McCloud: Seasons One and Two DVD: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

  • OVERALL
    4.5
    SUPERB
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE FEATURE
McCloud - Season One And Two is one of those shows that doesn't get nearly the press or other accolades that it deserves. It is a show that seems largely forgotten during people's discussions of their favorite TV shows and pop culture in general. This is nothing short of a travesty. Dennis Weaver's portrayal of Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud, a countryman who finds himself working with Police in New York, is nothing short of brilliant. His ability to play the role with equal cool and kindness, is the kind of thing that seems to be missing from many of today's shows. This character is just plan likable. Somebody who you want to see succeed because so many people doubt that they can.

The mere fact that Weaver is playing a country sleuth on the east coast is ripe for drama and parody. What I love, is how Weaver turns all these assumptions on their ear in a very "Andy Griffith" way. People think they are dealing with some kind of a country bumpkin. Someone who is going to be scared by the evils on the New York streets. Weaver constantly goes against the grain and as a result finds himself going up against other people (usually the NYPD). It is how he deals with these situations, how he carries himself that really shows us the kind of person he is. The writing for this show is top notch.
THE EXTRAS
No extras came with this DVD.
THE VIDEO
Full Frame. 1.33:1. This show was a pretty easy sell for me simply because I have an affinity for the richness of the TV shows from the 1970s. I love that this show didn't use a lot of cuts, but rather opted for long shots. It seems to also say something about Dennis Weaver's character because that is how he carried himself well. Everything he does is deliberate. Even when he isn't saying anything, he emotes some pretty strong feelings. The look of this show does nothing but compliment that. I also think that the transfers of the various episodes look really good as well. To the purists that care about the material as well as the compression and overall quality of their DVDs, McCloud - Season One And Two holds up very well.
THE AUDIO
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. I had to turn up the volume on my crummy TV a bit louder, but I think that having only one speaker on the TV might have something to do with that. This is a show that revels in it's dialogue. In many ways, I think that the dialogue is the shows action. Just seeing Weaver work and interact with the other cast members, you can tell that his mind is always ticking and this creates a natural tension. It is never really clear (until later), if he is really listening to what the people are saying, or hatching a plan of his own. It is this happy area of not knowing that makes this show so enjoyable.

THE PACKAGE
This 3, double sided disk set is packaged in a way that I really appreciate. I think the slim cases really work to not only maximize DVD space, but they add an aesthetic that I don't find in the bigger and bulkier packaging. They are all housed in a vinyl cover and with the same picture of Dennis Weaver on all of them. The backs of the plastic cases feature episode listings with a description of each episode as well. There is also a technical specs list so that you can adjust the settings on your systems accordingly. While not anything special, neither is the McCloud character really, but he sure is a helluva lot of fun to watch.
THE FINAL WORD
Why does it seems that the more outrageous the TV show was, the more it resonated with people? I know that McCloud is from the 1970s but that isn't that long ago. These shows are really good. The lines that Weaver and many of the other characters say are priceless. Sadly, because this show was a bit low key in some ways, Weaver wasn't as bombastic as say a Jimmy Walker or even a Kojak, this show seems to go unnoticed. Truthfully, I had never watched it until I caught some episodes on KDOC, but immediately I knew that I was seeing something special.

So to the uninitiated, I implore you to discover this show. It is truly one of the best police shows that I think ever ran on TV. To the people at TV LAND, if you could please do a retrospective on this show that would be great. To Universal, thank you for putting out this DVD and next time would you please include some extras that further explore this show and it's main character?

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