I Married Dora (1987–1988)
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Actually it was not a bad little comedy. But it suffered from a bad weekly spot. It was on Fridays, I believe. The plot line is based on the problems of avoiding Dora's deportation by any means necessary (which is like Lucille Ball's determination to get into show business by any means necessary on I LOVE LUCY). Dora's boss, a W.A.S.P., marries her, but her weekly attempts to please him and keep in the country always show that she is a little more with it due to street smarts.
There were other plot points that were never fully covered due to it's short run. The boss/husband was previously married (with children). His wife was on a plane that apparently was commandeered by terrorists four years before, and never heard from again - so there was a potential situation like Tennyson's ENOCH ARDEN of the missing person turning up again.
There was also a nice addition to the cast - Henry Jones, that dependable character actor. It was his first regular role on a comedy series since his two year stint on Cloris Leachman's PHYLLIS. Here he was a W.A.S.P. aristocrat, who constantly got to see that his fine contacts meant nothing. In one episode, Dora learns Jones knows Nancy Reagan (they are old friends). She convinces him to make a phone call asking the President (through Nancy) to kill some immigration problem. No problem to Henry, he insists. We watch him make a few calls, and he eventually does get Nancy. We hear a pleasant conversation (of course, only from Jones side) going on. After two minutes, a promise to see Nancy and Ronnie when they are back home, Henry hangs up. Dora is looking daggers at her, as he realizes he never got to ask Nancy for the favor!
Not a bad show really, which, with a better time slot, might have made it. But not one of the worst films - not by a long stretch.
But daughter Kate was unforgettable with a mastery of sarcasm. From such a cute little girl with a amazing resemblance to future super star actress Juliette Lewis.
Most unforgettable episode was where Dora takes the kids to a Latino club. When Mr. Peter finds out where the kids are he has a wild fantasy of the evils of such a club. An absolutely hilarious episode making great use stereotypes!
Here's one bit of irony that I remember from the pilot episode (and am surprised that no one else has commented on): When it looks as if the U.S. Government will deport Dora, Peter at first engages in a series of interviews with potential housekeepers, all of them hilariously unfit in one way or another. (Including a weird Indian woman who thought she was answering an ad for a "Horsekeeper", lol!)
Afterwards, he asks his kids, Kate & Will, who they liked. They both immediately respond, "Dora." Peter then remarks that one of the interviewees "seemed okay," to which Kate responds with something like (not an exact quote), "Yeah, if you don't worry too much about her going off on some kind of killing spree." I remembered this line years later when I saw Kate (Juliette Lewis) in the incredibly great & incredibly disturbing NATURAL BORN KILLERS (1994) in which she plays a character who, with Woody Harrelson, goes off on a killing spree!! :-)
Anyway, LOVED THIS SHOW! Admittedly, it probably didn't have a lot more great episodes in it at the time it was canceled; however, most of the episodes that were made were great! And it brought us the always interesting, unique, talented and wonderful Juliette Lewis!!!
Two things are worth mentioning about it, however; first, it was the introduction of Elizabeth Pena, she with the facially large nose, slightly closed eyes, and superbly sexy voice -- sort of a throaty drawl with a very slight Cuban undertone. Catch her in "Lone Star" or "Tortilla Soup" if you want to see her at her best. The second, as I recall, was the way the show acknowledged its poor ratings. At one point Dora made a virtual pistol shot at a TV Nintendo game, and stated that she wished she could zap "Beauty and the Beast" in the same manner. And at the end the someone in the cast announced that the series had been canned - and came out for a bow in front of the studio audience. A nice touch, when most canceled sitcoms just disappear into the ether without a by-your-leave.
The episode-in-question aired December 18, 1987. It didn't get blockbuster ratings like the final MASH, Who Shot JR or The Fugitive.
Put in perspective, Dallas' infamously notorious dream sequence was May 16, 1986.
Dora finale, May 18, 1987.
St. Elsewhere finale, May 25, 1988.
Newhart finale, May 21, 1990. Newhart put all the tongue-in-cheekiness in perspective. Nothing can outdo Bob Hartley's dream sequence, I'm afraid.
So where does Dora stand? It recognizes more than any other show that a show is simply written.
Dora will be recognized along with Burns and Allen, Garry Shandling and the televised play, HOuse of Blue Leaves, with Swoozie Kurtz, John Mahoney and Ben Stiller, for its toying with the audience.
The show will never applauded as a great show, but then what is a great show? High ratings and Emmys don't guarantee a show won't be forgotten, no more than box office and Oscars guarantee a movie will be a classic.
There stands Dora, for that final episode. A classic.
i think that the actress might have been Christina ricci, but when i went to her page it wasn't listed...i do remember one of the young up and comers, if i'm not mistaken..but it sure would be good if you could put the rest of the cast, i know that the show didn't even last a year, but i kind of enjoyed it all, and would like to know who the rest of the cast is/was