Hazel – The Complete First Season

January 21, 2015 - Comment

Shirley Booth, Don DeFore, Whitney Blake. The lovable Shirley Booth stars as Mr. George Baxter’s live-in, no-nonsense housekeeper providing ardent wisdom for her attorney boss, his lovely wife Dorothy and son Harold in this fun-for-all domestic sitcom. Includes all 35 debut-season episodes on 4 DVDs. 1961/b&w/15 hrs., 10 min/NR/fullscreen. Hooray for Hazel! Shirley Booth stars

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Shirley Booth, Don DeFore, Whitney Blake. The lovable Shirley Booth stars as Mr. George Baxter’s live-in, no-nonsense housekeeper providing ardent wisdom for her attorney boss, his lovely wife Dorothy and son Harold in this fun-for-all domestic sitcom. Includes all 35 debut-season episodes on 4 DVDs. 1961/b&w/15 hrs., 10 min/NR/fullscreen. Hooray for Hazel! Shirley Booth stars as the irrepressible housekeeper Hazel in the endearing family TV series that ran from 1961 to 1966. A brilliant character actress, Booth wisecracks her way through Hazel’s life, solving the problems of her employers, the often-befuddled Baxter family, as well as of the community (busting a shoplifting ring, finding homes for stray dogs, exposing a group of financial swindlers). All this Hazel does with her cheerful working-class enthusiasm, without getting so much as a stray wrinkle in her crisply pressed maid uniform (complete with little head thingy). When she gets into her own scrapes, she shrugs them off with Brooklynese cracks like, “Looks like I’m in the soup again!” The show is a perfect snapshot of early 1960s America, complete with frozen-in-time décor (did everyone have that same print of the little-girl ballet dancer framed in their living room?) and a lovely leisurely pace. Hazel can make an entire episode out of one single premise, as when Mr. Baxter decides that an unlisted phone number might cut down on the number of crank phone calls. And who wouldn’t be nostalgic for a time when middle-class households had a working dad, a mostly-stay-at-home mom, perfectly behaved kids–and live-in housekeepers? Part of the appeal of Hazel, though, is that it’s clear her life is much broader than her occupation. She knows everyone in town, from the balloon guy at the local park to the most powerful judge on the bench–all of which eventually comes in handy. And did we mention she’s a cham-peen league bowler? Booth won two well-deserved Emmys for her portrayal of Hazel. The boxed set includes all 35 25-minute episodes, and you won’t want to miss a one. I’m talking to youse! –A.T. Hurley

Comments

Phillip O. says:

Maid to order It seems odd that most of the middle-class television families from the 1950s and 1960s had housekeepers. Since most mothers stayed at home anyway, what did they do? Oh well, maybe the housekeepers were there for entertainment value or moral support and Hazel, everybody’s favorite, has finally made her way to dvd!Based on the Saturday Evening Post cartoons of Ted Key, Hazel is the highly opinionated and lovable maid to the Baxter family – successful lawyer George Baxter (“Mr. B.”),…

Tee says:

Shirley Booth Stars in One of the Early ’60’s Biggest TV Hits I don’t think I’d seen a HAZEL episode since the early 1970’s when I was ten or so before buying this DVD set. I had always enjoyed the show, mainly because of the superb actress Shirley Booth, who was always good and appealing in everything she ever did. What surprised me is how genuinely funny HAZEL was! I was expecting something along the lines of a gentle little drama masquerading as a sitcom ala FATHER KNOWS BEST, OZZIE AND HARRIET, DONNA REED, and other “family comedies” shows of the…

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