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SCARECROW AND MRS. KING is one of those shows I remember liking quite a bit during its original run in the 1980s, but it is also a show that I have not have seen on television during the intervening decades. In total, SCARECROW AND MRS. KING ran for four seasons, and may have only been canceled as a result of actress Kate Jackson becoming ill during the shows final year. Sitting down to watch SCARECROW AND MRS. KING for the first time in decades made me remember why I like the show so much- it was lighthearted escapist fun that runs by at a breezy clip.

The premise of SCARECROW AND MRS. KING finds a suburban divorcee named Amanda King (Kate Jackson) caught up in international intrigue and spies, after a chance encounter with Lee Stetson (Bruce Boxleitner) on an Amtrak platform. As it turns out, Lee is an operative codenamed "Scarecrow," who works for an unnamed government agency, and happens to be on the run from foreign agents, when he encounters Amanda. Although she is armed with the skills of a typical suburban housewife, Amanda proves herself invaluable to Lee during this particular mission, which results in being recruited by the agency to assist Scarecrow in various other missions. On a weekly basis, SCARECROW AND MRS. KING found the experienced government agent and his "rookie partner" taking on various threats, both foreign and domestic, while at the same time playing with the inevitable romantic entanglements that always develop on television shows. The regular cast of SCARECROW AND MRS. KING also featured Beverly Garland, Mel Stewart and Martha Smith.

SCARECROW AND MRS. KING: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($40) comes to DVD in a five-disc set that features the following twenty-one episodes that were aired during year one: The First Time, There Goes The Neighborhood, If Thoughts Could Kill, Magic Bus, The A.C.M. Kid, Always Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth, Service Above And Beyond, Saved By The Bells, Sudden Death, The Long Christmas Eve, Remembrance Of Things Past, Lost And Found, I Am Not Now, Nor Have I Ever Been... A Spy, Dead Ringer, The Mole, Savior, The Artful Dodger, Filming Raul, Fearless Dotty, Weekend and Waiting For Godorsky.

Warner Home Video has made all the episodes that comprise SCARECROW AND MRS. KING: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. The episodes look pretty darn good, but the picture quality gives one the impression that the episodes were taken from some level of broadcast master. Fortunately, the running times of the episodes seem to suggest the episodes are complete, and not taken from syndication masters. All in all, the image quality for the episodes is very solid, but not likely to knock one socks off. Colors are pretty bright, while the flesh tones come across realistically. Black are fairly deep, whites are clean. The contrast can be somewhat flat. The elements from which the episodes are mastered show some bits of debris, but it is never excessive. Digital compression artifacts are not a concern.

All of the episodes that constitute SCARECROW AND MRS. KING: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON feature Dolby Digital monaural 1.0 soundtracks. Sound quality is slightly dated, remaining very much at 1980s television production levels. Sound effects are thin and sometimes unconvincing, while the music can be a bit shrill- in other words ideally suited for the tinny television speakers in production circa 1983. Dialogue is crisp and completely understandable. Fortunately, most of the background hiss and other audible anomalies have been cleaned up in the mastering process, which leaves the sound with an overall smooth quality. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English subtitles are provided. The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode/scene selection and set up features. No extra materials have been included with the twenty-one episodes.

SCARECROW AND MRS. KING is a fun show that I am glad to have available on DVD. If you are a fan, you are certain to feel the same way.



Scarecrow and Mrs. King: The Complete First Season (1983)



DVD reviews are Copyright 2010 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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