You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited

Unexpected as it is for a fluffy bit of sweeps-timed nostalgia to actually provoke hunger for more, that's the case with this warm and breezy tribute, an almost casual cast reunion augmented by classic clips. Cleverly conceived by Carl Reiner, who is among those to reprise roles from the original series, what's billed as the "159th episode" provides a solid reminder as to why this deservedly remains one of TV's most-beloved comedies.

Cast:
Rob Petrie - Dick Van Dyke Laura Petrie - Mary Tyler Moore Alan Brady - Carl Reiner Sally Rogers - Rose Marie Millie Helper - Ann Morgan Guilbert Stacey Petrie - Jerry Van Dyke Richie Petrie - Larry Mathews Herman Glimcher - Bill Idelson

Unexpected as it is for a fluffy bit of sweeps-timed nostalgia to actually provoke hunger for more, that’s the case with this warm and breezy tribute, an almost casual cast reunion augmented by classic clips. Cleverly conceived by Carl Reiner, who is among those to reprise roles from the original series, what’s billed as the “159th episode” provides a solid reminder as to why this deservedly remains one of TV’s most-beloved comedies.

Nostalgia became big business after a Carol Burnett spec made a surprising sweeps splash in 2001, and “Dick Van Dyke Revisited” represents a pleasant addition to what has too often been a slapdash genre.

The show’s namesake and his co-star Mary Tyler Moore look especially dapper four decades later, even gratuitously showing off the dancing prowess and gams, respectively, that helped propel their careers. (Moore was legendarily the unseen secretary, except for her legs, of “Richard Diamond, Private Detective” before landing the part of Laura.)

The wispy excuse for the retrospective, beyond a desire to draw a bigger audience than “Century City” did, has Alan Brady (Reiner) deciding he needs a worthy eulogy and soliciting former writers Rob (Van Dyke) and Sally (Rose Marie) to write it — for a handsome fee, of course.

Having given up New Rochelle for New York, both Rob and Laura (Moore) would like the money, but not surprisingly feel there’s something ghoulish about collaborating on, and profiting from, an obit with the dead-guy-to-be. Besides, as Rob asks, how do you write “a heartfelt eulogy for someone with no heart.”

The setup brings everyone to Brady’s house, including neighbor Millie (Ann Morgan Guilbert) and Rob’s brother Stacey (Jerry Van Dyke), where, through clips, they reminisce about characters such as Buddy and Mel, played by the late Morey Amsterdam and Richard Deacon.

Despite a brief intro on the black-and-white living room set (later shown in color) and funny capper involving Ray Romano, this is little more than a chance to see Van Dyke and Moore, especially, don old clothes that still fit remarkably well. Laura even exhibits a bit of an edge, informing the famously chrome-domed Brady that Rob “still has all his hair, every last strand of it.”

Never mind that the cast is well beyond anybody’s target demo, this is a helluva lot funnier than “Still Standing.” Rob even uses minor epithets like “hell” and “damn” — a development Laura attributes to getting cable, in one of Reiner’s more wry asides.

(A small disclaimer here: Van Dyke wrote my former newspaper a few years ago to say I must have something against the elderly, citing old-fogey references to his last series, “Diagnosis Murder.” His 70-plus years notwithstanding, he expressed confidence that he could still kick my butt. We subsequently made peace, though discretion being the better part of valor, I’m reluctant to rile him again unless there is an ottoman nearby that I might push him over.)

“Van Dyke Revisited” is clearly modest in execution and aspirations, yet when it comes to these characters, like Rob, I’m still a bit of a pushover.

The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited

CBS, Tue. May 11, 9 p.m.

Production: Produced by TV Land Prods. Executive producer, Carl Reiner; producers, Sal Maniaci, Michael Petok; director, Ken Whittingham; writer, Reiner.

Crew: Camera, Victor Nelli Jr.; editor, Michael Karlich; music, Paul Buckley; production designer, Jefferson Sage; clip segments producer, Paul Brownstein; casting, Sharon Lieblein. 60 MIN.

Cast: Rob Petrie - Dick Van Dyke Laura Petrie - Mary Tyler Moore Alan Brady - Carl Reiner Sally Rogers - Rose Marie Millie Helper - Ann Morgan Guilbert Stacey Petrie - Jerry Van Dyke Richie Petrie - Larry Mathews Herman Glimcher - Bill Idelson

More TV

  • 'Star Trek: Discovery': James Frain on

    'Star Trek: Discovery': James Frain on Sarek's 'Sophie's Choice'

    Unexpected as it is for a fluffy bit of sweeps-timed nostalgia to actually provoke hunger for more, that’s the case with this warm and breezy tribute, an almost casual cast reunion augmented by classic clips. Cleverly conceived by Carl Reiner, who is among those to reprise roles from the original series, what’s billed as the […]

  • Joe Lewis Amazon

    Joe Lewis Exits Amazon Studios; Sharon Tal Yguado Takes Over Scripted Series

    Unexpected as it is for a fluffy bit of sweeps-timed nostalgia to actually provoke hunger for more, that’s the case with this warm and breezy tribute, an almost casual cast reunion augmented by classic clips. Cleverly conceived by Carl Reiner, who is among those to reprise roles from the original series, what’s billed as the […]

  • Stranger Things Season 2

    Halloween Costume Ideas 2017

    Unexpected as it is for a fluffy bit of sweeps-timed nostalgia to actually provoke hunger for more, that’s the case with this warm and breezy tribute, an almost casual cast reunion augmented by classic clips. Cleverly conceived by Carl Reiner, who is among those to reprise roles from the original series, what’s billed as the […]

  • Kelly Clarkson

    TV News Roundup: Kelly Clarkson Joins Season 13 of 'The Voice' as Key Adviser

    Unexpected as it is for a fluffy bit of sweeps-timed nostalgia to actually provoke hunger for more, that’s the case with this warm and breezy tribute, an almost casual cast reunion augmented by classic clips. Cleverly conceived by Carl Reiner, who is among those to reprise roles from the original series, what’s billed as the […]

  • Stranger Things Season 2

    'Stranger Things' Season 2 Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    Unexpected as it is for a fluffy bit of sweeps-timed nostalgia to actually provoke hunger for more, that’s the case with this warm and breezy tribute, an almost casual cast reunion augmented by classic clips. Cleverly conceived by Carl Reiner, who is among those to reprise roles from the original series, what’s billed as the […]

  • Before Bieber, 'Daydream Believer' Took the

    Before There Was Bieber, the Monkees' 'Daydream Believer' Took the Teen World by Storm

    Unexpected as it is for a fluffy bit of sweeps-timed nostalgia to actually provoke hunger for more, that’s the case with this warm and breezy tribute, an almost casual cast reunion augmented by classic clips. Cleverly conceived by Carl Reiner, who is among those to reprise roles from the original series, what’s billed as the […]

  • ABC Developing Middle Eastern Comedy From

    ABC Developing Middle Eastern Superhero Comedy From Bassem Youssef, Larry Wilmore

    Unexpected as it is for a fluffy bit of sweeps-timed nostalgia to actually provoke hunger for more, that’s the case with this warm and breezy tribute, an almost casual cast reunion augmented by classic clips. Cleverly conceived by Carl Reiner, who is among those to reprise roles from the original series, what’s billed as the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content