With the network shows almost all in reruns (tonight’s Studio 60 is a rerun of one from two weeks ago… although tonight’s The New Adventures Of Old Christine is the one worthwhile episode the series has done so far, and is well worth watching) I’ve been watching things I might not were the ReplayTV filled with good stuff.
I’ve watched some episodes of an old Sherwood Schwartz series. You know the one. Bob Denver plays the title character. And the rest of the cast is people he got lost with – the big, chummy leader of his voyage, the wealthy guy and his wife, the showgirl, the sexy dark haired normal gal, and the brainy guy.
I’m speaking of course of Dusty’s Trail, a show which ran just for the 1973-1974 season. I got four episodes on a $1 DVD at Target… and it was worth it just for such a blatant example of someone trying to recapture lightning in a bottle.
Also in the DVD player are episodes of Trouble With Father, a sitcom from the early ’50s. Despite its status as an early sitcom, the basic setup is one that lives with us today – the goofy dad who gets into shennanigans through his presumptuousness. It’s the According To Jim of its day. The one real laugh I got out of the first episode on the six-episode disk (found at the 99 Cent Only store) was when the elder of the family’s two daughters answered a question about her boyfriend with “oh, he’s not really a boyfriend” when the impertinent younger daughter clucks “he’s certainly not a girlfriend!” And the only reason that’s even vaguely funny is that the actress delivering the line is a pre-teen Sheila James Kuehl… who is moved both up and out in this world, now known both as a state representative and a lesbian, thus giving the line some vague and certainly unintended overtone. (Actingwise, Kuehl is better known for The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, a series with an off-kilter sensibility that hasn’t truly been captured again.)
Oooh, I’m on the second episode now, and the father who said that housekeeping was easy is finding himself unable to keep up the duties while she’s gone. Ahhh, the basics of sitcommery!
Added moments later: oooh, father just put too much soap in the washing machine at the laundromat, and bubbles are coming out! Sitcom 101!