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Friday, May 22, 2020

DVD Review: Hank: The Complete Series

Reviewed By Jason Lockard

Classic Television to me is really just a show that is watchable time after time. It's not a specific time frame. And I have been thoroughly enjoying getting to discover some shows I never even knew existed visa the good folks at Warner Archive. 

Thanks to Warner Archive's Made-On-Demand service we don't have to worry about a title going out of print. And trying to track it down and having to pay some exorbitant price. The show we are discovering today is a short lived sitcom entitled Hank.

Hank aired on NBC in the fall season of 1965. It ran for 26 episode from
September 24, 1965 to April 15, 1966. While the show only lasted one season I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this little forgotten gem.

The series follows
Hank Dearborn a teenager left to raise his young sister, Tina, after their parents die in a car crash. He operates a lunch/service truck at the fictional Western State University, where his girlfriend Doris Royal attends. And she just happens to be the daughter of the university's registrar, Dr. Lewis Royal.

That's not the real story. The real story of the series is Hank wanting to gain a higher education, so he attempts to illegally audit classes. Sneaking in and disgusing himself as students that are absent from classes. Sneaking in and out, just in time so he doesn't get caught. It truly is a very fun little series.

Let's take a look at the episodes included in this series.

Episode Ratings:

****=Don’t Miss it!
***=Worth a look.
**=An Ok way to spend some time.
*=You haven’t missed anything.


1 Who's Waldo Smith? (pilot): College drop-in Hank, an unregistered student who is hungry for learning, gets the help of Professor McKillup in his plots to attend classes in place of absent students. ***

2 Will the Real Harvey Wheatley Please Stand Up?:  Hank transforms a personality-challenged egghead into the most sought-after man on campus. ***

3 Dunsetter For President: Hank tries to sabotage his own campaign when he is nominated for campus president, since winning would expose his "drop-in" status. ***

4 Cherokee Hank: In his latest subterfuge, Hank disguises himself as Sam Lightfoot, a speedy Native American runner. ***

5 Candidate: Hank is temporarily disillusioned by the seemingly unethical conduct of his faculty friend. ****

6 Catering Competition: Hank faces bankruptcy when a professional food service arrives on campus. ****

7 Farewell, Coach Weiss: Hank arranges a surprise testimonial dinner for Western State's frustrated athletic director. ****

8 My Boyfriend, the Doctor: Hank encounters girl problems when he assumes the identity of a pre-med student. ****

9 Somebody Loves This Albatross: Hank helps keep an honor student from dropping out of school by getting him a scholarship after the student's hidden athletic talents are uncovered. ***

10 The Campus Caper: Hank makes a mockery of a private detective who was hired by Dean Royal to ferret out unregistered students. ***

11 Dean Royal, Matchmaker: Dean Royal misinterprets Hank's invitation to his daughter as being a proposal to elope. ***

12 They're Playing Our Song: Disguised as an absent music student, Hank composes a winning song for Professor Wagner. ***

13 My Fair Co-Ed: Hank solves the "three's a crowd" problem by transforming an unsophisticated babysitter into a campus beauty contest winner. ***

14 Four's A Crowd: Hank and his disguises cause Dean Royal to think that he is having hallucinations. ***

15 Operation: Crackdown: Hank once again outwits Dean Royal and thwarts the registrar's campaign to catch "drop-in" students. ***

16 The Millionth Dollar Baby: Hank contributes to the stadium fund, but his generosity nearly exposes his "drop-in" status at Western State. ***

17 Money, Money, Who's Got the Money?: Hank gets unexpected help when a loan shark plans to take his truck as interest. ***

18 The Trouble With Tina: Guardianship of Tina is in jeopardy until Hank's friends come to his aid. ***

19 His Highness, Count Gazzari: Hank is able to convince a coach that he is a descendant of Italian nobility. ***

20 The Ten Lettermen: In an attempt to help Coach Weiss keep his job, Hank helps recruit a star athlete to attend Western State. ***

21 Rah, Rah, Commissar: A Russian exchange student is convinced by Hank to join the school's track team. ***

22 Maury Wills to the Rescue: Hank extends an invitation to Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills to visit the campus in order to appease disgruntled alumni. ***

23 Wedding, Anyone?: A canceled wedding party that could mean a big financial loss forces Hank to try to marry off Coach Gazzari. ***

24 Ethel Weiss, Won't You Please Come Home?: Coach Weiss patches up a lovers' quarrel between Hank and Doris, but alienates his wife in the process. ***

25 McKillup's Best Seller: A 25-year-old obsolete textbook becomes the most sought-after book on campus thanks to Hank. ***

26 Operation: Matriculation: Hank is finally unmasked as an elusive "drop-in" at Western State. ****

Usually these show from yesteryear that only got one season ends without really resolving all the issues. Hank, I am glad to say, is the exception to the rule. Episode 26 is a true series finale. I won't spoil it!

Dick Kallman is really likable as the title character Hank. The supporting cast is really good here as well! The stories while simplistic are very funny and that's what you want. Just a good escapism show to laugh and enjoy.

Now for the DVD release itself. All 26 episodes are housed on 3 DVDs. The first episode is a pilot and is presented in black and white, while the rest of the episodes are presented in color. The episodes have been transferred in their original full screen format and in 1.37:1 aspect ratio.

I ran a bitrate test and these episodes run from the lowest end at 4.0 and the highs are over 8.0 Mbps. So these episode have a great bitrate. I am really impressed with the clarity of the picture and the audio. There is really no signs of damage to the picture or audio at all. This is a impressive release.

As we said earlier this is a made-on-demand release so you never have to worry about this one going out of print. You can order it when you are ready. You can order a copy for a friend or family member for a birthday or just because. I love the Warner Archive MOD service. Kudos.

So if you are a fan of 60s sitcoms. Good family entertainment. Or Television rarities. Hank is truly one for you to check out. Head over to WBShop.com or Amazon.com and get your copy today.


Offensive Material: Nothing
Audience: Families
Genre: Comedy, Sitcom
Length: 656 Minutes
DVD Value Rating: A

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