The Addams Family: Volume 2 – DVD Review

Available at: Amazon.com

Directors

Stanley Z. Cherry and Arthur Hiller

Cast

John Astin Gomez Addams
Carolyn Jones Morticia Addams
Lisa Loring Wednesday Addams
Ken Weatherwax Pugsley Addams
Jackie Coogan Uncle Fester
Ted Cassidy Lurch
Marie Blake Grandmama Addams

DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 546 Minutes on 3 discs

The Show

The Addams Family really is so very different then any other families that have graced the big screen and our television sets. They live in a big creepy house with trap doors and strange gadgets all over the place. Their butler is a semi-mute giant who could scare you to death with a simple stare from his dead eyes. Uncle Fester would spend all day in his lab conducting experiments that no-one may ever see; only to come upstairs and stick a light bulb in his mouth so the children would have light to do their homework by. Grandmama wouldn’t even bat an eye in the kitchen if a tentacle came out of her pot for dinner and started seasoning itself.

And all of those things weren’t the best part about them. The best part is that no matter what strange things went on, to them it was normal. They never once thought those things were out of the ordinary or anything other then everyday occurrences in their house. Gomez and Morticia had such a dark and odd love, but it was also so incredibly passionate and true. They didn’t have any freakish desires for others. They were totally committed to one another and quite possibly could have been committed on many occasions.

All of the family members were close, loved one another and loved the way they were. Never once did they desire to be like other families or try to fit in because they felt like they always did.

The sad part is that as famous as the family has become and as well known as they are, they actually never even made it to a third season. Two seasons and a grand total of sixty-four episodes for a family that was so far ahead of it’s time that they are still appreciated today because they fit in now a bit more then they did in the sixties. Their dark humor and obscurity was unknown at the time because, let’s face it, The Munsters were a totally different family. They knew they were weird and even had one normal relative in the family who most of the time was disgusted by them.

In this volume of the series, there are the remaining episodes from season one not in the first DVD set and half of season two’s episodes. This volume is an excellent collection of episodes because it seems as if they had gotten into their comfort zone. The initial fright of being on the air and getting people used to a family that wasn’t like the everyday happy-go-lucky ones they were used to were now over. And there also were no end of their run jitters either, so it was the middle of the two seasons where they had just found their groove and did what they did best.

On an interesting note, both The Addams Family and The Munsters first appeared on air back in September of 1964 with the Addams making their debut only 6 days earlier. But the history of the Addams’ clan goes back all the way to the 1930’s when creator and animator Charles Addams ran his cartoons of the family in the New Yorker. They’ve been around almost eighty years now and they are still one of the most popular families in American history. With great DVD sets such as this one, they will be for at least another eighty years.

Episodes

Disc One:

Thing Is Missing: After Fester insults Thing, Thing goes missing and Gomez does all he can to find him. He soon realizes that Thing has been kidnapped so the family offers up a reward and hires Detective Sam Diamond to find their family member.

Crisis In The Addams Family: Uncle Fester turns to the work force and becomes an insurance salesman after his wild actions cause the family’s insurance to be cancelled.

Lurch And His Harpsichord: After realizing that Lurch’s harpsichord is extremely rare, Gomez has it donated to a museum. Little did he know how much it meant to Lurch and now Lurch is very depressed so the family tries to think of ways to cheer him up. I think this is the best episode in the collection because it focuses on Lurch when he didn’t always get much screen time even though he is one of the most intriguing characters on the show.

Morticia, The Breadwinner: The stock market has crashed and people have lost money left and right. Morticia also thinks that the family has also lost everything so she sets out to find ways to make money behind Gomez’s back.

The Addams Family And The Spaceman: Two investigators from the Mysterious Space Objects (MSO) organization set out to tackle a number of sightings of UFOs being reported lately. Once they meet the Addams Family who are out on a picnic though, they’ve come across more then they ever dreamed of or so they think.

My Son, The Chimp: Fester has an experiment of his go terribly wrong again and he believes he’s turned Pugsley into a monkey. The family goes on a wild goose chase trying to come up with ways to get him back to normal.

Morticia’s Favorite Charity: A local charity house is getting ready to have an auction and the Addams want to be like all other families and donate some items for sale. The problem is that the items they find to donate while cleaning out the attic aren’t necessarily normal by other people’s standards.

Progress And The Addams Family: New city commissioner Mr. Henderson has the Addams’ house condemned and advises them that a new city freeway will run right through their property. But as always, Gomez isn’t going to give in so easily and won’t go down without a fight.

Disc Two:

Uncle Fester’s Toupee: In order to live up to his lies for his pen pal who will be visiting, Fester is taken by Gomez and Morticia to get a makeover and a few wigs. Even though he is now quite “stunning,” things just don’t work out the way he had hoped.

Cousin Itt And The Vocational Counselor: Cousin Itt needs to find a new career so Morticia suggests that of a marriage counselor. But they soon realize it’s not the best choice for him when she creates a fake marriage spat with Gomez for Itt to solve and the whole thing ends up a mess.

Lurch, The Teenage Idol: When a song on his harpsichord begins to attract young teenage female fans by the truckload, Lurch becomes an instant pop star. His duties as a butler begin to suffer severely but he also realizes there is an ultimate price to pay when becoming famous possibly losing his family.

