What To Binge This Weekend: ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’

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.

El show de Dick Van Dyke (Serie de TV) (1961) - Filmaffinity

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.

About Chris Morgan

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2 comments

  1. Oh, come on, Chris. Have you lost your sense of humor and your thumbs?? Hahahaha…

    The Dick Van Dyke Show continues to entertain new generations of fans due to the tremendous quality of Reiner’s (and other’s writing) and the brilliant cast that was assembled.

    October will mark the 60th anniversary of the show and it still remains relevant – primarily because viewers can still relate to the premises presented – as they were almost always drawn from real life situations.

    So I continue to give the show a big thumbs up and celebrate the remarkable impact that the show had and continues to have on classic television history.

    • I’ve been watching TDVD show on Amazon Prime, all 5 seasons are available here in the U.K I’m under 40 btw. Although understandable due to the show being so old, it’s a shame more people aren’t aware of this programme. It’s superb. The writing is so sharp and consistently funny but by far the most appealing aspect for me is the writing for,and acting of, the marriage between Rob and Laura. The relationship feels so real, especially from season 2 onwards when Laura becomes more of an equal partner. All achieved without swearing or sex scenes, which don’t offend me, but is testament to how they aren’t necessarily required to deliver true to life accuracy.

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