Talk about a wide open theme this week. I decided to go the 60s route and pick 3 TV shows that started in the 1960s. I almost went with Family Affair but I chose this one before. I will be curious what everyone else will choose so head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to find out. Here are my 3...
1. MY 3 SONS-1960-1972
I used to enjoy watching this show and have caught a few episodes recently since it is on a local station showing all the classics. It stars Fred MacMurray as a widower of 3 sons who must deal with all the things 3 boys in straight-laced 60s suburbia can get into. The family is held together by Fred's father in law played by William Frawley but later, when Frawley was declining in health, William Demerest joined the cast as the brother of Frawley called Uncle Charlie. It's funny that the eldest son left the show and then just ...went away never to be talked of again. Since it was called My 3 Sons, they brought in a kid whom Fred adopts. Later on, 2 of the kids marry including one just 17 yrs old which, even when I was a kid, I thought was too young. Fred MacMurray would only do the show if they could tape all his scenes in one day which the studio did. The rest of the clan had to go in every day and, obviously, the show was shot out of sequence which really screwed up William Frawley.
2. THE LUCY SHOW-1692-1968
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz started Desilu Productions out of the old RKO lot. They were suffering financially in the early 60s with only The Untouchables being a hit. Arnaz left the studio anmd Lucille Ball became the head of the studio-pretty cool for a woman at that time eh? Anyhoo, it was decided she would star in a TV series but she didn't think it would keep going for the next few years. It starts off as Lucy with a teenage daughter and a young son and Vivian Vance as her best friend who is divorced (first time on TV) with a son as well. Of course, the 2 get into hi-jinks every time they are together which makes for much laughter. Gale Gordon is a bank manager who is often steamed by Lucy. Vivian Vance didn't like her commute so she asked to be written out of the show but would return occasionally. Lucy decided to move out to San Francisco to be closer to her daughter and enrolled her son into military academy(thanks, Ma) and...well....soon the kids were dropped all together. Lucy ends up working for Gale Gordon. Funny, Lucille Ball ended the show but started a 3rd, "Here's Lucy" starring her real-life kids Dezi Jnr and Lucie.
3. THE DORIS DAY SHOW-1968-1973
Poor Doris Day...her husband Marty Melcher was her business manager and when he had a heart attack, she found out he squandered her fortune leaving her deep in debt and having to do a TV Show. She had no idea that he signed her to do this but ever the gal, she pulled up her boot strings and started this series and paid off all her debts. In this story, well, the beginning, she is recently widowed with 2 small boys who comes home to her dad who lives on some farm. We meet a variety of people as we see her try to deal with her kids and build her life. Suddenly, midway through the series, she moves to San Francisco with her kids and the dog and meets a nice couple whom she rents a place from. After that year wrapped up, Doris returns but without a dog and no kids and she is referred to a Miss being a single gal working her way up the ladder. My guess is she offed the boys and dropped the dog off at the pound but, hey, it was still supposed to be the Doris Day Show.
Which 3 can you think of?
There was a mix-up, dear friend. I thought we were supposed to meet at our regular spot, in the balcony of the theater. Turns out our date is at home, a couple of couch potatoes in front of the boob tube. That's AOK, because TV family sitcoms are one of my favorite categories of discussion.
I strongly preferred the first Darrin Stephens, and likewise, I prefered the early seasons of My Three Sons, 1960 to 1965, when the series was telecast in black and white and "Bub" was part of the show. I think color killed the classic sitcoms of the 60s. Think about it. Bewitched wasn't as good when it aired in color, neither was Gilligan's Island. In my opinion, neither was My Three Sons. The 1960 to 1965 seasons also had Tim Considine in the main cast playing the oldest son Mike Douglas. I'm sure you know that Tim died earlier this month at the age of 81. Poor Don Grady ("Robby") died 10 years ago at age 68. Beginning in 1963 and continuing through 1972 when the series ended, numerous main cast members were added, a common practice that I very much dislike because it rarely serves to make the show better and usually weakens it.
