What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)?

Jeff Flugel

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I gave it a shot, Jeff.
Aww, crap. What can I say? Senility must be creeping in, Russ. It's been that kind of week. Mea culpa. Perhaps you're more of a sci-fi guy than you might think!

As a mostly non sci-fi guy, I've surprised myself and have actually gotten into The Mandalorian. Good stuff.
Glad you're enjoying it. It's a lot of fun, basically a space western...which is like peanut butter and chocolate: two great tastes that taste great together.
 

Jeff Flugel

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Great stuff, Randall and Howie! Never got into building models myself (not nearly enough patience or precision for such a thing), but admire those who could do quality craftsmanship like that seen in the above images.
 
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Jeff Flugel

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The Beverly Hillbillies - 2.2 "Hair-Raising Holiday"
It's Possum Day, and the Clampetts are excited to see how Los Angeles celebrates...which makes life difficult for Mr. Drysdale and Ms. Hathaway, who have to gin up some sort of parade to keep their millionaire charges happy. Not to mention the fallout from Granny's doctorin' (as seen in the previous episode, "Jed Gets the Misery"), as the irate Dr. Clyburn (the very funny Fred Clark), fuming from having his hair chopped off as part of Granny's "cure," threatens to prevent her from practicng medicine ever again. The final scene is full of some great visual gags, as the Clampetts form the V.I.P. part of the Possum Day parade, and Ms. Hathaway gets a crash course in "possum juggling." Everyone in the cast is spot-on, but I'm always especially taken with Buddy Ebson's pitch-perfect delivery of every line.

Adam-12 - 1.2 "Log 141 - The Color TV Bandit"
Just another day in the life of patrol cops Malloy and Reed, as they come to the rescue of two small boys who broke into the stash of their druggie mom (Chloris Leachman) and almost overdose, give a ticket for reckless driving to a pain-in-the-neck blonde (Wrangler Jane herself, 19-year-old Melody Patterson) and try to nab an elusive thief whose been stealing color TVs. One thing I can't help but admire is this show's dedication to depicting the episodic, work-a-day nature of the patrol cop's job. In a lot of other dramas, we'd see Cloris Leachman's or Melody Patterson's characters come back for some follow-up coda, but nope...they each get their one scene and they're gone, and it's on to the next problem. Just the facts, ma'am.






All Creatures Great and Small - 3.13 "Big Steps and Little 'Uns"
When the holiday season approaches, I always feel like watching this lovely, heartwarming British drama about the life of vet James Herriott in rural 1930s Yorkshire. This episode was the last of the original phase of this series that was based on Herriott's books, and carries an elegiac tone, as we follow James (Christopher Timothy) and older Farnon brother, Siegfried (the amazing Robert Hardy), on their final rounds before shipping off to fight in WWII. Everything about this show in its first three series is beautifully done. After a brief hiatus, there were two TV specials (in 1983 and 1985, respectively), then the series returned for four more seasons beginning in 1988, but, sadly, by this time Carol Drinkwater had left the series and a new (and, it must be said, far less charming and attractive) actress took over as James' wife, Helen. The show was still good, but some of that precious magic had gone. Those first three seasons, though - just fab.




The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - 1.9 "Day After Thanksgiving"
This was my first time watching a complete episode of this seminal family sitcom, and I thought it was pretty freakin' great, in its own unassuming way. Afterwards, I watched some of a Biography profile on the Nelson family, and host Peter Graves compared this show to Seinfeld, as in both were essentially about nothing, just little random amusing slices of life, and no real plot to speak of. (I believe Russ once made this same observation about Leave It To Beaver earlier in this thread...see Russ, I do remember some of your posts! ;) ) At any rate, as the title says, it's the day after Thanksgiving, and Ozzie has had his fill of turkey and isn't interested in any leftovers...or is he? Harriet and little scene-stealer Ricky get in some good zingers, but it's Ozzie who holds center stage here, as he grows increasingly fixated on getting some turkey leftovers as the episode progresses...all kicked off by neighbor Don DeFore sticking a half-eaten turkey leg in his face several times. I enjoyed this episode very much and will be watching more soon.

