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Lyrics for the show's theme song: Want you to meet the family that's known as the real McCoys / From West Vir-gi-nee they came to stay in sunny Cal-i-for-ni-ay / 'Ole Grandpappy Amos and the girls and boys of the family known as The Real McCoys / What a housekeepr Kate is, she's doin' what she enjoys / No gal can beat her when it come to looks and the same can be said 'bout the way she cooks for / Grandpappy Amos and the girls and boys of the family known as The Real McCoys / Livin' as good folks should live and happy as kids with toys / 'Ole Grandpappy Amos is the head of the clan, he roars like a lion but he's gentle as a lamb / His grandson Luke keeps a beamin' with joy since he made Miss Kate Missus Luke Mccoy / Sharing each other's sorrows, enjoyin' each others joys / Like all other families they quarrel and fuss but it a'int never serious with / Grandpappy Amos and the girls and boys of the family known as The Real McCoys See more »
The 224 half-hour episodes (all in B&W) of the situation comedy "The Real McCoys" ran from 1957-1963 on ABC and CBS. The show's creators/producers were Irving and Norman Pincus, a pair of brothers with little other claims to fame.
But they left quite a legacy with "The Real McCoys" as the series literally changed the direction of network situation comedy. Early sitcoms like "I Love Lucy", "The Honeymooners", "Make Room for Daddy", and "The Goldbergs" were urban in tone and set in downtown apartments in big east coast cities; urban families were the first buyers of televisions. By the mid-fifties suburbia was getting a lot play ("Life of Riley", "Leave It to Beaver") as Americans began moving out to the suburbs. But network executives were resistant to the idea of rural characters in rural setting. Rural families were unlikely to own televisions (or have television stations within broadcast range) and urban sophisticates could not be expected to tune into a show featuring rural rubes.
When "The Real McCoys" proved the suits wrong it set the stage for Andy of Mayberry, Jed in Beverly Hills, Kate and the Shady Rest, and Oliver and Lisa in Hooterville. Danny Thomas and Paul Henning who would launch those shows were both involved in "The Real McCoys".
The premise of the show is the move of the legendary West Virginia McCoys to a farm in the San Fernando Valley they inherit from their uncle. Given the current value of valley real estate it is amusing that one of the central conflicts of the series is the family's precarious financial position (insert lack of money here).
The McCoy family is a bit usual as it skips an entire generation. Grandpa Amos (Walter Brennan) lives with his grandson Luke (Richard Crenna), Luke's new wife Kate (Kathy Nolan), and Luke's little brother and sister (Michael Winkleman and Lydia Reed). Apparently Luke's parents mysteriously died.
Like "The Beverly Hillbillies", the comedy comes from watching the family adapt to their new environment and seeing things we take for granted from a fresh perspective. And like Granny on that series, Amos is stubborn and irascible. The beauty of the series is that it finds satirical humor in the unsophisticated way of country folk while demonstrating that their backwoods wisdom often puts them ahead of the curve.
Luke and Kate join Oliver and Lisa Douglas of "Green Acres" as television's all-time most "in- love" couples and this dynamic is the shows underlying strength. Crenna and Nolan deliver fine performances throughout the series. Brennan is likewise excellent, managing to make a basically annoying character lovable. Amos is nicely overplayed as a cantankerous old coot full of rural aphorisms and blustering exasperations yet fully repentant when he goes too far.
Also notable is Tony Martinez as Pepino Garcia, a Mexican farmhand who just came with the farm. Pepino is a frequent foil for Grandpa, as his more laid-back approach to life often riles up the old guy. They do a nice job of avoiding what could have been a negative stereotype as Pepino is the best adjusted character on the series and second only to Kate in the wisdom department. Kate left the cast after the 5th season, she was missed.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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