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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
The Partridge Family: The Complete Second Season (1971)

Danny: There's a whole untapped market of sex-starved teenyboppers out there. This could be our big break!
Chris:I'm not sure yet if I even like girls.

- Danny Bonaduce, Brian Forster

Review By: Jeff Ulmer  
Published: November 07, 2005

Stars: Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Brian Forster, Suzanne Crough, Dave Madden
Other Stars: Jack Burns, Robyn Millan, Monie Ellis, Rob Reiner, Michael Gregory, Michael Burns, Norman Fell, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Kay Medford, Johnny burnhardt, Yvonne Wilder, Gary Dubin, Dub Taylor, Bert Convy, Howard Cosell, Martin Speer, Jay Ripley, Ray Bolger, Rosemary DeCamp, Dean Jagger, Britt Leach, Meredith Baxter, Elaine Giftos, Vic Tayback, Pamela Peters, Mitzi Hoag, Arte Johnson, Patti Cohoon, Bruce Kimmel, Gordon Jump, Josephine Hutchinson, Harry Morgan, John Banner, Richard Bull
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 09h:44m:58s
Release Date: November 08, 2005
UPC: 043396122789
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A B+A-B+ C-

DVD Review

"Hello world, here's a song that we're singin', c'mon get happy"

By its second season, airing in the fall of 1971, The Partridge Family was enjoying phenomenal success. Their first two albums, The Partridge Family Album and Up to Date had broken Billboard's top five, and their third LP, Sound Magazine (released in July, and the first to feature David Cassidy's voice at the correct pitch) would break the top ten as the season opened. Cassidy's popularity would reach its peak during this season, with his first two solo singles being released. Partridge Family merchandise spanned everything from bubblegum cards to clothing. Two more albums, A Partridge Family Christmas Card and Shopping Bag would be released before the season was done. Not too shabby for a fake band!

Season Two marks a couple of notable changes in the series. First, the theme song is updated with new lyrics to become the show's trademark C'mon Get Happy. Second, Brian Forster takes over the role of Chris from Jeremy Gelbwaks, who left the show when his real-life family moved. The cast continue to gel as a unit. Cassidy still bears the brunt of the jokes, while Bonaduce and Madden remain a formidable comic pairing. Jones gets her fair share of the action as TV's hippest mom, and Dey takes the spotlight in a few episodes as the family social conscience. The younger kids are still somewhat on the sidelines, but Forster's handling of the drumming duties show at least some aptitude towards the job, even if the group's lip-syncing skills still leave much to be desired. The show continues to showcase musical numbers in each episode, including I Woke Up in Love This Morning (the group's fourth hit single), Echo Valley 2-6809, Brown Eyes, Love Is All That I Ever Needed, Summer Days, I'm on My Way Back Home, Twenty-Four Hours a Day, Rainmaker, and It's One of Those Nights (Yes Love). While there are some good songs in here, many others haven't aged very well.

"Somethin' always happens whenever we're together"

There are a lot of great installments in this 23-episode collection. In the season opener, Keith learns that love is deaf when an attractive but tone-deaf girl is slated to perform with the group as a favor to Reuben. In 25 Words or Less finds a 60 year-old woman moving in with the family as the prize in a publicity contest. Rob Reiner makes his first Partridge Family appearance as A Man Called Snake, a motorcycle gang member looking to date Laurie after Keith mistakenly claims she has a crush on someone with the same name in an interview. In The Undergraduate, Shirley heads back to college, but her newfound friendship with a much younger man has their respective families in an uproar. Danny is looking for his replacement when he learns he has to undergo surgery in Anatomy of a Tonsil—look for Jones' son and David's half-brother, soon to be pop idol Shaun Cassidy, as one of the tryouts. The Partridges go environmental when Danny gets the idea to add a whale to their next record in Whatever Happened to Moby Dick?, then Keith decides to become a good role model for his siblings in Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Partridge. When the family learns that a clutzy delivery boy wants to ask Laurie out on a date, they conspire to build up his confidence (Days of Acne and Roses).

