DVD Review: Hart to Hart (The Complete Fourth Season)



“This is my boss: Jonathan Hart, a self-made millionaire. He’s quite a guy. This is Mrs. H – she’s gorgeous. She’s one lady who knows how to take care of herself. By the way, my name is Max. I take care of both of them – which ain’t easy; ‘cause when they met, it was murder.” This was the introduction to Hart to Hart. The series was pure escapist bliss with the conceit that a rich married couple have nothing better to do then investigate homicides that happen around them. They weren’t spending all their time partying with their equally rich friends at exclusive clubs. You had to respect Jonathan (To Catch A Thief‘s Robert Wagner) and Jennifer (The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.‘s Stefanie Powers) for truly giving back the community by catching homicidal manics. They didn’t serve their egos by hosting lame reality shows. When is the last time Donald Trump or Mark Cuban tracked down a killer? Hart to Hart: The Complete Fourth Season takes us back to the time when the rich weren’t so annoying.

Crime fighting is expensive so instead of a full staff, the Harts merely have Max (The Kid From Brooklyn‘s Lionel Stander). He drives, cooks, butlers, gardens and helps track down killers. He’s like The Green Hornet‘s Kato except without a disguise and Kung Fu moves. Max makes working for rich people who put him in danger a rather fun gig.

“On a Bed of Harts” starts the season with a sweet premise. Jonathan wants to buy their honeymoon bed. However things get mixed up in the shipping. Instead of sweet memories, they get delivered into the middle of an art smuggling ring. “Million Dollar Harts” turns Jennifer into an unsuspecting mule for transporting money back to America. Who will notice a few extra million in her pocketbook? She’s rich already. “Harts on Campus” has a former high school crush of Jennifer decide to be her man. He figures out a way to get Jonathan out of the way. This episode was directed by Peter Medak, the man behind the class film The Ruling Class. “Rich and Hartless” makes Max a millionaire himself. Naturally he quits his job to enjoy the rich life. But it turns out this all a scam set up by the new staff that wants to do more than solve crimes.

“One Hart Too Many” has a health farm transforming their guests. Except they do it by swapping the guests with lookalikes. This place was previously responsible for the Darren switch on Bewitched. “A Christmas Hart” tears the roof off outlaw singing telegram services. Max’s party is ruined by these jingling crooks. “As the Hart Turns” makes the couple part of a Soap Opera. As if their life can be tamed down for daytime television. “Hartstruck” lets Jonathan have his delusional wannabe lover. “A Lighter Hart” is more trouble at a health club. This time it’s drugs being pushed on clients. Healthy places weren’t good for your health in the Harts’ world.

Hart to Hart: The Complete Fourth Season is breezy fun entertainment. This is Dynasty meets The Hardy Boys/i>. Even though the Harts are rich, they don’t solve crimes by merely throwing money at gadgets. They aren’t Mr. & Mrs. Batman. This lovely couple solves crimes based on what’s inside them. It’s just a shame more wealthy people don’t take their lead. Think how much better America would be if the wealthy would spend less time running for president and more time tracking down felons. Although knowing today’s rich, they’d just be chasing their own tails.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers look sharp and bring out the ’80s touches. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. There’s a sweetness to the couples’ voices as they get closer to exposing the killer. The episodes are closed Captioned.

No bonus features.

Hart to Hart: The Complete Fourth Season is more fun from a couple that could easily afford to stay out of trouble. But they can’t help themselves. The fifth and final season of Hart to Hart is due out June 9.

Shout! Factory presents Hart to Hart: The Complete Fourth Season. Starring: Robert Wagner, Stephanie Powers and Lionel Stander. Boxset Contents: 22 episodes on 6 DVDs. Released: February 10, 2015.

Tags: