I have fond memories of watching a few episodes of Hart to Hart when I was a young boy. It seemed to always come on on Friday nights and I always remember starting to watch the show, and then falling asleep before it was over. In fact, a few times I recall waking up and another show was on (“Dallas”?) and I thought I was still watching Hart to Hart!
Hart to Hart - The Complete First Season brings viewers the adventures of Jonathan (Robert Wagner) and Jennifer Hart (Stefanie Powers). These are two wealthy jet setters who can’t help but get themselves involved in situations of intrigue, suspense and murder. Somehow this couple finds themselves trying to solve murders, corporate crimes and basically anything that happens in the white collar businessworld. They are often helped in their sleuthing by their faithful sidekick, Max (the late Lionel Stander) . While I think this show foreshadowed the 1980s being a decade in which America could focus on it’s own decadence, Hart to Hart - The Complete First Season also showed us the fun we could have if we’d just allow ourselves the pleasure.
This is a commentary track with Stefanie Powers, Robert Wagner and Co-Writer and Director Tom Mankiewicz over the 2 hour pilot of this show. I find that these are fun simply because I don’t think that Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers have done many of these. Also, they don’t seem to have seen the show in years so it’s always interesting hearing their recollections, especially when they are surprised about what they are seeing on the screen. While I think this is pretty standard, I also think their recollections of the shooting environment were a lot of fun to listen to.
”The Hart of Season One” - Featurette
This is a pretty in-depth “making of” Hart to Hart - The Complete First Season. How it came together starting with Sidney Sheldon’s initial idea, to the casting of this show, and finally what went on behind the scenes as it was being made. I have to be honest, I am amazed at how good Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers look. Sure, I am willing to wager that they have had some work done, but these people don’t look that much different from when they made the show. This is the kind of “Behind the Scenes” piece that will make fans of the show very happy, especially the rough outtakes that we are treated to.
1.33:1 - Full Screen. They used a lot of red and white on this show, which I think in some way was able to convey something to viewers about the enormous wealth that these characters had. I am not sure what this show was shot on but it looks like the episodes have been well preserved. Perhaps the DVD compression has had something to do with it, but the color of these shows has really held up over the years. Sure, this show “looks 80s” but how can it not? I think there was something about the mix of the way the shots were composed, as well as how the shows were shot that ended up giving TV from the 1980s a similar style across the board.
Dolby Digital - Remastered in High Definition. I really like the music used in this show. It is such a hybrid between the 1970s and the 1980s, and it really gives what happens on these 23 episodes a real sense of place. As the audio for most TV is pretty simple, a show like Hart to Hart really isn’t going to stray from the formula. I think the main goal with the sound and images was to just get the story across in the most interesting and efficient way possible. This is all done very well on this show. There really isn’t anything that amazing about it in an audio or visual sense, and as such, these factors are many used to keep the stories of the episodes moving.
I doubt this would play on TV today, but good for Hart to Hart - The Complete First Season for having Jonathan and Jennifer Hart both holding guns as they stand against their Rolls Royce. With him wearing a tux and her wearing a dress this picture just screams 1980s! The back features another shot of them against a car, some pictures from the show, a description of what Season One is about, a “Special Features” listing and some technical specs. All 6 discs are neatly housed inside 3 slim cases, with different pictures on the covers and inside of them. The back of the cases features an index of the episodes and a description of what those episodes are about. This set is very well contained within it’s economical digipack design.
I could go into how Hart to Hart - The Complete First Season doesn’t seem to dwell on any real important issues, but lets be honest, at least in the early part of the 1980s this just didn’t happen. These shows were meant to entertain and not inform. In fact, it seems that it wasn’t until shows like Moonlighting, that the issues of the decade (poverty, homelessness and drugs) really made their way into cafe society. This isn’t to say that Hart to Hart - The Complete First Season didn’t deal with any issues, of course it did, it was just a show that seemed more concerned with showing the “James Bond” side of life, than it was showing the Jane Doe.
Hart to Hart - The Complete First Season isn’t the best show I have ever seen on DVD, but it takes place in the 1980s, it is a timepiece of our nation and it is well written and crafty.
Hart to Hart was released .