THE PLOT THUS FAR
Television episodes built around the same sorts of incidents found in Hank Ketcham’s long-running comic strip.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
One of the series’ chief strengths was how likable this fussbudget was, and how he didn’t always hate Dennis being around, as he understood that he was a good boy overall, and said so often. He also recognized that quite often Dennis would straighten things out, sometimes getting him out of a fix that was his own doing. One example is an early episode where if not for Dennis, Wilson would have given money to a phony, instead of the man who really had owned the old radio George bought at an auction.
Plots were fairly simple, believable, but mostly lots of laughs. Just as Wilson could never stay mad at Dennis, Dennis never quit trying to do everything he could for his “best friend.” I think Dennis on TV was far more likable than in the comic books, where he just seemed to run rampant with little parental supervision. TV Dennis had much better parents, who did teach him things. Part of this is because the TV boy was supposed to be a couple of years, or more, older than the perennial four-year-old of the cartoons.
The main problem with the second season is that nothing happens that changes the overall plot. It’s an issue that plagues shows of this era, since the only real change to the series came with George Kearns’ death. That lead to the final season having to write Mr. Wilson out by saying that he was on vacation without his wife. The DVD comes with original episode promos. That’s fun from a historical standpoint, but it doesn’t add much to the overall setup. The A/V Quality is strong for a show of its age, but it lacks any strong Dolby mixes or clear transfers. I’d recommend a rental.