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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > That Girl - Season One

That Girl – Season One (Shout! Factory)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: B     Episodes: B



In 1966, TV was in its silver age and produced some of the greatest, most groundbreaking programming it ever did.  Sometimes, the shows we hilariously outrageous (Batman, The Lucy Show) while other times they were risky, complex, innovative and brilliant (The Avengers, Mission: Impossible, The Prisoner) in ways we have never seen again.  This even applies to shows that broke ground with ease without trying and by just being classy entertainment that also were capable of being very for real.  That Girl is one of those shows.


Danny Thomas was a force to be reckoned with and was producing his hit show Make Room For Daddy at Lucille Ball’s powerhouse Desilu Studios.  Marlo Thomas decided to try acting and after an unsold pilot, the head of ABC and a sponsor liked her so much that they wanted to make a show especially for her.  After all the ideas were lame and tired, she took enough control to be the second-ever TV producer (Lucy was first) and hired the hot Bill Persky/Sam Denoff team to create a show.  They created a classic!


The premise was simple.  A young lady wanting to become an actress leaves home and goes to New York.  This is much to the dismay of her parents, but she is never too far from their reach or thoughts.  As she becomes used to her independence, she meets all kinds of people, is lucky to have interesting neighbors, a decent agent and a new love interest in on Donald Hollinger (the great Ted Bessell) who is very supportive.  At first she has to play dancing household objects, but she sees it as a way to get human being roles and it might work out if she could just get that lucky break.


Sometimes the jokes are corny and the style is of another period, but sometimes jokes that would not work otherwise do.  Thomas is brilliant as Ann Marie, TV’s first free spirit lady.  Lucy was capable of the height of lunacy, but Thomas was essentially doing a dramatic role in a TV situation comedy that opened the door for women in TV comedy and in drama in way she and the show never get credit for.  Ted Bessell was even ahead of John Ritter as the sometimes-oaf good guy Donald who is about as reliable as he could be.  Their chemistry together is nothing short of iconic.


Lew Ayers and Rosemary DeCamp are terrific as her parents and I give the producers major credit for a knack in amazing casting that has stood the test of time.  Though the show was shot at Desilu Studios on the West Coast, the combination of decent sets and fantastic location shoots on location in New York created a special New York all of its own.  As a result, after 40 years, through cultural changes, construction, reconstructions and even a devastating terrorist attack, it is like she is still walking around looking for that big acting break and that is how it should be.


These are the 30 first seasons shows occasionally including key cast members, often as they were just breaking into the business, while shows marked * feature an audio commentary by Thomas and co-creator Bill Persky.  Also know that episode 11 is a remake of the earlier pilot in the supplement section that was not aired for decades:



1)     Don’t’ Just Do Something, Stand There

2)     Good-Bye, Hello, Good-Bye*

3)     Never Change A Diaper On Opening Night

4)     “I’ll Be Suing You”

5)     Anatomy Of A Blunder*

6)     Rich Little Rich Kid

7)     Help Wanted

8)     Little Auction Annie (guest stars Michael Conrad & Ken Lynch)

9)     Time For Arrest (guest stars Herb Edelman & Richard X. Slattery)

10)  Break A Leg (guest stars George Carlin, Sally Kellerman)

11)  What’s In A Name?* (FINAL VERSION - guest stars Cliff Norton)

12)  Soap Gets In Your Eyes (guest stars Mabel Albertson)

13)  All About Ann (guest stars Rob Reiner)

14)  Phantom Of The Horse Opera (guest stars Sterling Holloway)

15)  Beware Of The Actors Bearing Gifts

16)  Christmas & The Hard Luck Kid (guest stars John Fielder)

17)  Among The Souvenirs

18)  These Boots Weren’t Made For Walking (guest stars Paul Lynde)

19)  Kimono My House

20)  Gone With The Breeze

21)  Rain, Snow & Rice

22)  Paper Hats & Everything (guest stars Richard Dreyfuss)

23)  What Are Your Intentions?*

24)  A Tenor’s Loving Care (guest stars Carroll O’Connor in the title role)

25)  Leaving The Nest Is For The Birds (guest stars Jerry Van Dyke)

26)  You Have To Know Someone To Be Unknown

27)  The Honeymoon Apartment

28)  This Little Piggy Had A Ball (guest stars Teri Garr, Rob Reiner & Burt Young)

29)  Author, Author

30)  The Mating Game (guest stars Alejandro Rey)



Bernie Kopell and Dabney Coleman (who you might not recognize) also show up.  The chapters of each show run at four a piece, with the final chapter the epilogue and end credits.



The 1.33 X 1 color image was shot in EastmanColor and was usually shot by Jacques Marquette, A.S.C., Lester Shorr, A.S.C. or Leonard J. South.  The footage looks amazing when you see it in the supplements, but these prints vary in quality and are not as clear, sharp, clear and detailed as they could be.  The color still comes through nicely, but sometimes, the color is not as strong and fresh as it could be.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is a little more compressed than expected, most annoying in the opening and closing credits, since the song is clean and stereophonic in the menus and extras, but strident and limited in the actual episodes.  Fortunately, dialogue fares better.  Earle H. Hagen did the classic theme song, but other composers did the incidental music, all good and welcome.  The vocal theme was not introduced yet, by the way.


Extras besides the great commentary tracks on most of the discs and original pilot on DVD 1 (shot by cinematographer Fleet Southcott) are all on DVD 1, including a few ABC promos for the show, great featurette on the making of the show called That Woman…. That Show… The Creation Of “That Girl” and segment of amazing film clips narrated by Persky and Thomas that are in incredibly good shape with some memorable comments.  If you love the show or have not seen it for a long time, you’ll love this set, even with some reservations.  If you have never seen it, here is your chance to see one of TV’s greatest classics.  Hope we get the next seasons.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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