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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Counterculture > Hippie > Serial (1980/Legend DVD/Paramount)

Serial (1980/Legend DVD/Paramount)


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: D     Film: C-



Bill Persky is a TV producer/writer/director who has great success with the groundbreaking That Girl (reviewed elsewhere on this site) with Marlo Thomas, plus helmed episodes of Alice, The Betty White Show and Welcome Back, Kotter.  Eventually, anyone with that kind of success wants to do a feature film, usually a comedy if that is where their success lies, and the result was a 1980 comedy adaptation of a Cyra McFadden book called Serial.


Not knowing what was ahead in the 1980s, this tale of hippies dealing with the adulthood and even family at the end of the counterculture movement has a great cast, some lightly amusing moments and some energy stops this from being an outright bomb, but nothing is ever really funny despite the talent involved.  The cast includes Martin Mull, Tuesday Weld, Sally Kellerman, Bill Macy, Nita Talbot, Pamela Bellwood, Barbara Rhodes, Peter Bonerz, Christopher Lee, Clark Brandon, Peter Horton, Tom Smothers and even Sam Denoff (Persky’s That Girl producer/writer/director partner) is a group that should have set off more laughs than it does.  However, it is all over the place and never adds up.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is a little soft, but colorful, consistent and the print is in decent shape.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is more of a problem, a few generations down and slightly compressed.  There are no extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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