Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Montgomery


I will get to Liz.  Read on. 



At first I was very excited about nostalgia channels. How cool to be able to watch shows I loved as a kid again. But then I discovered some problems.


A lot of these shows don’t hold up. Kojak seemed really cutting edge at the time. But compared to shows like THE WIRE or THE SHIELD, he sounds as street and authentic as Inspector Gadget.

The old DANNY THOMAS SHOW used to make me laugh. Now, Danny Thomas’ character just comes off as a bombastic misogynistic asshole. How did grown-ups back in the day not see this at the time? I was a kid. I had an excuse.

A lot of the comedies don’t hold up, which makes you appreciate even more the ones that do – like THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW and THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. But in fairness, even as a kid, a lot of the sitcoms of the day didn’t wow me. I never thought GILLIGAN’S ISLAND was remotely amusing. Nor did I laugh once at I DREAM OF JEANNIE. BEWITCHED was funny the first season but I continued to watch because I was in love with Elizabeth Montgomery (today would have been her 82nd birthday, by the way). Same with PETTICOAT JUNCTION. When you have three hot babes Sean Hannity could write the comedy. Milk has a longer expiration date than BATMAN jokes had. And neither character Patty Duke played in THE PATTY DUKE SHOW was funny (but Patty was less unfunny than Cathy). Still, I watched every week – and I think you can surmise why.

On the other hand, DOBIE GILLIS and CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU? still provide some genuine laughs. Shows that had a certain anarchy seemed to age better.

Once you get into the ‘70s things improve considerably. BARNEY MILLER, the MTM shows, ALL IN THE FAMILY, MASH. But the ‘70s create another problem. Shows of mine are on it. I’m way too young to have shows on the fucking nostalgia channel! It’s bad enough I have shows on TV LAND.

The other depressing thing is the commercials. GIDGET, a show about fun loving teenagers who surf and hang out at the beach is now sponsored by Depends and drugs to prevent strokes. Where are the Pepsi: For Those Who Think Young commercials? With all the girls running around in bikinis at least advertise Viagra.

You wonder whether there will be nostalgia channels for today’s fare. You wonder whether there will be channels period. But with so many niche shows on so many platforms and all episodes being so readily available on streaming services or DVD I suspect there will be no equivalent in thirty years. And if there is, with whatever technical advances they will have then, since no one will watch commercials, they might just digitally include products into the body of shows. They’ll give Liz Lemon a walker. Raylan Givens will be wearing Depends when he takes his pants off for a sex scene. Oh, for the good old days when the shows were originally aired… with seventeen banners, network logos, animated promos, storm warnings on the screen...

And BEWITCHED still on four times a day.   God bless nostalgia channels.  

57 comments:

Pat Reeder said...

I have a TV with an antenna in our parrots' room (I refuse to give in to their lobbying for cable), so I watch Antenna TV every night while cleaning parrot cages. You're right, some old shows definitely hold up better than others. I also love "Bewitched" just for Elizabeth Montgomery, but I wonder why nobody at ABC noticed that in the later episodes with Dick Sargent, Darrin became an incredibly nasty jerk. Even when Sam's family members tried to be nice to him, he just snarled hostile insults at them. They didn't have to turn him into a jackass, he already was one.

Oddly enough, I think the shows that hold up best of all the ones they show in late night are among the oldest: Jack Benny and Burns & Allen. Both have a surreal quality that's still fresh and surprising, and the way George Burns would address the camera, comment on the plot, etc., gives it a meta feel that's still very contemporary. And both were so well-written and performed, they're still laugh-out-loud hilarious. It's a weird feeling to my wife up in 2015 by telling her some line I heard last night on "The Burns & Allen Show," but it happens almost daily around here.

VP81955 said...

Glad you mentioned "Dobie Gillis," the first prime-time series I ever watched regularly. Its breakneck pace -- far faster than other sitcoms of the era -- is the main reason it holds up well today (that, and the slightly subversive tone of Max Shulman's characters, which still makes me chuckle over how "Dobie" ended up on Pat Robertson's channel in the mid-1980s).

