A trivia question to begin: What was Sister Bertrille's real name? It is revealed in the first episode of The Flying Nun The Complete Second Season. The Flying Nun, starring Sally Field, is your typical feel good light weight sixties television sitcom but as The Complete Second Season proves the syrupy stuff and the sometimes cheesy special effects used to make Bertrille a flying nun do not really age this show and it is still a lot of fun to watch. Most of the 26 episodes of The Complete Second Season are a joy to watch. The answer to the trivia question is Elsie Ethrington.
The Flying Nun The Complete Second Season may be a bit dated but it is excellent family entertainment. Those of us who have grown up on this sitcom, often in reruns, will enjoy watching it again while the younger ones will discover a nice, innocent little show that delivers plenty of laughs and good characters headed by the ever ebullient Sally Field as Sister Bertrille and Alejandro Rey as Carlos who is a very soft touch when it comes to Bertrille's wishes and schemes.
A personal favorite in this 26 episode 3 DVD box set is the first episode, Song Of Bertrille. Sister Bertrille (Sally Field) hooks up with an old high school friend who is now in a very successful band. He convinced her to write a song for his group, she does, but is totally embarrassed when she and the sisters see what they did with it. This episode features the usual fish out of water comedy moment when the sisters are sitting in a night club to catch the premiere of the song but what really makes this show fun is not only the acid trip style moment when Bertrille is flying around looking for inspiration for her song but also the result after the band (which is absolutely talentless even if they are supposed to be famous) get through with it. Anybody who is familiar with late sixties drug-induced music will have a great laugh at what then was simply a joke but now sounds like a vitriolic spoof of the genre.
Episode 3 features Harold Gould as a rabbi who ends up performing a Jewish wedding in the convent's courtyard. It also features Sally Field trying to sky-write a Star of David using a fire extinguisher and the Catholic nuns singing Hava Nagila.
Paul Lynde stars and is brilliant as Father Lundigan in The Return of Father Lundigan, a priest who visits the convent in San Tanco for an annual report. Reverend Mother and Sister Bertrille get hypnotized and end up switching roles which definitely makes Lundigan question his sanity. Bernie Kopell, of The Love Boat fame, plays the dentist who performs the hypnosis. Lynde's performance is only one of the many funny moments in this Flying Nun episode.
Most episodes of The Flying Nun The Complete Second Season involve Sally Field scheming something and her schemes usually involve getting help from casino owner Carlos. Alejandro Rey is excellent in the role of Carlos. He has all the charm of the Latin lover needed for the part and great timing for comedy. Another great comic actor, but only in the second season is Vito Scotti as Captain Formento. He is especially good in Slightly Hot Parking Meters, a funny episode involving hot parking meters and crooks who have the key to them.
Many of the 26 shows in this Flying Nun feature pretty good visual gags. A particular favorite is the series of cracking glass bits in the show where the convent gets a new organ. The Flying Nun The Complete Second Season shows that a good, family friendly sitcom can age gracefully and still entertain and make you laugh.