Danny and the younger kids learn that one plus one equals a thousand when they come up with a brilliant plan to raise rodents in a Tale of Two Hamsters. The family is trying to mend ties when Shirley's parents decide to split up in The Forty Year Itch. Danny secretly begins marketing Keith's possessions in order to pay for a birthday present for Mom in I Can Get it For You Retail, then turns detective when the family's new bus driver starts acting suspiciously (Guess Who's Coming to Drive). Judged by the cast as one of their favorite episodes, Don't Bring Your Guns to Town, Santa finds the family stranded in a ghost town on Christmas Eve, where the lone occupant tells tales of old. Danny's dream comes true when a carefree young woman (Meredith Baxter) gives the Partridges a gift of a million dollars in Where Do Mermaids Go?, but can the family handle being rich? Chris and Tracey run away from home, and wind up at Reuben's, where they succeed in destroying Reuben's romantic liaison with Bonnie Kleinschmitt (Elaine Giftos) in Home Is Where the Heart Was; then Keith decides to become a director in Felini, Bergman, and Partridge, but his home movies bring the wrath of the family (and Reuben, who dons fairy godmother's attire) when he and Danny decide to air the film in public.

Keith has plans for a swinging bachelor pad when he moves into a room next door in Waiting for Bolero. Danny's latest publicity stunt has Keith and Shirley up in arms when the paper publishes some imaginative rumors about them (I Am Curious Partridge). The family garage becomes a neighborhood sore point when a Russian handyman (Arte Johnson) paints a provocative mural on it (My Heart Belongs to a Two-Car Garage). Shirley and Laurie decide they are going to go camping, so Keith, Reuben, and Danny decide they better keep an eye on them, but find out that they are the ones calling for H-e-l-l-l-l-p. In Promise Her Anything But Give Her a Punch, Keith is in the doghouse when the girl Danny has fallen in love with (Patti Cohoon as Gloria Hickey) lets it be known that she is in love with his older brother. Laurie is fit to be tied when she learns that Danny has inadvertently given her diary to the editor of the school newspaper, who is threatening to publish it (The Partridge Papers). Harry Morgan (M*A*S*H) makes an appearance as a garage attendant looking to trick the family into performing at the local fair in All's War in Love and Fairs). Finally, John Banner (Hogan's Heroes) plays a psychic hoping to get the Partridges to help him with his outstanding debt by telling Keith and Danny that disaster is waiting unless they come up with the money in Who Is Max Ledbetter and Why Is He Saying All Those Terrible Things?.

"A whole lotta lovin' is what we'll be bringin', we'll make you happy"

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Image quality continues to impress, despite the high episode count per disc. Colors are bright and well saturated (perhaps a little too much in places, especially in high contrast areas like the red and blue of Keith's bed sheets), and black levels are fine. While the image isn't the crispest, detail is pretty good overall, and film grain looks natural, although levels vary depending on the shot. I can't remember the show looking this good when broadcast.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Mono audio is very good overall. Dialogue is clean and clear. There is little in the way of hiss, however some of the musical numbers sound a bit oversaturated, with the opening theme having a slight warble to it.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Previews include an '80s movie compilation (Ghostbusters, St. Elmo's Fire, Stripes, Stand by Me, The Big Chill), Bewitched, Christmas with the Kranks, Jumanji, Madison, Open Season
Packaging: Thinpak
Picture Disc
3 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. "Jump to musical performances" feature
Extras Review: Extras are limited to the "jump to musical performances" feature found on the first season set, which allows direct access to the songs in each episode.

A collection of trailers can be found on the third disc, including a 1980s movie compilation (Ghostbusters, St. Elmo's Fire, Stripes, Stand by Me, The Big Chill), Bewitched, Christmas with the Kranks, Jumanji, Madison, Open Season and The Partridge Family).

The three discs are housed in a pair of Thinpaks inside an outer box. Chapters are available within the episodes, but viewers can't easily skip the opening credits, as the first mark is roughly 3 minutes in.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

The Partridge Family remains one of the standouts of early 1970s television, cleverly portraying the life of a performing family with plenty of humor, yet still making an effort at raising social issues on occasion. A great cast, good writing, and a parade of familiar guest stars make the second season an enjoyable set of episodes to revisit. C'mon, get happy!

 


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