Get Smart: Season 1

Get Smart: Season 1
For everyone who was none-too-thrilled about shelling out over 200 bucks for the Time Life Complete Series of Get Smart, Warner Bros. and HBO Home Video have snagged the rights to deliver the landmark American sit-com in the typical, and more affordable, season-to-season format. Season one comes with episode introductions and the occasional commentary from Agent 99 herself, Barbara Feldon, and separate commentaries from creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry on the black and white pilot episode "Mr. Big.” They aren’t particularly exciting voiceovers, focusing mainly on how the show came about, with occasional snickers over their own wittiness. While the features are minimal (suggesting further capitalization on future DVD releases), the sound and colour have been impressively restored, really popping out on a flat screen and surround sound system unlike some other classic television DVD releases. The first season follows Agent 86, Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), as he’s teamed up with the nameless Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) in the secret American organization Control, seemingly led by "the chief” (Edward Platt). While Maxwell Smart acted as kind of a bumbling satire on the popular James Bond, Agent 99 existed as an entirely competent but overlooked spy given her gender and the culture climate surrounding Women’s liberation in the mid-’60s. Their weekly antics in season one involved various gadgetry, such as shoe phones and memory-altering ray guns, and frequently racist villains, mainly "Dr. Craw” (actually Dr. Claw but said with a Chinese accent) and disenfranchised Indians in tepees. The 30-episode first season remained consistently clever and amusing, making the show a water-cooler hit for mainstream North America. While ABC was hesitant to air a television program that actually mocked the very active Cold War that was going on, NBC took on the challenge and wound up with an immediate hit. (Warner)