THE SMITH FAMILY (1971-1972) from VEI, May 1

David Deeb

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Shows from that late 60s, early 70s era, where middle aged writers try to depict the young generation were lame then and unintentionally hilarious now. Its funny but with the Primrose Lane opening, its like they took a 1950s typical sitcom family and time transported them into the early 70s, where college student Cindy would never think of trying marijuana or associating with anyone who did, and throwing in youthful expressions. Also, and this perplexed me when I watched the show back then, why does the youngest son speak with a British accent?
The Christmas episode is one of the dumbest things I've ever watched. A few episodes prior, those middle age writers scripted an episode where Cindy's parents, and her friend's parents, are all very concerned about the girls going overnight camping with their boyfriends, just 10:00 minutes down the road. Lots of hand wringing.

But just a few episodes later, Fonda and his wife have no objection to Cindy traveling to Switzerland during Christmas break. Not only that, but then she talks the 16 year-old Ron Howard character to take all the money he's saved for a car, and go all the way to Rome - by himself - so the parents can spend Christmas alone. They agree! Finally, the parents send the youngest British speaking son to Mexico with some strange family we never meet! So that the parents can be by themselves at Christmas! They deserve it!

While the 3 kids are all over the earth, Fonda allows a threatening "villain" to waltz right into the police officers' office, without any security check, so the villain can pull a knife on Fonda. He then allows an old woman (a recurring character who is crazy and wants to be arrested every episode) into the police station without any security so she can hang out and not be by herself on Christmas. It was one of the stupidest 30:00 minute episodes of television I've ever seen.
 
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Ian K McLachlan
I now have this boxset. I remember watching this series at the time and enjoying it. The first episode has Yale Summers from Daktari in it along with Heather Menzies from Logan's Run. But what surprised me most was how I got emotional watching the second and third episodes. Something that rarely happens to me. The emphasis is on the family and how good it is to be a member of a loving and supportive family. I would not call it a comedy at all but an optimistic picture of what family life should be like and there is nothing wrong with that,
 

bmasters9

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Also, and this perplexed me when I watched the show back then, why does the youngest son speak with a British accent?
Great question-- the actor himself (Michael-James Wixted) is from Santa Monica, CA (obviously American); the character probably learned how to talk British from exposure to a lot of British media, or more likely, the people behind the show taught the actor how to talk British for the purposes of the show.
 
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Ian K McLachlan
There are no credits listed for Michael-James for a very long time and nobody seems to know if he still in show business or not now. He seemed to have done a lot of work prior to The Smith Family.
 
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Ian K McLachlan
I have now seen all the season one episodes and I must say that I'm very impressed with this series. It deals with a number of important issues some of which are still relevant today. It is a real feel good series. Often you are left wondering what happened next to some of the characters. It is the kind of television programme I really like and I am delighted with its release. I have often said that my favourite TV era was the 1960s but the early 1970s was a good era too. Perhaps some company would release Nanny and the Professor one day too. I also remember it as a happy show for everyone to enjoy.
 

Mr. Handley

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Finally pulled the trigger on this one. It'll be a blind buy for me. I loved Fonda in just about everything he did.
 
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B-ROLL

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I have now seen all the season one episodes and I must say that I'm very impressed with this series. It deals with a number of important issues some of which are still relevant today. It is a real feel good series. Often you are left wondering what happened next to some of the characters. It is the kind of television programme I really like and I am delighted with its release. I have often said that my favourite TV era was the 1960s but the early 1970s was a good era too. Perhaps some company would release Nanny and the Professor one day too. I also remember it as a happy show for everyone to enjoy.
Nanny and the Professor is a FOX show ..:(
 
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Ian K McLachlan
I have now watched all the episodes in the set something that I rarely do. I had happy memories of it but it was ever better than I remembered it.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I am making my way through it much slower than anticipated. Part of that is life getting in the way and part of it is that the balance of comedy and drama veers a little further to drama than I expected. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s turning into a show I have to be in the mood for rather than just filler. But that’s okay!
 

Neil Brock

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Too bad CBS doesn't have any tape transfers of To Rome With Love, another bland Don Fedderson show.
 

Mr. Handley

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Just got my set yesterday and watched the first episode. This was a totally blind buy for me. Honestly, I'm not quite sure what to think. The whole thing was pretty hokey, even by early 1970s standards. An odd mixture of comedy that wasn't very funny and drama which wasn't very dramatic. Hopefully it will improve as it goes on, but I can understand why it didn't last.
 
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Neil Brock

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Fonda was way too old for the part. He was 66 at the time, so at least a decade too old to still be working as a detective and certainly too old to have a 6-year old son or whatever age the youngest kid was.
 
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bmasters9

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Fonda was way too old for the part. He was 66 at the time, so at least a decade too old to still be working as a detective and certainly too old to have a 6-year old son or whatever age the youngest kid was.
Who do you think might have been better for the lead than Henry Fonda (if any)?
 

Mr. Handley

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Watched the second episode last night ("Ex-Con") which was better than the first one (not saying much). Ron Howard is good, but that little brother really grates on my nerves. The only thing worse than his weird accent is the fact that he sounds about ready to cry every time he delivers a line. I will continue to watch, but I'm not so sure this series was worth buying at all.
 
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Neil Brock

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Very cute. When she showed up a little later as Karl Malden's daughter on Streets of San Francisco, she had cut her long, beautiful hair.
 
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MatthewA

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She also sang "My Own Home" in Walt Disney's animated Jungle Book the same year she appeared in the live-action Monkeys, Go Home.
 
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