The first thing that surprised me when I did some minor research on The Addams Family was that as a show, it was barely on for a cup of coffee, lasting two seasons. Maybe because it was on around the same time as The Munsters shortened its shelf life. However three decades later, the film (and its sequel) helped propel it into fan appreciation.
At least as part of the preservation effort, the shows themselves are starting to appear on DVD shelves, and Volume 2 is the latest …elease. For those who don’t know, the series is based on the Charles Addams comics and covers the ghouls and goblins that are in the Addams household. This set spreads 21 episodes out over three double sided discs, with the extra material covering the last side of disc three. This particular incarnation spans the time from April to October of 1965. When it comes to episode structure, they follow your basic sitcom premise, with a possible dilemma in Act Two before resolving it in Act Three.
The intent of the show seems to be that family is family, and this one just happens to have a Uncle that conducts electrical and magnetic fields, a husband with a perverse love of his wife’s French vocabulary, a Frankenstein-like butler, another family member with nothing but hair, and a hand in a box. Oh, and the two kids (boy and girl) with a love of using explosives in the house. Regardless of eccentricity, they love each other very much, and it’s the “normal” people around them that have the maladjustment.
The original mono is included on all discs. No harm, no foul, it all sounds fine.
All of the episodes are in full frame mode and all are presented in black and white. Quality wise they look better than I expected them to, the black levels aren’t bad for the age and there’s a better level of detail.
I’m presuming that there was a wad shot when it comes to extra material on Volume 1, as the material is OK, but nothing worth writing home about. There’s a commentary on selected episodes, most of which are by “Cousin It” and “The Thing”, which gives people a chance to crack jokes for them or something, so this is a write off, even though these things happen once on each side of the disc. There’s a separate critical commentary, but the meatiest piece is a 15 minute look at the show’s legacy, with interview material by Astin. It discusses the show’s legacy, and that’s about it.
If you’re a fan of the show, you should definitely pick this one up. However, I’d say that the extras are nothing special and even a little bit superficial, so a Nick at Nite marathon may accomplish more than these discs have.
Special Features List
- Selected Episode Commentary
- Critical Examination
- Guest Star Highlights
- Trivia Track