Window on Main Street (1961–1962)
More unusual than it's reputed to be
19 February 2020
"Window on Main Street" is a fairly rare specimen from the early era of network television -- a true comedy-drama series. Back then, you seldom saw the two elements mixed in a single episode of a program. Sitcoms played everything for laughs, while dramatic series kept things serious 90% of the time, then ran the occasional humorous episode to break up the monotony.

This series went for the laugh and the lump in the throat simultaneously each week. It didn't catch on with the public, much to the disappointment of star Robert Young.

Young plays a middle-aged author, fairly successful in the literary world but not really famous. As the series begins, he has just lost his family in an accident. Trying to cope with this tragedy, he returns to the small hometown where his career began, determined to write about the lives of its ordinary people. It's writing as bereavement therapy. In each episode, in cooperation with the local newspaper, he uncovers a fairly interesting story, or at least meets an extraordinary person..

This series is a sentimental, low-key celebration of life in a small town. (It's sometimes reminiscent of the old Andy Hardy movies.) Maybe audiences at the time found it corny, or bittersweet. But I find it sort of interesting. I can't think of another show quite like it.
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