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The Partridge Family - Season 1

( 4 )

Overview

This reviewer was never a particular fan of The Partridge Family, either when it was on the air new or in syndication. But the DVD set made the sale, and then some -- truth be told, while the series never had the surreal comedic (or musical) elements of The Monkees, which was the production antecedent to this program, or anyone in the cast remotely as talented as Michael Nesmith in the ranks of the performers; but the music was first-rate pop-rock of the period, and it holds up in that department, sufficient to ...
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DVD (Bonus CD / Full Frame)
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Overview

This reviewer was never a particular fan of The Partridge Family, either when it was on the air new or in syndication. But the DVD set made the sale, and then some -- truth be told, while the series never had the surreal comedic (or musical) elements of The Monkees, which was the production antecedent to this program, or anyone in the cast remotely as talented as Michael Nesmith in the ranks of the performers; but the music was first-rate pop-rock of the period, and it holds up in that department, sufficient to make this four-disc/25 episode set worthwhile. The full-screen (1.33-to-1) episode transfers are clean, bright, and sharp. The colors have a beautiful tone to them, and if the volume is a tiny bit low, it pumps up nicely, especially where the music shows up, which is what counts. The chapter-breaks match the commercial and credit breaks for the original episodes. And the shows hold up surprisingly well, even in terms of comedy -- some of it is hokey, but looking at the episodes today, one really appreciates the interactions between Danny Bonaduce and Dave Madden as Danny Partridge and Reuben Kincaid. And one doubly appreciates the contribution of Shirley Jones, as the anchor of the series. But it's the bonus features that make this box worth owning. The featurettes explaining the evolution of the casting and the characters, and the development of the music, are worth the price of admission -- the latter feature includes interview material with the members of the Love Generation, who were engaged to do most of the singing (especially the background voices). Jones and David Cassidy, along with Bonaduce and creator Bernard Slade, contribute to both featurettes, and are extremely generous in their comments and praise. There are also two episode commentaries, one by Danny Bonaduce and the other by Shirley Jones, for the pilot episode and episode five, "When Mother Gets Married". Bonaduce is sometimes a little too silent over places where he obviously can't think of anything to say (and simply quotes what he was saying 35-plus years ago in other spots), and a little unpleasant at moments in his remarks about a couple of fellow players. Jones is more pleasant to listen to, but neither is really capable -- at least the way these recordings were done -- of filling 26 minutes of audio. But the shortcomings of that bonus feature don't detract from the value of the featurettes, or the fun to be found in the series itself. The set comes with a bonus fourth disc, which is a four-track sampler CD showing off the remastered sound of the Ultimate Partridge Family collection, released concurrently with this set.
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Special Features

Jump to the musical performances; "Boarding the Bus" and "The Sound of the Partridge" featurettes; Audio commentaries with stars Shirley Jones and Danny Bonaduce; Includes a four-song music sampler CD from the "Ultimate Partridge Family" CD
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Unlike the more widely syndicated Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family seems to have fallen off the TV Land landscape, but the DVD release of the first season puts the Partridges back on the pop culture charts. The series is an oldie, but a goodie; and while the catchy bubblegum music and velour stage garb are pure '70s, the family dynamics elevate it from being a camp artifact. Headliner Shirley Jones who, in fact, had originally been offered the role of Carol Brady anchors the cast of budding child stars as Shirley, a widowed single mother who reluctantly joins the family garage band and takes the act on the road in the now-iconic psychedelic-painted bus to make beautiful, albeit lip-synced, music. Jones's stepson David Cassidy costars as frontman David, with former model Susan Dey as keyboardist Laurie. Freckled Danny Bonaduce provides the comic backbeat as bassist and get-rich-quick schemer Danny. The Partridge Family was hip enough to make references to Joan Baez, Billboard magazine, and such real-life groups as the Temptations. This first season, which mostly chronicles the family's road adventures and first brushes with stardom, features early glimpses of future stars, including a pre-Star Wars Mark Hamill as one of Laurie's suitors in "Old Scrapmouth." Memorable guest stars include Ray Bolger as Grandpa Fred in "Whatever Happened to the Old Songs?" and Richard Pryor and Louis Gossett Jr. as the owners of the Soul Club, a Detroit inner-city venue where the Partridges are mistakenly booked "I've been working on an Afro-thing," David offers. For the record, the Partridges perform their chart-topping hit "I Think I Love You" in the episode "My Son, the Feminist." It's too bad the commentary by Bonaduce, on the pilot episode, wasn’t extended throughout the season. He’s by turns affectionate and caustic, observing during a scene wherein Laurie leans over Danny, "If she had had breasts, this would have been a pivotal moment for me." So come on, get happy. Get back on the bus and ride again with one of TV's grooviest families.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/3/2005
  • UPC: 043396056565
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Bonus CD / Full Frame
  • Time: 10:55:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 38,768

