Three 40-something best friends from Los Angeles are flying to Paris when their plane makes an emergency landing in Cleveland. Realizing that all the norms from Los Angeles don't apply anymore, they decide to celebrate a city that values real women and stay where they're still considered hot.
As a high-end custom furniture maker, Jimmy is trying to raise Wendy, his smart, yet manipulative, 10-year-old daughter he has with Donna, and his darkness-obsessed teen daughter Bonnie, ... See full summary »
Just two nights before posting this,I was at my local grocery store,which has within it a music & entertainment section. Like a lot of places,it has a shelf full (and I mean "full"!) of low priced DVD's. Mostly of deservedly forgotten movies,some classic but badly transfered classic movies & cartoons.
Now & then though I find a jeweled needle in that messy haystack. "Life With Elizabeth" is definitely one and of course Betty White is,not only a jewel herself,but a national treasure who has been in television nearly 60 years now (& some movies in the 1940's too!). Now I'm certainly not saying "Elizabeth" is a flawless classic,far from it butit does have some good qualities about it. First being that my DVD copy is 3 hours of shows for only $1. This being 6 episodes with 36 "vingettes" or as I call them "mini-stories". The first of which is,Alvin comes home grumpy from work and has still more to do at home.
Elizabeth tries to help but is mostly an annoyance to her already frustrated husband. This is not a very good first impression to give someone whose never seen the show. This made me feel that the show was forgotten for a reason. Thankfully,the vingettes get a little better,Alvin shows he does have a sense of humor and Elizabeth stops clowning long enough to show other emotions. (An actress laughing at her own jokes in a show is a little unusual,I admit.)
Some of the corny jokes spoken by Betty made me laugh because sometimes I like a good joke,some are too corny and made me roll my eyes & think "Oh my gosh,that was bad!" Del Moore rattles of a few jokes himself but,given his usual annoyance with Elizabeth,it's not too convincing. Like a TV husband,he wants his wife to be sort of docile & sweet all the time.
The other vingettes include,the couple coloring easter eggs & ending up in a "tiff" about how to decorate them (ending in Alvin accidentally drinking some dye thinking it's coffee.) * A fairly funny segment where they attempt to put together and hang a seemingly "alive" curtain rod. Flashbacks to early in their marriage when they keep getting calls from friends of the former owners of the home they now live in.
The first time Alvin has to take an overnight business trip and Elizabeth's not taking it well. Alvin buys an inflatable pool for the back-yard but it's too small. The photography episode was very funny,as well as Alvin,his buddy & Elizabeth trying to change a tire together.
Their ditzy female neighbor who's more of a bird-brain than ditzy,she clips off the TV wire to their house thinking it's a vine! (I felt sorry for that woman having to play such an idiot!)
A little annoyance to me also was the announcer asking Elizabeth,"Aren't you ashamed?" I don't feel they needed it in "every" show. He amusing in his own way. (He's still alive by the way!)
Overall,the positives are Betty White herself,a nice piece of nostalgia and best of all (despite maybe a lack of emotional chemistry) a look at a couple actually having differences of opinion. In the 1950's,network shows rarely gave a woman the upper hand but the fact that this is not a network show and that White herself was writer & co-producer helped this be at least a bit more like life in marriage.
Somewhat negative is,it's too bad this can't be cleaned up & edited better and put out in a full collection that makes it even more worth one's money. A got a lot for my $1 & change but one always wishes for better quality.
I wont condemn the show for being a product of it's time. Television had good shows to be sure,but it was still a young medium. Betty White's,"Life With Elizabeth" was like,"I Love Lucy",a step in the right direction for how women were perceived not only "on" TV but how much say they had behind the scenes. For a show as simple as this,it's good enough to be noted for the few but significant early accomplishments of it's star. (END)
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