The Good

This show had an irreverence that made it stand out and hold up many years later.

The Bad

The Thing and Cousin Itt commentary tracks were both confusing and useless.

The outlandish world is back in The Addams Family, Vol. 2. This off the wall clan had very solid run from 1964 to 1966. While that may not seem like that long to be on the air, the fact that this show is still talked about, imitated, and in syndication speaks well of it's longevity. This second installment of the First and Second seasons begins with a bang in "Thing Is Missing," as the family has to call on a detective to bring their lovable relative back to them. In "Uncle Fester's Toupee" we see Uncle Fester make some changes in his life, but this episode is more about our perceptions of ourselves than it is this character. "Morticia Meets Royalty" is a clash of cultures episode in which Thing finds himself fancying a Royal family, so Gomez, Morticia and the rest of the clan find themselves having to adjust to the real world expectations of people. Lastly, "Halloween - Addams Style" seems like yet another average day for this cast, but things are upended when Tuesday realizes that witches don't exist.

While this show was quirky, filled with laughs, and totally different than much of what had been on TV at that time, it should be noted that The Addams Family wasn't all fun and games. In a lot of ways, this show looked at the stodginess of society and the institutions that breed it.

Features

Mad About the Addams

This featurette reminds me of the other featurette that appeared on the first volume of this show. We hear from Addams Family archivist Bob Burns, and Addams author Stephen Cox, as well as members of the family as they discuss this show. They talk about how the sole idea at the time was The Addams Family being different, and how that played into every facet of this show. Mixed with clips to underscore various points, this is a really well put together featurette that allows people to learn a little more about who this family was. However, if you are already up on this show and it's subtexts, you probably won't need to sit through this.

Tombstone Trivia on "Morticia's Romance Pt. 1"

Guest Star Seance

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from this but it actually ended up being rather interesting. We are given a list of 10 guest stars who appeared on this show. There are are names like Peter Bonerz, Richard Deacon and Vito Scott. In the middle of all of this is a crystal ball. If you click on any of the actor's names, you will then get a voice over telling you about that character and the history of his or her body work. Also, while this is happening, within the crystal ball we get to see that particular actor's performance (with no audio) on that particular Addams Family episode.

Commentary Tracks

Okay, maybe I don't know this show as well as I thought, but I found myself really disappointed by the Cousin Itt and Thing commentary tracks. I don't know what I was expecting but this was not it. In a nutshell, all this is are some of these character's favorite scenes, and then they talk gibberish as a ticker of information unfolds on the bottom portion of the screen. I was so thoroughly turned off by this that I didn't even listen to the commentary on "Morticia Meets Royalty" with Stephen Cox.

Video

Full Screen - 1.33:1. Again, a black and white TV show from the 1960s looks a lot better than many shows released in the 1990s. There is a lot of contrast within these images, but I think that that was the way the creators wanted things. The fact that this show was shot in black and white and the main characters usually wear black and white, says that those involved certainly had a particular artistic direction in mind. What is so incredible about this show is that it looks like one big special effect. They dressed the characters and the sets in such an interesting way, that all they needed to do was shoot what was in front of the camera. The result is a show that looks like few others that have ever been on TV.

Audio

Dolby Digital. English, Spanish and French mono. Subtitled in English and Spanish. The audio on this show was pretty solid. I find that this show uses sound effects a great deal more than a lot of other shows from that time. It doesn't seem to just employ ambient noises. For certain objects in the house, we only know that they are by the sounds that they make. While The Addams Family employs its share of creaking doors and other "typical" sound effects, it seems to rely on other noises that don't exist (and therefore must be created) to get its point across.

Package

Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley and Wednesday are featured on the front of this slipcase cover. They have employed a cool effect to make Morticia's feet seem like a bunch of slugs (well, that's what they look like). The back of this cover features Lurch, Uncle Fester and the kids having fun at the piano. There is a tiny description of what this Second Volume contains, a Special Features listing, and some technical specs. This three disc set is stored in two slim cases, who's covers feature shots of Fester and Lurch that Frank Miller might have rendered. The back potions list out the episodes, descriptions, airdates and make it very easy to find the extra features.

Final Word

When you consider that this show is still in regular syndication and it only had sixty plus episodes, that is pretty impressive. There are some shows that have been on for many seasons more than that and they still aren't in syndication (or even on DVD, yet!). What makes this show so good is the fact that it never winked at the audience. When Gomez runs for Mayor, sure it's funny that he would do that, but he isn't laughing about it. When Cousin Itt begins this season by going missing, that too is funny, but these actors really didn't seem to play this for laughs. There's no mugging for the cameras. They honestly think that some ill end might have stricken their relative.

The Addams Family is the kind of show that was simply different. It's not for everybody. There is a lot of gloom and doom. You wouldn't want these people for neighbors (at least most people wouldn't), but the idea, I think, is that in a lot of ways we are all like these characters. This show was supposed to make us look at this family and see how different they were, yet if one were to look at their own family the same way, they'd probably find a lot more similarities than differences to The Addams Family.

The Addams Family was released .