I've met and interviewed both Dwayne Hickman and William Schallert (and I understand Bill is scheduled to appear at a memorabilia show later this month), and both acknowledged the quick pace was purposely done to make it seem youthful and vibrant -- in other words, imagine "His Girl Friday" set in high school. (And sorry, "Gilligan" fans, but Maynard G. Krebs remains the definitive Bob Denver role.)

And to the lovely Liz, a happy anniversary of her birth. While I'm not certain she actually met the lady in my avatar, Carole did provide her encouragement while talking with her father Robert on the set of "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (the 1941 comedy Alfred Hitchcock directed as a favor to his friend Lombard): http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/529450.html

Pat Reeder said...

..."to break my wife up..." That's what I get for typing after being up working all night.

Carol said...

This makes me giggle, because my husband and I watch the 'nostalgia channels' all the time.

We watch Emergency! on MeTV faithfully. That show still holds up very well, although it makes you wonder how any of us children in the 70's survived to adulthood based on that show - kids just wandered unsupervised everywhere!

For the record, we watch MASH on MeTV also, and it does hold up quite well.

BTW, Ken - regarding A or B? and my community theatre, I sent you a message on FB, and it's probably in your 'other folder' since we're not FB friends. (I did send a request, tho'!)

norm said...

Ken,
I am also 65 y.o. and thinking of retirement and the days when I will be in a "facility"....so I make my own DVD's of the old shows of my youth, many I did not see a lot of....we lived in the country and only had 3 channels.
Anyway the plan is to play those DVD's when I don't remember anything and they will all appear to me as new shows!

Mary Lewys said...

Since M*A*S*H aired on Netflix, I have noticed a rise in M*A*S*H Tumblr blogs and M*A*S*H posts. It's nice to see some younger viewers discover older (older, not old) shows. I think that's the true test of time.

norm said...

Oh, and if you watch the Lassie, repeats with "Timmy".....they are awful scripts, but so are many, many of todays shows.

Mike Barer said...

I've posted this before, I know, but the nosy neighbor was Mrs. Kravitz, what are they saying?

stormy_daze said...

I work in Nostalgia TV as an academic. Mostly 60s British and American 70s, including MASH. I adore Liz Montgomery - I've got a tattoo of her face, this is how much I adore her.

But nostalgia TV is just... honestly it's just better than most the stuff on today.

Oat Willie said...

MESOTHELIOMA AND TRANSVAGINAL MESH

Curt Alliaume said...

Shows may not be so readily available on DVD going forward if this proposal takes hold:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/fox-end-simpsons-seasonal-dvd-787648

Dan Ball said...

I watch the nostalgia channels because I'm a TV junkie. I watched BATMAN as a kid and as an adult, it sorta didn't hold up. However, I've been trying to get over that so I can sort of enjoy it like I did when I was a kid.

Another really campy show that's grown on me lately has been MR. ED. Up until April 1st, it was on when we got ready in the mornings and I liked it way more than I did as a kid. It was just an absurd premise. A goofball and his talking horse who prank calls people.

Two others I enjoy catching are MAVERICK and ROCKFORD FILES. The 50s kinda get in the way of MAVERICK being its best, but ROCKFORD...what a classic character. That show ages pretty well because, unlike KOJAK, the situations and the characters are pretty timeless. The Firebird looks like an old car, but damnit you want one and you want to drive like that! I'm also surprised how good CANNON was, too.

One old show from my childhood that I just can't watch anymore is KNIGHT RIDER. I was born right around the time it went off the air, but I caught the reruns on USA way back when and that's when it hooked me. Now, though, I see right through that show. I try to suspend my disbelief all day long and I just can't dig KNIGHT RIDER again. Boo.

Then, of course, there's the stuff that's always been good no matter how old I've been: NEWHART, WKRP, BARNEY MILLER, STAR TREK, SANFORD & SON.

Ken--last night at the Louisville Bats game, they aired the "We Will Rock You" teaser from CHEERS at the bottom of the last inning to try and get a Bats rally going. It really got the small crowd making some noise. Didn't work, but it was awesome to see CHEERS (and Queen) doing that after all these years.

emily said...

Yeah, but...what about JUSTIFIED?

Terry said...

Hi Ken, possible Friday question for you: Who did the paintings for Col. Potter on MASH? I saw a picture of the Winchester one on my Facebook feed earlier and suddenly got curious. Thanks!

MikeN said...

