Monday, December 12, 2016
Last night's DICK VAN DYKE SHOW
What I did mind was that the episodes were edited. I would have much rather seen the original black-and-white versions in their entirety than the razzle dazzle gimmick of color.
It’s just another reminder that when these shows aired in 1965 there were three or four minutes of commercials a half hour, and that’s it. Now there’s like twelve. Wouldn’t a better plan be devote 90 minutes to the two episodes, show them in their entirety, and fill any remaining time interviewing Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, or writer Bill Persky? Instead, you’re seeing the hacked syndicated versions.
I’m in Hawaii so had to watch the show in real time, suffering through all the commercials. They were either drugs with horrific side effects (guess CBS figured no one under 80 would watch) or expensive candy or inexpensive jewelry you could give for Christmas.
That quibble aside, what a pleasure it was to watch an hour of premier comedy writing and acting. The era has changed and society has changed (how many cringed when Buddy asked Rob if he hit Laura for revealing on TV that Alan Brady was bald?), but the stories were just as relatable and the jokes just as funny as they were fifty years ago. What does it say about the state of sitcoms today when a show a half-century old is still funnier than practically anything currently on the air? That was particularly evident when CBS showed promos for the Kevin James and Matt LeBlanc shows.
Everytime I sample a new sitcom I want to laugh and love it. I really do. I’m just saying there’s tremendous value in studying these classic shows from the past. They can make today’s shows better.
God knows what delivery systems people will be watching content on fifty years from now. I’m fairly certain there won’t be broadcast networks. Streaming may seem archaic by then. But what sitcom that’s on today can you imagine still on in fifty years? THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW however, will probably still be going strong.
Final thought: How great that Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, and Bill Persky are still with us. I’m sure when they watched Sunday evening they’d never believe the night they filmed those episodes that CBS would still be airing them in primetime fifty years later. Talk about “classics.”