Frances "Gidget" Lawrence lives with her widowed college professor father in California. Anne is her older sister who is married to John Cooper, a psychology student. Gidget spends most of ... See full summary »
Frances "Gidget" Lawrence lives with her widowed college professor father in California. Anne is her older sister who is married to John Cooper, a psychology student. Gidget spends most of her free time at the beach, hanging out with friends and surfing. She also has a knack for getting in and out of trouble. Gidget speaks to the audience during her journey to adulthood, letting them know exactly what's on her mind and what she's discovered about life. Written by
The edifice used for Lawrence house is on the back lot known as the "Columbia Ranch". Gidget's home is situated next door to the principal residence on Bewitched, which was in production at the same time. In select episodes, Samantha and Darrin Stephens' house is visible in exterior shots from Gidget's front yard. See more »
Sally Field as a TV-version of Frances Lawrence, aka 'Gidget', that feisty teenager from a Los Angeles suburb in the 1960s, protesting injustices, standing up for the underdog, surfing on the weekends, and meddling in everyone's lives. This half-hour filmed sitcom with laugh-track only lasted one season before ABC unwisely gave it the heave-ho (due to low ratings, though they suddenly picked up during the '66 rerun season). Still, "Gidget" lives on due to canny, clever writing, rich photo stock (with colors that just POP!), a fun supporting cast, a hummable theme song (warbled by Johnny Tillotson), and of course Field, the quintessential little sister/best friend/project manager. Field was an inexperienced young actress who somehow knew the magical trick of connecting honestly with the TV viewing audience (whether addressing the camera directly or not). Her abilities were part instinct and part God's gift. She's indefatigable but never exhausting, and she makes everyone on-screen her pal as well. As widower father Professor Russell Lawrence, Don Porter (carried over from 1963's theatrical "Gidget Goes to Rome") is attractively bemused and never embarrassed, while Lynette Winter is the perfect embodiment of the misfit best friend (doggedly devoted, sometimes against her will). As Gidget's married sister and brother-in-law, Betty Conner and Peter Deuel seldom get their share of bright lines or stories, though Deuel's starchy skepticism is nearly funny on its own. Despite the product plugs, Gidget's rather under-populated high school, and a few slapstick detours, not a bad way to spend an afternoon. It's nostalgic and upbeat, and Field looks great on a surfboard.
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