The Monkees: Season One DVD

The Monkees: Season One
Cast: Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, Davy Jones & Micky Dolenz
Studio: Rhino
Rating: 7.5/10

Corporate Line: Available for the first time on DVD! All episodes are in chronological order by airdate.
The Monkees scored four consecutive #1 albums and a half-dozen Top 10 singles. The Monkees Anthem “Daydream Believer” voted #3 teen idol song of all time by VH1 viewers. Original Monkees episodes are still being shown on VH1 and a new Monkees show is being developed for the fall 2003 network schedule. “I’m A Believer” was recently popularized in the feature film, Shrek. The Monkees have a dedicated fan base that continues to collect all things Peter, Davy, Micky and Mike.
5.1 audio. Play song romps feature. Commentary on Episode 1 by director James Frawley and Davy Jones. Separate commentaries on Episode 3 by Peter Tork and Monkees creator and director Robert Rafelson. Separate commentaries on Episode 10 by Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. Commentary on Episode 12 by Michael Nesmith. Commentary on Episode 14 by director James Frawley. Commentary on Episode 15 by Davy Jones. Monkees Pilot (16 mm version). Monkees Discography. Vintage Monkees Kelloggs commercials. Separate commentaries on Episode 32 by Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and songwriter Bobby Hart. Interview with songwriter, Bobby Hart. Monkees Memorabilia Gallery.

The Good: The Monkees were created to cash in on the Beatles film A Hard Days Night and you know in many ways it bypassed it. I grew up watching this show as a teen as it was rerun during the afternoons. Funny thing is that it wasn’t long ago that I mentioned to my wife how great it would be to see those shows again – boom – along comes the DVD. The show is dated, no doubt, yet its wackiness and harmless nature is still fantastic. I love how corny and offbeat the show was. At times it is so stupid its funny. You’d think that was a put down, its not. Because the show knew what it was doing and if you thought ‘that is so stupid’ and laughed you recognize that was the exact effect they were shooting for.

The songs speak for themselves. “Last Train To Clarksville” is in my humble opinion their best track. And there is nothing better than to see them mid-scene break into song. These have to be the first rock videos.
The sixth disc contains a goldmine of most bonus material, including the 16mm version of the original pilot with Boyce & Hart singing the songs. There is an interview by Bobby Hart, a gallery of photos and rare memorabilia, audio commentary by Mike and Peter on the ‘Monkees on Tour’ episode, and original Monkees commercials.

The Bad: The trivia is tripe. Micky Dolenz wasn’t involved in the project thus no commentary, what a let down as he was my absolute favorite on the show – and singer! The box is neat at first, but once you realize it won’t fit on your shelf or takes up the room of ten dvds you wonder if the coolness out does the practicality.

A major knock is the cost; $89.95

The Episodes: Episodes (in order): Royal Flush, Monkee See Monkee Die, Monkee Vs. Machine, Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers, The Spy Who Came In From The Cool, Success Story, Monkees In A Ghost Town, Don’t Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth, The Chaperone, Here Come The Monkees — The Pilot, Monkees A La Carte, I’ve Got A Little Song Here, One Man Shy (Peter And The Debutante), Dance Monkee Dance, The Case Of The Missing Monkee, I Was A Teenage Monster, Monkees In The Ring, The Prince And The Pauper, Captain Crocodile, Monkees A La Mode, Monkee Chow Mein, Monkee Mother, Monkees On The Line, Monkees Get Out More Dirt, Monkees In Manhattan, Monkees At The Movies, Monkees On Tour.

Frankly: It’s extremely expensive. Yet it’s extremely fun to watch. You’ll have to figure out if it’s worth the cost. In my opinion anyone who has cherished this show in the past can’t miss out.

+ Charlie Craine

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