East Side/West Side (1963–1964)

TV Series   |    |  Drama


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East Side/West Side (1963) Poster

Neil Brock is a young social worker in the slums of New York City. His boss is Frieda Hechlinger, and Jane Foster is the office secretary. This dramatic series features stories about child ... See full summary »

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8.8/10
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3 October 2003 | raysond
10
| Brilliant but canceled that lasted one season and 26 episodes
"East Side/West Side" was a beautiful series that became a one season experiment that ran for 26 episodes on CBS from September 23,1963 to April 27,1964 that filmed on location in New York and in black & white. This was an grand one run experiment that was absolutely brilliant in every aspect and in every grand detail. It came out at a period where America was at a crossroads within itself and also a tumultuous time period where the issues were confronted---the years 1963 and 1964.

The years 1963-1964 were conflicts of turmoil with the escalating violence the occur with the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination in the South,the encompassing of the death of JFK,the passing of the Civil Rights Bill,the senseless killings of three Civil Rights workers in Mississippi,the bombing of three African-Americans on a bloody Sunday in Alabama and the senseless race riots that engulfed the Southern states and not to mention the escalation of the fighting and the opposing of the war in Vietnam. All of this occur within a single season during the show's run and it was just that--- A gruesome chapter in American History.

The series starred the great George C. Scott in his first and only television series. Scott played a social worker in Manhattan,while Cicely Tyson played his secretary,and before they softened the series,or before the series went off the air toward its own whimsy,they changed the course of television into a whole new agenda by looking at the way America looked at itself---ashamed at the way people are depicted here and the way society uses them as a pawn in life's uncrueled world. But the series offer some very controversial material that was ahead of its time when showed the social status of a nation in constant turmoil. The series,however was filmed on location in New York City and shot in grainy black and white with location shoots within the burrows of Manhattan,Queens,Bronx,Staten Island,Brooklyn,and Yonkers.

These episodes haven't been seen in almost 40 years,but there are four that really stick out that are totally spellbinding and brilliant in detail including two that were totally blocked in the Southern states of Georgia,Alabama,Tennessee,Mississippi,and South Carolina,but it is vital that the other two are worth seeing..........

1. Social Services takes away the child of a prostitute,who was portrayed as a devoted mother--her grief was seismic.

2. A mentally retarded adult is charged with the molestation of a young child and the father is to blame for the son's mistake.

3. A young black father who loses a baby to a rat's attack gets a weapon and wanders through Harlem looking for someone to kill.(This episode was totally blocked-out in four Southern states--hasn't been seen since its original broadcast more than 40 years ago)

4. A middle-class black couple moving to the suburbs sets off a calculated real-estate stampede,and even the liberal whites who sponsored them finally rebukes them.(This episode was totally blocked-out in four Southern states also hasn't been seen since its original broadcast more than 40 years ago)

5. A young teenager decides to kill himself after his parents find out that he is committing suicide----on the top of an apartment building.

NOTE: The guest stars ranged from Carroll O'Connor, Norman Fell, Howard Silva, Maureen Stapleton, Alex Cord, Ruby Dee, James Earl Jones, to Beah Richards, Raymond St. Jacques, Simon Oakland, Daniel J. Travanti, and Brock Peters. It won the prime-time Emmy in 1964 for Best Original Drama series even though it lasted one season.

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