Dragnet (1950s version) - 5.7 "The Big Look"
Another first-time viewing for me, as I'd checked out several episodes of the 1960s run of this show previously this year, but had never seen a lick of the original. On both versions, I get a big kick out of Jack Webb's stoic "Yes, ma'am" demeanor...he's supremely patient dealing with witnesses who natter on and on, but can transform into stern pit bull mode once he gets his mitts on a likely suspect. In this one, detectives Friday and Smith (Ben Alexander) follow the trail of a man breaking in and brutally beating women in their homes. Some nice, noirish nighttime shots of the mean streets of Los Angeles.

McHale's Navy - 1.11 "The Day They Captured Santa"
Started off my Christmas TV viewing with this seasonal outing from my Merry Sitcom DVD sampler. McHale and company run into trouble when their annual visit to bring toys and turkey dinners to an orphanage on a nearby island coincides with a Japanese landing party taking them captive. Even by McHale standards, this is pretty broad stuff, but amusing enough, if you can look past the iffy caricatures of the Japanese soldiers. The actors, all seasoned pros, carry it over the goofy spots.
 
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Peter M Fitzgerald

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Nice, Jeff. If you haven't already, you should check out "The Big .22 Rifle for Christmas" episode of 1950s Dragnet on YouTube, as well as "The Big Cast", where Joe has an episode-long interrogation session with Lee Marvin!


 

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Good memories Howie! The George Barris and Ed "Big Daddy" Roth novelty cars...Hot Rod Magazine, Rat Fink and Wonder Wart Hog cartoons, ha, ha...The Munsters are about to experience a Renaissance, what with Scream Factory's announcement of Munster Go Home coming out in a new Blu-ray...

I had that Chamber of Horrors Guillotine too! And the Bride of Frankenstein...between all these and the loads of Revell and Monogram 49 cent airplane kits I had, I wonder how I ever found room for all of them in my bedroom!




I purchased the Munster movies on DVD a couple of years back (whenever it was they came out) and am good with those. Now... if they want to put the *series* on BR then I'm on board! I have 2 copies of the series - the original S1 "Coffin" box and S2 Herman's Head (on DS discs) and the later re-release on SS discs. I still need to open and watch the SS one.

I also had a Rat Fink model. I think it was this one (but mine wasn't painted nearly as good):

My 6 and 7 yo grandsons saw that while I was looking it up. They said "You sure had some creepy toys Pa!" :D
 

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Deepdiscount is having a B1G1 free on Paramount titles through December 13th. Many of them are TVonDVD seasons and sets. It includes all 5 seasons of The Beverly Hillbillies, some Gunsmoke (both volumes of seasons 12, 13, & 14 with misc. others), and many other classic TV series. There are some really good deals to be had with Complete Series sets.

The link is all titles included sorted high to low to make it easier to pair things.
 
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Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Bat Masterson
"Lottery of Death" (S1E28)

All unions have annual conventions, and the Cattleman Ranchers Association is no exception. Some dope association organizer chose to hold it in Tucson, Arizona in sweaty August--as if cattlemen aren't aromatic enough as it is.

Bat (Gene Barry) attends the convention, and is happily ensconced in a private room, playing a private game of poker, with some private cattlemen. Bat is beating the snot out of Sonny (Warren Oates), a grain merchant who's as broke as a whore's promise. As an IOU, he offers Bat his convention lottery ticket--worth $100,000 if it's the winning number. Masterson--flush with cash, 7 year old sour mash bourbon and a sense of fairness--splits the ticket in half promising a share of the cash to Sonny if they win. Sonny goes on his way.

