one point during the episode) to stand up straight and stiff-as-a-board, unable to bend at all. Now, given this fact, can somebody please tell me HOW Rob was able to DRIVE HIMSELF HOME THAT EVENING? Are we to believe Rob stood up the whole way, while driving his vehicle in a totally-rigid position? LOL. .... That's just one of those little things that normally go unnoticed, until (perhaps) the 279th viewing. :)
>> In "The Cat Burglar" episode (Season 2), there's a multitude of errors (IMO), perhaps more lapses of logic than any other Van Dyke episode. --- Can anyone explain the logic of these burglars? They go to the trouble of breaking silently and undetected into the Petrie house on Bonnie Meadow Road, and are able to get out of the house unnoticed with the dining-room set.
So, what do these bonehead burglars decide to do? -- Do they take their loot and run for the batcave? No. Instead, they decide to LEAVE THE PILFERED MERCHANDISE BEHIND (when they obviously could have just taken it off the premises at the time of the middle-of-the-night theft). They leave the dining set in the toolshed on the Petrie property so they can run the further risk of getting caught by coming back LATER to pick it up. Why not just steal it and take it with them? Makes no sense to me.
Another odd thing about these very "neat" and orderly thieves (besides their placing protective packing papers all around the table & chairs in the cartons they hide in the toolshed) is the fact they neatly place the dining table's tablecloth and china and silver in perfect arrangement after their crime. Can you imagine a thief taking the time to physically arrange every spoon & knife & cup/saucer perfectly on the tablecloth ON THE FLOOR after swiping a dining table?
Also: The burglars are said in the episode to be "specialists", who only steal silver and TV sets. But, for some reason, they've changed their pattern at the Petrie house, taking only the dining set, and leaving behind the silver and TV (which both were, btw, readily available to the crooks for the snatching). We're surely not to assume there are two sets of cat burglars who just happened to strike the neighborhood in the same 5-day period, are we? Mr. Mason, your witness.
A very, very silly-looking goof in the "Cat Burglar" ep. is when Jerry comes through the glassless window, poking his head and rifle into the Petrie bedroom. There's NO glass in the window! Seems rather odd, doesn't it?
Now are you gonna sit there and try to tell me that Robert Simpson Petrie, who wants to protect his family and is already concerned about a potential burglar in the area, is going to sit still this night for going to sleep in a bedroom where a burglar could slip in easily through a window with NO GLASS in it, that's protected only by a CURTAIN?!! Come now. The O.J. jury wouldn't even buy that logic! LOL!
NEXT WEEK ON "UNSOLVED MYSTERIES": "Why is there no glass in that Petrie window?" (LOL!)
Then there's the somewhat odd statement made by the police detective at the end of the episode, when he says to Rob: "The next time you lock a crook in your bedroom, make sure all the windows are locked".
I scratch my head when hearing this and say "Huh?". WHY would Rob's locking the bedroom window have prevented the crook from simply flipping the window lock and still opening the window to escape? Since when do windows lock ON THE OUTSIDE (or with KEYED locks)?
Plus: Also remember this is the episode which has NO GLASS at all in that very same bedroom window which the crooks need to use as an escape route. Therefore, in this instance, there is literally no window TO lock in the bedroom. LOL!
How about this one, Van Dyke fans (still talking about the "Cat Burglar" episode here, which has a mountain of oddities and logic gaps within it) --- We've got Rob & Laura being awakened by sounds from the living room, which Rob admits sound like "somebody trying to get out".
So, we can naturally assume that the burglars had already been in the house before Rob got up to look. But when Rob investigates, rifle in tow, we can see that the dining set is STILL THERE! Therefore, the crooks had to RE-ENTER the house to steal the goods.
Now tell me how likely it would be that neither Rob nor Laura would hear the crooks' activity in the next room, especially given the couple's already highly-anxious state of mind after Rob nearly shoots Laura's lovely head off during his midnight romp with the .22? Highly unlikely the crooks' second attempt would go unnoticed under these stressful circumstances. Mr. Burger, your witness. :-)
Plus -- How realistic is the scene the next morning when NEITHER Rob nor Laura notices the dining table missing? They walk right past the large empty space in the room multiple times and don't even notice. Highly unlikely.
And yet, my friends, during the epilogue to this Van Dyke episodic adventure, Rob immediately notices a missing piece of furniture (the 9-foot curved sofa that wife Laura Meeker-Meehan-Petrie has sent out to be cleaned on Rob's day off). Granted, the absence of a nine-foot couch MIGHT stick out a tad more like a sore thumb vs. the absence of the dining set. But the difference is negligible, IMHO.
