"Love American Style" ran from 1969-1974 on ABC, with each hour-long episode offering viewers a handful of love-related vignettes with different characters and situations each week. Despite the show's success during its original run, two additional attempts to bring back the anthology show years later largely went unnoticed. Still, the original series remains a good deal of fun, and was actually the birthplace for "Happy Days", which started as an episode in a later season.
The series looks its age at this point, but there's a difference between seeming painfully dated and being dated in a way that's still fun and entertaining years later, and thankfully, "Love, American Style" falls into the latter category (although the fashions are pretty horrendous.) The episodes provide a look at some terrific actors, most of whom seem to be having fun with their roles in the short stories. Actors here include: Arte Johnson, Bill Bixby, Sid Caesar, Tina Louise, Red Buttons, Phyllis Diller, Rich Little, a very young Harrison Ford, Scatman Crothers, Norman Fell and even Regis Philbin.
Strangely, this first volume of the series includes a seemingly random set of episodes from the first season. The first volume set includes episodes, 1,2,3 and 4 on the first DVD, then 5,11,7 and 13 on the second DVD and 14,6,9 and 17 on the last DVD.
VIDEO: "Love American Style" actually does look surprisingly decent for its age. Paramount presents the series in 1.33:1 full-frame, which is the show's original aspect ratio. Sharpness and detail are not outstanding, but impressive given the era and production budget. Some minor grain is occasionally seen, but I'd strongly guess that the grain was always present. A few traces of artifacting were spotted, but the majority of the episodes looked cleaner than expected. Colors looked bright and nicely saturated, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: The show's mono soundtrack sounded just fine, with clear dialogue and no distortion.
EXTRAS: Surprisingly, nothing. There are/were a lot of fans of this show, and it's disappointing that not even a retrospective was included here.
Final Thoughts: "Love American Style" is an entertaining, fun throwback and it's fun to see these episodes, which are given a fine audio/video presentation by Paramount. However, the disappointment here is the lack of extra features, especially considering the popularity of the show. Still, recommended for fans.