Despite all the accolades as being authentic, I'm not convinced The Wire is actually street, and instead just a racist view of how they want blacks and drug dealers to talk(and in the 4th season that is redundant). Chuck Klosterman said he got the same suspicion, prompted by how nothing about the newspaper season matched what he knew("Can you believe they put my article below the fold!"

Cool captcha verification where it asked to click on all the wines. Really annoying to fail those things all the time.

Dave Creek said...

The show my wife and I have discovered on MeTV is NAKED CITY. It's a clear precursor to LAW & ORDER, which much of it shot on New York streets.

Many of its stories are psychological dramas that barely focus on the regular characters. And it's great to see actors like Martin Sheen, Robert Redford, and Robert Duvall barely out of their teens, especially when you can see their talent was clearly there from the beginning.

unkystan said...

I cannot watch any of the Norman Lear shows in reruns. I loved them when they first aired (I'm 63) but they are all time specific (except Sanford) that I'm taken out of it. They are now curios. But I can watch MTM, DVanD, any Newhart, Dobie, Car 54, Jack Benny, George & Gracie, etc. and not just smile...but laugh out loud and not think of when it was produced. They stand the test of time.

Daniel said...

If more than a couple of years have gone by, every show is sexist and homophobic. I turned on an episode of Friends last night and thought, "How did I ever watch this?"

Kenny said...

Elizabeth Montgomery was Elizabeth Montgomery, that's all that need be said about that!

Glad you mentioned Car 54, I still enjoy that show a lot, and I am always impressed by how 'ethnic' the cast and the episode guest characters were. That had to be the most ethnically diverse show on the air back then.

Ken Levine said...

Carol. just email me at bossjock@dslextreme.com.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Montgomery was Elizabeth Montgomery, indeed,
Amazing!!!!;) ,

Michael said...

I remember liking MCNALE'S NAVY in reruns growing up but having seen it recently a few times on Antenna TV, I don't think it holds up at all. Which is surprising since according to Wikipedia one of the producers worked on THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW and tried to make it into "Bilko In The Navy" and used some of the same actors.

Scott Cason said...

The problem I have with all this is these channels chopping up the shows an inserting breaks where there were none originally. I can't tell you the number of times The Waltons, in the middle of a climatic scene and INSP suddenly dumps to a break. I've pretty much stopped watching it. A few years ago, my daughter gave me the first and second seasons of Roseanne on DVD. The number of scenes cut so TV Land could insert 4 more minutes of spots just depressed me.

Barry Traylor said...

I can still enjoy The Munsters. Some shows I hated back then, but then I am afraid I am older than you are Ken. Gilligan's Island drove me crazy and obviously I still do. Funny thing about the Andy Griffith show though. My mother loved it back when it was first on and thought it was so square (that must date me) as I was in high school then. But now I enjoy it and pretending that it was a kinder world back then.

tavm said...

About "Petticoat Junction"-I first saw those color eps (Linda Kaye (Henning), Lori Saunders, Meredith McRae) on TVLand back in the '90s and for some reason, I was hooked. Oh, and these were when Ms. Benederet was still alive. Maybe it was the girls or Uncle Joe or some of the singing, I don't know. I've seen some of the later ones with June Lockhart and when Steve and Betty Jo were married and they weren't the same, enjoyment-wise. I've also seen some of the black and white ones on Public Domain DVDs they seem more funny especially when Charles Lane is around. Since they all are on YouTube, maybe I'll review them on IMDb which I sign under the username you see here...

scott said...

My God that's a nice picture of Elizabeth Montgomery.

Mayor Linseed said...

I just saw an episode of "Car 54" where Toody and Muldoon were trying and failing to round up guests who'd be willing to attend the bar mitzvah of a nice kid whose father was a universally-hated landlord. It was hilarious.

However, you're missing the boat on "Batman." The swingin' groovy day-glo stuff is of its era, but deadpan Adam West vs. celebrity grotesques dynamic is just as amusing as it ever was. I have seen actual children born in the 21st century watch it and think so.

MikeK.Pa. said...

An interesting fact about BEWITCHED is that the only acting Emmys went to actresses - Alice Pearce and Marion Lorne - who died during the run of the show. Nothing for Elizabeth Montgomery or Agnes Moorehead. Liz was the wife every man wanted and Agnes was the mother-in-law every man dreaded.

