DVD REVIEW: Get Smart: The Complete Series

Get Smart: The Complete Series
(HBO Home Video)

Buy it at Amazon!

If you’re a fan of innovative, hilarious 60’s television, crave Mel Brooks or Buck Henry’s writing more then you can say, or even remember seeing these satirical spy stories when they originally aired, then you owe it to yourself to pick up the hefty box set Get Smart: The Complete Series.

Besides offering all 5 seasons of this groundbreaking comedy sitcom, 138 episodes on 25 discs, in a super nifty case, this box set is chock-full of goodies. First of all, like most any DVD you buy these days, commentary abounds here, from Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, to various episode directors and even Get Smart’s female lead, the alluring and smart Barbara Felton, Agent 99. In fact, Feldon handles a lot of the commentary duty plus introducing mostly every extra. Then there are plenty of ‘bloopers’ and interviews with the show’s creators (an especially high point is the one with Buck Henry) and Get Smart guest stars, show promos and snippets of appearances of Don Adams (agent Maxwell Smart himself) on various TV shows of the day.

Just a for instance of what you can find littered through this set:
– The ‘featurette’: “Barbara Feldon” Real Model to Role Model.”
– 1967 Emmy Broadcast snippet of the show winning two awards
– Don Adam’s 75th Birthday Celebration
– 1969 Rose Parade clip with Don Adams and Barbara Feldon
– Interactive “Max’s Apartment”
– Commercials of the day featuring the stars.
– Interview with Bernie Kopell (he played the Nazi commander of Maxwell Smart’s enemy “Chaos.”)
-And more, more, more.

What’s apparent beyond how wonderful the Get Smart shows are-and they are wonderful and wacky, sending up all manner of spy movies as well as taking broad shots at social dilemmas of the day (some Buck Henry is surprised they got away with!)-is how great Don Adams really was. The man was a superb mimic (anyone who knows Get Smart, immediately recalls Don Adams’ exaggerated “would you believe” smarmy voice), a master of double-takes and such a friend to comedians of the day that Get Smart, like Batman, was riddled with guest star appearances, even if it was for brief cameos. All one has to do is watch the show to spot people like Don Rickles (who has some hilarious bloopers himself), Phyllis Diller, Steve Allen, Milton Berle and many many others.

Digitally remastered, 5 DVD boxes with 5 DVD’s apiece, the Get Smart: The Complete Series is another of those great releases from HBO, chock-full of just about everything and anything a fan of this series would want and enough material to introduce the uninitiated. This major milestone on marketing memorabilia is a must to marshal your memory or create news ones.

Ralph Greco, Jr.

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