Long before she paired up with Phil Donahue and the two went on to do..who knows what, Marlo Thomas appeared in some smaller TV shows from in the early ’60s, until she got a break when she was given a TV show to utilize her talents. That Girl is the story of Ann Marie, who decided to move to New York City to try to find steady work as an actress, and over the course of the show’s five year run, Ann Marie’s exploits are documented in situation comedy fashion.
When she moved to New York, Ann wanted to fend for herself, but still also kept in close contact with her family, including her father Lou (Lew Parker, Country Music Holiday) and still dated her boyfriend Donald (Ted Bessell, Don’t Drink the Water). Among some of the other notable regulars that can be recognized are Dabney Coleman (9 to 5), Ruth Buzzi (Laugh-In) and Bernie Kopell (The Love Boat).
The show isn’t as memorable now, but is memorable for the concept behind the show. The focus of the show was Ann Marie, and her experiences as a single girl heading out in the big world was simply unheard of then. Thomas’ show may have done more for the women’s movement back then, more than any of the ERA pushes could have done, as the independent woman received quite a bit of praise, and the show ran for five years from 1966-1971.
What the show did is helped inspire a slew of shows with their exclusive focus (or main character) based on women. The Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda were hot on the heels following Thomas’ exit from television, and Bewitched was still going strong as well. And many of these similarly based shows are still walked around today.
Dolby Stereo, much like any other TV show. It’s rather empty and doesn’t exhibit any full bodied use of a home theater setup, but that was probably the last thing on a lot of people’s minds when they were making this show.
’60s TV didn’t look particularly pretty and unless the show was earth shattering, there was no real need to restore the picture to any kind of reference quality. The full frame version of this show looks OK but nothing earth-shattering. It’s not as bright and vibrant as you’d expect, but does the job.
There’s the usual bunch of featurettes and other supplemental material that Shout! miraculously manages to land some of the original participants for. There’s a making of piece that covers the origins and creation of the show and includes participation by Thomas. A more compressed piece on the show is included as well. And sure enough, there’s even some commentaries on several episodes in the season featuring Thomas and co-creator Bill Persky, as they discuss the usual production recollections and stories. They also spent a larger than expected amount of time watching the show and there’s a bit of dead air. Perhaps other people could have been included to make this a little bit more eventful, that would have probably been the best way to go.
Shout! is becoming the Nick at Nite for DVD releases, as long forgotten shows are given new lives with their help. While the extras are a little bit light, they do ultimately complement the overall enjoyment of the show. It’s not a bad show and helped inspire a flock of others in its wake, and the overall experience isn’t half bad. Check it out.