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This special celebrating the great female sidekicks was indeed special.
It was chock full of memorable and funny moments from some of the best
(and under-appreciated) shows that have graced the airwaves and
starring the grand dames of comedy.
For starters, the hosts, Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams (aka "Laverne & Shirley") were very funny and still have the chemistry that made them stars of L&S. They connected well with their guests and made sure their guests had the spotlight - always.
The reunions were fun and exciting too. Mary's "sidekicks" from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" opened the special and were delightful. It's hard to see the line between them and the beloved characters they immortalized on one of TV's best shows. Betty is still amazing and funny, Valerie is lovable and Georgia is overdue an Emmy (Everybody Loves Raymond spin- off?). The ladies talked about their jobs with a fun clip package include Carla from "Cheers," Jackie from "Roseanne" and the hysterical Clea Lewis from "Ellen." Yes, stars and supporting stars were honored throughout.
Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan, as best friends from "Maude," were gracious, real and spoke lovingly of the other sidekicks who left us - the feisty Esther Rolle and the hilarious Hermione Baddeley. The feuding clips were beautifully edited.
The tribute to Vivian Vance was loving, but too short. She is the queen of sidekicks and paved the way for some many in a brilliant, understated manner. Brava Vivian!
It was great to see the mothers and daughters as sidekicks. Peg and Kelly Bundy, Ann and Julie Romano ("One Day at a Time") and Mo'Nique and Countess Vaughn (hysterical) were memorable. We loved Mona and Angela ("Who's the Boss?") - Katherine Helmond is a treasure and Judith Light pays her co-star her due. And who could forget Fran and Syliva - Fran Drescher and Renee' Taylor - two brilliantly comic actors.
Jackee' Harry and Marla Gibbs also joined the line-up. Jackee was also a big talent in "227" and she and Marla still play well together. The clips on "sex" were classic too.
The BEST part was the first reunion of "The Golden Girls" (minus the retired Estelle Getty). Lifetime couldn't even get them together on-camera for the reunion special. All three stars (and Getty) won Emmys and all deserving. The tribute to Estelle was warm, funny and reminded me to keep watching the show and buy the DVDs.
I want to see more!!!
It was very touching to see all the ladies for the curtain call finale. BRAVA LIFETIME and to all the great sidekicks - Alice Ghostley, Lauren Lane, Cloris Leachman, Christine Baranski in the show - and Agnes Moorehead, Marion Lorne, Polly Holiday and many others.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was another one of those 'filler' shows you commonly see on TV.
Something like those pointless VH1 shows that have countdowns of film's
biggest smartass or naughtiest music video. Things that have absolutely
no substance, no entertaining value, and really no point. Hence, the
reason why they put it on television (a lot!).
What could've been a decent television special, at least in this case, turned out to be another pointless piece of garbage filler, and one quite insulting to some memorable television actresses who made appearances on the show. Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams from Laverne and Shirley hosted. Some members of the cast from the Mary Tyler Moore Show (those who played Mary's sidekicks, obviously), of 227, of Maude, of the Golden Girls, of Who's the Boss, and of the Nanny appeared live to comment about television sidekicks, and in some sort of after-thought moment, pay tribute to television's greatest female sidekick--Vivian Vance, who played Ethel on 'I Love Lucy.'
All of the commentary was wasted, and they only provided meaningless, extremely brief scenes from a handful of shows (not even enough to call it a good repertoire of 'sidekicks'). What is even more insulting, is that the guests were entirely wasted, and asked a handful of stupid questions. They were brought on the show to fill up about three minutes of interviews each. And considering how successful those shows were during their time, you'd think more respect would be given to these stars. Hell, they could've just ran a clip show if such 'filler' was so necessary, rather than dragging these people on this stage and asking them stupid questions.
They could've even have turned it into a mini-documentary of sorts, or at least commented on the history or importance or culture of female sidekicks in popular American television, but you don't even get that. It was so simplistic, and utterly insulting. What a slap in the face for all who appeared on the show, and especially, Vivian Vance, to whom they claimed to pay tribute. TV really has turned into cheap crap.
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