I grew up watching The Patty Duke Show on Nick At Nite and really loved it. I hadn’t seen the show in years and was looking forward to revisiting the TV classic, but would the identical cousins that walk alike and talk alike be as entertaining as I remembered them?
I was happy to find the show just as great as I remembered; The Patty Duke Show is a classic TV sitcom that’s still as funny today as it was in the ’60s. Sure there are a few episodes that are a little stale, but most of them are wall-to-wall laughs.
While much of it can be due to the good writing and hilariously outrageous plots, most of it is due to the really fantastic acting on the part of the young Patty Duke. She really brings life to both of her characters, Patty and Cathy, and it’s easy to forget that she’s only one actress playing two characters. The rest of the cast is great to be sure, but if Patty Duke had even the littlest bit of fault the whole show would fall apart.
And while the show may come off as a little dated at times, it doesn’t do so in a bad way. If anything it’s like a wonderful little time capsule into the life of the ’60s teenager.
About the only fault I can really find in the show is that the oh so catchy theme can start to grate on your nerves after awhile.
The French Teacher 9/18/1963
There is a new French teacher at school. When Patty falls in love with him, her attitude toward school and grades suddenly begin to improve.
The Genius 9/25/1963
The school is testing the student for IQ. Patty’s results give her a score of 185. Is she a real genius or has Patty been tampering with the computer?
Patty and her mother are planning a surprise for her father, Martin. They are arranging a weekend at the fishing lodge where her parents spent their honeymoon. Patty and her friend Richard go to the license bureau to get a fishing license for the surprise. Martin’s boss sees them at the bureau. He leads Martin to believe that Patty and Richard are planning to elope.
House Guest 10/9/1963
Aunt Pauline frequent has sent gifts to the Lane household that are usually stored in the basement. When the family learns that this spinster Aunt is coming for a visit they quickly transport the gifts into the living room. The visit results in pandemonium as the controlling matriarch tyrant who takes over the running and feeding of the household.
The Birds & The Bess Bit 10/16/1963
Ross has been talked into going to a dance with a sweet Southern Belle. He does not know what to do or how to act. Patty and Cathy try to teach Ross all he needs to know about women in two days.
Slumber Party 10/23/1963
Patty and Cathy have a Slumber Party. Ross uses the time wisely to tape record the private conversation at the party. He shrewdly uses the information gathered to blackmail the girls. His parents wonder why he is suddenly being treated like a king.
Baby Sitters 10/30/1963
When Mr. Lane refuses to pay for an evening gown for Patty, she decides to go into the babysitting business to earn the money.
The Conquering Hero 11/6/1963
Patty is a faithful fan of the school basketball team. This season is the best in the school’s history and they have a shot at the all league trophy. The star of the team finds out that his family will be moving in the middle of the season to Michigan. Chaos erupts when Patty suggests he live with her until the end of the basketball seasons.
The President 11/13/1963
Patty and Cathy end up running against one another for president of the Girls’ League. Once the campaign starts, the once reluctant candidates become mudslinging competitors.
Double Date 11/20/1963
Cathy is excited about a special date planned with Craig. They are going to a party. Cathy becomes ill on the eve of a party from getting a flu shot meant for Patty. To make up for Cathy missing this important date, Patty decides to try and pass herself off as Cathy at the party. Now Patty has to juggle two dates, Richard and Craig, and they both want to enter the dance contest!
The Actress 11/27/1963
The high school is putting on a lavish version of “Anthony and Cleopatra”. Cathy is excited about the play and desperately wants the lead. Patty could care less about a Shakespearean production yet the director ends up casting Patty for the lead role. But Cathy could get her big chance after all when Patty can’t talk.
How To Be Popular 12/4/1963
It is hard to be the cousin of the popular Patty? Cathy decides it is time for her to win more friends. So she writes to Aunt Jane, a lonely heart columnist. However, the advice she gets leads to disaster.
The Songwriters 12/11/1963
Patty is afraid she is losing Richard to her archrival Sue Ellen. So she copies a poem from a book and uses it to woo Richard back. Richard shows Cathy the poem. Cathy sets it to music and to surprise Patty, Richard enters the completed piece in a Jimmy Dean Songwriter Contest.
The Princess Cathy 12/18/1963
There is a new exchange student at school. Cathy starts dating him and they quickly fall in love. It turns out he is a prince from a royal family and proposes marriage. Will Cathy become Princess Cathy?
The Christmas Present 12/25/1963
Cathy is excited as Christmas approaches. Her father is going to join her for the holidays. The day before Christmas, Martin learns that Cathy’s father, a foreign correspondent, has been imprisoned in a foreign country. How can he break the news to her the day before Christmas?
Auld Lang Syne 1/1/1964
Martin’s brother Kenneth sets out to write his autobiography, but discovers writing a book to be more difficult than he imagined.
