Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show ep. 26 – 30

p5

When he sleepwalks, Rob's brother becomes much more outgoing. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
When he sleepwalks, Rob’s brother becomes much more outgoing. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 26: “I AM MY BROTHER’S KEEPER”
DIR. JOHN RICH
WRITTEN BY CARL REINER
ORIGINALLY AIRED MARCH 21, 1962
Recap: Rob’s brother pays a visit to the family while he’s on leave from the Army. Rob tells Laura that his brother is incredibly shy… but when he sleepwalks, he takes on an entirely new personality.
Reaction: Dick Van Dyke’s real-life younger brother, Jerry, guest stars as Rob’s brother. Jerry’s performance is so great! His impressions of Rob’s mannerisms are spot-on and bring a ton of laughs. This episode is great fun, but it also has some serious undertones in exploring how Rob’s brother will handle the return to civilian life after he is discharged from the military.
Favorite moment: Sally offering to marry Rob’s brother

Rob gets the great idea to play a tap of Stacey's sleepwalking performance when Stacey is awake, so he'll realize how talented he is. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob gets the great idea to play a tap of Stacey’s sleepwalking performance when Stacey is awake, so he’ll realize how talented he is. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 27: “THE SLEEPING BROTHER”
DIR. JOHN RICH
WRITTEN BY CARL REINER
ORIGINALLY AIRED MARCH 28, 1962
Recap: A continuation of “I Am My Brother’s Keeper,” this episode covers more of Stacey’s visit to the home of Rob and Laura Petrie. He struggles with his shy-vs.-zany, awake-vs.-asleep personality and is pursued as a performer for The Alan Brady Show.
Reaction: I can completely sympathize with Stacey in both of these episodes, but especially in this episode, where more of his true personality is revealed and there are fewer sleepwalking gags. He’s so anxious and lacking in confidence when he isn’t sleepwalking, you can’t help but feel for the guy. This episode also includes a lot of fun music from the main cast.
Favorite moment: Sally’s musical performance and the Rob/Laura “Mountain Greenery” performance!

Rob sets the table for Laura while she fixes the toaster. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob sets the table for Laura while she fixes the toaster. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 28: “THE BAD OLD DAYS”
DIR. JOHN RICH
WRITTEN BY NORM LIEBMANN AND ED HAAS
ORIGINALLY AIRED APRIL 4, 1962
Recap: Rob, Sally and Buddy are working on a sketch that takes place at the turn of the century. Buddy goes on a rant about how he wishes the roles of women and men were still well-defined like they were in the “olden days”… and eventually his argument begins to get into Rob’s head. When Rob heads home and feels like Laura is giving him too many chores, he starts to dream about the “olden days” even more.
Reaction: One very crucial (not really) piece of information is revealed in this episode: Laura is a silent film fan! That tidbit aside, here we have another episode in which Rob falls under Buddy’s bad influence, letting Buddy’s backwards ideas get in the way of his own home life. The episode is still made funny by the sheer frequency of Laura’s demands and a fun dream sequence. The way the issue is resolved also redeems the episode, as Rob learns his lesson in the end.
Favorite moment: The dream sequence

Sol sneaks into the house to surprise Rob and Laura. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Sol sneaks into the house to surprise Rob and Laura. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 29: “SOL AND THE SPONSOR”
DIR. JOHN RICH
WRITTEN BY WALTER KEMPLEY
ORIGINALLY AIRED APRIL 11, 1962
Recap: Rob and Laura host a dinner party for some of The Alan Brady Show’s sponsors. The Petries get an unexpected surprise when old Army pal Sol stops by just in time for the party. They invite Sol to stay for the weekend, but this will cause a problem for the party, as Sol’s extravagant personality won’t mesh well with the sponsors.
Reaction: Sol is a very fun character, and this is a solid episode. It isn’t one of the funniest of the season, but the clash of personalities makes for a lot of humorous potential.
Favorite moment: Rob and Laura trying to figure out what the beer opener is

Happy joins the staff and doesn't help them get much writing done! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Happy joins the staff and doesn’t help them get much writing done! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 30: “THE RETURN OF HAPPY SPANGLER”
DIR. JOHN RICH
WRITTEN BY WALTER KEMPLEY
ORIGINALLY AIRED APRIL 18, 1962
Recap: In the final episode of season 1, we see Rob running into Happy Spangler, the man who gave him his big break in the entertainment business. Happy’s having trouble picking up writing gigs, so Rob decides to give him a temporary position on the staff of The Alan Brady Show. He soon comes to regret the decision when Happy turns out to be more of a distraction than a help around the office.
Reaction: This episode feels nothing like the big, punch-packing season finales we’ve become accustomed to as modern viewers, but it’s still a very funny episode dealing with Rob’s work life, his dedication to his work and his frustration when something gets in the way of his work. Again, this one isn’t a stand-out of the season, but it’s a solid episode.
Favorite moment: Rob’s impression of Alan Brady

This marks the end of TMP’s re-watch of season 1 of The Dick Van Dyke Show! Netflix’s season 1 listing includes 31 episodes, with the 31st being an unaired pilot with Carl Reiner in the role of Rob, before the show was recast. I will not be reviewing that episode. Stay tuned for the new Recap and React series on season 2!

3 thoughts on “Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show ep. 26 – 30

  1. It’s strange to look at those photos of Jerry Van Dyke, then think of him as the guy on the TV series ‘Coach’. And the outright seriousness and finality of that line “I will not be reviewing that episode” makes it sound like you watched it, and suffered some devastating emotional scars for doing so!

    Like

Share your thoughts! (Note: Comments close 90 days after publication.)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.