Bat continues to play cards with the remaining two men, cleaning them out without ever even taking a bathroom break. Downstairs in the lobby, the lottery drawing takes place and --slap me in the face if I'm lying--Bat and Sonny's number wins! Suddenly, Sonny's severe-looking sister Gwen (Constance Ford) rushes into Bat's room to admonish him for his gambling ways and fleecing her brother. Once she learns that Bat is splitting the winnings with Sonny, her manner changes significantly.

upload_2019-12-7_9-32-13.jpeg

Women go crazy over a sharp-dressed man; So do some guys; The real Bat Masterson--a columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph

Bat sets forth to find Sonny and have a happy reunion of ticket stubs. Of course, this wouldn't be much of a show if simplicity ruled Bat's efforts. Sonny is found mysteriously dead, and his half of the ticket is missing (read: stolen). This is what's generally referred to as bad juju.
Who stole the ticket? One of the card players?, Sonny's sister? Bret Maverick?
Bat muses by quoting Omar Khayyam, "We all live our destined hour, passed along the way". Nobody knows what the hell he's talking about but since he's dressed nice and smells clean, they let it pass.

Bat's pretty emphatic about finding the ticket half and collecting the reward. Perhaps he still has a few payments left on his horse. He's also been looking at a cute tri-level in the suburban real estate guides. He has suspicions as to who the murderer/thief is and lays a clever trap to expose the culprit so as to fulfill his financial destiny.

Well, yeah, it's one of the other card players who's guilty--and gets a good skull bashing from Masterson's cane. They don't call him Bat for nothing, folks. We can only assume he shares the cash and the private room with Sonny's sister.

Notes:
As a kid, I wanted a cane like Bat Masterson's to swing around the house and cause possible significant damage to unsuspecting furniture.
You could actually buy one if so inclined:

upload_2019-12-7_9-38-14.jpeg
upload_2019-12-7_9-38-36.jpeg
 
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Rustifer

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The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - 1.9 "Day After Thanksgiving"
This was my first time watching a complete episode of this seminal family sitcom, and I thought it was pretty freakin' great, in its own unassuming way.
One of my favorites too, Jeff. There was something so calming in the aspect that the most serious situation that could shake the foundation of the family was Ozzie missing out on his fill of turkey on Thanksgiving or losing one of his slippers.
And we all know that sons Ricky and David were conceived immaculately, for Ozzie or Harriet would never have been so crass as to engage in sweaty monkey sex.

upload_2019-12-7_9-56-18.jpeg

This is about as intimate as it gets in the Nelson house.
 

Jeff Flugel

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As a kid, I wanted a cane like Bat Masterson's to swing around the house and cause possible significant damage to unsuspecting furniture.
You could actually buy one if so inclined:

View attachment 65846 View attachment 65847
Sweet! I'd have liked one of those Bat Masterson canes. Cool show, and it's fun to watch Gene Barry beat the snot out of bad guys with the thing.
 
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BobO'Link

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I didn't watch Bat Masterson during its original airings (I was too young) only seeing it when I purchased the series on DVD and really enjoyed it! Real class. He's a real "dandy" looking fellow which, IIRC, caused him some grief in a few episodes from cowboys looking for an easy mark. BAM! with the cane and problem solved! I still have the last season to watch. Been saving it.
 

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Have advanced quite a few episodes on Have Gun, Will Travel season 4
 

Radioman970

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Lots of Good Times since I watch while home for an hour at lunch. washing dishes, eating lunch, watching GT. And NO NO NO I'm not lusting over Thelma. she is way too young and I wouldn't do that. :p but she's a goddess!! I'm on season 5. It's been said the show is just for diehard fans now and I could not disagree more. The 4 part season opener has emmy award moments if you ask me. Janet Jackson is added to the cast, very sweet, sparkling eyes and naturally funny. She plays a child abused by her mother, something I forgot about. The lady who plays the mother is excellent. She had a scene that is up there with the best of All in the Family. The moment she leaves for good, powerful.

LOADS of MASH. Comfort tv needed lately, all the way. Season 5. Including the one with Hawkeye nightmaring about old friends dying horribly. that should have been a 3 parter. way too compact. I think Seinfeld borrowed some things from this season include Hot Lips going on and on about "my fiance'" Potter's speech to her about being needed at the 4077 is incredible. hell of a leader that character.
 

Ron1973

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This time of the year doesn't have me watching a lot of TV except in the afternoon for a few hours. It's not classic TV, but I have REALLY gotten into scamming the scammers type of stuff lately. It's poetic justice to see these folks who harass us with annoying phone calls trying to dupe us out of money get their comeuppance and get THEIR computers locked or their files deleted. I won't go into a full synopsis since it's not classic, but it's worth watching.

