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Monday, August 28, 2017

FLIPPER: SEASON TWO -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle

More of the day he came home--and by "he", I mean everyone's favorite dolphin, Flipper.

FLIPPER: SEASON TWO (Olive Films, 3-disc set) offers up thirty more half-hour episodes of good, clean family fun (1965 style) that even a crusty old curmugeon such as myself can sit back and binge watch till I'm seasick.

The boys, freckle-faced Bud (Tommy Norden) and older brother Sandy ("16 Magazine" heartthrob Luke Halpin), are back and still having adventures with their aquatic pal, the world's smartest dolphin. 

Their dad, oceanic park ranger Porter Ricks (Brian Kelly), spends much of his time keeping Bud out of trouble when he isn't taking care of poachers, smugglers, dolphin-snatchers, and other problems that keep this from being just a harmless kiddy show.

Episodes range from innocuous kid-type concerns (paper routes, homework) to actual suspense and danger stuff, as when the boys discover a cache of counterfeit money in a sunken wreck but are unaware that it's booby-trapped with explosives. 

In another instance, an attractive female oceanographer named Ulla (new semi-regular, Ulla Strömstedt) gets trapped underwater as her scuba tank starts running out of air. Later, she'll take part in such adventures as helping to track down an escaped convict (Burt Reynolds) who steals her mini-sub.

A lot more happens this season, with Flipper getting caught in a net next to a floating mine and going deaf in yet another underwater explosion.  In the two-part season ender, he even gets a girlfriend. 

All of it is light and easy to take, done in an era when TV shows knew how to pack a lot of entertainment into a briskly-paced half-hour time slot.  There's always time for fun, excitement, and, every once in a while, even heartwarming moments between father and son (or boy and dolphin). 

And unlike some shows of its kind, this one does it all with surprising subtlety, restraint, and a refreshing lack of cloying sentimentality.

The familiar jaunty theme song is jazzed up this time around, with some guy named Frankie Randall crooning new lyrics that include "Beware of Flipper, Flipper, he's such a lover..."  Production values are as simple, colorful, and appealing as usual.

Guest stars for the season include the aforementioned Burt Reynolds, Bo Svenson as a coral poacher, and Daniel J. Travanti.

Having never been a fan before, I never thought I'd be watching this show with such enthusiasm, but I'm captivated. FLIPPER: SEASON TWO is great fun that takes me right back to the good old days of family TV entertainment.

Buy it at Olive Films

YEAR: 1964-1965
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
VIDEO: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; COLOR


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