Mark said...

Decades, a collaboration between CBS and Weigel (MeTV, Movies!, originally ThisTV) has been running exhaustive marathons, airing all of the episodes of shows like Car 54, Dobie Gillis and Mission Impossible. It's digital channel 2.2 here in LA.

Weigel's an interesting company. I'd love to see a thread going both on it and on the other terrestrial superstations it spawned (AntennaTV, GetTV, NBC's inept COZI).

Janice said...

Oat Willie said...

MESOTHELIOMA AND TRANSVAGINAL MESH


The sole reason I purchased a Roku last month.

Mickey C said...

I'm guessing that your reasons for watching shows like Gilligan's Island and Bewitched and Petticoat Junction were similar to mine--only 3 stations were showing new shows, and the standards were pretty low on all 3 networks, so picked the least objectionable. If you were inclined toward comedy and not westerns or cop dramas, the choices were even narrower.

Anonymous said...

I think the people running the old Batman series took all those actors who played the villains, almost all of whom were great actors, and said do anything you want - there's no such thing as overacting here. Ham it up as much as you like.
That's why we got such memorable performances and why the best part of watching Batman, even today, is watching the bad guys -and girls.

normadesmond said...

actually, i'm picking that
nasty mesh out of my transvaginal.

Ben K. said...

I like that old show from the '60s, "Mad Men." It really holds up well after all this time.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Who wasn't in love with Lizzie Montgomery? She was one of my ultimate celebrity crushes when I was younger, and MikeKPa brings up a point that even castmate Kasey Rogers (Louise Tate) has mentioned in interviews before, that Lizzie was the kind of wife every man wanted to have, the daughter every parent wanted to have, the mother every kid wanted to have. She was such an incredible person, I'd love to see what kind of work she'd still be doing today, consider how so ahead of her time she was in her career post-BEWITCHED.

Other than that, I only have one disagreement with this post... actually, two: I think both BEWITCHED and I DREAM OF JEANNIE are wonderful shows - I find BEWITCHED was still just as funny going on its fifth season as it was its first (admittedly, the show was tired and repetitive in its last few seasons), and IDOJ was just a fun show all in all.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Don't you love Sally Field's "bikini"? It looks like what men wore at the beach in the 1920s. I watch some of the old sitcoms but I wonder if it does them a disservice to show two or four at a clip. The quirks that made some characters memorable (and won Emmys for actors) can get tiresome in a hurry when viewed back to back. Any thoughts?

Oat Willie said...

I've seen some of "Gidget" on ThisTV and was surprised to see some navels on there. There's a shot of Joy Harmon (everyone's favorite car wash girl) in her hip-hugger Village of the Giants outfit. How this stuff passed by the 1966 Bellybutton Censors I don't know.

Klee said...

I loved both Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, grew up watching both and thought Jeannie was funnier than Samantha but both had great fun episodes and stinkers just like any long-running sitcom. But my all time favorites which I can still laugh at today are "The Munsters" and "Get Smart". I never found "Addams Family" funny but I watched because it was one of my grandma's favorite shows. I watch a LOT of TV growing up!!

Stephen Marks said...

I don't think any of the new shows after Will & Grace will hold up 30 years from now. I can't name one show today that will be the next MASH, AITF, MTM or Dick Van Dyke Show. Great post Ken

James said...

Sung to the title sing of Bewitched:
"They're my two Dicks, oh yes they're my two Dicks /
First there was York--such a Dick /
Then there was Sergeant--hey, what a trick /
They're my two Dicks, they're great to have around /
I'm always smiling; with two Dicks how could I frown? /
I'm the witch with the most fun, can't you see? /
If I had another--then I'd have three /
They're my two Dicks, oh yes, they're my Two Dicks /
And come what may, I'm going to tell you this: /
I'd pass up a love-filled night with the New York Knicks /
'cause I am the witch with two Dicks!"

-- Don Geronimo

Anonymous said...

