Season's Greetings all, Valkor here. So the tree is trimmed, the goose is in the oven, the house is decorated, and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care; what is else is there to do to complete an already perfect Christmas setup? How about popping in Warner Home's latest holiday video "Classic TV Christmas Collection", to put us in the spirit?
Classic TV Christmas Collection brings together some of the best holiday specials from shows of the 70's, 80's and 90's. All in total you'll get ten shows on four discs, each with their take on the season. Some offer flashbacks, others teach a lesson, but overall they're a lot of fun… especially if you were around when they originally aired or can appreciate a classic series. Let's check out a few personal favs.
Perfect Strangers: The Gift of the Mypiot – Larry and Balki prep for a Christmas party at their apartment and Balki suggest they invite Mr. Gorpley, their Grinch of a supervisor. Larry is against it, however Balki invites him anyway. When Gorpley arrives, the guests threaten to leave, but end up staying. And when the gifts are being handed out, Gorpley let's fly a tirade of insults, which nearly gets him booted from the house. But Balki has a gift that makes this Grinch's heart grow three sizes that day.
Mama's Family: Mama Gets the Goose – Mama receives an early Christmas present from her cousin, who lives on the farm where she used to grow up. When the gift arrives, it turns out to be a goose, which is what they had for Christmas supper back then… fresh killed. Though her family is against the killing of the goose; Mama's "dead set" on getting him ready as the main feast. But in the end she has a change of heart and the goose gets a stay of execution.
The Courtship of Eddie's Father: Gifts are for Giving – Eddie's friend Joey comes to stay for the weekend with him and his dad Tom, while her day is away. Joey surprises Eddie and Tom with breakfast that Eddie refuses to eat, which in turn upsets Joey. To make her feel better, Eddie gives Joey the necklace his uncle gave to his dad, which his dad gave to him. Joey takes the necklace and gives it to her father. Her father takes the necklace and gives it to Eddie's father's housekeeper Mrs. Livingston as a thank you for looking out for his daughter, who in turn gives it back to Eddie's uncle. (Talk about going full circle) Not really a Christmas episode, but the spirit of the holiday is there as it shows that it's always better to give than to receive.
Suddenly Susan: The Walkout – Its Christmas time and the workers of "The Gate" are expecting their holiday bonus. But when Jack unexpectedly drops the bomb that there will be no bonus, the crew stages a walk out. Susan does her best to play mediator, but Jack doesn't budge. In the end, Jack sells his most precious things to get his employees their much deserved bonus.
You'll also get episodes of Chips, Veronica's Closet, Alice, Eight is Enough, Dr. Kildare, and Welcome Back Kotter. No additional features can be found; so after my trip down classic TV memory lane, what did I think of this set?
I can remember most of these shows -Dr. Kildare and the Courtship of Eddie's Father, weren't before my time, but I was way too little to remember them, but it was certainly a nice to sit back and enjoy these classics once again. And I'll admit that I was a little choked. Not by the actual shows, but the nostalgia of it all. It's like visiting old friends you haven't seen for such a long time. But most of all, I love this set because these were shows that aired at a time when Christmas was really a big deal in our home, still is, but when you're a kid and a Christmas special aired, you know that presents soon followed.
Though you get 4 discs, you only get ten episodes – actually Eight is Enough takes up a whole disc by itself (it's a two parter). I think a few more eps could have been squeezed in.
Ahhhhhh… Mr. Kotter's Jewfro. How can you not get a chuckle out of that?
Classic TV Christmas Collection will not only make for a great gift, but it can also be the centerpiece of entertainment (for all you 30 – 40 something's out there) as you'll recollect of days past. The old saying goes "You can never go home", but it doesn't say anything about paying a visit. Check it out. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give Warner's Classic TV Christmas Collection 4 stars. And it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.