Today I am excited to announce a new, long-term project here at the blog: classic TV coverage of The Dick Van Dyke Show. I'm planning to review every single episode of this terrific sitcom, starting Friday, May 11th with the episode "The Sick Boy and the Sitter" and proceeding from there with one episode a week for the rest of the spring and summer. They'll probably have to stop during the fall, but we'll see. If that is indeed the case, they would likely resume around the same time next year, for however many years it takes to cover the entire series.
More after the jump:
So, why Dick Van Dyke? Well, there are a few reasons. First of all, I have a very personal connection to this series. My dad grew up while it was on the air and was a huge fan, and as such it was one of the earliest TV shows I ever watched. I've probably seen at least 75% of the episodes, and this provides me with an excuse to finally watch all of them: something I've been meaning to do for some time. And with the ones I have seen, rewatching will allow me to hopefully provide a lot of good insight about them.
The second reason is this: as far as I can tell, no one has ever covered Dick van Dyke on an episode by episode basis. Just about everyone with an interest in TV criticism knows that by and large - and with exceptions for each individual writer, of course - both amateur and professional TV critics alike tend to write about the same general set of shows: Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Justified, Community, etc. I felt like doing something different this summer, as well as giving a great series some much deserved analysis. And if it helps bring any new readers to my blog, so much the better. (In that regard, I would be extremely grateful if anyone reading this does what he or she can to let as many people as possible know about this upcoming series of reviews.)
Another benefit to doing this series is that it's readily available for people to watch along with me, if they wish to. The entire series is available on both Hulu and Netflix. One note about the order of the season one episodes on Hulu is in order, however: I will be watching and writing about the episodes in the order they're listed on the DVDs (and I believe on Netflix as well), not the one seen there. We'll be starting with "The Sick Boy and the Sitter" and then moving on to "The Meershatz Pipe" the week after, NOT "My Blond Haired Brunette". I realize this could become a bit confusing, so I will list the next week's episode at the end of each review. Trust me, the series flows a bit better this way, and I think season one is the only season where this is an issue. (I could be wrong, though, so don't hold me to that.)
Finally, to any current readers who aren't at all interested in Dick Van Dyke... well, first of all, I ask you to reconsider. This is a great television program, and I'd love to have you along for these upcoming reviews. But if you really have no interest in watching the series, rest assured that I still plan on posting about other shows (and movies) whenever possible. At the same time, I'm also not sure how much time these write-ups are going to take, so such posts may be somewhat infrequent during this time period. But it won't be forever. Unless I find that I have enough time and energy to continue to write them in the fall (unlikely), I'm planning on concluding the first batch of reviews in early September: just in time for the fall TV season.
I think that's about it. Check back May 11th for the first post.