Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Backasswards Father

I caught an interesting rerun of Bachelor Father on RTN this morning. And when I say interesting, I don’t mean like in content—the 1957-62 sitcom was anything but; mostly a bland, innocuous vehicle for John Forsythe that became popular only because it alternated weekly with The Jack Benny Program for two seasons before getting a weekly time slot of its own. (Not that I’m dissing the show; it’s a painless way to kill a half-hour while I’m digesting a cream cheese-covered bagel or buttered English muffin.)

But in this installment, RTN presented the final third of the episode first, the middle portion…well, in the middle, and the first third last. Threw me for a loop because since the final third came on first and included the closing credits, I thought: “Did I just sleep through part of this and not know it?”

As my pal Rick Brooks would say: “Stay classy, RTN!”

5 comments:

Rick Brooks said...

LOL Believe it or don't Ivan, but for the first time in months, I recorded an episode to watch after I worked from home today. Of course, today they screw it up. Got to love 'em.

jtogyer said...

I watched "McHale's Navy" on RTN the other night, God he'p me.

At 10 p.m., instead of the cold opening and credits, RTN ran Act 2 twice.

On the 10:30 airing, they skipped the opening altogether and jumped straight into Act 2.

Luckily, "McHale's Navy" isn't so complicated that you couldn't follow the "plot." (Apparently they had some sort of a scheme they had to get past Ol' Leadbottom ... hijinks were involved.)

Hal said...

Nice. I still don't get RTN on my local cable (I do get American Life at least) but maybe I'm not missing much.

Last time I saw BACHELOR FATHER was circa 1989-1990 when local Channel 39 (same owners as CBN during the 1980's) aired 4 hour blocks of it alternating with LOVE THAT BOB! from 2 AM to 6 AM daily. Watching them back to back, FATHER really looked like a bland knockoff on the Cummings classic.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Last time I saw BACHELOR FATHER was circa 1989-1990 when local Channel 39 (same owners as CBN during the 1980's) aired 4 hour blocks of it alternating with LOVE THAT BOB! from 2 AM to 6 AM daily.

Hal, at the risk of sounding like Maxwell Smart, would you believe I used to stay up all night and watch that four hour block? Love That Bob, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Bachelor Father, Burns & Allen, The Life of Riley, I Married Joan, My Little Margie...it was a rerun-watcher's paradise.

Watching them back to back, FATHER really looked like a bland knockoff on the Cummings classic.

On the whole, I think I preferred Father to Bob, blandness be darned. Except for Ann B. Davis I was never a fan of Cummings' sitcom (though I sometimes marvel at how much sexual innuendo got past the network at that time, which may have made the program more subversive than I've previously given it credit for) and watching the reruns on RTN I've developed a returning affection for Father. For example, this morning's episode reminded me that OTR actress Shirley Mitchell had a recurring role in the series as Forsythe's gal Friday, and I've always loved Shirl.

Hal said...

Ivan, I can certainly believe you watched all those shows on CBN, because I was doing the same. :) Local Channel 39 added THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW and THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER to the mix, making that a real treat because both of those shows were always hard to find. Inger Stevens alone
made the latter worthwhile.

And BOB was probably the most subversive sitcom of the 1950's by a wide margin. Only BILKO and at times possibly AMOS N' ANDY came reasonably close. I wrote about LOVE THAT BOB back in June for Mr. Cummings' 100th birthday and really need to get around to reviewing the 16 episode DVD.