Welcome to a new Sitcom Tuesday and the start of our second annual RERUN series, designed to give yours truly a chance to get further ahead in coverage of our last few ’90s comedies. Regular programming will resume next month, but in the meantime, I’m excited to resurrect and re-examine some of my favorite Sitcom posts from this blog’s nearly six-year run!
As with last year’s series (begun here), my intention is to provide a link to each original piece and then offer a tiny bit of updated commentary, either on episode picks I’d call differently now (like in my famous “Regrets” post) or on something broader, like evolving thoughts on the year/show as a whole. I’ve picked a few goodies, so I hope you’re as excited as I am about revisiting our favorites… But please be gentle! Many of the posts you’ll see were written a while ago. The standards here have changed as I’ve changed. (There are plenty of typos, juvenile “hot takes,” and places where more information would now be appreciated.)
We’re starting with… The Eight Best THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW Episodes of Season Three, to which I added in September 2017, (2017 UPDATE: Now Ten Best Episodes!) Check it out here: http://jacksonupperco.com/2014/12/16/the-eight-best-the-new-dick-van-dyke-show-episodes-of-season-three/
One of the reasons I decided to rerun this post is that I wanted to call attention to an important edit I made nearly three years later. At the original publication, I had copies of 71 of the series’ 72 produced episodes — missing only Season Three’s “The Back Break Kid.” As a result, I felt I couldn’t honestly pick ten favorites… But upon receiving that long-elusive outing in 2017, I went back and amended the post, concluding that the aforementioned “The Back Break Kid” did deserve to be featured among the year’s finest. Then, to round out a full list of ten, I was able to select another installment worthy of recognition. So, if you haven’t seen those two updates, check them out now!… Meanwhile, I also wanted to bring up Season Three because there’s something I would call differently now — my MVE. At the time, I was resistant to the idea that the best episode would also be the most buzzed about: “Lt. Preston Of The 4th Calvary,” which CBS refused to broadcast because of the premise where Jenny walks in on her parents having sex. Although it lived up to its hype, I thought it was too convenient to favor the one with the most outside, non-quality-related hubbub, so I instead selected an offering with a similarly risqué, albeit less daring, concept… However, upon reflection, the excursion that’s stayed with me the most, and the one I also think does the best job of representing how The New Dick Van Dyke Show attempted to change in its final reformatted third season, is indeed this notorious classic. It deserves to be the year’s MVE. So, check out the post above again, and feel free to share your thoughts on the series and its trajectory in the comments below!
Come back next week for another Sitcom Tuesday rerun! And stay tuned tomorrow for a new Wildcard Wednesday!