3 August 2005 | criticman2000
Quaint, innocent fun from 1954
"Meet Corliss Archer" began as a huge radio hit in the late 40's, so it was one of the first series to make an attempt at a transition to the fledging television. They actually did it twice; the first time it was shown live and the cast did the same script twice a week, for different parts of the country (no network TV yet). Nothing of that series remains. In 1954, they changed the cast (retaining only teen heartthrob Bobby Ellis as Dexter), and began shooting it on film. By all accounts, this version lasted only a year. That's what we have here. So how is it? Well, it's pretty much what you'd expect. If you've seen the film hit, "Pleasantville", you can imagine what you're going to see, but there are real life differences. Despite it's charm and innocence, what "Meet Corliss Archer" delivers, is surprisingly crisp and well-written. It's also fairly inventive and the acting is good. This cast came from the NY stage, they knew what they were doing (and Ann Baker as Corliss, is absolutely adorable). It's got a lot of the flavor of the old "Dick Van Dyke Show" at times, and while it isn't hysterically funny, it moves along and it's pretty amusing. The best thing about it is that it hasn't been shown to death. You find a DVD of the entire series and you're going to see something you haven't watched before, and on that level alone, it's fascinating. It's also a comfort with a big bowl of popcorn and a comfortable chair. You can make this one wholly your own; too bad the commercials are gone.