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Ricky Nelson's launch as a rock star on this series is an interesting tale. He was already musically talented, having inherited his ability from his parents. As rock-n-roll was starting to grow and Ricky's interest in the music grew, he kept asking father Ozzie Nelson to let him play on the show. Initially, Ozzie resisted until he realized that it was an opportunity to take advantage of Ricky's growth as a "teen idol" and would thereby help the show's popularity. Ricky first sang a cover of Fats Domino's "I'm Walking" on the episode "Ricky the Drummer" and soon afterward more episodes were tailored around showcasing Ricky's talents. However, not everyone was pleased with his foray into Rock-n-Roll. Most parents in America were still concerned that rock would be a bad influence on their children and many wrote letters to Ozzie and Harriet Hilliard protesting their allowing their son to take part in the music. The Nelsons dealt with the furor by injecting moments in the episodes in which Ozzie and/or Harriet would offer a sound and practical reasoning for supporting their son's music. With that, the furor died down and Ricky went on to become a major rocker with hits like "It's Late", "Traveling Man" and "Hello, Mary Lou". See more »
Program GREAT through Rick's college years, then it goes downhill
I have had a chance to catch a number of episodes of this long-running sitcom on Catholic Familyland. The episodes up until Rick and Dave Nelson are married are nothing short of hysterical, but it really lost its luster after that.
For the most part, in the very early episodes, little Ricky Nelson is very comical with the wise-cracking one liners. No wonder he was introduced as the "irrepresible Ricky".
As the boys grew up and Rick Nelson's music career took off, the episodes were more focused on showcasing Rick's singing talents, which are great! He is shown at the end of each episode performing one of his hit songs, to a group of peers, which is conveniently worked into each episode.
After Dave and Rick were married in the series, however, you see the downfall as they are now both serious adults. Moreover, Rick's wife Kris is chronically portrayed as extremely snippy and nothing short of intolerable, and it leaves you to wonder with all the nice girls Rick dated in college (in the program), how he ended up with someone like that. In every episode with Kris, she is quick to accuse, quick to jump to the wrong conclusion, quick to display jealousy, and very demanding and extremely insecure - you pretty much see Rick really getting henpecked. One really aggravating episode is when it is Kris' birthday and Rick gets her a puppy. Kris and Rick are at Ozzie and Harriet's and you constantly hear her whine in a demanding tone: "Where's my present? Where's my present?" like a little five year old. Knowing that Kris in real life was anxious to please, she was willing to embarrass herself.
I agree with one of the other reviewers that this program was one of the funniest, until Rick and Dave are grown and married. Prior to this, it showcased a number of twists and turns and keeps you compelled to watch until the end. If you can catch any of the episodes prior to the marriages, you are in for a real treat!
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