What I do a lot of this time of the year is music. Actors doing music was all the rage in the 60's, and there were some pretty good efforts. The cast of Bonanza did an entire Christmas album with Lorne Greene releasing a Christmas single as well. My favorite is the entire cast doing "Merry Christmas, Neighbor," which I heard for years on a compilation LP my parents had, "RCA Presents Music For the 12 Days of Christmas" which also featured another actor, although as part of a group, Ed Ames with his brothers. In keeping with our Christmas TV theme, here is Lorne Greene doing "One Solitary Life" and a shameless plug for a certain contributor's YouTube page:

 

Ron1973

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I did give my middle son my MPI Vol. 1 set of The Beverly Hillbillies since it was redundant with the CBS sets being released. Every so often he shoots me quotes from the series that he finds funny. I want to tell him at times that I was watching it long before he was ever thought of, but I don't want to dampen his spirits. I think after Christmas I may give Hogan's Heroes another spin. I'm still waiting on the blu of Charlie's Angels to come down to around $50 where I can order it, and I'll gift my son my DVD set. I specifically have to wait for it on Amazon since I get gift cards for it from doing surveys online-I'm expecting a $25 gift card in the coming weeks from a multi-week survey I did from one survey site. If it doesn't come down, I might just go ahead and get Rockford Files instead.
 

Radioman970

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Ron, those are fantastic. I watched one the other day where they shut down this whole operation. And also went after the company that was unknowingly providing the payment system those scammers were using.

Another fun thing to watch is people who boy lots of mystery stuff returned to amazon. They open the boxes, which are themed like electrics etc. and see what treasures they get and if it is worth the money.
 

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The Beverly Hillbillies - 2.2 "Hair-Raising Holiday"
It's Possum Day, and the Clampetts are excited to see how Los Angeles celebrates...which makes life difficult for Mr. Drysdale and Ms. Hathaway, who have to gin up some sort of parade to keep their millionaire charges happy. Not to mention the fallout from Granny's doctorin' (as seen in the previous episode, "Jed Gets the Misery"), as the irate Dr. Clyburn (the very funny Fred Clark), fuming from having his hair chopped off as part of Granny's "cure," threatens to prevent her from practicng medicine ever again. The final scene is full of some great visual gags, as the Clampetts form the V.I.P. part of the Possum Day parade, and Ms. Hathaway gets a crash course in "possum juggling." Everyone in the cast is spot-on, but I'm always especially taken with Buddy Ebson's pitch-perfect delivery of every line.

Adam-12 - 1.2 "Log 141 - The Color TV Bandit"
Just another day in the life of patrol cops Malloy and Reed, as they come to the rescue of two small boys who broke into the stash of their druggie mom (Chloris Leachman) and almost overdose, give a ticket for reckless driving to a pain-in-the-neck blonde (Wrangler Jane herself, 19-year-old Melody Patterson) and try to nab an elusive thief whose been stealing color TVs. One thing I can't help but admire is this show's dedication to depicting the episodic, work-a-day nature of the patrol cop's job. In a lot of other dramas, we'd see Cloris Leachman's or Melody Patterson's characters come back for some follow-up coda, but nope...they each get their one scene and they're gone, and it's on to the next problem. Just the facts, ma'am.






All Creatures Great and Small - 3.13 "Big Steps and Little 'Uns"
When the holiday season approaches, I always feel like watching this lovely, heartwarming British drama about the life of vet James Herriott in rural 1930s Yorkshire. This episode was the last of the original phase of this series that was based on Herriott's books, and carries an elegiac tone, as we follow James (Christopher Timothy) and older Farnon brother, Siegfried (the amazing Robert Hardy), on their final rounds before shipping off to fight in WWII. Everything about this show in its first three series is beautifully done. After a brief hiatus, there were two TV specials (in 1983 and 1985, respectively), then the series returned for four more seasons beginning in 1988, but, sadly, by this time Carol Drinkwater had left the series and a new (and, it must be said, far less charming and attractive) actress took over as James' wife, Helen. The show was still good, but some of that precious magic had gone. Those first three seasons, though - just fab.




