25 June 2014 | redryan64
Self Deprecating Look At Tinsel Town
WE CAN RECALL catching this short-lived series when it was on the rebound. In syndicated reruns, it was shown on one of our local TV stations, circa 1956-58.
HAVING THE TIME tried and proved theme of depicting the life of young folks who are attempting to break into the movies. The plot element had worked before. At that point there had been two versions of A STAR IS BORN and various other showbiz 'rags to riches' movies. Even the great Busby Berkeley musical, 42ND STREET, had this element at its center.
AS IN ANY sitcom, the cast of characters has to be, well adept at being funny and producing guffaws, chortles and belly laughs. The players must have a certain attraction and affinity with the viewing audience.
STRONG IDENTIFICATION WITH on screen characters deems it necessary that, while the characters will be put in highly unlikely, awkward situations; great care must be taken in making sure that he persona is not too much of a buffoon. One who is too stupid tend to lose the sympathy of the viewers.
THE ASSEMBLED cast of Jimmy Lydon, Mitzi Green, Gordon Jones, Virginia Gibson and Peggy Knudsen were all experienced veterans, who got the job done. The aspiring occupations ran the listings from actor/actress, stuntman and even agent. Romantic relationships were always either present or on the horizon.
WE VIVIDLY REMEMBER one episode; which certainly had its origin in real situations that occurred in the then contemporary Hollywood scene. In it, there was a small, fictional, poverty row-type studio, called The Prince Brothers. They were in the process of doing a Tarzan knockoff and hired an over-aged, former action star to be their star. Requiring a blackboard in order to be able to read his lines, the producer, Herb Vigran, shouts; "Let him buy his own blackboard!"
THIS WHOLE GAG seemed to be all too real to the Ryan kids in our house; as we had suspected that Johnny Weissmueller had done that very thing in his portrayal of the lead in the JUNGLE JIM TV Series.