THE PLOT THUS FAR
Kevin Arnold recalls growing up during the late 60s and early 70s; the turbulent social times make the transition from child to adult unusually interesting.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“The Wonder Years” first met America with a lot of expectation, as it was ABC’s lead-out show after Super Bowl XXII. It’s weird how that’s the first Super Bowl that I remember. The Redskins destroyed the Broncos, Chubby Checker continued his revival during the half-time show and we first met Kevin and Winnie. StarVista and Time Life have put together a collection that borders on slavish fan dedication. Such passion is felt through every disc, as you see a TV show become historical document. Not only do we have correct musical connotations and related pop culture documented, but we see how a show based in nostalgia has now become a cherished part of the past.
There’s something about nostalgia and pushing to remember your childhood through critical eyes. Whether it’s Kevin looking back at a Square Dance partner or awkwardly finding a cute girl at a family outing sponsored by his dad’s employer. As I went through all thirty discs designed to resemble vinyl records, the constant influx of guest stars now plays as an incredible touch. When you’re a kid, everyone outside of your core group is nothing but fleeting moments. How many girls or guys do you remember or talk to from your High School socializing days? You might remember some names, but their faces fade or they become dimming memories.
Watching Wayne try to have a relationship with a woman with a kid or revisiting that finale narration; the emotions still run high. Wart comes back from Vietnam changed or Winnie’s brother dying over there. Such weight is condensed into measures that can be digested, but never forgotten. As always, there was the narration of Daniel Stern. Most remember Stern as a fun touch, but they forget that his words frame this story as something slightly painful but true. What happens with Kevin’s dad and his other family members frames each previous episode, as we eventually learn what future Kevin is trying to keep from telling us. That episode when Kevin and his dad build a tree house is so deserving of a new appreciation that I hope every reader goes back and watches that episode after seeing the finale again. Hell, I’m open to creating a Machete order to re-watch the series.
The DVD comes with featurettes, interviews, deleted scenes, old home video footage, the uncut finale and even more! The big plus is the big reunion that we documented on the site back when it first happened at the end of May. More than anything, this release lives as a testament to those six years when “The Wonder Years” ruled the airwaves. Not to mention the insanely detailed metal locker that serves as the Limited Edition DVD housing. I’ll go out on a limb and call it the best DVD packaging of 2014.
The special features help to reveal the power of adolescence. Everything from the locker DVD case to the collectible magnets to the season holders designed to look like binders evokes a lost time. As I finished the last disc of special features, the creative team still has the proper feel of the series at heart. This wasn’t a show about perfection, fantasy and that which we wanted to keep to ourselves. “The Wonder Years” is about a brief moment in time where emotion ran high and your world was defined by clear boundaries. This is one of the greatest DVD releases of 2014.
RELEASE DATE: 10/07/2014