I watched a lot of old sitcoms growing up. If it was on Nick at Nite, I was watching it. That included The Dick Van Dyke Show. The past tense in that sentence isn’t just because I am an adult now and I haven’t watched Nick at Nite in over 20 year. I stopped watching The Dick Van Dyke Show when I was a kid. My reasoning was simple. Perhaps the most-famous Dick Van Dyke Show episode is about a weird nightmare Rob Petrie – Dick Van Dyke’s character – is having. There are a bunch of walnuts and also eyes in the back of people’s heads. You see, everybody but Rob is actually an alien. Dream or not, it freaked me out as a kid, so I swore off The Dick Van Dyke Show out of fear that I might inadvertently see that episode on my TV again. Of course, as an adult I now know that the vast majority of the time that specific episode wouldn’t have been on, and it was I could have turned it off before it got freaky. Hey, I was, like, six. Give me a break.
Now, though, I am an adult. The Dick Van Dyke Show is on Pluto TV a lot. One season is on Amazon Prime. Five seasons are on Hulu, and also apparently Tubi. The show is readily available to watch, is what I’m saying. It’s one of the classic sitcoms, and while it is good, maybe I don’t love it as much as some. That being said, I am still recommending it for your binge this weekend because it is good, and it has quite the cast. After all, the couple at the center of the show are played by none other than Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Carl Reiner, who created the show and based it on his life, also shows up. Reiner is always great. Basically, if an episode isn’t built around the Rob and Laura Petrie’s son Richie it’s usually at least good, and some episodes are better than that. Although, as many shows about making comedy often struggle with, the show that Rob and company work on often doesn’t seem as funny as it should be. Call it the Studio 60 problem.
Like most old sitcoms, The Dick Van Dyke Show is not serialized, so you can pick and choose episodes as you feel. Watch that weird one with the walnuts and the aliens if you want. Six-year-old me is going to pass. Even current me doesn’t love that episode.