DVD Review ‘Here Come the Brides: The Complete Second Season’

Again, Shout! Factory comes to the rescue of fans who have waited years to see another season of a beloved show. Last week it was Hazel, with its second season. This week it’s Here Come the Brides, also with its second.

Each show’s first season hit DVD years ago from Sony, then — nothing. Now the payoff, though this marks the end of the line for Brides, which ended at Season Two, while Hazel lasted three more years.

Many nostalgic fans worship Here Come the Brides  in part for what it’s not: vulgar, crude, edgy, lewd. Instead, the 1968-70 series was a oasis of good-hearted family values at a time when America was in an uproar over racial divides, the Vietnam War, the spaced-out counter culture and the so-called Generation Gap.

Now that we’re long past that tumult, the series no long holds up as counter-programming to the psychedelic ’60s, if you will, and instead stands or falls not for what it isn’t but for for what it is: sweet to the point of saccharine but still a worthy enough family show in an Old West setting.

Actually, it’s as far west as you could get — Seattle — where fate contrives to place 100 would-be brides amid loggers in the 1870s.

The good guys include three brothers played by Robert Brown, Bobby Sherman (also a singer and sudden heartthrob of the era) and David Soul (later to star in Starsky and Hutch). Their dappeer rich-man foe (who’s not that threatening in the second season) is played by Mark Lenard, famed for playing Spock’s father, Sarek, on ’60s Star Trek. Sherman’s girlfriend is spunky but warm Bridget Hanley, and veteran screen actress Joan Blondell enters the mix in a maternal way, despite being a saloon owner.

The stories are a blend of humor, heart, light drama and innocent romance, with Hanley’s (Candy’s) young brother and sister arriving to provide a little-kid element at the start of Season Two. In short, it’s family fare, full-bore — and a snore for those inclined toward edgier entertainment. But innocence can be its own reward — and I still enjoy the theme song, with which Sherman had a hit.

BTW, this has no relation to the 1954 musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, set in adjacent Oregon. And as far as it goes, Here Come the Brides had no relation to Seattle, either, as the series was shot in Southern California. Heck, Star Trek wasn’t shot in space, either. Call it artistic license for a show hinging on marriage licenses.


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