The Good

This fun show looks pristine in this 5 disc release.

The Bad

Colored episode images on the packaging of a black and white show is a tad misleading. Not enough extras.

McHale's Navy: Season One stars Ernest Borgnine as Lt. Commander McHale. As the Skipper of Torpedo Boat #73, McHale runs anything but a tight ship. It's not that he and his men are screw ups or unpatriotic, it's just that the Navy has a lot of rules and McHale and his men love to bend them a little.

War is hell, right?

In charge of the base is Captain Wallace B. Binghamton (Joe Flynn) and he's always angling to get McHale and his men thrown out of the service. Games of cat and mouse ensue but when the chips are down, and McHale and his men are called into action they always find a way to get the job done right. Serving as the buffer between the lunacy of McHale and his men and Captain Binghamton, is Ensign Parker (Tim Conway). As much as he tries to keep things on the up and up, he cannot help but fall prey to McHale's units crazy schemes.

With 5 discs containing all of McHale's Navy: Season One, this release is certainly a lot of fun. While it's jokes might be seen as tame by today's standards, in it's day I am sure that McHale's Navy was looked at as the Stripes of the Sixties.

Features

The Crew Reunion

This is done at first like an episode of the show as they have altered the color tones of the picture. Basically, people like Ernest Borgnine, Tim Conway, and Edson Stroll take a walk down memory lane together. The men sit in a half circle and they discuss why they think the show was so successful, their characters, and what it was like working with Joe Flynn. They fill this warmhearted piece with anecdotes and a lot of the same comedy and energy that the show itself contained.

Video

Full Screen. These episodes from 1962 look top notch. It might have something to do with black and white being more malleable to the compression process than color, but I have seen some bunk black and white looking shows on DVD and these look amazing. They mix real military footage within the actual footage of this show. While that might not seem like anything that special, for a sitcom, for something that could be deemed "light entertainment," I found that it worked to great effect bringing the team of PT 73 to life.

Audio

It doesn't list out what kind of audio this release has on the artwork, but I can't imagine that it is anything but mono. Everything was leveled really well here and I didn't notice any problems with the audio on any of these discs. Considering that there are five of them one could have forgiven some audio problems here and there. This didn't ever seem to happen and, overall, the levels among the discs, remained pretty consistent throughout this set. Very little adjustments needed overall.

Package

The cast of this show is in full cover on the promo shot for this front cover. Interestingly, it seems like this picture was taken as the cast was messing around during the shooting of this show. The back features a very photo enhanced green picture of the cast that serves as a background and is hard to make out. Over this they have laid a nicely written description of the show, a Special Features listing, and they've even included some color pictures. I am bothered by this because the show itself is not in color and consumers could be in for a surprise when they watch these discs. They have stored 5 discs into 3 slim cases, each of which has a different picture of the three main stars of this show. The back of the covers lists out the episodes, and there is a nice piece of artwork enclosed that also lists out the full cast as well as offers episode descriptions and airdates.

Final Word

I loved this show. I think the comic pairing of Ernest Borgnine, Tim Conway, Joe Flynn with the rest of the cast was spot on perfect. What I loved about this show was that it wasn't meanspirited. The jokes that McHale and his men played on people like Parker and Binghamton were not done out of any malicious feelings. They were executed, it seems, to lighten the mood. Here these men are, worried that they are going to be attacked by the Japanese and rather than sit around and be morbid, they seem to be spitting in the eye of the serpent and enjoying themselves. Yes, you always know that McHale and the others would triumph in the end. Somehow, someway they would find their way out of any situation that seeked to do them harm. Still, amidst this there was humor at work, great action when the McHale and his team were called to serve their country, and just an overall sense of good will and good cheer emanating from this show.

If you are fan of war movies with a comedic bent or you love Boomer Television (which I do), you will enjoy McHale's Navy: Season One.

McHale's Navy was released .