Ivan Petrovsky, a decent and hard-working blue-collar man, toils at his menial position as head-waiter at a Moscow hotel in order to provide for his wife, three children, mother-in-law and ... See full summary »
Ivan Petrovsky, a decent and hard-working blue-collar man, toils at his menial position as head-waiter at a Moscow hotel in order to provide for his wife, three children, mother-in-law and Cuban exchange student, all of whom live together in a small one-bedroom apartment. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Petrovskys had a pet, never seen but often heard - a Russian wolfhound named "Rasputin" whose savage barks and growls emanated from behind an always-closed (though frequently-kicked) door. On at least one occasion, Rasputin was described to a visitor (in an historical in-joke) as "the mad dog of Russia". See more »
I remember this series as a "summer replacement" in what was probably about August of 1976 -- I was 11 then and it was manifestly unfunny to me even at that immature age. It belongs to a genre of mid-1970s "comedies" that were shot on what seemed like small sets -- as I recall the whole thing seemed to the viewer like it was taped in a room the size of the average garage. AS with most of these, it consisted largely of a bunch of one-joke characters standing in a row while they traded one-liners with the main character. As I recall (and I haven't seen it in that many years) just as the punch line of every joke in Hogan's Heroes was "the Russian Front," so the punchline in Ivan was something about the KGB.
As I recall, this show was off the air in about four weeks.
I do miss one thing though. Back then there were three major networks in the US, and even in NY and LA there were maybe three local stations with largely syndicated programming and locally produced shows in addition to the three network affiliates -- that's a total of six channels (seven, if you count PBS) in the largest of large markets, not the 300 channels we have now. Summer was a time when dirt-cheap "summer replacement series" and slightly larger-budget one-time pilots were on the air, and there was something more "real" about the amateurish, fly-by-night feel of them, as awful as they were (it was like watching ED Wood movies made for TV). Now, everything is so slick, so test-marketed, so computerized and hyped that they've lost all their charm.
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