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Now One of My Dreams Has Come True: The Mothers-in-Law on DVD!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Claude North, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Screenwriter

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    I have to give credit to the Arnaz/Ball estates (which would be their kids, wouldn't it?) If it's Lucie and Desi, Jr. making the decisions, apparently they want their parents' legacy done right. They were willing to spend the money on beautiful restorations of "Here's Lucy," which otherwise might have ended up like its exact contemporary "The Doris Day Show." Maybe they're doing the same for "The Mothers-in-Law."
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Robert,

    You certainly did not turn this into a huge argument.

    Once you are familiar with how DVD release schedules
    work, you become more accepting of the fact that things
    happen along the way between announcement and release.

    I just think, as others here have suggested, that the
    studio is alloting more time to put out a quality product.
     
  3. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Screenwriter

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    I think it's smart of MPI to get the "Mothers In Law" name out there, so the people who remember it will be awaiting the release of the set, and to maybe hook people who have never heard of the show into wanting to buy it.

    I think it's even more intelligent of them to delay the final product to give the consumer the best possible quality product they can.

    I mean, when we first heard about this, it was just "Season 1". Since that initial rumor, we've been told the complete series is being released at one time.

    I'd say that's worth a bit of a wait.
     
  4. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Screenwriter

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    It's a funny, funny show. Having seen a few of them not long ago, I can tell you that it is a show that holds up quite well.

    As to the old, why does X come out and why doesn't Y and Z come out. It all comes down to ownership. Any show like this that is independently owned has a much greater chance of a release than shows owned by the major studios. A company like MPI can't get shows from the majors but they can get The Doris Day Show from her, Here's Lucy and Mothers In Law from Lucie Arnaz, the lost Honeymooners from the Gleason estate, and so on. But if a show is owned by CBS/Paramount or Warner, forget it. If they don't release it, it ain't coming out.
     
  5. lvkitty

    lvkitty Auditioning

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    I am very happy to hear that
     
  6. pghjerry

    pghjerry Extra

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    It says on Kaye Ballard's website that...
    "Kaye has just finished recording an interview to be included on the Fall 2010 (this time it's TRUE) release of the entire series of THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW!"

    http://www.kayeballard.com/news.html
     
  7. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    Brilliant to hear that this series is still on track.

    I have very fond memories of this programme.
     
  8. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Wah haaaa!!! You go, Kaye!!! We love you!
     
  9. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    All this talk of the Mothers-In-Law led me to look online for it. I did find a very badly transferred episode on youtube; watched it anyway. This was my first look at the show since it aired in syndication in the early 70s. It was the terribly funny episode where they were trapped inside a department store in the middle of the night, and they kept calling Desi Arnaz's character--who was supposedly trying to sleep at his home in Spain--to try and alert the authorities to get them out. Everything came back to me. Hadn't seen this episode since about 1973 or thereabouts. I remembered how much I loved the dynamic and jazzy theme music and the rapid-fire dialogue, along with Eve Arden's perfect delivery and Kaye's incredulous retorts. Everything was terrific about this series. I think it didn't succeed because of bad timing or scheduling, or maybe it just seemed a little old hat for the 60s. But whatever--it really was good. What to compare it to...hmm, well there's the obvious comparison with I Love Lucy (Desi obviously had his hand in both) but TMIL seemed more to me like an older gal's version of Laverne and Shirley. I think if you like either of those shows (and who doesn't?) you should have a look at TMIL. And for the record, the delay makes me anticipate the release of this show more, not less.
     
  10. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Premium
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    I'm really looking forward to seeing "The Mothers-in-Law" on DVD after viewing inferior prints elsewhere over the years. A lot of the people who had a hand in making "I Love Lucy" the all-time classic it is had a hand in "The Mothers-in-Law" and their expertise made the show as good as it was. Eve and Kaye were really the whole show, as Herbert Rudley and Roger C. Carmel/Richard Deacon were merely their foils and the kids always just stood there caught in the middle.

    The show was a success scheduled between the Wonderful World of Disney and Bonanza, but it was considered old-school comedy in the days of "Laugh-In" and I suspect it skewed to an older demographic then the sponsors would have liked. And I suspect the friction over the recasting of Kaye's husband after only one season didn't help to engender audience loyalty either.

    Whatever the reason that it only lasted two seasons, it never "jumped the shark" and the last episode is as solid as the first one. I'm glad they decided to release the entire series in one package.
     
  11. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I remember those poor hapless kids; they were always, er, cuddling in bed when someone would press the darn garage door opener on them. Cuddleus Interruptus. I didn't see the show in its original airing; it suddenly popped up on a local station circa 1972. I remember my family trying to get me to watch it. I was about 6, (and yes, we had video baby sitters back in those days, for those of you who think it's something new). I remember thinking this show was totally hysterical, even at that young age. The brief (and scratchy) prints I saw online didn't do anything to damage its brand of comedy.
     
  12. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    You guys really have me excited to see this show for the first time.
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    You know, I am very careful about getting everyone's
    expectations incredibly high on this show if they have
    never seen it before.

    Let me tell you my story.

    I VIVIDLY remember watching this show as a kid.
    I loved the show. Thought it was the best thing
    since sliced bread. It was the first time I ever heard
    of Kaye Ballard and Eve Arden and I became avid
    fans of theirs ever since.

