The Addams Family: The Complete Seasons 1-3 DVD boxset (DVD review).

September 22, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

When I was growing up, watching ‘The Addams Family’ on TV was one of my favourite events. I even did a comicstrip based around them in my formative years, especially taken by their first Halloween story where Thing replaced a visitor’s gun with a banana. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered their source material by Chaz Addams in the local library and discovered how macabre he was. In those days, I didn’t even know what black humour was but I understood the sense of graveyard macabre and it gave even greater meaning to the series when it got re-shown in the UK back in the 1980s. Watching the series again on DVD, it still hasn’t lost any of its gothic charm. There were plans for a third season in colour but black and white was always effective. The box is wrong though, as the series only lasted two seasons. Nice and gloomy as the family would surely agree.

AddamsFamilyBoxsetDVD

I never viewed ‘The Addams Family’ as being out of the ordinary. If anything, it’s a shame that more American families were not like them. After all, they represented their version of the upper class. Very wealthy and unseeingly generous. So what if they’re home looked odd or they played with dynamite caps, they had a nice kitty kat and a rare African strangler that loves meat. Who wouldn’t want them as neighbours? I wonder if the interest in exotic pets hailed from people watching the series and took note although I doubt if any took up the challenge of spiders or octopus as pets and from the extras, it is actually illegal to keep piranha fish in the home.

I’m not going to go into details of the episodes. You should have that pleasure for yourself. It’s the subtleties of the actors performances that makes it work so well. I got added respect for Ted Cassidy playing the stolid Lurch, especially when he felt embarrassed or filled with pride as he becomes tangible with emotion. A lot of the humour with the Addams family was physical, no more so with John Astin as Gomez Addams, demonstrating yoga skills and even taking pratt falls every time Ophelia shakes his hand. Equally masterful or mistressful was Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams and her sister, Ophelia, who was plainly the matriarch of the family. Similar acting chops also went for Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester Frump and Blossom Rock as Grandmama. From the extras, Lisa Loring who played Wednesday and Ken Weatherwax as Pugsley gave a lot of the background information, together with ‘The Addams Chronicles’ author Stephen Cox. It’s one thing to read it in his book, which I reviewed some years back, but nice to hear the verbal version.

The latter remakes have never really done justice because they have all been based on this original series and you can’t really beat perfection. I learnt a whole new version of flower arranging thanks to Morticia and a new way to play with trains from Gomez. Excuse me for a moment, I have to rest on the bed of nails in their playroom and play with their rack later. Ah, if all homes had such luxuries.

GF Willmetts

September 2013

(Region 2: pub: MGM 37339301000. 9 DVDs 1566 minutes 64 * 25 minute black & white episodes with extras. Price: about £23.00 (UK) if you know where to look)

cast: John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy, Bloom Rock, Lisa Loring, Ken Weatherwax and Felix Silva

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Category: Horror, TV

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

Comments (1)

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  1. avatar Robert Koenn says:

    I fondly remember watching them as well when I was a kid in the ’60s. Every Friday night the show was on my agenda. As you said, the dark humor and sexual innuendo was a big step above the Munsters, which I greatly enjoyed as well, but for a kid it was the zany humor and “uniqueness” of the Addams that made it so great. It was also at the tail end of the monster craze that had happened because of the earlier release of the classic Universal monster Shock Theater movies and fit perfectly in a young kids love of these movies. I also read some of the cartoons the show was based on and it was an intelligent cartoon as well, appealing to adults as well as children from different perspectives. We also have the previous released stand alone sets and have enjoyed watching them and recalling our youth. TV was in many ways more fun back then and shows like this made it that way, good clean fun for kids of all ages.

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