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Cathy Lane, teen-aged daughter of a globe-trotting journalist, comes to live at the home of her uncle, a newspaper editor in New York City. Curiously, Cathy is the spitting image of her uncle's daughter, Patty. Appearances aside, however, the urbane Cathy is nothing like her cousin Patty, who is the typical American teenager. Written by
Stewart M. Clamen <email@example.com>
I was born in the middle of this show being in its heyday, but thanks to syndication, I got to see it and grow up with it as a child, and again as an adult on Nick At Nite. Patty Duke has always been among my favorite actresses, and the sheer simplicity of this show was a relief in and of itself. Surrounded today as we are by base violence and drug problems and other things, the simplicity of the Patty Duke Show is a welcome respite from all that. It wouldn't win any awards for compelling writing, possibly, but its a cherished and loved show from my younger days all the same and I hope TV Land resurrects this gem of a show as well.
In contrast to today's world, where TV revolves around inane writing and situations, this show truly showcased the acting talent of the actors and actresses within it, especially the fabulous Anna Marie "Patty" Duke-Pearce. Though the vehicle itself was simplistic and even somewhat "childish" in nature at times, she used the talent she had to forge two very distinct and different personalities, so distinct and different that you actually catch yourself believing there ARE two cousins, instead of one actress in two parts. The stories were very situation and character driven, without the absurdity of some of the things that we see in modern TV today. They actually had a plot, even if it was over the top and hare brained at times.
The true joy of the show was the subtle morals and family and personal values the show portrayed. Like good television of any era, and especially of that time period, lessons were brought to us by wonderful fictional characters that we could identify with, that we felt we knew, recognized and loved dearly. How many times have you watched the show and wished your parents were as understanding and easy to get along with as Martin and Natalie Lane were? That your parents showed you the sort of interest that they did their daughter, son and niece? Life today is much faster and much more hectic, and often we miss out on the simplistic idea of our parents taking time out as this particular set did.
The entire show was one filled with good, solid values and a lot of pure, real fun, portrayed in a very realistic, but also very funny, way. We learned to laugh at ourselves and keep ourselves going from watching this show. We learned that while life is serious, we shouldn't be overly serious with it, and that just because we laughed at a situation or ourselves, it didn't subtract from the seriousness of it.
In my personal opinion, you'll find very little TV today with similar merits, honestly. The casting and acting of the show was brilliant, and I think the writing was excellent, perfect for what it was intended to be: life lessons delivered in a contemporary and fun way. I think everyone should be exposed to this show, and ones of its caliber to relearn what real, honest, good and just plain fun really is. You'd probably find yourself surprised.
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