Ben Gazzara plays a successful lawyer who is told by his doctor in the first episode that he will die in one to two years. He decides to do all of the things he has never had time for. The ... See full summary »
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Peter Mark Richman
Ben Gazzara plays a successful lawyer who is told by his doctor in the first episode that he will die in one to two years. He decides to do all of the things he has never had time for. The program becomes a series of plays in which he meets a wide variety of people from bums riding the rails, to gigolos, to orphans and becomes a man who has little fear of death and everything but time. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Some sources claim that Ben Gazzara's character suffered from leukemia. However, in a 1998 interview conducted by TV book writer Ed Robinson, executive producer Roy Huggins indicated that the affliction 'Paul Bryan' suffered from was never mentioned on the program and does not exist. See more »
During seasons one and two, Roy Huggins was credited as Executive Producer during the opening credits after the program's episode titles. During season three, for unknown reasons, Huggins was not clearly credited as Executive Producer. In addition, Huggins was nominated for an Emmy as Executive Producer for the show's final season. The end credits state the following: A Roncom Films-Roy Huggins Production. See more »
I was in college when this first aired and I remembered this series as being "important" and exciting to watch. When I saw it was scheduled on Cozi TV, I couldn't wait to see it again. Yikes, what a disappointment. Despite the charms of Gazzara, who was always better than the material he got to perform, re-watching this series is embarrassing. I feel sad for Gazzara who was a fine actor stuck in this drivel. I hope he made a bundle though he probably didn't because it didn't have much syndication, if any. Most of the people in these episodes are long dead anyway.
The scripts are generally awful, bordering on being sexist, somewhat racist at times, and downright preposterous. Yet, 40 years ago these plots seemed perfectly plausible.
Cozi hasn't yet rerun episodes of the "romance" Paul Bryan had with Claudine Longet (then married to Andy Williams). My sisters and I were completely enthralled when those first aired. They'll probably make me laugh out loud today.
Someone here has remarked on the poor production values and cheesy sets. True, but Star Trek first ran during the same period and had sets even cheesier, yet the writing was typically thought-provoking and reality-based, which is why it became a classic despite the overwrought acting of its star, William Shatner.
Cheesy sets and poor production values aside, Gazzara was 20 times the actor Shatner was. Shatner rested on good writing and is a TV icon. Gazzara rested on preposterous plot lines and was largely ignored except by us baby boomers who remember him.
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