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The show was centered on Don Adam's iconic mannerisms and comebacks,
which took place mostly in his character's, Howard Bannister's, grocery
store, but the story would also lead to settings outside.
Around Howard were his employees, one of which was his long-time love. The employees were the typical get-on-each-others'-nerves-but-really-love-each-other characters, but each had a distinct personality, albeit populated by the norm for '80's shows, such as the dimwit, the arrogant-one, etc..
There was a punk girl, and even, albeit stereotypical, gay man, something not necessarily portrayed in all sitcoms at the time; there was actually greater diversity with this show's characters than "dumb one," "arrogant one," "slut," "straight man" that populated the TV screen.
I used to watch this TV series when it first aired; I was only a child. It is now airing on TV Land Canada.
I was disappointed at first, for suddenly it wasn't as funny as I remembered. Still, if one can get past some very corny dialog at times, and the amateur film quality compared to most other sitcoms, it is a rather enjoyable and humorous show.
Although an American sitcom, it was filmed in Toronto, and Canadian icons and scenery were sometimes seen, for example, The Canadian Pacific Railway train in the intro.
Unfortunately, the series did not last long, and one can contemplate more reasons than one why it failed. The writing is a big factor; I don't necessarily think it was the worst of what was out there, but the fact that at least one episode's script and even many lines were directly lifted from another show.
The popular Canadian TV series "The King of Kensington," had an early episode entitled, "Save Old George." It featured the tale of saving a landmark tree in the neighborhood, and trying to get the main character to care about it like he used to as a child.
"Check It Out!," not only stole the name of tree with the plot line, but exact lines were lifted and given from one main character to the other!
"Check It Out!," airs on TV Land Canada, and though it may not go down in history as a classic on par with Adam's "Get Smart," overall, if one is sick of Today's TV, this is a show to watch.
A short lived series, Check It Out never really seemed to click.Don Adams was good. Dinah Christie is a veteran performer up here in Canada. However, the stories and execution always came up bland and redundant. It seemed to have no natural generation. Carbon copy sit-com crapola.
The exterior shots of Cobb's Supermarket during the opening credits and
shown throughout the show were filmed outside of an A & P Supermarket
on the southeast corner of Dufferin St. and Steeles Ave. W. in North
York (Toronto) Ontario, Canada.
I was a student and a part time employee at the supermarket at the time they filmed these location shots. I remember coming into work one day (spring/summer 1985) and the A & P sign at the front was covered with the Cobb's sign.
I wasn't at work when they did the actual filming but you can see one of my colleagues walking out of the store in one of the shots...the store had a parcel pick-up facility and he was heading out to load up groceries in a customer's car.
The supermarket disappeared from that location during the 1990's and has been replaced by a large chain drug store.
I think the original idea for this sitcom was "M*A*S*H in a grocery
store" and under different circumstances it really could've worked,
too. They had one of the funniest, most versatile comic actors in the
lead role. The setting, a supermarket, was one most North Americans
were keenly familiar with. However, they could never really pull this
Don Adams was cast as floor manager of a lovely bunch of coconuts...produce department, who envisioned themselves as nuttier than fruitcakes...bakeshop. His assistant Edna (Dinah Christie) was the voice of sanity amid the clamor of doofus-ness...next aisle, Ma'am. The cast was bolstered by veteran Canadian comics Henry Beckman, Barbara Hamilton, as well as the pure, but hot (kid's show "Polka Dot Door" star) Tonya Lee Williams.
The problem with C.I.O. was probably not so much the mediocre writing, but in the production values. It just looked cheap right from the opening credits, until the last groan-worthy excuse for a punchline. Perhaps the Canadian producers hadn't yet heard that cardboard sets were meant for high school musicals, not internationally syndicated sitcoms.
I shouldn't pan the show entirely. Don Adams was a brilliant comic actor who went on to better things, managing to overcome this turkey...meat department. His co-star Dinah Christie was OK in this show, too. Who didn't love Henry Beckman, veteran of Canadian commercials and sitcoms? Tonya Williams got edgier as she grew older, becoming a star of character roles and soaps...aisle 7. Arguably the most successful actor of the supporting troupe. To me, however, she'll always remain that pure young thing behind the Cobb's cash register.
Don Adams, best known for playing super agent on Get Smart, may not have had his choices of playing normal characters. He plays the guy who manages a supermarket. First let me state that I have worked at supermarket for 5 1/2 years. The show had potential in the beginning but it was the Syndicated craze and not everything was network standards. It was the age of B Television with syndicated comedies but I remember this show for being one of the few sitcoms ever set in a supermarket which is now the sized of a local convenience store. No, this show wasn't great. I remember Dinah Christie who I always mixed up with Lois Nettleton. You can't blame, Don Adams, he has bills to pay. The cast themselves were generally forgettable. The show never really launched itself with all it's potential. Believe me, there are occasions when the supermarket like mine was the center of attraction. Everybody and anybody in town came and interacted in one. I don't remember customers who make up the wonderful experience of working there and of course, you can't forget the horrible ones.
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