    It was one of those shows that came and went.
    Over the years I had often thought of the show but
    I never imagined anyone would want to release it
    to DVD. I knew as a kid it was pretty funny stuff,
    but for a show that lasted only a season or two I
    never imagined there would be much interest in it.

    Now mind you, I haven't seen this show in nearly
    40 years. I can't even remember if it came out in
    the late 60s or early 70s. I must have been around
    10 years old when I originally saw it. Still have not
    gotten around to YouTube to watch it as I want to
    experience it on DVD fresh.

    The reason why I am so hesitant to say this is
    the series you MUST buy is because I have found
    so many shows that I thought were hilarious as a
    kid don't hold up as an adult. Two shows come
    to mind: GET SMART and THE MONKEES. Bought
    both boxed sets when they came out thinking I
    would be laughing endlessly at them. GET SMART

    didn't seem as funny as I remembered it. THE

    MONKEES was a huge yawner. Couldn't believe
    I loved that show so much as a kid.

    Still, based on the talent that comprised THE

    MOTHERS-IN-LAW I am very optimistic that the
    show has held up well over the years.
     
  14. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Premium
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    A friend gave me a collection of about 18 episodes evenly spread across both seasons, including both the first episode and the last. In truth, I can't say it *has* held up that well over the years, although it's probably as good as it ever was. It always was a retread of the Ricardos vs. the Mertzes of "I Love Lucy" without the inspired comic timing Lucy brought to the situations. Eve is in her element when tossing off witty barbs, but has no real physical comedy genius. And Kaye is like an Italian Carmen Miranda. Subtlety is not her forte. As I say, it's just those two putting over the occasionally silly material with little assistance from the rest of the cast. But Kaye was never better than than she is here and Eve Arden is, well, Eve Arden.

    A friend and I were discussing the pros and cons of "The Mothers-in-Law" a while back. He pointed out that he watched "The Mothers-in-Law" every Sunday night and "Here's Lucy" the next night. As much as he enjoyed Eve and Kaye, he felt each show offered him half of what he was really looking for, which was to see Lucille Ball and the old "I Love Lucy" format back on the air in one show. He wished he could take the cast of one show and mix it with the writing and overall format of the other.
     
  15. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I agree; that's why I posted the thing about me seeing a bit of it online the other day. It was a very crummy-looking clip, but the humor still shined through. I know it can be difficult to recommend things in your position, but I will personally recommend it to anyone who enjoys comedy on the level of The Lucy Show, or maybe Laverne & Shirley. I too, had the same problem you did with Get Smart very recently; it just didn't pop the way it used to, for me. But TMIL still did, even in that yucky little online video...
     
  16. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Screenwriter

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    I don't think fans of I LOVE LUCY should get their hopes up too high for THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW. It has its moments, but it doesn't come close to the level of I LOVE LUCY.

    The two problems I remember are first, that the scripts weren't very good. They don't have the funny lines that I LOVE LUCY had. The LUCY writers Arnaz brought over were Madelyn Pugh Martin Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr. and their forte was coming up with situations and physical comedy -- they weren't very good with funny lines. (Their scripts for HERE'S LUCY also demonstrate that. The verbal humor of I LOVE LUCY was mainly due to the other writers, Oppenheimer and later Schiller and Weiskopf.)

    Secondly, Arnaz had the show performed in the I LOVE LUCY style of everyone talking loudly, but it struck me that Arden and Ballard just overdid it -- everything was too broad and overdone.

    Excuses can be made, but there was a reason why the show only ran two seasons -- it just wasn't very good. Compared to other late 1960s sitcoms, it might be ok, but compared to I LOVE LUCY, it falls very short.
     
  17. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Well, so does every other sitcom ever made.
     
  18. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    I have to agree with Joe Lugoff on this one. I have watched the entire series uncut in pristine transfers over the past 6 months and I found my affectionate memories of it sadly unfulfilled. It can be amusing at times, but the overall scope of it for me now is as a garishly colored, stridently loud, inordinately campy and anachronistic, unnecessary retread of I LOVE LUCY.

    However, humor and nostalgia are very subjective, so I hope that everyone who is eagerly anticipating seeing this again or for the first time, finds it as entertaining as they hope it will be and are justly satiated with a quality release. :)
     
  19. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    If you had access to pristine transfers, then hopefully MPI has access to those same transfers. I quite agree with the fact that the show was strident; that just made it funnier in my viewpoint. Well, if you're going to hire Kaye Ballard, then your show is gonna be kinda loud. That's just what this show is. You're not going to get any heartfelt comments on the human condition; you're gonna get loud comedy. You want gentle, go watch Little House on the Prairie (and even that show had that loudmouthed Nellie and her highstrung mother).
     
  20. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    Uh, I don't think I asked for "heartfelt comments on the human condition," but perhaps you just meant your response in general and not directly aimed at me.

    As I said in my post, humor is subjective. I loved the show when I was a kid and embraced the loudness, now I prefer a bit more of a subtle and creative approach than just redressing a prior series.

    I also hope that MPI gets prints as good as the ones I watched, it will be a pleasure for all its fans to see the show looking even better than it appeared on those early color sets back in the day.
     

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