Therefore, ladies and gentlemen of the jury -- I submit to you that this episode's writing cries out for justice! And begs to be revised in the "reality" department by Writer/Producer Carl Reiner! For, ladies and germs, isn't it Reiner himself who has said to his subsequent writing partners on numerous occasions when penning the various Van Dyke episodes: "If it couldn't happen to you (or Rob Petrie), then don't put it in the script!"??
Thusly, Mr. Reiner himself must be found GUILTY as charged in this rare case of violating his very own "Realie" rule of episode writing!
And therefore, my friends, in this complicated case of "Reiner vs. The Cat Burglar", justice can only be served by your coming back into this courtroom/website with a verdict of -- "Funny as hell; but just plain goofy in many respects". (Penalty to accused being: Having to consume 16 cartons of "Crummy Buttons" in a 17-hour period.) > Another Dick Van Dyke episode which gives "The Cat Burglar" a run for its money for having possibly the most "Goofs / Boo-boos" of this kind is "My Husband Is Not A Drunk" (Season 2).
First off, the whole business of a "qualified hypnotist" being the ONLY person in that room who could just say a few well-chosen words, snap his fingers, and have anyone under his power is something I don't believe for a second (but that's probably just me; or the fact that I've never really BEEN hypnotized by a "qualified hypnotist" before in my lifetime, who could put me to sleep in a matter of 10 seconds, then snap his fingers and make me do goofy things by merely telling me to; LOL!). But that's not really to be considered amongst the gaffes that I'm referring to in this particular DvDS episode.
These are the goofs/gaffes:
To begin with, WHY can't Ritchie haul his own lazy 7-year-old body out of bed and get his own water? Other episodes have Ritchie getting up and acquiring his own beverages, without having to annoyingly bellow from the bedroom for his "servant parents" to deliver his liquids in bed. Silly on its face. However, the script here "needs" Ritchie to bellow for water, so Rob can slip out of the room.
Another thing that makes no sense in this episode is --- WHY can't the hypnotism session be placed on "hold" for 1 minute so that Rob can get the kid water and still return to join in the full hypnotism encounter? Logically, it would seem the party could be held up for 60 seconds until Rob returned; but, the script forbids this party delay, so that Rob can intercept the "spell" in the kitchen.
Still more --- There are THREE separate cases of illogical writing regarding the actual "hypnotism" scenes themselves. .....
1.) After Millie comes out of her "spell", she (for some reason) has NO desire to learn about WHY she wakes up off the ground and in the arms of "Rock Hudson"/Jerry. It's only after Sally asks "Did Jerry really look like Rock Hudson?" does Millie even realize what she did. Illogical.
2.) Same with Jerry. After he emerges from his spell, he too doesn't ask "What happened?". He just declares he "feels great" and "feels like playing some basketball". But at no time does he even wonder what he did while "under Glen Jameson's powers".
3.) That brings me to Laura's "blunder" while under the hypnotic trance. Now, Laura DID ask "What did I do?", which of course is what ANYBODY would want to know in that situation (if you believe, that is, in that silly kind of "immediately-went-to-sleep-just-because-somebody-told-me-to-relax-and-snapped-his-finger-at-me" kind of spell).
However, there's still a problem with Laura's trance too. After Rob answers Laura's "what did I do?" with: "Four score and seven years ago...", Laura SHOULD have then logically been puzzled as to WHY she said that and why she was wearing Rob's jacket. Why? Because, she couldn't have possibly known that Glen (the "qualified hypnotist" in this "Drunk" episode) told her to "imitate the person you most admire". Why didn't she inquire as to WHY she was impersonating Abe Lincoln? Did she just ASSUME Glen was going to say "imitate someone" before she was put under? Makes no sense to me.
This means that the reactions to ALL THREE of these "spells" were somewhat poorly written.
Still more --- The phone ringing at weird and utterly-impossible intervals (sometimes long pauses between rings, and sometimes not, just to accommodate Rob's "drunkenness"). Whose phone rings like that?
These type of things in the "Drunk" episode are things that almost never occur throughout the DvD series -- that is: setting up a situation just for the sake of a laugh, or just because we NEED this illogical piece of dialogue, etc., to "fit the script".
