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  • I haven't seen this show since it was first shown on CBS in the '70's. I'm sure we'll never see this show on DVD. How about airing it on TV LAND??

    "Bridget loves Bernie" didn't last too long, only one season. It lasted long enough to make stars of David Birney and Meredith Baxter(Family Ties). The chemistry between the two made it worth watching. I guess falling in love while making the show help too. They were married shortly after the show was cancelled.

    I guess the subject of a Jew marrying a Catholic girl was too hot a subject back then for TV to handle. Hey, it's still a hot topic today in some circles. Love is love people.
  • I remember watching Bridget Loves Bernie. It was controversial at the time and received lots of hate mail. That was the reason CBS canceled the show. It wouldn't happen today. There have been interfaith marriages on TV since then. Soap Operas have been doing it for years. This is was a show about a teacher who happened to be from a wealthy Irish Catholic Family and cab driver who was Jewish. His parents owned a deli. Both families were upset about it at first but as each Bridget's family got to know Bernie and Bernie's family got to know Bridget, they accepted the marriage. David Birney, who played Bernie Steinberg, is as Irish as The Kennedys.
  • A standard 70s sitcom, in most ways. I remember it as having the standard "wacky" plots and few, if any, real surprises. It was a cute show. I was prompted to look it up today because of the parallel nature of the plot with the more current "Dharma and Greg". Just replace Catholic with Hippie and Jewish with Staunch Republican.

    I'm surprised that CBS actually caved-in to cancel a popular show, just due to hate mail. I didn't know anybody at the time that even remotely considered this fluffy, light entertainment program to be controversial, or shocking. If CBS had any sense, they would have played up the controversy to boost the ratings. No apologies!

    It was simply a "feel good" show about a couple who lived in an apartment over a delicatessen who had nosy, annoying parents.
  • As an impressionable 10 year old, I liked the "love conquers all" philosophy of the 70s sitcom "Bridget Loves Bernie." I did understand the controversy, which was about the romantic complications between a Jewish cab driver (David Birney) and an Irish Catholic school teacher (Meredith Baxter) and both sets of parents (Harold J. Stone and Bibi Osterwald as Bernie's parents; Audra Lindley and David Doyle as Bridget's parents) who have issues with the young couple's interfaith marriage.

    Looking at the show now with years of personal life experiences, I am amazed that the show was even a success for one, albeit, highly-rated season. Created by veteran TV writer Bernard Slade, who a few years after the show's cancellation would write the successful play "Same Time, Next Year", "Bridget Loves Bernie" was a very light, superficial comedy that collapsed under its own airy weight.

    There was no denying the real-life chemistry between Birney and Baxter. But, in later years, both actors have shown that they are better actors in other projects (Birney in his short-lived role in "St. Elsewhere" and Baxter in "Family" and "Family Ties"). Here, they were trying to breathe life in a show that needed a much gritter comic edge, which might have given the complications more depth to a very controversial subject.

    The show aired Saturday nights between two CBS powerhouses: "All in the Family" and "Mary Tyler Moore". Both of those shows were smart, funny and had enough of an edge (more so on the former that the latter) that kept my interest in the situation and the characters. "Bridget Loves Bernie" was not very smart and only had some occasional chuckles.

    This was another example of a show that really was not as good as I remembered.
  • amherst528227 March 2005
    This show died not because the subject matter was too controversial, but because the show sucked.

    Plot lines included the happy couple buying a waterbed, then trying it out while the parents are hanging out in the room below -- it bursts of course, and oh what comedy ensues! You can imagine.

