|Index||6 reviews in total|
This was such a lovely show and I miss that sort of thing that isn't on television anymore. It was very smart, very silly and combined slapstick and clever dialogue well. The show reminded me in some respects of films from the thirties that had witty dialogue and a screwball sensibility and the chemistry between Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis was endearing and believable. One was given the impression that everyone enjoyed what they were doing. A favorite episode of mine involved someone running into an ex at a restaurant and the three four different stories of how the situation occurred. The best was a Fellini-like observation of the event. It is one of those clever obscure shows that deserves to be on DVD just for my sake.
To echo other reviewers, this series recalls both the thirties "madcap"
comedies and the cerebral Tracy/Hepburn collaborations. Lewis,
criticized as a Woody Allen imitator, pulls away from that
allegation/limitiation and holds his own opposite Curtis, a boss of the
production. It's been a long time and it's difficult for me to recall
specifics, but this one needs to be unearthed - look at all the crud
that's made it to DVD already!
Similar productions that come to mind would be the British series "Solo" (with Felicity Kendal). There's also the suggestion of an updated and more grownup "Georgy Girl" - but more upbeat (no gross hospital scenes)...
Back in the 80s, shows with romantic tension between the leads were all
over the air: Moonlighting, Remington Steele etc. got it going and
within a few years every show was on the same bandwagon. Here, Jamie
Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis play colleagues at Chicago Weekly magazine
who suppress their romantic impulses toward one another so as to
preserve their friendship and working relationship, but circumstances
keep pushing them together nonetheless. The overall romantic story arc
moved slowly and inexorably toward its predictable goal, but the
individual episodes were generally well written and funny enough on
their own and as a result the show is still watchable.
Be warned: the show was on the air from 1989-92, and you get the occasional very dated joke on a then topical subject. This is rather unavoidable with sit-coms. Also note that the show underwent a re- structuring after episode 6 in which most of the cast got fired. The magazine gets a new boss, Jamie's character gets a new apartment and a new best friend, while her Dad, played by Bruce Kirby, is rarely if ever seen again. The changes worked fairly well, but when watched on a DVD it's a bit jarring, with the second side of the disk looking almost like a new show.
I agree with the other commentators, this was a really good series. It
hearkened back to old Hollywood in so many ways - the repartee, the
light touches of comedy, the modern sense of romance. It also seemed to
tip its hat to the gentler, more genteel Britcoms of the late 70's.
Jamie Lee Curtis was utterly charming, and Richard Lewis - with his
neurosis and inability to let anything drop -was her perfect match. And
the show really caught that feel of the turn of the decade,
post-garish-80's, but pre-slacker-90's.
It says something when a TV show is so well constructed but all one initially remembers is a warm and fuzzy feeling. It means that the show has wormed its way into your heart. This is the case with Anything But Love.
I only have two complaints about the series. First, ABC treated it badly, first in not keeping it in a good time slot, permanently (this was the late 80's, early 90's, when the big three ruled, and a large contributor to a shows success was keeping it in the public's mind by delivering it regularly at a set time), and - having worn down its viewer-ship - canceling the show way too soon. Second, after the first or second season there was a reworking of the show. As with These Friends of Mine/Ellen, this destroyed much of the initial simple charm.
This is one American sitcom I would definitely get on DVD, for I know that I would watch the series over and over again.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was a highly underrated series-despite the fact that it was
nominated for Emmy's and Golden Globes' and ran for 4 seasons. (I doubt
in this fierce network climate it would last even one-but I digress...)
I remember seeing this when it first aired. I now own Volume #1 on DVD and have been enjoying it tremendously. Richard Lewis's neurotic shtick works very well here and his chemistry with a young Jaime Lee Curtis is undeniable. They work off each other like a classic comedy duo: Rosalind Russel and Cary Grant if Rosalind was a bohemian and Grant Woody Allen's second cousin, once removed.
My only gripe is that when it first came out, apparently, it needed retooling. After a hiatus it came back with an instrumental version of the theme (much better actually), a fun teaser before each show and, best of all, Ann Magnuson as the new boss of the magazine Lewis and Curtis work for.
Old characters were deleted with very little explanation and new characters brought in. Most of the changes were for the better and after the retool the show was definitely sharper.
However, that episode (CH-CH-CHANGES) that came back after the hiatus was somewhat sloppy. The kiss between Lewis and Curtis at the end of the last episode seemed to simply be forgotten, the father of Curtis's character was out without an explanation and Curtis's character found a new place to live-also with very little explanation.
In addition, Magnusons' character was written somewhat schizophrenically from one episode to the next. The most distracting thing being that she conveniently forgets Curtis's character's name though she obviously knew it when we first met her character!
Despite these minor aberrations, once Magnuson was on board the shows really found their groove and after a short while the new characters and adventures really started to click. Two of my personal favorites: the fantasy sequence parodying TWIN PEAKS and a dead on parody of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS.
Please, powers that be: bring us Volume #2!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
very few TV moments actually take your breath away. "Isn't it
Romantic?" took mine.
is there a marketing boob smart enough to burn this series onto DVD and screw me out of an unconscionable amount of money to procure it?
if you are a network boob with connections, please advise how to research the availability of this title.
this series was rerun for a limited rebroadcast on Lifetime back in the 1990's. the original Theme Song (including the vocal) was broadcast with the first season episodes.
Holly Fulger was the first sidekick of not only Jamie Lee Curtis (in Anything But Love), but also Ellen DeGeneres (in These Friends of Mine)
btw, IMDb should encourage conciseness rather than verbosity;)
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