Monday, December 11, 2006

That Girl On TV Land

Well TV Land has just finished airing 48 hours of That Girl to celebrate that series joining their network lineup. First off from what I saw the series really holds up. Of course the fashions are a bit dated but that is to be expected. It is a sweet romantic comedy about a young woman named Ann Marie trying to make it as an actress in New York while dating her reporter boyfriend Donald Hollinger. The chemistry between Marlo Thomas as Ann and Ted Bessell as Donald was just the right mix. Add in Lew Parker as Ann’s Father Lou Marie who was always being protective of his daughter and this comedy had all it needed to be a hit. The love and respect the characters had for each other came through every week. The casting director must have been the best in the business as many other up and coming actors made appearances during its run. Future and current comedy greats like George Carlin, Dabney Coleman, Bernie Kopell, Ronnie Schell, and Ruth Buzzi were all cast members at one time or another. There were even guest appearances by actors like Bill Bixby, Carroll O’Conner, etc. Maybe they were joining the show to get approval from Marlo’s Daddy. Danny Thomas was a big star and powerful TV producer himself with hits like Make Room for Daddy, The Dick Van Dyke Show and the Andy Griffith Show, just to name a few, behind him. The show was very well produced. I always love the beginning. I couldn’t wait to see how they would work in the title of the show on each episode. For those of you who have not seen That Girl it went something like this.
A TV producer is walking down the street with a director.
TV Producer: We need a new face for the show. A young woman who is pretty and bright with sex appeal.
Director: Don’t forget she has to have that girl next door quality. Where are we going to find someone like that?
Suddenly they see Ann Marie coming down the street.
TV Producer: We need someone like (he points to Ann)…That Girl!
Cue the theme song.
I always loved that. The setting might be different but you always knew they would point to Ann and call her That Girl.
Seasons one and two are now both out on DVD but I don’t plan to rush out and buy either one right now. I love TV and I love that I can now have my favorites on DVD. Perhaps one day people like me can have their own internet TV station. However, some shows are best seen on TV. To know that if you don’t watch it now then it may be months or years before you see it again has something of a thrill about it. I have no doubt I will one day buy That Girl on DVD but for now I will wait.
This marathon showing brought back some happy memories. I did see most of the shows on its first run but one memory of the show is from when it was rerun in my area. Every once in a while my Mom and my Aunt would take me and my cousin Rachel and go visit my twentysomething cousin Toni. She was a young wife and mother. The three of them would usually talk in the other room. Rachel and I would be in the living room. We both liked music but for some reason Toni would not let us play her stereo. She would let us watch TV. Usually it had on Captain Kangaroo or the local children’s show Uncle Al. There were times they were showing reruns of Here’s Lucy and That Girl. Some of my memories of the show come from watching it on Toni’s TV.
You can go here to a posting about the shows 40th anniversary. or click on the title above.

No comments: