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Television's grooviest family hits the road again in Season 2. This second year brings more of Danny's schemes, Keith's girl troubles, and rock 'n' roll. Plus, a dancing bear takes center stage, Laurie dates a biker, two Partridges run away and harried manager Reuben gets his fair share of headaches. In this family the adventures never stop, but with mom Shirley at the wheel, they always have plenty to sing about.
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By the second season (1971-72) of its four-year run, America's favorite rock 'n' roll television family found its groove, with well-honed comedic timing and familial chemistry that helped secure The Partridge Family as one of the brightest sitcoms of the decade. This three-disk set includes all 24 episodes where most of the action remains close to home; Keith's role expands (as David Cassidy's real life stardom as teen idol crystallized); and the stories exploit the acerbic banter between Danny (Danny Bonaduce) and Reuben Kincaid (Dave Madden). By year two, Simone, the family dog, has come and gone, the theme song has changed to the familiar "Come On Get Happy," and Brian Forster replaces Jeremy Gelbwaks as Chris. Always cool and self-assured, Shirley (Shirley Jones) gives college life (and romance) a try; Chris and Tracy (Suzanne Crough) run away after their mom helps them pack; Laurie (Susan Dey) accidentally hands over her diary to the school newspaper editor; and Keith has a crush on "Dora, Dora, Dora" (season opener) and discovers that love is not so much blind as it is tone deaf. Genuine comedy reigns during episodes such as "Whatever Happened to Moby Dick?" when Danny decides to incorporate a whale into their musical act; or "Fellini, Bergman, and Partridge," where Keith produces a home movie (with Reuben making his "screen debut" in gossamer wings) and Danny tries to turn it into a money-making scheme. Especially heartwarming is the Christmas episode, "Santa, Don't Bring Your Guns to Town," with a memorable stint by guest Dean Jagger. Other guest appearances of the season include Rob Reiner, Howard Cosell, Meredith Baxter, Rosemary DeCamp and Ray Bolger. Surprisingly durable, the show's groovy songs and likeable cast have great appeal making this nostalgic dose of pure pop well worth the investment. The lack of bonus material is disappointing—audio commentaries, cast interviews, or outtakes should be de rigueur—but fans should be forgiving because the essential remains: solid family entertainment of a bygone era, still brimming with good vibes. (All ages) --Lynn Gibson
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