HBO home video has announced one of the less intelligent TV-on-DVD moves in a while. They hold the rights to Get Smart (not to be confused with the crappy 1995 revival, which was just released on DVD) and licensed it to Time-Life, which produced a terrific complete-series box set only available via mail order. Now HBO is finally releasing the first season in retail stores… On August 5, almost two months after the release of the movie version. And without any of the extras that the Time-Life set has. That is, without the documentaries, interviews, or the separate commentaries by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry on the pilot episode.
As it happens, TimeLife.ca is now offering the first season separately from the complete series set, at a similar price to that of the HBO release. If the complete set is not something you want to get in preference to, say, paying your rent (I don’t share this preference, but we all have our quirks), then order the Time-Life version of season 1.
The Time-Life release is really a model of how to present a series, and if Don Adams had been alive to participate in it — unfortunately, the DVD wasn’t green-lit until after he died — it would clearly be the best TV on DVD release of all time; it may be anyway.