The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - 1.9 "Day After Thanksgiving"
This was my first time watching a complete episode of this seminal family sitcom, and I thought it was pretty freakin' great, in its own unassuming way. Afterwards, I watched some of a Biography profile on the Nelson family, and host Peter Graves compared this show to Seinfeld, as in both were essentially about nothing, just little random amusing slices of life, and no real plot to speak of. (I believe Russ once made this same observation about Leave It To Beaver earlier in this thread...see Russ, I do remember some of your posts! ;) ) At any rate, as the title says, it's the day after Thanksgiving, and Ozzie has had his fill of turkey and isn't interested in any leftovers...or is he? Harriet and little scene-stealer Ricky get in some good zingers, but it's Ozzie who holds center stage here, as he grows increasingly fixated on getting some turkey leftovers as the episode progresses...all kicked off by neighbor Don DeFore sticking a half-eaten turkey leg in his face several times. I enjoyed this episode very much and will be watching more soon.

Dragnet (1950s version) - 5.7 "The Big Look"
Another first-time viewing for me, as I'd checked out several episodes of the 1960s run of this show previously this year, but had never seen a lick of the original. On both versions, I get a big kick out of Jack Webb's stoic "Yes, ma'am" demeanor...he's supremely patient dealing with witnesses who natter on and on, but can transform into stern pit bull mode once he gets his mitts on a likely suspect. In this one, detectives Friday and Smith (Ben Alexander) follow the trail of a man breaking in and brutally beating women in their homes. Some nice, noirish nighttime shots of the mean streets of Los Angeles.

McHale's Navy - 1.11 "The Day They Captured Santa"
Started off my Christmas TV viewing with this seasonal outing from my Merry Sitcom DVD sampler. McHale and company run into trouble when their annual visit to bring toys and turkey dinners to an orphanage on a nearby island coincides with a Japanese landing party taking them captive. Even by McHale standards, this is pretty broad stuff, but amusing enough, if you can look past the iffy caricatures of the Japanese soldiers. The actors, all seasoned pros, carry it over the goofy spots.
Growing up with Patterson as the wholesome Wrangler Jane in reruns, it was an eye opener to see "Cycle Savages" and to read her risque comments about the apparently generously endowed Bobby Fuller (the rock & roller, not Robert Fuller)in an issue of Kicks fanzine.
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
The Three Stooges
"Shivering Sherlocks" (1948)

This 1948 Stooge outing was recently shown on MeTV but unfortunately edited down to an almost incomprehensible 20 minute short. Entirely missing was the film's opening set up sequence of the Stooges being falsely arrested for an armored car robbery committed by Lefty Loomis (Kenneth MacDonald) and his gang. The short instead cuts to the boys getting off the hook due to an alias provided to them by pretty cafe owner Gladys Harmon (Christine McIntyre). Although nearly broke, she hires them to work for free in the restaurant. In no time at all (since this is a short), the Stooges' prove their massive ineptness in nearly every detail of running a cafe--such as mistakenly serving a customer a cup of paint instead of coffee. That sort of thing.

I remember this particular episode due to their running gag of Man vs. Soup--where Moe tries to eat a bowl of oyster stew only to have a recalcitrant bivalve periodically emerge from the murky broth and swipe a cracker before it can be dropped into the steaming soup. As a kid, I was so fascinated by the scene that I demanded my mom make oyster stew for me in hopes of experiencing the same predicament. I think of this scene every time I eat oyster stew to this day. No oyster, however, has ever playfully appeared in my serving.

upload_2019-12-8_9-24-44.jpeg
upload_2019-12-8_9-28-53.jpeg

Christine McIntyre; Shemp finally figures out how to get a girl; the classic oyster soup gag

