This fall, StarVista Entertainment/Time Life cordially invites you to fall in love all over again with The Wonder Years, one of television’s most fondly remembered and groundbreaking sitcoms. Before there was Modern Family, That ’70s Show or Freaks and Geeks, there was The Wonder Years — a nostalgia-inducing take on the traditional family sitcom — and one of the most beloved series of the past thirty years. On October 7th, THE WONDER YEARS: SEASON ONE was released nationally to retail – the first time the critical darling and Emmy® Award-winning fan favorite will be available on DVD since the series left the airwaves in 1993.
The older I’m getting the more nostalgic I’m becoming and putting this DVD into our player was like traveling in The Wayback Machine, and I loved every minute of it. The storylines, the characters, the music…it was all as good as I remember it back in the six years I watched it.
The 2-disc set, available for $19.95srp, includes all six unedited episodes from the unforgettable first season (1988), and features every song from the original broadcasts, with classics by Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, Joni Mitchell, The Monkees, Steppenwolf and Smokey Robinson, plus Joe Cocker’s timeless rendition of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends”. The episodes, which feature closed captioning, include “Pilot,” “Swingers,” “My Father’s Office,” “Angel,” “The Phone Call” and “Dance with Me,” and highlights include Kevin’s experiences with young love, his school’s well-intentioned, though comedic, attempts at classroom sex education, and the incredible social pressures behind an innocent junior high school dance.
Fans of the series will also thrill to the two hours of specially-produced bonus features, including “A Wonderful Day: Highlights from The Wonder Years Cast Reunion” (May 28, 2014, Los Angeles); the featurette “With a Little Help from My Friends: The Early Days of The Wonder Years” and brand-new, in-depth interviews with creators Neal Marlens and Carol Black, as well as series stars Fred Savage (Kevin Arnold), Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper) and Josh Saviano (Paul Pfeiffer).
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, The Wonder Years debuted in 1988. It was 1968 — the year of Nixon and space walks and Mod Squad and Vietnam. Enter Kevin Arnold, a sixth grader at Kennedy Junior High School. Set against the suburban backdrop of Anytown, USA, Kevin sought to minimize his teenage angst while dealing with an older, noogie-happy brother Wayne (Jason Hervey), a rebellious sister, Karen (Olivia d’Abo), distant, workaholic father, Jack (Dan Lauria) and doting housewife mother, Norma (Alley Mills). Add to the mix Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano), his nerdy, allergy-riddled best friend, a potential love interest in winsome girl-next-door Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) and narration by an older, wiser, wittier Kevin (voiced by Daniel Stern) to add perspective to the nostalgia, and you have the perfect recipe for TV greatness. And, for the next six seasons, America tuned in to follow Kevin’s exploits, as he navigated adolescence in the most memorable of ways.
From 1988 to 1993, The Wonder Years was one of the most popular shows on TV, achieving a spot in the Nielsen Top 30 for four of its six seasons. And the critical accolades and awards would follow: after only a scant six episodes, the show captured an Emmy® for “Best Comedy Series;” and, at the age of 13, Fred Savage, would become the youngest actor ever nominated as “Outstanding Lead Actor for a Comedy Series.” The series would also go on to win 24 awards (and be nominated for 70 more), including multiple Emmy® Awards, a Golden Globe® and, in 1989, a Peabody® Award for pushing the boundaries of the sitcom format and using new modes of storytelling.
Suffice it to say, The Wonder Years was one of the most critically lauded sitcoms of the late 80s and early 90s.
Aside from the initial retail release, the TV DVD Archivists at StarVista Entertainment /Time life have assembled THE WONDER YEARS COMPLETE SERIES, which is available to purchase now. Never before released on DVD in its entirety, the beloved series is presented as a 26-disc collector’s set featuring all 115 episodes housed in a replica metal locker, along with a host of extras including 23 hours of specially-produced bonus programming — featurettes, an incredible cast reunion 16 years in the making and never-before-seen outtakes, including all takes of Kevin and Winnie’s first kiss from the pilot episode.
Series fans and TV DVD aficionados interested in THE WONDER YEARS COMPLETE SERIES can purchase it exclusively online at TimeLife.com/WonderYears.
Are you old enough to remember The Wonder Years when it originally aired?! If you were young at the time and haven’t seen it (or if you were older in the 80s and 90s but never saw it), I encourage you to watch it – it’s a great show!