This type of thing is outside Carl Reiner's "#1 Rule" to himself and his other talented writers -- that rule being the "Realie Rule", as previously mentioned -- i.e.: 'If it couldn't really happen to the writers (Denoff, Persky, Marshall, or whoever), then don't put it in the script'! "Drunk" violates this basic rule multiple times, IMO.
A number of episodes have other very minor goofs/errors/oddities. Such as.......
>> The "Magic Piano", which only pops up "as needed" in the Petrie living quarters. ... And the pool table in the basement -- which can't possibly even be there in the first place, due to that huge rock prohibiting Rob from putting a pool table down there. ("Oh sure there's room! If we use chop sticks for cues!")
>> And -- Ever take note of Dick Van Dyke's "ambidexterity" in the pool episode ("Hustling The Hustler"; Season 2). He exhibits both his left-handedness and his right-handedness in this episode, as he plays pool left-handed, but signs the check to "Blackie Sorrell" right-handed.
Via all the episodes of the series (as a whole), it appears to me that the ONLY thing Dick does right-handed is write. He throws, eats, plays pool, plays tennis, etc., all left-handed. (This item really isn't a "gaffe" at all, actually; because Dick really is ambidextrous, in many respects, in real life. But I thought it was kind of interesting to note anyway.)
>> Is Rob "left-eared" or "right-eared"? How about the fact (in "The Bottom Of Mel Cooley's Heart"; Season 5) Rob tells Laura he's "left-eared" and has to have the phone put to his LEFT ear instead of his right -- but later in that very same episode, we see him talking on the phone "right-eared"? Rob (Dick) seems to not only be multi-handed, but multi-eared as well.
>> In "How To Spank A Star" (Season 3), after Rob becomes "producer" for 1 week, Buddy & Sally visit Rob in his "Producer's" office -- and Buddy looks around the room as he enters, as if he'd NEVER, ever been there before. Are we to believe that the gang had NEVER seen Mel's office in the several years they'd worked there? Surely, Rob wasn't given a BRAND-NEW office for just his interim one-week producer's job.
(NOTE -- I suppose it IS possible that Buddy & Sally had never seen Mel's office, similar to the gag in Season 5 when Alan sees the Writer's Room for the first time ever. LOL! However, we KNOW that Rob, at least, had seen Mel's office before "How To Spank A Star" -- as he goes there at the behest of Melvin Cooley in the Season-One episode, "Sally Is A Girl", with Rob exclaiming during that episode: "What's the matter with Mel? He took me all the way to his office to tell me what a wonderful writer I am".)
>> In "The Night The Roof Fell In" (Season 2), doesn't it seem kind of odd that Rob's "Stirrup & Saddle" shaving lotion ("Four bucks a bottle!") is located in Ritchie's bathroom, instead of Rob & Laura's master bathroom?
>> In "Give Me Your Walls" (Season 2), Rob accidentally messes up the living-room wall with a permanent marking pen, and then runs out of paint while re-painting the wall. ... Now, the question I'd ask Rob after this painting disaster would be: WHY didn't you simply PAINT OVER THE "BOO-BOO" ON THE WALL?! But, instead of just touching-up the splotch on the wall, Rob paints everything on that particular wall EXCEPT the splotch! And he does this even AFTER explaining to Laura that he's going to JUST paint "the collar and the cuff" (referring to a "clothing" analogy Rob made earlier in the show). Just doesn't make any logical sense, IMO.
Anyway, I hope you had as much fun reading the above time-consuming batch of totally-meaningless, completely-unimportant, and next-to-useless hunks of Dick Van Dyke Show trivia as I did writing them up. :-)
But remember this, fellow residents of Bonnie Meadow Road -- No matter how many of these blunders/goofs you find in this TV series, it'll STILL be the #1 program ever to grace the tube. Remember where ya heard that!
You know what all this incessant Van Dyke Show rambling means, don't you folks? ....Yes, it means I've more-than-likely watched "The Dick Van Dyke Show" way, way too much! And men in white coats will probably be bursting in here at any moment. I've turned into R.P. McMurphy. Somebody fetch Nurse Ratched! (I only hope they let me watch some Van Dyke reruns after I'm hauled to the asylum. Otherwise, I'll really go crazy.)
And as I leave you today, always remember this very wise piece of sage advice once uttered by Rob Petrie himself -- "Nothing goes over worse at a formal dinner than the smell of sweaty bunny fur". :-)
Good day, Petrie fans."