I am sucker for 1970s TV and Fantasy Island is a show that no matter what keeps you watching.
Not enough screentime per episode between Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize. The extra features are not easily accessible.
Fantasy Island was a show I remember being on on Saturday nights and it would last forever. I can recall the show starting, and because it was after 10pm, I would fall asleep because I wasn’t used to being up that late. Then, I would wake up after what seemed like 10 hours and the show would still be on. While it’s easy to look at Fantasy Island and see Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize in their white suits, with Villechaize yelling, “The Plane! The Plane!” and think this show is a joke. And by all accounts, a show about people coming to an island to have their fantasies fulfilled highly borders on the self indulgent. However, what saves this show is the chemistry between Mr. Roarke (Montalban) and Tattoo (Villechaize). These two play off of one another with a mixture of seriousness and comic wit. Also, this show was well rounded. At the end of the day it seemed to suggest that while having a fantasy is nice, reality is the greatest thrill of all.
These featurettes are titled “Creating the Fantasy” and “Spending the Day At Fantasy Island.” The “Creating the Fantasy” featurette was the better one out of the two, I think, because it gives a real history of the show. From how it was created, to how it was cast, to how they came up with ideas for Fantasy Island week in and week out. I also loved the story that one of the creators told about how the idea of this show initially came about. “Spending the Day at Fantasy Island” is more of an inside look at how the show was put together and structured. We get to hear about how certain guest stars made it on the show, the reason for certain aesthetic choices and other tidbits relating to how things came together. While these featurettes aren’t anything that great, they are interesting and might help you out in a game of “Trivial Pursuit.”
1.33:1 - Full Screen. How can a show that takes place on an island not look good? I love the colors that are employed on this show. Especially, the use of white and red. Also, what I think makes Fantasy Island so unique is how it handles so many different “tones” in each episode. One person might be having a great time, another person might feel their life is in danger and another may be stuck in neutral. All of this combines to give this show an almost mysterious quality, and on top of that, how many shows can say that they are sort of a “Comedic Twilight Zone”?
Dolby Digital Remastered in High Definition. Language - English, Portuguese and Spanish. Subtitled in Portuguese and Spanish. This show is also Close Captioned. I like the music on this show and how most of time it sticks with the “tone” of the island. Yet, as the stories start to take shape the music seems to follow suit, changing it’s tone but not in a way that is noticeable or disruptive. I also love the way that Montalban and Villechaize talk. While I know that this doesn’t solve the problem, when people complain about the lack of minorities working in Hollywood, I think it’s interesting that we have a show featuring two stars with very heavy accents. That said, I will say that Montalban is better spoken than most people who don’t have an accent.
A very colorful, vinyl cardboard box houses two slim cases featuring the 4 discs that make up this DVD set. The cover gives us Montalban and Villechaize, wearing their “classic whites” and inviting us into the world of their show. The back wisely just features shots of our stars, and I hope that Villechaize looking like a spaceman in one picture won’t turn off too many people. There is a small description of this show, a “Special Features” listing and some technical specs. This digipack houses two discs to each slim case, and there are very nice pictures of both Montalban and Villechaize on each one. The back of each disc features an episode listing with a small description of each episode’s plot. My biggest bone of contention with these discs is that you actually have to insert each disk into your DVD player in order to access the special features. This was pretty tedious until I found what I was looking for.
With 16 Episodes comprising this 4 disc set, Fantasy Island - The Complete First Season was a fun show to revisit. Sure, it got to be a bit hokey, especially where the Don Knotts episode was concerned, but on the whole I found this show to be a lot of more interesting now that I am old enough to appreciate and understand what’s going on. I think my biggest complaint about this show was that I would liked there to have been more discourse between Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize. The thing is, as they explain in the supplemental features, the creators of this show knew “everybody” so that is how they cast this show. Montalban and Villechaize were the “steady Eddies” in a show filled with solid but not spectacular guest stars.
Fantasy Island - The Complete First Season, like most of the shows from the 1970s, has that one thing that makes TV on DVD so compelling and beloved. It is comfortable and it brings us back to when we were the age in which it aired.
Fantasy Island was released .