That Girl (1966–1971)
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A Limited Engagement 

Donald gets a severe case of cold feet and contemplates breaking his and Ann's engagement.

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Ann's bridal shower marks the end of a near perfect day for her, more so in that she that much closer to being Mrs. Donald Hollinger. The bridal shower also marks the end of a troubled week for Donald, who has such an extreme case of cold feet that he doesn't know if he wants to get married at all, be it to Ann or anyone else. Jerry can sense that Donald is troubled. Once Donald confides to Jerry, Jerry tries to tell him, from his own experience, that his feelings are natural. Jerry also tries to help him get over it by volunteering to do many of the wedding tasks. But Jerry's measures don't help. Donald ends up snapping at every little thing that Ann says and does, which leads to Donald finally telling her that he doesn't want to get married. It further leads to an argument and them breaking up. A despondent and depressed Ann tries to figure out what she did wrong while trying to move on with life without the love of her life. But time and a look into a future without Ann courtesy of... Written by Huggo

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Comedy

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15 January 1971 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The title used a theatrical term meaning a play that is only scheduled for a limited time period of days or weeks instead of a usual open ended run that lasts as long as the play is popular. The title also used that fact that the main character is in the theater and that she is having second thoughts about her engagement. See more »

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References Seconds (1966) See more »

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That Girl
Lyrics by Sam Denoff
Music by Earle Hagen
Performed by Chorus
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A disturbingly unpleasant episode
26 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

We get a glimpse of the ending of Ann's bridal shower, which appears to have been a fine party in Ruthie's apartment. While it is going on, Don and Jerry are in Ann's apartment. Don seems quite troubled but only reveals what is wrong when Jerry presses him to open up. He has gotten the proverbial "cold feet" that sometimes confronts people before their wedding. He tells Jerry he hopes to figure things out, maybe as soon as tomorrow.

Ann returns and Donald tells her he's too tired to visit with her. He's going home and to bed. Then he adds that he'll call tomorrow because there's something he wants to talk about.

Naturally, Ann wants to know immediately. She is worried about some relatively minor problem but wants to know. Don refuses to say more, which makes her more curious. So she phones him later and tries to get him to tell her that night. Donald is curt with her and this irks her. She phones him back and he is borderline rude. She concludes by saying "I love you" and he doesn't respond. She phones back and tells him that troubled her. Don is now somewhat upset that she can't wait for tomorrow to hear what he has to say and he hangs up on her—without any "I love you."

Even though it now must be late at night, we next see Don leaving his apartment to go see Ann, only when he gets to his apartment lobby, Ann is getting on the elevator to see him. They continue this "argument" in the elevator, befuddling another passenger, who merely wants to ride without hearing the quarrel.

Finally, Donald tells Ann that he isn't sure if he wants to get married—to anyone. Ann is so upset, she hands him back the engagement ring and goes home without ever asking the obvious question of "Why?" We spend several minutes with Ann at home talking to Ruthie, contemplating no more Donald in her life, wondering what might be wrong. Of course they come to no conclusions.

(Spoiler alert, if you need it) Of course, Donald comes over for the final scene and tells Ann he came to his senses and does indeed want to marry her and everything ends happily. I am sure nobody watching this series for the first time was surprised at that ending.

Here's what's wrong with this plot. You can have a serious thing happen in a comedy, but when most of the episode is based on a serious plot—Don doesn't believe he wants to marry his fiancée—it is virtually impossible to generate many laughs. The viewers care about the main characters and thinking something seriously wrong is going to happen ruins virtually any chance of laughing. Guest or minor characters can back out of a marriage, or perhaps seem on the verge of divorce, but the story has to be about other things or it isn't funny. Dick Van Dyke had a flashback episode to where Rob had cold feet, but that was only for a minute or so, then the rest of the episode was about him trying to get to the church on time, and what happened after. Here, we spent about 95% of the episode with Donald seriously thinking he didn't want to marry Ann.

The biggest thing wrong was when Ann learned about Donald's doubts. It seems automatic to me that anyone would immediately say, "Tell me what's wrong. Why don't you want to get married? Is it something I did? Don't you love me?" Any of those questions would have led to a constructive conversation that might have helped resolve Don's doubts. Even if they didn't, it would have let Ann know what the trouble was. Instead, she gets mad and goes home and wastes time trying to figure out what is wrong instead of asking the one person who could tell her. It was, of course, really dumb of Don to tell Ann that he wanted to talk about something the next morning. Why get her all concerned right then if you don't want to talk about it. Whether it's your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or your boss, if they say, "There's something we have to talk about…tomorrow," you are going to be, at least, a bit worried, wondering what the trouble is, and anxious for the next day to get here.

The only two scenes at all funny were involving the other guy on the elevator, and later when Jerry was with Don in his office. Otherwise, this episode was terrible.


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