Judge P.S. Colbert invented a "Hazel, that was delicious!" drinking game. Bad idea.
"Hazel is our maid. Actually, she's more like one of the family."—George Baxter
Ace housekeeper. Chief cook and bottle washer. Champion bowler, Pee-Wee Football coach, matchmaker, raconteur, and so much more. Hazel Burke (Shirley Booth, Come Back, Little Sheba), that masterful maid of all trades is back on the job for Hazel: The Complete Third Season, in thirty two episodes:
• "Pot Luck À La Mode"
Season Three finds Hazel taking on Frank Gifford of the New York Giants, political campaigning, the pros and cons of media celebrity (as commercial spokeswoman for an instant cake mix), and even the mob!
This rendezvous with organized crime spans two episodes, and the conclusion of part one is sheer genius. Otherwise, what happens from episode to episode is almost inconsequential. It's not like the old gal has lost any of her charm or spunk, but there's a same old sameness to the ins and outs of this series that has begun wear after nearly one hundred installments.
I suspect most of my discomfort is a result of the technical problems with this set. The box comes with an "Episodes were mastered from the best available video sources," a warning that's repeated at the beginning of all four discs, and with good reason. For the previous season set, I reported the color transfers were "strictly pot luck, with reds especially vivid and flesh tones vacillating between Grey and powdered white." Many episodes look fine for their age, containing no more than a reasonable amount of grit and dirt. But unless a moss-green shade of hair tint was the style de rigueur for 1963-64 fashionistas, the worst of the color transfers this time around are quite a bit worse. The Dolby 1.0 Mono mix prospers by comparison, but the lack of English SDH subtitles for the hard of hearing remains inexcusable.
Tales of the Baxter household travails have officially reached the halfway mark. How will Hazel and company deal with the 1960s, British Invasion and all? I'm staying tuned!
If I didn't trust that Shout! Factory hadn't done their very best, I'd have
to find this set Guilty on technicality. Not guilty, but you have been
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
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