Yet another seminally, great 1980s show comes to the DVD format.
How can they put out this fan favorite show without any extras?
Silver Spoons: The Complete First Season comes to us from Sony with 22 episodes on 3 discs, with nary an extra feature. However, this show which chronicles Ricky Stratton (Ricky Schroder) and the relationship he has with his father Edward (Joel Higgins), has amazing staying power as some shows from the 1980s do not. Rounding out the cast is Edward's assistant Kate (Erin Gray), the family lawyer (Leonard Lightfoot) and Edward Stratton, Sr (John Houseman). Sure, this show is about as milquetoasty as they come, but the acting is so simplistically good it makes Silver Spoons rise above being an after school special.
My favorite episode when I was younger was "Me And Mr. T." Ricky is having problems with bullies at his school, so his father hires him a bodyguard. As you can guess, having Mr. T around all the time brings with it its own unique set of problems. "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" sees a little bit of gender bending going on when Ricky has to pose as Derek's (Jason Bateman) date after he saves Ricky's life. Even in the 21st Century, this premise still feels ahead of its time. Lastly, "The X Team" has Kate catching Ricky and his buddies watching a porno movie.
It is the mix of themes and story ideas, rampant within this show, that is what has helped Silver Spoons endure throughout the years.
No Extras came with this release.
1.33:1 - Full Screen. This show looked about the same as I remember it. I had hoped that I had misread certain things about the Stratton castle from when I was a boy, but that didn't happen. In fact, it actually seemed like the inside of that house was smaller and more cramped than I remember it being. Sony has done a solid job with the transfers. They don't seem overly compressed and, if anything, actually seem like the compression folks went out of their way to give this show room to breath.
Dolby Digital. Close Captioned. English. Aside from the dialogue feeling a little stilted at times (especially the early episodes in which Schroder seems like he's just waiting to deliver his lines), I didn't really notice too much about the audio. Things didn't sound big, they didn't sound full, they simply sounded like I remember this sitcom sounding when I watched it in the '80s. I will say that I don't recall the opening theme song seeming as cheesy as it does here but I am probably only noticing that because I am older now.
Ricky, clad in a red sweater vest, takes up the majority of this front slipcase cover with Joel Higgins and Erin Gray standing behind him. As you can guess, everyone is all smiles here. The back cover features another shot of Schroder smiling as well as three images from the show. There is a well written description of what this show is about and some system specs. The three discs are stored in two slim cases, each of which has a different cover than the one on the slipcase. The back portions of these slim cases list out the episodes and their descriptions.
A few of the things I love about this show are how Ricky or Edward will be playing a well known '80s video game, yet it will have a completely different name than what it is known as. Also, I love the home that is supposed to be serving as the Stratton Castle. Looking at it now, I can't believe for a second I ever thought that Ricky and Edward lived there. Also, I had forgotten how hot Erin Gray was. In addition to all that, I really didn't remember how strong the friendship dynamic was between Ricky, Freddy (Corky Pigeon), Derek and whoever else was added to that mix. It isn't that any of these characters are overly deep, it's just that Silver Spoons tapped into the raw emotions of youth for so many kids. Everyone has experienced the things Ricky and his friends go through. We've all been picked on, or put down, in love, or hurt. The fact that this show addressed these things head on, and that Schroder could cry at the drop of a hat, meant that those emotions in question would never be too far from the surface.
While I may not have followed Silver Spoons throughout the duration of its television run, I am sure happy to get caught back up with it on DVD.
Silver Spoons was released .