One of the most popular series in TV history, Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963) stood out from the flock during TV’s golden age. While most of its contemporaries (i.e. The Donna Reed Show and The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet) were star-driven vehicles in which the kids were merely supporting players, Beaver’s action centered on the children; seven-year-old Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver and his twelve-year-old brother Wally. Though the show went off the air in the ‘60s, it continues to charm new generations even today through regularly show reruns.
When I was a kid, I loved staying home from school. Almost weekly I would make an attempt to stay at home. Not really pretending to be sick but more straight up asking. It almost never worked. Maybe once a year, but when I did get to be home on that day or when I was ill, it meant soup and old television all day. I would bring my bedding down to the living room couch, make a nest and settle in for the long haul. This is where I was primarily exposed to the show, Leave it to Beaver. It was a show that gave me great comfort, almost as much as the soup that I would have for lunch and dinner. A perfect B&W look into a suburbia that didn’t exist and that more often than not, fueled NyQuil dreams of picket fences and milk with every meal.
I have occasionally managed to catch the show in my adult life, but have never been able to catch it with any consistency. Which is a shame. I wanted to watch the show from start to finish and watch the Cleaver family age and see the boys get older. Instead I was stuck with snippets, pieces of a broken puzzle. Well no more! Shout Factory, that shimmering wellspring of classic TV, is releasing the full series from start to finish in a comprehensive DVD box set.
The set, which comes out on 6/29/2010 has all 235 original episodes of the show on 37 discs!! This is happiness in a box people and I am still letting the whole thing wash over me and will be for months to come. I finished season 1 and and a quarter through season 2 and the picture quality is better than I have ever seen in broadcast. Plus the set has some nice exclusive extras that include:
- Featurettes including cast members Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow, Barbara Billingsly, Ken Osmond and Frank Bank
- The rare pilot episode
- Audio interviews with cast
- Special Film for the US Treasury featuring the Cleavers
- A brief conversation with theme song composer Dave Kahn
- Reproduction of the original 1959 Leave it to Beaver “Money Maker” board game
- and more!
So much retro TV in one place, it is almost too good to be true. So what are you waiting for pre-order/pick up your copy of Leave it to Beaver the Complete Series at Shout Factory today!