Friday, April 13, 2007

“From West Virginia they came to stay/In sunny Cali-forn-i-a…”

While looking at some new releases over at DVD Price Search, I saw a listing for The Real McCoys: Season #1 that is apparently going to hit the streets May 22, 2007 courtesy of Infinity Entertainment.   McCoys was a monster sitcom hit for ABC (and later CBS) from 1957-63, starring character great Walter Brennan as cantankerous Amos McCoy, the patriarch of a West Virginia family who uprooted their holdings in the Mountain State and moved westward to California like a modern-day Joad family.  Dick Crenna (now being billed as Richard) co-starred as his grandson Luke, who was married to the magically babe-a-licious Kathleen Nolan as Kate; other regulars in the cast included Lydia Reed, Tony Martinez, Michael Winkelman, Madge Blake and Andy Clyde.

The Real McCoys isn’t entirely new to DVD; Rhino released two “Best of” collections a good while back but I’m glad to see that season-by-season sets are being attempted since the series ushered in the spate of rural situation comedies (The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, etc.) that dominated American television in the 1960s.  The series, although relying on the broad depiction of mountain folk for much of its humor, is one of the very few that featured positive images of West Virginians (the only other one I can think of right-off-the-bat is receptionist Jennifer Marlowe, played by Loni Anderson on WKRP in Cincinnati); the family McCoy might have been a bit uninformed on the ways of their adoptive state, but they were certainly a good role model for families back then.  I can’t help but think of the program when the University of Virginia’s “Pep Band” poked fun five years ago at their West Virginia University competitors during half-time by portraying a West Virginia girl as a “Beverly Hillbillies”-type they raised the ire of West Virginia’s then-governor Robert Wise, who demanded an apology from University President John T. Casteen III for the slight.  Had I been in Wise’s shoes, I would have painstakingly pointed out to U.Va. that the Beverly Hillbillies were from Arkansas (not West Virginia), thus saying all that needed to be said on the intelligence running rampant in that institution.  (Sadly, people still invoke the “Beverly Hillbillies” example in describing Mountain State natives to this day, as in the case of this overpaid clown from USA Today.)

Anyhoo, CD Universe is listing the McCoys set at $16.44 (which seems like a steal except their s&h rate is $6.99) for the time being…and there’s also a link to another set being released at the same time entitled Suspense: The Lost Episodes Collection which sounds as if they’re putting together episodes of the television version of “radio’s outstanding theatre of thrills.”  It sounds intriguing; I only wish there was more information to go with it.

Update: I spoke too soon about the Suspense set, has the collection on their website and confirms that it contains thirty episodes from the 1949-54 series based on the long running radio anthology.  Nifty!

No comments:

Post a Comment