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Sunday, 6 March 2016

Retro Review: Mork & Mindy: The Complete Series DVD #Robinwilliams

*This review is in reference to the region 2 PAL version of the Mork and Mindy DVD set only

2014 CBS Studios Inc & Paramount Home Entertainment 
Duration: 1978 - 1981
Original DVD release year - December 2014 
Rating: 12 

Cast: Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, Conrad Janis, Elizabeth Kerr, Jeffery Jacquet, Jonathan Walters, Jay Thomas, Gina Hecht, Morgan Fairchild, Robert Donner 


After his debut on a season 5 episode of Happy Days, ABC launched the spin-off titled Mork and Mindy starring Robin Williams and Pam Dawber, featuring a misfit alien who travels to earth from the planet Ork to study how humans act and behave. After touching down in Boulder, Colorado, Mork meets a young woman named Mindy and the pair strike up a friendship and bond that is full of unexpected surprises, good times and endless laughter. 

Though it only lasted 5 years, Mork & Mindy has left a lasting impression in not just sitcom land, but for many fans who grew up with the show or fell in love with it and Robin Williams himself. Some of whom became fans of Williams through this show, in addition to his feature film work. The show's immense success helped elevated Robin's status as a superstar celebrity and screen performer, as he later transitioned from TV to film during the 1980s onwards. 

Favourite episodes/memorable moments

Mork making out with a mannequin, Mork chasing Laverne in the Mork & Mindy pilot ep, Mork's baby impressions cracks me up, Mork hypnotizing some guy who tried to chat up Mindy, Mork and Mindy's wedding, Mork in a cheerleading outfit! Mork regressing to and acting like a child in 'A Mommy For Mork'

DVD packaging and design 

Comes in a White cardboard box; when you slide it off, you get a transparent plastic DVD box. In it are all 15 discs of episodes from seasons 1- 4 of the series. The inlay sleeve has the list of the episodes from seasons 1- 2. The DVD discs are grey in colour, in contrast to the region 1 set where the discs are presented in different colours. The front cover has stars Pam Dawber and Robin Williams as Mindy & Mork on a White background. Personally, I feel the background colour for the cover could have been different and thus, it'd make it more visually appealing and attractive to the eye. 

DVD menu and special features

Contains 2 bonus episodes from Happy Days featuring Mork with one of them being his TV debut and gag reels 

The good 😊

Having all 95 episodes in one massive package. It's great to finally get my hands on this set since I never watched the series properly when it aired on Channel 4 in the UK. I've been also watching the episodes on Youtube, but owning my own copy of the series and watching it as and when I like, is far better. Picture quality is excellent and the colours are bright and sharp, as is the sound and music. Plenty of humourous and heartwarming moments, lines and scenes, in addition to episodes throughout the 4 seasons. 

The not-so-good 😞

It could have done with a few more extras: interviews with Robin and Pam and creator, Garry Marshall would have been nice to see, audio commentary, as well as the Mork and Mindy animated series from Ruby-Spears all included. Kind of disappointed to read that some of the episodes may have also been edited from the original broadcast versions.

The final season was also not as good as the first 2 seasons of the show. I would have liked to have had one more season, not just to make up for the disappointing season 4, but as the show deserved one more shot. As funny and amusing Mork and Mindy was and is, it was still a short-lived sitcom series. Of course, Robin wanted to move onto other things and to make movies, but one more season wouldn't have hurt. 

Final verdict:

The success of Mork and Mindy can undoubtedly be laid bare at the feet of Robin Williams, who plays the titular character in this hilarious ABC sitcom. If the final season had been as good as the first 2 seasons and without the arrival of Mirth, it would have got a solid 10 stars from me.  

Mork and Mindy left a lasting impression and established Robin Williams as one of the best comedic actors of all-time, and his performances and antics as that character later paved the way for his other comedy-based characters such as Adrian Cronauer from Good Morning, Vietnam, Mrs Doubtfire, Genie from Aladdin, Batty Koda of Ferngully and Dale Putley (Fathers' Day).

The DVD set is lacking in extras; having only the gag reels and Happy Days episodes does not justify the full price tag, - although it was given to me as a present by my sister. I would have liked to have seen the Ruby-Spears Mork & Mindy animated show included as part of the package. 

Okay, the show wasn't perfect and had it not been for creative differences and story-line changes, it would have lasted a little longer. The storyline with Mork & Mindy embarking on a relationship together later led to the decline in ratings and quality of the remaining series. A decision that divided audiences and fans back then and watching it unravel today, I feel they were and are better off as friends. Also, given this came out in 1978 and Robin Williams was aged around 27 back then, I often wondered to myself whether Mork & Mindy would have had a longer run, had it began earlier on in the 1970s when he was in his early- 20s and right into the early 1980s. 

But to see Robin Williams at his most hilarious, over-the-top and humourous turn as the alien from Ork, he is very much the centre of attention in this sitcom, and after watching a couple of episodes, you'll understand why he went on and had a successful onscreen career spanning 4 decades

If you are a massive hardcore Robin Williams fan, then the Mork and Mindy The Complete Series is a 'must-have' for your DVD collection.

Scoring out of 10:

Episodes: 9
Extras/Special features: 6 
DVD packaging: 7

Overall Rating Out Of 10:

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