First the "caveat emptor" i.e. "let the buyer beware": both series I have bought (from separate sources) are indeed Region 2 (in fact Region 2,3,4 and 5 to be precise) BUT the transmission standard is NOT the British PAL TV standard as stated in the Product Details section, but the AMERICAN/JAPANESE NTSC TV standard (bizarre or what?) so please ensure your DVD player and TV can cope with NTSC (most TVs & DVD players less than 5-6 years old will almost certainly handle NTSC OK - but check first) before you buy either series 1 or 2 - in case the box set you get is NTSC as well. I'm lucky... my system copes just fine with NTSC!
Well now that's dealt with, the series proper! I clearly remember the Monkees from my childhood and although it never realy wowed me then, when I watched the first few episodes on the DVDs I found I was almost rolling round on the floor with laughter! Their brand of quickfire, wacky, slapstick and highly visual humour has in my opinion aged very well! Sadly the all-too-obvious canned laughter hasn't!!
Humour is one of those thngs that is very personal: one man's meat is very much another's poison in this regard; but don't forget there's the music of the Monkees captured here as well, and that too has aged very well and is almost worth buying both series for on its own. "Take The Last Train To Clarkesville" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday" are still firm favourites of mine after all these years and still raise the hairs on the back of my neck whenever I hear them!
Restoration quality is pretty good considering the age of the material although there is evidence of some colour fading on the original film prints, but it's "liveable-with".
Both series 1 and 2 are available separately in a box set of slimline cases and come with a slim series booklet containing episode listings and trivia etc., plus a selection of "collectors cards"... and series 1 is almost awash with extras, but again bizarrely, no subtitles have been included!
Each episode has a pretty comprehensive trivia section, and the following "extras" are included in series 1:-
Separate commentaries for episodes 1,3,10,12,14,15 & 32 by various group members & the series production team.
A transfer from 16mm film of the pilot episode
"Play Songs Only" option
Vintage Monkees Kelloggs Commercials
Interview with Monkees songwriter Bobby Hart
Monkees Memorabilia Gallery
All in all, well worth the money in my opinion (as is series 2 as well) if you like the Monkees and their music. The only reason I haven't rated the set with five stars is because of the bizarre NTSC transmission standard... why was this done??