|Index||5 reviews in total|
As a teenager, I watched the show for the 9 weeks it lasted. It wasn't
really a spin-off of HAPPY DAYS, but the producers wanted TV viewers to
think it was, so about a week before the first episode of OUT OF THE
BLUE aired, Random the Angel did a cameo on HAPPY DAYS. Then, for good
measure, they had Robin Williams guest-star on the first episode as
Mork, from the then-popular series MORK AND MINDY. This might be
interesting today for Williams' fans, but most have not seen it. As far
as I know, none of the 9 episodes has been seen since they first aired.
Most people clearly were not taken in by the phony attempts to tie the series in to HAPPY DAYS and MORK AND MINDY, but since I was an ignorant teenager who loved both shows, I was gullible enough to swallow it, and I watched. The short-lived show was pretty forgettable, but the main problem for me was that only the children on the show knew who Random really was. Over the years, I have grown tired of the overused plot situation wherein the children know something is magical, but the adults don't believe them. That's a pretty poor message Hollywood has sent to kids for decades---that adults won't believe you when you tell them the truth.
I am surprised as many people remember this failed series as there are, judging by the posts on this board. Actually, a DVD set might actually sell today to nostalgia buffs, but don't expect it anytime soon. It is rare for TV flops to go on to a new life in video-land.
This show tried hard to be "Mary Poppins" meets "Bewitched" and I fault
the writers at the failure of this show, not the rather engaging star
with an able assist by Eileen Heckart as Boss Angel.
Now, I will admit to being somewhat biased since Jim Brogan is a friend of mine, and that casting him as a guardian angel was somewhat of an irony since he is, in the real world, as close to a wearing a halo as any human is allowed to be. I personally used to refer to him as "Father Brogan" because he never swore, walked away from dirty jokes and drank fruit juice at a bar (The Original Improvisation in New York City) where he performed on stage. But this sitcom was just lame and he deserved better. (He would tell you that himself. I remember him then saying it was just "typical sitcom stuff.")
Still, I remember this as his first professional media job and what really got him into show biz. The pilot show had Robin Williams as Mork on an hour long episode which was surely memorable as was the "Happy Days" episode which still pops up on reruns from time to time. I also remember a rather attractive brunette waitress from another comedy club telling me to be sure and watch the show and give him support. I did, and even talked my then live-in girlfriend into purchasing a TV so we could watch this show's premiere. (She is now my wife and we still have that old, teeny black and white.)
I believe I saw all of the 9 shows that were broadcast, and also remember that it was opposite "Disney" and "60 Minutes" which sealed its fate early on. Then, the Super Bowl for that year preempted about the last show proving that death comes even to angels.
Still, the premise, had it not involved a family of supposed cut-ups, might have worked if it were like an early funny precursor to "Highway to Heaven," but the creativity factor sunk this show from its interminable cuteness. The writers failed the bright comedian, and the show died a merciful death to go to, I assume, television Purgatory forever.
I am happy to say that Jimmy went on to do better than this, and if you ever get to see his stand-up, you will see this angel shine.
I can't honestly say that I remember the show's quality, except that
Random was on Happy Days and Mork in turn was on Out of the Blue so I
would appreciate any chance to look back at that material. I remember
the theme song to a degree.
"Out of the blue, out of the blue, out- of- the- blue. Life is a reason, you're in the middle, the question is how to survive, but you keep on holding, keep on (something) out of the blue, out of the blue out- of- the- blue."
I mean, how bad could the mork episode be?
I think there is a huge market for "lost" or "failed" short-lived series. I mean they're not making any money for Paramound sitting in a vault.
It's too bad that (at the time of this posting) the photo for something else called "Out of the Blue" has no relation to this actual sit-com.
Here's the setup - a stranger tries to help a family solve their problems.
See, right there that covers nearly every family sitcom idea for the past
fifty years (and beyond).
And here, right at the end of the '70s, comes "Out of the Blue" - another variation on a theme. This time out, an angel (Brogan) is sent to Earth to live with the prerequisite precocious suburban family and help them with their troubles. Sort of like a sitcom of "It's a Wonderful Life" - except it ain't that wonderful.
Did this even last the season? No, and no wonder; due to the zillions of these type of shows already out there (especially on ABC) it just wasn't (pardon the expression) heaven-sent, as such drivel would have to be. The jokes were blah, the people were blah and as for Brogan himself...blah.
SOLE MERIT - Eileen Heckart as Brogan's supervising angel. How could she be in anything and NOT be good? Even this?
I do remember Brogan's character popping up once (before his premiere, I think) on "Happy Days" as a very minor character in an episode. Well, at least he was seen in syndication SOMEWHERE.
No stars for "Out of the Blue".
By the way, Brogan's character name was Random - if that gives you any hint to how they did the casting.
An angel named Random is sent to watch over a woman who's had to take
in her nieces and nephews after the death of their parents. Of course,
the children quickly find out that Random has magical powers while the
adults are clueless.
The sole reason that this series seems to be remembered is because it's assumed that it's yet another "Happy Days" spin-off (the lead character, Random, appeared on a "Happy Days" episode). Wrong. If this was a spin-off, then so was "That's My Mama." As a fan of both Dixie Carter and Eileen Heckart, I sought the series out... and was extremely disappointed with what I found.
While the premise has been done to death, it can STILL work if correctly executed. It didn't work here at all. The writing was bad, the effects were worse, the children were obnoxious, and all of the adults (except for Heckart) seemed completely miscast. Both Brogan and Carter seemed uncomfortable with their roles. Heckart made the most of the drivel she was given, and aside from her performance, the only redeeming thing about the show was an obnoxiously catchy theme song.
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