3 April 2004 | laffinsal
Top-notch Comedy, Ahead of it's Time
It's a grand shame that very few people these days remember this fine sitcom about teenage life in the early 60s. Dwayne Hickman is endearing as simple-minded Dobie Gillis, the typical American teenager, who just wants a girl. Bob Denver is brilliant as his buddy, Maynard Krebs. Who needs Gilligan? Sheila James is fantastic as Zelda...always chasing after Dobie. Frank Faylen and Florida Friebus as Dobie's parents are too-oft forgotten for their parts on this show...they couldn't have gotten a better pair of actors.
There was some really sharp, funny writing on this series, and that, mixed with the snappy editing, jazzy soundtrack and over-the-top situations, made for some very funny episodes. Plenty of hip, jazzy lingo to go around. Lovely Tuesday Weld was also around for a number of episodes during the first season (and a couple later on) as Dobie's object of affection, Thalia Menninger. It's too bad that they couldn't keep her on for more sporadic appearances, because it is the episodes that she appears in, which I consider to be the zenith of the series. The show started to get a little too silly during its last season, when the focus went towards Maynard and Dobie's cousin, Dunkie, but it was still unique.
Without question, one of the high points of 1960s TV, and one of the most winning sitcoms of all time. It's a shame that it hasn't gotten the same kind of exposure in recent years as some of the other shows of the time. Hopefully it gets picked up and restored for a full DVD release sometime soon. It's just waiting to be rediscovered.