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Betty White is a household name for a reason. In her first series, she played Elizabeth, a newlywed. Much like Lucille Ball's Lucy, Elizabeth gets into plenty of trouble but not like Lucy. Elizabeth is alone most of the time. She has no partner in crime. Except for her husband, Alvin played by Del Moore, the couple don't seem to have interference. The show is broken into three segments. There is an announcer that narrates the show. Betty does her best as with Del Moore with the writing. There just doesn't seem to be a point most of the time. Del's Alvin plays straight guy to Elizabeth. Betty White is charming and smart in this role but her Elizabeth needs something to do besides wait on her husband like a purpose.
Kirstie Alley plays a self absorbed Broadway actress named Madison Banks. Her son, Arlo, who she gave up decades ago comes to New York City and reunites with her. It sounds cliché but I'm actually enjoying it. Kirstie makes Maddie likable. Eric Petersen is perfectly cast as Arlo Barth, an awkward adult. The supporting cast is first rate with Rhea Perlman and Michael Richards. The Christmas episode was a hoot with Cloris Leachman as her mother. Arlo had a great relationship with his adoptive mother who was completely selfless and a second mother figure to his friends. Maddie tries to overcompensate for giving him up. Eric Peterson who plays Arlo does hold his own against his veteran costars. The John Travolta episode was ridiculous but all in good fun.
In the 1980s, pay cable stations like HBO and Showtime had original programming. This is a sitcom about a wealthy divorcée, Diane Barrow, who gets her husband's football team in a scandalous divorce. Being the new team owner, she has a lot of learning too. The team is okay for now. Leslie Easterbrook is always divine and a welcome presence. This sitcom is a bit racy than television sitcoms of the time. Cable allowed more creative freedom in allowing sexual situations, language, etc., By today's standards, this show is tame. I never saw this sitcom until now. It's okay but not great! It's entertaining though! The sitcom is out on location in the football fields and other Southern California locations. Delta Burke shines here in the starring role.
How I totally related to the bullied victims in the film, this documentary is a powerful testament about the good that can come from film making. This documentary follows bullied teens and pre-teens who are bullied to death. There are plenty of ways to be victimized in the school system. I would have loved to have been an English teacher in a school and made every effort to curb bullying or prevent such behavior. Unfortunately, bullying doesn't end at high school graduation. It's worse now with the Internet. In my day, the bullies couldn't get me at home unless by phone. Still bullying has always been around. Finally, it is now getting attention. There are too many suicides from bullying. If I can send you one message, it does get better. I only wished that I fought back.
This television version of the screen classic is less than an hour long with a great cast. Thomas Mitchell does a fine job as Kris Krinle also known as Santa Claus who is hired as the Christmas Santa at Macy's department store in New York City. Teresa Wright is great as the mother and skeptical personnel manager at the store. Her friend, neighbor, and handy attorney is played by Macdonald Carey. The film does seem rushed but fine to me because I actually haven't seen the classic film version or the updated one. This short but sweet hour is quite a treat. While the episode is a part of staged theatrical television programs that was popular at the time.
The Hollywood Bowl presents a holiday production about Jesus Christ in his final days. The film was on my Holiday Family Classics with Santa Claus on the DVD box. Anyway the quality is not high perhaps because of age and it is in color too. The cast is largely unknown to me. I don't recognize any of their names. Still this film is better suited for Easter and Passover than Christmas. While the color is better than black and white for today's audiences, black and white would have been better suited to help preserve the film quality. Although I am surprised that the Hollywood Bowl would produce a biblical production but I shouldn't be. We never get many close-ups of the cast on screen to see them become the roles.
The Great Rupert is a squirrel with a mind of his own and a talented one. When Rupert's handler is evicted and runs into the Amendola family who needs a place to stay around Christmastime. They move in without paying rent. Their landlord is a greedy miser who would evict them on Christmas but magically money appears from the sky. So they spend money, pay their rent, and have a Christmas to remember. The great Rupert is behind the magical money. The story is far fetched but enjoyable. The cast do a great job. You wonder what happened to the first guy who lived in the house first and hope for the best. You can't help but like the good natured Amendolas who take and spend the money it for themselves and others as well.
This stage adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, Little Women, features Meg's side of the story. Mary Sinclair does an admirable job in playing Meg. Sadly, there are only two versions by Jo and Meg not Beth and Amy. The story of the March sisters is endured by millions of young and adult readers for decades and centuries. The cast also includes the same in Jo's version. Jo is played by Nancy Marchand in her television introduction. Other cast members include a young Conrad Bain and Peg Hillias and others. It is worth watching both versions especially with a Christmas holiday theme. Despite black and white and a bit dated for today's audiences.
Long before she was known as Livia Soprano, she made her television debut as Jo March in a stage & television adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, Little Women. As Jo March, Nancy delivers a solid performance despite the script's obvious flaws. Despite discrepancies, it is an entertaining to watch a youthful Nancy Marchand for a change. She was such a wonderful versatile actress whether on stage, television, or film. You notice how tall she was and how she towered over her cast mates. They only did Jo and Meg's stories with the same cast for this program. Here she displayed Jo's fierce sense of independence ad determination for her own life.
I think Ellen Burstyn gives the best performance in this television remake. Heather Graham is wrongly casted as Corrinne Foxworth though! She does do a fine job though overall. The beginning sets up the past as a loving nuclear family. When their father dies, the family becomes desperate financially. So they go Virginia where they learn the truth about family secrets. They leave quickly without telling anybody of their plans; board a train under another name; get off in the middle of the night at a closed train station; they walk to Foxworth Estate. There grandmother doesn't welcome them with open arms. She has stay unknown to the servants and their grandfather of their very existence. The children do an admirable acting job despite difficult material. Overall I'm impressed with this updated version.
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