Season One was out of this world. Our nation was in a dark, cynical mood in the early 70s. Our government had lied to us about Vietnam, gas was costing way more that it had, and racism was a huge issue. In this dark world Temperature's Rising exploded like a breath of fresh air. Cleavon Little owned this show with a perfectly supporting cast. He was a high-energy comedian portraying a very effective doctor who also loved fun in the workplace. With three gorgeous nurses, each with their own brand of comedy, and James Whitmore, a sterling straight-man, the comedy writers had plenty of horsepower and this show was LOL every episode. One of the earliest funny racist jokes was told by Cleavon Little, with a "flesh colored" band aid on his hand, he faked outrage and, like a doctor, commanded the nurse "and get some FLESH colored band aids!". LOL.
Season Two totally reeked. Funny Man Paul Lynde was in, James Whitmore was out, and the show's chemistry totally changed: only Mr Lynde was given funny lines, the nurses' lines were straight man, and Cleavon Little had like two lines the whole season, both serious. So whereas before comedy was coming from all directions with different styles, now the show became long setups for which Paul Lynde was to make funny observations. Yawn.
Paul Lynde's brand of comedy was to cynically speak a line while wiggling his head. His characters were great guest stars, when the cast could set up the jokes for his cynical comments. His characters HAD to follow Jeannie and Tony or Samantha and Darren, watch them put all the energy and comedy into a scenario, and then make his comment. Haha. His cynical-commenting character could not provide the energy to carry a show.
Too bad the original version of the show was never given the run it deserved. Season One deserves ten stars, it was as good as Scrubs. Season Two deserves zero stars, thanks to whatever genius changed (ruined) the show. Therefore I give five stars.
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