Get Smart: The Complete Series Review
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With a new Get Smart movie (starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway) hitting theaters this summer, fans are sure to become just a little bit nostalgic for the old ‘60s Mel Brooks series. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for the reruns to show up on TV—because you can get every last episode (all 138 of them) in one big phone-booth box set.

Get Smart premiered in 1965—just a few years after moviegoers had started flocking to theaters to see Sean Connery play James Bond, the smooth, sophisticated, martini-drinking spy. Like Bond, Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), a.k.a. Agent 86, is a spy who carries around some fancy gadgets (like his infamous shoe phone). But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Though he may think he’s smooth and sophisticated, CONTROL secret agent Smart is a clumsy, bumbling spy, who tends to foil the plans of the bad guys of KAOS with just a little bit of pluck and a whole lot of luck. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that calm and collected Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) is never far away.

  
 
The 25-disc Get Smart collection is everything a Get Smart fan could ever hope for. Inside the box, you’ll find all five seasons of the show—each in its own bright, psychedelic ‘60s packaging. Each set contains four discs full of the season’s shows, along with a bonus disc that’s nothing but special features—and that adds up to more than nine hours of bloopers, tributes, interviews, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Some of the episodes include commentaries—and every single one has an introduction by Barbara Feldon.

Though the features are entertaining, informative, and incredibly extensive, the highlight of the collection is the show itself. Don Adams’s performance as Smart is legendary—and often emulated—and it’s not hard to see why. His character is every bit as lovable as he is bumbling—and Adams manages to pull it off without becoming the slightest bit irritating. Of course, maybe Barbara Feldon has something to do with that—because her role as “straight woman” 99 to Adams’s over-the-top Max evens everything out and adds a voice of reason to the usual zaniness. Still, there’s never a dull moment in the series—thanks to creator Mel Brooks’s signature slapstick style. Whether CONTROL is threatened by the appearance of KAOS imposters (in “The Spy Who Meets Himself”) or Max takes a part-time job as a Bogart-impersonating PI (in “Maxwell Smart, Private Eye”), it seems as though every episode I watch instantly becomes my new favorite episode.

Though the high price tag may scare off Get Smart novices, the complete series box set is an absolute treat for die-hard fans. You’re sure to find yourself reaching for the phone booth box often—just to watch a few minutes of this lovably bumbling spy in action.

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