Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Get Smart: The Complete Series DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Classic Spy Spoof Series from the Sixties Available on DVD

For my money, Get Smart (1965-1970) is still the funniest show that ever aired on television. Essentially a 007-inspired spoof of the international espionage genre, the series was created by a couple of comedic geniuses, Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. It starred Don Adams in the title role as Maxwell Smart, aka CONTROL Agent 86, and Barbara Feldon as his sultry sidekick, Agent 99 (whose name was never revealed, even after she married Max).
Run with an iron fist by the ever-exasperated Chief (Edward Platt), CONTROL is a CIA-styled spy agency whose mission is to protect the free world from its evil nemesis, KAOS. During each episode, Smart is assigned another diabolical bad guy dispatched by KAOS to apprehend, and he is assisted in this endeavor not only by 99, but by a supposedly strategically picked support team, alternately including such memorable characters as Hymie (Richard Gautier) the very literal robot, dimwitted Agent Larabee (Robert Karvelas), and stowaway specialists Agents 13 (Dave Ketchum) and 44 (Victor French).
Over the course of the Emmy-winning series’ five-year run, CONTROL tangled with an equally-colorful coterie of KAOS villains, ranging from the diminutive Mr. Big (Michael Dunn) to the snarling Siegfried (Bernie Kopell) to the diction-obsessed Claw (Leonard Strong). Much of the show’s humor comes courtesy of slapstick satirizing James Bond, Mission Impossible, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and other spy dramas of the era.
In addition, there’s the specter of the bumbling Agent 86 fumbling with the variety of gadgets at his disposal, most notably his famous shoe phone and the infuriating cone of silence. And he also has a host of hilarious catchphrases diehard fans always anticipate, like “Sorry about that, Chief,” “Missed it by that much,” “I asked you not to tell me that” and “Would you believe…?”
Simply the best, and just as funny as 40 years ago.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated G
Running time: 3,952 minutes (138 episodes) plus 9 hours of bonus material.
Studio: HBO Video/Time Life
25-Disc DVD Extras: Bloopers, interviews, commentaries, rare footage and more.

No comments: