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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Professor Echo, May 6, 2013.
Yeah, but that was the whole point of the show--and the newspaper comic it was based on.
I'd have to disagree with you on this. The show was meant to be a mirror of the kinds of casual bigotries that permeated everyday life at the time, with Archie's comments just a bit more blunt than most people's would be. But the episodes I remember sought to puncture other kinds of bigotries as well, not just Archie's blue collar working class kind. For instance, Meathead is shown to be kind of a putz when he tries to tell a couple of black burglars (played by Cleavon Little and Demond Wilson) about understanding the problems in the ghetto because he took a sociology course. Or the time Archie is stuck in an elevator with a rich black man from Scarsdale (played by Roscoe Lee Browne) and a poor Puerto Rican man and his very pregnant wife (played by Hector Elizondo and Edith Diaz) and the rich black man is shown to be just as prejudiced towards the Puerto Rican couple as Archie is.
I used to watch the show with black friends and their differing reactions were quite telling. I remember one episode where Archie tells Charles Durning that his black neighbor Henry Jefferson (Mel Stewart) is "one of the good ones" and my black friend's mother laughing uproariously at that, thoroughly understanding that that's how people think. We hadn't seen this kind of honest treatment of the subject on TV before and that's why the show made a big impact in its early years. As a New Yorker, I always thought the show reflected facets of urban reality that I hadn't seen treated on TV before.
Granted, the show received its share of criticism back then. I remember a scathing critique by Laura Z. Hobson (Gentleman's Agreement) in The New York Times where she took the show to task for not being honest enough because it refused to use the term, "nigger." She had a point there.
I never found Andy annoying except in the earliest episodes where he acted like a country bumpkin who was clueless.
Dr. Smith would have been great had he have stayed "bad guy." Somewhere, someone made the bad decision to turn him into a likable villain. Here's a guy who tried to sabotage the whole mission and now all of a sudden he's a likable guy who you can trust Will to run around with? I never got that myself.
I never found Dr. Bellows annoying for the character he played. In all honesty, yes, in real life a Dr. Bellows would be annoying but he was written in the script as annoying. You almost have to feel sorry for the man sometimes!
Although I usually found Lew Marie (That Girl) overbearing, there are several episodes where I really like him. I love the episode where he takes Ann out for her birthday, and then back to her apartment for a surprise party; they have some lovely father/daughter moments. In another episode, Ann gets a part in a Broadway show and he brings 65 people down from Brewster to see the show. And I think Lew is a great sport at Don's bachelor party, coming out of the cake. But, in general, I got frustrated with him because he couldn't see what a great guy Don was. They should have softened him up and let his distrust of Don run its course by the middle of the first season.
One show I appreciate differently now than I did as a kid is "I Dream of Jeannie". As a kid, I enjoyed it as kind of a companion show to "Bewitched". But they are very different; Bewitched is sort of like "The Donna Reed Show" with magic, whereas "Jeannie" is outright farce. One of my favorite episodes is the one where Jeannie adds a 13th story to a hotel. It's a fun, madcap farce, like a Marx bros comedy.
The Darren/Endora thing on Bewitched did get old, but I still love the show to this day. Maybe it's nostalgia; I never missed it as a kid and it makes me feel warm. If I were Darren, I would have had Samantha using her powers right and left. Endora would have loved me. I would have said, "Endora, dear, let's go sit on a cloud. I'll have Sam twitch us up a batch of martinis!"
You know, I think you're right. Dr. smith staying the bad guy was just way better. And I mean...! They were constantly trusting him with Will, and just trusting him with important things that he'd screw up (the Gilligan of the show, certainly). I could accept all these things as a kid but no way as an adult. that's why Season 1 was great and the rest very very hit and miss.
Yeah, Andy as the Bumpkin from No Time for Sergeants just didn't work as well as what came directly after. If I remember right (and it's been a long time since I'm just episodes away from being done with the series and moving on to the reunion film) Barney was a little off at the beginning too.
I nominate Robert on Everybody Loves Raymond as the most obnoxious example of overacting on a very good sitcom, he really works my last nerve.
Mother in the last year of The Avengers. Did I mentiion William Shatner in anything?
If anyone happens to be versed in classic Japanese anime enough to know what I would be referring to if I mentioned
you have a reasonably good idea of why--though I'd grown up watching Bewitched--I had a sudden new giggling appreciation of watching Jeannie in later years when it came out on DVD.
The anime characters could have practically been the modern-day descendants of Jeannie and Maj. Nelson, still at it.
(In the episode where
Tony and Roger come out of desert survival training and have to spend a week at base hospital for tests, Roger jokes about "One week of Air Force nurses? Think I'd prefer the desert", but Tony says "One week away from Jeannie's good enough for me." Of course, the nurse who walks in turns out to be a stunner that leaves Tony speechless, and the second she walks out of the room, Jeannie blinks in, also in a nurse's outfit: "So this is what you were up to, Master; I knew I shall have to keep an eye on you!"
Again, any classic-anime fan KNOWS the character I'm thinking of right now, and it is so her. )
As for Dr. Bellows, he has the thankless task that all such "spoilsport busybody" characters had in 60's fantasy sitcoms, but he rescues it with that smarmy, ingratiatingly humoring tone Gale Gordon would sometimes use when trying to be pompously polite. ("Really, Maj. Nelson? Why, I'd love to have a long talk with you about this sometime, if you have a free afternoon...")
The next time you watch a marathon of IDOJ episodes, count the number of times that Dr. Bellows will walk into Major Nelson's house without knocking and then see something bizarre. The annoying part is his refusal to observe a basic social grace (and maybe that's why all this crazy stuff has to happen to him!)
Regarding Dr. Smith, I agree that his becoming this ridiculous comical character did hurt the show, and for that we have to blame Jonathan Harris. The thing about Harris turning Smith into this character that's never been realized is that he had come straight off the "Bill Dana Show" sitcom right into LIS and I think what he was doing was falling back into the "comfort zone" he'd had on the other show because if you ever see episodes of the "Bill Dana Show" (and we had six released on DVD) you'll see that his character there was identical to the comical Dr. Smith right down to the last detail.
Oh! I did mean to add Mjr Nelson on Jeannie. After the first and second seasons, I got to where I couldn't stand that he was not banging Jeannie 3 ways to Sunday every day at least twice as I would have had I been an astronaut and found my own Jeannie that looked hotter than a $100 space suit.
I know Vic, but he's still and always will be a pain in the ass no matter what. Wished Mr. Wilson would have put him in his place and took him into the woodshed for a whippin.
I was surprised how much I've liked seeing Dennis again. I loved that as a child and still do. But I watch in moderation. The Beav I can watch eps back to back but Dennis just one once in a while works well. Leaves me feeling good.
Speaking of Beav, if we were doing a thread on characters you used to hate but NOW LIKE it would be Eddie Haskel for me. I hated that mean kid for all he was worth and wished Wally would beat him up. But now he (and Larry) are my fav of the boy's friends.
What about a series "jumping the shark?" Dr. Quincy went from being a sleuth who investigated various murders that didn't look like murder to being a social advocate for the "issue of the week." I'm up to S7 of Quincy, M.E. on Netflix and it seems from about S6 on almost every episode has Quincy trying to right some perceived wrong.
As a kid I loved Good Times, but now I just cringe at it for being too damn depressing- the very title is a misnomer. Now I understand why both John Amos and Esther Rolle objected to the 'J.J.' character taking over the show. I mean, you had this family trapped in the ghetto and they're supposed to be happy? On the other hand, The Jeffersons has held up very well: I can appreciate Sherman Helsmley's George more. He was a social climber, but a proud one- he had made it on his own with his dry cleaning business and was going to revel in his success and go out for more. Louise was the show's moral center, she always reminded George to keep his ego in check and she never forgot growing up poor. In a way they were the African-American version of the Clampetts from The Beverly Hillbillies.
In regards to perhaps the most legendary actor switch in TV history, something was lost when Dick York left Bewitched and was replaced by Dick Sargent. Sargent's Darrin was a bit more sarcastic at times than York's, and sometimes you felt he was possessed by Uncle Arthur with his snide remarks. Also, there were tender romantic moments between York and Montgomery that really delved into the depth of the love Darrin and Samantha felt for each other. It didn't help that the show began recycling old scripts instead of trying to make Sargent and Montgomery into a romantic comedy team on their own. Fortunately they were friends offscreen, so at least they were able to find a kind of onscreen rhythm despite the lesser writing of the later seasons. Still, when Dick York and Elizabeth Montgomery did love scenes together, you really believed in Darrin and Sam as a couple, and not as much after Sargent took over.
I can think of a couple. Flo, from ALICE and her own short lived series. I liked her as a kid but now her voice just grates on my nerves.
Rebecca from CHEERS. I really like the show, but the more I watch the DVDs, the more annoying she becomes.
The dad from FULL HOUSE. Those girls could murder someone in cold blood and he would just pat em on the back and tell em to try better next time.
Gracie Allen was and remains a brilliant actress and comedienne. Her work is as good now as it was years ago. Try remembering all of those malapropisms she did in every single script.
Almost all of the comments about Lucille Ball/Ricardo are also way off base.
The problem is he is unwatchable.
The Beverly Hillbillies is equally unwatchable today.
To each his own. I find The Beverly Hillbillies funnier than ever and appreciate the comic timing of that great ensemble cast more now than I did as a child. The writing, at least in the early years that are on DVD, is surprisingly good. And it's always fun to see the likes of Kent Smith and Charlie Ruggles turning up as guests. Very watchable in my house.
And the S4 remastering job made it all the better!
Ralph Kramden. What a misanthrope.