In 1963, CBS began airing what would be the only season of The Judy Garland Show. Spanning twenty-six episodes, the show was an uncomfortably paced variety hour that fared poorly in the ratings. Despite Garland's phenomenal popularity, nothing seemed to come together as the show was an inconsistent muddle of dull production numbers and flat comedy sketches. The Infinity Entertainment Group has issued The Judy Garland Show Collection on DVD. The four-disc set includes a mere three episodes as well as a disc of outtakes.
Disc one contains the show's first episode, taped June 24, 1963 (though aired in December of that year). Mickey Rooney, Garland's co-star in numerous movies, is featured performing a selection of duets with her. Fans of both may find something to enjoy, but there's not much here to recommend to a general audience. Garland and Rooney also talk a bit about their days working together at MGM studios in their youth.
The eighth episode, taped September 27, 1963, is found on disc two. This time Garland is joined by the bluegrass band, The Dillards, as well as actor George Maharis (of Route 66 fame). Maharis was a singer as well, and he steps up to the microphone for some rather stiff vocals. Comedian Jack Carter is on hand to tell a few very corny jokes.
The third disc jumps forward to the fourteenth episode, taped November 30, 1963. Casual viewers may find this to be the most entertaining episode, with Bobby Darin and Bob Newhart guest starring. Newhart is on hand for some comedy stylings. Darin sings several duets with Garland and both performers seem to be enjoying themselves. The energy level is high, with each of them seemingly inspiring the other. Too bad the earlier two episodes selected for this set weren't as much fun.