Peyton Place: Part Two

Just a couple of months ago, Shout Factory released the first 31 episodes of controversial nighttime '60s soap opera Peyton Place on DVD, much to the delight of a very specific fan-base. Seemingly knowing approximately how long it would take the average viewer to get antsy for more, they've now offered up another five-disc box set with 33-more episodes of MacKenzie and Harrington family antics. Smartly, the first set left off with a significant cliffhanger, wherein Betty Anderson (Barbara Perkins) had run off to New York, leaving husband Rodney (Ryan O'Neal) to pine after the innocent and naïve Allison MacKenzie (Mia Farrow). Part two starts up in the New Year, with the recently paroled Elliot Carson (Tim O'Connor) returning to Peyton Place after 18 years in prison for allegedly murdering his wife. On a quest to clear his name, Elliot's reappearance threatens not only Leslie Harrington (Paul Langton) and his family but also a secret that Constance MacKenzie (Dorothy Malone) has been keeping for years. Meanwhile, Betty Anderson takes up with a woman of questionable morals in New York (the horror!) while her father (Richard Evans) goes insane, locking himself in his office when handed an eviction notice. Throughout these 33-episodes romances bloom, gunshots are fired, secrets are revealed and people are destroyed. Surprisingly, the series holds up rather well, given that modern television narratives are relatively similar, aside from the zoom-in close-ups of people when "shocking" events occur. It isn't genius by any means but it does cater well to basic sudsy needs without a great deal of credulity strain. No supplements are included with the box set, nor has any effort been made to clean up the source material. Dust spots, glitches and jumps in audio are evident, which might be ideal for those that originally watched the series with a finicky television antenna. (Shout! Factory)