Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Oldies Keep On Coming...

One of the amazing things to me about the variety of stuff available on DVD is the proliferation of old TV shows coming out, not just well known or cult items but an amazing variety of ancient work from the 50's and early 60's. I mean Shotgun Slade? Arrest and Trial? My Little Margie? I'm amazed anybody remembers these shows much less buys them. The other day I saw an announcement of a complete series set of Lee Marvin's old cop show, M Squad. That hasn't been on TV in decades and there is enough interest to warrant a complete box set of the thing. Amazing!

I've watched a couple of examples of these shows of varying quality lately. The first was a disc of two episodes of David Janssen's first series, Richard Diamond, Private Eye. The main thing I remembered about this was Mary Tyler Moore playing his faceless secretary, Sam. Unfortunately it turns out she was just in the third season of the show. These two episodes were from the first year and were dull, generic crime dramas with a lot of padding. The most interesting part was the inclusion of an old Maxwell House coffee commercial in each episode.

The other example was more intriguing. I bought one of Mill Creek's cheapo 50 genre movie boxes, Dark Crimes, just to see what it was like. This one was mostly old obscure B movies as I expected with a few cult ringers thrown in like The Naked Kiss, D.O.A. and The Strange Loves Of Martha Ivers, but the surprise was that this set also includes four episodes of the legendary live anthology series, Westinghouse Studio One. The only one I've watched so far, "The Man Who Had Influence" was a good story with shaky acting and presentation. This had its commercials included as well, old Westinghouse spots featuring Betty Furness! It was a cool bit of TV history if nothing else.

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