Just sat through hours of The Saint and Mission Impossible. Also loved Liz. Wanted to be her, wanted her to be my mother. Love Patty,That Girl and the Gidget I get a kick out of her old time hairdryer and clothes which I also had. If you look closely at her bedroom scenes you will see a Samantha Bewitched doll on her bureau thanks to Bill Asher. Gidget (GirlMidget) is supposed to be 16 and her best friend looks like a divorced 30 year old. So funny as is Batman's Caesar Romero's mustache which is clearly visible and covered in white makeup. As far as the transvaginal mesh thingy, I make no joke because I don't want to jinx myself!!
Janice B

Canda said...

How can you mention "Dobie Gillis" without mentioning the sexy, self-centered Thalia Menninger, played by Tuesday Weld? She was hilarious.

Also love that Warren Beatty will never admit he was once a running charter on the show.

RCP said...

I love Elizabeth Montgomery and Agnes Moorehead in BEWITCHED. THE TWILIGHT ZONE never gets old. Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen are a treat. THE MOD SQUAD - one of my favorites as a kid - has not aged well (to put it mildly.) CANNON was mentioned above and I also became addicted to it for a while - in part to watch the 'action' scenes with the increasingly hefty William Conrad. Still enjoy ALL IN THE FAMILY, MAUDE, THE ODD COUPLE, GET SMART, and MASH among others.

PJ Creelman said...

I just recently allowed television back into my life, and have spent most of my time bouncing back and forth between Comedy Central and two networks that show a lot of "nostalgia" television.

(Speaking of which, I wish there were a nostalgia Mariners radio broadcast channel. I'd love to hear you and the late Dave Niehaus trying to make those early '90s Mariners seem intriguing. Ken, I used to love hearing you leave the broadcast to get post-game interviews when the Mariners trailed 10-2 at the bottom of the eighth, "I'll be back for the tenth inning." (My paraphrase.)
Sorry for the digression. I have noticed that shows like "Welcome Back, Kotter" and "The Andy Griffith Show" don't have the allure they did when I was a wee lad. I haven't seen "Dobie Gillis" in a while, but I remember thinking it had held up well back in the late '80s.
One of my most astounding discoveries was that the show "Lost in Space" was set in the 1990s. I never realized that. Given that it went head-to-head with Star Trek (23rd Century,) I found it difficult to swallow that the show's creators really projected that much advancement in a mere thirty years.
I miss Elizabeth Montomery. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

Hank Gillette said...

I agree with you about the Danny Thomas character. I would also include the Ricardos, the Mertzes, and Ralph Kramden.

Hank Gillette said...

It was a shock to me a year ago when I watched the first season of “Petticoat Junction” and realized that I was now older than Uncle Joe (who was moving kinda slow).

Aaron Sheckley said...

In my case, nostalgia for old shows was a temporary condition. I grew up with the standard fare of syndicated shows in the old days of actual independent stations; Hogan's Heroes, Beverly Hillbillies, The Munsters, limited animation Hanna-Barbera cartoons, all those old classics. I watched them all they way up to my forties, probably, and then a weird thing happened; my nostalgia filter must have shorted out. You know the filter I mean, it's the one that somehow lets you ignore how dumb some of the stuff is that you used to enjoy from your youth. Now, if an episode of Petticoat Junction or My Three Sons is on MeTV, I just blast on by it with nary a moment of longing for the old days, because the shows are now just unwatchable to me, And in some ways, that's kind of sad.

ODJennings said...

"MESOTHELIOMA AND TRANSVAGINAL MESH"

Not to mention the horror of re-using catheters, and diabetes meters that only require "a speck of blood."

On the other hand, it makes you proud to be an American when you see the miracle that is the Craftmatic Adjustable Bed.

LouOCNY said...

There is a distinct pecking order of these retro sub-channels:

1. MeTv: Easily the best of the lot. They have the CBS/Viacom/Paramount syndication package, so that is a huge advantage right there, plus a couple of others, so they really have the pick of the litter to choose from. Their promotion department is very hip, and seems to have learned a lot from Nick at Nite/TVLand's salad days. They place commercials (mostly) in natural spots, and also their cuts are minimal at most - the MASH episodes seem totally intact, as do a few others. Rating: A

2. Antenna TV ATV is hampered by a much smaller base of shows to draw from - basically what they have is Columbia/Screen Gems package, plus a few other shows. They do try hard, and they also apparently cut very little and use the 'natural' breaks. Rating: a solid B

3. COZI tv - as has been mentioned, they cut and slice, an have a VERY limited range of shows to offer - They picked up Dragnet/Adam 12 when TV Land dropped them, and have DVD, but after that its HERES LUCY... Rating C-

Curt Alliaume said...