I watched only a few episodes of The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy, because Ball's original black and white series, I love Lucy, had me spoiled. To me, Lucille seemed less funny and less likable as the years went by. I enjoyed straight man Gale Gordon, thought he was funny and a boon to the show. A nice piece of trivia is that Lesley Evans, a member of The Action Kids dance troupe on Dick Clark's Where The Action Is TV music series, had a bit part in a 1969 episode of Here's Lucy.
I loved Doris Day, but was not a regular viewer of her TV series. I appreciate you telling us how and why it came about. Notice how these family sitcoms are built around widows and widowers with kids, as was Bill Bixby's The Courtship of Eddie's Father? Then there were series about bachelors taking on the responsibility of raising their nieces and nephews. These include John Forsythe as Bachelor Father raising his niece Kelly, and Brian Keith's Family Affair in which he cares for teenage niece Cissy and younger twin sibs Jody and Buffy.
Thanks for the fun and entertainment, dear friend BB. Enjoy the rest of your week and have a wonderful weekend!
Yes...it's TV time on the final Thursday of the month. I know what you mean about the black and white and Bewitched would be a good family sitcom with Dick York being the better Darren. Yes, I know that the 2 sons died and I think even one of the others also died. My 3 Sons did have a revolving door at the end with all the cast changes.Delete
I liked the Lucy shows but it never matched her original for sure.
Doris did not want to do TV but she had no choice. Yes, there was a theme of widows/widowers having to care for the kids alone or an Uncle or Aunt. I saw some of Bixby in the series but I was too young to remember much. I almost went with Family Affair but, I think, I spoke about that one before. I am glad you enjoyed it and look for tomorrow when I talk about the movies I watched (there were many this month).
OMG, my mind is swimming with shows. Here's three: Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver, and Ozzie and Harriet. I enjoyed your first two picks, but I do not think I ever watched Doris Day's show.ReplyDelete
The Doris Day Show was not played much in reruns but I was lucky to see many of them when I was a teen. I love all your choices and almost went with the Beaver.Delete
Never even heard of the Doris Day Show.ReplyDelete
I'm going with Last Man Standing. I have such great respect for Tim Allen.
I know...it's not often played. I tried watching that sitcom with Tim but I couldn't get into it. I love Home Improvement.Delete
I remember the I love Lucy shows and loved them. Not heard of the others, but what a rotter Doris Day's hubby was. Hope is well with you Birgit, Kate xReplyDelete
Yes, he was pretty bad and she had no idea.Delete
Well, 'ALL IN THE FAMILY', of course. About an idiot, a "dingbat", and a communist.ReplyDelete
'FRASIER', about a boy, his dad, his little brother, and a bottle of sherry. Also the funniest TV series of all time.
'EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND', but a lot of us loved his wife and brother even more. And we put up with his mom, his dad, and his kids just for the many laughs. (And don't forget, everything that Raymond's mom did, she did it "out of love". GOL!)
'Loyal American Underground'
I so agree with you about Frazier and can't find a single episode that I would say was "bad". All In The Family is a brilliant one and i loved The Jeffersons too. Raymond was/is hilarious and loved the Turkey episode when she keeps dropping it on the floor before throwing it into the oven as well as when mom becomes a sculptor.Delete
There's kind of a theme within the theme, isn't there? I have heard of all three, but I've only seen My Three Sons.ReplyDelete
Yes there is! I am glad you found it.Delete
I watched My Three Sons on the regular when it was first on because my parents did, all the way through until Robby and his wife became the one with three sons. It's a sweet show but it did color my opinion of Fred MacMurray. Since it was my first exposure to him I always thought of him as a sort of Dudley-ambling and sort of blah, but as the years went on and I watched his films (he's one of the performers whose filmography I've managed to complete) my opinion has changed. He was quite a facile comic actor, an able dramatic one and in his youth rather studly. Who knew?!ReplyDelete
The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy were both standard sitcoms propped up by Lucille Ball. Not bad but star vehicles if ever there were ones.
