Friday, June 16, 2006

Free To Be On ABC

"That Girl": The Complete Second Season (October 10) kicks off the best part of that show's run, and it's not coincidental that the show got better when Danny Arnold joined as producer. (He'd directed one episode in the first season, but hadn't been involved in the writing.) The episodes of the second season are overall smarter and faster-paced than the first season's, where the producer was Arnold's friend Jerry Davis.

Someone on a message board once suggested, in response to my point about the superiority of the first season of "Bewitched" (the only year Arnold was there), that the Arnold-produced seasons of "That Girl" give an idea of what "Bewitched" might have been like if he'd stayed with it, and that's not a bad point. The formats of the shows were entirely different, but he brought the same sense of strong character comedy, and working in more interesting real-life problems than the normal sitcom complication, to both shows. It's odd, though, that a writer/producer who often produced shows with women at the centre wound up hitting it big with a show that never came up with a strong female character ("Barney Miller").

1 comment:

Michael Rebain said...

I just finished the last episodes of the First Season set of That Girl and I'm really looking forward to Season Two. It's been a while since I saw any of these (why they're not on TVLand, Nick or even Oxygen is a mystery to me), but what really amused me were the appearances by such semi-regulars as Dabney Coleman (totally unrecognizable when this young!) and Bernie Kopell and early guest appearances by the likes of Carroll O'Connor and Rob Reiner.