Some of the funniest moments here in the second season are the personality quirks exhibited by Bub and Mike. Apparently Bub’s career was in vaudeville (of all things), so there are tons of obscure references to the good old days in his conversations. On the other hand, college boy Mike Douglas is always on with some semi-Beat influenced philosophical take on whatever the family’s current travails might be.
I have watched a lot of early sixties television and film, but until I viewed My Three Sons - The Second Season, Volume One, I had never run across a couple of the slang terms exhibited here. The most common denigration the boys use is “clunky.” As in, “I don’t like her, she’s pretty clunky.” As for the adults, the most common derogatory term used by them is “salty.” Bub uses this one to great effect when he meets an older female neighbor at the grocery store and proceeds to insult her. At the end of the scene, he is heard to complain, “You’re the one getting salty here.”
For all of the period details though, the heart of the show is in the solid stories. A typical episode of the program generally goes a little deeper than most of the era. In the eighteen episodes included on the three-disc set, there are a number of different emotions on display. Everything from jealousy, confusion, anger, and outright hypocrisy is explored. All of this is done under the strict guidelines of a popular 1961 sitcom of course, but there is still a fair amount of thought provoking material at work.
As for bonus features, they are virtually nonexistent, save something called "Sponsor Spots." These consist of Fred MacMurray opening the program by mentioning that the show is sponsored by Chevrolet. The closing features the whole family mentioning Chevrolet again. They add up to a ground-breaking 30 seconds of extra footage.
In the end, I am surprised at just how much I enjoyed these early episodes. My Three Sons changed quite a bit over the course of its 12 year run, but as early as the second season it really hit its stride. Maybe that is why they won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series that year.