The Winning Of Morticia Addams: A marriage that consists of happiness and two people who get along very well is what everyone hopes for, but these are the Addamses. As happy as Morticia and Gomez are, Fester doesn’t believe it’s how things should be so he sets out to make some trouble in their happy matrimony.

My Fair Cousin Itt: It’s Wednesday’s birthday and Gomez has prepared a play for the entire family to take part in. Things start to turn hectic though as Cousin Itt is masterful in the lead hero role which makes Fester and Lurch a bit jealous since they feel they can do it better.

Morticia’s Romance Part I: Another fantastic episode in this set as it is the magical thirteenth wedding anniversary for Gomez and Morticia. As a special bedtime story for the kids, she tells how her and their father first met.

Morticia’s Romance Part II: Morticia’s bedtime story continues in the second part of what is one great episode put together with part I. In this part of the tale, Morticia admits that at first Gomez almost married her sister Ophelia. But thanks to the Cousin Itt being the pimp that he is; things turned out morbidly splendid.

Morticia Meets Royalty: The Addams get a not so wanted visit from Princess Millicent von Schlepp and her handmaiden Lady Fingers. While everyone is up in arms over the arrival of their relative, Thing is smitten with who he thinks may be the love of his life.

Disc Three:

Gomez, The People’s Choice: After the mayor misunderstands Gomez’s complaint about his taxes, Morticia convinces her husband that he could do a much better job. Gomez agrees with her and decides to run for office but as in everything the family does, he’s going to be the opposite political leader than what people are used to.

Cousin Itt’s Problem: Disaster is abound as Cousin Itt is beginning to shed and the family is worried that he simply wouldn’t be himself without his sheepish good looks. Uncle Fester and his lab together come to Itt’s rescue by trying to create a miracle hair restorer.

Halloween Addams Style: Another great episode as the holiday that almost seems as if it was created for them, Halloween, is celebrated in the true ways of the Addams family. There is a slight problem though as their neighbor Mr. Thompson convinces Wednesday that there are no such things as witches. Almost ruining her entire holiday spirit, Grandmama steps in with a fantastic tale about dear old Aunt Singe who was burned at the stake in Salem for being a witch.

Morticia, The Writer: The school books that Pugsley and Wednesday bring home are full of nonsensical lies about goblins, ghouls, and demons being things to fear and horrible creatures. Morticia will have none of it so she starts to write her own books teaching the children exactly what they need to learn. Gomez is scared though that he will lose his lady love to her devotion for writing.

Morticia, The Sculptress: Gomez feels the neglect again as his dear wife wants to create so she takes up sculpting. Things don’t turn out quite the way she intended, but Gomez can’t let her know she was a failure so he hires someone to buy her work and almost goes broke doing so.

The Video

The episodes are presented in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and look awesome. Sure they are all in black and white, but I wouldn’t have the Addams in any other way. The blacks and whites are actually quite sharp and the episodes themselves don’t look a day old so the job done to re-master this series was really extraordinary.

The Audio

The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Sound and come through fine. The dialogue can be heard perfectly right along with the laughter that sometimes sounds canned and other times sounds live but it’s hard to tell. The best part is of course the theme music because of the classic snaps and just great tone and beat so it gets a thumbs up just by letting me hear that again.

Special Features

Mad About The Addams – This feature showcases all kinds of thoughts and stories about the Addams Family and how they relate to everyday life and real-life families. Some of the cast, authors, TV experts, and more give their opinions on what the Addamses brought to the world of TV, especially back in the sixties. This is truly an enjoyable special feature as it takes so many different people from all walks of life and gives the mindset of what they think of when they think about the Addams Family.

Guest Star Séance – This is one of the coolest special features I have ever seen. You get a crystal ball with Morticia and Gomez in it performing a séance. There is a list of famous guest stars all around it and as you choose each one it tells who they played on the show and what they have since gone on to do. It’s a shame it’s not longer but it really is fun to play with.

Audio Commentary – A few episodes spread throughout the collection have commentary by Stephen Cox, author of “The Addams Chronicles.” There are also a few with commentary from Cousin Itt and Thing which is a lot of fun to watch. They each appear in their own box in the top corners of the screen while the episode plays below and subtitles scroll across since you can’t understand what they are saying. It was hilarious listening to Cousin Itt squeak for about five minutes while Thing kept doing the hand motion for “blah blah blah” in his little corner.

Tombstone Trivia – For the episode “Morticia’s Romance Part II,” there are small pop-up boxes that appear throughout letting everyone know little bits of trivia. It’s a bit like VH1’s old show Pop-Up Video and reveals some very interesting things that not many people may know.

The Inside Pulse

You rang? There is nothing more that can be said about this collection for it was done to almost perfection. The Addams Family are a group that will long outlive us all because they will surpass the testaments of time. Their humor, lovability, and just unique style present something that anyone can love no matter what age they are. The special features aren’t much but they were done so well and are such fun that they hold up the overall score nicely.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for The Addams Family: Vol. 2
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

9
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

7
THE EXTRAS

6.5
REPLAY VALUE

9
OVERALL
9
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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