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Case Number 11539: Small Claims Court

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The Addams Family (Volume 2)

Fox // 1965 // 541 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // June 13th, 2007

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum always says a ball of hair in the hand is worth two in the bush.

The Charge

Neat…sweet…petite…

The Case

The Addams Family brought a revolution to television in the mid '60s. Here was a family that was wildly individualistic and passionate about living life on their own terms. While The Munsters tried hard to be respectful of traditional family values, the Addams clan stubbornly refused to embrace "normal" at every turn. They celebrated their own culture, and happily embraced their dark, sinister side. It's hard to believe the show only lasted two years (from 1964 until 1966) because their legacy looms large even today. The show championed oddball characters, and made the Goth movement mainstream. They brought a silliness to spooky that was a joy to watch, and The Addams Family remains one of the best sitcoms of classic television. It was well designed, well acted, and perfection in many ways. Filmed in glorious black and white, The Addams Family (Volume 2) continues the celebration of the suburban nightmare the Addams spun.

Collected together on three flipper discs are twenty-one episodes culled from the last half of Season One and first part of Season Two. The transfers remain pristine, with the black and white having a luminous quality that pleases the eyes. There's no misstep in the technical presentation. The mono soundtrack is clear and free of hiss or distortion. Extras are a mixed bag with the commentary from author of The Addams Chronicles Stephen Cox on "Morticia Meets Royalty" being the most informative. Cox flies solo for the track, and offers a ton of trivia on the entire series. The Thing and Itt commentaries are cute at first, but they grow tiresome being a one joke device. All they consist of are the ball of hair and the hand being put on the screen above the picture, and gibbering and gesturing incoherently. "Mad About the Addams" is a featurette where cast member John Astin is joined by various scholars and fans to talk about the gentle radical nature of the show. It's short but worthwhile. The Guest Star Seance feature is difficult to navigate, and plays the same introductory clip for each actor. It gets old fast. Tombstone trivia is featured only on one episode, and it contains some nice information in sporadic bursts throughout the episode. It concentrates mainly on the names of the musical pieces for the score. Looking at the extras as a whole, it's a sparse collection which only offers tidbits of information here and there.

Episodes include:
Season 1, Episode 23: Thing Is Missing
Original Air Date: 5 March 1965

Season 1, Episode 24: Crisis in the Addams Family
Original Air Date: 12 March 1965

Season 1, Episode 25: Lurch and His Harpsichord
Original Air Date: 19 March 1965

Season 1, Episode 26: Morticia, the Breadwinner
Original Air Date: 26 March 1965

Season 1, Episode 27: The Addams Family and the Spaceman
Original Air Date: 2 April 1965

Season 1, Episode 28: My Son, the Chimp
Original Air Date: 9 April 1965

Season 1, Episode 29: Morticia's Favorite Charity
Original Air Date: 16 April 1965

Season 1, Episode 30: Progress and the Addams Family
Original Air Date: 23 April 1965

Season 1, Episode 31: Uncle Fester's Toupee
Original Air Date: 30 April 1965

Season 1, Episode 32: Cousin Itt and the Vocational Counselor
Original Air Date: 7 May 1965

Season 1, Episode 33: Lurch, the Teenage Idol
Original Air Date: 14 May 1965

Season 1, Episode 34: The Winning of Morticia Addams
Original Air Date: 21 May 1965

Season 2
Season 2, Episode 1: My Fair Cousin Itt
Original Air Date: 1964

Season 2, Episode 2: Morticia's Romance: Part 1
Original Air Date: 24 September 1965

Season 2, Episode 3: Morticia's Romance: Part 2
Original Air Date: 1 October 1965

Season 2, Episode 4: Morticia Meets Royalty
Original Air Date: 8 October 1965

Season 2, Episode 5: Gomez, the People's Choice
Original Air Date: 15 October 1965

Season 2, Episode 6: Cousin Itt's Problem
Original Air Date: 22 October 1965

Season 2, Episode 7: Halloween—Addams Style
Original Air Date: 29 October 1965

Season 2, Episode 8: Morticia, the Writer
Original Air Date: 5 November 1965

Season 2, Episode 9: Morticia, the Sculptress
Original Air Date: 12 November 1965

There are many great stories included in The Addams Family (Volume 2).
In this collection we get to see the courtship of Gomez and Morticia in the two part "Morticia's Romance." Margaret Hamilton (The Wizard of Oz) shows up in these two episodes as Morticia's mother. Thing finds romance with Lady Fingers in "Morticia Meets Royalty." Lurch becomes a pop idol in "Lurch, the Teenage Idol." We even get to see the Addams clan prepare for Halloween. It's a solid group of episodes, and there's plenty of memorable moments to relive. It's amazing how well these stories have held up, and the show certainly doesn't disappoint even forty years later. There was a consistency of quality the show maintained throughout its run. When The Munsters and The Addams Family premiered on rival networks it seemed a new genre of horror comedy was in the making. At the end of the year Nielsen ratings ranked the shows at #18 and #23 respectively with The Munsters doing a touch better. Both shows were canceled the next year, but they remain favorites in syndication.

The Addams Family (Volume 2) will be the middle collection of the two seasons that Fox video has turned into three sets. The transfers are outstanding, and there's a smattering of entertaining extras. Yet the real attraction is to have The Addams Family on a format where you can watch shows in the order they aired, and revisit your favorites easily. Fox's decision to split the whole collection into three sets is meant to make each one more affordable individually. This may be flawed logic when you consider the total cost of owning the entire series, but it seems worth it. The slim profile cases are a great space saver, although I could do without the dreaded flipper discs. Yet still, these sets are keepers. The Addams Family is a joy to watch, and it entertains as well today as it did when it aired.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 94

Perp Profile

Studio: Fox
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (Spanish)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 541 Minutes
Release Year: 1965
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Classic
• Comedy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Single Episode Commentary by Author Stephen Cox
• "Mad About the Addams" Featurette
• Guest Star Seance Interactive Featurette
• Scene Commentary on Four Episodes by Thing and Cousin Itt
• Trivia Track for One Episode

Accomplices

• IMDb
• Review of Volume One








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