Patty become an astrologist in order to earn money to buy Natalie a birthday present, however, like most things, she might not have thought this idea all the way through.
The Tycoons 1/15/1964
When all the girls like the dress that Cathy made, she and Patty decide to go into business, but they quickly get in way over their heads.
Author, Author 1/22/1964
After hearing about a teenager in France who wrote a novel, Patty decides to write one of her own, presenting her viewpoint of the American teenager. Despite Martin’s misgiving about the novel, she immediately gets a publishing contract but it might not be what she had in mind.
The Continental 1/29/1964
Martin learns that he is being transferred to Paris. The family is excited at first, then they soon realize how much they love and appreciate their present home and friends.
Let ‘Em Eat Cake 2/5/1964
Natalie makes the mistake of leaving her cake for the church bazaar on the kitchen table unattended. The girls find the cake and eat it. When they realize what is was for they have the maid bake a new one. But Ross takes a slice of that one. So they try, disastrously, to make one themselves. Eventually they resort to buying one and when Martin tries to help Natalie ends up with several cakes in the contest.
Going Steady 2/12/1964
Patty and Richard decide to go steady and he gives her a ring. When their parents find out, they try to break it up.
Are Mothers People? 2/19/1964
Natalie begins to feel unwanted and devises a plan to get even with her family for the uncaring way they have been acting. But everything thing anyone does just seems to make the situation worse.
The Con Artists 2/26/1964
A smooth talking salesman talks Cathy into spending too much money on a vacuum cleaner for Natalie’s birthday. Patty decides to help her out with the situation by unloading the vacuum on “some other sucker.” But can they be as good a salesmen as the one that conned Cathy?
The Perfect Teenager 3/4/1964
When Patty flunks a psychology exam at school she concludes that she is a flop as a teenager. To overcome her deficiencies, she decides to enroll in a course for teenage models.
Chip Off The Old Block 3/11/1964
To increase the circulation of the school paper, Patty uses scandalous stories, which infuriate the school principal and her father.
Wedding Anniversary Caper 3/18/1964
In order to buy a gift for his parents wedding anniversary, Ross enters Patty’s photo in a teenager’s beauty contest without telling her.
Slight Case Of Disaster 3/25/1964
Patty buys an expensive dress that she intends to return after she makes her archrival, Sue-Ellen, jealous. Cathy gets a stain on it making it impossible for Patty to return the dress which leads to them getting into even more trouble.
Pen Pals 4/1/1964
Patty answers a pen pal ad in a teenage magazine. When she receives beautiful letters from her new pen pal, she loses interest in Richard and is unaware that her poetic correspondent and Richard are the same person!
The Friendship Bit 4/8/1964
Patty learns that she is allergic to Cathy which upsets them both.
Patty The Foster Mother 4/15/1964
Patty adopts a Korean orphan so that she may send food and money overseas to him. However she is pleasantly surprised when he shows up at her doorstop and it turns out she’s adopted him forever. But will the new mother and son have their happily ever after?
Drop Out 4/22/1964
Richard decides he should quit High School and get a job. So it’s up to Patty and her family try to talk him out of the idea.
Leave It To Patty 4/29/1964
Patty is running for the position of chairwoman for the class prom. When Patty finds out that Cathy knows the rock and roll star Binky Bristol, she decides she can win the position by promising to supply this celebrity for the class prom.
The Little Dictator 5/6/1964
Cathy has earned the position of student principal for a week. Patty gets in trouble at school and thinks that Cathy will cover for her. Cathy decides to be fair and is forced to send home a bad report on Patty. Patty angered by the report declares war on her cousin.
The Working Girl 5/13/1964
When Patty gets a job at the local ice cream parlor it proves to be more than Patty can handle.
In this episode that uses the Pilot Episode for flashbacks, Patty and Cathy reminisce about Cathy’s arrival in the Lane household.
The episodes are presented in fullscreen 1:35.1. Sound is Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. The show looks and sounds pretty solid. The image has been beautifully remastered for this box set and has never looked better.
A Look Back At The Patty Duke Show: (14 min.) Interviews with the cast about the show. This is pretty interesting, but it’s a little weak as the sets only extra.
Booklet: This provides interesting trivia about the TV show and some individual episodes.
The Patty Duke Show is truly a classic sitcom. If you enjoy sitcoms then this is show is absolutely a must see. It was a lot a fun revisiting the first season of this show and I look forward to seeing future seasons, and so will you. The only thing that really sets this box set back is the lack of features.
Shout! Factory presents The Patty Duke Show: The Complete First Season. Created by William Asher and Sidney Sheldon. Starring: Patty Duke, William Schallert, Jean Byron, Paul O’Keefe and Eddie Applegate. Running time: 900 minutes on 6 discs. Not Rated. Released on DVD: September 29, 2009. Available at Amazon.com.