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Shirley Jones Shirley Partridge
David Cassidy Keith
Susan Dey Laurie
Danny Bonaduce Danny
Jeremy Gelbwaks Chris
Suzanne Crough Tracy
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Menu

Side #1 -- Disc 1
   Play All Episodes
   Episode Selections
      What? and Get Out of Show Business?
      The Sound of Money
      Whatever Happened to the Old Songs?
      See Here, Private Partridge
      When Mother Gets Married
      Love at First Slight
      Danny and the Mob
      But the Memory Lingers On
   Jump to the Musical Performances
      Let the Good Time In
      Together (From "What? and Get Out of Show Business?")
      I'll Leave Myself a Little Time
      Baby I Love, Love, I Love You
      Together (From "Whatever Happened to the Old Songs?")
      On the Road (From "Whatever Happened to the Old Songs?")
      Bye Bye Blackbird
      On the Road (From "See Here, Private Partridge")
      I Really Want to Know You
      Somebody Wants to Love You
      Brand New Me
   Special Features
      Boarding the Bus
      The Sound of the Partridge
      "What? And Get Out of Show Business?" With Commentary by Danny Banaduce
      "When Mother Gets Married" With Commentary by Shirley Jones
   Previews
      The Partridge Family
      Bewitched TV
      Dawson's Creek
      The Brooke Ellison Story
      80s Hits
      Are We There Yet?
      Classic Urban TV Series
Side #2 -- Disc 2
   Play All Episodes
   Episode Selections
      Did You Hear the One About Danny Partridge?
      Go Directly to Jail
      This Is My Song
      My Son, the Feminist
      Star Quality
      The Red Woodloe Story
      Mom Drops Out
      Old Scrapmouth
   Jump to the Musical Performances
      Somebody Wants to Love You
      All of the Things
      Singin' My Song (From "Go Directly to Jail")
      Only a Moment Ago
      To Be Lovers
      Singin' My Song (From "Star Quality")
      I Can Feel Your Heartbeat (From "The Red Woodloe Story")
      Baby I Love You, Love, I Love You (Version 1)
      Baby I Love You, Love, I Love You (Version 2)
      I Can Feel Your Heartbeat (From "Mom Drops Out")
      The Love Song
   Partridge Family: 2202 A.D. "Car Trouble"
Side #3 -- Disc 3
   Play All Episodes
   Episode Selections
      Why Did the Music Stop?
      Soul Club
      To Play or Not to Play
      They Shoot Managers, Don't They?
      A Partridge Up a Pear Tree
      Road Song
      Not With My Sister, You Don't
      A Partridge by Any Other Name
      A Knight in Shining Armor
   Jump to the Musical Performances
      I'm Here, You're Here
      I Can Feel Your Heartbeat (From "Why Did the Music Stop?")
      Bandala
      There's No Doubt in My Mind
      Umbrella Man
      She'd Rather Have the Rain
      I'll Meet You Halfway
      Dosen't Somebody Want to Be Wanted
      I Can Feel Your Heartbeat (From "A Partridge by Any Other Name")
      Stephanie
   Partridge Family: 2200 A.D. "My Son the Spaceball Star"
Disc #4 -- Audio CD
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I'd forgotten what family entertainment used to be

    Watching this DVD took me back to those golden years of being a young teenager once more. David Cassidy is still as wonderful as I always thought he was. The rest of the cast made the idea of them being a family very believable. I know what it was like to have younger sisters and brothers...this series reinforced the memory. Danny was a lot of fun, and so persistent.

    I think one of the things I enjoyed most was being able to watch several hours of viewing and only being subjected to "heck" as the strongest language. It was refreshing.

    The story actually did have a plot to it. Simplistic, yes! Fun, yes! I would definitely recommend it to people who have younger children. The lack of strong language was a plus in my mind. Plus, it was a story with real family values and lessons to be learned. I wish it'd still been around when my grown daughters were young teens.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted November 8, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews