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The Debbie Reynolds Show (1969)
a cute show
This is actually a perfectly cute little show. It is too bad it did not run more than one season. I had some copies in the past and had never watched them really and am just watching them now. It is not a brilliant sitcom, but let's face it, until the 70's with All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, along with Bob Newhart and Carol Burnett (comedy variety there) the only really great sitcoms were I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched. But this is a very sweet show and although I am not having belly laughs, I am smiling at the end of each show. Too bad it did not last for a few seasons. It is certainly no worse than Mayberry RFD or F Troop or Gomer Pyle, all big hits at the time. Not as good as The Beverly Hillbillies or Green Acres, but not bad. It is very cute, very sweet, a nice little show with a little bit of zany.
Charles Grodin (1995)
I liked this show very much too. Grodin was very funny and at times very touching. He had his best friend as a producer or something, I don't recall, but he found a job for his best friend which was neat. I think he did the voice overs. Grodidn also touchingly said goodnight to his mother every night and that he loved her; very sweet. I do remember the first year it seemed there were more entertainment guests on, famous actors, with his friend Marlo Thomas being the first. It did get more political as time went on and became a bit of a different show. Very good still, but different. He also had great singers singing great songs at the end of each show, which was also a neat twist. If I remember it was on the same channel, either CNBC or MSNBC, either way it was the channel owned by conservative Roger Ailes. I think it was called the Everybody's talking network or something like that. Anyway, Roger had his own show too and then Grodidn came on later with his show, so allowing for lots of opinions and were respectful about it. They were a lot more polite than nowadays! I think the later political seasons, and I think the show was only on for a few years, led to Grodin being on 60 Minutes II in an Andy Rooney type bit.
Later with Bob Costas (1988)
a great show
I could not agree with the other reviewers more. Bob Costas was and is a great sportscaster and was also a great talk show host. Because he actually talked and let his guests talk too! And he knew everything about them and their whole body of work and you knew it was not just from doing research (and that was at a time when there was no internet to do the research anyway!). He is a very intelligent man and seemed very modest and kind; this came through in all of his interviews. I wish the show was still on. It was so much more easy going as a show than Charlie Rose, the only interviewer who did the same kind of show. Tom Snyder's show in the 90's was also very good, but again they were not Bob Costas and his Later show. Mr. Costas never appeared smug and was always a real gentleman. A great show with lots of great guests!
very good episode
I would agree with the other reviewer here. Ann Blyth had a fairly long Hollywood career that was in several different stages: B musicals in the early part, dramatic roles that sometimes included such roles as Veda the evil daughter in Mildred Pierce, and then the later musicals and comedies she did starting in the late forties. This episode of Wagon Train, and she did 5 of these, was a very good one. It kind of combined all her talents to play the good, sweet daughter and her not so great mother, a tough saloon type lady. And as the other reviewer said, she got to sing in this. So she did her good girl role, her bad girl role and sang. All in one shot! Blyth's movie roles ended in 1957 and it is too bad she did not go on and do more movies as she was a very good actress. She did do some interesting TV work in this time period and this is one of the best. An excellent episode of the excellent Wagon Train series, which combined the regular characters of a Western with really great guest stars and always gave them a chance to shine as Blyth does in this one.
The Jensen Project (2010)
cute TV movie
I disagree with some of the other reviewers here. I watched this last night and hope it turns into a series. It was very cute, very light, a nice family TV movie in the spirit of Spy Kids. Was it the greatest thing I have ever seen, no. Was it the worst thing, no. It was nice to see TV vets Patricia Richardson and LeVar Burton, 33 years now since Roots, believe it or not. Kellie Martin is a bit young to play the mother of teen ager, but she did it very well as always. She always shows class and grace in her roles and did very well in this cute family movie. It is what they refer to as a "back door" pilot and so if it did well they might turn it into a series. It would be better probably as a series of TV movies, similar to Mystery Woman, another Martin series. Nice to see something family oriented nowadays.
interesting first episode
This is the first episode of the many episode show, The Du Pont Show with June Allyson, aka, The June Allyson Show. June only appeared in about 1/3 of the shows and introduced the rest. It is a well produced and very well cast show, with many big stars of the time in roles. June was in some roles typical of her image on the show, but also some more different shows and so that makes it interesting to watch this series.
This is the first episode, about a young widow and her mother in law, also a widow. They are named Ruth and Naomi, as in the woman and her mother in law in the Bible, of the famous "wither thou goest, I will goest, and where thou lodgest I will lodge and thy people will be my people." Similarly, this is about family love and how there are some in laws who are very loving. Allyson is afraid to get remarried and her mother in law encourages her to follow her heart. Allyson gives a nice performance, but the really stand out one is given by Harding, in particular her later scene on the stairs talking about love. A very touching performance and a typical one of this actress in the fifties on TV. She got (or maybe was willing to take) some very age appropriate roles and just offered some lovely, very positive performances in these little half hour playlets.
a lovely little show
This was a lovely little episode, about a widow and mother whose son and daughter in law move out of state and she has to rebuild her life. How she does this is dealt with in a charming and creative screenplay and offers a lovely performance by Ann Harding, who had the prettiest speaking voice and got some really nice TV roles in the fifties and early sixties. It is an episode of 1957, but for anyone trying to rebuild a life, the issues it touches upon are timeless.
Harding was a very famous actress in the early thirties in Hollywood and played in a few movies we have heard of today (Holiday, When Ladies Meet, and The Animal Kingdom, all of which were remade in either the same or the next decade). By the late thirties she was in England making movies and by the early forties was in character roles (she tested for The Yearling and Mrs. Miniver but was cast in neither). She is very older lady looking in these fifties roles and that was rather amazing in Hollywood, an actress playing her age. But the roles are all lovely and her performances are really good in them. She acted much more at the time than many of her more famous contemporaries and the roles really hold up very nicely.
This was an excellent, lovely episode and a good example of why the show ran so long and was so good. It combined the best of anthology with the best of medical series, well written and performed in an underplayed way.This episode is about whether Dr. Kildare will go into research medicine after he is unable to save his friend and what the diagnosis is of the young Margaret, aka Mardy. It also gives a wonderful guest role to actress Barbara Bel Geddes, best known to us as the young daughter in I Remember Mama in her youth and Miss Ellie on Dallas in her later years. She is a research physician, at first seen as cold, later taking an interest in the girl who would have been the same as as her own daughter if her daughter had lived. This is played simply, discreetly, and touchingly. The show explores the issues of accurate diagnosis, doctors who do research as opposed to clinical work with patients, boundaries with patients, and the protégé relationship between Dr. Kildare and Dr. Gillespie, played wisely and warmly by Raymond Massey. The weekly TV series at the time gave a lot of great roles to guest stars and this is a prime example in the role and the customarily great performance by Bel Geddes.
The Dick Powell Show (1961)
I could not agree more with these other reviewers. The Dick Powell Show, later called the Dick Powell Theatre after his death, was a great show. Typical of Mr. Powell's shows in so many areas. Well cast, well directed, well acted, interesting shows, parts for actors of all ages (Gladys Cooper, Charlie Ruggles and Charles Bickford, all in lead roles), and wonderfully produced. There are some neat all star shows in particular, A time to Die, Special Assignment, Who Killed Julie Greer, Last of the Private Eyes. The shows had a wide range: shows about the cold war (Project X), family dramas (In search of a son), to light romantic comedies (View from the Eiffel Tower, featuring a lovely performance in a drama by Jane Powell, no relation to Mr. Powell!). Mr. Powell obviously liked to help his friends get work, which had ranged back to Four Star Playhouse, Stage 7, Star and the Story, Turn of Fate, June Allyson Show and Zane Grey Theatre. All of these were produced by Dick Powell's Four Star Productions and he cast basically every veteran actor and actress in Hollywood, all in great shows. He would have given us many more shows if he had lived longer and this show, Dick Powell Show, was really great and would have easily gone on, as the other reviewer said, for several more years.
The Actress (1953)
This is a wonderful movie about the life of young Ruth Gordon, who would grow up to be an actress and famous writer. She was married to Garson Kanin and wrote many of the films of Tracy and Hepburn. Tracy is wonderful in one of his "dad" roles, as are the other leads in the film. Debbie Reynolds was originally to play Ruth but Simmons was cast instead and she is indeed brilliant in the movie. She is touching and very funny, very much a young girl driving her parents crazy. Tony Perkins is also very good as her boyfriend. Best of all, and not mentioned in most of the other reviews here, is Teresa Wright as the mother. She is a riot in the part and was only 11 years older than Simmons in real life. She had taken a reduction in pay for another great film, The Men, and this was one of her other really good parts in the fifties after so many great parts in the forties. The part is sort of like her last one, in The Rainmaker, as a simple kind of person. She played them wonderfully and was very funny in both.