Lately our cable package has added even more classic TV channels, which are so obscure I can't remember their names (and my cable company's web site doesn't seem to list them). The Mission: Impossible episodes hold up pretty well, but Broken Arrow looks so awful it's actually painful to watch.

Janice said...

Nick at Nite used to be the king, way back around 1991 when it first started and Dick Van Dyke was their "honorary President" or something like that.

I remember during the O.J. trial when one of the witnesses was absolutely sure of the time of day because he always watched Nick at Nite and walked his dog during THE BOB NEWHART SHOW.

Barney said...

I still get a kick out of I Dream of Jeannie. Maybe it's the setting or Barbara Eden or maybe it's the constant slapstick takes from Larry Hagman and Bill Daley.

Another show that's greatly under appreciated from that era is Green Acres, which seems even more strange and surreal today than it did when I was a kid.

Doug said...

The one old show I really love is 'Perry Mason'.The characters are all likeable and I enjoy the confident smirk on Lt. Tragg's face.Little does he know!I do notice that the early episodes(~1957) were kinda film noir.Mason could be a bit nasty.

In 2015 I watch Games Of Thrones,The Americans,Outlander,The Fall,Broadchurch,Bates Motel,House Of Cards,Justified,Orphan Black etc.

I am definitely going to miss Raylan Givens ... so cool.

Bates Motel is so creepy.Great show!

I am glad Netflix are doing a 4th season of Longmire.

Still a classic but definitely a period piece is I Love Lucy.

Not a classic but I am addicted to Superman.So bad,it is good.

DBenson said...

Caught the first episode of "Petticoat Junction" recently and finally understood how the Hooterville Cannonball seemed to function independently of any other rail lines and why Charles Lane was trying to close it down. Was it ever explained again or was Lane Hates Train enough?

Revisited the first season of "Get Smart" when the DVDs came out; forgotten how remarkably cheap it looked. Today it gives the show the feel of a variety show sketch. Most of the jokes still land, more as chuckles than laughs.

Ironically, the presumably bigger budget "Man From Uncle" sometimes looks just as cheap. Got the "movies" (the pasteup episodes with a few PG-scenes added for the European market) and was stunned by the level of intentional silliness. In one, villain Herbert Lom's henchmen all wear snappy red vests and uniforms as if this were Batman.

Mike said...

I think I Dream of Jeannie was more consistently funny throughout its five seasons, whereas Bewitched had more high points in its early seasons, but a long decline. IDOJ is also fast-paced with a great and very likable cast of characters. Darrin Stephens and Larry Tate, by contrast, aren't terribly likable.

The first two B&W seasons of Petticoat Junctions are gems. The original Billie Jo, Jeannine Riley, was a fine comic actress, and gave the character a tart edge (her successors got progressively more bland). Too bad those seasons were withheld from syndication for so long - the show would have played better in reruns if they had been included. The show got awfully corny in its later seasons.

ODJennings said...

I wonder if these dedicated nostalgia channels are a good thing long term?

I think most of us grew up watching the old shows when they were used as filler programming by the local stations. They were a cheap way of killing an hour after the soap operas and before the evening news, or something the weak station ran late at night against Carson.

The fact that they were the only thing to watch after the kids got home from school also helped.

Now instead of being part of the mainstream programming they're off in their own little universe. A good thing for existing fans, but not something likely to introduce them to new generations.

Are these nostalgia channels the first step on the road to obscurity?

LouOCNY said...

Dave said:The first two B&W seasons of Petticoat Junctions are gems. The original Billie Jo, Jeannine Riley, was a fine comic actress, and gave the character a tart edge (her successors got progressively more bland). Too bad those seasons were withheld from syndication for so long - the show would have played better in reruns if they had been included. The show got awfully corny in its later seasons.

Same thing happened with Beverly Hillbillies - the satire level in the first two or three seasons was very high, but after that it just got blander and blander.

One has to assume that as Paul Henning got less hands on with both shows, the quality went down.

For some reason Green Acres got weirder and better as it went on.