This is the closing weekend for GOING GOING GONE! It’s been a huge success and I thank everyone who came to see it. Now to your Friday Questions:
RyderDA starts us off:
Do you think it would be possible to resurrect something like THE DICK VAN DYKE show -- an incredibly funny and very successful sitcom from ~50 years ago -- on an "almost" word for word basis? Many -- not all -- of the stories, jokes and dialog are timeless.
No. Interestingly, I had a conversation with Bill Persky, one of the showrunners of THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW on just this very subject.
We both agreed that times and society has changed so dramatically that the show would have to be totally re-imagined.
Laura and Rob would no longer sleep in separate beds for one thing. But housewife Laura getting a job was frowned upon in the MAD MEN early ‘60s. Today she absolutely would have a life outside of the home.
There would have to be diversity in the writers’ room. Sally Rogers’ end game might not be to find any decent guy to marry.
The ALAN BRADY SHOW that they wrote for would have to change. There are no more comic-hosted primetime variety shows. So what do they write? A late night show like Fallon or THE DAILY SHOW? Or a sitom?
I agree that many of the themes of the original DICK VAN DYKE SHOW are timeless and universal. And that’s one of the reasons why it still resonates today. But it’s also dated. 50+ years is a long time.
From AJ Thomas:
There was a TON of hype for NBC's THIS IS US. All of the reviews said the show was great, and quite possibly the best thing to ever grace the airwaves. Now, I don't know how many episodes were screened, but I can only imagine it being 1 or 2. Do you really think it is that possible for a show to be that good off of one episode?
But most series do require time to find their groove and develop. You don’t always hit a home run the first time you swing. But however you arrive at a long-running series, it’s the end that counts.
One weird Friday question....I have noticed that MASH incorporates a lot of scenes of people driving in jeeps...there's a lot of scenes with people riding/driving in jeeps..long shots...close ups...no dialogue..no real reason...I was curious if that was padding for time...
No, not at all. If anything we were always too long. But we needed those shots to establish geography and also to give the show a little production value.
Remember, at the time, MASH was pretty much the only sitcom that was not filmed in front of a studio audience. So showing the scope of our show was just one more plus. Every other show was stuck in a living room.
And finally, a question from an Anonymous source. Please leave a name.
I remember Peter Boyle doing a magnificent range of characters (a partial list- A Brando -Wild One, Human Fly circus character reminiscent of old Lancaster Hecht flics, and then Western hero at end) in "Steelyard Blues' and I never see this on reruns. ( Donald Sutherland Jane Fonda headliners )
Why do some films just disappear while others that are not as good seem to be on a constant play list?
What other obscure films would you recommend?
A lot depends on which company or studio owned them and who is distributing them. Lots of films from independent companies now long out of business are either just collecting dust or are part of distribution companies that either aren’t selling them or don’t even know they own them.
When I hosted that Neil Simon festival on TCM I wanted them to show HEARTBREAK KID. They had to dig it up, and they told me that was the first time they had aired that movie. They didn’t even know about it until I mentioned it.
What is your Friday Question? Leave it in the comments section. Thanks.