Many moons ago, I told how I had received a short screener, touting some of the elements of Time-Life’s upcoming Get Smart: The Complete Collection DVD. I said something along the lines of that if the DVD collection was as good as the preview, it would be well worth it.
Well, I have gotten the full set, I have looked at the discs, I have seen what they contain, and I can tell you that Don Adams is a funny, funny man; that Mel Brooks is a funny man, and apparently Buck Henry is as well. Happily, the package that Time-Life has put together that has all of Get Smart on it is fantastic. Even the case is put together with loving care, it mimics the opening credits of the series itself, requiring several different flaps to be opened prior to getting to the DVDs.
As with all such sets, there are numerous extras include, from audio commentaries to interviews with actors and crew. But, in true Get Smart fashion, there is also stuff like a printable copy of the CONTROL entrance exam and a printable layout of Max’s apartment, including the location of all his gadgets.
But, what’s better than all that, is that the show is still funny. There is something about Don Adam’s delivery, that practically parched, dry wit that works wonderfully still today. And even if the exact enemy group (KAOS) seems a little outdated today, the overall sense of what’s going on in our intelligence services is not.
The series does seem to get a little tired towards the end of its run, while still sharp and witty, there is a sense after Max and 99 get married (and certainly after they have kids), that the show will start to go downhill. I won’t say that I’m happy the show ended after a mere 138 episodes, but the fact that the twins don’t appear until about 1/3 of the way through the last season is a good thing.
Rather than giving a favorite episode or two, I’m a fan of the gadgets, of the tricks of the trade. Some of them work (the shoe phone), some of them don’t (the Cone of Silence), but they’re clever. Whether or not it is true that the CIA asked producers about some of the gadgets, I don’t know. It is certainly possible and wouldn’t necessarily have been a bad idea.
For fans of the series, for fans of spoofs, for fans of Don Adams, for fans of Mel Brooks, and for fans of good television Get Smart is well worth looking into. It is by no means inexpensive, Time-Life currently prices it at $199.95 for the 25 DVD set. But, on the other hand, it is 25 DVDs of funny, of smart, and more often than not, of good entertainment. And, that’s not always easy to come by.
The DVD set is available, at this time, exclusively at Time-Life’s website.