I LOVED the Doris Day Show when it was first on! When I went back and watched them years later I saw they were very similar in set up to Lucy's shows. Completely designed to spotlight Dodo and until those later watches I don't think the fact that she continued to shed members of her family each season occurred to me! She was always surrounded by a strong cast though.
My first thought was Father Knows Best which also brought to mind My Three Sons and The Courtship of Eddie's Father (which I was a devoted watcher of since I had loved Bill Bixby on My Favorite Martian and I liked the concept of the show.)
You are lucky to have seen all his films. Like you I thought the same thing about Fred until I watched "Double Indemnity" and was thrown for a loop. I agree about the Lucy Shows but some were funny. I liked the Doris Day Show too but I did wonder what happened to her kids. Loved the others on her show. Bill Bixby was someone I had a crush on and was sad when he passed away so young. I saw only a bit of The Courtship but would love to see more of them. I never got a chance to see My Favourite Martian.Delete
I enjoyed your comment from last week but I am sorry to not have commented. Did you look at my song choice last week? I chose 3 songs from 1937-one that won the Oscar, one that was nominated and one that was eligible but not even nominated. I think I will do this monthly:). That Oscar show was OK but I hated the In Memoriam which was not honouring the people who passed away. I felt bad when Norman Lloyd's face and name showed up. They should cut some of the stupid comedy bits and rather showcase the work the people who died did in the past. Smith should have been escorted out of the awards and he did not deserve any clapping, never mind a standing ovation. Oh well....
I don't think I've seen The Lucy Show...only I Love LucyReplyDelete
Yes, Her 2 shows were quite popular but less so now...but still funny.Delete
I never saw The Doris Day Show but the other two I've seen often and they are good picks. My favorite was always Leave It to Beaver. Also, I enjoyed The Addams Family and The Munsters. Then of course, All in the Family was a big one in the seventies.ReplyDelete
Later, I used to watch Married with Children. So many I can think of, but a lot of them I never or rarely watched.
Tossing It Out
There are many in this theme and I love that you chose The Munsters and Addams Family. I almost went with Leave It To Beaver but decided to stick with shows that started in the 1960s. All In The Family is classic and love Married With Children.Delete
These are shows I grew up with and loved, especially My 3 Sons and Doris Day. We also watched the rural sit-coms on CBS, such as Petticoat Junction, The Andy Griffith Show, Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies.ReplyDelete
Glad you are one who saw the Doris Day Show. I love all your picks but I never saw Petticoat Junction.Delete
I've never seen any of these, but a show I watched in reruns that was (I think from the 80s, maybe) was WKRP in Cincinnati. All of the characters were great, including Johnny Fever, Jenifer, Venus Flytrap, and Big Guy Carlson, who had me laughing all the time, and I am NOT one to laugh at what we in the states refer to as comedy.ReplyDelete
Sorry I don't go back to the 60s and didn't even watch TV until the mid 90s, so this is all new to me.
I love...love WKRP which is an all time classic! "They're dropping like wet bags of cement!" This show started in the 70s and went into the early 80s.Delete
I loved My 3 Sons:)ReplyDelete
That was pretty rude of Fred MacMurray, wasn't it?
Thanks for helping me get the word out:) I appreciate it:)
Fred was a different guy that's for sure. He didn't care about the others and just wanted to be off most of the time. He was also known to be a huge skinflint, moths fell out of his wallet.Delete
Does Freaks and Geeks count? It follows a family, though most of the material involves adventures outside of the house.ReplyDelete
We like The Dick Van Dyke Show a lot.
Frasier's a family show of sorts, I suppose, though everyone's older than in the typical set up for the genre. That's our current binge.
Our daughter loves old sitcoms so we should probably share Lucy with her sometime before she leaves.
You saw lots of movies:) I'd like to see West Side Story. Unfortunately, the HH as no interest.ReplyDelete
Enjoy what remains of the weekend and have a wondrous work a week;)