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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

'Hazel' S3: The Mother of All Maids

Shout Factory's May 15, 2012, DVD release of the 32-episode third season of the classic '60s sitcom "Hazel" continues that distributor's practice of adopting beloved shows years after another company released one or two seasons. Shout's "Hazel" releases notably follow the packing style of the pre-Shout release of season one.

Although Shout is releasing "Hazel" S3 a few days after Mother's Day, a pre-order for that special day would make a great gift. I imagine that many moms remember the series fondly and can relate to the equal parts love and frustration that that program depicts.

Title character Hazel Burke is the live-in maid/cook for the suburban upper-middle class Baxter family. Much of the humor stems from Hazel interfering in every aspect of head-of-household "Mr. B's" life from his diet to his handling of his legal client's affairs.

Like a true mother, Hazel's highly frustrating nagging and meddling comes from a place of love. She reminds me of my grandmother, who literally chased me around her house with plates of food when I visited and never hesitated to telephone in the middle of the night when some aspect of my life bothered her.

Like the previous two and subsequent seasons, season three's humor is kinder and gentler than even many other shows of that season. Everything proceeds at a nice pace, and the jokes evoke a smile rather than a laugh.

An episode in which a badly damaged antique desk might have significant historic value was one of the more amusing of the season and had an above-average number of twists. It also had similar elements to one of my favorite "The Dick Van Dyke Show" episodes that revolved around an antique photograph.

Anyone with memories of "Hazel" or questions regarding this show is encouraged to email me.