Gladys receives elating news that her late father's homestead is being sold for a whopping $1,000. This affords her the opportunity to get the cafe out of debt once and for all. She and the Stooges take it upon themselves to visit the spooky old place so as to tidy it up for sale. As with all Stooges' efforts, anything that can go wrong--will. Lefty and his gang are using the place as a hideout. The creepiest of them, erroneously named Angel, is a sort of hatchet-wielding psychotic misfit with the IQ of a ping pong ball. After capturing Gladys and tying her up, he sets forth to chop the Stooges to bits. What follows is a great deal of Stooge-inspired bumping, slapping, tripping and grunting as they scour the joint looking for Gladys. It's their very clumsiness that unwittingly avoids the criminals' attempts to off them. Shemp's greasy hair alone is enough for him to slip through anyone's grasp. He saves the day by dropping empty barrels of flour on each of the robbers, thus immobilizing them for eventual police capture. I was always a pushover for the "scary" stuff of the Three Stooges, Abbott & Costello, the Bowery Boys, et al.

There's no gray area in loving or hating the Three Stooges films. Sorta like Jerry Lewis--you either hate him or you're French.

Notes:
Christine McIntyre, a classically trained singer and fine actress, was nonetheless mostly relegated to appearing in Three Stooges films for most of her career.
She was also quite a looker...

 
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JohnHopper

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¶ Still diggin' into the second season of The Wild Wild West, I'm currently exploring disc 2 now.
¶ There are so many details and references during that era.


 
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Jeff Flugel

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'Tis the season in the Flugel household, which means it's time to raise the Xmas atmos (TM Blackadder) and spin some vintage Christmas TV episodes:

David Nixon's Christmas Magic
, which aired on Thames Television on Christmas Day, 1974. I had never heard of David Nixon, but since Network released some of his work on DVD, I've become a fan. He was one of those classic all-round entertainers, who could sing, dance, tell jokes, and perform magic, while playing the avuncular host and making it all look effortless. This is a very pleasant special, with Nixon performing several neat magic tricks, with some interesting guests, including comedienne Aimi MacDonald (who does a sort of Brit version of blonde, Goldie Hawn ditz), singer/songwriter Lynsey de Paul, illusionist Robert Harbin, and Shari Lewis, who does two funny skits with her sock puppets, Lamb Chop and Hush Puppy (and even dances with the latter, all the while never moving her lips).

There's another Christmas special (from 1975) on the DVD, which I'll be checking out later this week. Good stuff, the kind of variety show not made any more.

And courtesy of YouTube, the following:

Happy Days - 2.11 "Guess Who's Coming to Christmas"
Growing up, I couldn't stand this show, but when watching some of these early season episodes recently, I've been surprised at how much I've enjoyed them. This one is no exception, as Richie and his family take steps to convince the proud Fonzie, who has nowhere to go for Christmas, to join their family for the holiday. Funny and moving, and Henry Winkler shows what a good actor he could be when given something meatier to do.

Highway Patrol
- 1.39 "Christmas Story"
A neglected wife decides to leave her workaholic husband before Christmas and takes their 6-year-old daughter with her. On the way to her sister's, they stay overnight at a roadside motel, but in the morning, the little girl has vanished. Enter big Dan Matthews (Broderick Crawford) and his Highway Patrol crew to track the missing girl down. No downer of an ending here, as order is restored with the help of a kindly Mission Santa Claus (Elmore Vincent). There's a nice little nod to the fantastical at the close, when Matthews offers the frail-looking Santa a ride back to town, and the man responds, "No thanks. I've got my own means of transportation," and exits stage left.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir - 2.14 "The Ghost of Christmas Past"
While I'm quite familiar with the classic 1940s film, I had never seen any of this late '60s sitcom version - until now. The plot of this one is all over the place, trying to pack in a misplaced baby storyline, a hyper-condensed riff on A Christmas Carol (with Charles Nelson Reilly's money-grubbing Claymore in the Scrooge role) and an extended dream sequence which flashes back 100 years in the past, where the Captain (Edward Mulhare) is alive and able to romance widow Mrs. Muir (Hope Lange). It's a bit of a mess, really, but what the hey...the kids are cute, Mulhare is suave, Lange is sweet and pretty, and Charles Nelson Reilly brings the funny, so it all goes down easily enough.

 

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