Top critical review
3.0 out of 5 starsRather Disappointing...
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 4, 2013
I remember "Maverick" as the apex of fifties television, despite the fact that I didn't regularly see television until late in 1958. My wife also remembered the program in much the same way, and she was raised with a television set in her home so early that she doesn't remember a time when television wasn't a part of her life. When the price of "Maverick: The Complete First Season" fell a little a few weeks after Christmas last year, we decided to buy a copy although the price did seem a little too dear; sad to say, we were disappointed. The reality of the first season did not match our memories of the series. Granted, I never saw a single episode of the first season until the DVD set arrived (and at that time the second season was not yet available, or I would have ordered it instead because it was the first season of the series I was able to watch and I probably saw ninety per cent of the episodes). I suppose, in hindsight, that we shouldn't have been expected the first season to match our expectations; "Maverick" always seemed a little unbalanced, since it was more like two closely related series than a consistently entertaining program. I knew that Jack Kelly hadn't originally been part of the series and had been introduced to give James Garner some relief in a grueling work schedule (and I suspect to keep the individual shows from seeming rushed and/or unpolished). Watching the first seven episodes, I really didn't expect great material nor did I get it, although the stories did seem a bit different than the few other series from the same year that I have been able to see again recently, and the scripts seemed a bit better than those of the competiion. However, once the Bart Maverick character was introduced, I expected much better episodes and, naturally, they did not meet my expectations; the ones with James Garner were appreciably no better, and those with Jack Kelly clearly weren't in the same league. I will admit that there were two or three episodes (one featuring Kelly solo) that were quite good, but I was seeing very little sign of the "old Maverick Magic." Frankly, I wonder if any part of the series was as good as I remember it being, because the first season may have had great potential but it seldom realized that potential. It could be that Maverick was head and shoulders above most of the competition at the time, might even have been the apex of fifties television with the '58 - '59 and/or the '59 - '60 season, but that the true high water marks of early television hadn't yet been reached during the first season. To make a long story shorter, we watched the entire first season of Maverick then put it away and have not looked at any of it again (I might dig it out again when the weather gets cold and the nights are longer, but I might not).
I'll admit that I would like to see at least part of the Second season, and since I would be doing that with lowered expectations it might seem better than I fear. I do know that given my experience with the initial season, the price will have to come down some before I would seriously consider taking another chance.