Peter, a junior executive at a New York business, figures out that single men at his company are generally passed over in favor of married men, who the top execs think are more stable. So Peter asks his friend and upstairs neighbor, Greta, if she'd be willing to pose as his wife for company functions. She agrees, not knowing how it'd affect her personal life. And whenever someone from his company unexpectantly dropped by "their" apartment, Peter would run up the fire escape two floors to fetch Greta, much to the bemusement of their neighbor in-between. Written by
When this show debuted, I was all of 8 years old. I loved it! Firstly, I would've married Michael Callan in 1966, if he'd only asked! I thought he was gorgeous. And Patricia Harty? Adorable.
The premise of the show sounds ridiculous now, but back then, there really wasn't any fuss and bother about discrimination in the workplace (or sexual harassment - just watch "Mad Men"!). If a boss said you had to be married to receive a promotion in his company, then you had to be married. Now, of course, if your boss laid down such a condition, you'd engage a lawyer and sue. But in 1966, you couldn't. What you could do was find a female friend, and pretend to be married, as far as your boss was concerned.
Luckily for Callan's character, he earned enough money to pay for an apartment in his building to house his "occasional wife". This not only helped to seal the deal - it also ensured that she was close at hand when needed. And having the apartments two floors apart gave us the opportunity to see the comic facial expressions of the guy who lived in between, as the Occasional Spouses ran up and down the fire escape.
The show was pretty racy for its time. The characters appeared to have sexual relationships without intending for them to end in marriage. Woooooooo....
In the pilot, Callan's mother nagged him about still not being married. She said, "You're not... 'eccentric'... are you?" (what a funny way of enquiring about his sexuality!), which he exasperatedly and quickly denied. It cracked me up.
I wouldn't mind seeing more episodes of this show, but I think it really was a bit of a one-trick-pony. There would've been only so many times where the boss showed up uninvited, or one or the other partner was seen with someone else... I don't see how it could've gone on longer than a year, now that I think about it.
Still, I thought it was a fun show to watch, and enjoyed seeing the pilot again.
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