Despite lasting over a hundred episodes, The Patty Duke Show only lasted about three years from the fall of 1963 until the late spring of 1966. However, it was often penned as one of the best shows of the 1960’s and still finds a way into syndication when networks such as TV Land need a wholesome show to fill a time slot. So, it is little surprise that Shout Factory have decided to release all three seasons of the show to DVD. But how does the final season of this show hold up after all of these years?
Prior to this dvd set, I wasn’t very familiar with the show and had only caught a few random episodes on Nick at Nite. So I’ll do the service of giving a brief layout before we continue. The show is based in Brooklyn where the Lanes family resides. The main character of the show is Patty Lane (played by Patty Duke) who is a strong willed and outgoing teenager. She has a dad named Martin (played by William Schallert) and a mother named Natalie (played by Jean Byron).
They also have a younger son named Ross (played by Paul O’Keefe). Patty even has a long time boyfriend named Richard (played by Eddie Applegate). I believe I’m forgetting somebody *consults notes*, ahh yes Cathy Lane. Cathy (also played by Patty Duke) is Patty’s cousin who has traveled the world before coming to Brooklyn Heights. She is a little more intelligent than Patty but also a lot less talkative. Needless to say they get confused for each other a lot.
There are thirty two different episodes in the third season and most of them stand on their own. Most of the plot lines involve Patty directly but a few feature Cathy, the Lanes or even Richard depending on the story. We’ll take a couple of episodes as examples. In the very first episode, we get guest star Frankie Avalon as himself who find his car broken down on the way to the airport.
Of course, the house he is broken down at is the Lanes and once Patty realizes who he is, completely falls head over heels. From there, she spends the episode trying to keep Frankie there as long as possible. Eventually, he departs but not before he gives her a kiss on the cheek. If you ever wanted to see Frankie the assistant plumber at work, here is your chance.
Going for another random episode, Patty the Psychic, we see Patty reading various books on extra sensory perception. As to be expected, she suddenly thinks she has psychic powers. So she challenges her family to an exercise. Cathy gets the bright idea to play a prank and go along with Patty’s predictions. As it turns out, Patty really does have some powers and eventually it helps to bring down a fortune telling scheme elsewhere in town.
I’ll be honest with the reading audience, I was born far too late to really appreciate this show. I grew up with Different Strokes, Facts of Life, or Family Ties. Most of the dual character / one actress gimmick scenarios are far too hokey for me. But forty years ago, they were probably considered original. Patty Duke probably could be described as the modern day Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus of her era. I just want to know who is paying for the psychiatric evaluations later on in life.
It’s a decent family television show but here is one thing that perhaps I don’t understand. What is with teenagers wearing blonde wigs (and even admitting as such)? Should I mark this down as the 1960’s version of the weave? Furthermore, Richard has to be one of the most caring boyfriends this side of Brooklyn. Most guys would have dumped her and shacked up with Cathy. There is something oddly creepy about that.
The video is the standard 1.33:1 Fullscreen presentation. As expected, the video isn’t going to perform miracles but it isn’t bad either. It is presented in the original black and white and looks fairly sharp. There is some speckle and grain and certain images aren’t the best at preservation but you’ll find that it is more than suitable. As par the course, Shout Factory did an excellent job with the source material.
The sound is presented in English Dolby Digital Mono Sound. Sound does suffer in comparison to the video. Dialog is clear enough but occasionally can drop out due to pops and crackles. There are occasional hisses as well. However, you shouldn’t miss many words. Just be sure to turn up the volume a little more and you’ll be able to get through it. Subtitles don’t seem to be included (but probably were not available).
- Automatic Trailers: Patty Duke and Father Knows Best
- Booklet: In this massive 6-disc set, an eight-page booklet is included that goes over each episode as well as an outline of the basic cast. I miss these tiny booklets of information, they are very helpful to new and returning fans.
- Still Rockin’ in Brooklyn Heights 86:19: Shout Factory was fortunate enough to secure the rights to the TV Movie of the Cast Reunion. This was aired in 1999 and included most of the original cast. The main plot is that Patty and Richard were married after high school and had a son. Unfortunately, they also divorced. The cousin, Cathy (of course this is still Patty too) is a widow and has a teenage son (complete with accent). The story is that Patty’s arch enemy Sue Ellen (played by Kitty Sullivan) is trying to purchase Brooklyn Heights High School and demolish it to make a mall. Fans will eat this up, but it certainly feels like all of those tv movies you vowed not to watch unless it was 1am in the morning and you couldn’t sleep.
- Brand New PSAs Starring the Lanes 4:03: These were filmed recently for the Social Security Administration. Patty (and of course her cousin, Cathy) are talking to people about the advantages of Medicare. They also pimp the website, Socialsecurity.gov. The last one is perhaps the most interesting where they slam the old Gidget show that aired during the same time period.
Shout Factory does this series right and releases the final episode in a 6 disc mega set. While I don’t always get the hokey plot and show concept, fans will absolutely adore this final set. The video and audio are certainly suitable for television viewing and fans can finally get to watching that tv-movie that popped up about ten years ago. It is certainly easy to recommend this to fans of the show but mark me down for one who isn’t going to visit Brooklyn Heights anytime soon.
A Foggy Day in Brooklyn Heights
Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow
Our Daughter The Artist
Patty’s Private Pygmalion
The Girl from N.E.P.H.E.W.
I’ll Be Suing You
Patty and the Eternal Triangle
Sick in Bed
Ross, the Peacemaker
Patty, The Candy Striper
Patty Meets the Great Outdoors
Cathy Leaves Home – But Not Really
The History Paper Caper
A Very Phon-y Situation
Ross Runs Away – But Not Far
Anywhere I Hang My Horn Is Home
The Greatest Speaker in the Whole Wide World
Big Sister is Watching
Patty Leads a Dog’s Life
Too Young and Foolish to go Steady
Patty, the Diplomat
Do You Trust Your Daughter?
A Visit from Uncle Jed
Don’t Bank On It
Three Little Kittens
Fiancee for a Day
The Invisible Boy
Do a Brother a Favor
Patty, the Psychic