Love, American Style forever!
What can I say? This DVD is truer that the red, white and blue and what a great show! I got hooked on the show at a very young age thanks to the opening theme song and the comedy blackout skits. Indeed, this was an age when I should have been watching Sesame Street when this aired on KTLA and KCOP in reruns. Later, thanks to TV Land and Oxygen, I was able to experience the show and got a better understanding of the storylines. Of course, they showed the half-hour versions except one night for TV Land’s Time Warp in 1997, where they had an hour-long episode from 1971. I’d thought I’d never seen the day of seeing the network versions. Until now… This DVD features the first 12 episodes with 37 stories of love and romance, in order of its broadcast as they were seen from its premier on September 29, 1969. For me, seeing these episodes is a first ever and I was not at all disappointed. I watched the first two episodes and they took me on a time machine trip back to an era I never got to experiences. The subject matter, of course, was for grown-ups only (of course, or they wouldn’t air these at 10 p.m.) and dealt with the issues of relationships, marital bliss and the “S’ word-all relevant to today’s issues. The cavalcade of stars in this package is mind-boggling and sadly, many of them have passed on including Alice Ghostly, Flip Wilson, Gail Fisher, Bill Bixby, and many others but this show featured up and coming stars who made their early appearance such as a young Harrison Ford, and talk show host, Regis Philbin. Fans who taped these from TV Land and Oxygen will be happy to know that stories that aired on these stations in their syndicated shows on this set (and hopefully future DVDs) are UNCUT! And, those comic blackout skits are funny and were reminiscent of Laugh-In (later written by Laugh-In writers Chet Dowling and Jim Abell) were performed by a troupe of young players including Stuart Margolin, (brother of Arnold Margolin, the show’s co-producer), Tracy Reed, Buzz Cooper, Barbara Minkus, Bill Callaway, Mary Grover, Lynne Marta, and a young (unbilled) Clifton Davis. Many of these, as well as the stories feature that big, beautiful brass bed and you will DEFINITELY see it in this set. The ending credits really blew me away as I was used to seeing graphics of the show’s patriotic heart logo but we see stills from the stories and blackout scenes set to a longer instrumental version of the theme song. Sadly, to closing logo fans, you will not see the original Paramount Television Split Rectangle logo. Instead, you’ll get a CBS/Paramount logo instead. Another great part of Love, American Style is the great musical score by Charles Fox and each episode starts off with the groovy title song sung by The Cowsills, written by Fox and Arnold Margolin. This version would by used in the first season before being replaced by the version we all know by the Charles Fox Singers starting from the 2nd Season. Charles Fox would be awarded an Emmy for this classic theme song after the 1st season and again for the score in 1973. The soundtrack was the first for TV to feature a contemporary score with harps, flugelhorn, a brass section and harpsichord (which reminds me a lot of the LAS brass bed). The pieces heard in the blackout skits are fun, tuneful and sweet as they feature variations of the theme song and modeled after classical pieces by Bach, Brahms and others with a hilarious twist in minor keys. Overall, this set was well worth the wait and the money and I am already in the waiting for Volume 2 and the rest of the series, especially with the pilots for Happy Days and Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, more cool guest stars and blackout players like Phyllis Elizabeth Davis, Bernie Kopell (Doc of THE LOVE BOAT), and James Hampton of F Troop. If you want classic comedy of the 1970s, add this set to your collection. My grade is A+ all the way!
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