    As for making David Birney a star -- well, that depends on your definition of star. I guess for Ozzie Nelson this was daring material, and maybe if you were in Kansas, but as a New Yorker, the idea of a kindly hip Reform Jewish family watching their son marrying the daughter of a somewhat uptight but ultimately kindly well-to-do Irish Catholic family didn't exactly set fire to the aerial.
  • I saw this show forty years ago. Sandwiched between two of the most successful series of the 70s, All In The Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, this couldn't help but get good ratings. A lot of people on another board have expressed interest in seeing this series go to DVD, so I watched the pilot on YouTube to see if I could change my negative opinion of it after all these years. Nope. The comedy is forced and unfunny, the Jewish jokes groan-inducing and offensive, and there is a line cribbed from the far-superior Love on a Rooftop:"You're rich". "You make it sound like some sort of disease". As to chemistry, that between Pete Duel and Judy Carne in the similarly plotted Love on a Rooftop is much better than that of David Birney and Meredith Baxter. The worst moment comes when Audra Lindley (never one of my favorites) has this shocked reaction to her daughter's new boyfriend possibly being black. This was created by Bernard Slade, who also created Love on a Rooftop. After seeing this again, the only positive thing I can say about it is that the theme music, by Jerry Fielding is nice. As far as reviving this on DVD or a nostalgia TV channel, to quote Leonard Maltin describing an old, recently rediscovered film he did not like: "This is one 'treasure' that should have stayed buried."
  • While this is a cute little newlywed sitcom and I realize TV programs can be just light, fluffy entertainment rather than intended as anything serious, I have my misgivings with the message that all is rosy as long as the couple is in love.

    The series amusingly depicts the daily struggles of a wealthy Irish Catholic girl, Bridget Fitzgerald, who, despite parental misgivings, marries a Jewish cab driver, Bernie Steinberg. The role of Bridget is played by the lovely Meredith Baxter, who went on to the much more successful TV series, Family Ties. David Birney portrays Bernie, and the couple married in real life (though later divorced).

    The show features a touching love story between this pair from such different backgrounds and assorted laughs at their newlywed problems & family obstacles. However, the reality is that interfaith marriage is rife with difficulty. It's lovely & heartwarming to think of respecting each other's different faith traditions and simply celebrating every holiday...Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, Passover, and so forth. The real problem emerges with children, what exactly are you going to teach them to believe? Exposure to both would prove very conflicting for this particular mix.

    Even without children, it's not like the couple disagreeing about which type of movie or food they prefer. Maybe Bridget and Bernie aren't really that committed to their respective religions, but if your faith is important to you and you want genuine emotional intimacy, best to choose a partner who shares your basic beliefs. So, it's a fun sitcom and of course Bridget and Bernie are portrayed as the typical doting newlyweds. However, I wouldn't take its message to heart as it simply isn't true that 'all you need is love'. Viewers should take this sitcom for the light little bit of fluff that it is.
  • "Bridget Loves Bernie" was a short-lived CBS sitcom that ran during the 1972-73 season between mega hit shows "All in the Family" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". Based loosely upon the play/radio hit "Abie's Irish Rose", the series centers on the romance, and subsequent comical tribulations between a wealthy Catholic schoolteacher and a Jewish cabbie. The show came under fire from Jewish religious leaders who considered the arrangement as insulting. The studio suffered bomb threats and death threats at their hands. Blessed by the time slot, it is notable for being the highest-rated TV series ever canceled, coming in at #5 and the highest-rated new show that season. The chemistry between series stars Meredith Baxter and David Birney was real and they married after the series ended and had three children.

    Reflecting upon the series, "Bridget and Bernie" had likable characters in a show that struggled at times to maintain plot. After a fine entry to lay the groundwork, some episodes seem to take one concept that could have been handled as a minor detail and stretched it as the entire episode. A number of episodes floundered, in my opinion, with a lean, linear, unsharpened plot. Things seem to pick up near the end, however, with the highlight being three consecutive hilarious offerings: "Into Every Life a Little Snow Must Fall", "To Teach or Not to Teach", and "Painting, Painting - Who's Got the Painting?".

    The chemistry between the series stars was genuine, as mentioned, but not especially warm and they rarely offered more than light comedy. The same level of comedy came from the Steinbergs' Jewish characters. The real laughs came from the hilarious interactions between Walt and the dimwitted Amy Fitzgerald. Audrey Lindley was a key ingredient here much like she was to the successful "Three's Company".

    "Bridget Loves Bernie" attempted to bring up a taboo subject in really the best you can, to me. It wasn't preachy like today's mainstream news that willingly sacrifices credibility to push bought and paid for views. It just offered a light setting with laughs where you can follow their lives with a theme of love conquers all. But, does it gloss over the fact that religion doesn't seem very important to the couple, compared to their parents? The series in no way had the makings of a hit and with intense pressure that included death threats by Jewish leaders, the decision was made to pull the plug.

    The complete series can be found today on DVD.